|Please send your foodlorn questions to me at email@example.com, and I'll do my best to help out as soon as I can.
|A foodlorn reader writes:
This time of year, my sweet tooth just throbs. You get around Manhattan--who do you think makes the best dessert in town?
A trick question, to be sure, especially because peoples tastes in dessert vary more fiercely than in any other form of food. One mans tiramisu is another womans slop; I, who find many desserts insufferably sweet, have often dined with people who are thrilled to take over for me after one bite. I love chocolate, but Im hardly addicted to it, like dozens of people I could name (yes, mostly women). And impressive as they may be, Im not always happy to deconstruct one of those vertical "tower" desserts, which can be hazardous to your clothes.
That said, the best desserts Ive tasted in town over the last four or five months include anything Claudia Fleming feels like making at Gramercy Tavern (especially her tapioca/coconut mélange and her silken panna cotta); Marc Murphys blueberry crème fraîche ice cream and blueberry financier at La Fourchette; Larry Kolars/Andrew dAmicos baby grilled pumpkin stuffed with a cheesecake filling at Little Dove; anything David Ruggerio has ever put in front of me at any of his restaurants has been superb, and his desserts at Steak au Poivre are no exception; ditto Laurent Gras at the great Peacock Alley; for sheer rapturous simplicity, Costas Spiliadiss goats milk yogurt cheese with dark wild honey at Milos is about as good as it gets; Maury Rubins passion fruit tarts at City Bakery; JUdson Grills signature ice cream soda, with fudge sauce and a big shot of Jack Daniels; and I cant resist "Saint-Tropez"a thick vanilla custard in glazed briocheat Marquet Patisserie on East 12th Street.
|Dear Tom: I keep running across recipes that call for "nonreactive pans," and I havent a clue whether my pansCirculon and Calphalonare "nonreactive." Please advise soonI really want to make my own cranberry sauce for New Year's Eve. Best, Kathy
Fear notboth brands you mention are made of anodized aluminum, which is quite nonreactive. "Anodized" means that the aluminum has been completely sealed with an electro-chemical process. When youre cooking any acidic foodsfrom tomatoes to cranberries to anything citricyou absolutely need a nonreactive pan: enamel, stainless steel, or anodized aluminum. "Reactive" pans are primarily plain aluminum, which canand usually doesdiscolor a wide array of foods and sauces, and often impart an unpleasant metallic flavor. To put it bluntly, non-anodized aluminum pans may be the cheapest available, but dont buy them, and as soon as you can, toss the ones youve got. Theyve become useless, and, some actually believe, dangerous.
What kind of cooking wine should I use?
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