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Everything posted by wattacetti

  1. Those are really good how-to photos you've posted on your SmugBug site. And your plate looks much nicer than mine. I use your boning method when I debone quail because I am much more likely to stab myself on the little beasts. I stopped doing it for chickens because I was just too lazy to either tie the package back up or truss it like you've done (my sewing skills are only adequate). I am toying with the idea of a smaller variant on the turducken (duck, chicken, quail), so yours sounds like the way to go for preliminary experimentation.
  2. I haven't been around long enough this summer to cook much of anything, but the current cold front and this thread got me in the mood to roast a bird. Since gus_tatory asked for a quick demo on deboning via the glove method, that's what I did. One four pound air-chilled bird. One paring knife, one boning knife. Cut out the wishbone from the front and expose the wing joint from the inside. Cut through each so that you get something that looks like the following: Carefully cut away the shoulder blades and then use your fingers and a paring knife to move the meat away from the bones. Turn the bird as you're doing this. When working on the back, be very careful because it's very thin. Cut through to the little oysters of meat at the top of the hip. Turn the bird around and cut the meat away from the bones via the abdominal cavity. Then pull out the breastbone. Expose the thigh bone and then cut it away. If you want, continue cutting out the drumsticks as well, but I find that the final roasted bird doesn't look right. Cut underneath the pelvis on both sides, and then gently use a knife to roll the skin away from the bone. Cut the backbone loose and remove (that's chicken blood on my fingers in case anyone's wondering). One bird with only bones in the drumsticks and wings… … and a little pile of bones destined for fond blanc. Total time for this bird: 20 minutes. Total time when I don't stop after every cut to take photos: less than 5 minutes. The chicken skeleton gets replaced with porky goodness. I minced a pound of boneless pork loin chops and mixed with cooked mirepoix, lobster mushrooms, duck fat and port. Additional mirepoix and lobster mushroom mix is stuffed under the skin. By the way, this wasn't enough pork; I would double the amount for similar-sized birds in the future. The reformed bird needs to be tied to reshape it back into something which looks like it has a skeleton. The bamboo skewer isn't trimmed because I use it as an anchor point for the truss. Ready for roasting. After roasting (note to self: don't rub the bird with mirin; the stuff has sugar in it). 425ºF for 20 minutes, 375ºF for 60 minutes, rested for 20 minutes. Sliced bird (look ma, no bones!). Plated bird (been a while since I plated anything - need practice). Sauce made with port, pan drippings and demi-glace, and adjusted with honey, salt and cayenne. Served with a 2001 Dr. H Thanisch Bernkasteler Badstube Spätlese because I wanted to try out my new Riedel Riesling glasses.
  3. I've already gone through this adventure and it personally wouldn't be on my list of "must-repeat" experiences. However, if I was the one being invited, I'd like to at least see Crêpes Suzette.
  4. If that's the photo of the knife, it looks like a Victorinox or Forschner (pretty good for stamped blades). Whether it's worth it depends on the current state of your knife skills. If you've been spending your life hacking away with $19.95 value set from Loblaws/Maxi/Zellers/Canadian Tire it would be worthwhile to do it just to relearn.
  5. All part of the game. The good ones are those who tell you that they'd like to speak with you about an opportunity and then ask whether you have time outside of work to do so. My personal favorite from the flip side: there was one headhunter who described a job that I did find interesting, but she went on to tell me that she didn't think I was a suitable candidate but that she had heard that I knew of some.
  6. Yes. Alcoholic ones are free when one flies Air Canada across the Atlantic.
  7. [cue music] "Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed…" [/cue music]
  8. I've had Wagyu and Kobe before (both nice) but CCeP doesn't quite fit the temple to protein worship that we had been looking for.
  9. That's interesting. Perhaps doing a quick rinse of the salmon roe before placing it into the shooter?
  10. Thank you to all who made suggestions. We wound up going to APDC because several hadn't been there before or hadn't been in a long while. For me it was okay - food is better than the last time I visited and paid attention (about 2 years ago?). I got to have some courgette flowers and the cochinnailles was interesting, but a miss on the chop. The most interesting of the mains was the bison rib: all 50 cm of so of bone was on the plate but they had mercifully deboned the meat so that one could eat it. The wine list still jumps (very) quickly into the 3 digits and service is still uneven but overall, APDC is better. Go again? Perhaps when it's bitterly cold and everyone has a Questran shooter already under their belts. I don't know how those Japanese waifs were doing it, but it's too heavy for a summer meal. Walnuts: thank you for your suggestion of Restaurant du Vieux-Port. What you have done sounds very interesting. Haven't been since oh, the 90s but a Vancouver friend of mine visits you regularly when she's in town because she considers you to be a sure bet. I'll be sure to make time to go with her the next time she's around. LHarrison: Where's the Ponderosa when you need one?
  11. You were pretty clear from the beginning; first thing is to successfully make an orb. Afterwards I start playing with frozen starters.
  12. I've done this at several restaurants that I have frequented regularly, but not at establishments I'm eating at while on the road: constant hopping on/off RJs means that potential food poisoning has to be avoided at all costs. Anyway, when I've done it, I'll either do what you do, let them choose based on the wine that I choose, or go fully blind. In the latter case, I've been asked if I'm willing to try new plates that the kitchen is developing. I find that it's always an interesting experience and there are very few duds coming to table.
  13. I've had this before at a local Vietnamese restaurant called La Petite Tonkinoise. Fried like tempura and served with mayo and fish sauce.
  14. I'm pretty sure that the roe doesn't float, but I just still picture these little orange balls swirling around the top of the shooter glass. Don't know about beer with this; it's not something I would consider as a shooter.
  15. I'd go with tomato water or sake if an alcohol hit is required. Was the intent of the sparkling wine to simply give a clear medium, or does the fizz also impart something to the shooter? Don't know about replacing the uni; I like that particular combination and just have this image of these salmon eggs floating to the top of this thing.
  16. There are also some managers who hide odd-stock to make available to interested customers (e.g. some small-production Californian Pinot Noir, Clos Apalta).
  17. Certainly made me I can sort of picture you in that Ponderosa outfit giving everyone a smile as you dabbed at dessert. Nothing nearly so interesting as the rest of you. Remember hosting one dinner where Marc de Canck (owner/operator of La Chronique) spent the evening giving my table the Look of Death because one of my invitees changed her mind about the soup she ordered and had a very public hissy fit until they got her a salad. Or drunken Christmas luncheon when I was working contract: owner's wife insisted everyone wear those reindeer antler deely-bobbers while he got drunk and started doing his octopus imitation with anyone with two X chromosomes. Getting stuff spilt on me? On par with the course. Water, wine, lot beverages, the odd piece of foie gras sailing across the table…
  18. I look at it as the SAQ's attempt to recreate the shopping experience at Winner's.
  19. I have never received an English flyer from the SAQ. Good catch on the massive typos. I am not interested in those wines and didn't bother to read the blurbs.
  20. Yes, but back in the 70s, they and Ponderosa were big. And if you're stuck on Route 17 in Paramus, they're one of the few choices available.
  21. Not everyone on the Courrier Vinicole list is a serious collector or speculator, and some (like me) didn't get our catalogs until late. They could have timed things a bit better but I guess they have to do their own numbers. I'll probably pick through some of the Burgognes. Also not too worried that the dessert wines are splits; I generally only serve them and don't often imbibe.
  22. Anyone else get their Signature flyer in the mail today? The twenty bottles of 2000 Le Pin are a relative steal at $2620.00 apiece (down from $3495) but it looks like mostly good producers from lesser years. I wonder whose bright idea it was to have this sale overlap the SAQ's deadline for en primeur sales of the 2005 Bordeaux?
  23. Once I get a chance to start playing, I'm going to have to see how frozen individual servings will work. I can see that as the best way (for me anyway) to transport to the site. I don't think I'm that inclined to lug two slurries. The egg yolk idea is to create something which looks like a yolk. I know several people who are put off by the sight of sunny-side-up eggs and ondo tamago so evil side says it might be interesting to play with their perceptions (I am ready to serve them in real egg shells and use red tobiko to make them look fertilized). The straight egg yolk ravioli would be interesting too, but let's see how well I can do spherification. Time to look up photos of Mr. Dufresne's creation.
  24. 2006 is will most likely become the year where I will have eaten more meals in restaurants than at home. I personally prefer a table but I'll take the bar if I see that the establishment is busy. I don't think you're missing anything from not taking the table but it's often more quiet and a better bet to unwind especially if the day has gone to hell. My experience however has been that service at the table is better than that at the bar. And always being nice to staff does pay off in the long run. If you're having a crappy one, let them know in advance.
  25. Thomasein: Thanks for this suggestion. I'm going to keep Garde-Manger in mind for other purposes but the bavette is a steak/frites thing and the need is for grilled pieces of cow. LHarrison: You're not the only person who I've heard say that about Pur. Actually thought of another one - the Alouette on Ste-Catherine but I'll give that one a miss too. Clock's ticking. Perhaps time to stop being such a control freak and consider which one of the temples to protein the rest of the group might want to visit.
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