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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 03:27 am:   

Been to any good restaurants lately?

You have?

Then tell us all about it, at great length, and don't spare the gory details!!!!

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Cheryl Morgan
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 10:09 am:   

The hotel restaurant at the Toronto Hilton was way above expectations. Lobster tail, venison - very yummy. I discovered afterwards that two of their chefs are on the Canadian National Culinary Team. Tried to persuade Charles Brown to try it, but I think he was booked up.
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Liz
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 11:56 am:   

The Asimov's team, myself, Debbie and Chris Lotts went to a place called the Bangkok Garden, which was (obviously) Thai, and excellent - very good prawns and fish dishes.

Debs and myself also haunted the chop house (not being vegetarians): v good steaks and veal.
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Liz
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 11:56 am:   

Sorry, should have clarified that this was at Torcon.
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ellen
Posted on Friday, September 26, 2003 - 02:18 pm:   

The chop house in Toronto that I went to the first evening was superb. Pat, you were there. This is the place that let us reserve a large table even though we weren't sure you and Ellen Klages would show up in time for dinner.
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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 02:13 am:   

Ellen, yes, I remember, vividly. I think it was actually the best meal I had in Toronto, although the Greek restaurant we went to on Sunday night wasn't bad. Still, I quite liked the chop house.

A sidenote concerning the chop house, for the entertainment of all those who know Ellen Datlow (*chuckle*): Ellen Klages and I arrived later than planned due to heavy traffic on the last stretch of the trip. When we got to our hotel, Ellen Datlow had helpfully left us a message telling her where the party was. Ellen Klages decided to call the restaurant and let Datlow & Co. know that we were on the way.

Klages: "Hello, we're meeting our friends there for dinner and we'd appreciate it if you could give them that message."

Nice hostess: "Certainly. What's the name?"

Klages: "Datlow, first name--"

Nice hostess: "Oh, I know *exactly* who you mean! I'll tell her, see you soon!"

Klages hangs up stunned.

Me: "What is it?"

Klages: "She's already taken over Toronto."

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ellen
Posted on Saturday, September 27, 2003 - 08:59 am:   

And here's the context:

When we made the reservation it was originally going to be Cadigan, Klages, Kathy Goonan, and me but when Cadigan and Klages didn't show up at 6pm in the lobby Kathy and I picked up Lisa Tuttle and someone else (I'm blanking). We went to the restaurant and told them we had made a reservation for 5, we only had 4 presently, but were expecting two more....maybe.

The maitre'd (maitresse'd?) said "Fine, we'll give you a table for six in case your friends show up." I was in shock and said "What??? You'll seat us now and give us a larger table in the offchance that our friends will show up? and she said "of course!" and I went on and on about how that would NEVER EVER happen in New York (or most other cities I know of) and how nice she was and wow! Cool. etc etc. So... she might have remembered me from that :-)
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Mike
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 05:21 am:   

Food porn, eh? (Now I know where there are no guys in this discussion . . . yet.)

Yesterday, Jeri and I took our grandkids to a Pickadilly's cafeteria in Athens, Georgia, where they each had the child's plate and refused to touch anything on it except the desserts that we also purchased for them -- namely, chocolate pudding and blue Jell-O. What flavor is blue Jell-O supposed to be, anyway?

And, Ellen, we had absolutely no trouble getting seated in Pickadilly's without a reservation, although the people at the adjacent table got up and moved when they saw us coming in with two small children under five.
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MI Wells
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 11:49 am:   

I'm new here - I hope its o'kay to join in.

One of my most miraculous food experiences was at Chez Jaqui in Geneva, Switzerland.

If you are ever in town, and want to go to a restaurant where long-term residents go, check out Chez Jaqui. The passing-through and diplo crowds have never heard of it, and probably wouldn't touch it, because its not very elegant. But boy, the food: c'est formidable!

Start with fresh baked bread - dinner rolls - still hot from the brick oven. Spread lightly with homemade sweet butter if desired . . . Heavenly!

We shared a selection of appetizers. Grilled snails in an herbed garlic butter stand out in my memory as do the roasted red peppers marinated in extra virgin olive oil and more garlic.

Main was a macadamia crusted fish - perhaps it was perch (I don't remember) - truly lovely.

Then the most fantastic part of the meal was the cheese cart. A three level cart of the world's most wonderful cheese. The French Mont D'Or was my favorite to a melt in the mouth tangy perfection!

I highly recommend Chez Jaqui- beats the P. Wilson any old day!

Isabelle


P.S. If you want more recs - I have quite a few for cities around the world as well. At one point in my life, I travelled a great deal, and did a fair amount of "strategic dining". My sister is also a professional chef of some reknown in the U.S.

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ellen
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 02:14 pm:   

Mike asks: What flavor is blue Jell-O supposed to be, anyway?

Blueberry?
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Billc
Posted on Monday, September 29, 2003 - 03:03 pm:   

Long away and far ago if it was blue it wasn't for human consumption. Antifreeze, windshield washer fluid anyone?

Gatorade blue is Raspberry Ice. Go figure.
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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 04:26 am:   

Blue Curacao, of course.:-)

I was put on this earth to drink Blue Margaritas.

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Mike
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 04:31 am:   

I do believe that if your macadamia-crusted fish is blue, you should worry. (If any fish dish is blue, you should worry.) But Isabelle's contribution prompted me to recall a visit to a restaurant in Savannah called the Pink House, where I had an apricot-glazed portion of flounder that is probably the single best entree I've ever had while dining out. Just wish I'd had a Blue Magarita with it. 'Course then I probably wouldn't have recalled the entree . . .

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minz
Posted on Tuesday, September 30, 2003 - 11:39 am:   

Obviously, there are no Mormons lurking about (since their only native cultural dish is jell-o).
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 06:17 am:   

And Funeral potatoes, a truly fabulous dish.

Mix a two pound bag of frozen hashbrown potatoes with 2 cups shredded chedder cheese, 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, 8 oz of sour cream and a can of cream of chicken soup. Put it in an 11" by 13" baking dish and dribble 1/2 cup of melted butter over it. Bake it in a 350 degree over for at least an hour and fifteen minutes (you can over bake it and it will be fine, but if you underbake it, it doesn't work.)

Take it to your standard church supper, family reunion, or funeral supper. It holds heat really well, tastes pretty good at room temperature and is amazingly fine food when hot.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 06:22 am:   

Lest you think that I usually eat food with condensed soup in it, my new favorite thing to make is a dish from The French Laundry Cookbook that I made when La Diva herself was visiting Ohio. The chef of The French Laundry, the restaurant I most want to go to, was thinking about cheese one day and realized that since brie has a high cream content, maybe it would whip like whipping cream. Well, it does. Cut off the rind, drop the cheese in a good sturdy mixer and whip it for ten minutes and you get whipped brie. Ala the French Laundry, I serve it with a balsamic vinegar reduction syrup (cook two cups of balsamic vinegar down to a half cup over a period of about three to five hours) and thin toasted baguette chips.

It makes me feel very decadent, as if the next thing on the menu is lark's tongues or something. But when La Dive is dining at your house, you better pull out all the stops.
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Homer Minz
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 06:46 am:   

Mmmmmmm. Whipped brie. Gllllchdrool.
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ellen
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 07:43 am:   

Jeez, Maureen they sound as if those dishes are meant to encourage more funerals! Yummy.
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Wednesday, October 01, 2003 - 08:28 am:   

The most recent best thing I've ever eaten was a lovely buttery cake with a moist dense melt-in-your -mouth texture and fragrant bursts of vanilla and cardamom that left my tongue quivering with desire for more. Spooning the top of the cake was a rich, smooth caramel sauce that dripped slowly over the sides. The plate was garnished with fleshy fresh figs and a thick creme fraiche and mint leaf.

It satisfactorily answered the age-old question: is this worth going off my diet for?
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 04:28 pm:   

Leslie, that's the most erotic writing I have ever read.
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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 02:18 am:   

Folks, I didn't call it Food Porn for nothing.

;)

(Dammit, how do you get the sly-wink face in the body of the message?)
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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 02:30 am:   

I wanted the sly-wink smiley so I could describe the Food Porn event at Chez McHugh as not only the finest Gourmet Orgy I have experienced in this century but also the finest of the last decade.

I would be less than honest if I did not admit to using my position as Visiting Diva to appropriate second and sometimes third helpings where available.

And I have to confess I rather feel sorry for anyone who wasn't there, even though said absence did leave more for me.:-)

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Laura Anne
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 05:37 am:   

Whpped brie. Must think about that some more. I could do Good Food Things with whipped brie...

Currently planning out a Birthday Dinner to go with the birthday boy's choice of wines. Starting with warm spiced parmesian puffs (i've had to fend people off with a carcing knife while making these), crostini Gilmerakos (cooked garlic, fresh basil, pignoli for crunch and truffle oil), plus assorted other appetizers; then on to a dinner of wild mushroom risotto, a frisee, pear and walnut salad, a rib roast (pray for me now and in the hours of our cooking) and finishing off with a cognac-and bittersweet-chocolate fondue.

There may be pumpkin soup in there, too, depending on how ambitious I get and the quality of pumpkins.

And yes, this -is- what I do to relax. Doesn't everyone?
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 06:29 am:   

Laura Anne, that sounds heavenly. The crostinit Gilmerakos alone sounds to die for.

Whipped brie has the consistency of whipped butter, by the way. I think it would be frighteningly good used as such.

Thank you Pat, I'm glad you enjoyed your dinner. Cleveland SF wants to know when you're coming back?
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LeslieWhat
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 08:40 am:   

Maybe we can do a food porn panel the next time World Fantasy is in Ohio. Maureen, can we prepare in your kitchen?

I have a new from-the-70s fondue pot I've never used. In fact, I'm a fondue virgin.
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ellen
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 02:42 pm:   

I had the most amazing lunch today. My friend Katya and I went to a place she knows called Craft that looks to be very expensive if you eat from their regular ala carte menu but has a $20.03 three course lunch special.

Started with a generous order of Duck Ham, which was duck prepared to look and pretty much tasted like proscuito.

Hangar steak (which wasn't terrific but pretty good)with pureed potatoes that were amazing. They were indeed pureed but somehow thick enough to not slip through the fork. I don't know what they used to season the potatoes but my friend and I ate every drop. The order (we ordered the same thing) of potatoes came in a little tureen.

We order some kind of weird mushrooms called Hen of the Woods --they were roasted and looked a little like squid with the ends crunchy. I don't know what they look like whole because we got them in pieces.

For dessert each of us got one of the choices: apple tartine with a tasty white sauce (very flaky, fresh pastry) and three sorbets: concord grape, coconut, and pear with two little homemade, perfectly fresh and crunchy shortbread cookies. Wow!

As long as they keep the $20.03 lunch I want to/must go back.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 04:13 pm:   

I think it would be great to have World Fantasy in Ohio, but at least in Cleveland, we seem to be a writer's town, not a fan's town. Still, my kitchen is yours, Leslie, any time you want.

Ellen, that sounds almost worth driving to New York for. (I'll be in Rochester, New York on 10/11, but have promised to spend time with the offspring observing the rituals of Parent's Day at college. I think this means that we take him out for a decent meal and then give him money for something he needs but forgot about, like text books.)
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ellen
Posted on Friday, October 03, 2003 - 07:05 pm:   

Well, don't forget I'll be in Cleveland for a few days this March, visiting Ellen of the midwest before she attends Wiscon and I attend Marcon...food glorious foooood!
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Saturday, October 04, 2003 - 06:13 am:   

I'm already planning, Ellen.
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Cadigan, Pat
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 02:00 am:   

Who's got a good recipe for gazpacho?

It's not really gazpacho weather, but my cravings know no season.

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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Tuesday, October 07, 2003 - 05:24 am:   

Try this one from www.epicurious.com (the comments are from the web site and are not mine):


MOM'S GAZPACHO

1 egg
2 cups chopped fresh plum tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green or yellow pepper
1 cup chopped cucumber, seeds removed
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
Pepper, coarsely ground
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt
1 46-ounce can tomato juice or V8
1/2 cup plain bread crumbs
Chopped cilantro to taste
Tabasco, to taste

Garnish (optional): chopped parsley, minced red onion, chopped olives

Place egg in small pot of cold water, bring to boil, and let simmer for 10 minutes.

In a pot or large bowl, combine tomatoes, pepper, cucumber, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, cold beef broth (optional), red wine vinegar, parsley, oregano, Worcestershire, and coarsely ground black pepper to taste. Stir.

Sprinkle garlic with a pinch of salt, and set in bowl.

When egg is finished cooking, run under cold water, remove shell, add to garlic and salt mixture, and mash together with fork.

Pour tomato juice into large pot or bowl with vegetables, and add garlic, egg, and salt mixture. Add bread crumbs and stir so that they dissolve into liquid.

Taste for seasoning and add salt, pepper, and Tabasco to taste. Chill for at least 4 hours and serve. Garnish with chopped parsley, minced red onion, and chopped olives if desired.

Cook's Notes:

? My recipe serves eight, and it's not worth the trouble to prepare this soup for one. But like homemade tomato sauce, its flavor improves with age ? you can store it in the refrigerator and eat it for about a week.

? Why mash the garlic with egg and salt? To make a garlic-infused paste that adds body and substance to the tomato broth.

? Use kosher salt to bring out the flavors of the vegetables.

? Try to chop the vegetables so that they're small but not minced or pulverized, and don't worry if the sizes aren't uniform. The pieces should be small enough to chew but big enough to recognize.

? If you prefer a more elegant presentation, emulsify the chilled mixture before serving. Seasoning is a very personal matter. I tend to like my gazpacho pungent and sharp, with salt, lemon, and onion flavors lingering on the palate. If you prefer milder soup, reduce the onion, garlic, and vinegar quantities by half. If you want a spicier soup, add 2 teaspoons of minced jalepeño peppers. To make vegetarian gazpacho, substitute vegetable broth for beef broth.

Makes 8 servings.
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Jimmy Thompson
Posted on Thursday, October 30, 2003 - 12:08 pm:   

How about this-


Starter:
Salmon paté on melba toast.

Main:
Chicken Normandie (Chicken + Cider + apples + bacon + button mushrooms + Soured cream)

Dessert:

Moccha Baked Alaska. (with lashings of Tia Maria)

All washed down with a 1993 Chateau Neuf Du pape. (i think I've spelt that right!)

with traditional a Welsh Cheeseboard (with Cheddar included at the request of younger sibling!!)
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La Diva Loca
Posted on Friday, October 31, 2003 - 02:29 am:   

My belated thanks to Maureen for the gazpacho recipe--I'm going to leave out the egg, but otherwise, it sounds divine.

Jimmy T: I was about to say, "I accept!" when I got to the last line and saw that this has apparently already occurred. Very decent food porn indeed.:-)

Last night, in response to a strange, restless urge, I sliced up two tomatoes and a hunk of soft mozzarella cheese and sandwiched them between two soft tortillas sprayed lightly with olive oil and a scattering of crushed red chillies. Microwaved on high for 2+ minutes in two installments.

I think I am going to live on this for a while.

Actually, this weekend, I'm going to make my Infamous Killer Lasagne for Lucius Shepard, who will be staying with us for a couple of days here at Chez Miserable.:-)

Home-made sauce...garlic...ricotta cheese...mozzarella...

excuse me...
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La Cadigan
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 09:56 am:   

Lasagne accomplished. I'm baking it tonight because lasagne is always better the second day.

Tomatoes on this side of the world are miraculous things. I peeled about two dozen medium-smallish ones and reduced them to sauce over the course of the afternoon. Plus spices. I believe I'm going to try to keep a container of this sauce handy in the fridge for cuisine emergencies (i.e., Rob materializes out of nowhere claiming to be famished).

Amusing household sidenote: just as I was about to put the dish in the oven, I discovered we were out of aluminium foil. However, I had unpacked a long-neglected box of baking pans and discovered that I had had the foresight to buy a brand-new roll before I emigrated, and somebody else had the further foresight to pack it for me.:-)

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Laura MK
Posted on Sunday, November 02, 2003 - 01:03 pm:   

Sounds wonderful Pat!

I've a great recipe for sauce if you'd like to have it. From my great grandmother Lucia. We've been using it in my family since she emigrated in the 19th C, so its pretty darn good. Its also passed through an Irish woman and a German before coming to me, still unsullied.
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Maureen McHugh
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 06:28 am:   

Real tomatoes? In stores? All the time? Oh God...
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Liz
Posted on Monday, November 03, 2003 - 06:49 am:   

>I've a great recipe for sauce if you'd like to have it.

If Pat doesn't (and I suspect she would indeed like it) then I'd love to hear it.
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La Cadigan
Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 03:56 am:   

Laura MK:

Liz speaks the truth--I would like it.

Maureen: Indeed, real tomatoes. In stores. All the time. And tomatoes that taste like no tomatoes I ever tasted before I moved to England. I didn't even really used to like tomatoes that much, until I discovered tomatoes in this part of the world. Now I tend to have tomatoes with everything, if I can manage it.

Between Lucius and Rob, the lasagne disappeared in a mere three days, which delighted me no end. In fact, I was so delighted that last night I made up another batch.

Actually, that's not the only reason. My son, bless him, asked me to make some more for him and his new girlfriend. I cannot tell you how much that pleases me.

As you can probably see, none of us will be keeping company with Dr. Atkins any time soon.

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