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About chappie

  • Birthday 07/15/1976

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    Cambridge, MD

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  1. Many years ago I read an article or chapter of a book, can't recall, by a chef remembering an apprenticeship he had in (I think) Paris many years prior. His first assignment was making ice cream, and it ended up being the most grueling task available -- long hours holding a wooden paddle against the sides of a rotating drum as the mixture slowly thickened. The article talked about all the weight lost and muscle built on just this task. Does anyone have any recollection about this? It was either from a prominent chef or published in a prominent publication (maybe Saveur? N.Y. Times?). My mind is coming up blank, as are my Google searches, and I'm trying to find it for an acquaintance who is in the midst of buying an ice cream business and currently in training from the master.
  2. Innovative chowder ideas

    Off the top of my head these are all the chowders I can remember making over the years for this competition: Classic quahog (two years)*; oyster, leek and white miso; ham hock chowder with corn and yellow eye beans; oyster and ham chowder with saffron; traditional oyster chowder; clear-broth mussel and shrimp chowder; oyster, leek and vermouth chowder; corn and crawfish chowder; scallop chowder? (my mind is starting to go blank). Out of those, I won the people's choice with the corn and crawfish and oyster-leek-vermouth. I won an "innovative" from the judges somewhere along the way (can't recall what for, and "innovative" always seems like a runner-up prize in this), and I won the (IMO most coveted) "classic" prize from the judges three times, most recently for my quahog chowders.
  3. Innovative chowder ideas

    Well, the judges awarded my quahog chowder the top prize again this year in the Classic category. It came out very nicely, except for the fact I'm still torn on the notion of a thickener. As I think I said before, when I'm making a chowder for myself, I prefer a milky, brothy background. For this competition I pureed about a third of the potatoes; while the flavor was great, I still feel the potato starch gives the chowder a grainy mouthfeel. Now I'm starting to wonder if I should experiment with a butter roux and making the chowder base a day or two in advance (rendered pork, aromatics to soften, add butter roux and then clam broth, cook to thicken, cool, refrigerate). Then, right before service at the competition, reheat the base, add chopped quahogs and dairy to just the right texture.
  4. Innovative chowder ideas

    There is a video on YouTube demonstrating how the Black Pearl in Newport, R.I. makes its famous chowder. Some of the techniques they use don't appeal to me (even though I have had and enjoyed their chowder on a few occasions), like the use of flour and another kind of starch, maybe modified food starch. However, they puree half of their clams and cook the puree into their "base." I did this once with oysters -- pureed half into the base and added the rest right before service -- and won that year. As usual I won't have much time to tinker between now and Saturday. I think I'll do the classic quahog I've been trying to perfect, with the addition of some pureed clams and perhaps a splash of dry vermouth. Right now the spices I use are a pinch of thyme, black pepper and smoked Spanish paprika.
  5. Innovative chowder ideas

    Thanks for the feedback, everyone! Incidentally, this was one of my first forays back to eGullet in many years (I used to post all the time), and it's great to see that it's still going strong.
  6. Innovative chowder ideas

    Another five-year update. My latest chowder style is to continue to work on mastering traditional techniques. I've won this contest twice in recent years with very traditional quahog chowders, and the 2016 event is coming up in two weeks. Last year I used a technique I read about on Serious Eats, where you boil the potatoes etc. in the milk and clam juice, allowing the milk to break, and then strain out the solids, re-emulsify the milk base (which now has collected potato starch) in the blender, and re-combine. That's a lot of hassle. I think this time I'll stick to heavy cream even though I prefer the flavor/texture of whole milk. Also, I'm thinking of pureeing some of the quahogs to cook in the beginning, and adding the rest at the very end. Simple seasonings, salt pork instead of bacon always, and I've gone completely away from using flour to thicken.
  7. The Hot Sauce Topic

    Has anyone here had Dirty Dick's? http://dirtydickshotsauce.com Amazing, sweet, hot and fruity. I wish it came in a sriracha-type squeeze bottle.
  8. Cronuts – worth the hype?

    Out with the Cronut, in with .................... the Phyllonut!
  9. I wanted to revive this old thread because I just heard of brining fresh pineapple the other day from my friend, whose Chinese wife would have it no other way. Now, I've never had a problem eating as much fresh pineapple as I cared for, but this seems like a good way to cut up a bunch and keep it fresh in the fridge longer, so I tried it as pineapples have been on sale at Acme for $1.99 each. I used a medium-salty brine. I must say, while I can't speak of mellowing any mouth-hurting enzyme because I never noticed one in the first place, I do like it. I find the moderate amount of saltiness clinging to each piece only makes it that much more refreshing, and if I can process several pineapples at once and keep them in a big bin of brine in the fridge, this will help.
  10. On New Year's drank several treats I had in the fridges, including some Troegs Mad Elf (around 11%, strong, subtle cherries that develop on the palate as you work your way through it), and a few selections by Boulevard Brewing. I have really enjoyed their Dark Truth stout, but even moreso I really loved the collaboration stingo they did with Pretty Things (Mass., I think). The stingo (as I read on the label, a 17th century English style) was pleasantly sour and delicious. Right now I'm drinking an assortment of Starr Hill beers out of Charlottesville a friend left.
  11. It's pricey but Noosa is a delicious non-Greek yogurt that recently appeared on our grocery shelves in Md. Most of what we eat is Greek (Chobani or Trader Joe's) style but Noosa is silky, creamy and amazing flavor.
  12. Large Volume Stock Production Logistics

    Quick stock question: How long can it keep in the bottom of a very cold fridge? I'm working on six days with a dark chicken stock that was fortified after 4-5 days with the carcass of another roasted victim (so, reboiled in the process) but as I was short on time I simply strained into a large metal bowl, placed the lid on and put it in my garage fridge. That was about six days ago. Can I reboil it tonight and then maybe cool more rapidly and freeze? I'd hate to lose it at this point.
  13. Lobster Stock

    I'm going to have to say I don't think that is roe. I think it's the tomalley/innards mixed with butter. The roe is definitely blackish when raw and orange when cooked. I made a compound butter with tomalley and roe and you could clearly see the orange flecks of roe standing out. It was lovely. But I am resurrecting this thread mainly to ask users for uses for lobster stock. I just made a batch with the carcii of four large lobsters. Roasted shells (hadn't done that step before) and cleaned the lungs and guts out of the bodies. Simmered for 40 minutes very gently with aromatics and a bit of white wine that reduced in the beginning before I added water. In the past I always cooked my seafood stocks way too long and I think when you do that with crustaceans some nasty compounds end up coming out of the shell material. Anyway, I don't plan on suddenly acquiring some more lobster meat, so I'm looking for nice options without lobster. Any fish that goes especially well with lobster for a soup/chowder? What about a shrimp chowder or bisque?
  14. Chick-Fil-A 2011

    I love Chick-Fil-A and it's the only fast food we allow out toddler son to eat. He digs it. They distinguish themselves with customer service to a degree I'm surprised they haven't tried to trademark the phrase "my pleasure!" A few critiques, however. I am actually not a fan of the spicy chicken -- even though I go for spicy things almost by default -- as I find it to have a really strong MSG-esque, salty after effect. And all of their chicken, while delicious when it's served hot, turns to rubber as it cools and is never the same when reheated. Not that it ever gets a chance ...