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Autumn Omakase, A Tasting Menu from Tatsu Nishino of Nishino, October 5, 2005  Just a short note to say WOW! The response to our new electronic cookbook Autumn Omakase, a Tasting Menu from Tatsu Nishino of Nishino has been overwhelming. It should be known that these books we've been doing are truly a team effort. I want to thank: Peyman for his gorgeous and authentic photographs, Jenny for the beautiful and natural aesthetic and design, Debbie for her hardcore editing keeping the verbosity to a minimum, and Alex for the days he spent in the kitchen and running around Seattle shopping to make sure the recipes actually worked as written. And of course, Tatsu Nishino and his wife who were gracious enough to share their time with us. Tatsu spent a significant chunk of his busy schedule walking us through (and re-walking us through) every detail of how he prepares those delectable dishes. One of my favorite moments of each of the books we've made has been when we did the test dinner and the chef comes and eats his food that we prepared from a draft of the book. In Tatsu Nishino's case I remember one key moment where he took barely a fraction of a bite into one of the dishes and immediately and gently called back to us in the kitchen "did you forget the salt?" Sure enough. The fact that he zeroed in right off the bat is no big surprise. Still the intimate access that we got to seeing how this wonderful food is made and being able to represent it in such detail and live it (as best we could with our skill set) was really super exciting. Hopefully that comes through in the book itself.

And most importantly, thanks everyone for the huge number of downloads as well as the fantastic feedback on the book. The response of folks on the web is what motivates us to spend all this time making these little creations.

Next post, back to regular programming.

     

 

 

 

 

 

   

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Tastingmenu is focused on superlative restaurant experiences from two perspectives: behind the plate and behind the stove. Tastingmenu is written by Hillel (professional eater) and Dana (up-and-coming professional chef) in Seattle, Washington.


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  Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane. Today's major garlic suppliers include the United States (mainly California, Texas and Louisiana), France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: the white-skinned, strongly flavored American garlic; the Mexican and Italian garlic, both of which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the Paul Bunyanesque, white-skinned elephant garlic (which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek), the most mildly flavored of the three. Depending on the variety, cloves of American, Mexican and Italian garlic can range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Elephant garlic (grown mainly in California) has bulbs the size of a small grapefruit, with huge cloves averaging 1 ounce each. It can be purchased through mail order and in some gourmet markets. Green garlic, available occasionally in specialty produce markets, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves. It resembles a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb, sometimes tinged with pink. The flavor of a baby plant is much softer than that of mature garlic. Fresh garlic is available year-round. Purchase firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves, and those stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, though they will begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days. Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes. Among the exceptions are roasted garlic bulbs and the famous dish, "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," in which unpeeled garlic cloves are baked with chicken in a broth until they become sweet and butter-soft. Crushing, chopping, pressing or pureeing garlic releases more of its essential oils and provides a sharper, more assertive flavor than slicing or leaving it whole. Garlic is readily available in forms other than fresh. Dehydrated garlic flakes (sometimes referred to as instant garlic) are slices or bits of garlic that must be reconstituted before using (unless added to a liquid-based dish, such as soup or stew). When dehydrated garlic flakes are ground, the result is garlic powder. Garlic salt is garlic powder blended with salt and a moisture-absorbing agent. Garlic extract and garlic juice are derived from pressed garlic cloves. Though all of these products are convenient, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. One unfortunate side effect of garlic is that, because its essential oils permeate the lung tissue, it remains with the body long after it's been consumed, affecting breath and even skin odor. Chewing chlorophyll tablets or fresh parsley is helpful but, unfortunately, modern-day science has yet to find the perfect antidote for residual garlic odor.  

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