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Anywhere to get real buttermilk in Raleigh/Durham area?

I'm looking for the stuff that's left over when you make butter, not the normal store stuff.

Thx.

Oct 11, 2012
lcw_nc in Southeast

Good candy store in Raleigh?

If you want "the real thing" consider the trip to Chapel Hill for Southern Seasons. Their candy selection is probably 20x the size of any other candy store. It's also a good chance to check out some restaurants out there.

Jun 16, 2012
lcw_nc in Southeast

Iron Chef (Competition Dining) comes to NC

Battle of local restaurants with a special ingredient.

http://www.competitiondining.com/

- Lane

May 30, 2012
lcw_nc in Southeast

Food ideas for a Vokda tasting

I've heard of that definition, but I do taste quite a difference. I'm a big fan of Jean Marc XO and it's been helpful in getting others to appreciate vodka straight up. That's really the only one that I think works very well neat. I've found that the refrigerator is a good compromise as if they are in the freezer the cold ends up dominating everything else.

May 30, 2012
lcw_nc in Spirits

Food ideas for a Vokda tasting

I'm not sure about whether it will be blind or not, see below. I think vodkas usually have less variation than wines so it might be good to talk about them as we go. People may also lose some ability to judge the vodkas along the way :)

I do not like blind wine tastings when the host pushes you to write down all sorts of things about the wine along the way (unless it's some sort of formal tasting only event). That takes a lot of fun out of a party which is what this will be.

What I was thinking was to serve about 3 vodkas blind at a time and talk about them and reveal the types after each set of 3.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not much of seafood person (long story) but I'd definitely do caviar and oysters for my friends. I think the smoked meats would be my speed.

Thanks.

May 30, 2012
lcw_nc in Spirits

Food ideas for a Vokda tasting

Medium-high budget. About 15 people. Snacks and hors d'ouvres will be served.

May 30, 2012
lcw_nc in Spirits

Care and feeding of copper pans

I thought barkeepers friend was pretty harsh. I know that I have to use it very sparingly on my cooktop. Perhaps it's not as big a deal on a pan since the copper is thicker. BTW, for folks who don't want to get a copper pan for egg whites, a pinch of cream of tartar helps them achieve the same result.

Apr 25, 2012
lcw_nc in Cookware

Care and feeding of copper pans

I have a copper bottomed steel top frying pan. I see many cookbooks saying that I should keep it very clean and shiny. I'm not sure I'm willing to put in the effort. My question is, if you're ok having a "patina" on your pan, do you really need to clean the copper part? I'd assume that it still conducts heat so is there some reason other than cosmetic why it would be important to keep very clean?

I've several instructions online about how to clean them, but feel free to add your advice on that front too.

Thx.

Apr 25, 2012
lcw_nc in Cookware

Generally scorned products that are madly delicious -- in certain applications

I avoid Crisco except when making homemade Oatmeal Creme Pies... yummy

Apr 24, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Strawberry ice cream - how to kick it up a notch?

ok so it sounds like I'm making a roasted strawberry ice cream with vanilla, sea salt, sour cream, lemon, cardamon, honey, and cinnamon with goat cheese and strawberry compote andbalsamic drizzle. Escoffier would be proud :)

Apr 24, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Strawberry ice cream - how to kick it up a notch?

Sea salt in or sea salt on?

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Strawberry ice cream - how to kick it up a notch?

I love cardamom in ice cream, but have only tried with vanilla

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Affordable Raleigh Brunch?

I'd expected that this would have been well covered but didn't see anything when I searched.

My friends and I are getting into the Sunday brunch habit and since we have a range of incomes (including several grad students) we'd like to find places with interesting food/atmosphere but with good value. Assume about $12 per person or so.

Please don't say Briggs, IHOP, Denny's, or Waffle House without a smiley or two.

Thx.

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Southeast

Raleigh area Pancakes

I recently tried them at Coquette with high expectations but they were pretty plain (I've liked everything else there but hadn't done brunch before). I saw that they are on the menu at Herons during the week and I'm sure they are excellent just based on everything else there. I've also seen lemon ricotta pancakes on the Panzanella brunch menu and will be trying them soon.

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Southeast

What cookbooks have you bought lately? Springtime edition! [old]

I took a step up to the big leagues and ordered Escoffier's GC. I think it will be more of a history lesson than anything else but I'm sure I'll learn a lot and find some great ideas.

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Strawberry ice cream - how to kick it up a notch?

We're having an early strawberry season here in North Carolina. I like to make strawberry ice cream during the season and have had good results in the past, usually with a little vanilla extract in as well. I usually prepare the strawberries with a quick visit to the food processor so they are still chunky and then a china cap to get the water out and add them once the ice cream has set up.

My basic ice cream recipe is something like:

2c heavy cream
1c whole milk
a few eggs plus some extra yolks
1/2 to 2/3c extra fine sugar

beat up the eggs, add sugar and beat some more, add the liquids and put it in the ice cream maker. Add anything alcoholic or solid at the end. I find that some alcohol is always good to keep it from getting too hard after freezing (Calvados with vanilla is excellent)

I want to be a bit more ambitious this year.

Some ideas I've had so far:

- real vanilla beans (yep, obvious)
- a mint leaf or similar on top
- aged balsamic - I'm assuming it would go as well with the ice cream as it does with just strawberries. Blend in or on top or both?
- Some sort of sauce/compote/cream on the plate for complementary flavor.

Let me know what you think. I have time to experiment a few times before serving to friends in a few weeks. I hope I've made some of you hungry :)

Thanks.

Apr 23, 2012
lcw_nc in Home Cooking

Bridal Shower[Raleigh,Cary]

Savoy is stunningly good. It is in the old Fins spot at Lead Mine and Sawmill (not wake forest). The chefs visit the farmers market every morning to find fresh produce and then adjust the menu based on what's in season and highest quality. They are from Raleigh but have trained at Michelin starred restaurants in France and blow everything in the price range in Raleigh out of the water. I've had about 10 different dishes and haven't found anything less than stellar.

For 40-50, you'd probably need to ask if they could do a private lunch on the weekend when they aren't normally open. Their 2 private dining areas seat about 14 each. I think the whole restaurant is around 60 seats.

If you want to really have something memorable in the price range you are talking about, Savoy is the place to go. Your only issue might be that you'd need to take over the whole restaurant but they'd probably be open to that, especially if you do Saturday or Sunday lunch when they are closed.

If you do arrange a private lunch, you should request that they make the golden raisin poppyseed sweetened bread for it.

jo@restaurantsavoy.com is the manager and person to contact. www.restaurantsavoy.com will give you an idea of the menu and prices. Note that lunch and dinner prices are quite different.

(for the record, I'm not connected with Savoy, just a picky foodie that is fortunate to live within walking distance of them)

May 30, 2008
lcw_nc in General South Archive

Savoy in Raleigh

Went today for lunch. Very impressed. Nice modern decor with lots of wood, metal, and black leather. Lunch is a great value. I had the grilled romaine hearts with red wine vinagrette, skirt steak with steak fries and bernaise, and a chocolate torte/mousse/truffle for dessert. All three were uniquely and artfully presented. They tasted pretty darn good too.

It is in the old Fins location. A bit hard to find but they have some temporary signs up to help you find it.

Apr 28, 2008
lcw_nc in General South Archive

Mez on Page Road in Durham

Been there for lunch twice. It's a very "happening" place at lunch time, only open a few weeks and reservations would be recommended. Food was competent both times but I haven't yet found anything spectacular. First time was a chicken wrap which was pretty good. The cumin fries that came with it were quite soggy.

Second time I tried the empanadas. Nothing to writing home about. Very greasy from being fried but good flavor.

All said, it's nice to have another real restaurant in the park so I'm going to keep going and see if I can find a dish that stands out.

- L

Apr 26, 2008
lcw_nc in General South Archive