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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. How can anyone say that turkey carcass doesn't make a good stock? Maybe not in a traditional sense, as in a helluva lot of body, but turkey stock/broth is great for soup and even bases for pot pies and the like...not to mention still light years ahead of any type of canned or bottled broth.
  2. I don't know if that's good advice....boiling will surely kill the bacteria, but won't do anything to the toxins they may leave behind. I wouldn't go around preaching that type of behavior...
  3. Qwerty

    Pommes Souflee

    I actually think that, when done correctly, frozen French fries are just fine...they can even be divine. I'd rather have an excellent, crispy, fluffy, previously frozen fry than a limp, soggy, dreary hand cut fry. I think that if you can make immaculate fresh fries, then go for it. Fact of the matter is, given the amount of work and variables (not to mention seasonality of potatoes, starch content, etc) then it makes sense to use frozen. Thats really about the only thing that I give into on the frozen vs. fresh issue--can't really think of anything else.
  4. You can also blanch and saute as you would for chard leaves, just blanch a bit longer. Serve them together as well...
  5. Answered my own question with naught but patience.... Amazon.ca Looks like the Canadian amazon has it for sale...in North American format nonetheless. Still seemingly can't get it in the states, but I can always import it...looks like I'll be getting this with my next paycheck.
  6. Keep in mind that most of the places doing this have a set price menu, as well as a set number of seating per night. So it's probably pretty easy (and very accurate) to calculate the amount. The only variable I can think of is the wine, and I'm not sure how that is worked out.
  7. Yeah Koobi Kits are the way to go without a doubt.
  8. I've done it both ways--though with the raw preparation we cured the foie with some pink salt, herb, alcohol, etc, then warmed to room temp and shaped, then chilled to set. Tasted great. I should also mention that it was run through a tamis to get all the veins out...so the texture was different than some terrines that use bigger pieces of scraps. The foie should probably be cured no matter if you cook it or not, but I believe the main point of cooking in a bath is basically to set the foie so it stays together. Maybe you could run an experiment, using half for a cooked mini terrine and half for uncooked.
  9. Well, the basic procedure for making a mousse is to puree the base (meat, fish, veg, whatever) and fold it into the cream or whites with the gelatin. I would cook the bacon, puree in a processor with a little cream (or whatever), then run the puree through a tamis to make it smooth. I've never done this with bacon, but I'd pretty much do it with any other mousse, so I'd use that for the texture problem. Additional rendered bacon fat might add a little additional flavor, just make sure that you have the right amount of gelatin. I dunno if I helped, but good luck. Again, if you are worried about the texture, run it through a tamis a couple of times.
  10. My two cents.... I wouldn't have 3 seafood courses all back to back. Seems a bit much. Your menu also looks very very rich...so I might choose the scallop dish that is the lightest and has the most acid, etc. I think the menu looks nice, like I said just too rich starting out. My opinion, it should build from light---->heavy and alternate fish/meat courses. But again, I'm sure this is an informal dinner with friends....so don't sweat it too much. The most important thing when hosting a dinner party is to make sure the dishes are good, but still simple and require minimal last minute assembly, so that you can enjoy your time with friends instead of being in the kitchen all night. Good luck, looks good, and have fun.
  11. Qwerty

    Duck scraps

    I was specifically referring to the cooking of duck legs, sous vide, at a higher temp than you would use to sous vide a nice piece of steak. The duck legs cooking at 75 is more akin to braising than any other cooking method. I wasn't trying to state that you couldn't, shouldn't or wouldn't sous vide a steak or a duck breast (in fact I gave instructions for doing so right after), just that you probably shouldn't do it at the same time/temp you do it for braising cuts.
  12. Qwerty

    Duck scraps

    Absolutely. IMO, a duck breast needs to be served rare to medium rare, while the leg, thigh, wing need to be much more cooked to break down all that conective tissue, fat, sinew, etc. I don't necessarily see the benefit of cooking the breast for hours and hours in a water bath when it can be nicely cooked on top of the stove...great crispy skin and lovely rare meat can be had in 15 to 20 minutes. ← Agreed. Bear in mind that the duck would probably really only need about 20 minutes in the bath to reach temp, not hours and hours, and the results are quite tasty. Peter, cooking the breasts and the legs are two completely different things. Legs are more forgivable for higher temps and longer times...75 is fine for legs and for hours, as stated earlier, you want to cook it low and slow to break down all the connective tissue. You do it with breasts and you'll most likely have mealy, dry, overcooked meat. You wouldn't braise a strip steak or a ribeye, would you?--which is essentially what you are doing in the pouch. I would score the duck skin (down to the flesh but don't cut the flesh, in a crosshatch pattern), and render out as much fat as possible on a low low low flame on the stove. You don't even want any color, just render out the fat. Reserve the fat for another use--potatoes, whatever--and seal the breast in your bag with whatever flavorings/seasonings you want. Could be simple like thyme, garlic, etc, or you could do citrus juices, marinades, etc (though I personally wouldn't, keep it simple). Pop it in the pot at about 57/135, let cook for about 20-30 mins (hard to overcook really if you keep your temp stable). Take out of the bag, and sear in a pan skin side down to crisp up that skin and get that lovely golden brown color that duck gets. Duck is nice with a sauce, keep it simple and sweet and sour. Fruit compotes work well, but even natural jus are nice--just keep it light. Duck is very rich and fatty. Good luck, hope I helped all.
  13. Qwerty

    Duck scraps

    You'll want to cook your breasts at a lower temp than 75 for sure, I'd say go at about 57 for a nice med rare duck breast. Time wouldn't be too much of a factor, since the temp is stable and won't overcook, but you shouldn't need more than an hour for it to cook to temp all the way through. The need to rest is also minimal as well...and a quick pan sear to get a nicely browned exterior is nice too.
  14. Don't miss Jasper Hill Farms Cheese....amazing. They have one called Constant Bliss (apt) and a great blue called Bayley Hazen.
  15. Qwerty

    Cooking with bitters

    Bitter is one of the tastes on the tongue, so of course if something has bitter in it it makes the dish feel more round and possibly more pleasing. There are a lot of common things we eat or do to food to make it bitter. Why do we grill food? For some of the smoke flavor, yeah, but also the grill marks to make it bitter. Coffee is bitter. So is chocolate, and many types of salad greens. I'm not sure if drinking straight bitters would be good--but I can certainly see how adding it for some taste elements to certain foods could make them more appetizing. I mean, you added it to your cocktail, right? Take a moment to think about why you did that.
  16. Qwerty

    Prep bowls

    I'm telling ya, free deli cups are the way to go. Just hit up all the grocery stores in your area and you'll be set in an hour.
  17. Qwerty

    Pork Belly

    A very common way to cook it is to braise it, then sear it to get a crispy skin. Probably the way to go. Confit is another great preparation. Try doing a search on it, there are probably many great threads on the subject.
  18. Qwerty

    Prep bowls

    Every time I am at the grocery store, Whole Foods, etc, I always ask the deli clerks for a couple of extra pint deli cups. I have a small stash at home and they work great for prep storage and storing most leftovers.
  19. Qwerty

    Pork belly confit

    I think that low temp is the way to go, but I think that 10-12 hours for a pork belly is too long. Like you said, I would cure it instead of brining next time. Congrats on the success though--you will enjoy that I guarantee.
  20. Qwerty

    Pork belly confit

    I've done this before--with excellent results. I didn't brine it, I cured it for a day before. I submerged it in pork fat, then cooked for about 4 hours. I then pressed it to compact it's shape. It was wonderful--the fat was melt in your mouth. I could think of a thousand things to do with this--you are definitely on the right track. I wouldn't cook for 10-12 hours, but low n slow is the way to go.
  21. I'm rooting for Gavin--had the pleasure of meeting him and he is a class guy. Very humble, very talented.
  22. Qwerty

    Top Chef

    Got to disagree with you here. BBQ experts would probably agree with me as well...slow roasting is a perfect way to cook a pork shoulder. You might be amazed at the amount of flavor, juiciness and tenderness you get form a slow roasted pork butt. What do you think all those BBQ guys are doing to the pork when they cook it? Certainly not braising it. I suggest you try roasting a pork butt if you don't believe me. By the way, you state that you aren't a chef yet you think that Colicchio doesn't know what he's talking about?
  23. Yeah, the will cook of the menu at CSB for you...don't be surprised to see things like cock's combs, organ meat...etc. I think is what he is saying.
  24. I would imagine that sheet gelatin is perfectly fine...they are both pretty much the same thing. Though I do think that sheet gelatin is a purer form and, although a lot of people think I am crazy, I think that powdered gelatin has a bit of a weird taste. But you use it in such small amounts for this technique that I think it's fine.
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