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Category: cooking

06/24/11 09:48 - ID#54570

Books on cooking

I have been baking a hell of a lot of bread lately. My brother gave me a book called Ratio by Michael Ruhlman. It's all about the the different ratios used in cooking. The bread ratio is 5:3 Flour, water. Apparently the amount of yeast is negotiable. Less gives a slower rise and more gives a quick rise but you lose some complexity in the flavor. Obviously salt is needed too but not the important part of the ratio. It's a very useful book for making bread, cookies, and pies off the cuff. I have always liked creating non-baked dishes without a recipe, but this book is allowing me to do way more in terms of baking.

I wish I had taken pictures of the bread I made last night. There was a recommendation to bake the bread in a dutch oven. This is supposed to trap all the moisture that the bread releases. It was super easy and worked perfectly. According to the book, professional baking ovens have a feature that allow you to inject moisture. He recommends compensating for this deficiency in home ovens by placing a cast iron skillet on the rack when you preheat it and then pour water into the hot pan when you start baking. I have noticed a huge difference in the texture of the crust when I do this. I have been getting some of the crustiest bread I have ever made.

While I love the texture I think the taste may need some improvements. There is a sourness that fresh bakery bread has that mine just doesn't. I want to try making a starter and letting it grow in my fridge for a while. Although that might be a little hardcore for home baking I just want to see if that would make a difference.

I have also been cooking quite a bit out of the Spice cookbook by Ana Sortun. She is the Chef/Owner of Oleana and Sofra in Boston. It is a Mediterranean/Middle Eastern cookbook with her own twist. There are some really amazing recipes in this book. So many different ingredients I had never even heard of. My biggest problem is finding some of them. I do end up cooking a lot of vegetarian dished these days due to a couple of food poisoning incidents with my wife. I am 100% for eating vegetarian as long as it isn't that faux meat shit. Tofurky and smart dogs aren't food. I would definitely recommend this book for the Turkish Cheese Pancakes, Eggplant Souffle, and Flatbread with Za'atar alone. But the Crispy Chicken under a brick is the finest chicken dish I have ever made.
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Words: 445
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 06/24/11 09:48


Category:

04/19/11 09:35 - ID#54094

Fuck You Buffalo Rising!

This morning I read a "restaurant review" in Buffalo Rising about Left Bank. It was a typical fluff piece that they write for all of their advertisers. I felt the need to comment because it was so poorly written and just screamed of being edited to death. Right after I found the original much more honest review on the author's blog here: and posted it to Buffalo Rising's comments. Both of my comments were promptly erased and my login is now denied!

Buffalo Rising is such shit really. They are worried only about advertising dollars. When I worked at a restaurant and served BR's reviewer I was told to comp the whole bill. Not only did we know we were being reviewed we gave them the fucking meal for free! They aren't reviewing anything. They are advertising.

Not that it's really much different at the Buffalo News, although at least they don't get the meal comped. But every chef in Buffalo knows what Janice Okun looks like. Not much of a surprise that everyone gets high marks. Although I don't necessarily agree with these two all the time at least they follow ethical standards. Neither of which BR or the News adhere to.
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Permalink: Fuck_You_Buffalo_Rising_.html
Words: 215
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 04/19/11 09:35


Category: food

04/18/11 10:32 - ID#54083

Spar's Chocolate Bacon

A couple of weeks ago I was Spar's Sausage on Amherst St. and noticed a large jar of chocolate covered bacon on the counter. I had to try it considering my love of both.

image

As much as I love everything about Spar's, really everything they make is absolutely great. The bacon was one of the most foul things I have ever eaten. I have had bacon as a dessert before ie. (candied bacon, caramel corn with bits of rendered bacon) and loved it. But this stuff was totally inedible. The second piece ended up in the trash.

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Permalink: Spar_s_Chocolate_Bacon.html
Words: 99
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 04/18/11 10:32


Category: cooking

04/18/11 10:25 - ID#54082

Paella

I love watching the cooking shows on PBS Saturdays. I know I should probably be productive but I learn so much by watching these guys. It also usually inspires me as to what I'm going to cook that week.

One of my favorites is "Avec Eric" which is Eric Ripert's cooking show. He usually has a couple of segments one usually is him either with a farmer, cultivator or artisan of some sort and the other he cooks something. Frequently his preparations use expensive ingredients, which most cooking shows do, and last week was no exception. On this particular episode he made Paella. I had never made it prior to last week and never realized how easy it is. It is however pretty freaking expensive given the price of seafood and saffron, but totally worth it for a special occasion.

I more or less followed his recipe but deviated a little bit.
I didn't use authentic bomba rice, not only because I haven't a clue as to where to procure that in Buffalo but because frankly I doubt I would notice a difference from any quality short grain rice that is available to me anyway. If I made it again I would definitely not even bother with the saffron at all. I don't really see what people love about saffron. It has a strange plastic taste to me. Considering the cost I don't really see any reason to use it ever again. I also think it would taste a little better if I had used homemade chicken stock, but I can't be bothered to boil chicken bones constantly.

I would like to make it for a large group and think it would be so much cooler if it were cooked over and open flame. Totally a dinner for company you want to impress with your cooking skills. Anyway here is the final result:

image
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Permalink: Paella.html
Words: 320
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 04/18/11 10:25


Category:

03/19/11 10:21 - ID#53875

Cost of War

According to the Navy, each Tomahawk missile costs $569,000. So we just shot 110 of these at Libya because our our president heard that their president had a bigger dick than his. I'll bet I could find a much better use for $62 million.
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Permalink: Cost_of_War.html
Words: 52
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/19/11 10:21


Category: paul's idea

03/15/11 07:43 - ID#53835

What would I buy if someone gave me $150

I would get a babysitter and buy two tickets to this



tix = $50.00
babysitter = $50.00

I guess with the remaining $50.00 I would buy a bottle of Champagne and celebrate that someone gave me $150.00

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Permalink: What_would_I_buy_if_someone_gave_me_150.html
Words: 35
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/15/11 07:44


Category:

03/15/11 08:27 - ID#53830

A reason I love Buffalo

The biggest reason I love Buffalo is the most major things in my life have happened here.

-I was born here
-I met my wife here
-I was married here
-I earned my bachelors degree here
-My child was conceived and born here

It's kinda crazy that all of these things happened to me and I have lived here less than 5 years. Not consecutively obviously. Buffalo will always hold a special place in my heart.

Honorable mention:
-Sponge Candy
-Bistro Europa
-Blue Monk
-Walking distance to Canada
-Really cool buildings and mansions
-Bidwell Market
-Good wings everywhere
-Crazy Parades
-Free Concerts
-Paula's Donuts
-CEPA Art Gallery
-Traffic Circles

I guess that was reasons instead of reason.

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Permalink: A_reason_I_love_Buffalo.html
Words: 116
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/15/11 08:27


Category: baby

03/01/11 03:46 - ID#53754

This is tough

So I'm becoming really private online. I have been keeping any sort of real details about my life off of the net. But a few of you here know that my wife (Btw I got married) was pregnant. She had the baby last week and we are doing very well. I don't want to post her name or pictures because I think if the baby wants to have some sort of online presence that will be her decision in the future. But she is wicked cute and I hope you all get to meet her soon.

I really do intend to keep writing here. I'm currently just trying to get inspired again. I guess for while I didn't really care what I posted about. Now I don't want any potential or current bosses or colleagues to stumble upon this journal by accident. I have been cooking up a storm lately, which really means its time to start posting about that again.
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Permalink: This_is_tough.html
Words: 161
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/01/11 03:46


Category: food

03/01/11 01:32 - ID#53753

Even Lazier

A picture comment to (e:Paul,53737)

Just in case it was too hard to slice the pre-cooked potatoes they include that convenience too.

image
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Permalink: Even_Lazier.html
Words: 25
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 03/01/11 01:36


Category: jenny mccarthy is a

02/21/11 04:46 - ID#53673

Vaccination

NY state is now recommending Hepatitis B vaccines for all newborn babies based on six case studies of medical errors I'm not one of those crazies (see Jenny McCarthy) that thinks vaccinations lead to autism. I do think that its overkill to give a newborn a Hep B vaccine based on six case studies. I didn't even get this vaccine until I went to work in a hospital with routine exposure to patient blood. I can't see how a newborn would ever likely come into contact with this. Anyway I did find find this great website the Jenny McCarthy Body Count I find idiots like her and and people like Oprah that give her a pedestal from which to spew forth dangerous crap highly despicable. It is amazing to me how quickly bullshit spreads in the information age. It's no wonder I'm becoming a Luddite. It's scary to think that my baby could get polio because some moron thought that a vaccine was more dangerous than the disease it prevents.
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Permalink: Vaccination.html
Words: 192
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 02/21/11 04:47


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