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Cooking with "Heston Blumenthal at Home"

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#61 Belgian Blue

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Posted 22 April 2012 - 04:05 AM

The first dish I tried was the 'scallop tartare with white chocolate' which uses HB's fish stock.

I couldn't imagine ever being wowed by a stock but this one left me stunned it is so very good - all I could think of was Marseilles and a good 'Bouillabaisse' - it's that good and for me personally, this stock alone made buying the book worthwhile.

Back to the dish - all the single elements worked - the prawn oil was quite a surprise. At first I thought, 'nothing happening here' then as the oil cools, the flavour and colour emerge and it packs quite a prawn punch.

The scallop tartare - good, very subtle. The walnut oil, sherry vinegar and lemon work well together without overpowering the sweet scallops (I didn't make HB's pickled lemon as I had my own preserved lemons).

The 'white' foam base (aka sauce) tastes wonderful but it wasn't white - it was more of a deep cream colour (not surprising as the stock has quite a lot of saffron in it). Maybe it would have foamed 'white' if I'd had a more powerful stick blender - I'll try it again just to see if it foams but the taste was great.

It was at the finishing stage that I felt disappointed; the addition of the white chocolate gave a definite sweetness to the dish. Personally I didn't like this and would have preferred the dish without it (the recipe gave no information about the chocolate which did surprise me - if I try another savoury recipe using white chocolate I'll contact Callebaut or another chocolatier beforehand to find out which chocolate would be the most appropriate). The other element of the finishing is the 'caviar or salmon roe'. I used salmon roe and, in my opinion, it doesn't work. The overall subtlety of the different elements of the dish need some sort of counterbalancing kick and IMO the caviar would have provided this.

The biggest surprise is that the photo in the book doesn't match the plating instructions in the recipe and the portions are TINY. There are just 2 scallops per portion served in a (smaller than) 2" (5cm) ring mould which leaves just enough surface to place one scallop on top - if you're lucky! - whereas the recipe calls for the scallops to be cut into 3 discs each. So there are hiccups on that front (and I met the same type of hiccup in another recipe) which is annoying but quickly sorted by re-portioning (if you have enough to start with) and re-plating.

That said, I had great fun making all the elements of this dish and I learned a lot at the same time. There are elements I will use again and again in the future.

BB

Edited by Belgian Blue, 22 April 2012 - 04:14 AM.

Belgian Blue

#62 tammylc

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 06:09 PM

Made the red cabbage gazpacho and mustard ice cream for a dinner party I catered recently. It's definitely a suprisingly tasty combination!

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Then tonight, I made the garden salad with sauce gribiche for a potluck. To say it was a big hit would be an understatement. And so fun to do! I'm going to do a couple of big ones for an event next week. Will probably doctor up the sauce gribiche with some cream cheese to give it a little more bulk and a consistency more capable of holding up aspargus spears.

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#63 Anna N

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 08:09 PM

Tammy, that salad looks amazing!
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#64 ChrisZ

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 04:55 AM

Tried the lemon tart and the potato and leek soup. The lemon tart was great, but the soup was really pretty average and it was made very clear to me that Heston's recipe is inferior to my wife's!
Heston's recipe has 750g leeks, 200g onions to 180g potatoes. Normally when we make it we have about the same weight of potatoes as leeks (or even more), which makes the leek flavour quite mild and smooth. I didn't mind the different recipe but compared to what we're used too it was quite pungent and sharp.
Hopefully I'll have time to try some of the more complex recipes...

#65 Jenni

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:25 AM



When I went to the Chinese market to buy the Shaoxing wine etc., I saw different brands of roasted sesame oil everywhere - lots of it - but no unroasted oil, which leads me to believe that is what HB intended when he wrote '35g sesame oil'. To me, that looks like an enormous quantity of roasted sesame oil.
I'd therefore be interested to know if anyone has made the recipe and their feelings on the sesame oil question.

BB


I haven't made the recipe yet, but that does sound like a lot of oil if it is indeed supposed to be roasted, which leads me to think that what he is calling for is un-roasted.


Initially when I got to the market I felt elated as there were lots of brands of oil all simply labelled 'sesame oil'. It's only on close inspection of the label that you find the word 'roasted'.

I think that when I get to the point where this has to be added I'll do the 'mise en place' with both types of oil and (try to) apply a 'sanity/taste' test to the ingredients for the mix. However I'm hoping someone here has done the recipe and can throw some light on it.

Thank you.

BB


I have no idea what HB is actually calling for in his recipe. However, you can easily untoasted sesame oil in an Indian grocery store, especially one that caters to South Indians, as it is used quite a bit in South Indian cuisines. It's also a great massage oil :)

#66 EnriqueB

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:36 AM

Tried the lemon tart and the potato and leek soup. The lemon tart was great, but the soup was really pretty average and it was made very clear to me that Heston's recipe is inferior to my wife's!
Heston's recipe has 750g leeks, 200g onions to 180g potatoes. Normally when we make it we have about the same weight of potatoes as leeks (or even more), which makes the leek flavour quite mild and smooth. I didn't mind the different recipe but compared to what we're used too it was quite pungent and sharp.
Hopefully I'll have time to try some of the more complex recipes...

It seems Heston's intention was precisely to have a sharp leek flavour, as he insists on cutting everything very small and cooking for less than 20 minutes to keep their flavour. That was the original part of the recipe to me, as any other recipe I've ever seen cooks the vegetables for at least 30 or 40 minutes.

I've made it and found it really good, not mind-boggling but good.

#67 ChrisZ

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 09:27 PM

Made the chicken with sherry/cream/onions, it turned out really well and my guests enjoyed it. It's really quite a simple dish and I don't think it's one where you need to be precise with the exact ingredients- next time I won't worry if I don't have gruyere or pancetta in the fridge; some cheddar and bacon will be fine. And the same with the wine - you could easily use a madiera or a port etc etc and the dish would remain basically the same.

Funnily enough it reminded me of a recipe I used to make when I was much younger - an early teenager. I had found a recipe called 'chicken with garam masala sauce' which looked pretty simple - it was basically chicken pieces fried in a pan with onions, then cream and garam masala were added. The thing is that when I was a teenager I had no idea what garam masala was and there was no internet then to look things up. I looked through mum's pantry and found a bottle of marsala wine and figured that would be close enough. It was many years before I discovered that marsala wine is nothing, nothing at all like garam masala!
But I liked the result and I made it that way a few times - and Heston's chicken with sherry recipe was comparable, and jolted my memory back a few decades to my garam masala/marsala wine days...

#68 jfrater

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:30 PM

It took ages but I recently made Heston's Chicken Tikka Masala. It was truly the best curry I have ever eaten. The garam masala mix makes enough for about 20 more recipes though! Here is a picture of mine - I served it with a small bowl of jasmine rice (I had no basmati). It went down very well.

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#69 jfrater

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Posted 26 August 2012 - 03:36 PM

I have made a few other Heston dishes from this book - rather than posting one post per recipe I will just put them together in one.

Here is his steak and kidney pudding - it was incredible. I would definitely go to the trouble of getting a syringe to inject a little more sauce though next time. The suet pastry was the best suet pastry I have ever eaten. It was truly stunning. I used the leftover (of which there was a LOT) to make apple dumplings the next day. The pastry was equally divine used as a pudding pastry.

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Chicken with cream and sherry casserole. Oh my God. It was stunning. One of the best chicken dishes I have ever eaten. The chicken was incredibly tender and the sauce was almost worthy of tears! I will make this one again and again.

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Chicken and Ham Pie. Despite following the recipe exactly and buying 10cm pie dishes (mini casseroles actually) this only made enough for five pies - not six. It was amazing. The gammon was delicious and the chicken was incredibly moist. The sauce is surprisingly flavorsome and rich despite only having a little cream and no butter. It is another I will make again and again (not just because the pie dishes were $70 each!!!)

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And tonight I will be making the crab lasagne. Wish me luck!
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#70 Merkinz

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:16 AM

jfrater: Nice work! ... What book is the Masala from? I only have HB at Home.

PS: Nice to see other NZ'ers about on here :)

#71 ChrisZ

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:51 AM

jfrater: awesome shots- you have motivated me to attempt the chicken tikka masala.

I have made the lemon tart a few times now, the filling has the perfect balance of texture, flavour, sweetness and acidity. The only thing I have noticed is that it takes quite a long time to set, and based on previous efforts I'll always make it the day before it's to be served so it can sit in the fridge overnight. The temperatures listed in the recipe are precise, and I follow the directions carefully, but last time I tried making this the same day it was to be served it was still too soft to cut after 6 hours in the fridge. It did set after a few more hours, and the texture was beautiful, but I'm curious to know if others have noticed the same thing?

#72 LT Wong

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 06:53 AM

jrater, I have the book but have not been motivated to do anything.

Until I saw your photos and your descriptions....I'm planning to make the chicken casserole this weekend!

Thank you!

#73 Merkinz

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 12:08 PM

I'm really keen on trying this Tikka Masala but its not from HB at Home. Can anyone who has the book it is from confirm if it is identical to the recipe listed here:
http://www.dominicsa...TikkaMasala.pdf

Thanks. Also going to try that casserole, looks very tasty!

#74 Keith_W

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:33 PM

Merkinz I scanned through that recipe and I can confirm it does look identical to the HB recipe from "In search of Perfection".
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#75 Merkinz

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 03:48 PM

Thanks Keith, appreciate that! Looks like quite a task but I'm always up for a challenge. :wink: Might skip the homemade tandoor oven and just grill the chicken over some coals for a bit.

Watch this space ...

#76 jfrater

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Posted 27 August 2012 - 08:34 PM

Merkinz: my mistake! The tikka masala is from "In Search of Perfection" - not At Home. I should note that I didn't make the tandoor - I grilled the chicken on a cake rack in a very hot (closed) oven on grill until it was beginning to char. It was absolutely amazing. Tomorrow I will be making it again (because the recipe makes so much leftover garam masala) but this time I am substituting goat for chicken as I have some I need to use up. Where in NZ are you? It is always nice seeing other kiwis who share similar interests. I just bought a really awesome sous vide gadget so I can attempt all of the sous vide recipes in the book too.

ChrisZ: you will love the curry - definitely do it! Show us pics when you are done.

LT Wong: great news! I hope you post some pictures after you do it :)

I made the lasagne last night - big disappointment - the first in the book. I won't repeat it. It was a little bland and the quantities seemed to be a little off - not quite enough of the fondue or sauce and much more fish meat than needed. I used the exact sized dish too.
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#77 Merkinz

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 12:53 AM

Merkinz: my mistake! The tikka masala is from "In Search of Perfection" - not At Home. I should note that I didn't make the tandoor - I grilled the chicken on a cake rack in a very hot (closed) oven on grill until it was beginning to char. It was absolutely amazing. Tomorrow I will be making it again (because the recipe makes so much leftover garam masala) but this time I am substituting goat for chicken as I have some I need to use up. Where in NZ are you? It is always nice seeing other kiwis who share similar interests. I just bought a really awesome sous vide gadget so I can attempt all of the sous vide recipes in the book too.


Hey jfrater, thanks for the extra information on the recipe. I look forward to making it some time soon. Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money? I really enjoy the recipes I've made from HB At Home. I live in Nelson at the moment but hope to return to Wellington sometime next year. I'm hoping to get a Sous Vide for xmas for all the recipes in Modernist Cuisine (and I imagine 'Modernist Cuising At Home' which I have on pre-order). If you are ever interested in getting some of the more exotic (read: expensive) ingredients from MC and want to go halves just let me know, I'd probably be keen!

Cheers.

#78 ChrisZ

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:05 PM

Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?


It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.
It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...

#79 jfrater

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:30 PM

Merkinz: In Search of Total Perfection is the best one to get as it combines recipes from the other "perfection" books. Here is a link to it on Bookdepository - it is $10 cheaper (NZ) to buy it from there with free shipping than Amazon: http://www.bookdepos...l/9781408802441

I just started cooking my first sous vide ever with my new Sous Vide machine (I got it for my birthday) - I am cooking the sous vide pork belly from Heston Blumenthal at Home. It has been in the water bath for 12 hours now. I am very excited - it is such a simple recipe too. I will post some details when it is done :)
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#80 jfrater

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 05:40 PM


Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?


It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.
It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...


I am not sure if you are so inclined, but I believe that torrents are available for all of Heston's shows which is a lifesaver for those of us who don't live in the UK and don't have them broadcast in our own countries.

Also, another book which is worth considering by Heston is "Family Food" - it covers lots of traditional home cooked meals that are easily done by most home cooks - the difference being the little additions he makes to the food to improve it - such as cooking onions with anise first to get a richer meat flavor when combined with beef. It is here: http://www.bookdepos...l/9780140295399

I am lucky enough to have a signed copy which I got at the Fat Duck.
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#81 jfrater

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:20 PM

Tonight I am making the sous vide lamb rack with tapenade and bean and radish salad. The lamb is vacuum packed and ready to cook at 60c for one hour in my sous vide machine. This is one of the simplest meals in the book so far. I will add a photo of the finished dish.

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#82 Merkinz

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:10 PM

If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...


Hey ChrisZ, you know I actually spent alot of time researching the Family Meals book from Adria, and I probably spent an hour in total with the book at a local book store but concluded that it simply wasn't 'up to par'. I've read several reviews online about the large number of errors and sloppy writing in this book (eg. listing an ingredient and stating nowhere to use it) with no errata page by the publisher. :unsure: I have a relatively healty cookbook collection at home and don't mind spending money on good books but I just couldn't bring myself to buy this one. The quality just didn't live up to what it should have.

Merkinz: In Search of Total Perfection is the best one to get as it combines recipes from the other "perfection" books. Here is a link to it on Bookdepository - it is $10 cheaper (NZ) to buy it from there with free shipping than Amazon: http://www.bookdepos...l/9781408802441

I just started cooking my first sous vide ever with my new Sous Vide machine (I got it for my birthday) - I am cooking the sous vide pork belly from Heston Blumenthal at Home. It has been in the water bath for 12 hours now. I am very excited - it is such a simple recipe too. I will post some details when it is done :)


How was the pork belly? :biggrin:



Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?


It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.
It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...


I am not sure if you are so inclined, but I believe that torrents are available for all of Heston's shows which is a lifesaver for those of us who don't live in the UK and don't have them broadcast in our own countries.

Also, another book which is worth considering by Heston is "Family Food" - it covers lots of traditional home cooked meals that are easily done by most home cooks - the difference being the little additions he makes to the food to improve it - such as cooking onions with anise first to get a richer meat flavor when combined with beef. It is here: http://www.bookdepos...l/9780140295399

I am lucky enough to have a signed copy which I got at the Fat Duck.


Thanks for the recommendations guys, I found a few of the HB in search of perfection videos (full length) on Vimeo for free viewing. I also had never heard of "Family Food" until now so I'll definitely be checking that out! :rolleyes:

#83 jfrater

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:23 PM

Here is a photo of my lamb rack - I put a little too much tapenade on the rack and I feel it really overpowered the meat. The lamb itself was incredibly tender and a very nice way to cook lamb chops. I took the step suggested in the book of refrigerating the lamb until it was needed and then frying it - I think it needs some time in the sous vide to bring it back to 60c before frying because I felt it was too cold after fridge to frying pan. The salad was okay but nothing very special. I probably wouldn't make this combination again - but I would consider doing lamb rack this way in future - just without tapenade.

My presentation is a little lacking I am afraid! And I spent hours on the bones cleaning them up.

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#84 Merkinz

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:03 PM

Looks good! Hanging out for a Sous Vide now.

#85 LT Wong

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 05:39 PM

jfrater, you're making me want to go off my (temporary vegan) diet....

I'll be more than happy to take that plate of lamb rack from you.

#86 ChrisTaylor

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 07:34 PM

I thought that the lamb rack was better at a slightly lower temperature and for two or three hours instead of Blumenthal's one. I mean, at least, I was happier with a version in the eG 'sous vide index' than I was with the one from Blumenthal at Home.

Anyway. Tried the scrambled eggs recipe today. First time I've cooked scrambled eggs sous vide. Didn't have any cream on hand so I just used milk and butter. I really liked the texture. Would've been so much better with a little bit of diced crisp bacon ... such a shame that I decided to prepare it on the last day of my vegetarian challenge.

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#87 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 03:58 PM

Hi, the Marmite Consomme recipe has as first ingredient 750 gr of brown butter, used to sweat the vegetables. 750 gr is as much as the amount of liquid being used for the consomme (500 gr reduced wine + 250 gr water). This seems like a typo to me, even though there are a lot of vegetables to sweat (2,5 kg), in fact I did it yesterday using only 150 gr of brown butter. Anyone has made this recipe? How much butter did you use?


EnriqueB....

How did this turn out using the smaller amount of butter? What did you think of the consommé? I'm in the process of making this and was thinking the same to myself....wow! What a lot of butter!!

Did anyone else ever make this? I don't seem to be able to find that someone did.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

#88 EnriqueB

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:45 AM

Hi Todd, it was good but not great, to our taste. I made some research and the 750 g seem to be good amount, it's not a typo. So likely the taste profile changed with the lower amount of butter....

#89 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 05:11 PM

Hi Todd, it was good but not great, to our taste. I made some research and the 750 g seem to be good amount, it's not a typo. So likely the taste profile changed with the lower amount of butter....


Well my friend, I'll let you know as I went full bore! The thing is, is that most of that is recovered. I think the original amount is something like 7.5 sticks of butter here in the US, and from what I recovered as SOLIDIFIED on the top, I weighed and found only about 1.5 sticks as "missing". I fully believe that those went in the can with the used veggies. I plan on clarifying this evening, so will let everyone know!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

#90 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 06:35 AM

marmite-consomme.jpg

Hi Todd, it was good but not great, to our taste. I made some research and the 750 g seem to be good amount, it's not a typo. So likely the taste profile changed with the lower amount of butter....

Well my friend, I'll let you know as I went full bore! The thing is, is that most of that is recovered. I think the original amount is something like 7.5 sticks of butter here in the US, and from what I recovered as SOLIDIFIED on the top, I weighed and found only about 1.5 sticks as "missing". I fully believe that those went in the can with the used veggies. I plan on clarifying this evening, so will let everyone know!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

 

I made the Marmite consommé a few weeks ago.  Just had some over the weekend, and it was good.  Very funny the stunning amount of vegetables that goes into making so very few portions.

 

We did like it, and kind of what Heston said, can be used as a substitute for Beef Broth, which is what it tasted like!  A good complex one though.  I served it with enoki mushrooms and sliced scallions.

 

Cheers...

 

Todd in Chicago







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