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  1. HKDave

    Charcuterie Question about Terrines!

    UK retail sausage meat is spiced. It's 70-90% fairly fatty pork, plus flour or starch as a binder, sometimes some onion, usually mildly seasoned with pepper, nutmeg and maybe a bit of sage. If you're subbing shoulder, I would add fat. Generic US pork shoulder is under 20% fat. UK sausage meat is probably 30-40% fat.
  2. We had a discussion about the various Larousse editions... was it almost a decade ago already?... here: Larousse Gastronomique 1938 (the first edition) As for the original question about the 'best' English edition, as I said back then: "There have been 3 'American' (=English language) editions: 1961, 1988 and 2001 [plus, since that post, a 4th English edition in 2009]. They're quite different; I don't know about 'better'. The book grew from 1000 to 1200 to 1350 pages over the 3 editions and certainly became more up to date. For one thing there's now more than a passing mention of 'foreign' (non-French) foods. But if you use it as a French culinary history reference book - which is what I think it's best at - the 1961 edition is the closest to a translation of the 1938 French original."
  3. HKDave

    Knives - Global G2 vs GF33

    Furi's advertising says "Engineered in Australia", but the knives are made in China. I've also used them and not loved them. ChrisZ, re your original question - G2 or GF33? - you answered it yourself in the first line of your post: "I have been intending to replace my 25+ year old Wusthof chefs knife with something newer and lighter." If you want lighter (and cheaper), choosing between those two, it's the G2. The GF33 is 50% thicker and a lot heavier.
  4. Assuming he's the Chris Wright I think he is, he's in Philly. Try United Refrigeration; they stock vacuum pump oil and have 2 locations near you: 606 Spring Garden and 4111 Whitaker http://www.refrigerants.com/locations2.aspx?cy=US If that doesn't work, here's a Thomasnet listing of vacuum pump oil suppliers in Eastern PA: http://www.thomasnet.com/eastern-pennsylvania/oils-vacuum-pump-54942404-1.html
  5. HKDave

    Fresh Spanish Chorizo

    +1. I think the OP has 2 unrelated issues; the mealiness and the lack of juiciness. The former is is most often caused by not keeping the mix cold, as TheTinCook and others suggest. There's some discussion of how this happens here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/79813-sausages-cook-off-17/page-6 The latter is most likely just not enough fat. Whole commercial pork shoulder is (these days) often about 15% fat. You need at least double that to make a decent juicy sausage. And I agree with EnriqueB's recommendation to use a coarse grind for chorizo, or at least grind the fat coarse.The fat should be visible here. I sometimes add small cubes of fat (sharp knife, almost frozen fat) to my chorizo. For more colour, you can add some unsmoked mild paprika.
  6. HKDave

    White Pepper

    1- Thai and many Chinese dishes. White pepper is the default kind in Thailand and some other parts of Asia (and even Europe). And also in light-coloured western dishes where I don't want black flecks. 2 - Yes, frequently. 3 - Yes, I have a dedicated ginder for white. 4 - Yes, for western dishes I usually grind it very fine to avoid flecks (it's not really 100% white, so finer is better for hiding flecks) 5 - Both. Coarse grind and/or whole for Thai cooking, fine grind for western. 6 - Thai for white pepper. Black pepper from Vietnam or India. Some white pepper can be a bit funky as a result of the frementation used to get the skins off. I avoid those. It's good to find a source where you can smell before you buy... in my case, I'm often buying in markets in Asia, so that's not a problem.
  7. HKDave

    Question about aging meat

    Don't worry about it if you're braising them. Just thaw and cook until tender.
  8. HKDave


    Capelin must be in season; my usual dim sum place has had them as a special the last couple of weeks. They give them a light coating of what I'd guess is cornstarch and deep fry them whole, bones, eggs and all, and plate with a sprinkle of minced quick-fried garlic and chili pepper. Very yummy.
  9. At the risk of sounding a bit geeky, the Victorinox knife you're talking about has kullens, not grantons. The former are indentations in the side of the blade that do not extend to the cutting edge, the latter are indentations that do extend to the cutting edge. Most knives billed as having a "granton edge" actually have kullens. Kullens don't affect sharpening. As far as cutting goes, I've used a lot of Victorinox both with and without kullens as my work knives, and I can't tell much difference. I wouldn't pay one cent extra for a knife with kullens vs one without, let's put it that way.
  10. HKDave

    Combi Ovens

    I've used the countertop Electrolux combi http://tools.professional.electrolux.com/Mirror/Doc/BR/BR_BR-9JDBO_1_34_1_1_9JDBOU.pdf for several years (about 10?) and am less than impressed. It's not very well built for something marketed and priced as a "professional" product, it doesn't steam well at lower temperatures, the oven has worse hot spot problems than some non-convection ovens (and that convection fan can't be turned off, annoying if you're doing things like souffles), the water tray holds enough for barely an hour's worth of steam, and the timer only allows the oven to run for 2 hours before it shuts it off, so it can't do prolonged low-and-slow cooking unattended. And it's not very big; usable interior space is about 22x30cm. On the plus side, it works well as a convection oven and holds temperature better than any other countertop oven I've used, even in the 50c-100c range, where most ovens just don't work. And it is quite portable, which combined with its ability to hold low temperatures, makes it useful for catering. And it takes standard 1/2 pans. For a while there was a very cheap identical-looking China-made knock-off of this available from a Hong Kong supplier, but it's gone. So if you want a cheap combi, especially one that doesn't require plumbing and wiring, your options are still limited - which is why I ended up with this in the first place. The pretty Miele and Gagganeau home units aren't bigger and are a lot more expensive (at least the last I looked) and proper commercial combis like Rationals are another order of magnitude more expensive.
  11. HKDave

    The Terrine Topic

    Indeed. That's a nice-looking terrine. In fact, pates and terrines are as traditional a use of sous vide as there is. The technique was originally developed for cooking foie pate by Chef Georges Pralus at Troisgros in the mid-1960s. Cooking terrines and the like remains one of its most useful applications. Baron Shapiro, your minimum temperatures are correct if one only takes the terrine to that temperature mometarily. But the temperatures Nick used are safe when the length of time the product is held at that internal temperature is factored in.
  12. It's not normal, but it's not necessarily dangerous. Pork fat starts to melt around 30c/85f, so most likely you liquefied some fat during the incubation. The fat pooled just inside the casing and is now leaking out through the holes you made to get rid of air bubbles. As long as you followed the usual safety practices, things still smell good, and you're not getting coloured mold or anything else nasty, the salami will probably be usable. But it may end up drier than usual, and if you're using weight loss to estimate when it's lost enough moisture to finish hanging, remember you've also lost some weight from the fat loss.
  13. HKDave

    Lentil confusion

    I use 'French green' or 'Speckled green' (which in my case come from Canada) or Puy lentils interchangeably and don't notice any significant difference. They're the same thing (Lens esculenta puyensis, if you want to get geeky about it) grown in different places. If anything, I prefer the Canadian, which also happen to be the cheapest. The key is that they should be small, dark green with dark blue speckles. Here's a photo: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:Puy_lentils_wooden_bowl.jpg If you've got brown and tan lentils mixed in, they're probably not all the same kind or quality.
  14. HKDave

    Turkey Brining

    It's impossible to say without being able to smell the brine. Used brine usually doesn't smell great, but it shouldn't smell very strong. Given that turkey wings are not expensive and hospital bills are, you may want to err on the side of caution and chuck them. I assume you're following this: http://modernistcuisine.com/2010/11/a-modernist-thanksgiving/ To avoid a repeat with the same uncertainty, I suggest following their method of a dry rub rather than a liquid brine. If you want to stick with liquid, I'd suggest a stronger brine with a shorter soak time.
  15. HKDave

    Storing natural hog casings

    I've successfully stored hog casings for a year without brine. Just throw a handful of salt on them and leave them in a plastic bag in the back of the fridge. Been doing this for years; it was recommended to me by a casing supplier as the best way to store casings long-term. I've never had a need to freeze casings, but a chef friend does it all the time and hasn't had any problems. It seems to be gospel that you need to run water through the inside of hog casings to rinse them out, despite the fact that it can be a pain in the butt if you're doing volume. I used to do it, too, but I've since worked at high-end artisanal charcuterie makers that don't, and there was nothing wrong with their product. They just soak casings for a few hours, none of the running-water-down-the-inside. I now usually don't bother with this step, and haven't noticed any difference.