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  1. It's not just Le Creuset cookware, but while Singapore is fantastic in terms of the range of good available, the prices just stink compared to Stateside (no surprise really, but please let me gripe anyway). I wanted to add to my Le Creusent collection but the prices are about 20-30% higher than in the US (retail) and much higher above US outlet prices (like the Le Creuset i got in Gilmore i think 2.5-3 gallons size for something like $70). Unfortunately, it's just not practical to lug those things from the US- cast iron is almost as bad as carrying lead ingots in your check in luggage. PS,try Sia Huat in China Town (i think temple road) for restaurant grade cookware. You wont find the well known US prosumer ware, but they carry other high quality brands. Went shopping for turkey recently btw. SGD8 per kilo. Gawd help us. Goose costs SGD16 per kilo (of course this was at Tanglin Mall, a shopping center catering primarily to expats).
  2. I remember my mom's kinpira-gobou comes with bits of tofu skin (i think similar to what is used in inari-zushi) in additiona to carrots and the distinct sesame oil flavor.
  3. Hi Jackal10- Firstly, welcome to Singapore! Secondly, great baking lesson! It so happens that I've been obsessed with baking the Poilane sourdough recipe from Peter (?) Reinhardt's book, "The Baker's Apprentice". I thought the local Singapore weather would make things difficult for me, but guess what- room temperature here (80F or so) is apparently the ideal condition for fermentation. I suppose it also doesn't hurt that humidity here in the tropics is higher. I made my own natural yeast starter by faithfully following the book's instructions and it worked! Frankly, it's a bitch for a working stiff like me to go through that painstaking 5 day process (never again), so am making sure that the starter is kept alive in my fridge with occaisonal refreshing each time I bake a new loaf. Anyway, the recipe for the Poilane loaf is quite large (10 cups flour in total). The crust forms nicely, but I don't get very large holes in the bread. The real Poilane I had in France didn't have large holes either, but I was hoping to create that effect (and chewy texture) by using mostly white strong flour rather than wholewheat. What am I doing wrong? Here's basically what I do: 1) I refresh the starter with 1 cup starter, 3.5 cups strong flour, 1/2 cup water and mix into a batter 2) I leave in bedroom overnight (because I have airconditioner on, it is more like room temp in temperate climates) 3) by morning, it is nice and bubbly and alive 4) I take one cup, add 2 cups strong white flour to make firm starter, let it rise (4-6 hours) outside, then pop in fridge 5) I follow recipe etc, let it rise overnight in bedroom, form boule, then pop in fridge to retard 6) I take out of fridge 4 hours before baking to let rise, then bake If the dough is cold, it takes longer than the prescribed time for the internal temperature to reach 200F which is what the book says is the correct temperature. Problem is that the outside will tend to burn while inside still is shy of the 200F target (fahrenheit). By the way- to fellow amateurs- do NOT use Pyrex pans as your steam pans!! I found out the hard way with bread no. 3. I did not heat the 2 cups of water all the way to boiling, so when I poured it into the hot pyrex, it exploded! Glass shards (and all the water) fell into my dough, flattening it into a saucer shape. I baked it anyway, to see if I could learn something from the resulting product. Luckily, I didn't get hurt.
  4. rotisserie chicken and linguine w pesto
  5. I know they sell cheese starter kits in the US, but as I live in Singapore and travel most frequently to Oz, I wondered whether such things were available there. Rennet is on top of my list, preferably in dry form. Can you buy stuff like that in retail shops in Oz? Thanks!
  6. Wimpy

    Cooking with blood

    A somewhat related question- I finally found some boudin noir in Singapore. Does anyone know how to cook it? What does it go with? I'm guessing braised sauerkraut and some bread.
  7. Don't forget the humble tamago-zushi (the "omelette" sushi). It may be the cheapest on the menu, but it is hard to make them well. I like mine just a tad underdone, where the center of the egg is stil slight creamy/fluffy. Other favorites include negi-toro temaki (hand roll). For me, however, the king of sushis is the o-toro from the bluefin tuna (hon-maguro, aka the true tuna)!
  8. goma-senbei (sesame studded rice crackers)
  9. Hi guys- I have to make a day trip to Ipoh (via Penang) next week (am based in Spore). Will have time for lunch in Ipoh and dinner in Penang. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  10. Menu planning, i.e. what goes with what.
  11. You'd never guess from the way I eat today, but pater was Ambassador to Austria when I was growing up... Question: does etiquette dictate which way the fork should be positioning when in the act of forking? i.e., let's assume it is proper to hold fork in left hand, is there a further standard on whether fork should be held such that the tines curve concave or convex? Is it a function of holding the utensil "overhand" or "underhand"? Is it just dictated by common sense i.e. for piece of steak, stab in overhand fashion and bring to mouth and when its rice, fork underhand and bring to mouth? I recall it is definitely faux pas to put your knife in your mouth. I am less sure whether it is bad form to balance food on top of the fork (tines facing down) although I never do it as it requires more dexterity than I possess...
  12. I usually put whatever cheese pleases and don't insist on mozzarella all the time. I usually mix low moisture mozarella (i.e. not the soft balls in water) with combination of "stinkier" cheeses such as raclette and havarti or esrom with the occaisonal fontina slice. I usually grate em up in my cuisinart using the appropriate grating wheel. Proportion wise, its half mozzarella, and half stinky cheeses. My general rule is to use milder cheeses (i.e. just mozzarella) if you want to accentuate the flavor of the other topping such as caramelized onions or anchovies. If you are using tomato sauce, then I figure it can stand up to stinkier cheeses. For white pizzas such as blue cheese pizzas, i still layer some mozzarella as a based and crumble blue cheese on top and the occaisonal crottin de chevres.
  13. Pistachio creme brulee
  14. To the Ozzie gulleteers! Greetings, am in Sydney again (come here once a month on business). I heard about a famous pie shop here that celebrities visit and all that. Can you tell me the name of the place and its location? What pie do you recommend I try? Am staying at the ANA Grand Harbour. Is it walking distance? Plan to go to GPO Cheese Shop later this week. Any cheeses I should try or bring back home with me? Cheers,
  15. I just prepared a Beef Wellington last weekend and bunged it in the freezer for baking this coming saturday. Btw, it freezes darn well (I've done it a few times already). I follow the Cook's Illustrated Recipe which is pretty well written. It calls for both duxelles (mushrooms) and pate. In my case, I didn't have any pate on hand so I used fresh duck foie pieces I had left over in the freezer, let it reach near room temp, put between two sheets of plastic wraps and bashed it into a longish, flatish sheet which I peeled and put on top of the filet (before rolling the duxelle over it). The idea is that the fat will melt into the duxelle and crust during the baking process.
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