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Everything posted by JayBassin

  1. I mix half ketchup and half home-made tare marinade (which I keep on hand for teriyaki). That way, I don't end up with lots of different specialty sauces in the fridge.
  2. A small amount of acid (vinegar, lemon juice, cream of tartar) in a wheat dough "shortens" the gluten--breaks the long strands. This makes the dough more tender and helps avoid the "toughness" caused by overworking wheat dough (which creates gluten strands). Pastry and cake flours have less protein, which means less gluten. Some flours (corn, rice, etc) have no gluten, which is a reason some recipes call for replacing some all purpose flour with rice, potato, or corn starches. Hope this helps.
  3. Being a self-taught baker (and Wendy, I know you are too), I don't understand the reasoning behind the turning of the dough. What is the purpose? In my mind, each turn is a risk that the dough will tear. No? Di ← I turn the dough also. I think a 1/8 turn or so each roll ensures that the dough isn't sticking to the counter, and ensures even pressure because you're rolling always in one direction. Not turning the dough means you're twisting your shoulders and rolling the pin sideways, which I find awkward and hard to roll evenly. My 2 cents.
  4. I apologize if this has been covered before, but what is the difference between "arare" and "o-sembe" rice crackers?
  5. I don't like to deep fry and my wife is firmly opposed to the extra fat. I make "tonkatsu" by coating a whole tenderloin (about 8-10 oz) and dredging in panko, then roast or "oven-fry" in an oiled pan, turning a few times. Kind of like oven-fried chicken. Works great if you're interested in lower fat cooking. After resting the meat, I slice into quarter to half-inch slices.
  6. This position is best apprenticed at Micky D's drive-through window
  7. JayBassin

    Tuna Confit

    I think Harold McGee's book discusses the need to remove all water from confit, or maybe James Peterson's "French Cooking". I found it to be the case by accident. It's the same with storing duck or goose fat: if it's rendered but not completely boiled so it's de-watered, it will spoil. Once all the water is out (you can tell because the bubbles change and the melted fat gets very clear), it will keep forever. I've never heard that botulism comes from herbs and garlic. I think botulism can arise even in pure protein, like a bad can of tuna. Herbs and garlic, though, do contain lots of water that won't be rendered out during the confit process.
  8. JayBassin

    Tuna Confit

    Yes, it will spoil. True confit works because the food is poached long enough to eliminate all the water. Bacteria require water to live. The covering of fat prevents water from being reabsorbed. I learned this (to my regret) after making confit of duck and being in a hurry. Your recipe doesn't cook the fish long enough (only 1/2 hour at a low temp) to eliminate all the water.
  9. Does everyone use puff paste for sausage rolls? I've always used brioche dough or even a plain bread dough (like for pizza). I also like to add spices or herbs to the dough--my fav is tumeric because it gives a nice color and because I think it does something to provide a thiner crisper crust. I agree also with Wendy about pre-cooking the sausage meat. I usually poach the sausage (double-wrapped in plastic) and then chill it with the dough before baking. Whenever I've tried raw sausage/filling, the grease made the dough pretty yukky and left gaps. edited to correct spelling.
  10. Scroll up to my August 30 post on cream pie filling in this same thread.
  11. I always like a mixture 2 or 3 of the the following apples: golden delicious, granny smith, empire, staymen-winesap. Haven't tried the heirloom apples that occassionally appear in the market. Fuji and gala are taking over most of the space in the market, and I think they're too sweet and too mushy for a good pie. Sometimes I add a pear or two to the apples---gives the pie a "mysterious" quality that people comment on. Finally, I rarely use cinnamon in the filling because it's so assertive--I mix the cinnamon with coarse sugar and sprinkle it on top of the crust. I prefer to use vanilla in the filling.
  12. To add to Waaza's reply, be sure to wipe off the tandoori marinade totally before putting the fish on the grill, and make sure the grill is very hot and very clean---otherwise the fish will stick.
  13. I use a water seal. I just wet my finger, or if I have several pies, a pastry brush---and run it around. Then gently pinch the top and bottom crusts together. With a regular top crust, most people roll or fold the top under the bottom crust, then crimp. With a lattice, it's best to fold the bottom up and over the ends of the lattice strips, but leave enough to flute.
  14. I also think carbonnade is better than bouguinone. Here's a good recipe on the web from a Belgian source. Carbonnade de Flemmande The difference between this (and other Belgian) recipes and the Joy of Cooking recipe is that the Belgians add thyme, lots more onion---always deeply carmelized---no garlic, and currant jelly instead of sugar. I've also seen recipes for mustard and pain d'epice (which I guess is close to gingerbread). I carmelize the onions in butter for a long time and then take them out before I brown the beef. I always use a dark ale or porter.
  15. I absolutely agree that (1) the demo is fantastic and (2) shortening only adds some flakiness, lots of trans-fats, and zero flavor. I think the reason shortening works is because it's pure fat---American butter is almost 20% water. I've used 1/2 butter and 1/2 clarified butter (be sure not to cook the clarified butter past the stage where all the water is boiled off). I also make butter dough in a food processor and agree that it can get too mealy. I whiz 1/2 the butter in with the flour and let it get mealy, then add the other half of the butter in small dice and just blend. I add a teaspoon of distilled vinegar, which breaks gluten strands, and mix in ice water. I dump the rough dough on the counter and smear the chunky butter in with the heel of my hand, folding the dough together a couple of times. I think that the diced and smeared butter provides the same flakiness as a shortening dough, with more flavor and no transfat. Admittedly, it's hard to do in large batches in a commercial kitchen.
  16. I agree fully with KatieLoeb: You can even get the foodbank to provide a receipt that you can price for the food, allowing the family to deduct the donation from their taxes. That will ease their pain at no cost to you.
  17. I think using a pottery pie pan did have a difference---the thickness as well as the slower transfer of heat through the bottom. I use metal or pyrex pans for bottom-crust pies just for that reason. Rickster's suggestion of a pizza stone instead of a cookie sheet is a good one because a well-heated stone will provide more heat to the bottom. Be sure to pre-heat the oven and stone thoroughly (not just waiting until the oven temp clicks over).
  18. I posted a recipe for nonfat creme caramel (flan) on the flan thread HERE. Also put up a recipe for low-fat cream pie fillings on the pie fillings thread HERE. These threads should be moved to the pie-filling thread.
  19. I agree that there doesn't appear to be anything wrong with the recipe. Baking for a total of 45-50 minutes is about right. Chiantiglace must have overlooked the additional baking at a reduced temp. One Tbs of flour may be too little for a juicy apple, but ok for a Granny Smith if you didn't premix the sugar and let it stand too long. If you dumped the apple-sugar-flour-salt mix right into the crust just before topping and baking, and everything was dryish when it went into the oven, it's a mystery to me why you'd get several cups of liquid.
  20. Another trick is to put a cookie sheet on the rack while preheating, and put the pie on the hot cookie sheet. Or, depending on the crust and whether you have a top crust, you can blind-bake the bottom crust and coat it with melted sugar (caramel), cooked cooled fruit gel, or chocolate.
  21. It would help if you posted the recipe you followed. Only guessing here, but if you mix the fruit with the sugar too long in advance, the fruit will exude liquid. If you don't have enough starch to compensate, the filling would be too thin. However, I don't think you'd get "cups" of liquid. Do you add any liquid to the filling? You might peruse the new thread HERE on pie fillings for further advice.
  22. Here's my "all purpose" cream pie filling. It's written for lemon cream, but you can see the variations below. I try to bake low-fat whenever possible (not necessarily "low calorie." Consequently, I often use a nut-crumb crust instead of pastry. Low-fat lemon cream pie filling: Soften 1 tsp unflavored gelatin in juice of ½ lemon (about 3 Tbs) for 5 minutes. Don’t use the stuff in a green bottle—use water or your favorite liqueur if you don’t have fresh lemons. Warm for 20 sec in microwave until liquid and clear. Beat together until smooth: • 1 8 oz pkg neufchatel cheese (or non- or low-fat cream cheese) at room temperature • ½ C non-fat sour cream • 1 14 oz can non-fat sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated skim milk) • ½ tsp almond extract Beat in lemon juice/gelatin Pour into a pre-baked pie or tart shell and top with sliced berries or other fruit*. Chill at least 2 hours. *It is best to brush the completed tart (berries and all) with a glaze made from about 3 Tbs good-quality apricot preserves melted with about 1 Tbs cognac or kirshwasser, then pressed through a strainer. The glaze makes everything shiny and prevents the berries from drying out. Variations • Omit the lemon juice and put in ½ C key lime juice instead—key lime pie. • Omit the lemon juice, add 1 tsp pure vanilla extract, use 1/3 C water + 1 Tbs instant coffee or espresso to dissolve the gelatin, and add 4 oz melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and top with walnut halves — chocolate mocha pie.
  23. My demo for cherry pie (in the Demo: Press-In Crusts) thread uses pre-cooked (stove-top) pie filling. I think it's better for really juicy fillings like cherry. Not so important for apple. On the other hand, if I make an open-top pie (or tart or tart-tatin), I often pre-cook the fruit. Receipe for the cherry filling is on Recipe Gullet HERE.
  24. This is a demo for making a cherry pie with a nut-crumb bottom crust lined with chocolate and a streusel topping. The techniques illustrate several things: Making and forming a nut-crumb crust (same technique as making a cookie-crumb crust); Making a streusel topping mixture; Lining a bottom crust with melted chocolate; and Cooking a fruit filling on the stovetop instead of in the pie, which ensures that the fruit filling is just goopy enough without being overly sweet and overly gummy. Before going through this demo, click HERE to review and print out the master recipe I posted on RecipeGullet. First make the streusel topping: 1. Mise-en-place for streusel topping (flour, sugars, slivered almond, soft butter, salt, flavorings) > Put everything except the butter, almonds, and extracts into the food processor and pulse several times. > Add the butter and extracts and blend away. Unlike a pastry crust, you don’t need to leave lumps of butter. 2. Interior of the food processor before whizzing the nuts. When the butter has disappeared, add the nuts. Pulse only a few times to chop up the slivered almonds, but not to make them into powder. 3. The finished streusel ready to chill. The lumps are the nuts. Next make the crumb crust (You don’t need to wash the food processor) 4. Mise-en-place for the nut crust (nuts, sugar, soft butter, salt, flavorings) > Put everything except the butter and extracts into the food processor and keep pulsing until the nuts are finely ground. Don’t blend continuously or you’ll end up with nut butter. The sugars also help prevent making a nut butter. After the nuts are finely ground, > Add the butter and extracts and blend away. Unlike a pastry crust, you don’t need to leave lumps of butter. 5. Interior of food processor when the crumbs are done 6. Crumbs dumped into pie pan. 7. Use a custard cup (wrapped in plastic) for sides and press the sides and bottom firmly. If the nuts stick to the plastic, chill the pan and cup for 10 minutes. 8. Crumb crust ready for oven (chilled) 9. The baked crust. You don’t need to use pie weights on a nut crumb crust because there is no rising effect as with pastry. Coating the crust with chocolate: 10. The recipe describes melting the chocolate in a microwave. My trick for coating a baked shell with melted chocolate is to wrap the bottom from an 11” tart pan with plastic wrap, and with an offset spatula, smear the melted chocolate evenly on the plastic. Working quickly, flip the coated disk chocolate-side down onto the cooled shell, loosen the plastic, remove the disk, and allow the chocolate-coated plastic wrap to flop down and conform to the contours of the shell. Pat out any bubbles and chill. See the recipe for details. This picture (not very good) shows the wrapped metal disk coated with chocolate, ready to invert. The edges of the plastic wrap are folded under in this shot. You can barely make out the edges of the tin tart bottom. 11. Coated crust with plastic wrap showing, ready to chill until hard. The chocolate color looks weird, sorry. 12. Finished, chilled coated crust, ready to receive filling. While there are smears of chocolate on the edge of the pastry shell, they will be hidden by the streusel topping. 13. Pitting the cherries. If you don’t have a cherry/olive pitter, get one. This model only costs a couple of bucks. Bulk pitters can cost up to $250. > It’s important to taste the cherries for natural sweetness. Add more or less sugar depending on how sweet they are to begin with. Sour cherries are better, but have a very short season. Omit the lemon juice if you’re lucky enough to have fresh sour cherries. 14. Mise-en-place for filling (pitted macerated cherries, sugar, kirsch, lemon juice, salt, flavorings, cornstarch slurry). Simmer everything except the butter and cornstarch slurry over medium-low heat, covered, for about 25 minutes. Taste to make sure the flavor is just tart/sweet enough. You can add sugar and lemon, but not take them out. Stir in the slurry and bring to a full boil, stirring constantly. The mixture will be a little soupy, as it will set up when cool. You do not want a stiff, cherry-jam filling! 15. Off heat, stir in the diced butter. This gives the filling a good sheen and mouth feel, as well as a good flavor. Let cool at least to room temp (you can chill overnight). 16. Cooled filling into prepped pan 17. Partly covered pie with streusel 18. Finished unbaked pie chilled, ready for oven 19. Finished, baked whole pie 20. Plated slice
  25. I don't think calorie comparisons work because calories don't reflect the type of fat. For example, most (all?) commercial graham crackers contain trans fats, which are seriously bad news. Nuts have more grams of fat than graham crackers, but depending on the nut (avoid macademia), the fat is monounsaturated and may actually be good for you (in small doses). You can reduce calories from sugar by using splenda instead of sugar, but after all, it is a dessert! BTW, Wendy, I really like your p/b forum and look forward to participating in the pie demos.
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