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Qwerty

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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. Qwerty

    Infused oil - safety?

    Putting pink salt in an oil is unlikely to have any effect, and could be dangerous if not used properly.
  2. Don't forget brown butter hollandaise....
  3. Qwerty

    Onion cooking.

    What kind of pan are you using?
  4. Yeah, I was a waiter for a long time as well and would almost never give a guest the most expensive thing on the menu. Often, it's not even the best. Also, I would rather ensure that the guest have a great experience and return multiple times, become my regular customers and, by that exptension, tip me repeatedly and generously rather than a nice one-off tip cause I inflated the bill. In most good restaurants the staff has tasted everything on the menu, probably including a nightly special tasting, so they are hopefully able to steer you into something you like. I've had more than a few people ask me to take total control of their evenings, from wine to food, etc. The only question I will ask if if they absolutely cannot/will not eat certain items, and I can't remember a time when I purposefully gouged a guest to up the bill.
  5. Qwerty

    Venison

    When you guys say backstraps are you talking about the loins? Just curious, I was taught that the backstrap was that massive piece of elastin that helps the deer hold it's head up...you guys know what I am talking about? They are two thick, rubbery pieces of connective tissue found at the top of the loin...I always thought that was the backstrap. Hopefully you guys all mean the loin, otherwise I don't see how that could be edible Anyone ever try dry aging the legs, a la southern ham or proscuito? I have not really worked with too much venison, but it seems like it might work...
  6. There are no clearcut answers. It is seemingly inexplicable why some restaurants are successfull and others aren't. There are places that serve mediocre food with medoicre service, but still somehow manage to be at full capacity nearly every night. And there are fabulous places that do everything right that go under in less than a year. There are places with business plans, and places that "just wing it" and still do great. Sometimes people just get lucky and can do it...sometimes even the most carefully laid plans don't matter. There is no way to tell. It's a roll of the dice every time...well, almost. Unless you are a really famous chef then you will probably be ok.
  7. What is your recipe for beef stock?
  8. Qwerty

    gelatin and taste.

    What did you heat that lost it's taste? Sometimes, in the cases of fruit juice, veg. juice, etc, then heat kind of destroys the flavor a bit. It also, IMO, depends on what kind of gelatin you use. I've never tried agar agar before, but I think that powdered gelatin definately has a taste to it, I find that the sheet gelatin is much more pure for cooking.
  9. Thanks for the update...don't give up.
  10. Ah, I get it. You cook it in the syrup. Didn't realize that. You could always make a seperate glaze out of the maple syrup to toss them in after you roast and peel. I don't really know how much beet "juice" you get when you cook them...I tend to think that the liquid should stay w/in the beet and not leech out during cooking. You should try it sometime...roast them whole, skin on (washed of course), then peel and toss in maple syrup and glazed. You might find it works out better. Also, I would not reccomend rinsing the roasted beets under water to help peel.
  11. How does peeling them after undermine the texture?
  12. I don't think I would ever boil a beet though...roasting is definately the way to go.
  13. Definately faster to peel after they cook. I used/use a lot of baby beets, and I can't imagine peeling those by hand before. Also, I think that the skin's allow the beet to retain a little more of it's natural "beetness" and, to me, they taste a little sweeter and more like a beet. Same with a potato. I never boil a potato without the skin on, cause I think that the potato becomes too water logged and tastes less like a potato. So I think that the combination of ease of prep and flavor definately make me a post-roast-peel fan.
  14. You have to remember that, while most of the "celebrity" chefs aren't in the kitchen on a nightly (or sometimes even weekly) basis, they most likely have still hired well, and hired someone they trust on a personal level to execute their vision and food. Maybe Bolud won't be there every night, but his Chef de Cuisine will be there damn near every night, and that guy is probably good enough to someday be his own celebrity chef. Those kitchens are top kitchens for a reason...not just because some guys name is on the door.
  15. Qwerty

    Confit Duck

    I would carefully scrape away and discard all mold and surrounding fat...then carefully check the legs to see if they have any mold and/or off smell/taste. If they appear OK, then I would wash and sanitize the jar and re-fill, or use a new container to store them in. That little bit of mold wouldn't worry me TOO much, unless more than the little bit is moldy. Just be careful, and (say it with me) if in doubt, throw it out. As good as duck confit is, it's not worth your health to eat it.
  16. I would reccomend some basic items that they obviously can cook at home but using techniques that would be transferable to other recipes. Like, how to grill a steak, how to roast a chicken, etc. Basic pasta sauces (red, white, pesto), how to blanch/saute vegetables, etc. Nothing to complicated but things that would noticeably improve the home cooking. Brining? Marinating? etc... Good luck.
  17. Qwerty

    Recipe Measurements

    You sure it's not 1 gal AND 64 fl. oz? And 1 gal 16 fl oz? Anyways, just remember that generally speaking a pound of roux will thicken a gallon of liquid. Remember that the longer you cook a roux the less effective it's thickening power becomes, and you can always adjust consistency after it comes to a boil. I can't remember the last time I weighed a roux out...I usually just make a bunch then thicken my liquid when it hits a boil with room temp roux. When it reaches the thickness I am looking for I stop...season, simmer, etc. You can keep roux in the fridge for a while too. Won't hurt anything.
  18. I'd have to disagree with you there. If those statements were true, how does anyone explain the existence of plcaes like TGI Fridays, Chili's, hell even McDonalds, etc? I mean, more often than not those places have both mediocre service and mediocre food...and they are amongst the most successfull concepts invented. I think that more places get away with serving mediocre food well, as opposed to serving outstanding food badly. Now, I'm not saying that food isn't as important as service, and in great places both work seamlessly to wow the diners, but I tend to think that bad, rude, snotty service is going to drive more people away than bad food. I think the money issue is the main source of friction b/t the FoH and BoH. Like many, I've been on both sides of the coin. But I like to think that when I was a server I took care of the cooks as much as possible...be respectful, make sure I knew the food and the menu, etc. Also, getting those guys a glass of water or a soda every once in a while helps too. I can't say that when I was FoH I ever tipped out the guys in back, but I will say that a couple well timed cases of beer help the mood as well I remember vividly one time at my last job I walked out onto the floor on a Friday to clock in (I had already been there a good hour and a half, but the dinner cooks couldn't clock in until 2) and overheard one of the servers bitching to another about how they only made like 520 dollars that week...which I guess was low for the place I worked at. I wanted to strangle him....I made about 75 dollars less a week for proabably a good 20 or slightly more hours of work a week. Threw in sharp relief the contrast right there.
  19. What times are you going? If they are open for lunch and dinner, then early around 7-8am, or between service from 3-4 would be ideal. If they are only open for dinner, I would say sometime around 11am would be ideal. It may take some persistance so don't give up. You could also try phoning first to see if they are even willing to meet with you. Or, go in to eat and express your deisre to work there to the server, who may in tern take you to meet the chef...depending on the place. Dunno, just throwing some ideas out there.
  20. Any luck Alexis? How did the dinner party go?
  21. Qwerty

    Burger helper

    Good luck...sounds like you are living the dream I didn't have the time or inclination to read the entire thread...but it sounds like you are right on track. Did you figure out the fry situation? I actually think that there are some frozen bagged fries that are pretty damn tasty--remember that a good frozen fry is better than a mediocre hand cut fry. I am very interested in hearing about your ingredient selection, if you are considering seasonality issues, etc... Again, good luck. Keep us posted as much as your busy schedule allows for you to.
  22. I was under the impression that soda water was made from sodium bicarbonate, which IIRC would be bitter. I apologize if I was mistaken on this matter. I would be happy to substitute tonic in that scenario and still get a very similar result. And I'm not talking about flavor. Flavor=taste + aroma + texture. I am talking about taste...sour, acid, salty, bitter, and umami. More or less flavorfull is subjective. But I would argue that more or less "taste" is not subjective. If you add b)itter to sour, then the sour taste is reduced. Period. I can't say it any clearer. The same goes for all tastes. The amount someone finds palatable is subjective, but the fact that the tastes are reduced really isn't. And you're right, "nasty" is a subjective term. But so is stating that you find lime and tonic to be more pleasant than lemon and tonic. So I was trying to take something that you stated to the extremes. That's all. Using an example you gave and trying to explain myself using your guidelines, i.e. lime and tonic, etc. I don't think that too many people would disagree with me that pure lime juice is nasty. I've never met anyone that drank galsses of lime juice with breakfast...and there is a reason for that. It's nasty. So yeah, it's subjective, but I say it with confidence. So, I'll try again... I again apologize for my apparant igorance about club soda. Again, I thought it was made with sodium bicarbonate and had a bitter taste. We'll remove that from further discussion. Of course, you can dillute taste with water. You can dillute lime juice with water and eventually make it weak enough to be palatable. That is fine...but in cooking, if probably wouldn't make sense to dillute your soup with water if, for example, if was a too bitter on the palate. But if you add acid (lemon juice, vinegar, etc), you reduce the bitter and add taste and aroma to the soup. You could also add sugar. But sugar has no aroma, and it only effects taste. And it is less effective for reducing bitter than sour is. Bitter greens and citrus dressing...classic. Why? They reduce the tastes of the other and make each more pleasant. A few drops of mignonette sauce on the oyster...sour from the sauce helps reduce the salty/astringent(bitter) and umami of the oyster, and make the salty/bitter/umami a little "rounder" and more palatable to eat. I'm not even saying that oysters aren't delicious by themselves, but maybe, maybe to some people they are a little more delicious with a drop or two of vinegar...or lemon juice, or alcohol, or whatever.
  23. Yeah, you could do that, or you could start with carmelized onions in the first place, or make a caramel out of table sugar (and thereby adding not only sweet but a little bitter, as well as aroma) to the sauce. If you have a tomato sauce, then the predominant flavor will be tomato. If at any point you add enough onions to overpower the tomatoes, you have an onion sauce Proabably wouldn't happen. Again, it's just my opinion. I'm not trying to tell anyone that they shouldn't use sugar in cooking...I even said I do it sometimes. I'm just providing possible explanations for Fat Guy's query, as well as possibly provide alternatives to some people who might want to try something different or look at taste a little different.
  24. Ummmm, ok. First off, I would have to disagree with you saying that lime is bitter. The predominant flavor in lime is sour, just as in lemon. I don't find limes any more bitter than lemons, but I do find limes slightly sweeter, though not by much. Second, are you talking about taste or flavor? I was only talking about taste, not any flavors that come with the ingredients, unless otherwise noted. I assume you are saying talking about taste, so I'll proceed from that assumption. I assume you are trying to find fault in my "logic" by asserting that lime (bitter and sour) is more pleasant to you in tonic than just lemon (just sour). I'm just not sure exactly what you are saying. Especially since I stated that tastes reduce other tastes, so by my theory the reason you like tonic and lime better is because the tastes are all working in tandem to reduce each other and make them palatable. I mean, you hopefully would find drinking plain tonic water less desireable than drinking tonic and lime, adn you would find sucking on a lime less desirable than drinking tonic and lime. I really don't understand your point. If you had a pint of pure lime juice...it would taste nasty, right? What it you added half a cup of club soda (bitter...not really sweet). The lime juice is still nasty, right? But is it LESS nasty than it was before? Yeah, it is. Why? All you did was add bitter...is there less sour in the lime juice? No...it's just the effect of the sour is reduced because your mouth feels less sour because of the bitter. Once again, I'm not saying that the resulting concoction would be "good," I'm just saying that it was better. You say that lemon juice and tonic is less pleasant than tonic and lime? But is lemon and tonic more pleasant than tonic alone? I would say yes. So, in theory, you proved my point for me.
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