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Everything posted by fooey

  1. Edouard de Pomiane's French Cooking in Ten Minutes: Adapting to the Rhythm of Modern Life, modern being 1930, but the concepts work to this day. Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Simple Cuisine. His recipe for Shrimp in Spicy Carrot Juice (p. 11) is really great!
  2. It sounds like you got the right texture, according to what The Wednesday Chef says about them: That's not a brownie recipe, IMO, with that egg:flour ratio.
  3. fooey

    Onion Confit

    On second thought, maybe the crock pot was not such a great idea. I used the confit to make 2 Quiche Lorraine–too much for me to eat, so I froze most of both. On reheating a couple of slices in the oven this morning, there was liquid (rendered from the quiche) all over the reheating plate, soaking the bottom of the tart shell, which turned to mush. I'm almost certain it's from the onion confit used in the quiche. Perhaps the onions didn't lose as much liquid to evaporation as they usually do when I make it in a sauté pan? I can't imagine it's coming from set custard or cheese or bacon, so it has to be the confit.
  4. Only 2 pages. That's a relief. I usually give up on the ones that have 500 replies over 5 years. Looks like there's an attachement for my mixer, but it cost almost as much (more?) than a dedicated machine at ~400 USD.
  5. Wow, those are gorgeous, Chris! Fax me a link. It's lunch time. Batali, father, not son, makes a really hot sopresatta I could eat by the pound. Where would I buy one of those manual sausage stuffer thingies you have?
  6. They're called Escargot aux Raisins or Pain aux Raisins. Dorie Greenspan has a recipe in "Baking, From My Home to Yours" on p. 56. She calls them Brioche Raisin Snails. I've seen them made with danish, brioche, and even puff pastry, but I think danish is the most common dough. You could probably get away with a simple cinnamon roll dough. The distinguishing characteristic of Escargot aux Raisins is the use of pastry creme (and raisins, of course) as filling. I especially like them filled with (rum-soaked) currants, (chopped, roasted) walnuts, pecans or pistachios, shredded coconut, and pastry creme. Here's an online recipe and tutorial (in French, but easy enough to translate). Rose Levy Beranbaum has a recipe that's similar, but uses Remonce (almond cream filling) instead of the usual pastry creme. It uses danish dough. It's in the Pie & Pastry Bible, p. 502, "Danish Snail Buns".
  7. fooey

    Kitchen Adages

    "The health department works in mysterious ways!" This always said with legato and increasing volume to the end, as The health department works IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS. It was a reminder to clean one's station immediately, wash one's hands, or rectify some blatant health violation.
  8. I'm guessing they're just thumbprint sugar cookies with a cherry, the piped dough is the same dough used to make the cookie. I hereby name them cherrythumbs! Creative, huh? OK, perhaps not.
  9. fooey


    The internets will store this forever, so I blame my mother: Lipton Onion Soup Mix, 1/2 oink, 1/2 moo, bacon fat, old bread (crust removed, soaked in milk, squeezed), never bread crumbs, lots of garlic, black pepper, eggs, and 1T yellow mustard (no idea why she uses this, but maybe the acid helps), salt. Never, ever anything tomato on top. When I see tomato sauce or (mein gott, ketchup!) on a meatloaf, I point and cringe and call it blasphemer! Garlic mashed taters on the side with gravy made from the drippings are requisite, ja? Oh, oh and brussel sprouts perfectly done (the greatest vegetable no one seems to like). Darienne, did you say Albondigas in public?! How could you! I even have Macrona almonds for almond sauce.
  10. If you're looking for peanut oil in volume (and make this face when you see $10 for 1L of peanut oil), try your local Asian market. That's where I find the best price, often 50-75% less than elsewhere.
  11. fooey

    Good Autumn Food

    Sweet potatoes and yams! I can think of 50 uses... This time of year, I bake them whole (usually 5 at a time) and have them for breakfast. They're very filling (I can easily skip lunch and the sleepies that follow if I have a sweet potato for breakfast), low calorie, nutritious, easy to bake, and they make the kitchen smell as good as fresh bread.
  12. "La Patisserie" and PH10 are available in Europe for less than the $400 or more dollars on the used market here? I might reconsider if that's the case; but, you're right, "price gougers" they are. What are some non-Amazon retailers, large retailers that compete with Amazon in France that might have them in stock at a more reasonable price? I agree with you that the price of a college textbook is about right for these, but then the last time I checked on college textbooks prices was a decade ago, when I was in college. I've heard they cost hundreds each these days.
  13. Ha ha. I ate it before I could snap the result. My belly attests, "Deeeelicious was!"
  14. fooey

    Onion Confit

    I made it successfully in my crock pot last month on the lowest setting for about 15 hours. Like others have reported above, a lot of liquid was released from the onions when I checked in the morning. Instead of throwing the liquid away, however, I just strained the liquid into a sauté pan, reduced it, and returned it to the confit. I'm not sure if this helped at all, but it didn't hurt. I much preferred this "hands off" method. I usually make it on the stove, checking every 20 minutes for hours and hours on end, hoping it doesn't take on color. I like a very flavorful confit, so I add two large bouquet garni to about 7 lbs on onions.
  15. <rant> I decided to boycott Pierre Hermé after the publishing of Macaron. He publishes fantastic books on pastry and then proceeds to ignore the demand for them once the first print run sells out. I suspect these small print runs are intentional, to encourage exclusivity. He simply must be aware of the demand for his work. It's ravenous! If his publisher isn't, he should find another. He/they must know that, with existing demand, small publishing runs result in stratospheric prices and near-complete lack of availability. Or maybe that's the idea? Porsche is made by hand, Dior too, et tu Hermé? Do we sew the bindings ourselves with special, Ispahan-colored silk threading, glue the binding with flavored epoxy? Just about every major work he's put out is physically (none available, shipping from the ends of the earth for often exorbitant rates, waiting for months to arrive) and/or economically (hundreds of dollars per book) unavailable to most who want a copy. He doesn't hide the fact that his production follows the model of haute couture fashion, debuting a new collection with each season; and, like couture, he seems intent to tempt us with his creative genius and simultaneously exclude us from his work with this faux, ongoing caché of exclusivity that results from limited print runs. I'll say nothing for the refusal to publish in English, other than that English translations would sell magnitudes more than the French, not just in the US, but worldwide. I, for one, have had it with the House of Hermé. I can make my own ma-ca-rwans. </rant>
  16. I posted croissant and puff pastry above, but completely forgot about the task that's really my favorite, one that requires patience and much, much calm: strudel. If you even think about hurrying strudel dough along, it'll break just to smite your thought process. It's one of the easiest doughs in the pantheon to make, but stretching it paper thin is another story entirely. I haven't made it in a while, but here are some photos from a previous outing. 1. Rolling the dough (my strudel cloth is just a old pillow case heavily dredged with flour). 2. Rolling the (apple, pecan, streusel) strudel. 3. Drowning it with butter. 4. Sprinkled with cinnamon sugar and ready for the oven.
  17. Ditto on peanut oil. It's my favorite as well, but it's so expensive, at least in the western US. (I guess we don't have peanut farms nearby?) To fill that chicken fryer half full would cost $20.
  18. I'm with you on this. Nothing exhausts me more than an Asian supermarket. They make me feel so tiny. I always feel like I'm passing up 50 things that are probably great and have 20 things in my basket that are awful. I've caved completely these days: I just bring picture books. (Yes, it's Sesame Street time. I know no shame when it comes to finding the right ingredients). I tried bringing books that use language (Chinese, Japanese, Thai, etc.), but I find most markets are international in scope and the odds are better than average that the person I ask about a Chinese symbol can't read Chinese, the person I ask about Thai is Japanese, etc. Worse, I spend hours trying to match the Asian language pictographs (I happen to love the Thai script) with what's on the bottles (and almost always fail). I think it's a game, a rigged one. When I find something (I think is what) I need, I point at it and I point at the picture and ask if I have the right ingredient. I usually get it right, but you'd be surprised how many times the little ole lady "makes a face", grabs something out of my basket, walks away, and then comes back with the good version. I still remember one old lady in Anchorage, Alaska. I didn't even ask her about the fish sauce. She just pointed at it and and said: "Fish head, yuk! ANCHOVY!" (I was buying the cheap fish sauce from Malaysia made of fish heads, but she said I needed one from Thailand made with anchovy paste). She's the same one that pointed at the sweet potatoes in my basket and said "American sweet potatoes are shi*! Try these (tiny, Asian sweet potatoes)". She grabs 4 out of her basket and puts them in my basket. "Put in microwave and DIIIIING for 5 minutes. Yum!" She was right too.
  19. I come from the Beelzebub School of Cookery. If the fire department isn't having dinner with you, the heat wasn't high enough! Unless, of course, we have ze' French saucier hat on and are using the copper pan and the induction burner and Schubert leider is on the stereo. That leg of lamb looks great, btw.
  20. Brewing variables put me off tea for a long time too, until I bought Jane Pettigrew's The Tea Companion. I'd buy lots of tea, but would get frustrated with not knowing how to brew it. Or, I would brew it according to "generic black tea" or "generic green tea" instructions and either get a mouth full of bitter or, else, flavorless hot water. And I paid a small fortune for some of these teas! It just wasn't like coffee, where, if you had fresh beans and some modicum of control over time and temperature, it's easy to get good results. Pettigrew's book was my lifesaver, especially the 1 sentence brewing instructions. It's a tiny book with big information. I keep it at the ready next to the tea pot(s). Starting on p. 100, she gives instructions on how to brew various teas, organized by country. She covers a lot of territory too, easily a hundred teas. Three examples from the text: Kenya (Marinyn), India (Darjeeling Green Ayra), and China (Pai Mu Tan Imperial [balmudan, White Peony]): Kenya (Marinyn) Characteristics. Beautiful orthodox leaf with plenty of tip from Kenya's most famous garden. Brewing. Use 1 teaspoon in a 1 cup water at 203 F. Infuse for 2-3 minutes. Drinking. Drink with milk as an afternoon tea. India (Darjeeling Green Ayra) Characteristics. A rare tea from a well-known garden. Gives an infusion a little like Japanese Sencha. An exquisite aroma, delicate taste, and gentle on the palate. Brewing. Brew 2 teaspoons in 1 cup of water at 158 F. Infuse for 3 minutes. Drinking. Drink without milk as a digestif or as a refreshing drink any time of the day. China (Pai Mu Tan Imperial [balmudan, White Peony]) Characteristics. This rare white tea is made from very small buds and leaves that are plucked in the early spring, just before they open. When they have been steamed and dried, they have the appearance of of lots of miniature bunches of small white blossoms with tiny leaves. This white tea comes from Fuijan province and gives a clear, pale infusion with a fresh aroma and a smooth velvety flavor. Brewing. Brew 2 teaspoons in a scant 1 cup water at 185 F. Infuse for 7 minutes. Drinking. Drink without milk or sugar, after meals as a healthy digestif, or as a light afternoon tea. I imagine there's an even more comprehensive online resource these days. Is there?
  21. I don't know which one of you got me to make Thomas Keller's (turns out it's actually Jean-Louis Palladin's) brioche, but now I've gone and done it and am 3/4 done with 1 of the 8 loaves. Brioche is one of those foods that, if it's around, I cannot resist it. It is the Devil of all bread and it's demonic in its temptation. Other than brioche, I think only figs tempt me as much. If there's a fig nearby, it shall be mine (unless I manage to make fig preserves, in which case it'll be gone in a fortnight). We all have our favorites, but what foods really, really tempt you? What are the ones that, if you cook it or if it's around, you simply can't resist eating all of it, every morsel?
  22. I'm not sure how many more ways I can say this, but the Bosch and Electrolux are not serious commercial mixers. I would break both of them in short order with the volume I put out. They not marketed as such, they wouldn't hold up, and were I to check, I'm sure the warranty wouldn't even be honored if it were so used.
  23. For quick frying, I use a cheap wok, a mesh skimmer, and splatter guard. The wok takes less oil, heats up quickly, and cleans easily. I just put all three in the dishwasher. They're so cheap that I don't really concern myself with their longevity. If I need a more stable temperature for longer frying, I use a 10-1/4" Lodge Logic Deep Skillet. It seems to maintain temperature better than anything else I own (i.e. doesn't drop 100 F when I add food to the hot oil). I use it only for frying, making roux, and for lugging along on camping trips, where it's dedicated to bacon. I haven't used my Le Crueset or Staub for deep frying, so I don't know on those; but, I'm of the ilk that an ugly pot is a well-used one.
  24. Oh, easy! You just buy a Tandoori oven and install it on the patio. They're really heavy and really, really expensive, but that's a whole leg of lamb and it requires love. Can't you just treat it like Hawai'ian pig, wrap it in banana leaves, bury it in charcoal, and check on it in a couple of days?
  25. I've named him Fred, as he's now a fixture in my kitchen. He doesn't dance around while mixing, but I'm afraid to try high speed. He might fall through the floor. There's something perverse about being able to make a quadruple batch of brioche (only 80 tablespoons of butter and 2 dozen eggs) and not have to worry about the mixer imploding or butter-egg-flour goop flying across the room.
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