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Michael

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    December 2009
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Inside the Kitchen Door - Episode One - Part Two 19 Jan 2010
10:51 am

The chef sauces the pork with a "golden raisin and bourbon sauce" but in the "part one" of this segment, there is no mention of golden raisins at all. In fact the sauce was smooth and strained with no particles. Also, he mentions cooking the pork belly "sous-vide", but in the part one segment, he only cooks it on the stove top and finishes it in the oven. There is no mention of an immersion circulator or vacuum sealed bags that are indicative of sous-vide cooking. I guess the focus of these segments is meant to be the drink, or at least the pairing of the drink to the food. But, it would be awesome if you could make sure and pay attention to continuity. Otherwise... I love these segments!!!

Inside the Kitchen Door - Episode One - Part Two 9 Feb 2010
8:35 pm

The dish is great, and the cocktail is also fantastic. But the two together are genuinely sensational. I made this dish in my kitchen. I don't have an immersion circulator, but I do have a vacuum sealer. So I just did a stove top sous vide (which is pretty good, I'd have to say). But anyway... the cocktail is sweet, but with the sage leaf, it is complex. And with the fatty pork belly that gets seared crisp on the outside, all that fatty, salty, sweet, aromatic, and even vinegary... this is an amazing app. I've done a lot with wine and even beer pairings, but this is honestly the first cocktail pairing I've ever really paid any attention to. It's fabulous. I am anxiously awaiting what else you have us your sleeve as far as cocktail pairings.

Inside the Kitchen Door - Episode One - Part One 19 Jan 2010
10:42 am

I think that this is a marvelous dish, and I would love to make it at home, but you do not provide a printable recipe. I have been watching a lot of Robert Hess on the Small Screen Network, and he provides an elegant recipe that I can print and take with me into my kitchen. Without a recipe, I would have to sit with a pen and paper, and watch the chef cook, and try to guess'timate how much of everything he used. Can we get some recipes?

Scofflaw Cocktail 20 Jan 2010
3:30 pm

Question #1 Dry Vermouth: French vs. Italian? I realize that this is a drink that was invented in Paris, and any self-respecting purist would definitely reach for the French dry vermouth. I however am on a budget, and quite frankly do not have the shelf-space for 30 bottles. In fact, I really need to scale back. So, can anyone break it down if there is an appreciable difference in Martini & Rossi "Extra-Dry" and Noilly Prat "Dry Vermouth"? Question #2 Vermouth and freshness... I keep my vermouth in the fridge, as it is only 18% ABV. With normal wine, be it red or white, it deteriorates over time, even in the fridge. Now, I know Robert, said in a previous episode that vermouth will last longer than regular white wine, and keeping it in the fridge will extend that. He went into how one could buy a new bottle and taste it along side an older bottle, and really see the difference. Well, at what point should a Dry Vermouth just be thrown away? Because I have had a bottle of Dry vermouth for maybe 6 months. But I can't say that I've ever tasted dry vermouth by itself (I like my martini's with Rosso sweet vermouth). So I have a practically full bottle of M&R Extra Dry vermouth, and I don't know if it is bad or not. It certainly didn't taste very good when I took a pull to taste it when making this Scofflaw recipe. Basically, I made the Scofflaw tonight, and I don't think I like it very much, but I want to make sure that it isn't just bad vermouth. Question #3 I haven't bought a bottle of Canadian whiskey since I was in the 9th grade drinking Crown and Cokes at parties, thinking I was cool. I made my Scofflaw with Bullet's Bourbon. I know and appreciate the huge difference between a Bourbon. I would never use Laphroaig to make an Old Fashioned. But what's the deal with Canadian whiskey? For the Scofflaw, I understand the narrative reasoning behind using Canadian... prohibition and all. But do I really need to have Bourbon, Rye, a blended Scotch, several single malts, AND Canadian whiskey too? Thanks for your help guys. I realize this is a lot.

How to Make a Martini 19 Jan 2010
11:00 am

This is an excellent segment on Martini service. I think I've watched every single Robert Hess cocktail segment, and have gleaned a lot of information that has made all the difference in my home cocktail preparation. But now, after watching Jamie's segment, I feel like this will take my drinks to even the next level. Awesome!!!

How to Shake a Cocktail 19 Jan 2010
11:21 am

Awesome segment. I never knew that about where to tap the shaker to get it apart. I have always tapped it (much harder I might add) on the opposite side where there is a large space between the glass and the tin. My way will still get it open, but you have to really smack it, and sometimes you have to smack it multiple times. Your way seems to work every time, and is elegant and sophisticated. I love it. I've seen bartenders tapping shakers on the edge of the bar, or with muddle sticks. I've even seen a bartender shatter the glass part by slamming it into the side of the bar. Lame.

How to Flame an Orange Zest 19 Jan 2010
11:31 am

Can anyone tell me a drink in which flamed orange zest would be appealing? I am a huge "Old Fashioned" fan. It is my nightly cocktail. I have never gone the extra step of flaming the orange zest. Is this a cocktail that would usually get a flamed orange zest, or would I be deviling tradition?

Cucumber Lavender Sour 2 Jan 2010
3:56 pm

Does anyone have a recipe for making lavender syrup from scratch? I have access to a health food store where I can buy lavender leaves in bulk, which means, I can buy .0002 of an ounce or 200 lbs. So I'd much rather buy $1.00 worth of Lavender leaves and make a small batch of lavender syrup myself, then purchase a $30 of Sonama Lavender Syrup. Anyone know a recipe?

Zombie Cocktail 18 Dec 2009
10:08 pm

Hey Robert. This series is incredible. I watched every episode and am going to buy your book. Couple of questions: First: I hate breaking out a blender for cocktails. At a party it's always a loud attention grabber (unwanted attention I might add). I was wondering if it would matter much if I took a tip from your Mint Julip episode, and just crush the ice in one of those bags. Since you said yourself you aren't trying to make a slushy here, I can't help but think that a Boston Shaker with ice, and then strain into a glass that you fill with crushed ice... do you think you could tell a difference in a blind taste test? Second: You mentioned making your own Grenadine. I am an absolute purist when it comes to ingredients. I am so glad you gave the recipe for the home made "Bing / Maraschino Cherry" in the Manhattan episode. Could you share a recipe for home made Grenadine? Thank you so much! I'm telling all my friends about this site.

Zombie Cocktail 19 Dec 2009
8:17 am

Fantastic! Thanks for the Grenadine recipe. I assume you mean a 1:1 simple syrup, not a 2:1 "rich simple syrup"? Also, do you muddle the seeds, or just let them pop on their own? And I assume you strain away the crunchy bits after the 30-40 min. simmer, right?