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HKDave

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Everything posted by HKDave

  1. I've been a twice-a-week regular at the Harbour City Crystal Jade since they opened, but recently have stopped going there as much because the service can be absurdly random (like waiting 40 minutes for food to hit the table while everyone around me, who got seated after me, gets their orders, finishes eating them, and departs...). Can't argue about the food, though; good value and sometimes surprisingly good quality. Their dan dan mein is excellent, my favorite in HK. They are a chain, from Singapore, but not all branches specialize in the same styles of food. Most of the branches in HK are the "Crystal Jade La Mein Xiu Long Bau" variety, same as the TST one. Better xiu long bau can be found across the street at Xin Tai Fung, in Silvercord.
  2. And the inevitable Chinese knock-off, at 1/2 the price... http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/21056179...ING_SLICER.html It's actually not a bad unit; cheap enough that I'm tempted to get one...
  3. Nope, same way as normal. Dry-aged has less moisture, but it doesn't affect the process that much.
  4. HKDave

    Chicken Liver

    There's an interesting recipe for chicken "Faux Gras" in Martin Richard's "Happy in the Kitchen" that uses 1 part butter to 2 parts chix liver. One of my favorite things to do with chicken liver is a variation on the bacon and onions thing: pancetta and sage leaves, with a little bit of a sweet wine pan sauce. I got fed this many years ago, and it's the dish that made me decide to become a cook. Chicken liver is also great on crostini, either roughly mashed with cognac, cream and a little carmelized onion, or in the more traditional Italian version (Google "crostini di fegato" for recipes). Sadistick, here's a reliable recipe for that pasta-sauce-that-includes-liver (a.k.a. ragu di fegato) you were looking for: http://www.saveur.com/article/Food/Ragu-En...-Chicken-Livers
  5. This is a question of perception, so the sweet spot will differ according to taste (some people like funky cheese; some don't). But many studies I've seen say that for typical consumers, it's around 14-28 days - which, unsurprisingly, was what a lot of good beef was aged for before the era of the vac-bag. Beyond that, you're getting slower change and are appealing to a smaller group of consumers who are after a specialty product. The "number of days" thing has become an end in itself. "More days dry-aged = better" is now upscale steakhouse marketing gospel, so the focus is on aging as long as the customer wants with the least weight loss, rather than focusing on the result. That's not to say that there's not great long-dry-aged beef; but that there's probably also less-aged stuff that would do as good in a blind test. I once did a small blind taste test (wet vs dry vs minimal age) with some very high-quality beef, and the results were surprisingly inconclusive. I'd like to try that again on a bigger sample. Those of you who want to read further may find this summary from the US National Cattleman's Ass'n a good starting point; it cites many of the studies done recently: http://www.beefresearch.org/CMDocs/BeefRes...20of%20Beef.pdf
  6. This might be a trend... there's a photo of another pink-Himalayan-salt-block dry-aging room at the Council Oak restaurant in Tampa in this article: http://www.fesmag.com/article/CA6549987.html Salt makes some sense because not many bacteria are going to live on it... but the pink Himalayan thing is a bit silly.
  7. How the heck did I make that mistake? Now lemmie see if I can get the thread title changed... Anyway, here's how they selected the list, according to the South China Morning Post: "The guide's system for ranking restaurants is complicated. First, 84 food critics from 16 countries and regions were asked to name their 20 best restaurants. After that, 1,500 industry professionals and well-known diners cast their votes, then the opinions of 15,000 registered voters were canvassed. A team of undercover reviewers were sent to the top restaurants to reach the final verdict. " Link (maybe): http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menui...ong+Kong&s=News
  8. Could be... or mild white turnip like daikon, or potato, which would probably taste better with the carrot and mushroom. Here's a photo of an even cleaner presentation of the same dish from the chef's home restaurant website: http://www.floconsdesel.com/galeriefds01plat01.htm You don't need to use the exact same ingredients as Chef Renaut; try something different and see what you like (unless you're the entremet at Goodwood Park and you have to cook this exact dish from the photo!)
  9. You usually get less dehydration and trim loss percent using larger pieces. The longer the aging time, the greater this benefit would be. But despite this, most dry-aging these days is sub-primal, probably for ease of handling. Other than that, the process is pretty much standard no matter how long you dry-age: 32-36F, around 80-90% humidity (aging does work at lower humidity, but your weight loss would be appalling over a long aging time), lots of air flow and careful bacteria control (UV light is your friend).
  10. I'm putting this in the China forum because HK got 7 of the 20, more than anywhere else... but the top 20 list as a whole is just strange. 1 Iggy's, Singapore 2 L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Hong Kong 3 Les Amis, Singapore 4 Gunther's, Singapore 5 Mozaic, Bali 6 Robuchon a Galera, Macau 7 Garibaldi, Singapore 8 Yung Kee, Hong Kong 9 Hutong, Hong Kong 10 Antonio's Fine Dining, Tagaytay, Philippines 11 Caprice, Hong Kong 12 Zuma, Hong Kong 13 L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Tokyo 14 Bukhara, New Delhi 15 Grissini, Hong Kong 16 Nobu, Hong Kong 17 M on the Bund, Shanghai 18 Fook Lam Moon, Hong Kong 19 Zanotti II Ristorante Italiano, Bangkok 20 Kyubey, Tokyo Huh? The best restaurant in Japan (and the only one that makes the top 20!) is a Robuchon? The best restaurant in Thailand is... Italian? The best restaurant in China is... vaguely Australian? The best Chinese restaurant in Asia is... Yung Kee? I like Yung Kee a lot, but to call it the best Chinese restaurant in Asia (or even Hong Kong) is absurd.
  11. There are two dishes that use this name... The first is a savory version of the dessert mille-feuille: Bake until brown 3 or 4 pieces of puff pastry serving size (maybe 4cm x 9cm), set aside. Roast thin slices of vegetables, set aside. Layer puff, veggies, puff, veggies etc, top with puff. Just like a dessert mille-feuille. Re-heat for a couple of minutes before service. You can glaze/garnish one of the pieces of puff at first baking for presentation (sesame seeds, parmesan - whatever's appropriate to your fillings and menu) The other version doesn't use puff pastry; it's just stacked slices of veggies, sometimes with cheese or meat, but roughly the same size as above. This isn't really a mille-feuille, it's just a small stack of thin sliced whatever, but I've seen this called mille-feuille a few times. Here's an example: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/emeril-...cipe/index.html Is that what you're looking for?
  12. HKDave

    Sausages--Cook-Off 17

    Full recipe for Aidells hunter sausage here: http://www.globalgourmet.com/food/kgk/2002/0502/hunters.html I'm with you on the need to add fat. Lots of sausage recipes, especially older ones, assume you can grind shoulder and you'll get a good lean/fat ratio. That was marginally true back in the days when a whole shoulder was around 25-30% fat. These days, thanks to tighter trimming and decades of lean breeding, most pork shoulder is down to around 15-18% fat, and we've got to compensate for that. As a rule, I assume trimmed commercial shoulder is 15% and add fat to hit 35-40%. If you're over by 5% on the fat, it's pretty much unnoticeable; but if you're too low, you can end up with dry product. In the Aidells hunter recipe, assuming that you had 2# shoulder @15% fat, and 1# bacon @50%, you would have been roughly 27% fat. That's at the low end for juicy sausage. Get that up to 35% and I bet those will be even tastier puppies...
  13. HKDave

    Shrimp Stock

    I'd skip the canned mushroom liquid (shudder), and would add a couple slices of lemon and some whole peppercorns, and some white mirepoix (diced onion/celery/leek). Save most of the wine; cold water's fine for making stock. And fresh parsley would be much better than dried. For me, shrimp stock says "jambalaya"...
  14. Halved squash should take roughly the same time as the chicken, assuming they're both fairly normal size. Throw them both in at the same time, and take each out when it's done. One or the other can rest a few minutes without difficulty. I'd skip the stovetop start but I'd bring the (pre-spatchcocked, pre-seasoned, on a rack) chix and the squash out of the fridge maybe 45min before cooking. Fingerlings... about 25 min at 425f convection.
  15. Scardillo lives! (sort of) After they closed Hastings, they opened a shop at the cheese factory in Burnaby. It's not as good as the old Hastings shop, but if you're in the neighbourhood (Lake City) and need bocconcini... Flamingo Foods (Scardillo Cheese) 7865 Venture St Bby, Tel 604-420-9892 Map: http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&um=1&ie=...330386472555172
  16. ← I think the closest place to buy Regan's and Peychaud's is in Seattle. I know a few bartenders in town have been picking them up here... http://www.delaurenti.com/
  17. This is the only thing I do with pre-peeled garlic. It takes an hour in oil in the oven. I always cover the roasting pan (actually, I use a big ramiken) with foil, which reduces the chance of spillage of hot oil. Never tried freezing it; we use it up too fast for that to be needed. At work we used to strain and puree the cooked garlic and it was a standard mise-en-place item. The remaining garlic oil is great in salad dressings, mash spuds, sauces... There have been outbreaks of botulism linked to (usually chopped fresh) garlic in oil, but every one I've read about has been caused by people not following the "Keep Refrigerated" on the label. This applies to most non-acidic or non-salted things in oil, including infused oils; the oil provides the anerobic environment needed for botulism to multiply. More info from some North America governments: http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/iyh-vsv/food-...lic-ail-eng.php http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/ANS00523.html The 1st article says it's good for a week in the fridge but I've had no issues keeping 'roast' (confit) garlic in oil for 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Just don't leave it on the counter and you'll be fine.
  18. I think around 2% are graded prime ... is that what you mean? ← Yup, that should read Prime. Now corrected in the original post. Thanks for catching that. Also, it's less than 2% of all US beef that's graded Prime, not 2% of grain-finished.
  19. Grass fed beef is leaner, and the fat that is does have is supposedly healthier. It's very difficult to achieve high levels of marbling without grain. At the extreme, Wagyu spends 8-16 months on grain to get that marbling. It is supposedly possible to hit USDA Prime with 100% grass-fed, but it would be very difficult. Think of how little grain-finished beef is able to meet Prime (maybe 2%?) These guys claim to sell it http://www.rockymountaingourmetsteaks.com/filet-mignon.htm but I have doubts... I've never seen verifiably 100% grass-fed that was close to Choice. There's no standard for what "100% grass fed" means, and it's almost impossible to get snow-white fat in truly grass-fed beef... hmmm. A more practical product - that is available at retail in NYC in USDA Prime grade - is 100% pasture-raised cattle that have had their diet supplemented with grain. http://www.lobels.com/store/main/naturalprime.asp
  20. Yes - According to Ruhlman (original post here): ← Thanks, Chris. Now that I think about it, if I had looked up 'Hot Dog' in your index to the old thread instead of Google, it probably would have taken me to the answer... (I just checked, and indeed it does). I'm going to have to set aside a few days and read that entire 98-page thread. Are there any other recipe changes in later printings?
  21. Has anyone noticed that there are 2 different versions of the hot dog recipe (page 164) in 'Charcuterie'? My copy at home calls the recipe "Chicago-Style All-Beef Hot Dogs", and it calls for a mix of lean beef and suet, and cold-smoking at 90F/32C (sic) then poaching to 140F/60C internal, then chilling. But the copy at work just calls the recipe "Hot Dogs" and calls for beef short ribs, and hot-smoking to 140F/60C internal, then chilling. They appear to be the same (First) edition, but not same printing (mine's earlier)... anyone know what's up with this? Are there any other recipes that got changed? I did some Googling to see if this had come up anywhere before but couldn't find anything. For the record, I've done hot-dogs both ways, but lately it's hot-smoked.
  22. The D'Artangnan recipe is from their 1999 game cookbook, and the version there differs slightly from the website. The cookbook is more liberal with the truffles and duck fat, and less concerned about refrigeration. http://www.the-golden-egg.com/dir_rec/rec_dgg_0008.html The method looks interesting (it's similar to techniques used in cooking chickens here) but I'm wondering how long you would have to leave the bird in the oven to bring it from fridge temperature to serving temp. The D'Artagnan recipe is unclear on this; they just say turn the heat off after 30 min and leave the bird in the oven.
  23. Yup, Lactobacillus Acidophilus does produce lactic acid. But I'm sure there are other variables, so I'd be diligent about checking that post-incubation pH to make sure you got a fast enough drop to a safe (botulism-controlling) acidity. Given that we know that L. Acidophilus likes lactose, I'd be tempted to have some non-fat milk powder as well as dextrose in the test batch. I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes.
  24. HKDave

    Sausages--Cook-Off 17

    In general, I agree with you (that's exactly how we smoke andouille, for example). This particular style is more of a hot cook, though. At the places I've had it, it is served hot out of the smoker. When you bite into the sausage, it is nice and juicy from the rendered fat. ← When you say the fat wasn't rendered, is this because a) you can see lots of chunks of fat that haven't rendered or b) it's not as juicy as it should be? From your photo, and the fact that you cooked it to 165F, I'm thinking you meant that it's just not as juicy as Kreuz. The likely reason is that your mix is too lean. Commercial trim chuck and pork shoulder are under 20% fat these days, so unless you added fatback, you had less than 1/2 as much fat as Kreuz. Next time maybe try 85% chuck and 15% fatback, and maybe grind the fatback finer than the beef for more even dispersion and faster rendering. That'll bring you up to about 25% total fat, which is still minimal; if I was making these I'd start at 30-35% fat. Most commercial grilling sausages (like Johnsonville brats) are 50%+ fat and I suspect Kreuz and Smitty's are close to that. Looks good enough to eat as is, though... Your post says "They were smoked with oak for about an hour at approx. 235°C." I hope that's 235F! That's still pretty hot; you'll get more smoke flavour by going lower and slower. Maybe try smoking at 180F (at this lower temperature I'd strongly recommend using some curing salt #1 as mentioned in my earlier post), and I'd be comfortable pulling them after they'd been at 150F internal for a while.
  25. The USDA temperatures for meat doneness are echoed in some local health codes, but usually treated as guidelines rather than rules, because - especially for beef - they're absurd. When it comes to enforcement, local restaurant health inspectors focus more on holding and storage time/temperatures rather than doneness temperatures. Some (most?) US and Canadian codes require sushi be made from previously frozen fish. I've never heard of anything specific for things like carpaccio or tartare. In rare cases, common sense prevails. Twenty years ago in Vancouver the food police cracked down on Chinese BBQ pork and roast duck - which are precooked and held at officially 'unsafe' temperatures, and would be inedible if they weren't - and it took a court case to point out that millions of people had been eating this stuff for years (more like centuries) and weren't getting sick. So in Vancouver you can legally sell and buy some of the best char siu anywhere. Thanks to BC's first Chinese lawyer, Andrew Joe, for fighting that battle. Don't try it in Calgary, however, where just this year the food police issued a $36,000 fine to an Asian supermarket store for exactly the same issue - even though Chinese BBQ has been sold in Calgary without a problem for decades, and even though we went through all this 600 miles away in Vancouver 20 years ago. I'm so glad we have governments to protect us.
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