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Everything posted by fiftydollars

  1. fiftydollars

    Dinner! 2004

    Wagyu beef strip steak with a madeira veal glace.
  2. With a brisket, I wrap it in foil because it doesn't have quite as much fat and I fear drying the meat out in a dry oven. But with a pork butt, which has so much fat and whatnot, I do not wrap it so the bark stays nice and crispy. I've found it's almost impossible to dry out a good pork butt.
  3. I completely agree. I discovered that the markets featuring Asian ingredients sell shallots around here (SF Bay area) for about $.50-$1/pound instead of the $4/pound found elsewhere. Sometimes they only sell them in 3-4lb bags, but at those prices I don't care. I also find that in some markets they aren't quite as nice, but in some I think they look better and probably haven't been sitting around quite as long as in other markets. At Ranch 99 Market, they sell shallots at such a rapid rate that Andronico's couldn't possibly keep up and at some stores shallots don't sell very well and they can look pretty old. The low price has made my use of shallots completely indiscriminate. I love raw shallot. I also love shallot soaked in lime juice, which is a variation on a common Mexican garnish using red onion. Shallot confit. French shallot soup. Substituting shallots for onions in chicken stock. My list of uses and abuses of shallots goes on and on...
  4. I would plan on 1.25-1.5 hours per pound. I usually shoot for at least 190-195 degrees for pulling, but I have been known to pull it at 200+ and 180. At the lower temperatures it won't pull as readily. In my experience the actual smoking of the meat will only take 6-8 hours as the meat will not continue to absorb smoke past that point. However, the rest of the time is required to properly cook the thing. You can finish it in a slow oven (225) until it reaches whatever temperature you like. I only mention this because, since you are using a kettle and not a smoker, you might get tired of wrestling with the coals to keep the temperature at a proper level.
  5. fiftydollars

    Glace de Viande

    I started with 10lbs of good meaty veal, mostly neck, bones. I also added 1lb or so of meat in the form of assorted veal trimmings. Some of the bones and meat were fresh and some were frozen. They were all roasted before beginning the stock. When the veal stock was done with them they didn’t look pretty, but they still had some color from the roasting and their was a lot of gelatinous matter and marrow left on the bones. The second stock didn’t look very good when it was at 24 quarts after the bones had simmered for 12-14 hours. It was markedly lighter in color than the first stock had been at that point but I expected this. However, as it reduced, the stock, which at first had looked roughly like chicken stock, began to deepen in color and flavor. It took until it got to less than a cup from the original 24 quarts for it to start looking like melted chocolate.
  6. fiftydollars

    Glace de Viande

    Thanks for all of the replies. I agree with everyone that says I went too far (although Jaques Pepin would say I didn't go far enough). I realized when the glace was down to about 1 quart that when this thing cooled it would be solid and rubbery and the taste was already very strong. But a slave to the recipe I continued to reduce… The color deepened dramatically from 1 quart to ½ cup. The color went from caramel to chocolate. Next time I might shoot for about 1½ cups, which seemed to be where the thing became extremely difficult to keep from scorching. I was close to reaching for the double boiler when I thought of stirring it like a custard, which seemed to release vapor rapidly and dissolved the skin that kept forming on the surface. I had skimmed this skin off over and over until I realized it was probably no longer fat and impurities, but rather glace that had cooled and solidified in contact with cold air like a custard left uncovered to cool. Eventually the stirring became ridiculous since the glace became so thick that the spatula could stand on its own. I was slowly creating a growing coating of glace in the saucepan and the spatula that was increasingly difficult to reincorporate. So finally I gave up feeling a sense of failure, but still pretty happy with the result I had achieved. I think an advantage to completing the reduction is that Jaques’ glace has an indefinite shelf life. He recommends you keep it loosely covered in the refrigerator. I am assuming that this is to thwart botulism. Mine I will keep in the freezer as recommended by balmagowry and I doubt it will last very long. It was a very worthwhile endeavor. I will definitely try it again when I have 48 hours or so to spare. Despite using bones from which I had already extracted a very flavorful veal stock the glace is rich and powerful. I melted a small cube slowly in butter and poured it over a steak. The result was worth every minute of effort that I invested into this venture.
  7. Last year I took my wife to Fleur de Lys in San Francisco to celebrate our first anniversary (well that and it seemed like a really good excuse to go to Fleur de Lys and eat Hubert Keller's food). Anyway... If you've been there you know that the dining room, while beautifully decorated, is small and in some areas you are quite close to the other tables. The server in the table next to us must have overheard us talking about our anniversary because at the end of the meal we were served a fantastic celebratory dessert complete with fire and a personalized message. I know it's Fleur de Lys and you have to expect great service, but the unprecedented display of nosy omniscience was unexpected and really impressed the hell out of us.
  8. After making a large batch of veal stock I decided to follow a recipe from Jacques Pepin’s Complete Techniques for re-simmering the left over bones to make glace de viande. I simmered the veal bones for 12 or so hours, then reduced the 24 quarts of resulting stock down to 1 quart and placed it in a small saucepan. Jacques Pepin asks that you evaporate all water from the glace and this is where I ran into trouble. It seemed almost impossible to get every last bit of moisture out. I eventually gave up on completely dehydrating the glace because I had a difficult time keeping any sort of simmer going at such a low heat and I was afraid of scorching. I tried stirring toward the end, but eventually the glace became too viscous and the stirring was transforming the texture into something that looked liked pulled sugar. When I took this off the heat there were still some small tufts of vapor visible when I stirred the glace. Any tips on getting the very last little bit of moisture out of the glace? Also… what are some favorite things to do with the glace? I still a yield of about a half cup of powerful veal goodness and I'm looking for some worthy uses.
  9. Don't forget shirts. I really don't see a problem here...
  10. FG, thanks for this course. I made the brown stock this weekend and it is dynamite. I have made stocks using many different recipes before and this is definitely one of the best. Anyway… Having read Jaques Pepin’s Complete Techniques and having way too much time on my hands I decided to follow his instructions on making glace de viande with the bones left over from making your stock. After re-simmering the bones for 12 hours I began to reduce the 20 or so quarts of weak stock hoping to evaporate out all of the water. This took about 14 hours and I am not sure I succeeded. It became impossible for me to maintain a workable simmer and avoid burning the glace. Any tips on getting the last bit of moisture out of this stuff? I tried stirring, but as the mixture reduced it eventually became way too viscous. Although too thick to stir I could still see some small tufts of vapor rising up from the surface. Jacques didn’t say to stir and I’m guessing that was a very bad idea. Toward the end the stuff started to look like pulled sugar and had an almost identical texture and feel. I started to regret taking it so far because when the stuff was only down to 1 cup or so it had a wonderful thickness, color, and wonderful beefy flavor. I eventually managed to extract a solid ½ cup of glace that has a small amount of moisture. One more question… what are some good uses for glace?
  11. I like 45 degrees so I get a nice diamond pattern on the steaks.
  12. Is the actual cake under the fondant sagging or is it the fondant?
  13. Monkey Picked. It tastes great and although I know that what I buy isn't... I like the thought of monkeys picking tea.
  14. What ratio of egg (yolks?) to liquid should I use in custards? The custard I make most frequently is creme brulee and I generally use 3 yolks/cup of liquid (with only a small amount of white... maybe 1 to 1/2 an egg's worth of white per three yolks). I used to use 1 yolk per 1/2 cup of liquid, but after a few loose custards I started adding the extra yolk. Am I using too much egg? Should I simply cook it longer and wait until it sets? I have made stirred custards using the same ratio and have found that it also works. However, I think that in this application maybe less yolk could be used with the same results. This is what makes me wonder if that could be true for the brulee if I let it cook longer. ------------------- Edited to add: I actually don't use as much white as stated above. I'm not exactly sure how much... sometimes I don't use any at all though most times I sneak some in, in small quantities for some reason (brulee only). I don't add any in stirred custards.
  15. fiftydollars

    Ethnic Pop

    Sangria Senorial from Mexico...
  16. Try maple syrup over medium-high heat. I usually do this with pecans for salads. I start with a hot pan and add the pecans and toast them slightly then I add the maple syrup and a spicy seasoned salt. Then I stir them to coat evenly. It takes only a couple of minutes. Then I place them on a silpat or parchment to cool. When they cool they have a nice crunchy coating of maple syrup. I have also tried this with cinammon and vanilla bean (scrape the bean and add it along with the cinnamon). It works pretty well...
  17. Yes, you can reuse the bags. They are washable, reusable, and even dishwasher safe (it says so right on the bags). I avoid reusing them if I used them for raw meat, etc... But otherwise I can get at least a couple of uses out of them I prefer the rolls so I can cut bags to the size I need them. I find that the precut bags are not very convenient. I also like to cut my bags a couple of inches longer than I need to so that I can cut the bag open and still have enough room to reseal them if I don't use up all of whatever I originally sealed. Anyway, the best accessory is the mason jar sealing attachment (http://www.foodsaver.com/products.ad2?productID=1095&catalogID=1004). You can use it to seal anything that fits into a mason jar using only the lids that come with the mason jars and the attachment (I prefer widemouth). I try to use this instead of bags whenever possible. The jars are completely washable, boilable, and extremely reusable. The lids can even be used several times. I often use lids that have already been used to can something. I just wash them in the top rack of the dishwasher and use them with the foodsaver. The rubber seal wears out eventually, but lasts a lot longer when used with the foodsaver than with conventional canning where reusing these things is unthinkable.
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