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JohnRichardson

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  1. I have a Forschner slicing knife that still has the factory edge, and an edge pro I'm learning to use. I've been using 20 degrees on my chef's knife (wusthof). Should I do the magic marker trick and just try and figure out what angle it has, or is there a recommended angle for slicing meat? I also gather that a meat slicer can take a bit more polish than a tomato slicer.
  2. For what it is worth, I made the caramel ice cream from this book on Saturday and it may be the best ice cream I've ever eaten. I made it as written except I tasted the custard and thought it could use more salt so I upped the salt from 3/4 tsp to 1 tsp. Let me say that is very surprising for a Keller recipe, usually they're heavy on the salt although rarely too much so... I'm using diamond kosher which is what's used in the book so it's not a measurement issue. Divided the just-frozen-to-soft-serve-consistency ice cream in half and froze half straight and the other half had some crushed sa
  3. A field report... I made the chicken soup with dumplings. The final result was pretty awesome, although it pained me to use an entire batch of chicken stock in one dish. 4 quarts of my stock needed a little more roux than what the recipe calls for to match the texture of the pictures (and yes, it came to a full simmer) and a light stock would have been better (mine was from leftover roast carcasses and such so it was semi-dark), and I forgot chives so subbed parsley for color. But the dumplings themselves were a revelation, easily the best dumplings I've ever had, Period. I've never made
  4. I think I asked this once before but might have been misunderstood (before meaning years ago). Why is the FC cake baked in a tube pan (the kind that leaves a hole in the middle)? And do you fill that hole with filling, or end up with a cake that is shaped like a stack of pineapple rings? A picture of the finished cake would be helpful. When I've made it, I just did 2 9" pans, and split into 4 layers.
  5. I'm in Chicago, and this was an unnamed variety of pie pumpkin from a farmer at the Green City Market. 2 of them made enough puree for 2 servings of soup and 2 pies, total. Trader Joe's has those fairytale pumpkins you mention, I may grab one of those but I figured farmers market pumpkins would be better.
  6. I just did this a couple weeks ago. To me, it was almost a different animal than pumpkin pie from canned. It was delicious, but I'm not sure which I prefer. I have 3c in the freezer I'm saving for thanksgiving, but people at "work" have requested I make one for a potluck before then so I may get to do it again. I roasted mine at 375 until soft w/o seasoning or oil, about 1.5 hours, and pureed in a food processor (I put the seeds & guts in a pot with a bit of water to make quasi pumpkin stock to use as a pureeing liquid, which is how I make butternut squash puree for soup). Didn't think
  7. This is a great thread. For me: #1: The Bread Baker's Apprentice. This was the first "serious" cookbook I bought, and I was still very much a neophyte at that point. Barbecue (true barbecue, 250 degrees, wood fire, dry rubs, all that jazz) was about the only thing I knew how to cook beyond one or two recipes from my mom (carrot cake, chili). Weight measures, the expoundings upon theory and practice, all of the information, the stuff about sourdough... I've made about 40% of the breads in here, and it without a doubt got me started as a serious cook. Ironically, I don't eat much bread any
  8. My first impression is that the whole "dumbed down" thing is perhaps spin more than intent... It's definitely simplified compared to TFL or Bouchon, but it still seems like every effort is made to extract flavor and refine. You'll still need cheesecloth and a strainer or two, and as an example there are soup recipes that call for cooking 9 different vegetables separately and then combining at the end. Personally, unless I'm cooking for a dinner party or special occasion or just want to try a specific recipe I usually reach for those books for general ideas and techniques but don't do the fu
  9. Yep. A staple, growing up. My mom was from western Tennessee, and a pretty good cook when she felt like it although in later years she started cooking at a nursing home and generally lost all motivation for cooking at home, or at least in cooking from scratch, and everything became a series of shortcuts unless it was a special occaison. Sadly, I have exactly none of her recipes since she did everything by feel, and I didn't get into cooking until much later... Her version included the skin & bones unless I whined hard enough about it, or when I was older and picked them out for her. I
  10. I'm looking at my new copy of the Herme chocolate book, and am a bit confused about the chocolate. Most of the recipes either call for bittersweet, specified as valrhona guanaja, or milk specified as valrhona jivara. The jivara and guanaja are hard to find, and super expensive. Le noir amer 71% is much easier to find and much more reasonable, and there is a 40% milk that seems to be the same packaging as le noir amer that is in the same price range and packaging. What is the difference? Can I sub 71% noir amer for 70% guanaja and the 40% milk for 40% jivara? The only way to buy the jivara/gu
  11. Interesting. I prepare it in what I assume is the "normal" way, I whip egg whites to soft peaks, then add soft-ball temp syrup and whip to stiff peaks. I wouldn't think hot sugar syrup and plastic would mix, I melted a trashcan once with a batch that I overshot soft ball temp on I dunno. The DLX is appealing for the way it kneads bread and such, and the egg whipping design seems pretty ingenious. But OTOH, the all metal construction of the bowl and whips for the KA seems more sensible, and I've heard great things about KA's customer service. What I really want is to find a deal on a hobar
  12. Not to reply to my own post, but I think I've ruled out the electrolux and the currently available bosch machines, a plastic bowl for whipping whites just isn't going to cut it for marshmallows or italian meringue... Next question: Is the kitchen aid "commercial" machine so expensive just becuase of NSF and commercial UL certifications, or is it actually beefed up over the "professional" 5 or 6? I'm not crazy about the white, but everything else in the kitchen is stainless except the countertop which is black so I think I could live with it, and I doubt it'd be stored on the coutertop anyway.
  13. That is the flour that I used. It's a little coarser than would be ideal, I put the almond meal & powdered sugar into a food processor and hit it with 6-8 5 second pulses. Next time I'm going to do even more, and try a finer sifter, because it still came out a little chunky, and after the batter gets to the point where everything is incorporated, I'm goign to intentionally stir it a bit more, these don't have the right shine and weren't quite flat enough. But night and day over my last attempt, and they had feet and texture. The food coloring idea is not a bad one, although I prefer not
  14. I'm eying a stand mixer some time soon. I had a delonghi/kenwood 7 qt. a few years ago and sold it. It strained on heavy doughs, and had a hard time with small quantities of egg whites, etc., and I just didn't have room for it. I think the only thing I made in it that it truly seemed suited for was marshmallows, and cake/cookie recipes with the paddle. The electrolux sounds prety awesome for bread, but one big drawback to it would be the plastic bowl for whipping egg whites. i'm guessing that means an italian meringue (made with 235 degree sugar syrup) is out of the question with such a se
  15. I'm going to revive this thread. I made these yesterday since you can't buy a decent one in Chicago, at least not without buying them in bulk via special order. I used the calculations from upthread (500g TPT, processed and sifted, 250 g sugar, 187 g egg whites, and I added 30g cocoa to the dry ingredients and filled with a dark ganache made from 7 oz 71% valhrona, 2 1/2 tbs butter, and 7 fl. oz of cream) The cocoa needed to be a better quality, or perhaps more of it, becuase the color wasn't the beautiful chocolate color, it had a grayish tinge to it. But other than that, and the fact that
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