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Everything posted by SWISS_CHEF

  1. Pressure cookers were invented in France. I had heard of them for years but I first encountered one only when we rented a Gite in the French countryside long ago. They were required to be in the Gites by the French Government. They use far less energy because of the pressure. I really loved it when I first tried it. It was like kind of like a microwave in that it could cook things in a fraction of the time, but in the end, I went back to a "take your time and let it steep" style of cooking which I think brings out the flavor better (slower, but better). I must say it makes a wicked beef Bourguignon but you really should cook it at least a day before so the flavors develop fully. I still have one but I rarely use it any more, usually just for beans. EDIT: If you rush risotto you clearly don't understand it.
  2. Some years ago I was able to get green beans at a Saturday market regularly. I could roast a few in a very hot cast iron pan, keeping them moving constantly. Then I heard about using a hot air popcorn maker. The bean seller scoffed, and said I would soon burn it out, But I persisted, and it provided an excellent source of fresh beans for the three years I used it, until I moved out to the burbs. It is not as consistent or even as fast as a small store roaster, but it is better than buying quickly fading roasted beans, which is now my current option. ← Bravo, Bravo!!! I just love unconventional methods…I am sick to death of doing things like everyone else.
  3. The Nano Pan Chronicle: March 7, 2005 I decided to do a test and burn Balsamic vinegar, honey and sugar in the pan and see what happens. First the Balsamic: Then the honey: Then the sugar: I burned each one untill they quit smoking and were just carbon disks. The smell was awful! In most cases all I had to do was shake the pan and the carbon would just break loose and slide around the pan. Here is the final result, three perfect carbon pancakes: There was absouluely no effect on the pan.
  4. At the risk of sounding like a hillbilly here is how I do it: I have an outdoor gas grill with a side burner...I get out my big Calphalon soup pot and dump in about two pounds of green beans that I buy from a local roaster. You can try different kinds but Sumatra works well. It's really more to do with the roast than the bean. Turn up the heat and stir them with a wooden spoon every 10 to 15 seconds untill they turn black and start popping like popcorn. Let them pop untill they start to slow down. They will be smoking like crazy so be sure to do this outside!!! You will need a glove to protect your hand from the heat. When they look black and glossy dump the beans on to a couple of cookie sheets to cool quickly. When totally cool put them into a jar and let them sit for 3 days so the oils can re-absorb into the beans. Then grind as normal. I prefer these beans to any store bought beans. Note: This recipe will take the beans to a very dark french or expresso style roast. Caffine will be largely burned off. Pull them off earlier if you want a lighter roast. PS: Wear old cloths because they will stink when you are done!
  5. For the past six years I have used a Swiss made Soehnle scale exactly like this: http://www.jpimall.com/kitchenscales/soehnle_futura.shtml It is superb, don't hesitate to buy it. You can put a bowl on it and set it to zero and then add what ever you want to weigh. Also, mine weighs in ounces/pounds or grams. I have never had a better scale.
  6. Hi Abra, Yes, use Lillet it will work fine….different, but fine. Arbois’ Vin Jaune is kind of a funky...sort of semi maderized, slightly sweet...well not really sweet... white wine., that can last a VERY long time (220 years see: http://www.domaine-martin.fr/english/vinja...vieux/vieux.htm ) More info: http://www.wine-pages.com/guests/wink/jura.htm The Arbois region is very undiscovered and has it's own passionate followers, (my wife and I are two). In Europe I run into more and more people who have discovered the wines of the Arbois. Most Americans have never heard of them. Find them if you can. As for chickens: Well, it is expensive here now given the weak dollar. If you buy Swiss chickens in Migros or Coop you will pay about 9 to 13 CHF a kilo or US$3.50-5.00 per pound. If you go to Globus you might pay US$50 or more for a real Bresse Chicken. Because of Farmer subsidies, the trick to happiness in Switzerland is living close to a border. Fortunately I live 2 miles from the German border and I can get fresh chickens in Germany for as low as US$1.2/pound....cheap and good. 40 minutes away in France I can buy DOC free range chickens (depends on the brand) for about US 2.50/pound ...pretty cheap given the quality. A proper Bresse chicken will cost at least US $30.00 and a cheap mass produced chicken will cost US 1.20 pound. Just wondering...What brought you to Switzerland and do you miss it?
  7. Well actually, I cheated a little because I didn't have a Bresse chicken or Vin Jaune so I improvised with a normal store bought chicken and a half half mixture of cheap German auslese riesling and dry sherry and the result was very close (BTW it makes a a great aperitif not unlike Lillet).

    Dinner! 2005

    We were in a red meat mood last night so I did a couple of bacon wrapped filets with two sauces, a bernaise and some reduced balsamic.
  9. I started a thread: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=60211 about Poularde de Bresse au Vin Jaune et aux Morille. Its really a great way to use morels. Here is a recipe: http://www.interfrance.com/franche-comte/g...oularde_en.html If you want to go morel hunting here are some tips. http://nov55.com/mr/fnd.html My version of Poularde de Bresse au Vin Jaune et aux Morille:
  10. The Nano Pan Chronicle, Star Date: March 4, 2005 I christened my new Nano pan with half a dozen pan seared sea scallops tonight. I thought that because scallops are so tender they would be a good test for my new pan....waste of money... I guess this was too easy...they slid around the pan like they were a bunch of marbles. Second course was a pair of bacon wrapped filet mignons...ditto.. they almost floated across the pan from the heat alone. Not even a trace of sticking. Both the scallops and the filet cooked and cleaned up perfectly, only a piece of paper towel was needed to clean the pan. But let's be honest... almost all non-sticks will do that on the first date. Other observations...the pan took a little longer to heat up because of the thickness, but the heat was very even once it was hot. I really, really love the extra length in the handle...why can all handles be this long??? The pan is so solid and heavy its really like cooking with cast iron but without the extra weight. After thoughts: I am dying to make a Rösti in this thing!! edit: The Bacon wrapped filet:
  11. Ok, I'm going to get to the bottom of this non-stick-super-pan stuff... I contacted the company that makes these "diamond" pans and went to visit them today and I have to say that I am impressed. There are two versions. The household version with the plastic handles which is for sale in the US called Swiss Diamond and the professional version which is only available in Switzerland called Swiss Nano Pro. The household type are ok but the professional pans are built like tanks. 10 mm of cast aluminum, double thick reinforced edges and extra long stainless steel handles. They are very heavy, in fact they look as if you could drive your car over them without damage. The pan is cast in Germany and coated in Switzerland. The handle mounting block is cast into the mould and the handle is screwed to the pan so there are no rivets on the inside of the pan like Calphalon. The other feature I really liked was the extra long stainless steel handle. It's kind of hard to explain, but if you pick up the pan and grab it low on the handle you can rest the handle under your forearm and it balances beautifully, the pan becomes an extension of your arm. Normal pans break too short and require more effort to hold up. It's such an obvious thing when you hold it, but pretty hard to find in other pans. I acquired two pans today, one in the diamond finish (Swiss Nano Pro) and one in the titanium finish (not as hard called Titan) I intend to write a little diary along with photos of how they hold up in my kitchen. If these pans do half of what they are suppose to do we have it made! Some pictures..... http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/continentalc...r=/835d&.src=ph Edit: The smaller is 8.5 inches and weighs 2 lb 11 ozs and the larger is 10 inches and weighs 3 lb 6 ozs. The Claims: Assembled from bits of the brochure. The Swiss national cookery team uses Swiss Nano Pro pans at all its competitions. In 2002 the team won a gold medal at the World Cooking Championships in Singapore and two gold medals at the Luxembourg World Cup. The Diamant/Swiss Nano Pro coating system was awarded a gold medal at the inventor's exhibition in Geneva. The extreme hardness and fully non-stick finish of Diamant and Swiss Nano Pro pans meet the highest standards for professional cooks and top chefs. The pans are carefully hand cast and have an extra thick base. As a result the body of the pan will remain completely stable throughout its life. The recoating service represents a significant cost saving for professional chefs whose pans are subject to heavy wear. The Nanocomposition nonstick coating with diamond powder creates a tough, completely adhesion-resistant surface on which nothing can gain a hold. High thermal conductivity and totally non-stick . Hand cast in special moulds. The base is guaranteed to remain perfectly flat for 10 years. 10mm thick base. Optimal thermal conductivity and heat storage. The base will not warp even under the greatest heat und heaviest use. Reinforced top edge protects against dents and increases stability. Extra long handle makes larger, heavier pans easier to use. The handle can be held safely even when the temperature changes rapidly. The weight of the pan can be distributed by resting the handle under the forearm. PTFE diamond coating on the outer edge as well, easy to clean for hygiene.
  12. I was in the local restaurant supply place here in Switzerland yesterday and noticed they carry a pretty sexy line of very heavy aluminium cookwear that is apparently coated with synthetic industrial diamonds. Anyone tried this stuff? Is it any better than all the rest of the non-sticks? At a $100 a pan I'd like a few opinions before I buy one. Regards, Ed
  13. I have been to Bresse and have seen how they farm the birds. Basically, they take a big field and fence it in and the birds go whereever they want. It looks more like a playground for chickens than anything else! As much open and cheap land as there is in the States, this seems like a piece of cake to duplicate. Getting Americans to pay $40 for a chicken might be a bit tricky though.
  14. I have experimented spit-roasting both grocery store chickens and free range birds when I lived in the States. The free range were much better in my opinion but still its like comparing a Chevy to a Ford. The Rolls Royce would be the Bresse chicken from France. There are other "AOC" chickens in France that are very good too. In my opinion, the real taste test comes the day after when the chicken is coold. I am surprised that there aren't movements in the US to develop AOC type products like in France. (Maybe there are and I'm just poorly informed). The only drawback to the Bresse chickens is the cost.... it's almost cheaper to eat filet mignon. A good Bresse chicken can cost $40.
  15. ohhh... can you teach me this trick? This is a problem for me too. But don't people notice that the wine level in your glass is staying the same? ← No one's ever said anything. But two tricks help the wine-level go down: (1) wet the lips with wine and wipe with napkin, repeat, repeat, and repeat; and/or (2) have your spouse, significant other, date, or the person next to you accidentally drink from your glass instead. ← REMIND ME NEVER TO GO OUT WITH ANY OF YOU!!!
  16. What, no picture of the MAC's????
  17. Hi Cynthia, Thats correct, Sabatier is a style of knife not a company. Just like Laguiole knives, lots of different companies make them. I guess its a "French" thing. I suggest looking on e-bay. Look for a brand called "Chef au Ritz". Mine are 50 to 80 years old. They are very nice and should be quite affordable on e-bay. Its like collecting antiques only they are usefull! Have fun, Ed
  18. Hi Cynthia, I'm sorry to hear about your troubles. I just thought I would also suggest you check out vintage (perhaps new ones too) carbon steel Sabatiers. Mine are VERY light and well suited for smaller hands and take a good edge quickly and there is just something special about working with old knives. My 8 inch Wüsthof weighs in at 234 gr. and my 8 inch Sabatier is only 150 gr. Big difference! Good Luck, Ed
  19. Falk give you a scotch brite to clean you pot. Works well on the brushed finish. ← An old-timer here in Switzerland told me to use vineger and salt to clean the copper pots and it works like a charm! I just take a bowl and dump in about half a cup of salt in then cover with vinegar to make a loose paste and rub it on the pots with a scotchbrite.
  20. A good friend Nick has started www.bastronomy.com for the Basel food scene. If you would like to contribute information in any way I'm sure he would like the help. Thanks, Ed
  21. If I might interject please... as you have seen I have a few different kinds of knives and I like them all (even the ones from Ikea). Sure they are different from each other and some are better suited for certain jobs than others. I say, vive la difference! Maybe the answer is that one knife can't be superior to all other knives. One thing I have learned by this forum is that a good vintage Sabatier is a very well respected knife. What I am surprised by is the relatively little support Wüsthof knives have garnered. When I was cooking professionally ten years ago I worked in a kitchen with 28 NECI and CIA grads and Wüsthof was the only knife you would see. I remember bringing in my Sabatiers once and everyone wanted to look at them. At that time they were like freaks to the other chefs and I was kind of embarrassed to use them. Knives really have come a very long way in the last ten years and I would be happy to try some Japanese knives but at this point if I even pick up a new knife my wife gives me "that" look. So let's enjoy our knives and not pull out our daggers! (Typical neutral Swiss, always trying to defuse unrest)
  22. To understand why she was so important we have to put Julia in context with her time: Founded in 1896, the Internationale Kochkunst Ausstellung, commonly called the "Culinary Olympics", is the oldest and most prestigious international culinary competition in the world. The 1960 American team, headed up by Paul Laesecke, actually captured the world championship on a menu of Maryland Fried Chicken, Prime Rib, and Stuffed Baked Potato cooked in aluminum foil! Seeing Julia for the first time must have been very enlightening!
  23. -you wrap all your left overs up in foil so they look like little ducks. -you feel woozy when someone uses one of your knives. -its 4AM and you are wide awake thinking about beggar's purses filled with beluga. -you know damn well that Champagne does not taste better in a hot tub.
  24. My Group: Pic I From left to right: Pointing down: the Nogents Pointing up: The Sabatiers Pointing down the Wüsthofs Chefs are 8, 10 (notice rare vintage French style 10 inch)and 12 inch Pic II: From Left to right: Truffle knife Two good knives from Ikea Sap (Italian) Ham knife Sap Salmon knife Victorinox fork Chinese cleaver S/S cleaver
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