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simon

  • Location: NYC: seyo [at] yahoo [dot] com

Gift Guide Spotlight: The Best Stocking Stuffers

The Benriner mandoline is indeed miraculous, but I would suggest getting the wider one. The little green one shown above can be a little too narrow for some stuff.

The Trick to Easy Homemade Panettone? It's All in the Buttermilk

The Trick to Easy Homemade Panettone? It's All in the Buttermilk

Panettone French Toast, mmmmmmmm.......

The Food Lab's Definitive Guide to Buying and Cooking Leg of Lamb

I love it rubbed with with a mix of crushed garlic, olive oil and good french mustard. With a gratin dauphinois. Mmmmmm......

The Food Lab: Slow Cooked Bolognese Sauce

This is pretty much exactly how I do it, other than I use less tomato, and I opt for more tomato paste. I love the flavor of Italian "doppio" double concentrated tomato paste. Good bolognese is indeed a gentle braise of tender meaty savory rich buttery goodness.

How I Built a Barbecue Restaurant in Brooklyn: Changing the Menu and Considering Feedback

DO NOT REMOVE THE MAC N CHEESE WAFFLE FROM THE MENU.

That is all, you may carry on.

How to Deep Fry a Turkey Without Killing Yourself, Indoors and Out

the frying rotisserie thing is so frikin cool, I just want it, fried turkey or no.

What's Better Than Cheddar on Apple Pie? Cheddar Ice Cream

Max for President 2016

The Food Lab: How to Cook Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Extra-Crisp Skin

@mousemanb when you make cracklings this way, the skin becomes like glass, and it breaks in very straight even edges.

The Food Lab: How to Cook Sous-Vide Turkey Breast With Extra-Crisp Skin

I've been serving my turkey in the form of quenelles in smoked turkey broth, with turkey skin cracklings, fried sage, roast veggies and other garnishes. Gotta say, it's way bette that way. If it was up to me, Thanksgiving would consist of a big bowl of crispy turkey skin and a couple pumpkin pies, everything else is superfluous.

The Rise of Awesome Milk Chocolate

There has always been great milk chocolate available, one needs look no further than Lindt to find it. It's always been there, it's not been trendy until I guess now. Hipsters love to "discover" things and claim they are on to something new that has really just been there gestating in a pre-cool state. Just like the cycles of fashion. Once everyone is eating milk chocolate again, it won't be cool anymore and the hipsters will move on to the next thing that wasn't cool but is due for a cool recycling.

Knife Skills: How to Clean Shiitake, Portobello, and Oyster Mushrooms

Shiitake stems cut into thin rounds, same or even a little thinner than how you cut scallions for garnish, are really good simmered in soup. They get soft and a little chewy and soak up a lot of broth, while lending a lot of flavor back.

Kitchen Hack: Use a Guitar Mount to Store Your Pizza Peels

Kenji, will this work for my pie iron?

Because Bacon: 35 Bacon Recipes We Love

love the idea of a bacon filled steamed bun. the iconic braised pork belly bun served at momofuku is great, but I think a crispy bacon filling would make it even more interesting, texturally. I could see myself plowing through a bunch of these, made up as BLTs, with a spicy kimchi mayo dressing it up.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

Think about the possibilities now... Prosciutto, dried duck breast would be fantastic, chinese lapchang sausage would also totally rock... Thank you Kenji and River Cottage! I've heard really good things about them, gonna have to pickup their books now.

The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles (and Make Your Coworkers Jealous)

This is brilliant. Huzzah!

Lox, Whitefish, and Beyond: An Introduction to Appetizing

monopod - curing your own is very easy, and cost effective. Gravlax can be made at home in a matter of hours. You can also cold smoke pretty easily too, without needing too much, if anything at all, in the way of fancy equipment. It's fun and you can probably save some money that way.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

In the end, if it tastes "pretty decent" (or hopefully even better than that) is what really matters most. Whether or not someone's Italian-American or otherwise grandmother approves of the method is sort of irrelevant.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

This article explains it well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olive_oil_regulation_and_adulteration

Anyway, with regard to the point which is whether or not it should be cooked with, what I was trying to say is that it depends on the oil, and that all "extra virgin olive oil" is not equal, just because it's all labelled the same.

The Food Lab: Use the Oven to Make the Best Darned Italian American Red Sauce You've Ever Tasted

" Some folks will tell you that you should never cook with extra-virgin olive oil"

Not for high heat frying, but for sautéeing veggies, most certainly. The real problem is the term "extra-virgin olive oil" itself. It doesn't really mean anything, especially here in the US where there is no regulation of such terms. I would never fry with a real unfiltered extra virgin olive oil from Morocco for example, because like you said, it has tons of sediment in it. The other end of the spectrum is the stuff called extra virgin olive oil sold by companies like Bertoli or Ybarra, still a nice but completely different product, which is very light and clear. Fine for sautéeing veggies or even some gently pan frying. As always, nuance and context matter, and it would be nice if we had the same level of regulation for food labeling as Europe does.

The Friday Night Meatball Recipe That Changed My Life

"from the US to India to Gaza"

LOL, yeah, in Gaza.

The Friday Night Meatball Recipe That Changed My Life

The reason I made the comment is that I use panko all the time and the results are always fluffy and soft.

8 Awesome Apple Brandies to Try This Fall

Thanks for posting this. I can't get enough brandy in the cooler/colder months, and calvados is one of my favorites. A slightly tangential recommendation is for the Rare Pear Brandy, made in upstate NY. Their regular, un-oaked clear pear brandy is very good too, just as good as any Alsatian "poire" out there.

The Friday Night Meatball Recipe That Changed My Life

This is a good recipe, but why bother pulsing slices of bread in a food processor (more work, more cleanup) when you can just use panko breadcrumbs?

Does Mixing Oil and Butter Really Alter the Smoke Point?

Yeah, this is some silly BS. The solids in the oil are what burn. Same goes with extra virgin olive oil, the more yummy olive particles in suspension in the oil, the more it's going to smoke. Same goes with motor oil in your car or motorcycle etc. which is why oil filters and regular oil changes are necessary for engine life.

Where to find Brazilian Linguica in NYC?

Anyone know of a good Brazilian butcher who either makes their own or sells a high quality linguica? Planning on making a fejoada as the weather continues to cool down, and the sausage is a must. With all the Brazilians in the city, I refuse to believe there is no linguica to be found...

Thanks!

Late night desserts and drinks in WBurg?

I'd like to know if there's anywhere in Williamsburg (preferably northside) that serves dessert late night, so after ~11pm, on a weeknight. Somewhere with sit down table service, and that also serves alcohol. Doesn't have to be fancy, although fancy is nice too. A slice of pie would be fine. French style desserts like crème brulée are always good. Ice cream would be welcome. Or cake. So long as it's in a restaurant or bar like environment. Does such a place exist? Or does everything shut down early? Forgive me ignorance, I don't hang out much in Williamsburg. All suggestion are greatly appreciated!

Fresh Morels in NYC?

Has anyone seen them yet? They are popping up on menus, but I haven't found any in the stores yet. Fairway used to always have them, but last time I checked, no dice. I haven't been to Manhattan Fruit exchange yet to look. If anyone has seen them, let me know! Morels are my hands down favorite spring food, I think I like them more than ramps, definitely far and away better than peas and asparagus. PLEASE HELP ME! ;)

Finally! Serious coffee and pastry in Hell's Kitchen!

Like a prayer answered or a dream come true, the northern end of Hell's Kitchen finally has a top flight coffee shop. Rex Coffee Shop just opened on 10th Avenue right off the corner of 57th street, and since I work a block away, I couldn't be happier to ditch the office Flavia machine for ever.

But not only do they serve espresso, pour over and drip from Counter Culture beans, also a legit pastry operation. I had a pain au chocolat this morning that was as good as any I've had on this side of the Atlantic, and better than many I've had in France. Very impressive. I haven't tried the other stuff yet, looked like mostly variations on muffins which aren't really my speed. Buut the cookies look good. I think they also have sandwiches, which I haven't investigated either. But that pain au chocolat, wow, very strong showing. Buttery, flaky, puffy, light, burnished, the chocolate is rich, dark and sweet, high quality stuff. Could prove to be a real problem for me actually.

Prices are in line with the rest of the city: $2.50 for a double shot, $3.50 for my pastry, $2.25 for a 12oz drip coffee if I remember correctly.

If you live or work in the area, and you enjoy good coffee (you know what that means if you do) then this is the spot you've been yearning for. I know I sound crazy enthusiastic but I can assure you that I am in no way affiliated with this business. Check my posting history if you think I'm a shill. This place is legit.

Kitchen items from GCT Oyster Bar?

I love the Grand Central Terminal Oyster Bar, for their oysters obviously, also the smoked trout with whipped horseradish cream and the pan roasts are rich and hearty and satisfying. I've always been underwhelmed by the main courses from the kitchen though. I haven't been in a while, and was wondering if, hoping really, that the kitchen was putting out better food nowadays.

Has anyone been going recently? Has it improved? Are there any dishes in particular that are notably good? I'm thinking of going next week, but want to eat more than just oysters and smoked trout if I do.

Last time I was there, I had a bunch of oysters, payed my bill and went upstairs to Michael Jordan's and had a steak. A little drastic, I know, but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Thoughts?

57th St and 10th avenue lunch options?

So, I'm starting a gig on the Far West Side of midtown. While I'm excited about the job, I'm a bit skeptical about what the area has to offer for lunch options. I'm sure my new colleagues will have plenty of wisdom to share, but I wanted to ask the Serious Eats community. So, in the midst of mega car dealerships and post industrial Manhattan, are there any gems? I'll be there for at least a month, and I'm willing to walk a ways for something worthwhile. Let me know!

Chicken Kiev in NYC?

I've never had it. It is now time. Past time, really. Please let me know your favorite spots for this delicacy, whether high end, down and dirty, old school, contemporary, in some far flung neighborhood, or centrally located. Just as long as it's really delicious. Bonus points for restaurants that in addition to their chicken Kiev also serve fantastic pelmeni.

Spasibo!

Retinning copper pans?

I was given a beautiful old French copper sauteuse in dire need of some TLC. I've cleaned the outside up pretty well but the inside is a dull grey that appears to be scratched and thinned down to the copper in some areas from decades of use. Does anyone know of someone in the city, or greater Tri State area, who can retin the inside of my pan and give it new life? Please let me know.

Thank you and happy 2012 SE and SE'ers!

Late night dinner options near the Art Students League?

Classes end at around ten pm, so looking for somewhere with an open kitchen till at least 11. Preferably west and north of 57th and 7th. as I'll be heading home to the UWS afterwards. Hopefully casual as I'll be wearing clothes to paint in. Price isn't too much of an issue, but on the cheaper side would be nice. Not a big fan of Brooklyn Diner, it's overpriced and a bit too pretentious for what it really is. Thinking Landmarc might be my best bet, but even that might be too fancy for my attire. Thanks for your help, it will be greatly appreciated!

This time, coffee near Times Sq.

Hello fellow SENYers, I'm back asking for your recs for good coffee. This time I'm working for a two week gig right in Times Square (44th and bway to be exact.) My hopes and expectations are not very high. I assume I'll probably have to go West. Anywhere with a ~10 block radius would be ideal. Any hidden gems for food would also be greatly appreciated, but really, excellent espresso would be like throwing me a life preserver.

Thanks!

good coffee near 17th and 5th?

Just started a new gig with a new client on 17th and 5th this week. There are SO many coffee shops, restaurants, delis, and franchises around here. I've got food covered. Anyone know where to get a really good cup of coffee? I drink singles/doubles of espresso straight up, I also am fond of a well poured drip coffee. Also partial to places that either roast their own or get high quality beans from reputable roasters. Not a fan of Illy or Lavazza espresso if I can help it... So, calling all coffee snobs. Where do I get my fix in these parts?

FRESH Stevia leaves?

Anyone know where to get them? I'd like to get some, either from a brick and mortar here in NYC or from an online store, doesn't matter. There are plenty of sources for dried leaves, but I want them fresh. I *could* grow a Stevia plant at home... But that's a last resort. If anyone has any sources, please let me know!

Slow cooker roundup?

Hey guys, has Serious Eats ever done an equipment roundup comparing various makes and models of electric "slow cookers?"

Typically I do my slow cooking in a Le Creuset either on the stovetop or in the oven, but recently I've found myself wanting a slow cooker so that I wouldn't have to worry about leaving the oven or stove on. Or, if I am using my LC for something else, but want to also be braising something at the same time. I could just get another LC but that doesn't solve the issue of sometimes needing to leave it unattended.

I searched the site briefly but didn't see a slow cooker review article. Is there any chance you guys can do one? I trust you more than any other source...

In the meantime, what is the preferred make and model of the SE readers? Key features to look out for? Design flaws to avoid?

Thanks!

Thanksgiving recipe roundup pages?

Where are the 2010 Thanksgiving recipe compilation pages? I can't seem to find them anymore, they're not in the Serious Entertaining section, nor are they in Recipes. There doesn't seem to be a Holidays column either. There was a link to a mincemeat pie recipe, under the Pies section (or maybe it was Desserts?) that I'd like to find again. Searching for it doesn't turn it up either... Can someone post a link to it in this thread?

Thanks guys!

Congratulations Max F.!

Your latest spice hunting post got some well deserved praise on the hallowed pages of bOINGbOING!

http://m.boingboing.net/2010/12/10/more-sumac-please.html

My sentiments expressed here exactly. I hope you can take a moment to celebrate and reflect.

Sichuan hot pot season!

Ok, well, it is warming up just a bit this week, but that is only delaying the inevitable. Soon it will be cold, dark, windy, damp, icy even. With craggy mounds of grey, sometimes yellow, rancid snow piled up on corners and against walls. Pools of nearly black slush welling up in gutters and crosswalk cut outs. I've read so many things about Sichuan hot pots, the kettles of broth bubbling with chiles and sichuan peppercorns, into which are dipped slices of lamb, pork, shrimp, fish balls, noodles, veggies..... It sounds like the ultimate anti-winter food.

What are your favorite spots? Anywhere in the city is fair game. Be it some far flung area of Queens or Brooklyn, or in Manhattan, it doesn't matter. I want to know what you think is the best way to beat the cold, Sichuan style.

Thanks!

Shake Shack changing its method?

I had a couple Double Shack Burgers for lunch today (yes, two doubles, I know) and, beside being totally disgusted with myself, I noticed a couple things.

First, the patties were much thicker than I remembered them. I ordered two because I was expecting the really thin smashed patties. These were about 1.5, close to 2 cm thick and still had right angles on them, and no ragged edges. The inside was definitely on the rare side of medium.

Second, there was much less crunchy outer crust. The most noticeable textural element was, unfortunately, a lot of little gristly bits in the patties, which were chewier than the rest of the meat, which otherwise had a very nice, musky beef flavor.

I was shocked by how big the patties were, and how less cooked they were compared to my previous burgers there. Has anyone else noticed this? These burgers were completely different from what I was expecting, and from what I remember experiencing there before.

For the record, there was no line at all, so it's not like they were rushed. Would love to hear your thoughts. Five Guys is doing a much, much better job at smashing their burgers, if this is indeed the way Shake Shack is doing things these days.

Hide Chan Ramen - a bit of a letdown

So, after reading Kenji's glowing review of Hide Chan, I had it in my mind to check this place out. A few weeks went by, until tonight, when the opportunity presented itself to go with some eating buddies.

We were all pumped up at the prospect of having the pork toro, and the ramen with extra fatty broth. To our dismay, these things have been 86ed from the menu. Instead of the the pork toro, there is now char siu ($4.50) The buns are still on the menu but are now filled with the afore mentioned char siu. Only one meager slice per bun. Which were stale, dry and mealy. And they no longer offer the options of broths. The ramen was good but not as good as Ippudo or Minca, smaller and not as generously adorned. We were nonplussed.

It's not like anything was bad, aside from the buns. Perfectly acceptable. Service was courteous and quick. But our expectations were not met and we agreed that with all the other options in town, we probably wouldn't be back. If I was already in the neighborhood, I guess I could maybe be convinced to go back for the onsen tamago, a preparation I fell in love with when I went to Japan last spring. But otherwise, not really worth the detour. Unless by some miracle they put these things back on the menu......

Eataly - First Impression

- the space is big and pretty, but awkwardly laid out and cramped.

- absolutely packed with top notch merchandise. I didn't really examine the prices but first impressions are that produce and meats and breads and pastas made on premises are fairly priced, imported stuff seemed expensive. Buon Italia shouldn't feel threatened.

I spent the most time at the butcher stand, which is very well stocked, and has very good prices. I got a Piedmontese sirloin steak which was $11 and change / pound. They had whole rabbits, which can be hard to find in NYC, as well and skin on pork belly. They are not making their own sausages yet, but when the beer garden opens they will.

- The restaurants are peppered throughout the space. There's a veggie, seafood, pizza and pasta counter with table service, as well as counters for sandwiches, gelato and coffee. I didn't see the white tablecloth restaurant.

- I sat down and had a bowl of fusili pasta with tomato pork ragu and a menabrea beer. The pasta was good but nothing revelatory. Just good, bordering on meh. Portion was small, and cost $17. Overpriced. Beer was $6.80 for a 33cl. Weird pricing, as all the beers were $X.80

- a couple sitting next to me was pretty upset with their portion and even called over a manager to complain. I don't think they were rewarded for their efforts.

The manager had a lame excuse, saying "I'm from Italy, these are the portion sizes in Italy" but this is bullshit. The portions are primi sized. The pasta restaurant serves nothing but pasta and salad. Therefore the plates should be portioned as main courses which they are not.

I will be going back, I'm curious to see how the other restaurants fare for price/serving size. The pizza looked great and priced along the same lines as other Neapolitan pizza restaurants like Kesté.

I'd say after this first run that the hot pastas are a rip off. Avoid them. Pizzas look good, buy those. Produce and meats also. Imported products are hit or miss.

Paris recommendations?

Going to Paris in about three weeks from now, would love your recommendations. Looking for your favorites from street food all the way up to fine dining. I am on a bit of a budget this year but am open to the idea of maybe hitting up one nice dinner. Last year I went to Pierre Gagnaire, and while it was phenomenal I am not in a position to spend one month's rent on dinner this time around :) So, looking to supplement my existing recon with yours. Let me know what you think is a can't miss!

Pistachio-Honey Butter

[Photographs: Lucy Baker] This pistachio butter is rich and nutty. The honey adds a mild, floral sweetness. Try it on toast, or sandwich it between two sugar cookies or gingersnaps. It will keep for up to two months in the... More

How to Cope with CSA Stress

Photograph from justinhenry on Flickr Has your CSA membership compromised your ridiculously wild social life? Do you find yourself staying indoors to make use of the okra piling up? Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York can relate, but she's come up with some tips: Beets last a really long time. Kohlrabi is not going to turn in a week, either. If you find that you simply have too much stuff to eat in a week (as I do often), go for the most delicate leafy greens first. Save the big heads of cabbage, potatoes, green beans and carrots for another week, and don’t worry about them. She recommends eating the produce raw (pots and pans can... More