Archive for the ‘Gastronomy’ Category

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Turkey Day!

November 21, 2007

No posting for a couple of days as we’re heading west towards the Hood Canal for a Thanksgiving extravaganza.

We got a house full of people, a turkey to fry and all of the fixings.  My brother and a friend of ours from High School are in the air, winging their way towards Seattle as I type.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Chutneys’ Bistro

March 7, 2007

Earlier today, I had some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten.

I’ve probably went by Chutneys’ a couple of hundred times since I moved here and probably half of those times I’ve thought to myself, “I should eat there sometime.”

Well, I finally went and it was delicious.

I went ahead and had the Lunch Buffet for $9.95. I started out with a Caesar Salad. I don’t normally get a Caesar at a buffet because you run the risk of soggy croutons if it’s sat there too long. No problem here. The salad had a nice light dressing with nice crunchy croutons. The romaine didn’t look as fresh as it could have but it tasted fine.

Once I finished my salad, I grabbed my lunch plate and got to work. I sampled the Tandoori Chicken, Coco Chicken, Roasted Peppers and Onions, Basmati Rice, Meatballs Masala (yup, meatballs) and some kind of potato dish, accompanied by hot Nan Bread.

Both the Tandoori and Coco Chicken were excellent. The Coco chicken was cooked in a nice Yellow Curry Sauce with Coconut that may make me change my mind about dishes with Coconut. The Tandoori chicken was large, whole pieces of chicken, perfectly done so with little grease yet the meat almost fell off the bone it was so tender and juicy. I only tried a couple of the meatballs and while they were good, it was the Masala Sauce that really defined that dish. I used it for a dipping sauce for the bread and it was such a great combo, I could probably have an entire meal of Nan Bread and Masala Sauce.

As for the bread, it was fantastic. Much better than the typical dry, tasteless bread you get at your typical Indian Buffet/Restaurant.

The rice and pepper/onion combo were good. Nothing special, just good, light tasting, solid dishes. I was less enamored of the potatoes which seemed to be suffering from a long stay at the buffet. The flavor was OK but they were a little too mushy.

I topped all of this off with an Indian Beer, Taj Mahal. As good as the food was, this beer was bad. Just another typical Asian Lager.

Beyond the food, the service was a prompt and attentive but then again, it was a buffet so it’s hard to really say. The atmosphere was great, with a nice, subdued Indian motif.

I definitely recommend Chutneys’. We will be back soon.

Chutneys’ Bistro
1815 N 45th Street
Seattle WA 98103
(Right across from the Wallingford QFC in the Wallingford Center)

206.634.1000

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Victory Porter

February 25, 2007

The beer is done!

Last night, Michele, Manny, Brook and I cracked open a couple of cold bottles and it tasted great. It’s got great color and a nice creamy head. Delicious stuff!

The beer was bottled a couple of weeks back the night before the Superbowl. My least favorite part of bottling is the cleaning and thankfully, Brook and Michele were nice enough to take care of that step. Fortunately we have an old slate sink in the basement that made the job a lot easier.

Bottles in Sink

Cleaning Bottles

Along with Brook and Michele, Hawey was also over for the bottling party. Besides some minor confusion with one of the pieces of tubing, it was a painless project (and later, when I got online to figure out the weird tubing, I learned that the way we finally decided to do it was actually the right way). Overall it took about around three hours but we weren’t really in any hurry.

Group Shot

After we bottled it up, we put them in the closet above the basement stairs. They sat undisturbed for a couple of weeks until last Friday when I opened one to see if it were ready. It tasted good but it was pretty flat. I suspected that the closet wasn’t getting warm enough to get the yeast going. So I moved the bottles to Alli’s room, putting them on the floor surrounding a heater vent and covering them with a blanket. I think it helped because a week later they opened with a satisfying hiss of CO2.

The recipe is from The Celler Homebrew up at 145th and Greenwood. I’ll definitely try it again.

Since the beer was bottled the night before the Superbowl, I am naming it in honor of the Indianapolis Colts. It’s the Victory Porter.

Cheesy, yes, but not as cheesy as the labels I cooked up last night.

Victory Porter Label

And defintely not as cheesy as this picture of the bottes around my signed Edgerrin James football.

Victory Porters

(Special Note: The idea to put the bottles around the football was mine but I had an assist on the overall design from one Manny Hamburger, cheese display designer and Patriots fan. “Hills and valleys, Joe. Hills and valleys.”)

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Captivate Network

February 25, 2007

I was on my way up in the Elevator when the old Captivate Network captivated me again with yet another amazing piece of breaking news. Turns out there’s a new medical study out of Turkey that shows that drinking Peppermint Tea several times a week can affect Hirsutism in women.

Problem is, the doors opened at the Sixteenth Floor and I didn’t get a chance to read the entire ‘article’ to determine if the tea actually decreases or increases hair growth.

So now I’m wondering, for the sake of Michele and all our female friends, if I should throw out the Peppermint Tea that’s hanging out in the cabinet.

Damn you Captivate Network. Damn you.

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Portuguese Kale Soup

February 19, 2007

Last year a co-worker gave me a recipe for Portuguese Kale Soup. Michele cooked it up and it turned out to be one of the best soups either of us have ever had.

Turns out that it’s a traditional Portuguese soup with many different variations. We’ve done some experimenting with different ingredients and I thought I would share my current favorite version.

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp olive oil
Several cloves of finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup diced onions
1 bunch kale, stemmed and rough chopped
1 lb chorizo or chourico
3 bay leaves
2 Tbsp parsley
2 Tbsp thyme
2 Tbsp chili powder
4 cups chicken stock
4 cups beef stock
1 (15-ounce) can of kidney beans
1 (15-ounce) can of sliced tomatoes
2 Tbsp of tomato paste
4 medium sized potatoes, diced

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for three minutes. Next add the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Add the kale, chorizo, parsley, thyme and mix well. Add the beef and chicken stocks, beans, bay leaves, tomatoes, tomato paste and chili powder. Bring the soup to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 – 40 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan bring salted water to a boil and add the diced potatoes. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain the potatoes and add them to the soup.

Serve with warm bread.

Enjoy.

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Fried Chicken Part II

February 10, 2007

Superbowl Sunday was my first attempt at making deep fried chicken. If I do say so myself, it ended up tasting awfully darned good.

I come from a long line of Chicken Fryers on my Dad’s side. Both my Grandma and my Aunt Vera are legends in the world of Southern Fried Chicken. My cousin Terry is carrying on the family tradition at her own restaurant. My Dad carries on the tradition in his own way by being an expert fried chicken eater.

I called my Aunt Vera and got a couple of tips from her. Then I looked up the recipe in the New Best Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen (best cookbook ever). For the most part, they both said the same thing. Soak the chicken in a buttermilk brine beforehand then use a batter with buttermill and eggs. I added my own touch by adding Buffalo Wing Sauce to the batter.

I got everything ready the night before. Then, I got up at 7:00 am and threw the chicken in the brine. I crawled back in bed until 9:00 am, when I had to move the chicken from the brine to a rack over the sink. Once most of the brine dripped off, the chicken went back in the fridge for a couple hours.

Mike showed up at around 11:00 am and we heated up the oil, battered the chicken and fried it up. Eight Breasts, 12 thighs and 10 legs. It was a ridiculous.

It was nice that Mike was there as he’s put in a lot of previous deep fryer time. He gave me a couple of hints that made things easier.

Once I was done, we loaded up the car and headed out to the SuperBowl Party. I’m proud to say, with the exception of one breast, all of the chicken was eaten.

Fried Chicken

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Trichinosis

January 31, 2007

What a bummer. Here I was all set to make some Cougar tartare this weekend.