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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. I don't think it's universal. I've got French goose fat here that's snow white, and Chinese duck fat I rendered myself that's darker - the opposite of your experience.
  4. My recipe is derived from Michel Richard's 'Faux Gras' from Happy in the Kitchen. No eggs, no pre-cooking the liver, no straining. Just lots and lots of fat. Saute but don't brown 200ml minced onion and 1 clove microplaned garlic. Add 125ml cream and a splash of cognac. Cover and cook until soft. Off the heat melt in 250g goose or duck fat (Richard uses butter here; I strongly prefer goose fat, or a 50/50 goose fat/butter mix). Add salt, white pep and a bit of grated nutmeg or whatever you like to taste. Figure 1t salt if you use unsalted butter or fat, plus 1/2t white pepper, and adjust from there. Like all pates, it needs to be saltier than you think. Puree everything with 500g of well-trimmed chix liver. No need to strain it unless you're working at a really classy place. Divide into 2x500ml ramikins, cover with foil, cook in bain-marie at 300F until set in the middle, about 40min if you started with boiling water in the bain, and you did, didn't you? Let cool, then top with a mix of parsley and melted salted goose fat (Richard uses parsley gelee here; the traditional aspic works, too). I am always surprised by how much of this stuff people can eat.
  5. HKDave

    Is Basting Nonsense?

    Yes. Pouring pan juices on the surface of a roast does close to nothing. And opening and closing the oven door every 20 minutes just slows down the cooking, which is a major minus. Try this; cook 2 cheap chickens with a probe thermometer. One without opening the oven; the other basting like a monkey, both to the same internal temperature. See if there's any difference in the finished product on the plate (other than the basted one took about 25% longer than the other to reach temperature). There won't be. As you say, it's cooking time, temp and internal fat. mkayahara, re "evaporative cooling"; try this. Next time you cook a roast, half way through, put your hand on the meat. You'll be able to without burning yourself, at least for a couple of seconds; the surface of a roast takes a long time to reach oven temperature. Now ladle some pan juices over your hand. You still think the pan juices are cooling the meat by evaporation? I don't think so. The juices were far hotter than the meat, right? Now go to the hospital and get that nasty burn looked after.
  6. HKDave

    Saucisse de Lyon

    There's a recipe in "The Professional Charcuterie Series". These are the recipes taught to French charcuterie students. Paraphrased: Cervelas de Lyon Truffe For 5kg: 2.5kg lean pork shoulder, cubed 1.5kg pork breast, trimmed, cubed 1kg fatback, cubed 90g curing salt (this is European curing salt, not US - see note below) 10g sugar 5g quatre epices 50ml Maderia (150g truffles) (Pistachios) Marinade meat and fat with salt+spices overnight. Grind 8mm (1/4"). 40-60mm beef or pork casing. They say dry for 24-48hr at 20C (room temp) after stuffing; personally I dry sausage in the fridge. They suggest a tricky way of stuffing such that the truffles are visible through the skin; I prefer this sausage without truffles. Note re curing salt: 90g of Euro curing salt contains 0.54g of sodium nitrite. If you are using US #1 curing salt, the conversion would be to use 8.5g of #1 cure (=0.53g of sodium nitrite) plus 82g plain salt instead of the Euro curing salt in the recipe. Lyonaisse sausage should appear rosy; hence the drying time to make the skin as transparent as possible and the use of cure.
  7. I find many gravlax cures overpowering. A little booze or herb goes a long way. My current favorite liquor in gravlax is sake. The flavour works well with salmon, but doesn't dominate. My usual recipe uses less salt than any I've seen, just a little light brown sugar to balance the salt, and a splash of sake or other off-dry rice wine. That's it. I might roll the skin side in dill just before I slice it, but I usually don't put herbs in the cure. Again, I find they often overpower the salmon.
  8. Close, it's both the top and bottom round together. Basically it's the whole round primal with the toughest bits (shank, heel) removed. You're right about not serving it over Med Rare. Because it's so massive, there's a lot of carry-over, so you need to pull it from the oven much earlier than you think.
  9. Tri-tips and ball tip roasts are small. If you're doing carved roast beef for 200 people, you don't want small. Your carving waste will be high (too many 'end pieces' and shrapnel; not enough nice slices) and it'll be a PITA. You want big. A common cut for big catering gigs is a steamship round (aka Baron of Beef), NAMP 166B, or similar. They're not expensive and are 30-50lbs each. Carefully cooked and sliced thin against the grain, there won't be much difference on the plate between this and sirloin tip. It's lean, so jus is your friend. Buy small ones if you're doing this in domestic ovens. If the clients want to pay for it, you could do prime rib roasts. These will cook faster, look classier on a carving station and are far tastier, but your meat cost will be 3-4x higher. Also at the high end, consider whole strip loins, which will give you nice small slices - a plus if there's more than one protein to fit on the plate. Figure about 8oz raw trimmed boneless protein weight per guest (that's your beef and pork combined), more if there are a lot of big eaters. You might find this site helpful for estimating quantities: http://www.angelfire.com/bc/incredible/Buffetchart2.html
  10. I just got the new Marianski ('Home Production of Quality Meats and Sausages') and sadly, it suffers from the same problems as their earlier books. Some of the material is re-hashed from their previous books (there's some text they've re-used 3 or 4 times now), the writing is dying for a proofreader and an editor, the binding is cheap... Once again, there's a lot of excellent info here, but as a book, it's an amateurish effort. Many parts are ambiguous and are likely to be confusing for beginners.
  11. Thanks, unfortunately the only 14" guard that Messermeister makes is for a slicer and it's too thin (narrow?) to accommodate the curvature of either the cimeter or the butcher blade. The same problem exists with the plastic file binder clips. What I need is a guard that is as tall (wide?) as a chef's knife guard but 14 inches long - around 2.5" x 14". You're right, my 14" guard is for a slicer and it's only about 1" deep. OK, how about this for a simple solution: there's no rule that says you can't use 2 shorter chef's knife guards, like a 6" and an 8", on the same knife.
  12. The Messermeister guards come in 14". If you can't find them locally, a quick Google finds them on surlatable.com and knifemerchant.com for about $4 each. http://www.knifemerchant.com/products.asp?categoryTraversalList=0,25,26&categoryID=26 Scroll about 1/2 way down the page.
  13. I'd second that. I've used Kenwoods and KitchenAids in commercial and home settings. Kenwood is the tougher machine.
  14. It's about $45 shipping for an EdgePro Apex kit from USA to Hong Kong (ordered direct from EP; may vary from distributors). I imagine Aus would be similar, but you may have to pay import duty. If shipping is an issue, there's a similar - and in some ways better - home-grown Aussie sharpening system you might want to check out. http://www.ezesharp.com.au/sharpener.html Comparison of the two here: http://www.proknifesharpeners.com/
  15. No idea what US availability might be, but Kenwood bowls can be found in Stainless, Plastic and a pyrex-like milky Glass. The current, twin-handle stainless bowls are expensive (roughly £65/$100 retail in the UK), but good-condition older ones (without handles) go for about 1/3 of that on eBay UK. All same size (ie Chef-size or Major-size) bowls from over the years should be interchangeable for mixing purposes (but do check the height adjustment on each of your beaters), but that certainly doesn't extend to bowl lids, and might not extend to bowl accessories like the "Colander & Sieve". Better a late response than never... Kenwood stand mixers were most recently sold in the USA under the DeLonghi name; that's the company that has owned Kenwood since 2001. For parts and accessories for the stand mixers in the US: http://www.delonghi-accessories.com/models.asp?cat=223 I don't see the bowls listed, but they would be the first people I'd ask. US tel 800-865-6330.
  16. HKDave

    Beef cut substitute

    Yes. You're going to tenderize the meat anyway; the cut is not critical. Most lean round steaks or sirloin butt steaks will work fine.
  17. Well, my replacement DFP450W failed after fairly light use (display stopped working), so I'm now waiting for them to deliver the 2nd replacement under the lifetime warranty. This is getting tedious. And my 3rd Cooper DFP450W died, again from the display failing, after extremely light use - like less than half a dozen times. I'm not going to bother returning it for a 4th replacement under their lifetime warranty; this time it's going into the garbage. I've ordered a Thermoworks RT301WA on sale for $19 to take its place. http://www.thermoworks.com/products/low_cost/rt301wa.html My apologies to anyone who bought the Cooper on my recommendation up-thread; hopefully yours lasted longer than mine.
  18. Beef fat works, but not as well as pork. Get firm fat, and you'll need about 1 part fat to 4 parts venison, maybe more. Trim the venison very well; no connective tissue or glands. I like to season the trimmed meat and chill overnight before grinding. I find the recipe in Charcuterie a little hot-dog-like. With venison I like juniper + a strong herb like rosemary or sage + maybe some red wine. Paul's suggestion to check Len Poli's site is a good one; my usual recipe looks a lot like his: http://lpoli.50webs.com/index_files/VenisonFreshSausage.pdf In your case, for the first 4 ingredients sub 4lb venison and 1 lb beef fat. Here's another similar recipe: http://honest-food.net/wild-game/venison-recipes/ground-meat-dishes/venison-sausage-with-sage-and-juniper/ If you're going to smoke them, reduce the recipe salt quantity by 2.6g per kg of mix, and add 2.6g/kg of #1 curing salt. Hot smoke at 80c to 65c internal. Milk powder... I don't think you need it to get a good result in this kind of sausage. And if the reason you're not using pork is kosher, combining milk and meat would be an issue. Actually, if the reason is kosher or halal, then shot or bow-hunted deer won't qualify; they haven't been slaughtered properly. I assume you're not using pork casings. Since you're making 150lbs, I'd suggest making (and smoking) a small test batch first to check seasoning and texture. And I hope the family is grateful; 150lbs is going to be many hours of work if you're using home equipment.
  19. Brine: unless you've managed to get a turkey that isn't already 'enhanced' with additional water (and most are), I wouldn't bother. If you do brine, it takes a lot less space in the fridge to do it after it's de-boned. Season the inside of the carcass before stuffing. Cooking time: Varies depending on the oven and how tightly it's rolled. It will be likely be between 2 and 3 hours for 7kg at 350F. Don't bother checking temps before 1hr45min. Method: the bags work, but unless you have a high-quality air-chilled bird you'll find a bunch of liquid in the bottom of the bag after an hour or so, so your roulade will be braising rather than roasting. The solution is to finish it out of the bag after 1.5hr so the skin can crisp. I'd go with a shallow roasting pan with some sliced onion in the bottom (prevents sticking, adds flavour to the drippings for gravy). Rather than baste, turn it occasionally - maybe every 20 or 30 min - so the skin browns evenly. The less opening and closing of the oven door, the faster it cooks.
  20. I've got on the shelf: Bertolli Ruhlman Kutas Marianski x3 (and have just ordered the 4th) Grigson Terrines, Pates and Galantines (US Edition, Time-Life Good Cook Series) Cottenceau et al 'Professional Charcuterie Series' v1+2 Davies 'Manual of a Traditional Bacon Curer' The book I reach for most, and the one I'd recommend to anyone starting out, is Bertolli. Ruhlman is a decent collection of recipes (despite a few errors), but that one chapter on Italian charcuterie in Bertolli provides a better education on how and why you're doing what you're doing, and provides a good foundation to developing your own recipes. And his prosciutto method works; I've used it for years. If you just want recipes, Len Poli's website is excellent and free. Kutas is mainly of historical interest; there are better now. The recipes are all by US volume, not weight, and the emphasis is on bulk production. I use it only for seeing what spices he thought might be in something, and I often don't agree. The Marianski books... ('Meat Smoking...', 'Polish Sausages' and 'The Art of...'). Not for beginners. There is great info in these books but they are not good writers, there's huge overlap of material between the (cheaply-bound) books and the early editions (from Outskirts Press) didn't have an index. If they would hire an editor (please!) and designer, these could be distilled into one really good book; in their current forms they are rough going. But if you want recipes for Polish sausages, their book is the one. I'm hoping their latest is an improvement, but I said that the last 3 times I bought their books, too. Grigson is also of historical interest. As has been pointed out, you have to modernize her use of saltpeter to sodium nitrite-based curing salt, but if you understand the basics, that's easy. Good reference for traditional French recipes, and her casual approach is also a reminder that it's just cooking, not rocket science. The Time-Life series is long out of print but available. Very well written and illustrated. If you want lots of how-to pictures on terrines, this is a great book, and is more useful than Reynaud for a fraction the price. Nothing on sausage or curing. The US and UK editions are not the same (true of the whole series). The Professional Charcuterie Series is very expensive, and hard to find. It's still in print, barely. The cheapest place to buy them is Kitchen Arts and Letters in NYC, certainly not any of the guys on Amazon, some of whom are charging laughable prices. Only the first 2 volumes are available in English (vol 1 = sausage, ham, rillettes; vol 2 = pate, terrines); the 3rd volume, on seafood charcuterie, wasn't translated. These appear to be the textbooks of CEPROC, the French charcuterie school, and when it comes to French charcuterie, these are the reference books. For instance, there's a full chapter on blood sausage alone. Excellent photos. Almost nothing on dry-cured, however; in France, that apparently requires an apprenticeship. And curing salt in here is European, not American, so you have to know what you're doing to adjust the recipes. Davies is educational because it's one of the few books I've found on traditional British charcuterie. As the title suggest, the emphasis is on bacon, but there's much more. However, it's not a "how-to" book; before the Introduction he cautions that this is how it was done back in the day and the recipes don't meet modern regulations. And the recipes (all in Imperial measure) refer to different kinds of natural salts that I have no idea if are still available. Not for beginners, but lots of information. I've read and have just ordered: Frentz 'Charcuterie Specialties' (out of print but available, old-school French recipes). I've read and don't recommend: Sonnenschmidt 'Charcuterie'(surprisingly sloppy work from the author of 'Garde Manger', very poor value) Coxe 'The Great Book of Sausages' (not 'Great' at all) Livingston 'Sausage' (meh) Kinsella 'Professional Charcuterie' (Ruhlman does it better) Reynaud 'Terrine' (like his 'Pork and Sons', a very pretty book, but a pretty useless one for cooking) I think the Great Charcuterie Book has yet to be written...
  21. Chef Tony is still at NWCAV (he's part owner) and is still teaching Serious Foodie: http://www.nwcav.com/blog/?p=597 I went through the Professional Culinary program there a few years ago and would have no hesitation recommending either their Pro or Foodie classes.
  22. A friend returning from Macau today advises that Henri's Galley now has the ingredients to their Gourmet Magazine African Chicken recipe printed on their paper placemats, and it's almost identical to the one I posted years ago upthread and in RecipeGullet. The only significant difference is that the recipe has 1/2 bay leaf, not 2 as I posted. If someone knows how I can edit this in RecipeGullet, please PM me.
  23. Piri piri chicken is very much related to African chicken; they're both dishes of the old Portuguese empire. "Piri piri" is a Brazilian tribal name for small red chili peppers. The Portuguese brought chilies to Africa from their American colonies, and then later brought them to Asia, including Macau. There were no chili peppers in Asia (and that includes the Thai, Indian and Sichuan cuisines - hard to imagine!) before the Portuguese brought them in the 1500s. African chicken basically starts as Piri piri chicken but has the additional sauce, the 'African' ingredient being the peanuts, which originated in Africa and arrived in Asia by the same route. Bang Bang chicken is probably unrelated. It's a Sichuan dish (aka "Strange Flavour Chicken"; both are literal translations of Mandarin names) and is classically made with sesame paste, although it's not uncommon to see it garnished with chopped peanuts these days. It's also served as an appetizer rather than a main.
  24. Thunderbird is a Canadian company that has 2 factories in China. The industry standard for attachments (and common attachment parts, like grinder plates and blades) isn't perfect. A couple of times in the last year I've had to fit attachments with different brands of mixers, and each time filing was required to make it work. But in the end they all were made to work, sort-of.
  25. It's more likely a metal ion issue. Fava beans contain anthocyanin and possibly anthoxanthins, both of which are water-soluble, so after cooking they end up in the water. And both react with metal. From McGee 2nd edition page 281: "And traces of metals in the cooking liquid can generate some very peculiar colors: some anthocyanins and anthoxanthins form grayish, green, blue, red, or brown complexes with iron, aluminum, and tin." Even though your pot was stainless, it still could have leached some metal into the water over the time it was sitting on the stove. Or the metal could have come from a stirring spoon, strainer or ladle. This is different than what happens to asparagus or okra... the pigment in those is chlorophyll, which as Kerry Beal noted, can change colour in the presence of acid. But with anthocyanin, a bit of acid does the opposite; it prevents the colour from changing.
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