Jump to content

lizziee

legacy participant
  • Content Count

    903
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by lizziee

  1. lizziee

    Cheesecake

    Cheesecake CRUST 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 c all purpose flour 1 c almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces), llightly toasted, coarsely ground 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 T (1/4 stick) unsalted butter l 1/2 tablespoons water FILLING 2 lb cream cheese, room temperature 2 c packed dark brown sugar I tablespoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs TOPPING 1 c sour cream 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar 20 whole almonds FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350'F. But- ter 1O-inch-diameter springform pan with 23/4-inch-high sides. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, almonds and sugar; mix until well incor- porated and small moist clumps form. Press dough evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until edges start to brown and crust is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 min- utes. Maintain oven temperature. Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter and water in heavy small sauce pan. Stir over low heat until melted Spread 2/3 of mixture over crust. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture. FOR FILIING: Using electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Spoon filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, sides are set and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 65 minutes (cake may crack). Transfer to rack; cool 5 minutes while preparing top- ping. Maintain oven temperature. FOR TOPPING: Rewarm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat. Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture decoratively over top- ping; reserve remaining chocolate mix- ture. Return cheesecake to oven; bake 3 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 1 hour Reheat remaining chocolate mixture over very low heat until melted. Dip each almond halfway into chocolate; arrange around top edge of cake. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keywords: Dessert, Cake ( RG419 )
  2. lizziee

    Cheesecake

    Cheesecake CRUST 1/2 c (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 c all purpose flour 1 c almonds (about 3 1/2 ounces), llightly toasted, coarsely ground 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar 4 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped 2 T (1/4 stick) unsalted butter l 1/2 tablespoons water FILLING 2 lb cream cheese, room temperature 2 c packed dark brown sugar I tablespoon vanilla extract 4 large eggs TOPPING 1 c sour cream 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar 20 whole almonds FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350'F. But- ter 1O-inch-diameter springform pan with 23/4-inch-high sides. Using electric mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add flour, almonds and sugar; mix until well incor- porated and small moist clumps form. Press dough evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake until edges start to brown and crust is set, about 20 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool 5 min- utes. Maintain oven temperature. Combine chocolate, 2 tablespoons butter and water in heavy small sauce pan. Stir over low heat until melted Spread 2/3 of mixture over crust. Reserve remaining chocolate mixture. FOR FILIING: Using electric mixer beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until blended. Spoon filling over crust. Bake until cheesecake puffs, sides are set and center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 65 minutes (cake may crack). Transfer to rack; cool 5 minutes while preparing top- ping. Maintain oven temperature. FOR TOPPING: Rewarm reserved chocolate mixture over low heat. Mix sour cream and sugar in small bowl until smooth. Spread sour cream mixture over cheesecake. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon chocolate mixture decoratively over top- ping; reserve remaining chocolate mix- ture. Return cheesecake to oven; bake 3 minutes. Transfer to rack; cool 1 hour Reheat remaining chocolate mixture over very low heat until melted. Dip each almond halfway into chocolate; arrange around top edge of cake. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keywords: Dessert, Cake ( RG418 )
  3. Once and for all, we will find out who the supertasters are at Egullet. Click here to find the brutal truth: http://www.gayot..com/tastes/newsletter0403.html
  4. Gareth, Have a wonderful time and if the eggs mollet is on the menu, be sure to have it. I think they will do a split - one for two. There is no prix fix so it is all a la carte.
  5. The trick with creamed spinach is to wring as much water out of the spinach as possible otherwise the spinach can't absorb the cream properly.
  6. "Taste is about the ability to notice things properly. I can't stress the word properly enough, especially the ability to notice which elements are present and work in harmony with other elements. And while that might include noticing and appreciating enhancements, which change perceptions, it will always be about the ability to notice what is actually there, not what is only perceived to be there." Steve, taste is just not finite. How we taste things is very personal and according to Helen Bauch "may very well be as individual as our fingerprints." To quote Diane Ackerman, "A Natural History of the Senses" : "No two of us taste the same plum." When you speak of taste, the definition, in its purest form is actually a very narrow definition. It includes the 4 basic tastes - sweet, sour, salty and bitter plus the fifth unami which is somewhat controversial and based on a reaction to the glutamate ion and translates as tasty or "yummy." Quoting Bauch again: "All other experiences during the evaluation of flavor are not taste, but are related to odor, the feeling factors - texture, pressure, pain and temperature, and finally, sight and sound." Moreover, you eat with your brain as well as your mouth. Andy Lynes wrote an interesting article on The Fat Duck. http://www.ukgourmet.com/heston.html Part of his review said: "I still disliked the crab, pigeon and pea creation for the simple reason that it reminded me of the texture of the chivers jelly and evaporated milk that my mother used to give me for dessert occasionally. On reading his notes, it turned out that this childhood taste memory of jelly coated with cream was exactly the sensation that Heston was trying to emulate. He loved it, I hated it." A part of taste, then, is memory association. Taste preference is also culturally linked. One man's meat is anothers poison. They have even done experiments that show that what a mother ate during her pregnancy influences flavor preferences of infants. They had two groups of pregnant women, one group drank either water or carrot juice. When cereal was introduced into the diet of the infants, the infants whose mothers drank carrot juice seem to prefer the carrot-flavored cereal more than the "regular" cereal. edit: spelling
  7. Claude, Do you find that when you get wines by the glass that you don't really have a chance to "experience" the wine? I enjoy noticing the changes of a wine over time from that first sip to the last.
  8. Let's take an example where presentation is not only equal to but often more important than taste. The Kaiseki dinner is a ritualistic series of 7 to 10 tiny courses that follows a prescribed order that Dorothy Kalins in Saveur describes as "with so many art forms, style is key and presentation is all." The chef not only expresses himself and his style through the food, but in the artful way he presents it. This even extends to the "vessels themselves, a different one for each course: Are they rough pottery, red lacquer or fine blue-and-white porcelain? Round, square or oblong?" In fact, many of the best kaiseki chefs design their own pottery as well as the tableware. The chef is "acutely sensitive to the importance of choosing the right dish or bowl to express the integrity and seasonality of his ingredients." (As an aside, Thomas Keller is in the process of having dishes made by Limoges to complement and enhance his dishes.) Now, as to the issue of the constant of taste and tasters, there is a huge range of ability. A taster's expertise is not just a matter of his experience or knowledge. Scientists have discovered a genetic component to taste. There are super-tasters who have more fungiform papillae and therefore "feel" foods more intensely. In Savoring Flavoring by Helen Bauch she quotes Linda Bartoshuk: "This is like reaching up and feeling something with 500 fingers as opposed to 50. Super-tasters feel more 'burn' from substances such as ginger, alcohol, the carbon dioxide in soda and the capsaicin in chili peppers. Bitter tastes bitterer; salt a bit saltier, sour sharper and some sweets sweeter.... Bartoshuk has found that about 25% of the U.S. population are super-tasters, 50% are tasters and 25% are non-tasters." Hopefully our restaurant critics don't belong to that last category.
  9. In 100% agreement. And that's the point: Taste is perception.
  10. "This is a sad statement if it is true. This is certainly not the case at Arpege where the presentation is pleasant but in reality the food is plated very simply." Steve, That's the point. Arpege's statement is one thing, Veyrat another, Bras another, Adria another, Trio another, Keller another, JG another, and on and on and on. You have an exceptional palate. Why not let each chef speak his own language and let us as diners learn it their way?
  11. "Taste is perception. If you've modified the diner's perception, you've modified the taste." Stone, I am in complete agreement. Further, what the new modern chefs as evidenced by Blumenthal, Chefg, Adria, Gagnaire, Veyrat are trying to do is push this even further and alter your expectations, change your perceptions, push the envelope as it were. "What you and everyone else keeps on saying is, in an example where your tastebuds are impaired (and that can be done visually as well) you will taste things differently." Steve, taste buds weren't impaired. In the wine example, sensory clues were given that were unexpected and therefore the experts, relying on the tried and true, were wrong, even though the taste remained unchanged. These people weren't visually impaired, they were manipulated to think something different. But the bottom line of all of this is keeping in mind what a chef is trying to achieve. I maintain that if you take away the presentation aspects from Adria, Veyrat et al, you have changed what they set out to do and might as well go have a steak. \
  12. Robert, Remember this IS eGullet. Steve, The point is by changing the environment ie the appearance, I can change your perception of flavor and taste. I don't have to manipulate the food at all.
  13. Jonathan's mention of Chefg at Trio is an important distinction to make in this discussion. First Chefg's words: "I believe people do not come to Trio for nourishment or sustenance. I doubt whether they come because they are hungry. People are making reservations long in advance, how do they know they will be hungry? In fact I would say people plan their schedule to become intentionally hungry to go to high end restaurants to eat. If you make a reso at TFL 2 months before you actually dine, I would think you will plan your meals the day of your reservation accordingly as to not spoil your dinner. I hope I am not giving the wrong impression about the food served at Trio, it is not all vapors, and stamp sized pieces of paper. It is one of our goals that people leave satiated. And we do so with unique twists on fairly common ingredients, presented in an artistic manner. I think the more we intellectualize, the closer to my goal we are. We are crossing the line of "a meal" or "dinner" and moving into the realm of entertainment: in the forms of theater, education, discussion, visible art. The overall experience becomes so fullfilling on so many different levels it could become the ultimate form of recreation. OK, that might be a stretch, but you see what we are pushing towards. It is Chefg's goal to cross that line from meal or dinner to entertainment. If that is his goal, then presentation becomes a vital and important aspect of his cuisine. Take it away and what is left is not what Chefg wants to achieve.
  14. Steve, Believe it or not there was an experiment performed with expert wine tasters where they were fooled by appearance alone. This is from an article by Peter Barham (Discovery Communic). http://www.discoveryeurope2.com/kitchen/mo...gastronomy2.htm "Recent scientific research has revealed just how complex our sense of flavour really is. There is no single sense that defines flavour - although we perceive the flavour of food in our mouths it is our brains that determines the flavour." "But how we use all this information is greatly influenced by the other senses. For example, if you taste a wine you will be influenced by its colour. Indeed a recent experiment fooled all the experienced wine tasters. In this experiment the tasters were asked first to taste 6 white wines and describe the flavour. They described the flavours using words like "refreshing", "strawberry","citrus", etc, to identify different notes in the aroma - these are words frequently used to describe white wines. Then when asked to identify the wines the tasters were able to correctly identify the grape and the region - some even giving the exact vineyard and vintage. Next a trick was played - the same 6 wines were served again, but this time with a little inert red food dye added. This time the tasters used completely different language to describe the flavour -"woody", "tannic", "powerful", etc. all words associated with red wines. Then when asked to identify the wines all plumped for red grape varieties and a few ventured opinions on actual wines they believed they had just tasted. However, when the experiment was repeated again - this time with the tasters blindfolded - they once again got the answers correct."
  15. I am reproducing below some of the Q and A with Heston Blumenthal. Heston: "My drive now is the fascination of why one dish can taste fantastic to one person and disgusting to another and how we process the information from our mouths to our brain." lizziee: I am intrigued by your above statement. Do you have any preliminary findings as to why people "taste" things so differently? Heston: Eating is the only thing we do that involves all of the senses. I don’t think that we realize just how much influence the senses actually have on the way that we process the information from mouth to brain. So many things influence the way that we perceive flavour. Even just the acceptability of food involves a complex process of evaluation. Firstly, we register the basic tastes, sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami. These are then broken down into sub tastes, for example, spicy, metallic and astringent. We then evaluate the intensity of the flavour and its aroma along with the texture and temperature of the food, something vital to whether we decide to like it or not. Up to now these factors have been directly linked to taste. Now we have to process information that is indirectly linked to taste but directly linked to palatability. The colour and general appearance of the food and even its’ sound will have an influential role to play. Finally, even with all of this information processed we have not quite finished; whatever our food may taste like, it still has to pass on the accessibility stakes! Our health and mood will also directly affect whether or not we like a particular food, as will our environment and cultural background. This complex process might explain why one food can taste so good to one person and so bad to another! It really is that subjective. This might also explain just why our pre-conceptions can, on their own decide for us whether or not we like the taste of something. Eating, above all should be a thing of pleasure and, dare I say it, fun! It should stir conversation and not stern silence. It should excite, charm and challenge and not become a chore. There is alot of work being done at the moment on this very subject by people ranging from Nerologiists to Prof. of flavour technology and is something that warrants pages of text. Later Jd asked Heston about his latest experiments: Heston: Hello Jd There are quite a lot of things that we have been working on. Unfortunately, because of the lack of space in our kitchen, experimentation is extremely difficult. A couple of years ago, I purchased a still for carrying out low temperature distillation. It is now at home in the cupboard under the stairs because there is no room for it anywhere! As I have mentioned, we are still working on a one-mouthfull dish that delivers four flavours. These flavours however, will not be perceived together but consecutively which is something that we never normally experience. This dish will only work as one mouthfull as by the second mouthfull, the last flavours of the first mouthfull will still be there. We are still working on the Nostalgia food idea (as explained on the web site) and I rekon that this will also lead into a potentially controversial and almost unresolvable debate. When is a chemical not a chemical? Nostalgia foods to many people are in fact neither beef stew and dumplings nor bread and butter pudding but synthetically flavoured foods that in general were consumed as confectionary. The question that for me begs to be answered is "when is a chemical not a chemical?" If we smell balckcurrant in a red wine, it is not the smell of blackcurrant but a molecule or group of molecules that make up this aroma. These are chemicals-produced naturally from the wine-making process. Is it wrong therefore to use these chemicals in cooking? Just a question at the moment but one that will surely stir up response and something that has been in my mind for a while now. I am not quite sure just how it will develop, but it will! Right, back to other stuff that we are working on; We have just started to serve an orange and beetroot jelly, served as a rectangular, terrine-like slice of jelly which is yellow-orange colour on the left and beetroot coloured on the right. The yellow-orange colour which looks like orange is in fact made from yellow beetroot and the beetroot-looking jelly is in fact made from blood orange so the flavours expected in each colour are, in fact reversed. It is quite a shock expecting to taste acidity in what looks like the orange jelly and instead tasting earthiness. Other stuff that we are working on is nitrogen-poaching the sour. We serve a palate-cleansing foam made from green tea, vodka and lime, foamed in a whipped cream cannister, as developed and popularised by Ferran Adria I was talking with one of my chefs, Liam who suggested poaching this in nitrogen. Nitrogen is -190C and therefore very cold indeed. By injecting a ball of mousse into this liquid, it poaches in about twenty seconds, being turned over half way through. When eaten, the foam is frozen on the outside and nice and soft in the centre-much like a cooked meringue (but frozen). When eaten, jets of vapour shot out of each nostril! We have been looking at sound and just houw it affects the perception of texture. When we crunch something like a polo mint, our teeth do not bash together. Our brain registers the crunch and turns off the signal that brings our teeth together, as needs to happen when we chew. If we listen (through headphones) to crunching noises and chew (as is necessary with gum) at the same frequency, our brain tells our jaw to stop before it needs to (when chewing, our teeth need to come together) and therefore throws the whole perception of what the texture of the food in our mouth actually is. We are still working on the idea of giving a dish with a set of headphones but it may be a while yet! We are also doing a lot of work with aromas and the idea that the flavour of a dish can be changed by spraying while eating. As well as this, I am trying to sort out a dish that gets sprayed at the table. It smells of one thing and tastes of another. Other recent stuff that we have been looking at is injecting a raw egg through the shell with an essential oil of smoked bacon and boiling it. THe result is bacon and egg inside a boiled egg. We are working on sucking out the yolk of a soft-boiled egg through the shell and ijecting it with a red wine sauce so you get, instead of eggs in red wine, red wine in eggs! Injecting potato wit essential oil of butter and taking a carrot and garlic and injecting each of them witth the essential oil of the other provides very interesting results. There is a lot more than this but I have to stop somewhere and the problem lies in how long it takes us to get a dish from experimentation to the table and also how ready a lot of the British public is for this kind of stuff. I think at the moment not very. We still have a problem with our meat being too pink and fish not being cooked enough and food not being piping hot!
  16. Fat Guy, That's not the point. Ducasse, Keller, Daniel, Gagnaire, JG, Gras, Troigros would not serve their food on anything but what would best present their food. If you want to tell them to take a hike because the plates cost too much, OK.
  17. This is a question that Chef Grant posed at the end of one of his Q and A. "When diners patron restaurants at the high end, with high price tags, do they expect expensive ingredients? When you dine at The French Laundry, Trotter's, Daniel and so on do you expect, or even demand luxury ingredients? Would you be dissappointed if caviar, truffles, foie were not present on their menus? The key questions for me is what is innovation worth? What is the value for creativity, if it does not utilize the luxury ingredients? At Trio we present osetra, foie, and truffles in new and unusual ways, but what if we didn't use those products? Could we charge the same amount for our tasting menu?" Chef: For me, creativity is the only value. It is not luxury ingredients which seduce or entice me. It is the creativity of the chef that is worth more than the ingredient. The dishes that stand out in my memory have nothing to do with the cost of the ingredient. The first time I tasted frogs legs at Veau d'Or, Michel Richard's katafi shrimp, Ambrosie's eggs mollet, Gagnaire's ode to vegetables, Blanc's Poulet Bresse, Adria's "brioche soup", Marcon's lamb, Troisgros' Duck, Trama's Pot au feu and on and on and on. For me, great cuisine has nothing to do with luxury ingredients. It only has to do with the chef's vision, statement and execution and for that there is no price.
  18. Really Nice, Lunch is no different than dinner - same menu, same service, same perfection, same finesse -- enjoy.
  19. really nice started a new topic about developing a menu, but I think it deserves a repeat here: I started observing Cabrales post--3 Most Important Elements of a Plate... until the second page when a food fight broke out. I agree with Cabrales initial post and my 2 cent contribution is for all to read The Physiology of Taste by Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Here you will learn how we first feast with our eyes; then with our stomachs. He is also the gentleman who wrote, "Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." This should sound familiar to Iron Chef fans. The book is a great read and Brillat-Savarin is well-respected among the Carême and Escoffier crowds. Anyway, I think my post is related as I'd like to know how you go about progressing a menu. How you develop the menu is just as important as presenting the plate. I've done some pretty impressive stuff in the past, see my posts titled, Last Night's Dinner to get an idea. Typically, I've made six- and seven-course dinners with wines such as Penfolds Grange and Petrus. I'd like to know how you develop your menus. I know the basics such as: Wine: white to red dry (white and red) to sweet (white) excption: sauternes with foie gras as a second course Food styles: Light before dark Cold before hot Raw before cooked Soft before chewy Creamy before crispy/crunchy Light before heavy Mild before spicy Savory before sweet Soup styles: Clear before creamy creamy before thick Food entrees: Vegetable before protein (fish, shellfish, poultry, fowl, pork, beef/lamb) Fish before shellfish Shellfish before poultry Poultry before fowl Fowl before pork Pork before beef/lamb All the above before dessert Tasting Threshold: Salty before sour Sour before savory Savory before sweet Basic (French) Menu Composition: Three courses: Cold app or soup, Main course, Dessert Four course: Cold app or soup, Hot app (fish/shellfish), Main course, Dessert Five course: Cold app, Soup, Hot app (always fish/shellfish), Main course, Dessert Six course: Cold app, Soup, Hot app (fish/shellfish), Main course, Salad, Dessert Seven course: Cold app, Soup, Hot app (fish/shellfish), Intermezzo (sorbet), Main course, Salad, Dessert I did a search on "Menu" on eGullet.com and came up with nothing that applied. So, any productive assistance out there? What do you do with your 'gourmet' dinners? -lav
  20. The point is that southern girl has a legitimate allergy to caviar that seemed to appear quite suddenly. I happen to see a site that said this was a real allergy and was only questioning FG's question that a caviar allergy existed.
  21. May I have the recipe for mudpies? I need the ratio of mud to water?
  22. Steve, What I don't understand is why you discount the fact that presentation is so important to most chefs? What distinquishes one chef from another, at the level we are talking about, is the art of cuisine. It is more than the ingredients. It is the fact of that visual and sensual appeal that excites us and pushes us past that just palate feel. edit: spelling
  23. Steve, Sorry, you are wrong. Check all the senior citizen studies and then tell me if I am wrong. It's up to you to check.
×
×
  • Create New...