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Posts posted by wattacetti

  1. I was very happy with the lamb and not so happy with the duck..

    I only cooked duck twice but, nothing has come close to pan searing a duck breast and finishing in the oven yet..

    I SV skinless duck breast similar to what NathanM and BryanZ have described: moulard breasts with salt, pepper, little bit of solidified duck fat at 130ºF for about 3 hours. When they come out I color them in a pan with some butter and a blowtorch. Maillard goodness, evenly-colored tender duck.

    Still playing with the best way to do crispy skin as accompaniment. Haven't quite worked out the crispy transparent skin chip technique but have tried and like Blumenthal's skin crochet.

  2. Too bad about the feet: great snack food and also very useful in enriching stock if you don't want to eat them.

    Kamozawa & Talbot over at Ideas in Food were making lardons from the combs (click here for link).

    Blumenthal was watching a chef identified as "Massimo" poach a proto-egg, replace the yolk with ragú, and serve it on a fried tagliatelle cracker.

  3. Torakris has eaten chicken brain (I remember her chicken sashimi post from a few years back), and lots of people have talked about using things like the cockscomb if you have them.

    When we used to get feather-on chickens we did keep as many of the proto-eggs as we could get; they would be served in a variety of forms, but I remember soups and steamed dishes mostly.

    Heston Blumenthal watched an Italian chef use them for a somewhat avant-garde version of tagliatelle alla Bolognese.

    Edit: forgot that the entire bird (head to feet) is entirely used in whatever whole chicken dish one gets in Asia. Just a bunch of extra bits in the pot really.

  4. I did use Waring's laboratory "tissue homogenizers" when still in the lab, and sort-of wish that I had found a way to retain its services. 4L capacity, could whip raw mussels (and other things) into smooth liquid without trying. $4K is a bit steep though ($2K for the blender, $2K for the 4L bowl).

    I have seen Waring's home blenders and they seem to be fine (cloverleaf or no), but I'm personally leaning towards a Vita-Mix.

  5. The only one that I have (Ikea's Real Swedish Food Book) was a bargain: "free with the purchase of a $5.99 Manager's Special meatball meal" at the Port Coquitlam Ikea.

    It's got color photos and I've looked through it as a plating cross-reference for several Scandinavian recipes. It is surprisingly consistent against the recipes even with the product placement.

    I did get into trouble over the meatballs because my former manager in all seriousness used it as an example of poor fiscal stewardship at review time. :huh:

  6. That looks really great . . . but shouldn't a soup have at least some liquid?

    Maybe you could elaborate?

    Liquid? :laugh:

    I was originally going to serve a hot consommé with the oxtail wrapped as a raviolo but decided that would reek of effort. Thought I would get a better laugh if I ripped off the old Chunky commercials and got people to eat it with a fork.

    The oxtail is gelatinous enough that the broth will set up nicely even after clarification, but it stays light enough that it melts to a (sticky) liquid when you put it on your tongue.

  7. If you stay in the US for 48 hours, you're allowed to bring back $400 CND in goods, no tax, no duty.

    Not quite.

    < 24 hours = no exemptions

    24-48 hours = $50 exemption per person (no alcohol too)

    48 hours to 7 days = $200 exemption per person

    > 7 days = $750 exemption per person

  8. Just saw an ad which promoted Nadia Boudreau as the chef of La Gaudriole. Odd but when I loaded the restaurant's website, the previous site is no longer there and there's essentially placeholder text.

    So… does anyone know what happened with the original chef/owner Marc Vézina?

    I'd like to know since I liked his food.

  9. Apart from giving it a weird undertone taste? In theory it should correct the pH but in practice all the other advice is the better way to go.

    I generally use honey rather than sugar for this type of sauce (personal quirky thing).

  10. Savory Scallops: Parsnip puree', basil oil, Thyme


    I see a happy face.

    However, out of the four I'm for the hot and angry scallop, though I'd prefer to re-think the accompaniments to the scallop itself. Perhaps something small and cool/soothing/crunchy for all that chili oil and to act as a counterpoint to the texture of the scallop.

    Presentation-wise, I'm also for a cleaner look for dropping the lemons; unless they're being used, drop them.

    Would you be willing to post photos of the final scallop selection as well as other elements from your tasting menu?

  11. 150 pounds of blank canvas oink - lucky you! (seriously)

    The others have already covered most of what I would have suggested but the big preliminary decision really is: am I going to share this or is this going to be just for my family?

    I'm assuming the latter. Immediate consumption of some of it obviously, but pork to be broken down and IQF using the vacuum sealer, pork to be preserved (e.g. ham/prosciutto, sausages, lardo, bacon/pancetta, lomo), rendered fat, bones for stock, and all that crackling. Bladder to cook a chicken with, blood for morcilla. Shouldn't really be that much left (maybe some hair and some bits that you can't really use).

    How are you dividing the offal? I'd let someone else call dibs on the brain and the lungs but would try and keep everything else.

    Don't forget to make gelatin because there's always room for jell-o.

  12. SV @ 60C+/- 3hrs. (how's that for a cryptic food-nerd sentence?)

    It'll be cooked but I think the legs may be tough. The SV and the duck confit threads have discussed confit legs and I remember that cooking times were significantly longer than 3 hours.

    May I ask that you please post photos of how they look coming out of the bag, as well your impressions on the taste and texture?

  13. My home version of SV is a stockpot on the stove at 60C +/- a few degrees. Those bags in which they are stored look better than what my vacuum sealer can do so I'm thinking "why not stick them in the bath as is, pricetags and all?"

    Not being able to add aromatics perhaps? Possibility that bags are "boilable"?

  14. I'd probably serve a sparkler, a big-ish white, a nice red and if I was feeling grand, an assortment of dessert wines, including a red and a white.

    I've typically planned a bottle a course, with the position of the sparklers and stickies dependent on the menu. Then again, that only works if you've got really serious drinkers or enough diners to consume the entire bottle at each course.

    I think I'll have to consider a formal progression the next time I do a tasting just to see how it works; I've usually been atypical whenever I've planned meals.

  15. You are so right that I'm confusing the two.  I guess this is a tasting menu; that's what I'm familiar with.

    It was great to know what the courses are and progression for the formal dinner too.

    Well, there's nothing stopping you from re-adapting your menu to a formal Western menu structure. roosterchef21's progression is great:

    amuse (whatever you wanted)

    soup (small portion; replaces amuse #2)

    vegetable (could be your salad; replaces amuse #3)

    Fish (you could modify and insert your pasta here or replace altogether with a straight fish)

    Poultry (chicken wings? how about quail suprêmes)

    Meat (your beef duo)



    If you throw out some of the progression and elect on a non-traditional progression, I'd move the pasta forward. Don't think I'd want a whole lot of starch right before a beef dish.

    Also plenty of recent discussions on relative quantities of food in such a menu.

  16. You'd also have to define the context of a "formal dinner". Melissa's menu (with the exception of the amuse) is a classic Western European progression. I don't think it's the same in an Italian meal, and it's definitely not that for Chinese or Japanese (especially kaiseki).

    Based on the read of your proposed menu, are you confusing a formal menu progression with a tasting menu? They're similar though different beasts.

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