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Great coffee in Brooklyn

At the risk of going off-topic... sadly their new location smells no better.

Apr 15, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Need two suggestions for 'Parents meet the In-laws to-be' Dinner

Yeah, Convivium was another that I thought of, but I figured if I started listing a bunch of places, it would turn into a list 25-30 long! I've been there a number of times and I've never been wowed by it. It's good. It's very good. But for the life of me I can't remember anything I've ever eaten there.

I don't like the Lugers suggestion for a couple of reasons. It's not elegant. It's not convenient. They often don't honor reservations (on time, anyway) without shenanigans. It's hard to get reservations, sometimes. It's cash only. And meat is pretty much the only thing worth getting there. If you have a group of steak eaters, yeah, it would be nice. But otherwise I'd rather go to about 100 other places first.

Apr 07, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Need two suggestions for 'Parents meet the In-laws to-be' Dinner

I'll just throw a couple of suggestions in your price range out there, and see if anything sticks. Brooklyn, as I'm sure you know, has a ton of really nice restaurants. Both of these places may be 1 or 2 ticks below on the price point, but they're comparable quality.

Hole-in-the-Wall: Chez Moi on Atlantic is really nice. It's not adventurous or innovative--just really good French Bistro food.

A little nicer: The Vanderbilt has small plates for sharing, or entrees if you're not feeling The Share. Or both.

They both take reservations, so there won't be the awkward 30 minute wait in a cramped bar area wondering if you'll be seated soon.

More information will yield more responses, I'm sure.

Apr 07, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Gnudi

But you'd want it a little drier for gnudi. Anyway, ricotta, paneer or farmer's cheese are all pretty much made the same way: heat milk, add acid, curdle, strain. The main variants are when to add the acid, how hot to heat the milk, how long to simmer (if at all) before straining, etc.

Apr 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Gnudi

I have made it! It's fun. If you really want to geek out, make your own ricotta! This way you can absolutely be certain that it's nothing but milk, salt and a tiny bit of acid to curdle. I think a two-day rest in the semolina is probably adequate. Like most things of this nature, you'll probably lose one/two the the process. One won't have the semolina adhere, one may fall apart in the water, you may fumble one getting it out of the water, etc. Expect some loss.

Apr 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Need some inspiration today

How about a tamarind sauce? They're sort of sweet/sour. Sprinkle with a ton of chopped cilantro and scallions.

Apr 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Par-cooking bacon - can it be done?

I did this just a couple of weeks ago with bacon-wrapped shrimp. In fact it's how the recipe was written. (though not with a lengthy stay in the fridge). Since the shrimp will be overdone before the bacon is cooked, par-cooking the bacon first is the way to go.

Apr 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What Style of Beer Do You Use to Cook Mussels?

Not sure I have anything original to add. On the occasions I use beer, I usually lean towards a pilsner/lager style. I have no idea what would typically be used in Belgium. I did once recently use a Belgian Blonde, but I feel like the beer dominated the mussels.

Apr 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Boiling eggs

Google will yield a million ways to boil eggs. I recently made a dozen deviled eggs, (24 half eggs) and I found steaming to be perfect.

Thirteen minutes, plunge in ice water, then do the majority of the peeling underwater. I had just bought the eggs so I'll go on faith that they were fresh (ha!). Doing it this way putting the steamer basket into the already boiling pot and peeling underwater gave me ZERO mangled eggs. And the yolks were perfectly yellow with no green ring.

Mar 26, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Bricolage - Vietnamese in Park Slope

Hi Bob --

Well, I don't think that's 100% fair. At least not as far as I'm concerned. I haven't been to Bunker, but I'll use Cong Ly as a benchmark. Bric - in my hood. CL - not in my hood. Bric - Somewhere I'd like to go after work when I don't want to cook. CL - closes early; not where I want to hang out.

I think it's not a fair comparison between any place that serves ethnic food tries to source responsibly with the dirt-cheap places in one of the chinatowns. Sometimes I feel like adventure eating, with linoleum floors and fluorescent lights. And sometimes I want a more mainstream experience on a Tuesday after work. They're different things. It's like comparing dinner at Franny's with a corner slice shop.

How much do you think a burger and fries would cost if they were standard fare in a chinatown, $3? Yet most people wouldn't balk at spending $12-15 at their local pub. Their overhead is much higher, they have wait staff, and more amenities.

Anyway, I liked Bricolage. I'll go back. But only when it's more established and less frenetic. I'll treat it more like Franny's, where a nice pizza dinner for two will likely cost $100-- because it's not a corner slice shop.

Mar 20, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Cookwell &Co. Asian Ginger Vinaigrette

There are no rules, my friend. I would probably marinate something in it. Depending on how sour it is, I may make a sauce out of it at the end of the stir fry. (maybe 2T of sauce, and make a slurry out of 2T water and 1t cornstarch-- add vinaigrette til bubbling, add slurry and stir like mad. it'll thicken)

Mar 19, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Bricolage - Vietnamese in Park Slope

Miss Needle, I had a very similar meal to you, and I felt kind of the same. We went there only like 2-3 days after they opened. We sat at the bar and it was FREEZING outside. Someone (manager? owner?) explained they weren't able to put up a proper wind-break around the door because of the awning. So it was freezing inside too. Hopefully they fix that.

Anyway, we had the wings which were average, Banh Xeo which was the star of the evening, the kale which we really liked and the Unshaking Beef which was, sadly, presented a solid medium-well. The beef was our least favorite. I understand that it was early days and a cooking error like that can happen. (I do it all the time!) But the other thing we didn't like about the USB was that the sauce was nothing but sour. It could have used more fish sauce, sugar and less lime/vinegar.

I feel like the price was a little steep, considering we got a half-dozen wings, a good-sized pancake, one modest piece of beef and a side of kale. Oh, and two drinks. I don't recall exactly but I feel like with tax and tip it was between 100-120. (we tip well)

I'm really happy they're there. And I'm thrilled that they're doing well. I'll go back when I don't have to wait, and I have a hankering. So far that hasn't happened yet. But it will!

Mar 19, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Park Slopers -- what are your go-to spots for take-out?

I'm not sure Indian Spice would deliver to me. I'm as "across the street" from Joy as I can be without living on Flatbush Ave. I don't think they've ever come up on my seamless list. I'll keep an eye out for them though.

Mar 19, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Park Slopers -- what are your go-to spots for take-out?

I live very near Joy Indian, so I usually just do takeout from there. For delivery, I'm partial to Aarpan on 5th ave. For Thai, Olieng beats Song in my opinion. We got takeout from Taro Sushi one night last week. Needless to say, eating in the restaurant is better. But it's fine.

Mar 16, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

(green, probably) vegetable to serve with quenelles?

Green beans? Steamed/buttered.

Mar 12, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

meat & poultry cooking times

I also go by internal temperature, but I think I understand why your friend may have said it doesn't matter. A beef tenderloin is essentially a cylindrical cut of meat, typically 4-5" inches in diameter. Whether the cylinder is 7" or 14" doesn't really matter that much. You still need to get meat that's 2" away from the surface up to a certain temperature (125-130?) for it to be done.

With a turkey, or any less uniform cut of meat, it's harder to gauge how far away the "center" is from the nearest surface. There's a little more to it than just distance to the surface, but that's probably the most important factor. The other factor with weight is how much the meat will cool the oven when you place it in there, and how long it will take to bring/keep the oven at temperature.

But yes, a good thermometer is worth the investment.

Mar 06, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

What kind of cabbage in moo shu pork?

I'm almost 100% certain they're using regular white cabbage at your local Chinese place. If you can, and if you have very sharp eyes, maybe you can watch them as they load things into the wok while they're making your moo shu next time you're there.

Mar 06, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Why not? ... Stuffed peppers

Oh god, I need to stop reading this forum right before lunch. Everything suggested so far sounds amazing. And I hate cooked green peppers!

Tim, I think the thing to keep in mind would be the volume of what you'd be eating in rather large bites. Chinese dumplings sound good, but that's a pretty rich filling. Same with the pizza toppings. If you ate a giant mouthful of cheese and sauce (which you don't actually do when eating pizza), it might be overwhelming.

The tabbouleh and chickpeas sound great. You could even do something like a bolognese sauce mixed with chopped sauteed broccoli rabe, or something like that.

Mar 05, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Great coffee in Brooklyn

Oh wow. This is really exciting news. It may actually motivate me to walk down there from where I live in North Slope for coffee!

Any idea what kind of food? Which store front, the one that housed the seafood store?

Mar 05, 2015
egit in Outer Boroughs

Stock question--need answer fast-ish

Just because it's fun to pile on... Don't put the dressing in the stockpot!!!

Have you considered other (re)purposes for the leftover dressing? What if you to cut it with plain unseasoned bread cubes, or maybe some leftover mashed potatoes and make some sort of odd croquettes or similar? Along a similar vein, perhaps you could cobble together a bread pudding out of it?

Mar 04, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

Cedar Plank Salmon...In the Oven?

I broil salmon all the time. Here's my method:

Marinate Salmon in whatever you want.
Heat CI skillet
Light broiler
Move oven rack down one notch. Fish will be 6" from flame.
Put fish skin side UP in CI Skillet
Put it in the oven for 7-10 minutes.

This yields a nice medium rare fish. Obviously your mileage may vary based on about 100 variables. But this is my basic broiled salmon technique.

Mar 03, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

Frozen beef tenderloin

If it's not still sealed in plastic, put it in a large sealable ziploc bag and submerge it in cold water. It will still take some time. You really don't want the meat to contact the water directly.

Mar 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
2

Dripless Bottles for Pouring Oil..?

My cooking oil lives in an old 1 liter Cinzano vermouth bottle with a speed-pour stopper like you'd see on a bottle of liquor at a bar. I refill it from a large 3 liter cans, with the help of a funnel. I concocted this arrangement about 3 years ago, and I love it.

Diana Kennedy, The Art of Mexican Cooking - reliable recipes.

I have made her mole poblano at least 4-5 times. It's labor intensive, and it makes a great group project. Working by yourself, you should allocate at least 4-5 hours. Maybe more.

Maybe this is just my unsophisticated palate, but having made it so many times, I find at the very, very end a little bit of sugar rounds out some of the bitterness. In what is probably at least 2 quarts of mole, we're talking about maybe 1-2T. I've never measured it, just add/stir/taste/add/stir/taste, etc.

Mar 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

March 2015 COTM: GROWING UP IN A KOREAN KITCHEN - Sections 1 & 2

I'm not participating in this COTM thread directly, but I loved your pics of kimchi and I have made it often myself.

Typically when I make cabbage leaf kimchi, it starts with no appreciable liquid. I salt/massage/rinse the chopped up leaves and mix it all up with the paste in a giant bowl. Only after 2-3 days on the counter does the water level start to "rise" up the jar. At that point I'll poke it all with the skinny end of a wooden spoon to dislodge any air pockets, etc.

Salting the water was definitely the right thing to do... I'm just not sure that adding water right away was necessary. It may brine itself after a little bit.

Mar 02, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

is it safe go make coq au vin in an enamel cast iron le crueset pot?

Yes, no problem at all. Alcohol burns at a very low temperature. Ceramics, by and large, are extremely heat-tolerant. I think the only bit of cookware I'd be reluctant to flame with brandy might be a bamboo steamer...

Feb 27, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Home-made stock

I used to take the kitchen sink approach to saving all of my veggie scraps. Except often when I do veggie prep, I don't typically wash the outside of the veggies (carrots, onions, etc), so they'd all just go right into the freezer then pot.

Stocks tended to taste like dirt. Literally. Now I'm very selective with what goes in the stock bag and what doesn't. Only clean things, for one. And only things I think will enhance the stock. Usually the ends of onions, or carrots, or mushroom stems or caps that are on the edge of going bad, etc.

Feb 27, 2015
egit in Home Cooking

Favorite broccoli raab (rabe) preps?

Well, now that you've discovered that you need to blanch it first, you'll have to get back all the rabe you gave away!

"Oh gosh, I think it's contaminated with listeria, please if you just return it to me I'll dispose of it properly." ;-)

Feb 25, 2015
egit in Home Cooking
1

No way in H-E-double hockey sticks I'm making this at home before I've eaten it somewhere.

Yeah, I've seen bull penis in a chinatown grocery store. Never any uteri though. Not that I was aware of, anyway. Sometimes it's fun to browse and look at all of the exotic ingredients. I do that, and then leave with a package of noodles, a bottle of soy sauce and a heavy dose of defeat.

Must I refrigerate in order to marinate?

Presumably a marinade will have enough salt and acid to inhibit bacterial growth for a couple of hours. I'm not sure I have a cut-off time, but I know I've marinated things on the counter for 3-4 hours before. And I always, always let things come up to room temp before cooking. That's what... at least 30-60 minutes.

If I'm thawing meat, I will usually start it on the counter in the morning to come up to room temp, then refrigerate it before leaving for work. Still-frozen meat makes for a sad homecoming from work.

Never food-poisoned myself or others with either of these practices.

Feb 19, 2015
egit in Home Cooking