Saturday, November 20, 2004

If you're looking for something for someone who uses a lot of spices, look no further: The Thai Mortar

You've probably seen this on The Naked Chef and thought it was stupid, pretentious, or both. You are wrong. The dinky little mortars you can get form uncle Billy are stupid, pretentious (and useless). These mortars are the BOMB (pun intended).

I picked mine up in Sydney from a little shop in (no shit) "Thainatown." If you're in SF, you can get these at M&V Trading on the south side of Irving between 25th and 23rd. If you're not in SF or Sydney, I suggest you suck it up and just order it online. Unless your town has a sizeable southeast Asian population, you're not likely to find this in the local stores.

After you pick it up, you can make my famous pork rub:

Mix roughly equal parts of:
Black Peppercorns
Pink Peppercorns
Dried Rosemary
Dried Sage
Kosher Salt

Grind this into a fine powder in the mortar, rub it on your meat (ieww), and hit the grill. Remember though, this is a gift for a friend, so clean it up before you wrap it.

If you're worried about the mortar scratching up your friend's beautiful counter top, this makes a great accessory.


Friday, November 19, 2004

With the holidays coming up, I think now is a good time to start providing gift ideas.

I'll start with chocolate. I'm a big fan of straight up dark chocolate bars. Truffles have their place, as do other types of filled bon bons. They're like port or sherry. But bar chocolate is more like a great wine. Screw dessert, this is about the meal.

Now, I'm no expert or anything, but I spend more money per week on chocolate than I used to spend on cigarettes. If you know someone who really likes dark chocolate, (I mean really dark, like 70% or more), buy them one or two of these for the holidays:

(these are in no particular order)
Amedei Chuao
El Rey Apamate
Domori Porcelana
Cluizel Concepcion

If they must have milk chocolate, at least make it good:

Scharffenberger 41%
El Rey Caoba
or, the best milk chocolate available, the Slitti 62% Lattenero

If you're in SF, I urge you to buy these from Chocolate Covered on 24th between Noe and Sanchez, if not, use the links.

Now eating: Plantations Arriba 75%
Now Playing: "When you Sleep" by My Bloody Valentine