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Everything posted by muichoi

  1. They certainly lose a lot by pre-peeling. It depends on their eventual use-if you're roasting them as a vegetable for example they'll be fine. The frozen puree is a pretty bad idea-it oxidises very readily and tastes downright nasty, though if you puree it with ginger it's ok to use in Indian food. No need to freeze, just add a very little vinegar and salt and t will keep for a month in the fridge.
  2. Seventies, fifties and eighties respectively, I would say. I would also maintain that the late eighties were a fantastic time for restaurants in London, the best far eclipsing what we have today.
  3. St. John is OK but hardly revelatory in its offal cooking. Indeed a slight bugbear is that they charge £18 or so for £2 worth of ingredients cooked well enough but not better than a good home cook would do on a hurried weekday evening. I wouldn't make a special journey but I do like it, and the puddings are really good.
  4. I don't think anyone actually enjoys AA Gill's articles but once you've waded through the silliness he's a particularly sound judge of food. Winner is good too.
  5. As Lizzy says-this applies to everything, not just restaurants. Many are goodish, but for me Jan Moir is very often not to be relied upon. ETA-looking at that Times piece I'm glad Mr. Coren notices and condemns the vile and despicable practice of not tailing the green beans!
  6. I went for lunch a couple of days ago. I was there for the set lunch-I used to think it unfair to judge a restaurant on this , but have changed my mind- but felt I was being continuously upsold-I actually had to ask for the lunch menu. The lunch was good, three vanishingly small courses of excellent materials cooked with clarity of purpose, and the wine list is creditable considering the speeed with which it had to be assembled, and is not more marked up than at other establishments. The service is friendly enough but as disorganised as I have ever seen in a restaurant with such aspirations. One waiter actually started preparing tables for the dinner service while several tables were still lunching, something I haven't seen since going down late for breakfast in Frinton-On-Sea. I'm not burning to go back but it wasn't bad. Like every other set lunch, poor value compared to Le Gavroche.
  7. oops, better remove that. I'm not entirely convinced by Ms. Moir's wine coverage, but no one makes me read it, I suppose.
  8. I really loath it. The asian way is far more interactive , sociable and generous in spirit. I very much prefer western food served from communal dishes at the table too, rather than 'plated'.
  9. Food Snob-maybe I've misunderstood, but if you need to be told what you're eating what earthly right have you to pontificate about food on the internet?
  10. rohandaft, are you the author of the irreplaceable 'Daft about Lager'? I was thinking about that superb publication the other day.
  11. Does anyone know why the recipe for pancetta in this book contains garlic? I've never come across such a thing in the Italian article.
  12. I'll check CbH when I get home, but if anyone can find this information in there before evening, that'd be swell. ← According to Blumenthal Actin and Myosin combine when rigor mortis sets in, and he states that the way to separate them is to add polyphosphate. He implies that this is essential but doesn't quite come out with it. In the UK posh sausages are as described by Bertolli-'greasy, crumbly, doesn't bind'. People are used to it and even like it.
  13. Phosphate is used in many commercial sausages, because it makes it possible to 'hold' an awful lot of water. Buy water (its cheap) and sell it as sausage. Phosphate is very important to the profitability of some sausages. Its a different game if you are only adding 1% red wine rather than 10/15% of water. The "classic British banger" is a pretty ghastly thing. Lots of 'rusk' (think breadcrumbs), water (and phosphates), fat and a little bit of meat. The high water content accounts for the (mainly historical) tendancy to explode on frying - hence the name 'banger'. http://www.sausagelinks.co.uk/facts_FAQs.asp?id=283#9 I'd rather know what goes into mine, and I neither need nor want phosphates, thank you. I'm under no pressure to increase the water content of my sausages. But I'm honestly not absolutely certain that the 'bind' is indeed an emulsion - after all, the fat is pretty much solid around water's freezing point. You certainly don't want the water-based stuff to be actually frozen solid too. The amount of mixing effort is in no way comparable to, for example, beating mayonnaise. Certainly the mechanical cold-mixing action develops a protein stickiness (myosin), and that (rather than the fat) could well be what holds the liquid in the sausage all the way to the mouth, achieving succulence without a high (and artificially bound) water content. Hence I prefer to talk about "the bind" rather than the emulsion. Kudos to Ruhlman and Polcyn for introducing me to that term. ← Dougal,it's not true that that's the only use of phosphate-Heston Blumenthal writes interestingly about it in his BBC book. Consider this-almost every sausage available from the very best UK sources is technically faulty-it exudes a huge amount of fat and liquid that should stay in the skin and the result is mealy. A little phosphate added to the liquid you would add anyway prevents this, and in my experience the emulsion obtained from British pork only works about three times out of ten, no matter how careful I am. Lest it appear otherwise, I deplore the British sausage tradition.
  14. Does anyone use phosphate? unless the meat is very freshly killed some emulsions are pretty hard to achieve without.
  15. The Bombay Brasserie lunch buffet is very suitable for the elderly, I find.
  16. Yeah, but a lot of 'destination dining' is both staggeringly expensive AND very disappointing--viz. The Waterside. I think most people would rather be mildly disappointed for less money. Of course, this is ignoring the bit of the fine dining economy based (like contemporary art) on the essential human need to say 'you paid how much? for that?'. Call it the Reggie Perrin complex. ← You seem to have it in for The Waterside, a restaurant which does exactly what it says on the tin. I don't suppose they'll be too bothered though.
  17. muichoi

    Wild Rabbit

    Young wild rabbits can be grilled to delicious effect.
  18. I've always found that the less expensive a place is the better the food. Indeed the standard at working class establishments is quite fantastic very often. I've always had people looking after me but it's well worth making clear that that's what you're looking for in a polite way. High end is pretty dismal in my experience.
  19. By virtue of its shape it's impossible to work a sold mixture thoroughly through a chinois. I don't know why anyone would put a liquid through a tamis, though. My wooden framed tamis has lasted 25 years and shows no sign of tiring, which is pretty good for a sieve.
  20. Not particularly good wines, Ypants, and not underpriced, particularly the Lanson.
  21. I'm happy when staff serve food without telling me what it is. My short-term memory is not that bad. Or did you order a surprise menu, in which case I sympathise?
  22. muichoi

    Pork Pie

    Pork pies are things of beauty, as are sausage rolls. Curiously it's very easy to find a good pork pie and impossible to find a good sausage roll.
  23. The negative reports you've read about Ma Cuisine are the result of people expecting a 'gourmet' type restaurant. It's no such thing, but offers properly cooked burgundian food and an excellent wine list at fair prices without any of the excesses or subservience of the michelin brigade. i wish there were some restaurants like it in London-it does of course require a minimum standard of gastronomic and behavioural literacy of its customers, and I have witnessed some sad scenes of incomprehension when this has not been forthcoming.
  24. Nothing to do with the prices, Roger, which are often very reasonable at lunch. It's the yawn-making similarity of technique and seeming search for 'innovation' which goes down the same route at every establishment. I think I've had enough. What Paris has is quite a lot of places which have some culture, which we don't in London. There is the St. John school, which has reinvented a vernacular that never actually existed but can be fun.
  25. I'd like to go but they really are blistering wine markups-I've got quite a lot of that Beaune, for which I paid £16 a bottle.
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