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Everything posted by joesan

  1. Hi, Porchetta reheats beautifully. I do it in a Combi oven 60% steam/120c until it comes to temperature. This is for Porchetta that’s been cooked on a big green egg. Tastes every bit as good as fresh. I highly recommend trying it. Cheers
  2. Hi, I make this dish all the time. Live clams are ideal, they’ll taste sweeter. But frozen ones are okay in a push. They’re saying to make sure they are alive because dead ones amongst live ones will probably be off. But ones that have been frozen from the start should be fine. One word of advice - those are not the best clams for spaghetti a vongole. They will be a bit tough. Ideally you want to get the clams called Vongole Verace or Palourde (they’re the same thing). These are smaller, sweeter and less tough than the ones you have there. To cook them, don’t boil them but rather fry them in olive oil that’s been flavoured by frying garlic in it. Good luck with your cooking. When done well this is truly one of the finest pasta dishes.
  3. Just noticed this now. Very sad to see him go. He was a true aficionado. Many years ago -- before he began what was to become a huge, successful and not too inauthentic chain -- I used to visit his original Covent Garden deli every Saturday to stock up on supplies. I used to buy a lovely balsamic pepper dish regularly. Antonio noticed this and said to me, "Look here's the recipe, you can do this yourself at home." He then gave me a whole lesson on the finer points of making it. A real gent whose passion for food made him want more to share it rather than profit from it.
  4. joesan

    Seafood stock help

    I agree. I got into the habit of pressure cooking my shellfish stock (because chicken stock turns out so much better that way). But the other day I did a side-by-side comparison of langoustine shells pressure cooked versus simmered for the same time. The result? The simply simmered was much better, lighter but fresher and altogether better. No more pressure-cooked shellfish stock for me!
  5. Thanks for the tips. I'm going to try to make those myself. Pittas also look great. You can't beat a nice flat bread, wherever it's from. I bet that oven would make great piadinas as well.
  6. The breads looks fabulous. Looks like a great investment. Do you have a recipe to share?
  7. I think, more correctly, endive is a part of the genus chicory.
  8. In Italian cuisine, I think that's what's called puntarelle. It's part of the chicory family. The fleshy parts of the stem are cut into slivers and left in iced water until they curl. it's then made into a delicious, refreshing salad with a dressing of good olive oil, lemon juice and pounded anchovy (and a little crushed garlic to flavour the dressing). I can't recommend it highly enough!
  9. Hi David - Thanks for the replies. Yes I do read your reviews - and like them - so keep 'em coming. I live in London so can get a bit jaded with the restaurant scene here therefore it's always nice to see new places through someone else's eyes. To me the pictures add immeasurably to the reviews but I am probably too reserved in taking them when I am in a restaurant. I must say it's always a consideration point for me. I find if people are using flash it can be extremely annoying. For example at Tetsuya's during a tasting menu my neighbours flash went off about 30 times which kind of spoiled the ambience. But a discrete point and shoot with no flash would not be even noticable I guess. Thanks again for the tip - we are actually going to go tomorrow. I'll look forward to your next find!
  10. David - Great review. It looks excellent. So nice in fact that I think I will be taking my girlfriend there for lunch tomorrow. So thanks for the tip-off! Two questions for you about your reviews - do you not feel a sense of English reserve when taking the photos? And secondly, more of a suggestion really perhaps it would be good to put prices paid?
  11. Thanks for the tip Linda. I'm in the UK so I'm not sure if we can get them here. Maybe I should take a look in Whole Foods? Mild smokiness sounds perfect!
  12. I've haven't yet tried canning/jarring tomatoes - so I'm jealous. When I was in Italy last summer we saw people jarring tomatoes over wood fires. Can you imagine the smokey deliciousness of those? I see in the window of your grandma's shop that they had fresh home made Italian sausage. I bet they were good. I must say I'd love to make my own salsiccia but am a bit daunted by the prospect. I've made my own guanciale. It's super easy to do and makes a great addition to the sugo.
  13. Paul - I really like the look of your family store. What a shame it is now closed. I bet you had some nice memories of there. We lose a lot when these type of enterprises go under. It will be horrible if all we have left eventually are massive stores and overly-designed boutique type stores. I was wondering why you start with factory made sauces? From your own ingredient list there seems more than enough flavourful items to get an excellent sugo without it. We also called the sauce sugo. Our household uses a similar method to yours but we don't use sugar preferring to get the sweetness from onions, and occassionaly a small amount of carrots. When we do a long cook it's also great to add rolled beef - thin slices of beef rolled around a raw garlic, parsley and black peppercorn stuffing. Because the pot is on a long time you can use cheaper, flavourful cuts of meat as they soften nicely anyway.
  14. Hi Paul, Here's the recipe I use (from the River Cafe). Cooking the cavolo in the pancetta fat would be an excellent idea! 1kg Cavolo Nero S+P 100g butter 1 onion peeled and finely chopped 250g pancetta cut into matchsticks 250g fresh ricotta cheese Nutmeg to taste, freshly grated 100g parmesan freshly grated Cut the leaves of the Cavolo Nero from their stalks and blanch drain and roughly chop. Finely chop about 150g of the stalks (the whiter the stalk the more tender) and blanch them separately in boiling salted water. Heat the butter in a heavy saucepan and gently fry the onion until soft and beginning to colour. Add the blanched stalks and the pancetta and cook together for a few minutes just long enough for the pancetta to become translucent but not crisp. The pancetta flavour should blend together with the onion and stalks. Season then add the cavolo nero leaves and cook for a few minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. In a large bowl break up the ricotta using a fork. Season with nutmeg sea salt and black pepper. Add half the cooled chard mixture and stir together lightly. Add the Parmesan and the remainder of the chard and fold together. The mixture should not be at all wet; if it seems so add a little extra parmesan. Taste for seasoning and ensure that the mixture is completely cold before making the ravioli. Makes about 50 These are great with sage butter. I hope you give these a try. They're very good.
  15. I'd like to add my 2 euro's worth. Pancetta - no, no, no. The beauty of Spinach and Ricotta ravioli is in the balance - meat is absolutely not necessary. I abhor the tendency to add extra ingredients (normally some pig based product!) to every classic Italian recipe. Half the reason Italian cuisine is so good is that they know when to stop adding excess ingredients - the mark of a good chef in my opinion. A classic ratio would be 200g spinach / 100g ricotta / 50g parmesan (if liked). Nutmeg would be (sparingly) used. If you really want to use your pancetta, try it with cavolo nero in ravioli - truly good.
  16. Hi Petrus - I've seen the larger ones on ebay here in the UK. They were flexipan but large size. I've only seen the copper ones in France.
  17. The results are in... The short version You can reduce the saltiness of cured salmon by soaking it for 4 hours. Don't ever soak your cured salmon in cold water for 4 hours! The longer version I soaked it for 4 hours with the following train of thought - the salmon is over-salted so there is sufficient salt to stop bacterial spoilage even if some of the salt leeches out into the plain water (which I wanted to happen). I also figured that some people wet brine their salmon so it must be acceptable for some to soak in water. However the reason my salmon was over-salty was that I purposely left it longer than usual (3 days) in the cure in order that I would get a firmer, drier product. Soaking it in water got rid of some of the salt but made the flesh extremely flabby. So I was left with a still overly-flabby and overly-salty product. The lesson learned is don't salt for too long, or with too much salt. And only rinse not soak the salmon. After smoking the salmon is still a little too salty to eat on it's own but would be acceptable in cooking, or with bagels and cream cheese, or on scrambled eggs etc.
  18. Chris - that nails the concern that I have too. In the interest of science I may set aside one piece that is not soaked but only rinsed and do a side-by-side comparison.
  19. Thanks for all the advice guys. I rinsed it well twice last night and the salt level has gone down considerably. It's definitely edible now. I think I will soak it overnight for an extra 12 hours or so in cold water. That works for reducing the salt in baccala etc. Blether - why soak in salt water? I want to reduce the salt in the fish - or am I missing something? I'm thinking that it won't do any harm to soak in plain water because there is already enough salt to keep the fish from bacterially spoiling and putting in plain cold water should leach some of the salt out. I'll report back tomorrow with the results...
  20. Thanks Nick. I'd be a little worried that the milk would have spoiling effects on the storage of the salmon? Water might be safer do you think?
  21. Prior to smoking I've just tasted some salmon that I've home cured. It's way too salty! Any advice on how I can bring the salt level down before smoking? Rinsing or soaking in water? For how long?
  22. Hi Klary - don't worry it's not a problem. There's nothing worse than a glimpse of a recipe without knowing the whole. Here's exactly how I'd do it. Bloom 8 gelatine sheets in cold water for 5 minutes. Lift them out and gently squeeze away the excess water. Then add the sheets to about 200ml of very hot champagne. Whisk until fully dissolved. Strain through a sieve. Allow to cool somewhat. Mix in the remaining 500ml champagne (50ml goes to the chef for an aperitivo!) , and your pomegranate seeds and allow to set in the fridge. Cut into cubes. I love your idea of the jelly with smoked duck breast. PS If you wish you could experiment with whisking some set aside champagne jelly just as it is nearly set. This would give you a kind of frothy foam. But IMHO the jelly looks best without the foam, especially in the dish you describe.
  23. Chufi - You need about 8 sheets of leaf gelatine per 75cl bottle. Soften the gelatine in cold water first and squeeze out the excess water before using. What's good about the gelee idea is that you have the best chance of keeping some of the champagne's taste. It often gets lost in a sauce. If you want to go savoury you could take your cubed idea and serve with a carpaccio of raw scallops and yuzu or lemon, or perhaps thinly sliced crudo swordfish. Bit of chervil for colour and balance. Or for salad how about some mache and almonds? Both would complement the champagne.
  24. Hi Shelby - yes. You soften some leaf gelatine in cold water and add to the champagne. I'm of the opinion that practically nobody could differentiate between champagne and cava or prosecco in this kind of dish so I'd use something like that instead (and drink the champagne!). But maybe there's a specific reason for someone to want to use champagne.
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