White male, late 20's, not too shabby looking :) and extremely passionate about food and drink.

  • Location: NY/NJ area
  • Favorite foods: I love fresh herbs especially cilantro, habanero, yellow cherry tomato, avocado, coconut, pineapple, citrus, pork, sockeye salmon, black beans, alliums, annatto, manchego, chocolate, sea salt, prawns, noodles, sesame
  • Last bite on earth: I don't discriminate :) Give me offal

Latest Comments

A Guide to Handling Fresh Bhut Jolokia Chiles, the World's Hottest Chile Pepper

There are two types of people who eat these chiles: Those who strive for that sense of machismo like chiffonte suggested, and those who know how to harness the flavor hidden through all of the heat. This can be accomplished by mincing very fine and using sparingly with other ingredients that match well with the chiles' heat. I don't know what a Bhut Jolokia tastes like, but if you take away the heat from a habanero, it's tropical and fruity and really tasty. Trinidad peppers taste like habaneros with no heat.

Mail Order Truffles?...

By the way, real truffles are only available on that site from October-February.

Mail Order Truffles?...

You can get them from D'artagnan, but they cost thousands per lb. - Not sure why you would do this unless you're a restaurant or a millionaire.

pattypan squash

Btw, the veg. for that recipe should all be pre-blanched in salt water then shocked so it's not utterly raw.

pattypan squash

Pasta Primavera

Slice the squash in half and toss with other veg in a saute pan. Add al dente cooked pasta, season, toss to incorporate and plate.

Looking for Basil Cocktail Recipes - Can Anyone Help?

You can also make basil lemonade out of that concentrate (by diluting some of it with water and lemon juice). Once the lemonade is balanced, add a splash of liquor for a simple cocktail.

Looking for Basil Cocktail Recipes - Can Anyone Help?

Basil-Lemon Zest Simple Syrup

Bring equal parts cold filtered water and sugar plus the zest of 2 lemons to a simmer. Remove from the heat and discard the lemon zest.

Immediately add a huge handful of basil leaves and the zest of 2 more lemons to the warm simple syrup. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.

Get a sieve or chinois and pour the solids through it into a container, pressing on the solids with the back of a ladle to extract maximum flavor.

Rapidly cool the basil-lemon simple syrup. This is your concentrate.

Basil-Citrus Cocktail

Add your spirit of choice (Vodka, Tequila, Cachaca recommended), fresh citrus juice (Lemon or Lime), chunked ice, perhaps a flavored liqueur such as St. Germain or Grand Marnier and maybe a little water to lessen the harshness. Shake this all together and check the balance of the cocktail. Is it too sweet (add more citrus juice or water), too sour (add more simple syrup or liqueur), too strong (add more water)?

Equipment for pasta-making?

You're looking for a French rolling pin or dowel. Some are tapered, some are not. Search google with key words such as these. Many companies sell this product.

Simple Ways to Liven Up Food on the Grill

Make sure the veg/fruit is ripe and quality.
Baste, baste, baste.
Pre-cure the meat with a salt-rub, herbs, garlic, etc.
Brush melted butter on the meat when it's done.
Don't overcook it.

When does a Hamburger become a Meatloaf Sandwich?

Great hamburgers consist of meat, salt and pepper; maybe some oil on the outside. The flavor comes from the technique and the quality of the ingredients, not the complexity of ingredients. Browse A Hamburger Today and you'll see what I mean.

Would appreciate help on cachaca brands--which are the best?

I echo everything Giltorious said.

Leblon is readily available in the US now and quite tasty, but it's about $27. If you use Pitu, you will be very let down. Cachaca 51 is okay at around $15-$20 if you're throwing a party and want to keep the liquor on budget.

If you want to approximate the flavor of a Caipirinha without using Cachaca, I suggest either making a margarita with good 100% agave Tequila Blanco or with a light, flavorful Caribbean Rum such as Havana Club. Think about it... all you need is a flavorful spirit, fresh limes, a sweetener (I like infused simple syrups or agave nectar) and ice. Orange liqueurs are optional. By using Vodka, you're not getting the same depth of flavor since it's a neutral spirit.

Cook the Book: Frankies' Tomato Sauce

I agree with you on the slow-cooking at low temperature, but you should really use fresh herbs to make the perfect marinara sauce. I'd nix the red pepper flake, add some onion and cut down on the garlic overkill.

Critic-Turned-Cook Searches for Signature Dish

I have several as well, but here's one:

Orange-Soy Shrimp - Bell Pepper Salsa - Lime Scented Basmati Rice

"Eyeballing" your cooking

Recipes for savory dishes are rough guidelines and not supposed to be taken too seriously. Recipes for pastry are much more focused and exact. For instance, using a heaping tablespoon of baking powder to a level tablespoon can have a drastic effect on the final product.

Dinner Tonight: Pan-Fried Skate Wing with Capers

I would fillet skate since their skin is so slimy. No one wants to injest that. It's not too difficult if you have a large cutting board, a sharp fillet knife and a towel. Just make an incision and follow the contour of the skin, gripping it with the towel so it doesn't slip. With that said, skate wing meat is actually very delicious. If you enjoy scallops, you will definitely like skate wing since the flavor is similar. Lemon juice, butter, parsley, capers and croutons are all classic ingredients to prepare with skate wing. Though I like the use of bell pepper and shallots here.

St. Germaine-elderberry liquer

St. Germain is a flavored liqueur that's meant to be used like triple sec, cointreau, grand marnier, etc. It is not a base spirit. Vodka is the base spirit of choice to pair with it because it's fairly neutral so the Elderflower flavor shines. If you can get your hands on some elderflower syrup, I would recommend that for your sabayon instead. The alcohol may overpower the delicate sabayon and denature the egg.

What is a Good Technique for Preparing Steak Under the Broiler?

Pre-salt with a sea salt or kosher salt cure. Sprinkle about 1-1/2 to 3 teaspoons of salt on each side of the steak and let it rest at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour. The amount of salt used depends on the thickness of the steak, as does the cooking time which I have explained later in these intructions. Flip halfway through the curing time. You can add herbs, garlic paste, olive oil, etc. to the salt cure for more flavor, but plain salt will work too. After the curing time, rinse the salt and any other ingredients completely off the steak with cold water. What this does is insure that you won't ingest all of that salt while still keeping the flavor inside of the meat. Once the steak is rinsed, pat it dry, rub a tiny bit of oil on both sides and season both sides with freshly cracked black pepper. You will never need salt again for this steak because it is seasoned perfectly.

You should have a ridged grill pan getting hot on the stovetop. Brush on a thin coat of canola oil and wait 20-30 seconds until it warms up. Don't use olive oil because it will burn. Next, use tongs to transfer your steak to the grill pan. Let it sit undisturbed in the hot grill pan for about 2 to 4 minutes or until it develops deep brown char marks. Flip and do the same for this side. If the steak is 1-inch thick or more, it will take longer and may even need to be finished in the oven. But for steaks that are less than 1-inch thick, you can pretty much cook straight up in the grill pan.

At the very end of cooking, add a few pats of unsalted butter to the top of the steak and transfer the meat to the cutting board. Let it sit there for 3 minutes to melt the butter and let the juices incorporate. Slice and serve.

Wine to serve with smoked brisket???

This is very easy. Malbec or Syrah/Shiraz. Both pair beautifully with red meats, grilled meats, smokey meats.

Beer tasting classes

NY Brewfest - June 19th, 3:30 pm - 8 pm at Governor's Island.

115+ Local, National and International breweries are attending.

Tickets = $55 and include a sampling glass, unlimited tastings and a roundtrip water taxi to and from the island. Search in google for more info.

Best chicken parm?

Home recipe. I would not pay for something as simple as chicken parmesan. Make a sauce with crushed tomatoes, garlic, shallots, thyme, bay leaf, olive oil, black pepper and sea salt. Use good mozzarella and cook the chicken to perfection.

I need suggestions for new and different raw veggies to munch on

Asparagus - It doesnt need to be cooked, has snap character and it's really healthy for you. Just remember to trim off the last inch or so since it can be very woody/chewy.

Zucchini is always an option if you rinse it, chunk it up and eat it with a dip, perhaps an oniony dip with a dash of siracha.

Fennel and yellow cherry tomatoes can taste like candy if you buy from a respectable vendor.

Also personally love jicama and chayote squash (you can eat the seed and skin too).

What do you dream about doing in the food industry?

To open an authentic Southern Mexican restaurant in Boston.

Favorite Potato Chips?

Any small scale company that sells kettle-cooked chips made with all-natural ingredients (potato, sea salt and soybean oil - not reconstituted potato, hydrogenated vegetable oil and monosodium glutamate) that also features a choice for my favorite flavor: jalapeno. Deep River Snacks makes a great kettle-cooked jalapeno chip. Cape Cod's version has artificial ingredients, fillers, dried spices and added sugars. Yuck.

Pizza Tastes Better with Cooked Sauce!

I want to see a Pizza taste test cook-off between two SE'ers (one using fresh sauce, one using cooked sauce). I personally like fresh because of the brightness of flavor and freshness. The sauce cooks in the oven. No need to send the car into the carwash twice. If done right, fresh sauce can have tons of flavor. I wouldn't recommend storebought canned tomatoes though. A real SE'er would grow and use their own, along with their own fresh herbs, salt and a little pepper.

Any takers? Adam can review and write up the results.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 122: Eat Less, Weigh Less

1. Lean protein options
2. Variety (not eating the same thing all the time or following restrictive menus)
3. Portion control

Follow these three general principles recommended by pro-nutritionists and your path to success will be much easier.


treboR hasn't favorited a post yet.