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Showing posts from September, 2018

Dough Shaping

I decided to practice dough shaping. I made a batch of dough from The Bread Bible. Once the bread machine was through with the dough, I picked up the dough and tucked the edges underneath and toward the center; this is easier to do when you aren't holding a camera in one hand. I tucked to give the dough a domed shape. The result was just what I wanted. The dough held its shape as I baked. The tucks give some slight seams in the finished bread but everything integrates pretty well.

Atlanta Greek Festival

You know it's fall in Atlanta when the Greek Festival arrives. The Greek Orthodox cathedral's grounds overflow with people and food for the weekend. A timely article in Serious Eats reminded me to try the frappe. This Greek tradition is made with Nescafe instant coffee shaken to create a head of foam, a gift of the chemistry of instant coffee. I ordered mine with two spoons of sugar and some milk. I enjoyed my frappe with a show of Greek dancing. Check out these lambs slated for a dinnertime feast. And the Theater of Pastry is truly amazing.

Dunwoody: Zuckerino Pastry Shop

I finally made it Zuckerino. This little pastry shop has been situated next to the Perimeter for several years now. I had always assumed that Zuckerino was an Italian name but is in fact Greek. The proprietor was very friendly and clearly proud of his work. Here are my cookies. I started with the ginger cookie, which was delicious: a great balance of tenderness and flakiness, a distinct but gentle ginger flavor, sweet but not overpoweringly so.

Candy from Greece

Dimitrios brought me these candies from Greece. They are a little softer and less stringy than taffy, closer to a jellied candy. The liberal coating of powdered sugar helps to handle them without sticking. They are delicious and surprisingly not overbearingly sweet.

Eating Around Georgia Tech: TGM Bagel

Another meeting, another cup of coffee. This meeting gave me the chance to try TGM Bagel, an outpost of The General Muir, in the Tech Square food court. My everything bagel was great in all respects: the toppings had that everything zing and pop, a surprise in every bite; the bagel hit just the right balance of chewiness and softness; the bagel crust was great, too. The coffee was rich without being biting.

Moon Cakes

Several of my former students gave me moon cakes to celebrate the Chinese Moon festival. Here are a few samples. The cakes are everywhere at this time of year. The cakes feature a pudding-y center. Very tasty and it is always fun to see the variations on the theme. Thanks, everyone!

Chamblee: Dim Sum Heaven

Check another Chamblee restaurant off the list. Dim Sum Heaven lives up to its name with a big assortment of good food and very gracious service. The menu on the wall shows small plates on the left and big plates on the right. Some fried pork dumplings. Scallion pancake; the crispy edge was particularly yummy. Classic steamed pork buns. And this is my main dish, eggplant with pork. The technique was very different from what I expected and very enjoyable. The Chinese eggplant wasn't fried. It must have been steamed---it was soft but not in the slightest greasy. The pork bits and sauce were drizzled on top. This was delicious, filling, and relatively light for what could be a very heavy dish.

Chamblee: Chicago Supermarket

Buford Highway is full of surprises. I have driven past Chicago Supermarket many times, always wondering why a Chinese grocery store would be called Chicago. To my great surprise, this resident of a primarily Chinese mall is actually a Hispanic market. The meat counter holds all sorts of good things. The refrigerators down the aisle hold chunks of menudo and some great-looking chiccarons. This is just one of the several varieties of peppers available. The store also houses two food stands: one for savory and another for sweets. I will have to return to sample their wares.

East Pole Coffee Company

I guess this neighborhood is called Armour: turn right off Monroe Drive, drive past the Redi Mix plant, just before the dead end is East Pole Coffee Company. This neighborhood has swerved into the trendy lane. Apartments are popping up and young professionals line the streets with laptops and coffee mugs. Dimitrios and I stopped by for coffee. Given the size of their roaster, they can clearly satisfy mobs in search of caffeine. Our coffee was rich and robust. The staff were very friendly and helpful.

Update: Brisket Skillet Breakfast at the Federal

Dimitrios and I talked about control theory over skillet breakfasts at the Federal. This skillet contains brisket, potatoes, a few peppers, and eggs your style. Brisket is an excellent breakfast meat thanks to its rich, beefy flavor. People like meat and potatoes for a reason---they complement each other perfectly. And this was a real rib-sticking start for the day. I didn't need to eat lunch before class thanks to this breakfast.

Eating Around Georgia Tech: Veggie Chipotle Sandwich

The food in the Petit Biotechnology Building is quite good and slightly offbeat. This is my veggie chipotle sandwich: rich but not heavy, slightly spicy, very tasty.

Update: Bones

The meal started with this huge hunk of very hot bread. The butter melted like, well, butter. The corn pudding was both quite sweet and very rich. The hash browns were impressively crunchy on the outside with a nice soft interior. My ribeye was perfect. The marbled fat was so good that I didn't drink any water. The steak gave that superb fatty flavor even though it had been carefully trimmed---the fat was marbled in the meat.

KR Steakbar

A visit by Dimitrios is usually accompanied by a meeting over steak. This was an opportunity to try KR Steakbar, located in an quiet part of Buckhead. Bread came first. We kept hunger at bay with an antipasti plate: prosciutto, cheese, olives, nuts, honey. Everything was excellent, although we remarked that by New Jersey standards this was a sample plate. Dimitrios went with the classic ribeye. He reported it to be excellent. For variety, I tried the shell steak, which was meaty and tender. It was topped with very finely shaved horseradish, an interesting combination of boldness and subtlety thanks to the small shavings. The fingerling potatoes were sprinkled with cheese before cooking. The roasted cheese gives a good, sharp edge to the potatoes. The fresh pappardelle was outstanding. The sauce was made with smoked tomatoes, something I have never had before and very much enjoyed, with the smoky flavor coming through very well. We finished up with coffee.

Apple Strudel

I decided to use my apples from Mercier Orchards to make an apple strudel based on the recipe from Classic German Baking. The dough is fairly simple but includes a good amount of oil. The stretchiness provided by the oil is critical to the strudel technique. I rolled out the dough and then started to stretch it by hand. I managed to stretch the dough to twice its original rolled-out size. I managed to make only one little tear. I toasted some bread crumbs in butter to create a base for the apples. I soaked raisins in whiskey to add to the apples. I laid the filling over the dough and pulled up the sides. I kept the dough on the apron to help transfer it to the baking pan. I used an apron because I didn't have a towel big enough. Transferring the strudel to the pan was the hard part. I worked very slowly and gently to move a little at a time. Even so, I added several tears to the dough. The result was wonderful. The thinly stretched dough bakes to me

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

I was in the mood for something comforting to eat. The cheese in my refrigerator inspired me to make a grilled cheese sandwich. I started with two slices of my 100% whole wheat bread which I toasted on both sides in butter. Once the slices were warm, I laid down some mozzarella. I then put the two halves together and let the sandwich cook, occasionally pressing down on it using my spatula. The result was everything that I had hoped for. The cheese melted nicely without being messy. The whole wheat bread's nuttiness perfectly complemented the cheese. And the butter sealed the deal.