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Everything posted by Apicio

  1. Nick Malgieri has a good recipe with detailed instructions in the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of the Cook’s Illustrated.
  2. Have you heard of Turon? If you live in Toronto you can order them from a place on the Queensway. I always serve them for concert intermission. Here is a link: http://www.marketmanila.com/archives/turon
  3. Apicio


    Yes, and they were also used for present and rice from the previous harvest was called aged rice. I had dinner at a Chinese-Japanese restaurant in Curitiba recently where they served Brazilian rice so desiring a bowl of rice that’s closer to what we have here in Toronto Chinese restaurants, i.e. rice that hold together, I asked for Japanese Rice whereupon they served me exactly the same Brazilian rice but in a Japanese laquer bowl.
  4. I have noticed that attempts by a lot of participants in this board run into problems for the simple reason that passionate amateurs that they may be are attempting recipes that they simply are not technically ready for, their skill level not having reached the level required by the recipes. It results in far-fetched substitutions, poor adjustments in timing and temperature, total bewilderment in mending minor failures all of which no amount of expert advice but only more practice and experiece can remedy. Making pâte feuilletée when you have not even baked muffins is equivalent to sitting in front of the piano to play the Minute Waltz with no prior training.
  5. I picked up a bottle from the LCBO accross Sherway Gardens right before Christmas 2004 and another a short distance away at Cloverdale Mall on the same morning.
  6. Rice is my main source of carbohydrate and until just recently that means white polished rice. Now I switch between brown long grain and brown short grain just to break the monotony. Brown basmati, Japanese type brown short grain and glutenous brown rice are all available where I live. There is also a premium brown which comes out right after the rice harvest (from California). In addition to taking longer to cook (I use a rice cooker and live it on for another half hour after it has automatically clicked to done) I find that it is also a lot chewier which means that it takes me longer to eat through my usual portion.
  7. In Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd Mrs. Lovett says of one of her pies “this one is a flautist” and Sweeney Todd replies “that’s why it’s piping hot” and she retorts “you have to blow on it then.”
  8. Here is my final version of the dan tart crust. By mixing cake and all purpose flour in this version, I obtained a soft and malleable dough that can be rolled thin without breaking and also does not need as long rest periods. I increased the lard of the water dough to make it more tender and closer to the texture of the commercial dan tarts. The baking shells did not bubble and puffed out of shape in the oven and are very short although tasty to eat as is. I’m going to try filling them with my own custard mixture and baking them next time. 150 grams cake flour 150 grams all purpose flour 150 grams lard 150 grams water 25 grams granulated sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 275 grams lard 225 grams cake flour Dump all the ingredients of the first group in a food processor and run until it forms into a clean ball. Wrap in plastic and let rest in the fridge for at least an hour. Mix together the second group of ingredients until smooth but still firm. Roll the water dough in a flat square around 18” x 18”. Spread the lard and flour mixture in the centre of this in a rough square with its corners close to the sides of water dough. Fold the flaps like a squre envelope. Flatten and roll the resulting package into a rough rectangle 12” on the short side. Fold this into three along the long side and wrap in plastic sheet and let rest in the fridge for two to three hours. Roll again into a rectangle that is roughly 12” on the short side and fold into three along the long side. Do this one more time and wrap in plastic sheet and let rest. Stop and let the dough rest in the fridge any time you feel that it is resisting handling. Split this package into two to make handling easier. Each one is rolled into a rectangle that is 18” on the long side. Rolled tightly like a jelly roll along the short side. Roll into an even rope that is 24” long. Divide into 16 equal pieces. Wrap this pieces in plastic sheet and let rest before rolling into final rounds approximately the diameter of your scalloped cutter (mine is 4” to fit my mini brioche pans).
  9. I picked up 200 grams of Jamon Serrano from Spain at San Remo bakery, two blocks south of Evans on Royal York today. More expensive but much better than any prosciutto I have tasted hereabout. Something to savour while awaiting the approval of the much vaunted Jamon (Iberico) Jabugo.
  10. Sheetz, We'll get to the filling once we perfect the crust. I figure I will have to try a few more versions of the crust so I did not want to waste the filling. The result from Ling's recipe were inedible and went to the bin as soon as they cooled down. The most recent ones were delicious without any filling.
  11. Here is a progress report on my quest for acceptable dan tart crust. I tried Ling’s most recent recipe excluding the egg which I consider a red herring. The result was tasteless (lacking in sugar and salt) shrunken greasy crust, very much like over-handled pie crust. The cake flour in the water dough was just too fragile to withstand extrusion but I suspect that the proportion of the oil dough to the water dought might be right. So adjusting for all of these I came up with the following recipe: Oil dough 200 grams Cake flour 250 grams Lard Water dough 300 grams All purpose flour 150 grams water 25 grams sugar 50 grams Lard Followed Ling’s recipe’s turns with lots of rest in between. That is, three turns folded in thirds, fourth turn folded into four. For the final roll divide into two portions for ease of handling. Flatten the dough to as thin as possible giving it a rest if unyielding and follow again with a long rest in the fridge before final cutting otherwise the pieces will shrink into nothingness. I baked these blind sandwiched between two brioche pans. The finished crusts are tasty and has the crunch and mouthfeel of the shortness of the crust of commercial dan tarts. I am dismayed by the amount of rest that it required though and really wonder how the commercial bakers do it. I suppose using dough relaxers as I did in the shop or else using another magic combination of cake and all purpose flour which I am going to try in my next attempt.
  12. I learned how to make quindims in Brazil. Actually closer to Tocino del Cielo more than to Leche Flan, also baked in a bain-marie but mixed with finely grated coconut which floats to the top and gets caramelized by the heat. Also served upside down, the crust becoming a chewy base like bucayô.
  13. Here is a self-quote from a thread on Fresh Pork Hocks: If you can get access to the October 1997 issue of Gourmet magazine, on page 250 under Forbidden Pleasures, you will find a wonderful recipe for “Crackling Pork Shank.” The author of the article claimed that he was lured by a New York Times restaurant review of Maloney & Porcelli, in midtown Manhattan, wherein the critic praised a dish of crackling pork shank, “an enormous mound of tender pork wrapped in its own crisp skin and served on an aromatic bed of poppyseed-sprinkled sauerkraut.” I cook this to reward myself each time I get a clean bill of health from my cardiologist.
  14. Just to quickly test the proportion of liquid to flour of Ling’s recipe, I mixed 24 grams of cake flour and 15 grams of water and I obtained a fairly soft dough which with the addition of the lard and sugar can be usable. I don’t think the egg belongs to Part 2 since its addition will turn the dough into a crepe batter. Aside from the egg, the proportion of Part 1 and Part 2 appear to me to be correct although for easier handling this recipe should be doubled or even quadrupled. I have been following this thread although I have not actually tried any of the recipes because China town is only ten minutes drive from where I live and the dan tarts I get from there are so cheap it is hardly worth the efforth. The crust of the dan tarts I get here has discreet tender flakes and do not appear to have been blind baked. I suspect that that is possible only because the baker use a filling from commercial custard mix. Baking the crust (which requires a fairly hot oven to cook them and make the flakes puff a bit) at the same time as a proper custard (which only requires a bain-marie heat because of the high proportion of eggs) is simply not compatible.
  15. On a tangent, what is a "puttu steamer"?
  16. I am sure these questions have been covered in a previous thread that I cannot locate just now. For recipes that require coconut milk or fresh grated coconut meat, you need mature coconut. That is the unhusked brown shell coconut that are usually shrinked wrapped you find in most of North America. Choose the ones that you can hear are still full of water, the ones without any sign of seepage or any visible cracks or get them in busy Asian markets that presumably sell them quickly enough to minimise the chances of spoilage. For recipes that ask for young coconut for pie or fresh fruit salad you need young coconut which are usually green if the husk has not been trimmed off and white if the husk has been partially thinned. Getting fresh ones of these is even harder than getting ones of the unspoiled mature coconuts. I just use the canned ones from Thailand. Last Thursday, I needed grated coconut for a Brazilian dessert that I am trying to duplicate at home so I picked up two of them. As it turned out only one was good to use. I punched a hole on it with an ice-pick and drained the water with a straw. Baked it for twenty minutes in a hot oven and when I took it out, the shell has cracked along the equator in four spots that I did not have to whack it at all. I just peeled of the hard shell, peeled off the brown skin with a potato peeler and grated it on a medium cheese grater. Beautiful long white strands. So I think baking the coconut makes an easy job of cracking the shell and making the coconut meat dislodge itself from the shell. No mess either.
  17. I thought all cognacs are blended unless specified as single year or origin as a few of the cognac houses have been doing recently in obvious emulation of the successful marketing of single malt Scotch whiskeys.
  18. I opened a pastry shop that I only intended to run for five years. It was a a realised dream, freed me from my thirty year accounting career and also contributed substantially to my early retirement fund. I stayed three months to train the people I sold the shop and the recipes to. My feeling is that the recipe became their’s when they bought the business from me. Now when I run into old customers who complain about the present version of the products they use to buy from me I just tell them the fact that the business is no longer mine. Distance yourself from your recipe when other people prepare it. It takes real dedication to reproduce your own recipes, even when you do it yourself and do it day in and day out.
  19. If you follow a bread recipe that gives you bread that dries out quickly and you cannot correct the problem by adding more liquid, put in a tablespoon of potato starch and it will improve the texture and slow down stalling. It works in bread almost like the addition of powdered lecitin.
  20. They are two different things and have different uses in cooking which are not interchangable. The difference is as between corn meal and corn starch.
  21. They do not have colourless pandan extract though. What they sell are invariably allied with the ugliest kelly green on the planet. Even worse are the ones blended with artificial coconut flavour. Natural infusion, if you can get hold of fresh blades, gives the best fragrance, in my experience. Also great for panna cotta and other congealed desserts.
  22. Drying the pandan blades will make the flavour totally disappear. Your chance of extracting the most pandan flavour is by doing your #1. Snip them to thin pieces with a scissor so as to expose as much leaf cross-section as possible. This will allow more flavour to bleed into the hot cream.
  23. Thanks to Ulterior Epicure and Saltshaker. I'm going back to BA this spring linked with extended visits to Cordoba and Mendoza. Would either of you guys have feed info on those cities?
  24. Native users of fish sauce rarely, if ever, make them at home rather like Parisians who never ever have to bake their own daily baguettes. But if you really must know, there is a very good PDF article on garum, liquamen and salsamentum that tells you how the ancient Greeks and Romans made them. The procedure has not changed at all in the last two thousand years or so. Just google.
  25. Apicio

    Spaghetti Squash

    The squash used for cabello de angel or chila is actually a totally different squash, Cucurbita ficifolia. See my own post on Malabar gourd jam a couple of years ago. Chloe north Portugal ← Not to engage in splitting Angel's hair, you can use any of a few different varieties of squash. What I witnessed being used in Mexico and Argentina was what we call Spaghetti squash here in North America.
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