a

alias wade's Profile

Title Last Reply

the food of "I Am Love," especially the "insalata russa"

Didn't see this first time around, but a chowhound review of Cracco has it that the wrapper is sugar (?!):
<<Two crunchy disks of caramelized sugar infused with a powder made of dried capers and Maldon salt add pizzazz to an otherwise almost too rich and creamy combination in the center. The flavors were familiar, but their delivery was unexpected and fun.>>
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/601551
Hmm. In the film, it really looked like Antonio was blowtorching a flat, wonton-like wrapper. Such a wrapper made of sugar? Anyone?

Jul 01, 2010
alias wade in Food Media & News

the food of "I Am Love," especially the "insalata russa"

Surprised not to see postings here on Chowhound about the new Tilda Swinton movie "I Am Love" (maybe it's just a search engine problem?). The food is mouth-wateringly luxurious (as are the clothes, the home furnishings, the humans-- everything in the film, really).

The film pays special attention to a Russian soup called "ukha"-- the New York Times followed its lead by featuring it in its review and the accompanying slide show: http://movies.nytimes.com/2010/06/18/movies/18iamlove.html.

But the dish I'm particularly interested in is the one Antonio (the film's young chef) is preparing when he first meets Emma (Swinton). It's referred to as an "insalata russa." (Why all the Russian dishes? Emma is Russian by birth.)

The traditional Italian insalata russa is a conventional mayonnais-ey salad whose other ingredients depend on the season. The film's version, however, is more of a canape. Seen only briefly, it's a simple, drier salad or slaw wrapped in a light pasta wrapper. The finished product is a small (2 or 3 inch diameter, 1/2 inch thin) disc-- kind of a mini-hockey puck dumpling. In finishing it, Antonio blowtorched the wrapper to crisp it on one side, then flipped it over, folded the wrapper closed on the other side and blowtorched it closed. The most distinctive thing about it, when eaten, was its crunch.

I suspect that we'll never see the recipe for this dish unless the movie's food consultant, Italian chef Carlo Cracco (http://www.starchefs.com/cooking/?q=n...), whose restaurant Cracco features a starter called "insalata russa caramellata" (caramelized)) decides to write a cookbook (which, of course, is entirely within the realm of possibility). But while I'm waiting for that to happen, did anyone get a good enough look at the dish to better describe ingredients or preparation?

Jul 01, 2010
alias wade in Food Media & News

the annual frustrating search for a good peach

Look at the little label on the fruit (the one with the UPC code) if buying in a big market-- it will (or should) tell you where it's from. If it's nearby, buy, if it's not, bye-bye.

Jul 30, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

BLUEBERRIES: Is it my imagination??

Locally grown and super-fresh is the only way to go-- and I only just really appreciated how true this is last week! For whatever reason, it was the first time I'd ever bought blueberries at a farmer's market. O... M... G. What a difference! They were exploding with flavor! I think they ruined me for life on anything that comes in a jewel box.

Jul 30, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Farmer's Market Mystery: Can You Identify These Species of Melon and Zucchini?

Could well be, but the one I had certainly looked ripe-- its color was vivid and it was fairly soft. Maybe it was overripe? Hmm. I think maybe that's it. When I think about it, any other melon that was as soft as the one I had would be overripe, and would have an off flavor. That's gotta be it.

Jul 30, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Okay Le Creuset, Defend Yourself

I agree, blondelle and Dee-- I think what you're paying for in LC is the enamel, in two ways: quality of enamel affects heat distribution; and quality of the enameling process affects bonding and therefore longevity. Granted, heat dist. isn't going to be greatly different in any kind of quality pot (esp. if you're making something simple like a stew), and $100+ is a lot to pay for longevity, but I think it's pretty clear that critiques of LC ought to be made on those grounds, and not simply price. If you get past the price issue, the only people with real cause to diss LC are owners who've had something go wrong. For some people, the extra dough is like an insurance policy that a piece of chipped enamel won't wind up in your lamb curry (and that some of the dish won't glue itself to the bottom b/c of poor quality enamel).

Jul 30, 2008
alias wade in Cookware

Farmer's Market Mystery: Can You Identify These Species of Melon and Zucchini?

First, thanks so much for all your replies!
The melon... well, I don't think it was a melon at all. Picture is below. Looks like a melon but tasted awful, like the most bitter cucumber you could imagine. Does the description or the pick maybe help identify it?
I am looking forward to sauteeing the snake gourd tonight. That video was great, jiyo! I'm going to try a simpler saute with it tonight. Will report back.... Wade

Jul 30, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Farmer's Market Mystery: Can You Identify These Species of Melon and Zucchini?

Got a couple of new (to me) items at the farmer's market on Saturday, but the gentleman who sold them to me could not tell me exactly what they were called. (He seemed not to be the actual farmer, and his English wasn't great to boot.) Anybody recognize them? Thanks! (Pencil and keys for scale.)

Jul 28, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Cacio e Pepe Pasta

Been making something like this for years on empty-fridge night-- never dreamed someone would think to formalize it in a recipe! A few (IMHO) improvements: use fusilli instead of spaghetti, b/c everything sticks better; a couple of dashes of cholula or frank's hot sauce, plus the pepper, supplies layers of different kinds of heat that remain surprisingly mild b/c of the cheese; use trader joe's blend of parmesan and romano rather than just one cheese-- sharpness of romano plus creaminess of parmesan is ideal. Oh, almost forgot: olive oil and stir! (BTW, Pietro, "success of the recipe really depends...." Oh, come on. This is not haute cuisine. This, again, is empty-fridge night/comfort food! Would you refuse my version because TJ's parmesan is Argentine? Too, too fussy.)

Apr 03, 2008
alias wade in Recipes

Can one reheat a frittata?

For optimal effect reheat on high heat (400) in the oven. Edges of potatoes or pasta (whichever you used) get all crispy.... Carb nirvana.

Apr 02, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Chorizo, what to buy?

The dried ones are superb sliced into casserole-y dishes, e.g., a kicked-up paella. A cuban roommate used to make a one-pot dish in a rice cooker with dried chorizo, canned goya squid, onion, garlic and bell pepper-- unbelievable.
If you want to crumble use the fresh but precook it first-- it renders a lot of red-tinted, paprika-infused fat, and will turn your quesidilla into an oil slick.

Apr 02, 2008
alias wade in General Topics

Mole Chile Mystery: Chihuacle? "Oaxacan"?

Awesome reply, EN. Let you know how things turn out!

Apr 02, 2008
alias wade in Home Cooking

Mole Chile Mystery: Chihuacle? "Oaxacan"?

About to dive into mole-making, trying out a published recipe for Cafe Poca Cosa's red (http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs...). But problems abound.
Problem one: The recipe calls for chihuacle chiles (alt. sp.: "chilhuacle"). I presume this means chihuacle rojos (as opposed to neros), but still, these are hard to find outside Oaxaca. Were this a black mole I could (it seems) substitute anchos for the chihuacle neros. But is there a good substitute for chihuacle rojos?
Second problem: The recipe also calls for pasilla chiles, but I find (The Food and Life of Oaxaca, Z. Martinez) that in Oaxaca "pasilla" doesn't mean what it means elsewhere in Mexico. In Oaxaca, it seems, "pasillas" are smoked. Now, it just so happens that I have in my possession some chiles I bought on a lark in Tucson a couple of months ago. They are labeled "Oaxacan Chili" (sic). Are they actually the Oaxacan pasillas? Could they be chihuacles? (I called the store-- answering machine.) I hope there's some wisdom out there-- neither Google nor my not insubstantial library have been much help!

Apr 02, 2008
alias wade in Home Cooking

New Jamie Oliver Show?

man, that steak and guinness pie looked good. making that for the super bowl party, definitely. maybe the spinach/ham baking sheet tart as well. No, I've never seen "a tart so visually appealing" (as JO put it). great, great episode, even if the fruit pie was too liquidy.

Jan 22, 2008
alias wade in Food Media & News

New Jamie Oliver Show?

oh, no-- have you hoodlums knocked out all her teeth? :)

Jan 22, 2008
alias wade in Food Media & News

New Jamie Oliver Show?

this is a very good use for a wok, as someone once demonstrated on the old iron chef. the shape of it is such that you can load up the bottom with wood shavings, and the heat transfer is great. plus, you're not cooking with a painted box, which (sorry Jamie and Alton) I dont like the idea of, even if the paint isn't on the inside. I think both those guys used kitchen surplus (if you will) mainly for effect... or maybe they don't own woks! (:))

Jan 22, 2008
alias wade in Food Media & News

New Jamie Oliver Show?

that chopped salad was actually on the second season of olivers twist, in the episode he cooks an "american" meal for one of his buddies, an elvis impersonator. (good one, too!) some very good stuff on that series, btw.(don't take me for a groupie-- it's just that olivers twist 2 is one of the few food titles that netflix has, and that I hadn't already seen.)

Jan 22, 2008
alias wade in Food Media & News

Le Creuset and oven

For me, the advantage over glass is this: what you use for baking (glass, ceramic) is not necessarily great for stewing and braising. For the latter you need something that also works on stovetop, since you generally want to brown meat before adding ingredients and moving into the oven. Perhaps secondarily, slower heat transfer is probably an advantage. About the other aspects of your question: I can't see the advantage of oval over round (though I'm sure others do); if you're wondering specifically about the advantage of enameled cast iron over just plain cast iron (as in, say, a Lodge dutch oven), the advantage would be that you don't have to worry about curing (or re-curing, since in stewing and braising, liquids can cause simple cast iron can lose its cure).

Jan 22, 2008
alias wade in Cookware

Interesting Obit-Peg Bracken, 1918-2007

The godmother of quick-and-easy. 75% of food network personalities should have been at her funeral to pay tribute!

Dec 30, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

Pistachio Mexican Wedding Cakes

Question about cooking with pistachios: what about the skins? Obviously you don't eat shells, but what about the dark coat immediately surrounding the nut? I made some pistachio ice cream once and those skins definitely influenced the flavor: made it darker, earthier than we liked. Should the pistachios be skinned for that recipe, and this recipe, too?

Dec 27, 2007
alias wade in Recipes

Emeril Canceled

Yes, Emeril's schtick appealed to the lowest common denominator, but the food (generally speaking) never got dumbed down. Live is a bit carnivalesque, but Essence is and always has been real cooking. "Dumbed down" would be store-bought ingredients, bad technique... aw, you know where this is going.

Dec 01, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

Emeril Canceled

No matter what you think of the schtick, Emeril deserves some serious props. Pro golfers used to say that for every $10 they earned, they should give $1 to Arnold Palmer, the man whose personality attracted the masses-- you could say the same thing about current celeb chefs. Away from the cameras Emeril has always seemed perpetually sleep-deprived-- wouldn't doubt that he's finally recognized (or been made to recognize) that it's time to stop hustling and enjoy his just desserts.

Nov 27, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

Next Iron Chef Episode 4

I still find this series borderline unwatchable-- was I the only one who noticed that the first appearance of actual foodstuffs came last night at the 22 minute mark? No recollection of anything they cooked except that there was venison involved somewhere along the line. And the preview/review bumpers-- same snippets repeated two or even three times. Argh! Let's see them cook, for chrissakes! This may be the worst production of any food reality show ever. If there's a real AB problem, it's that there's more of him than the contestants-- the segment from 15-20 minutes was like a Good Eats ep-- all Alton walking in and out of different kitchens and storage areas. Really needs to be more footage of people cooking.

Oct 29, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

What do you cook when you are cooking for one?

My go-to meal-- and you don't even have to shop, if you've got greens in the fridge-- is a simple but super-tasty pasta and greens. Boil 6 oz. linguini. In a large saucepan, 3 T olive oil, plus 1 or 2 T double-concentrate tomato paste (the stuff in a tube), 1 T red pepper flake, 1 clove garlic, finely chopped. When the pasta's done (al dente) add to saucepan, and toss. Add three or four big handfuls of greens (sping mix is good; better is just radicchio and arugula), toss again until greens just start to wilt. Generously top with grated parm/romano. Good veggie dish, too, and done in 15 mins.

Oct 22, 2007
alias wade in Home Cooking

What's the word on Rain?

Guess we now know who wins (won) Next Iron Chef....

Oct 18, 2007
alias wade in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Why should I renew my Saveur subscription?

I've had the exact same feelings about Saveur. Photographically it's still the most interesting food mag, but the story ideas and the writing have gone seriously downhill. Not paying close enough attention through the (last 5-10 years), but the current product reeks of ill-advised masthead changes.

Oct 17, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

One night alone in Santa Barbara. What should I eat?

Did dine at La Super Rica (if dining is the right word ;) one of the three or four times I visited SB. I was told that it was Julia Child's favorite restaurant in SB, and that the queso/chorizo "soup" was her favorite dish. Any truth to either? I've always wondered....

Oct 15, 2007
alias wade in California

The Next Iron Chef

Apropos of the production, see this post:
http://www.chowhound.com/topics/450785

Oct 15, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

The Next Iron Chef

Hmm. That squash and apple soup sounds really good.... Let us know if you try to recreate it!

Oct 15, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News

food network: gourmet next door promo

The more I think about it, the more I wonder: do I like watching AOC because it's... not about food?

Oct 15, 2007
alias wade in Food Media & News