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Everything posted by thecuriousone

  1. This is a good news bad news story. I researched for months on my kitchen rehab. I ended up getting a Kitchen aid programmable in black. Highly efficient. I couldnt have been more thrilled. The only thing is that my old stove was a 36 inch industrial 6 burner with pilot lights. My new kitchen is cold and drafty in the winter. I guess my efficient new dual stove is doing its job a bit too well.
  2. Most of my cookbooks are in my kitchen on a 4 level free standing IKEA bookshelf. Each shelf is 7 feet long. I could use another two shelves, the overflow piles are getting large!
  3. My first re action was jangled nerves at the cover change. I dont like the white border and the title typset doesn't do anything for me. Additionally, I noticed the paper change as soon as I started turning the pages. I think that bothered me more than the cover change. I hope that they dont give up on the magazine I have every issue since issue one. Just the thoughts of a subscriber
  4. I really enjoyed this article. Following recipes have always been something I could immerse myself in. Almost like a trip. You follow the recipe, and spend a wonderful afternoon getting totally involved in the process. I can remember looking at one of the Time-Life series, "A quintet of Cuisines" and seeing a brik- a recipe with egg cooked a phyllo type dough, eaten while the egg is somewhat soft. The triumph of "getting it right" brings a smile to my face today. Regarding small sauce quantities, Madeline Kamman's, "the making of a Chef". provides a bulk recipe for the acid mixture in bearnaise. You can then freeze in Tablespoon amounts and make roughly 1 cup at a time.
  5. I hear that often. Its surprising to me that people dont cook from scratch as much as they used to and people seem to make a big deal out of it. I simply tell my quests that my pleasure was in the process of preparing for them. They are special and I wanted to make the extra effort. Yes, they will think that you are crazy, but they wont turn down a dinner invite.
  6. Beets I was totally anti-beet untill I tasted my first roasted one. It openedup a whole new world.
  7. I actually served this menu to 10 people in a hospital community room. Get some old linen and napkins at the 2nd hand store, some greenery from the florist and your guests will think you are perfect. (although as your future inlaws, I'm sure that they already do!) 1. shrimp cocktail-(place the shrimp in small footed cups or demitasse cups ahead of time, put in the cooler). Purchase some banana leaves from the grocery and make some cute shapes to place the shrim on. Pass two sauces, the cocktail sauce from the NY oyster bar cookbook, and the remulaude sauce from the Time life foods of the world. 2.Cinderella Short Ribs- from Smoke and spice cookbook. Its a long recipe, but worth it, especially if your guests are truly meat and potatoes people. Put the ribs in your oven at 200 degrees at 10 p.m. the night before, check them at 9 a.m. Brush with sauce and keep warm. 3. Crusted broiled Salmon. Season some bread crumbs, dip salmon in milk and in crumbs, put in pan in cooler. Put in oven just before you st art serving the first course. Check 4. Roasted potatoes with Rosemany. Roast off potatoes after meat is out of the oven. They hold pretty well and can be heated briefly while the fish cooks. 5. Strawberry shortcake with Whipped cream and carmel sauce. Make the carmel sauce the day before and put in the cooler. Whip cream, (I used cool whip because of the shortage of facilities in the hospital community room.) Cook off some sweetened pie crust. Assemble each dessert where they can watch you and let their mouths water. I guarantee you the room will get quiet. Email me if you want any of the recipes I used. Its quick, not nerve wracking and your guests will always remember it.
  8. Oh Dale- You are too cruel, it appears that the program dropped the menu. I cant wait to see what you devised. Will you post it again? Do you ever try to incorporate Jasper White's Pan Roasted Lobster into a menu? If you do, can you describe your prep of the lobster? It is usually my show off saute of choice, but I'm hampered by the prep of the lobster. I've not found a way to smoothly have a soupe course and do directly into the dish. I had posted before on another thread and was told that I could prep the lobster up to an hour before without loss of flavor or texture. Any suggestions?
  9. Does that mean you pretty much exclude saute dishes from your dinner parties? If not, what types (Meats or fish) do you include? Thanks for the insight.
  10. There is a poultry market not far from our home (Poultry, chickens, ducks squab, quail, rabbits). We usually stop by on sat am for a sunday dinner and I point out the one that I want. They then do the chopping, de-feathering, and gutting. I take it home. They told us to ice it for at least two hours so that the, "body heat" would leave it. The flavor is great, they cost a little more, but for a special occasion, there is nothing like it. As I mentioned in another thread (which, I can't remember right now), when I was living in rural east-coast Malaysia in the 70s, that was not the case. The chicken was slaughtered and then prepared and cooked right away. Since they had electricity only at night in those days, there was no refrigeration, and chickens could be boiled plain on the first day and then reheated with seasonings (e.g. as chicken curry) the next day, but they were not left raw for the insects and other stuff to eat up. They were all free-range organic chickens and, because they ran around all the time, they were much tougher than most any chicken you're likely to find in the US and had to be cooked a long time, but they were good!!! ←
  11. Alysha- a woman whose taste I share. Is there anything that is not iimproved by the addition of roasted sweet potatoes?
  12. I collect vinegars like most people collect matchbooks. Its a destination in itself on vacation. I had to think for a minute, but here is my list. 1.White distilled 2.Chinese Red 3.Chinese Black 4. Everyday Basalmic-Tesoro 5. Honey 6. Coconut 7.Sugarcane 8.Lime Juice 9.Cider 10.Maple syrup 11.Sherry 12Rice Wine 13. Pineapple I like substituting the sugar cane vinegar in my barbeque and mops, there is still a zing, but there is a roundness to it that is nice.
  13. Gosh- I'm glad to know I'm not the only one that does this. I usually start by working up 3 six course menus for between 6-10. Let the menus marinate in my mind for 2-3 days to make sure that I like the flow from course to course. Get feedback from my husband on the wine list, (Never use his choices) and prepare a meal. My questions to you are what tricks can you pass along on keeping hot things hot being both the chef and a guest at your own table??
  14. Hi all- Is there a trick to vinagrette?. I go out to serious restaurants and have these salads where the vinagrette is like silk over the greens. Perfect emulsions, that are almost translucent, but pack plenty of flavor and never seperate. I go home and try to re-create them. I can only get two out of three at any one time. If its light and well emulsified, it doesnt have the punch, if it has great flavor, it looks like mushroom gravy and detracts from the look of the salad. Is it the use of dry mustard vs. wet? This is actually a pretty big deal for me because my idea of heaven is a vibrant salad compose (lettuce, roasted sweet potato slices, steamed broccoli, hard boiled eggs topped with a little tuna and chopped arugula) and a glass of wine. Thanks in advance for anyone who cares to share a secret or direct me to a book which will give me some additional ideas. p.s. My standard dressing recipe is as follows: 1 tbs. basalmic vinegar 1/2 tsp strong french mustard salt, pepper 4 tbs oil (usually a vegetable/olive oil split) 1 tbs whatever fresh herbs that are in the garden, minced. 1 med shallot, minced
  15. You might try the chowhound website. They usually come up with some good ideas. My husband and I usually have a 6th sense about this. We find the gentrified area of a city, and start looking for a non-chain thats full of people eating (not just drinking). We then check the menu. It sounds like a simple process, but we have had very good results with it. If the owner cares enough to care for the outside, that usually means that it carries over into the kitchen. Even on the East Coast, it can be hazardous. I remember having a horrible meal in an "Italian" restaurant outside of Worcester, Mass. in 1996. Of course, there are doubtless way more bad than good Italian restaurants within major cities on the Eastern Seaboard, too. ←
  16. Come to think of it. We did split a plate in a higher end restaurant. As one of my christmas gifts, my husband took me for lunch to what is claimed to be the best italian restaurant in Chicago. I have wanted to taste truffled pasta for years. 3 days before new years day, we went for lunch. We each ordered drinks, individual appetizer salads, a plate of truffled fettucine to split and a desert to split. We tipped the server (who was great) 25%. I dont see how the restaurant could feel that we had mis-used their resources. We left there having really enloyed the whole experience. Wow. How exactly do you enforce this? I mean, if a customer wants to pay the $16.95 flat fee and just order a martini, do you still insist he/she order an Entree? And what if a customer thinks (or hopes) that the appetizers will arrive before the entree? What do you mean by "it's expected"? The idea that I "must" do something, as a customer--in other words, it's the chef's way, or the highway--leaves me a little cold. But I guess this depends on why you go to a restaurant: if you go with a very open mind, hoping the chef will teach you something, this setup caters to you. But if you go, hoping to enjoy exciting, tasty food--on some of your own terms, with a few preconceived notions--then this setup leaves a lot to be desired. IMHO. Now, where's my appetizer?? ←
  17. Reading a cookbook from another time period. How they did things is amazing. Even if we have new whiz bang methods to do in 10 minutes what used to take 3 weeks, there is usually a unique flavor associated with, "The old way" that often is wonderful and different. WOW ←
  18. My husband and I are also diabetic, and we often do it. The majority of our decision is based on portion size. I dont think that the check actually suffers, we also order wine, usually one appetizer and one dessert to split. We are also sensitive to, "tying up a table" and elect to sit in the bar area so as not to take space that might go to higher paying customers. Portions have become so large in many restaurants that it doesnt make sense to order all this food that we wont eat. Yes, it could be lunch for the next day, but we would rather return more often. In the places that we do this, I actually think they get more of our dollars because we return more often.
  19. Hi All, My first attempt at choux pastry didnt rise. The recipes I checked before trying this were Julia Child's in "Baking" and Jacques Pepin in "La Technique". I went with the Julia recipe. I'm not sure that I cooked it long enough, but I got the light crust she spoke of before I transferred it to the bowl. I piped them out with a star tip and they had volume but fell flat on the pan and didnt rise in the oven. They tasted OK, they just werent pretty. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  20. I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I love Bouchon the book, I feel empowerd when I use it, but it does not appear to be designed for use. Even when I re-read the recipe, make a copy, post it on the fridge, if I need to check the recipe in the book, its hard to balance, the type is small and it wont lie flat. For all the effort Mr. Keller speaks of regarding how each recipe was tested in a home kitchen, I wonder if the cooks assumed processes that are intuitive to professional cooks, but not necessarily to home cooks. There have been times when I've had to refer back to the book to understand the flow of a process and its not easy. I am a fan, Tom Keller can write on stone tablets and I will buy it, but I hope the next book is put in the hands of some passionate ameteurs (I volunteer!). The feedback may be surprising.
  21. I'm with you. I was a Hellman's household untill I tasted Dukes. We are flying to Baltimore this weekend and my husband is on notice. There are two thing that must be purchased to be shipped back. 1. a case of Duke's 2. 20lbs. of white lilly flour. Then we can do something like see the washington monument. Hey, first things first!............
  22. Hi all- Happy turkey day and thanks for the the info. I have what was at the time the top of the line kitchen aid. the black one with the digital touch pad. angled on the front. It has the convection oven and for most things it steps up to the task admirably. That's why I think I need some technique tips. This stove does everything else I ask quickly and with style. I guess I'm wondering about my assumptions that it is fact overhead heat that gives that great color. When I look in professional kitchens I never see things burning, always browning quickly and prettily. Yet at home, If I put a piece of toast in the upper 1/3 of this oven and choose convection broil, In the time it takes for me to turn my back, the toast is brown and on its way to become cinders. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I have nothing bad to say about this stove, I just need some help.
  23. Thanks to all who replied. I will blend, then strain. May you all have a peacful holiday with family and/or friends...............
  24. Hi All- As someone who recently remodeled her kitchen, I have plenty of new, cool, digital everything appliances. I have not however, been able to produce the golden brown sizzling broiled items that I so desire to make. Is this a technique issue or do I need to find additonal space for a salamander in my kitchen? My attempts at "broiled to gold brown perfection" or "flash under a broiler until the gratin is golden brown and bubbling" usually end up with more of a pock marked acne look. What am I doing wrong? Thanks in advance for your comments.
  25. Hi All- I'm writing in a semi-panic. My favorite ice cream recipe involves a custard. I worked really hard not to overshoot, the thickening point, however I ended up with miniscule chunks of what I think are scrambled eggs. CAn I simply strain i t or will I end up with grainy ice cream if I try to use this custard base? Any help would be appreciated. I plan to churn this ice cream tomorrow. Thanks again. as an fyi- the recipe includes 8 egg yolks, 1.25 cups of sugar, 2.5 cups of milk and 2.5 cups of heavy cream.
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