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1. Holy shit those huge shoes were in. (You think those shoes were big, a few years later in Manchester, UK one of the side effects of ecstasy was that shoes grew even bigger...) 2. It's awesome that you've got a photo of yourself at that age that evokes positive feelings! Like a few other posters here, photos of me around that age bring back lots of feelings of all that awkwardness and other-than-happiness. (Hmmm... I wonder if part of the vehemently negative reaction that people have to the Wesley character is that he elicits those same other-than-happy feelings in themselves...)
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I was wondering about this also. Here's Mssr. Pneu's definition: "A Bib Gourmand rating means the restaurant is an inspector's favorite for good value. For $40 or less, you can enjoy two courses and a glass of wine or dessert (not including tax and gratuity)." Clearly, most of these places aren't in the running for official stars*, but most are solid bets where you can send an out-of-towner for a good meal. In a few cases the are must-gos for anyone to appreciate Chicago's restaurants/food. (*a few probably should be, but that's part of the problem with the current Guide Michelin star system. It's too tied to "service" and such, and not driven primarily by what's actually on the plate (or in the wax paper wrapper, if that's the case.) Ah, well.)
1)People don't go to airports or train stations for the sake of going to that station. How they get from the station to their real destination is critical, thus the pedestrian, bus, subway, and, yes, car/taxi connections to and from the station location are critical. As a result, the lack of real subway connection, the lack of good bus service integration and the poor pedestrian access for this location/plan are serious problems. 2)Take a look at the SNCF proposal for a midwest HSR network. They propose both a line that goes through the loop (at the proposed under-Canal St. multi-modal facility) and one that goes around the western and southern sides of the city. This arrangement allows for both trough and change-train routes. 3)Keep in mind that Chicago must have both a Loop station and an O'Hare station, but the HSR trains probably don't make a good "airport express" train. Part of the high value of a Midwest HSR network would be to shift passengers off of "regional jet" flights which currently crowd O"Hare (and contribute to it's weather sensitivity) and onto HSR trains. That can only happen with a very convenient connection from O'Hare's air terminals and a new HSR station located, ideally, within the airport - potentially under the proposed new West Terminal. 4) I can't cite trainset types or SNCF standards, but typical TGV platforms are in the range of 350m to 400m (1150ft to 1300ft). In addition to the platform lengths, I wonder if Jahn's doodle has enough access between the platforms and the station area. Lastly, some nitpicks: High Speed Rail won't debut in Chicago in 2014 - maybe slightly faster trains to St. Louis will, but nothing that anyone would call High Speed Rail in the next 4 years. Also, $8Bn spread around the country does not make HSR much of a "signature" item in the national budget.
If a plain old plastic mould doesn't cut it for you, the Chicago School of Mold Making will provide you with the silicone molds that the pros use: And if you're absolutely insane, there's also this:
Hmm.. would the "name changed to circles" be pronounced something like "blooop bloop blooop blooooop bloop"? (while rising and falling in pitch)
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2009 on TRIPE! There it is... at Alinea At Home
Just to be totally mean: unlike basil, CILANTRO STEMS ARE EDIBLE! (Mwahahahahahah!!!) Don't worry - you can sprinkle the chopped stems on the oysters... Sorry - I used to really dislike cilantro, now I like it. Maybe I'm unknowingly part of some X-Files-esque genetic modification?
If these levels represent some "test of will", then eating a bunch of celery would seem to be a good challenge! ;^)
I "poached" some quince sous vide and it did help retain the quince flavor - somewhat. Cooking quince is still mostly a treat for the folks in the kitchen, and less so for the folks at the table.
Toggle Commented Dec 1, 2009 on Tis the Season at IDEAS IN FOOD
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Something out of the original Alien movie - strange alien exposed flesh with many unexpected limbs, against the clinical whiteness of plastic, with a possibly improvised tool to keep it from running amok! (Sorry - I have issues with lobster's resemblance to big cockroaches - I'm good with lobster salad/lobster rolls, but I can't handle lobster in it's "original" form!)
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2009 on Lobster Jaccard at IDEAS IN FOOD
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Does the type (high or low acyl) of gellan matter here? You say it's an "excessive gel" - so I'm guessing a fairly high concentration/percentage? The "bouncy milk" and "squeaky teeth" comments remind me of fresh cheese curd. I'm in Chicago, so for me it comes from Wisconsin - fresh cheddar curd with raw garlic and dill is astounding, squeaky stuff! (although, I'm certainly not knocking the delights of paneer!)
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2009 on Creamed Spinach at IDEAS IN FOOD
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I wouldn't say that "nearly every sous vide use is in excess of 2 hours." I just ate lunch - chicken salad made with the chicken breast I "poached" (or "sous vide-ed"?) last night for 30 minutes. Before that I filled my container with ice water and used the circulator function of my immersion circulator (no heat) to chill a bottle of wine. Personally, I'm glad I got an immersion circulator rather than something like the non-circulating SVS. As a piece of used equipment, it was cheaper, I can use it in smaller containers for smaller dishes (it's usually in a 8L container) and I can do odd things like circulate ice water to chill things quickly. You mention the issue of having different items to do like chicken and scallops - don't forget that you can cook the chicken ahead of time and chill it, then reheat for service. There would be some logistics to work out, but it might be do the chicken the night before and chill, then bring it up to the temp of the scallops, and finish in a pan. What else to do? Try veggies and fruit. Potatoes and carrots are interesting - bagged with a little butter and herb, I don't have the time/temp in front of me, but they have a great, clean flavor and an interesting "cooked but crisp" texture. I've done some batches of quince this fall - they have to be cooked to be edible, but some of the unique flavor is usually lost when poached. The kitchen smells nice, but the fruit is less than expected. Cooked in the bag, they retain more of their flavor. Also, don't forget that this is a general purpose warm water bath. I had some cocktail glasses that had been used as votive candle holders to clean the wax out of. I fired up the IC to 60C, and floated the glasses. A few minutes later, the wax had softened and the candles popped right out. Also, I think you're going to find that most SV discussions do everything in Celsius. I'll be interested to hear what you think of "Under Pressure". I flipped through it at the bookstore and decided not to buy it. Without a true chamber vac sealer, a lot of the preparations that I found interesting were impossible (like fruit "compressions").
Turkey+cranberry gel+stuffing=leftover awesomeness but... What would the stuffing be? For me stuffing is cornbread, sage and pecans (which is from a 1960s Ladies Home Journal Truman Capote's Thanksgiving issue! My family is multi-generational in-the-city Chicagoans, go figure!) The sage component is easy by using a sage leaf (or julienned, to be easier to chew). Perhaps the cornbread could be cooked in a thin sheet with the onion/celery and chopped pecans... Hmmm....
Am I understanding correctly? Are items going into the mason jars already aerated/whipped, at least slightly? Is the idea that the vacuum expands the foam, the mason jar lid/seal holds the vacuum, and you freeze the material to hold the expanded foam? I don't see how this leads to aero foie, so I'm assuming that I'm missing something. (In part I'm interested because, while I can't afford a full vac system, I can afford a water faucet aspirator and some labware...
Toggle Commented Apr 21, 2009 on Aero at IDEAS IN FOOD
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The frozen spheres into warm alginate bath solves a whole set of problems vs. the process of putting alginate goo into a calcium/water bath. When you dump alginate goo, it's tough to get it to form a neat blob/sphere, and when you eat the result, it can be, um, er, mucus like. Freezing spheres solves the problem of getting a good shape. Potential problems that came to mind were that the alginate bath may have been hot, rather than warm. I don't know the chemistry involved, but I wonder if that has an effect. Also, I was planning on pouring the alginate bath into something like a 9x13 pyrex pan, so I would have lots of "floor space" to keep the spheres separate. The other thought I had was, if possible, hold the sphere in my fingers and 1/3 dip it into the bath to begin the gelling process on the bottom of the sphere, then drop it into the bath. I'm worried that the side that hits the bottom of the pan won't have melted and then had enough contact with the alginate to form a thick enough wall. In standard spherification, the alginate is in the sphere, and the calcium from the bath is triggering the gelling. In this case, the alginate is coming out of the bath. Well, my sphere ice cube trays arrived yesterday, so I'm planning on experimenting with the ginger spheres. I figure it will go over better if I chase people around yelling "Here! Eat my ginger-y giggly ba... er, spheres!" than if they are beet-flavored.
I'm here in Chicago, also. So we are totally missing out on the spaghetti harvest in Italy! I'm really bummed - I hear this year's crop is so good, the branches on the spaghetti trees are breaking. The BBC had this whole piece on the harvest.... ( ;^) )!!! (You realize you now have to do a post about the taping, er, video taping and such. It's great of ChefG to go along with it. Are there Ferran Adrià el Día de los Santos Inocentes videos on the web? I think not!)
I'm at the office, so I don't have the book in front of me to look at the pictures, but I'm wondering about the tuna's "grain." If the strips were cut parallel to the grain, that might explain the not-good-chewiness. (Insert unhappy Wookie cry). If they were cut "across" the grain, as thin strips, I'm guessing that would help the chewey texture. I'm thinking along the lines of dealing with tough cuts of beef. Crazy? [enter mock sarcasm mode] By the way - thanks, thanks a lot. You totally made me go out an buy the book and now buy a bunch of weird ingredients. great. super. really, thanks... [end mock sarcasm mode] Cool, cool stuff!
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2009 on Tuna, candied and dried at Alinea At Home
Yeah - about that smoker?!?! I, uh, might possibly recognize the top "bowl" of the device ... maybe ... but what's the rest of it? Is it some sort of fan?
Toggle Commented Mar 25, 2009 on sous-vide at home at chadzilla