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Mallet

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Everything posted by Mallet

  1. I recently did a wild canada goose confit (12 hours at 80C). Terrific flavour, but still pretty tough. Has anyone experimented with even longer cooking times? Can you overcook confit? I am thinking of courting heresy by cooking the cured legs in a pressure cooker and applying the fat afterwards.
  2. Mallet

    Wild Game Cookery

    A few days ago we roasted a few birds. It's always cool to have different species side by side, in this case mallard (background) and ring-necked duck (foreground). Ring-necks are not a duck I eat terribly often, I simply don't target them and they are less common in the habitats I frequent. The ring-neck beat this particular mallard hands-down. It was way fatter, which probably helped, but the fat itself was very good, mild and meaty, not funky at all. This particular bird's crop was chock-full of aquatic invertebrates when harvested, so I was skeptical of it at first. More and more I am fin
  3. We ended up making a mushroom risotto with the lobsters, which was pretty tasty. The mushrooms themselves are fairly mild but have a nice firm texture. This time of the year, I've moved on to better fodder. Chicken of the woods Also, while we were out we saw several giant swallowtail caterpillars on a prickly ash bush. Normally they just look like bird droppings but when you touch them they rear up a snake-like osmeterium, which apparently releases some pretty foul odour.
  4. Mallet

    Grouse

    Red grouse is known in North America as willow ptarmigan. I've never had it, as it only occurs in Northern Canada (and BC). Is the meat dark or light? Ruffed grouse are a very light meat, but still very tasty. I usually roast them. I've not had much success plucking them without tearing off the skin (it is extremely fragile), so I usually end up covering the bird with bacon to keep it moist as it cooks. Also delicious in pâtés.
  5. A came upon a good quantity of lobster mushrooms. Although they are not uncommon, it's very rare for me to get at them before the slugs do, so I've never picked them before. I fried up a few in butter and they were pretty good, but not particularly distinctive. Any favourite preparations?
  6. Mallet

    Grouse

    Heck yes (when I can find them)! Although in my neck of the woods, grouse (ruffed and spruce) doesn't start for another month. What species do you normally eat?
  7. A little late to the party here, but I loved the culinary aspect of the second season, especially Jeannette's stint at "Lucky Peach" and seeing alternate-reality versions of dishes I encountered in the Momofuku cookbook being "invented" onscreen.
  8. Is this early for Ontario? Last year I was picking blueberries in NB in the first week of August and I was still about a 1-2 weeks too early.
  9. If I'm inviting people over for a food-focused event (esp. a multi-course meal), I make it crystal clear in the invitation that food will start exactly at time X, with or without them. I also encourage my guests to show up half an hour early, as by that time most of the prep work is already done and we can relax and hang out a little before service starts. I might wait 15 minutes for a late guest, but then the little guy on my shoulder who has been planning and cooking to a precise schedule for up to several days beforehand gets really angry.
  10. What sort of heat lamp did you use?
  11. Heated plates only go so far when your plating 12 plates simultaneously each with several elements and a precise arrangement, there's simply not enough time to plate everything before the food cools down. I have experienced that problem at home when cooking multi-course meals for several people, but I assumed restaurants had solved it (in Kingston the only elaborate tasting menus I get to eat are the ones I make). One strategy I've resolved to adopt is to more carefully think about the mechanics of plating (sous-wide ingredients, for example, shouldn't be taken out of the bag until the last se
  12. I guess the question is also what you want to do with it? 15 pounds seems quite small to me, a pig that size would probably feed 8-12 people (just a guess, but I am thinking 15 pounds of carcass translates to roughly 8-ish pounds of meat?). At that size, you might be better off doing something with the head, something with the whole loin + saddle (maybe debone it?), and something with the legs. Unless of course you are practicing for something bigger down the road
  13. Yajna, can you talk a bit more about making vin de pêche? It sounds great (and my parents have a peach tree!)
  14. Beautiful plates. What's the sauce on the chicken?
  15. Mallet

    Wild Game Cookery

    I was fortunate to have a photographer in attendance! Now, tell me more about this porcupine in your freezer.
  16. Mallet

    Wild Game Cookery

    This year we managed to put together another round of the game dinner, and I daresay it was the best so far. As our hunting success increase we tend to focus on the "choice" species, so the diversity of animals was not as high. Charcuterie Plate Canada goose prosciutto, terrine of canada goose liver and snowshoe hare, hooded merguez The goose prosciutto was very good, but I miss my bar fridge/curing chamber (I had to get rid of it in the last move). I had to cure this one in the fridge. The merguez was made with hooded merganser. Mergansers are generally reviled by hunters and the butt of se
  17. Cod. It's the pork of the fish world.
  18. I wasn't looking for a poached eggs technique, which is why I started a new topic. Cooking eggs in their shell presents its own risks/challenge (see exhibit A above ). Low power seems like an excellent suggestion, thank you.
  19. Lately, I have been eating a lot of instant noodles for lunch (Doog Ji cold noodles in chilled broth), and playing with easy additions. I might chop up a baby bok choy, or add some frozen dumplings. One particularly successful addition has been to put a whole egg in the bowl with the noodles in the microwave. I've done this maybe 3-4 times, and the eggs have come out very well, with a nice gradient of somewhat runny in the middle to cooked on the edge of the yolk. So I thought nothing of it when I decided to put three eggs in a small bowl, about 3/4 covered in water, in the microwave for 4 min
  20. It was a lot of fun to make, and I have enough wood for a few more so I can incorporate lessons from this version. I haven't experienced any problems with rotational slippage. The gouged out area has good grip, and the underside of the oyster shells are fairly rough themselves: this should get more pronounced with use. I do keep a towel under the board though (it can be seen poking out of the video), which is used to wipe off the knife periodically.
  21. Well, my predicted windfall of oysters from January was a bust, as someone stole the oysters that were dropped off on my doorstep the night of the party! As it happens, though, I recently discovered that the Chien Noir, a local restaurant, has oysters on the menu. So we picked up a dozen St-Simons to go and I got to try out my shucking board. I've uploaded a video of me shucking an oyster with it. Not the greatest shuck, but not completely embarassing either. The depression definitely holds the oyster more than laying it on a towel, and 1 shucked the dozen oysters with minimal mess (juices we
  22. The first step in the recipe is to put that 1/2 cup of soy in 2 cups of water.
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