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Everything posted by doctorandchef

  1. Hi thanks Heidi for your comments. I was actually trying to break up the rice clumps when I was pushing down. This is a classical fried rice technique in the restaurants, where the texture of "every rice grain separate" is prized and a marker of good technique.... mine is not quite up to par as there were still some clumps! one of the ways restaurant cooks oil the wok is actually dumping a whole ladleful of oil in the wok to "soak" the wok, heat it up a bit and then dump out most of the oil, leaving a nice thin coating on the entire surface. i tried a variation of that to minimize oil use. I was cooking a classic fried rice with some crab meat I had handy. thanks for your feedback, it's my second youtube video ever. Edited to add: Just put instructions on the video. enjoy!
  2. unknown BTU, but more than enough power to create some wok hay. actually had to dial it down a little for some appilcations. food tastes wonderfully like the dai pai dongs of my childhood!
  3. not sure if someone has posted this one, putting dishwashing detergent in the dishwasher and ending up with overflowing foam coming out the sides of the dishwasher, then spending an hour scooping the foam out and pouring cold water on the foam. haha.
  4. Another possible factor: Cash business + Chinese = creative accounting. I can say with a certain degree of confidence as I am Chinese. Of course I am grossly generalizing but I suspect I'm not too far off. As well, locally in Toronto most of the workers are paid very poorly and in cash i.e. no benefits, insurance, pension, taxes etc. I also suspect some of the suppliers are chinese and therefore more creative accounting between the merchant and supplier.... As well, there have been several asian supermarket chains turning over due to non-payment of bills... one of them most infamously was the Big Land Farm chain. I still think creative accounting is a big factor. I could be wrong.
  5. i was in Gordes 2 weeks ago. there's this patisserie in town forgot the name it's on the downward sloping street closest to the edge where there's a nice panorama (haha, that's my best description).... and they had this pear tart with walnut pastry... the best piece of pastry during my 2 week trip. there's also a nice wine shop attached to the fancy hotel offering free tastings of good quality local wine.
  6. I have yet to cook with Bresse Chicken, although I did try the Bresse Chicken at La Mere Brazier and have to say that the quality of the chicken makes a huge difference in the taste of the dish. I'm sure it would not have tasted as good with a generic North American factory chicken. Having said that, your question is about whether a Bresse chicken is "wasted" by cooking it in a sauce. I think it really depends on what kind of sauce it is. If it was a curry sauce, ya, it would be a big waste of the expensive chicken since the main taste of the dish comes from the curry spices. But say you were doing a mild cream sauce where the predominant flavor is still the chicken, I think using a quality bird makes a huge difference. Same goes for a simple poached chicken. The chinese have the same philosophy towards using their best birds e.g. Rongkong chicken, featured in one of the old episodes of Iron Chef Japanese. We usually reserve to the simplest preparations with very mild seasonings when using the most expensive birds e.g. poached in a mild stock "white cut" style, mildly tea-smoked "great-grandfather" style. WOuld never waste it in a chicken fricassee with black bean sauce etc.
  7. Hi, thanks for the PM John I just came back from a 2 week tour of france and made the pilgrimage to La Mere Brezier. It was reopened in the last few years by a local French guy Phillipe Bertrand and Bob Tosh. We strolled in late one night after getting lost on our way to the hotel. We only ordered 3 dishes out of courtesy for the kitchen staff. Started off with a plate of gratis salami, which was very good. Of course I had to try the Salade Gourmande, a spectacularly simple dish of foie gras, smoked duck magret slices, with green salad dressed in a nicely mustardy dressing. Perfectly executed, the foie was extremely flavorful (not like the majority of North American foie), every element of the salad worked perfectly together. This salad alone was worth the price of admission. What an incredible bargain at 17 euros!!! I ordered the legendary volaille de Bresse demi-deuil et sa sauce supreme (poached Bresse chicken stuffed with black truffles under the skin). this was my first experience with Bresse Chicken and it was an excellent dish. The leg meat was moist and flavorful, with the intriguing aroma of truffles waffing up from the sauce and generous amounts of truffles. I scooped up all of the creamy sauce at the end. Surprisingly light, I'm guessing they just monte'd the reduced poaching liquid with a tiny bit of butter at the end. What a dish! Visions of Paul Bocuse in the kitchen years ago floated in my mind as I enjoyed every last bite. I can't believe they only charge 23 euros for this dish. My s.o. ordered the Quenelle au gratin "Mere Brazier", sauce homard. This was the only slight miss of the night as it may have been slightly over-gratined. The Quenelle was quite large, with a nice texture and a mild flavor, as previously noted by many others. The sauce homard tasted like plain bechamel, with a very subtle lobster flavor. Nonetheless it was worth trying just to see how it tasted. only 16 euros. Had a nice long chat after dinner with the owner/chef/proprietor Phillipe. Very interesting guy, extremely friendly and chatty. Apparently he revived this restaurant 3 years ago, and he has been using the original recipes from La Mere in most of the dishes. It was like a dream for him to own this legendary restaurant. I'm surprised I didn't get a response to this thread in the past 3 weeks as I would have thought more people have come to this place recently. If you haven't, it's worthwhile to come back and soak in some history and try some dishes at the site of its origin. THe dishes do not at all taste dated as good recipes IMHO stand the test of time. If anything, come try the salade gourmande!! http://www.lamerebrazier.com/accueilAng.html
  8. La mere Brazier in Lyons still open? Their website is still working, but I read somewhere it is no longer open. Anyone been there recently, and is it open? I'll be in Lyons next week. Another question, as I cannot afford dinner at Paul Bocuse, which of his bistros should I visit while in town?
  9. i just bought a set of Sitram profiserie and they work great on my induction hob and electric cooktop. heats fast and evenly and retains heat well too. lids are cheaply made though. one thing mentioned by many others (search sitram on the board u will see), the round aluminum disk on the bottom does not go all the way to the edge, so if you use a gas burner there is the potential for flames to ride up around the disk and create a "hot ring" just beyond the disk, hence burning stuff inside the pan. not a problem if you're using electric though. handles are so much more comfortable than my all clads, plus all saucepans have sensible pouring lips.
  10. Does ANYONE like the stupid handles on All-Clad? Nice and thin and oddly shaped for maximum discomfort, plus a great propensity to flip right over of your pan is loaded. Why did they make the handles that way? Does anyone know??
  11. Just as point of information, blood pressure usually is high acutely at the time of stroke and may not reflect a patient's usual blood pressure before the stroke. It is doubtful that just by reducing salt intake alone that one can reduce the BP from 200/100 to 120/70. Salt by itself is not harmful, TOO MUCH salt is not so good FOR SELECTED PATIENTS. Speak to you physician about your individual salt-restriction requirements and your blood pressure.
  12. I'll second that recommendation!! We went last saturday for lunch. the room is very pleasant with a beautiful view of the river, with people actually fishing outside. Started off with an outstanding Pinot Noir from Coyote's Run, served in a proper wide Pinot bowl-like glass. We ordered: 1. Fish and chips: nice and light beer batter, not at all greasy, you could actually taste the fish flavor in the fish. Chips were hand cut Yukon Golds, I assume double fried, nice crispy surface and fluffy interior, dusted with coarse salt and rosemary, matched with a nice tartar sauce. A true winner. 2. Pork belly: Nice seared crust, over an apple puree/sauce and jus, served with 2 GIGANTIC butter seared scallops crusted with what tasted like lemon-flavored salt, topped with pea shoots. I'm guessing it's one of chef's signature dishes since I saw it on many of his previous menus. scallops were insanely fresh and sweet. 3. Deconstructed shepherd's pie: short ribs ( I assume from Cumbrae Farms), dijon grana padano mash, parsley salad. It tasted good, not particularly spectacular but perfectly seasoned. Dishes had perfect portion size, and were all perfectly seasoned (FINALLY a kitchen who doesn't over/underseason!!) We were too full for desserts but they looked tempting. Highly recommended. We went for a nice walk on the pier to burn off the calories. Oh ya, make sure you visit Anna Olson's shop. We bought a whole bunch of pastries. Lemon meringue tart was a definite winner.
  13. I thought it was friggin' hiliarious when Gordon said to the lady "how do you expect me to work with your tits on my hotplate" or something like that. Remember John Burton Race on his show French leave, when he got into a yelling match with an irate customer? That was not scripted. You know, I think the REAL- LIFE Gordon would have ripped that rude lady apart with one of his obscenity filled tirades all the way out the door, making her cry like a baby. THAT would have been great TV. Very cilvilized of him to just calmly call for security. From what he appears in other shows he seems to have a much hotter temper than John Burton Race ever displayed. A ton more respect for Gordon with the restraint he showed (unless it was all scripted). He could have easily flung some food back into that bitch's face. I'm guessing that the whole thing was not planned.... the show didn't really play up the situation all that much. I'm sure everyone who knows that rude lady is having a quiet laugh about how she acted like a 4 year old on national TV. haha....
  14. I believe they used a single barrel chardonnay from Hillebrand. He apparently bought every bottle from 1 barrel last fall after a barrel tasting.
  15. I will second the recommendation of La Torre. We were just there last week (I'm from Canada too, eh!) and had a terrific lunch. We had a simple dish of porcini fritti (fried fresh porcini's) with just a squeeze of lemon, and it was one of the best simple dishes I've had in years.... only 11euros or something, it was a special of the day. then a grilled hen and grilled pigeon... i think it was grilled over a charcoal fire. had some good local red wine. If you've ever driven in the CHianti area you would know not to walk on the roads because there are many blind corners and Italians drive very fast. IT would not be wise to get drunk in Castellina and walk back to your place if it takes 1/2 hour. Even in the daytime it is not the safest walk. If you really want to get a little intoxicated I would advise you to buy a bottle of 2 of good local wine and enjoy it outside on your farm without any worries of staggering home. There is a really good enoteca in the village and they have some wines available for tasting. As for visiting the wineries, get a map from the tourist office in Castellina for 2 euros.... it's made by the Consorzio Vino of Chianti and is actually one of the best road maps of the area. It's almost impossible to get lost driving with this map because it lists all the wineries along the roads so you know exactly where you are. One of the best wineries to visit is Castello di Fonterutoli.... they give a great tour and tastings are in Reidel glasses. Ask locally and look up wineries on Wine Spectator (I assume you already know which ones you plan to visit though). The wine map is similar to the Wine Route map put out by the VQA in Niagara. Have a great time, and once again, I really advise against you walking home drunk in the dark on those win-dy village roads. It's really really unsafe. PM me if you want more info.
  16. I tried some Stratus wines 2 weeks ago and I must admit that it is some of the best wines I've ever tasted in Ontario. THeir Stratus White has the engaging complex aromas which reminded me of good quality burgundy whites (montrachet).... their Red and different varietals (2002 merlot, cab franc) are outstanding as well. Lenko may not be open all the time, but when it is, I've had the good fortune of experiencing Mrs. Lenko's extremely warm hospitality (that's Daniel's mother btw). I liked 13th Street's gamay noir..... they're not listed in the wine route however so you need to find their location on their website. For a nice snack, visit Tony Deluca's cheese shop just down the road from Hillebrand towards Stratus.... great sandwiches.... Most restaurants on the Queen Street strip in NOTL: I have not had spectacular experiences, especially the notoriously overpriced and inexplicably popular Shaw Cafe. Drop in to the wine shop on queen street and you'll be able to taste wines from both Hillebrand and Peller, saving you a trip to both. I have a strong preference for Hillebrand over Peller but that's only my humble opinion.
  17. self promotion...... haha. http://doctorandchef.blogspot.com
  18. The problem was the rude guy at the PEPPERMILL was the owner, not just a casual store clerk. Perhaps he thinks he has too many rich customers already. Let's vote with our wallets and send a message to him.
  19. Speaking of bad service, or just outright rudeness: I was appalled at the treatment I was given at PEPPERMILL in Hazelton Lanes (right outside Whole Foods). Just browsing, picking up some pots to see how they feel, I was approached from behind by the store owner, who in a very stern voice said, "Can I help you?" Not in a friendly way, but more like what the hell are you doing touching the merchandise. So I said that I was just looking around, so he said, "Looking is looking, don't touch anything." Gasp. I have never EVER been talked to like that in any store. I stormed out and tried not to let that ruin my day. Take what you will from this story, but I would never give business to anyone who treats customers like this. I have never since walked into that Pepper Mill store again. Perhaps some of you might ask him why he would treat a customer like that. I decided not to waste any more time in that store.
  20. sometimes the reason for the longer cooking time is the oven never reaches 400 degrees once you plop all the cold potatoes in at the same time. THis is why baking times are not precise for many recipes, it depends on the oven recovery time. I usually crank the oven on all the way, and once the whole oven body is nicely heated, plop my food in, then readjust the temperature to my desired setting. It's a crapshoot a lot of times, I must admit. Oh, and my 2 cents on the potato thing. Cook's Illustrated did a trial on all the methods and decided the spuds, left as is, baked on the racks itself, had the best taste and texture. I recall the oven setting to be around 400F or so. Good luck!
  21. In other words, the current recommendations for lower fat diets have NOT changed nor will they be changed whatsoever based on this study i.e keep total fat intake to <35% total calories, <10% saturated fats etc. There are other studies looking at increasing mono and polyunsaturated fats plus more fish consumption (>2 servings per week) with positive results. If you have heart disease or diabetes, I would certainly not abandon your "healthy eating choices" based on the headlines you will see in the coming weeks i.e. headlines to the effect of "low fat diets not helpful for heart disease". IF you have any questions, please ask your doctor or registered dietician if you are lucky enough to have one. Cheers.
  22. THe study should be interpreted with caution. In the accompanying editorial in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), there were some issues that were raised. this is a direct quote: "The study population was healthier than anticipated. Specifically, fewer CVD events occurred than were expected. In addition, the intervention had minimal effect on the major, diet-related CVD risk factors. Its impact on blood pressure was small because the intervention did not implement dietary modifications that lower blood pressure—eg, reduced salt intake, increased potassium intake, the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) diet, and weight loss.7 The intervention reduced intakes of fats that increase risk of CVD (saturated fat and trans fatty acids) but also of those that might be protective (polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats). Most participants were overweight or obese (mean body mass index, 29.1), but the intervention did not address weight, the primary risk factor for diabetes. Over the course of follow-up, the intervention group lost only 0.4 kg more weight than the comparison group.6 Moreover, while there were statistically significant contrasts in several dietary factors between the intervention and comparison groups, the magnitude of the effects were modest for those nutrients and foods most likely to affect CVD risk factors and outcomes. In post hoc power calculations, the authors estimate that the study had only 40% power to detect a 14% reduction in CVD over the 8.1 years of follow-up. " The next logical question one might ask is does extended follow-up add sufficient power to detect a benefit of the intervention? For instance, passive follow-up of participants in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT) and the Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) trial documented statistically significant benefits from interventions, despite nonsignificant results during the initial trial period.8-9 While it seems unlikely that longer follow-up in the WHI Dietary Modification Trial will be useful for detecting a difference in CVD outcomes between the randomized groups, such longer follow-up could enhance power for observational analyses.
  23. doctorandchef

    Buffalo Wings

    Great walk through. Thanks!! I dreamt of getting a big deep-fryer myself, but I reconsidered and just used a 4 litre stock pot. I find I can get my oil temp to stay above 350 even with 10 wings frying happily. I don't think many countertop fryers can claim to do that. Cheers.
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