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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. Keep in mind too that you may not need to add powdered gelatin to the chicken stock, since there should already be gelatin present in the stock. Of course, depends on the strength of the stock, but just keep it in mind.
  2. Broth is made with meat and stock is made with bones....most "stocks" made at home are usually hybrid...that is with varying rations of meat and bones. Generally speaking, a broth has more flavor of the product, while stock has more body.
  3. Correct me if I am wrong but I thought that stocks were meant to have a rather neutral flavor, as to not interfere with whatever final application the stock goes through? I like my grits or black beans to have some of the depth, umami and mouthfeel of stock, but I don't necessarily want it tasting like chicken.
  4. Qwerty

    Wondra Flour

    In general I find that it is a good dredge for just about anything....I've used it with calamari, equal parts wondra flour and semolina--seasoned well of course. Works like a charm after a buttermilk soak.
  5. Yeah I thought that seemed like a lot too....I imagine CT employs a LOT of people, but I can't see how you could lose 17 all at once and keep going at the pace they do. Possible, I suppose, but I can't get my mind around it.
  6. Qwerty

    Per Se

    One thing to keep in mind here, is that the transportation costs for goods has increased significantly over the last couple of years. I can only imagine what the shipping charges on some of the items the restaurant gets in must be--but all the flown in dayboat seafood, mushrooms from the west coast, etc, can't be cheap. They probably pay almost as much in shipping as they do for the actual product, and with gas prices steadily going up and up every year....it's no wonder.
  7. It's probably just a quick pick up....throw pancakes and dates into the oven, sear foie. Sauce is probably held warm, so it's a quick plate. Foie doesn't take long to sear...doesn't need to rest. Like you said, they were slow, so you probably got order fired right away...I can certainly see how if they started the order right when it came in it is out in 2 mins. You may have also got bumped. They had a foie that was supposed to go to another table but was waiting on another pick up or two from different stations. So they see a solo foie come in, fire another, and sell you the one in the window. Easy, fast. Trust me, there is no way they used a micro.
  8. I should have clarified and said that I wanted DVD's in NTSC format. I guess that they don't exist. Oh well.
  9. Are you kidding me? There is NO WAY that the food ever saw a microwave. Come on. I don't even see how you could attempt to microwave foie without it almost completely melting away. How is an open faced ravioli hard to eat? I can't imagine it being any harder than a closed ravioli. I have heard more than once that people feel rushed when they dine at Abacus. It appears to me that the food you ordered takes little time to pick up and, given the emptiness of the restaurant, the food came out a little quick.
  10. Its the same phenomena that we use in the pro kitchen for ladles and the like--give it a quick dip back in the liquid before ladling...catches most of the drips.
  11. Anyone know where I can (or if it is even possible) purchase Gordon Ramsay DVDs--specifically Boiling Point and/or Kitchen Nightmares (UK Version, obviously). I'm just interested--I've caught the shows sporadically on BBC America, and a search on the net didn't turn up much. Thanks for the help.
  12. Being from Dallas I was definitely rooting for Tre. He's a great cook at a really well regarded Dallas restaurant, and I know he will do great things in the future. I was sad to see him go--he truly seemed like one of the few chefs on that show (in any of the 3 seasons) who embodied the integrity that really great chefs stand for. I'm proud of him for being on the show, and even prouder for him leaving the show like he did.
  13. Not to mention that you must try to cater to every whim imaginable. Little old granny chilly even though everyone else is warm? What to do? One of the very few times I would outright deceive people was when someone would ask us to change the a/c. 9/10 times I would walk away for a minute or so, then tell them that the manager was adjusting the temp right now. Ask em again 5 mins later, magically everything is fine. Worked like a charm. I've found that once people settle in, get a drink, some food, etc, they are less likely to notice temp chages...usually people are chilly when they first enter a restaurant and sit down. I would always advise people who get cold easily to bring a light jacket, sweater, etc, with you to a restaurant for just this reason. As well as movie theaters, by the way.
  14. Qwerty

    Creamed Corn

    At an old job of mine we would juice fresh corn, and use that as the cooking medium for corn cut off the cob. Of course, a good base of shallot and other aromatics help as well. Don't skimp on the butter, of course. But essentially, the corn juice thickens with the cooking (thanks to the natural starch) and creates a creamy consistency with a deeper level of corn flavor.
  15. Forgive me, but if you say that when the restaurant is crowded you can deal with the situation, but when the restaurant is empty and someone sits next to you, you can't deal with it? That seems odd to me that you seemingly can choose to deal with it or not deal with it. If it is only one other couple, thats still better than a crowded space, is it not? I'm not trying to make light of your problems, but it just seems if you can deal with it on a crowded night why not the opposite?
  16. Qwerty

    Chicken Livers

    Anyone else here soak em in milk or water overnight, or is that just me? I think that sweating some onions, garlic, in a pan with clarified butter, then adding the livers, and cook aggresively and get a nice sear on both sides. Deglaze with whatever alcohol you want--usually a cordial or fortified wine. Add a bit of veal demi, remi, redux chicken stock (whatever you have), reduce, then add a good amount of whole butter. You can eat them whole, chop them up by hand (for use on a crostini or a filled pasta). They are delicious. I also highly reccomend a good soak in milk--it seems to help remove some impurities (a la sweetbreads) and some of the more harsh "livery" flavor. Good luck.
  17. Qwerty

    Tuna confit for me

    Well, here's how I would do it. Normally with a true confit you would want to cure the protein before the cooking process. I don't think that's necessary with the tuna. What you should do is season it with salt liberally, place it in an ovenproof pan, and cover it with a decent quality olive oil. Things like herbs, spices, garlic, peppercorns, etc, can be added to the oil to flavor the oil and the tuna. Cook it as low as your oven will go for about 45 mins to an hour. Even though the tuna is going to be well done, it is still possible to overcook it too much. The tuna will still be a little on the dry side, but hopefully enough of the flavored oil is present to give you a nice viscous mouth feel and replace the sensation of moisture on your palate. Now, as far as I know, unlike a true confit this will not keep indefinitely. Plan on using it in a couple of days. By the way, this type of tuna makes the best tuna sandwiches you've ever had. Make a nice aoili, quick pickle some veg (cukes, onion, etc), and use some good toasty bread.
  18. Well, I pretty much resound most everything to this point--though I don't think that you are a SAVAGE if you eat salmon skin (that is a silly statement). A little sand is par for the course on oysters. Shell is not really. Sounds like th e shucker didn't have a good night. Most of the time when I would shuck an oyster and see a lot of sand, I would rinse if off quickly under a tap. What a lot of people don't realize is that the oyster will, even after the initial "liquor" and water has been drained off, emit more liquor for the diner to enjoy. I didn't usually have a problem with shells, but like I said, sandy oysters got a quick rinse.
  19. I don't want you to think I was being flip in my reply, but it really did sound like you had a good grasp on how to make a home version of that salad. I mean, you found several recipes on the net for a dressing (pick the one you think sounds best), I assume since you didn't ask that you can roast the beets, supreme the oranges, etc. How big are the goat cheese "truffles?" Probable about the size of chocolate truffles--if you don't have a reference point, I would say no bigger than a nickel in diameter (and that would probably be on the large side). Seriously, beets, goat cheese, citrus, bitter greens--what's not to love? My bet is you couldn't really do wrong with the salad. Have fun, do it up, and let us know how it goes. Good luck.
  20. Why not just take the ideas you have and run with it? Is it important to replicate the salad perfectly? Sounds to me like you caught the gist and should go with what you have. My advice: Don't worry about the size of the goat balls, (on a side note, I wouldn't warm them), find a dressing recipe you like, pick out some nice greens and beets at the market, and do it up.
  21. Qwerty

    Dinner! 2007

    Dinner tonight: Fried Green Tomatoes, stuffed with triple creme cheese, topped with micro arugula, sherry vinegar and olive oil. Pan roasted pork tenderloin, mushroom-potato gratin, roasted baby carrots, and a pomengranite sauce
  22. Qwerty

    Hard Boiled Egg 101

    Ha... I've heard all sorts of things. Try adding vinegar to the water (not sure why, but it does seem to help). I've had luck with the technique of, after the eggs are cooked, rolling them around in the pan and cracking the shells. Let them sit in the water for a few minutes, and then peel. Supposedly, the water seeps into the layer between the now cooked protein and the shell, making the shell slip off easier. I've had mixed results with this...though, when done properly it does seem to help a lot. Just make sure not to crack the eggs too hard for obvious reasons. As you stated, the fresher the egg the harder it is to peel. IIRC, this is because the proteins that hold the egg to the shell (albumen, etc) are stronger and weaken as the egg ages (I'm too lazy to bust out McGee right now). They are easier to peel when the are warm...
  23. There is a certain angle that seems to work better too. Like it was stated, think of the side of the bowl as the "other spoon" in a traditional quenelle, and use that as the opposing force while spooning the side. It may be more of a shallow angle than you think it might be...don't know what "degree" the angle should be at, but, just make some whipped cream and practice. Shouldn't take TOO long before you get the hang of it.
  24. I don't like santokus at all...but it seems to be that the best way to use them differs from the best way to use a western style knife. With a western knife, (as you all know) a person keeps the tip of the knife almost in constant contact with the board, and goes into a slicing motion with that. When I've tried to use santokus, I find that motion pretty impossible. I've had better luck actually picking up the knife from the board and making each slice a new one (if that makes sense). It's a similar motion, it's just that the knife is taken off the board and repositioned for the new cut.
  25. Qwerty


    Well, you are pretty much right in what you said. Taste is really salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and umami. Flavor could be described as taste, texture and aroma. Aroma plays a lot of a bigger part in how we perceive food than is generally known.
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