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Everything posted by Qwerty

  1. No ego here. As I stated earlier, I was just expressing my opinion on the matter. I acknowledge a wide variety of cooking techniques, none truly more superior than the other since the result is so subjective in nature. Of course, I like it when people agree with me Healthy debate, about cooking in particular, is always welcome on this end. I agree with the need for further testing. Perhaps we could find a way to work the braising liquid into the picture, i.e. water vs stock, weak stock vs. heavy stock, with/without wine, etc.
  2. I'm an advocate of a quick, high heat sear. Reason being, the more raw protein you have, the more umami and flavor the meat is going to impart to the braising liquid. If you do a slow sear, then you are going to cook the meat on the inside while waiting for a nice brown crust to form, and cooked meat does not impart nearly the flavor and mouthfeel to the braise that uncooked meat does. So a quick, high heat sear leaves the meat raw inside, then the raw meat leeches it's flavor and umami to the liquid. Again, just my thoughts. Not saying you can't have a good braise with a slow sear, but I don't think it will be as good as it could be.
  3. As I stated, it's a matter of opinion. My own personal experiences and opinion is that you shouldn't flour meat before searing it, for the reasons described above. Keller is certainly a great chef and I'm sure his braises are fantastic, but what he says certainly isn't the one and only way to do something. His techniques and recipes, while usually outstanding, are not infallible and shouldn't be taken as gospel.
  4. Yes I have tried it. And like I said, when you dust something in flour and brown, then you end up browning the flour, not the meat--best case scenraio at least partially. Not my cup of tea. And if you use proper searing technique, there is absolutely no reason to flour meat before you sear it. To me, a beautiful, properly browned piece of protein is more desireable than a properly browned protein dusted in flour. The argument for thickening power is moot because you can always add flour/roux/slurry later, and keep the meat free of it. If you want to do it, fine. There are many theories and ways to cook food, none of them are correct. I was merely throwing my ideas and reccomendations on to someone who posed the question.
  5. Bone marrow is beautiful just roasted, sprinkled with a nice fleur de sel, a little nice evoo, and a crusty toast. The Fergus Henderson recipe looks great too.
  6. My $.02 I am against coating anything to be browned in flour first (with the possible exception of some fish), but red meat, IMO, is a no-no for flour. Reason being is that you end up browning the flour and not the meat, and lose out on all that special flavor enhancing quality that browned meat gives you (mostly the umami and depth of flavor, as well as fond). That being said, I also think that a rich stock shouldn't be used to braise. Mostly for the reasons you stated in your post. If you braise with Demi, or a strong veal stock, then you may/will end up with an overly poweful, overlly rich sauce. I like my braising sauces to add moisture and flavor, but not overwhelm the meat and become the main event. Therefore, when I braise, I favor a lighter ratio of stock. Basically, I use half stock, half water, or sometimes just water. I also think that wine is a great additive, mostly as a deglazer. The meat is going to impart a lot of flavor to the braise, so why use expensive and time consuming stock solely? So wine, weak stock, and water are what I use. Demi, or whatever, can be added in smaller quantities in the end if you choose, though I usually don't. Also, IMO, add the vegetables at about the last hour of cooking (I also do this when making stock). Why you ask? Aroma. When you make a vegetable stock from scratch, how long do you simmer it for? 30, 40 minutes? An hour at most...otherwise the vegetables turn gray, give off, overcooked flavors, and your veg stock, well, sucks. So why add veg at the beginning of a braise? All you will do is add that overcooked veg flavor to the braise. I say add them near the end, so that the full flavor/aroma from the veg is released, without any adverse effects. Like I said, my $.02. Take it for what it's worth (it ain't much).
  7. Qwerty


    The juice is also used in ponzu sauce, but traditionally the yuzu is prized for it's zest as Dick said. Don't know what to tell you, maybe go try again. The juice isn't great anyways, just out of curiosity what are you yuzing it for?
  8. One thing that kind of jumped out at me while reading this thread is the mixture of Asian influenced dishes with other, I dunno, more traditional dishes. Did you consider just sticking with one theme or style and playing that out? Just seems like it might be kind of jarring to be served a bunch of asian amuse, then western style course, then more asian, then western. Of course, sounds like you are just wanting to experiment and have fun, you are amongst friends, so it's not like a formal tasting menu meal. The menu reads nice and should be fabulous. For the asparagus dish, have you considered an orange peel puree? Supreme oranges, take the cut peels (pith and all), start with cold water, bring to a boil, strain, repeat, strain, then boil it for a few minutes in simple syrup. Strain the syrup and reserve, then puree in a blender with some of the simple syrup--just enough for it to become a smooth puree. Add a pinch of salt, and maybe a little finishing evoo for sheen. It may be a little bitter, but the orange flavor is nice and should pair with the other components. Candied zest would be nice as well. Also, are you dressing the asparagus at all? Might think of a very light coating of something to round out some of the flavors, a nice citrus vin--a little rice wine vin, something like that. For the shrimp...maybe serve them in a crisp fried wonton skin "shell?" Make a little cup out of the skins, cool, then fill. Make them as large or as small as you like, plus the other things will fit nicely inside. Would also add a pleasing fatty/fried crunch. For the egg dish, I might forego the maple syrup...or present it in another way. Maybe just do a light candy on the smoked almonds (coat the nuts in maple syrup, brown and cool..I'm sure you know) and get your sweetness from that. The almonds will be nice too, smoky, salty, sweet. I might have the sauce be the broken yolk. You can break it just before serving, and let the yolk run down and sauce the dish. I think brioce would be fine, but a nice loaf of bread would be great too. I like the idea of the duck fat, and would tie in with the duck ham. Why not do the ham both ways? Serve the regular sandwiched, then maybe fry a fine julienne of the ham and "teepee" it on top of the dish. 2 textures, same product. Freeze pieces of the ham before you julienne, it will make it easier. I think the lobster dish sounds nice. Why skewer it? Seems uneccesary to me. Plus, it might get black in the fryer, and you'd have to hold each one, etc, logistically it may be off. Also it seems like the lobster should be served with something...maybe like a nice bitter, lightly dressed salad to contrast with the richness from the tempura and sauces. A little arugula or something similar may work well, and the green would present nicely. How do you plan on getting the raw meat out of the shell? Might be tricky...you could do the old TK thing and just pour the boiling water over the lobster, let em sit for a min, and at that point you should be able to crack and remove the meat without it being cooked too far. Just do it while they are hot or the fat could congeal and make it tricky again to pull out. If you have done or have a technique for getting raw meat out I would like to hear it...I don't know how. The soup sounds good...have you thought about placement? IMO, soups should come earlier. Just a thought. Also, I don't think that oil would sink to the bottome, more than likely it will float of top, just like grease in a sauce or soup. If you are worried about seeing the flavored oil on top of a clear broth, that may be a probem. You could always lightly whip some cream, put a dollop in the soup, swirl it in and use that to drizzle the oil on. The last course with the sausages sounds good. Mashedpotatoes? Here's how I do em... Whole, washed Yukon gold (or russet, whatever) potatoes, unpeeled cover the potatoes with cold water, add a lot of salt, bring to a simmer, and cook until tender. Meanwhile, heat up a mixture of 1/2 milk and 1/2 cream (or just cream, or half and half, whatever you want)Drain, but leave about an inch of hot water in the bottom of the pot (this will keep them hot while you peel), peel with a pairing knife, and put the potatoes directly into a ricer. Rice the potatoes, add the hot cream, a little at a time, along with whole, cold, diced butter, salt, and pepper if you want (I don't use pepper), until desired richness/texture is reached. Use a lot of salt, and since it's a holiday use a lot of butter too. Keep warm and enjoy. Why don't I peel? The peel protects the potato from getting waterlogged and saturated, and then can lead to dilution of flavor and a wetter, runnier texture. So you get a more potato"y" potato puree. Hope that helps. No desert? I say make the guests bring something, lol, looks like you will be really busy in the kitchen.
  9. I'm sorry if this question has been answered in an earlier thread, but are all of you guys who are doing sous vide cooking at home using home-model cryovac machines, then just using a pot of water and keeping the temperature stable...or did you guys go the thermal immersion circulator route? Just curious. I've seen and done a little sous vide professionally, and liked the results enough to try it at home in the near future.
  10. It is my understanding that the blue and white pin striped apron are traditional French style. Not even sure if Keller is the first to adopt the trend in the US, though given the amount of talent the place has spawned over the years, his influence in the matter may be the greatest. I've always thought it was sort of an "homage" to the origins of the types of cuisine they practice. I suspect that his protege's keep the tradition alive more for posterity sake than anything. I suppose the functionality would be that it may not show grime/grease as easily as white aprons, though I struggle to conjure an image in which any cook working for Keller and his staff would be covered in grime.
  11. Thanks for all the advice guys. I should mention that this will be my 2nd internship (I attend NECI in VT), and I want to go to NYC for the experience. Like I said, I would have to be paid. I suppose I could take an extra 10 grand out in school loans, but given the enormous expense I am already incuring, I don't think that is an option. I would expect that anyplace worth going would require a trail before commitment. If they don't, I would be worried. NYC is about 5-6 hours from where I am, so I don't think that a weekend in NYC is out of the question. A lot of those places look great. Keep em coming.
  12. Talk about the top. I've considered shooting for a place like that, however, I was under the impression that TFL and Per Se did not pay externs? Or am I wrong? Unfortunately, it would have to be a paid internship. I'm old enough to need to be on my own and don't see how I could live in NYC without pay. Don't think a place like that isn't tempting though.
  13. I am currently a culinary student, and in about six months I will need to do an internship with a restaurant. I am seriously considering coming to NY, I have heard that the bar is raised in every tangible area from other parts of the country--i.e. quality of cooks and chefs, quality of ingredients, fickleness of the dining public, creativity, number of restaurants, etc. My internship would last for approx. six months, with potential to turn into a full time job once the six months are over. I'm not posting this seeking a job offer. I'm simply asking--if you guys were in my shoes, where would you like to work? Although I am familiar with the "big" names in NYC dining, I am asking for opinions on restaurants that you all think are great, maybe the next big thing (not to sound too cliche), what chefs you respect, who's doing cool, innovative cuisine...etc. Basically just doing research on specific places. Who better to ask than you guys? The only stipulation that I have is that I would like it to be grounded in French technique. I know, I know...but no Asian fusion, Italian Fusion, funky stuff like that. Otherwise, I am game. Thanks in advance for the advice.
  14. The Mansion Looks interesting. Seems Chef Tesar put together a nice menu. Nothing too crazy opr out there, or experimental, but I think they did a good job of not potentially scaring away the clientele who are used to Dean's menu's. Thoughts?
  15. The simple answer is that the animals listed above are the major domesticated animals in the world, so that a) its historically and currently abundant. The US and Europe, as well as a lot of the rest of the world, eat and raise a lot of cattle, sheep, goats, etc. So that is logically what we have available to consume milk from. b) Tradition. Nowadays we mainly drink cows milk, and most people are "used" to that flavor profile and it is ubiquitous with milk.
  16. Gloves are more for show than anything...as long as hands are clean and well kept, there is no more danger with gloves than without. The only time at work when I'll wear gloves is if I am handling raw chicken or fish...chicken cause of the cross contamination issues, fish so that the oils on my hands don't spoil the meat quicker. But I never wear gloves when cooking or prepping food...who has time? Dans you sound like a mild germaphobe. I say relax. Ever had a hot dog at a ball game? Eaten a fresh oyster? Sometimes food will make you sick. Fact of life. Relax, enjoy your food, don't micro-manage it. Just my .02.
  17. Craigie Street in Cambridge is always looking - Chris is a great mentor and there are all levels of experience. Craigie Street Bistrot ← Did you mean Tony, not Chris? Wouldn't want him to call the restaurant and ask for Chris when there is no Chris. I don't know if I would reccomend CSB for a first time kitchen job--I did a stage there a while ago, and while I was impressed with the staff, the chef, the food, etc, I had a really hard time and failed to impress, due to a variety of factors, but not the least of which was tightness of space and feeling like I was in the way, being slow, etc. The restaurant is great thouhg, would highly reccomend spending a day or two in the kitchen, seeing if you like it, then moving from there. Don't think it would be a good fit for myself, but Mark may like it. I can't emphasize how small the space, especially the kitchen, really is. Chef Tony's standards are really really high, but he knows his shit and maybe thats the best type of person to work for. Good luck.
  18. Wasn't trying to ensenuate that there is anything wrong with duck eggs, it's just that chicken and duck eggs are virtually identical, with the exception of yolk color and size. Just curious if you had a special application or whatnot.
  19. Qwerty


    You could also just simply roast them in a saute pan with some butter and some honey. Figs are good by themselves, so a simple roast just accentuates the sweetness of the figs.
  20. Look for the reviews to start rolling in this week on Fri. The FW and DMN at least should both be on Friday. Let us know how it goes.
  21. I don't think you'd need to add water to roast or steam the beets, just toss in salt, pepper, oil. Smash up some garlic and add some thyme sprigs if you want. Roast in aluminum foil, with a layer of parchment between the beets and foil (don't want the beets picking up a metallic taste). They are good trimmed, peeled and cut in half or quartered, mixed with a nice salt and oil and vinegar. Some people dress them up with a vinaigrette or goat cheese, ricotta, or something of that type, depends on your taste.
  22. Qwerty

    The Woodlands

    Could always hit up Jasper's...www.jaspers-restaurant.com
  23. I've actually had sushi rice risotto and I thought it tasted pretty similar to arborio. They are both similar size and type of rice, so it made little difference.
  24. Yeah I'm sad to see George go. Ate there a few times, always had a pleasurable experience. Liked the food philosophy, simple, clean and good. I am, however, very much intersted in what Avner will do with a "bistro" type place.
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