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Everything posted by JohnRgt

  1. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

    I remember the movie exactly as you outline it in the above quote. I just don't understand why you think that her opting for self-respect is a bad thing. Are you saying that the movie wasn't good because it forced such a choice on Andy? JohnRGT
  2. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

    Could you elaborate on the success she sacrificed by becoming a journalist and choosing self-respect? JohnRGT
  3. The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

    If anything, she graduates from personal toy to journalist. I loved the sequence of her walking to work soon after she decided to start dressing up. Every time the camera lost her for a moment (behind a crowd or a truck, for example) she'd have a different outfit on. What I didn't appreciate was how unsupportive her friends and boyfriend were. JohnRGT
  4. New car!!!

    Good for you, Joss. I've always worked on my cars. Nobody comes close to the build quality of Toyota. (They're expected to surpass GMC as the largest manufacturere of automobiles in 2007.) JohnRGT
  5. Substitute for onions revealed!

    I hope you try, and enjoy, the recipe. As I tried to make clear in the post, I've yet to see evidence for the presence of peticides on organics; it may well be a food industry myth. As for the pesticides being harmful to consumers, farm land, water tables, etc: it's unsubstantiated. Organic produce and grains do taste better. Many find them easier to digest as well. I doubt, however, that these advantages are due to the lack of chemicals. It's probably due to the level of care organic methods demand, the fact that organics come closer to full maturity on the plant, the heirloom variertals tradition of the organic industry, and the speed with which these items go from harvest to consumer. I have no doubt that genetics and hydroponics can beat the organic movement on all points -- "we" just have to let them do it. JohnRGT
  6. Substitute for onions revealed!

    One of my favorite ways to serve raw fennel: Shave the bulb as thinly as you can. Make one layer of the shaved fennel on a large, cool plate. Sprinkle with [kosher or sea] salt and pepper. Drizzle a bit of the best olive oil available. Drizzle a bit of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Top with one layer of shaved white mushrooms. Season and dress mushroom layer as above. Top with coarsely ground Parmigiano (preferably from the more moist part of the piece.). Repeat all the above one more time, so that you have two layers of fennel, mushroom, etc. This is one of my favorite salads. Top with 4-6oz of cold, poached salmon or halibut, and you have a great lunch. (A glass of a chilled, fruity white wine would work here.) NOTE: As with most produce at this time, organic fennel has better flavor than its conventional counterpart. BTW: I keep hearing that tests have shown that organic produce has a lot of pesticide on it. Apparently, trucks and holding facilities are sprayed 24/7. "Hello, John Stossel?" (Keep in mind that many food purveyors hate their jobs/lives. They'll say, feel, and do anything in reaction to the ever-increasing demands/specialization of their industry.) JohnRGT
  7. Coffee

    I just wanted to add that all things considered, I prefer the flavor I get out of cone-shaped filters. I usually start the day with something mild -- 7-11's coffee is just fine for the day's first cup. Once the circuits are warmed up I may take the time to brew something more focused. JohnRGT
  8. Favorite cookbooks

    Nice thread. The Way To Cook, by Julia Child. Child's high standards and teaching abilities set all her books apart La Varenne Pratique, by Anne Willan. This is a cross between dictionary, technique guide, and illustrated How To. Many books are packed with this much information, but few are as well organized or accessible. Kudos to whomever had the brains to transalte this French classic. The French Laundry Cookbook, by Thomas Keller. Keller is one of the world's most respected chefs. You may not be able to find many of the ingredients in this book but you will be inspired. The Cake Bible, by Rose Levy Beranbaum. I'd trust RLB to remove a tumor from my brain. What a mind. All her books are as good as this classic. The few pieces of equipment she's brought to market are far above and beyond. (I spent ~ $100 on one of her candy thermometers in 1990, something like 8 times more than the price of the average commercial use offering. Why? Well, they're the only ones that use mercury, and the increments are etched into the glass, not printed on -- no springs, no dials, no worries.) Sauces, by James Paterson. A must have. All of Paterson's themed books deserve a lookover. Marcella Hazan's Northern Italian books are wonderful. Barbara Tropp's China Moon is a must have for lovers of Oriental cuisine. It's approach demands that a lot of time be spent on one off staples, but the results are incredible. (Those staples have many applications, both in other recipes in the book and in one's own creations.) I'm still waiting for definitive books on Thai, Indian, African and Middle Eastern cuisines. (I've seen some good books on these traditions, but nothing great.) I too like Fine Cooking. Most of recipes are well though out. What I really appreciate is the methods section. Rather than giving a risotto recipe that works, for example, they try to teach the technique, making sure to point out at what point the reader can customize to his taste or circumstances. The photography is great. (RGT Tip: Need a decent risotto in 7 minutes? Use a small pressure cooker.) For reliable, daily recipes, I'd suggest Cooks Illustrated magazine. I also like CI's equipment tests. I'm not thrilled with the results of their ingredients tests, but they are worth reading. (Man restaurants use CI's shortcuts.) There must be incredible French books and magazines we never see here in the States. I'm planning a visit to Paris next March, at which point I'll be raid ingsome of the food-specific bookstores I've heard so much about. (The winter packages offered by Air France are incredible. Art all day, food all night...) JohnRGT
  9. My New Family

    For the few that have never heard this: A dog sees its owner create food, warmth, shelter, show affection, etc, and feels, “he must be a god.” A cat sees its owner create food, warmth, shelter, show affection, etc, and feels, “I must be a god.” JohnRGT
  10. Vosges -- Haut Chocolat

    I'd like to add that the most of the people I've met that drive or partake in this new New American Cuisine movement, are 110% serious/honest about what they do. I can't know what motivates the minds at Vosges, but both their parings and their willingness to elevate whatever they're adding to their chocolate to a position of dominance is right in line with what's happening on the edge of today's food scene. It's also a very American thing to do. (The chocolatier I've praised to the hills on THE FORUM, La Maison du Chocolat, has been adding spices and seasonings to chocolate for about three decades. They have never, however, push the added to the forefront. I'd be willing to bet that no well-established European chocolatier will do so for a long time to come, even though the history of cocoa is packed with pairings/applications that today's foodies would consider odd.) In conversations with proponents of this trend, I find it almost impossible to pin them down on anything -- no surprise. Sooner or later they'll say something like, "we're always becoming," at which point both sides feel that the conversation has ended. While I wouldn't make grilled marinated watermelon a main course, or challenge tradition with a dessert that features a veal-port reduction as a main component, I am glad that these people are pushing things. One example of a tradition that's been challenged with great results: It's been taboo to pair foie gras with a rich counterpoint. The main reasons: 1) Its incredible flavor and texture easily stand alone. 2) Until American producers started manufacturing this elegant staple, it cost far too much to play with. (The USA now exports incredible amounts of this ingredient allover the world – to France as well.) However, I recently sampled a piece of pan-seared foie gras that was served with a cold clam-beer custard and dressed with a bone marrow sauce. The counters came from the pronounced brininess and temperature of the custard, an echo of the tradition of serving foie gras with a chilled fruit chutney, and the almost smooth sweetness of the sauce. It worked very well, opening the door to more experimentation with an ingredient few would dare mess with just five years ago. JohnRGT
  11. Vosges -- Haut Chocolat

    I was introduced to this unusual, bold, Chicago-based chocolatier on Christmas Eve. The set of candy bars I was given included (I list in the order I ranked what I sampled): 1) Naga Bar – sweet Indian curry powder, coconut, deep milk chocolate. 2) d’Olivia Bar – dried kalamata olives, Venezuelan white chocolate 3) Oaxaca Bar – Oaxacan guajillo y pasilla chillies, Tanzanian bittersweet chocolate (75%) 4) Gianduja Bar – almonds, caramelized hazelnuts, deep milk chocolate. (With the gloves off, #4 could’ve been far more interesting.) I can't wait to visit their NYC location (SoHo). While I take a rather conservative approach to flavor combinations, I do enjoy and learn from sampling product that pushes the state of the art -- even when it goes too far. Vosges' site: The king's site: (Few people put one foot in front of the other as consistently as Maison has dominated this industry for the last two or three decades. The gap between Maison and #2 is so vast, it's barely conceivable.) JohnRGT
  12. Coffee

    Disagreement in the food industry -- that never happnes There are beans I'd only press; others I'd love from a flat; still others from a cone. I don't have the time to pursue this hobby more than 5-10 times a year, but I do take these issues into account whenever I put together a menu. I'm certain that some % of the handful of pallets I respect would reverse every bean-method pairing I make in a given context. What do they know? JohnRGT
  13. Coffee

    Elle, Great tips! I do, however, disagree with the following: A good cone shaped filter will outperform a flat one. Ensuring "even distribution of water through all the grounds" is crucial. Cone filters do almost as good a job at this as flats. The cones, however, allow a given quantity water to spend more time flowing through a given quantity of coffee. All things equal, this extracts more flavor. JohnRGT
  14. Happy Birthday to Rush2112

    Somehow, I thought Stephen Speicher was pointing out that the Rush album 2112 was celebrating a birthday. OOPS! Happy belated birthday, Rush2112. JohnRGT
  15. Vosges -- Haut Chocolat

    I'm not claiming that adding spice to chocolate is an American thing. It's the willingness to push things to the point where a reasonable food lover would have to think that "they pursue weirdness for its own sake" that defines more and more of today's cutting edge American restaurants. (This approach is creeping into Europe as well, and yes, it's traceable to the USA.) IMHO, this trend has way too much momentum. If the trade magazines are to be believed, we'll be dealing with it for a long time to come. Chocolatier had a chocolate sauerkraut recipe a few years ago. Not bad. (Chocolate and sour cream have been a popular combination for a long time so this isn't as off as it sounds.) JohnRGT
  16. Tracinski on Editorial Page of Wall Street Journal

    Pro-reason, fully honest intellectuals who want to do battle. Could the ramblers "cost" Objectivism even one of these warriors? No! JohnRGT
  17. More or less troops in Iraq?

    We only bend over backwards for nihilist radicals, Rick. JohnRGT
  18. Sushi

    I looove medium to dry champagne wit sushi and sashimi. JohnRGT
  19. Tracinski on Editorial Page of Wall Street Journal

    I don't think I ever said or implied that anyone held any animosity towards Mr. Tracinski. As for the contradictions: I'd like to hear more from Mr. Tracinski before deciding he has contradicted anything. JohnRGT
  20. Trailer for "The Pursuit of Happyness"

    Gardner was quoted this morning on a the radio: ~"Americans have forgotten what the American Dream is all about." JohnRGT
  21. Tracinski on Editorial Page of Wall Street Journal

    I'm glad you feel this way. I agree 110%. Let's take that final step: ignore these amateurs until they bother to grace us with a thorough explanation of their animosity towards Mr. Tracinski. JohnRGT
  22. Tracinski on Editorial Page of Wall Street Journal

    What exactly is a prominent amateur Objectivist? Where are their names and links to their accusations? What net impact do you think both the amateurs and their audience will have on Objectivism's progress? JohnRGT
  23. Happy Birthday to Rush2112

    Rush's 30th Anniversary DVD, R30, is a thrill. (Nope, Lee still can't sing...;-)) JohnRGT
  24. It's enough to make you take the time to build a house yourself. JohnRGT
  25. Sushi

    ...and Nobu has Take Out! (Has for some time, but most NYres just don't expect such a highly-rated place to "do" Take Out.)