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Everything posted by Mallet

  1. I don't think that is a fair criticism. PETA does go after factory farming operations. In a big way, too.
  2. This is the first time I've heard of french producers having foie gras production facilities in China. If that move is associated with a decline in animal care standards/welfare (that is admittedly debatable), then to me that completely undercuts the vast majority of pro foie gras arguments. I think many foie gras consumers sustain themselves on the belief that foie gras ducks/geese have it better than their battery-farmed counterparts. Foie gras producers benefit from that belief, and now seem to be abusing it. To me that is a MAJOR breach of trust, and deserves some form of retaliation (of course here I mean boycott, not violence). To be clear: the practices should be outlawed, not the product.
  3. In Kingston, you can buy St-Viateur bagels at the supermarket! Cooke's, Pan Cancho and Pasta Genova are all downtown and are all worth a visit.
  4. That's pretty awesome. I've never found any pine nuts before, but I didn't know if it was because I was looking at the wrong species. How big was the cone?
  5. Almost any scale should have a tare function, so I wouldn't think that it would be an issue.
  6. If you have a FoodSaver (or other vacuum sealer), the butter (budder) can also be made by sealing the pot and butter together and poaching it in simmering water for as long as you'd like (no waste, no cleanup).
  7. I just stumbled upon Coco at Chapters yesterday and couldn't resist picking it up. The premise is that 10 of the world's most famous chefs (Ferran Adrià, Alain Ducasse, Alice Waters, René Redzepi, Jacky Yu, Yoshihiro Murata, Fergus Henderson, Shannon Bennett, Mario Batali, and Gordon Ramsay) each select 10 chefs who they think are making important contributions to modern gastronomy. For each of the resulting 100 chefs, there is a short blurb by the "Master" who chose them about what aspect of their cooking is exciting, a brief bio, pictures, and a sample menu + recipes. The final result is a really cool snapshot of what is going on in some of the most exciting restaurants in the world today. Has anybody else seen/bought this book? Have you cooked from it yet? Here's an eGullet friendly link Coco
  8. check out the Guide to Online Meat Sources ! Caw Caw Creek products might fit the bill for you.
  9. First, I think it's great that you're being involved in this sort of conservation initiative, on the ground. I look forward to read more about this project, perhaps in an upcoming thread? Not really knowing anything about the situation in Croatia, I can't really say anything authoritative about what I think they should be doing. From what you said above, however, I fear overfishing in general is the bigger problem rather than a lack of selective sorting, since there are essentially no catch limits. You mentioned that the smaller fish are kept for local consumption: what will they replace this food with? Is there anything known about the survival rate of young thrown back in the water? Some conservation is better than no conservation, though, and you are bringing awareness to the fishermen and consumers there, and hopefully will succeed in making then receptive to changing their current practices for a better chance at long-term sustainability.
  10. The Momofuku chincharrons are amazing and infinitely customizable with different spice blends...
  11. Part of the problem is also a general lack of understanding of the underlying science behind wildlife management, on all sides. Managing a population when you don't know its size, other sources of mortality, or even how many are being harvested is a daunting task, to say the least. Trying to present this uncertainty honestly to a variety of stakeholders without having them keep the bits that they like and reject the bits that they don't complicates the task greatly. Oddly enough, in the face of clear uncertainty people's opinions are often reinforced, not weakened. Passion is good, unsupported statements are bad. Not to pick on you, Adam Chef, put I found this statement particularly illustrative: As it turns out, the answer here is often counterintuitive. For many species, juveniles suffer much more mortality than adults (i.e: through predation, starvation etc...) and can often be considered less valuable to the overall productivity of the population than the same number of fully mature individuals, not more. Think about it: if you had the choice between harvesting a young animal, who would probably die anyways, and a more mature individual, who had already proven his/her ability to survive and reproduce and is more likely to continue doing so, which would you take?
  12. Were there any other indications that something was wrong? Obvious signs of spoilage?
  13. That's what I used. Edit: I forgot to mention: I see no good reason to cut out 50 squares of parchment paper to make the buns, because you most likely will not be steaming 50 buns at once. I simply made parchment squares for the space available in my steamer, lined a sheet pan with plastic wrap to hold the unfinished buns, and continuously reused the parchment as the finished buns came off the steamer.
  14. I had great success with the pork buns on sunday, one thing I found was that a 3 lb pork belly yielded enough for approx 3 dozen buns. The recipe says it should yield 12 buns, but given their small size that doesn't seem possible to me. I cooked the belly with the method in the book, and it worked well (I let it marinate for approx. 7 hours). I made chincharrones with the skin from the belly, and they were really good. It is completely mesmerizing to watch the skin expand, totally psychadelic, and the togarashi spice was a real revelation for me. I had no problems with sticking, and could easily fry 3-4 pieces in the same small pot with about 1,5 L oil.
  15. Cool! I find the recipe for black soup especially interesting given the potential Cajun connection (it's the only other cuisine I know of which uses burnt roux, but I confess to not having researched the topic extensively). I have some pork hearts in the freezer: this seems like a pretty good treatment for them.
  16. Yesterday I picked up some root vegetables, and some frozen beef short ribs, threw the whole lot (ribs still frozen) in the pressure cooker with a bit of water, salt and savory and had a plain but satisfying winter stew on the table in about 45min. Everything was produced within 100km except the salt.
  17. I've certainly noticed at home that if I cut corners on something like a soup (like not using a stock for the base), I end up having to add much more salt to make the end product palatable. Generally, I think more flavourful products need less salt to bring the whole dish into balance.
  18. Mallet

    Confit myth

    Is a nitrite cure typical for confit? I'd worry about altering the taste too much. Water boils inside a pressure cooker at about 250F. I'm not sure the bag would melt at that range, but I'm a little worried about leaching from the bags.
  19. Mallet

    Confit myth

    For now, I'm willing to take it on faith that you've carried out the experiment properly . What I'd like to be able to test is the potential difference between aged and non-aged confit. However, to do that I need a way to age confit with relative safety. Can I pressure cook SV confit in the bag to kill botulism spores?
  20. I've had my 8Qt KRfor all of 2 days now. I really like it so far (having used it twice ), and definitely would not want to go with anything smaller. It's whisper-quiet, unlike the jiggle-top cooker my friend has.
  21. My currently favoured poutine includes grilled chicken and banana peppers. Dixie Lee restaurants (a much better version of KFC which seems to be restricted to Eastern Quebec and Northern NB) introduced me to the fried chicken poutine. Poutine needs a protein to be a complete meal !
  22. Mallet

    Confit myth

    Probably, but then you would run into some safety concerns. One option might be to do SV confit, then give the finished confit a 15-20 min treatment in a pressure cooker to destroy botulism spores? You might then be able to age in the fridge or in another cool place to your heart's content. Would FoodSaver bags survive the treatment? To what temperature are they rated?
  23. Mallet

    Game Cookery

    I wish they covered this topic in greater detail in my hunting course. I always carefully inspect any animal I shoot (inside and out) for signs of injury or disease. Certain animals (esp mammals) carry diseases that are transmissible to humans. My most common concern is Tularemia, which can affect rodents and rabbits (in an affected animal, the liver is often spotted white). Other things to watch out for might include avian tuberculosis (spots on liver, lungs: more common with pigeons, starlings, sparrows), avian botulism (more of a specific concern with waterfowl). Most of these diseases occur at very low prevalence, and I believe wild populations are monitored for those pathogens most likely to affect humans. I don't larger game (yet), but certain deer populations are affected by wasting disease (basically equivalent to mad cow or scrapie), which I find pretty scary. I've never seen a sick animal yet, so while I'm aware of the concerns, I don't lose any sleep over it. If you happen across a deer across the side of the road, my guess is that spoilage is your biggest concern
  24. Mallet


    Great post. Just out of curiosity, why the emphasis on not using beef-type cuts?
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