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Everything posted by JayBassin

  1. As with most choux puffs, let them cool in the oven with the door adjar. If they're large, you may even consider taking them out hot, slicing the top open, and putting them back in to cool a bit more (this will help dry out the insides).
  2. Whew! You guys are great! I will be staying at the Crown Plaza Redondo Beach. I will have a car. I probably will need to stick relatively close to the hotel for lunches (probably 1.5 hours for lunch including travel), but can drive around for dinners. I'm partial to Japanese food, but I'm good with any quality restaurant regardless of cuisine. I'm really looking for anything unusual or unique to the area. Thanks again.
  3. I'm going to Redondo Beach for a week-long business trip November 14. I lived in So Cal 1975-1979, but that doesn't count. What's now recommended?
  4. Another winner, hzrt8w!. One small request, though: When you show the bottles of ingredients, would you please turn the bottles so the English description/name is showing to the camera? Some jars of imported Chinese ingredients seem to have Chinese on one side and English on the other. Thanks again, and don't stop!
  5. JayBassin

    Jelly Roll

    Try rolling the cake with the baked top inside. I think cake rolls crack because the top dries out when it bakes, and then is stretched by the rolling. Putting the filling onto the dry top may moisten it enough, but even then, any compression cracks won't show. The bottom of the cake becomes the outside, and I think it's soft enough not to crack. It also looks nicer.
  6. Amen, brother. New meaning to the phrase "cooking with spirit."
  7. JayBassin

    Jelly Roll

    I just looked up the Libby's recipe. They instruct you to roll up "starting with the narrow end." If I interpret this right, they intend you to have a roll that's 10" long and pretty thick around. I always roll up my roulades from the long end--getting a 15" roll. What do the rest of you do?
  8. I don't measure, but I would guess it's a tablespoon or two. Just enough to "wet" the berries. I use either a baggie or a tupperware-style sealable bin just large enough to hold the berries, then I turn the container upside down or gently slosh it about to get the vodka to coat all the berries. It's IMPORTANT that the berries (or other food product) is DRY before adding the vodka. Any water or juice will just dilute the alcohol and render it less effective.
  9. I've tried strawberries and didn't like the resulting texture; they get soft and mushy (but they don't get moldy). Blueberries do absorb some alcohol, but they remain round and firm. Cooking the berries drives off the alcohol. Using them raw either doesn't matter (as in a fruit tart) or even on cold cereal, the amount of alcohol is negligible. I've also used vodka to film little plastic containers of homemade glace de viande and demi glace, which keep indefinitely in the fridge.
  10. JayBassin

    Jelly Roll

    I fill pumpkin or pecan rolls with a pumpkin pastry cream with a bit of bourbon or rum mixed in. I used to cook the pumpkin puree into the custard, but someone on the P/B forum (probably Wendy!) suggested simply stirring in canned pumpkin to pre-cooked custard. Lot easier. You should strain the pumpkin custard before using, though.
  11. I haven't seen this subject on eGullet, so I thought I'd share a trick I've been using for years: using a splash of (cheap) vodka to preserve opened food from mold. I put tomato paste in a plastic container and top it with a film of vodka; I splash vodka into a baggie with cheese; I put vodka into a sealable plastic tub with blueberries in the fridge. This retards growth of mold and is pretty tasteless. I think it keeps the products for a very long time. I know I wasn't the inventor of this trick. Any other eGulleteers using similar tricks or on different products?
  12. If you have potted plants in the window sill, you've probably read that it's best to water them by putting them in a dish of water and allowing capillary action to draw the water up from the bottom. If you pour water from above into a pot with dry potting mix, the water will trickle through fissures and flow out the bottom without wetting all the soil It's the same principle in a coffe filter. Ideally, you'd saturate the filter and grounds from below and allow capillary action to pull hot water up, but I don't know of any coffee machines that operate that way. Second best is to allow the water to sit in the filter, saturating the grounds, before beginning the brew.
  13. Pumpkin-pecan roulade (jelly roll) filled with pumpkin-ginger cream and topped with candied pecan halves.
  14. JayBassin

    Turkey Legs

    Absolutely! Cut off the ankle knob before braising or roasting. When cooked thoroughly, the tendons revealed at the end slip out easily, leaving just the meat.
  15. Saturating the grounds before brewing starts would ensure that the entire volume of grounds contributed to the brew for the entire brewing time. Wetting the filter helps speed up the flow of water through the grounds. Wetting both the filter and the grounds before brewing would be ideal.
  16. JayBassin

    Turkey Legs

    Turkey-leg "au vin"---coq au vin with turkey legs. I make it regularly. Cheap turkey legs often come from older birds (leftovers from humongous turkey breasts), and so are perfect for slow braising.
  17. If you percolate water through dry coffe grounds in a dry filter, the water "wets" grains and follows inter-grain channels to the filter. Water will flow through these wetted channels preferentially. The first patches of filter that feel the water will wet, and due to surface tension, subsequent water will flow through the initially wet patches. The rest of the filter may take a few minutes to saturate. Therefore, the initial flow of percolated water will follow the same narrow inter-grain channels rather than spreading out evenly to saturate the dry coffe quickly.
  18. Glowing testimonials, but I'm curious: what exactly makes these so different? I notice the sweetened condensed milk, but isn't that pretty much the same as adding sugar to the recipe? The only other thing different appears to be a very slightly higher ratio of liquid than the traditional 1:1. Any ideas about what makes it so much better?
  19. I agree with CulinaryBear: instead of a stiff biga, try a wet poolish (100% hydration for the poolish) and use a softer flour (or a mix of flours to get the protein down). Otherwise, sounds good. ps--I usually do the final rise on a strip of parchment paper that goes into the oven on preheated quarry tiles, just to avoid the risk of sticking to the peel. I also don't like cleaning out all the accumulated burnt bits of semolina from the oven floor.
  20. It appears you are an experienced pie-dough maker, so technique doesn't sound like the problem. Was the flour different? Did you switch from low-gluten (cake flour, pastry flour, ap flour) to bread flour?
  21. Sometimes they're called "Staymen" apples. Same thing.
  22. zucchini: salt, pepper, garlic, marjoram, rosemary (but not necessary all at once) butternut: salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, chinese 5-spice powder
  23. Whole Foods carries frozen DuFours. It's quite good---much more tasty than Pepperidge Farm, which is crisco-based.
  24. JayBassin

    bone-in rib eye

    Not to be too cynical, but I would question whether the meat is that good to begin with. Safeway and Giant sometimes sell USDA "Good" grade (less fat, less marbling) at a discount; the steaks are tough. Doesn't matter how you cook them unless you braise them. If they're actually choice grade, I would go with the recommendations to cook them all the way through on medium or medium high heat for 3 minutes per side, flipping every 3 minutes. Flip whenever you see beeds of juice on the top surface. After about 10-12 minutes, it should be done. Salt after the first flip. Add pepper after the second-to-last flip.
  25. Make a pumpkin pie custard or a pumpkin cheesecake custard, cook it on the stove as you would pastry cream (temper the hot mix into the eggs before fully cooking), and pipe it into the baked choux when cooled.
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