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Everything posted by doctortim

  1. doctortim

    Dinner! 2011

    That's an impressive debut lolagranola74!
  2. With my first attempt at Keller's quiche proving an absolute disaster, I was a little nervous to try it again. Thankfully, this time it worked perfectly, and... wow. Just wow. Having eaten quiche lorraine countless times before I knew more or less what flavours to expect, but the texture was incredible. The perfectly set custard looks amazing on the plate, and melts on your tongue like a spoonful of thickened cream. I don't know if this made a difference, but after removing the pie weights I painted the inside of the crust thinly with whisked egg white in an attempt to seal it. I think I'll continue to do this when I make it again -- possibly a useless step, but I'd rather waste one egg white than half a day of work.
  3. doctortim

    Dinner! 2009

    That's quite a feat! By the way I'm salivating at the look of that Kholkpuri chicken, it reminds me of exactly the sort of thing I used to make but haven't in ages. Time to break out the spices, I think.
  4. doctortim


    Most of the acids mentioned here have been liquid, but there are some great acidic ingredients that are solids. Amchur (dried mango powder) is an essential ingredient in a a tart, spicy channa masala, and sumac's another tangy powder used in middle eastern cooking.
  5. I'm also wondering why no tamarind? The best-tasting recipes will have tamarind, although you could substitute lime juice (taste as you go). What turned my pad thai around was Pim's entry on the topic. It's less of a recipe and more of a guide, and it's very helpful.
  6. In a week I'm planning on serving roast lamb shoulder stuffed with a apricots, couscous, pine nuts, and herbs. On the side will be boiled potatoes dressed with a parsley & mint vinaigrette. Can anyone recommend a good style of wine to serve alongside? I don't usually have trouble with lamb, but I don't want the sweetness of the apricots to clash. If you're naming specifics, a bonus would be Australian wines since that's where I am.
  7. Speaking of Australian food TV, do you happen to remember Channel 9's Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares-inspired show 'The Chopping Block'? It wasn't very good, but I laughed when I saw that the Egyptian chef who made dukkah on this week's Food Safari was a former chopping block loser!
  8. I love Food Safari! Even though it's about various foreign cuisines, strangely it feels very 'Australian' to me. I think it's because of the number of times people on the show remind me of my friends' parents growing up. I always cringe internally if someone asks me to do something on a Wednesday night -- that's cooking show night! (I'm sure if they knew this they'd cringe externally)
  9. doctortim

    Dinner! 2008

    Bridgestone, terrific stuff!
  10. doctortim

    Dinner! 2008

    That looks amazing and so comforting. Which recipe did you use for the buns? ← You can watch a video of David Chang making the pork buns here. Shaya, they look delicious. I'll definitely be trying them in the near future!
  11. There's always time for drooling over the 'how the hell did they do that' food of the best restaurants (see the ulterior epicure for a great example), but what I love most about food blogs is the sharing. From the most to the least experienced bloggers, it's all people who love food telling you how much they love food, and how to make the food they love most. It's great! Lucy's Kitchen Notebook is definitely of my favourites. Great writing, beautiful photography, and delicious food. In the best possible way her blog makes me think enviously, "I want to live like that".
  12. Yes doctortim, these agnolotti shapes can be rather elusive. I remember trying and trying a few years ago, with little success, but then one day it just clicked. The key is not to overthink it, just do as he says. Fold the pasta sheet over the filling, press to seal, cut off excess, then cut through each " mound" to separate. One adjustment I made is to pipe little portions of filling rather than one long tube; I find it easier to keep a clean cut that way. ← I think that's what it is, piping out a long tube does not work for me at all. To press to seal between the mounds of filling as well?
  13. It looks amazing! I'm especially in awe of your agnolotti. My past attempts to form the agnolotti have been embarrassing, nice work with yours.
  14. doctortim


    I had a surprising smoothie experience yesterday. I was making a smoothie with my new Bamix with the beater attachment (the one that is simply a flat disc) and began simply beating about 1/2 cup of whole milk. Before long it became really creamy, and when I added 2 frozen blackberries (only two -- if they had any effect I'd say it was on temperature) it continued to thicken. By the time I was done I was able to invert the cup over my head without so much as a drop spilling out. It was amazing. Can anyone explain the science behind this, or at least how I can utilise this for my own nefarious ends? I tried making a chocolate mousse by melting a little chocolate into some milk, but this didn't thicken. What are the important factors here -- temperature? Fat content? Time? Lunar phase?
  15. Hummus. You can serve it as a dip with pita bread/crackers, or bring it out when the meat is served as a sort of spread. It tastes great, it can be put together in minutes, the ingredients are cheap, and it's so simple. Simply add to a food processor some canned chickpeas (for convenience. Use soaked dry chickpeas for authenticity), tahini, lemon juice, olive oil, crushed garlic, and salt. Some would accuse hummus of being overdone these days, but the different between homemade and the store-bough variety most people serve is like night and day.
  16. I came across it on sale last week and gave it serious thought, borrowed it from the library to give it a closer look, but in the end decided not to buy it. I value books like my copy of the French Laundry cookbook for their stories and insights into the search for cooking perfection. You'll rarely see a complete TFL recipe on my dinner table, but it has nonetheless changed the way I cook and think about cooking. As a book about Gordon Ramsay at RHR, it's a fun read (if not a bit corporate, as others have mentioned). The pictures are beautiful and the commentary is often interesting. As a manual to emulate a RHR experience, it's sound. The recipes are clear and well-written, and nothing seems out of the league of an experienced amateur with some spare time on their hands. I don't normally have a sweet tooth, but if I could have bought just the desserts section I would have. As a cookbook though, 3 Star Chef feels less accesible than say, TFL cookbook. I loved that Ruhlman and Keller in writing TFL explained why things were done a certain way, but there's less of this in 3 Star Chef. Though the learning curve is steep, TFL explains to a passionate home cook how they can transform their cooking to the highest level, and why they would want to. It is amazing food from (generally) a fairly humble starting point. 3 Star Chef describes how to do it, but it reads more like instruction than teaching. Cooking from TFL cookbook has taught me a lot about the principles of excellent cooking as well as the recipes themselves; 3 Star Chef teaches you how to cook Gordon Ramsay's food. An exception to this is the appendix, where basic techniques are explained well. It may be unfair of me -- I have owned TFL cookbook for a year and only looked through 3 Star Chef for a few hours. Perhaps TFL cookbook got in first with the same kind of foundation that 3 Star Chef might have given me, but I doubt it. 3 Star Chef isn't TFL cookbook, it is as advertised: recipes from a 3 star chef. Don't interpret this as a negative review, I've tried to judge the book from a few different angles. As a book about RHR and a collection of 3-Star recipes it is extremely good. If you have access to the ingredients you'll have a lot of fun and make your guests feel very satisfied. However if you're wanting to learn a lot and get into the mindset of a chef of this calibre, I'd recommend other books such as Thomas Keller's The French Laundry cookbook. As an aside I followed Jon Tseng's recommendation and borrowed Ramsay's Chef for All Seasons, and I love it. Obviously a different type of cookbook to 3 Star Chef ("1 Star recipes from a 3 Star Chef"?) but a great one nonetheless.
  17. So I made a puree, blended that into my pasta dough, and unfortunately I couldn't really get a noticeable chestnut flavour to come through. It's there if you know to look for it (wishful tasting?), but for me it's not enough to justify the added effort. I'd be keen to try chestnut flour, which I've read has quite a prominent flavour. Hopefully a trip to the asian markets this Friday will bring me some.
  18. Your dinner sounds great -- I love chestnuts! Having done some shopping I've found that this year it's extraordinarily difficult to get chestnut flour here in SA, unlike last year where it seemed like every shop had some. The only source I can find in Australia is Cheznuts. They have products in stores in Melbourne, so that might be ideal for you. I was able to get some fresh chestnuts, so I'll try making a puree from them and dehydrating it a little to concentrate the flavour. I'll keep you posted.
  19. I'm planning on making a dish that will include chestnut-flavored fresh tagliatelle, but I'm unsure of the best way to make my tagliatelle taste of chestnuts. Being autumn here I can easily get both fresh chestnuts and fresh (i.e., not rancid) chestnut flour. My ideas were to make a purée from the fresh chestnuts and mix this into my regular pasta dough, or, to make a pasta dough substituting some chestnut flour for plain flour. Which would be the best way to get that chestnut flavor into my pasta, such that it still comes through after it has been cooked?
  20. doctortim

    Dinner! 2008

    Thank you, Liz I freeze a lot of homemade pastas (tortellini, fettucine, et al), but this is before they've been cooked. I've frozen fully cooked lasagnas before, with great success, but not with homemade, cooked lasagna sheets. Maybe someone here has and can give us their opinion/experience with it? On another note, what a beautiful chicken mole photo, above. ← I've made a lasagna with homemade pasta before and frozen the cooked leftovers without issue.
  21. doctortim

    Dinner! 2008

    Lisa, wow. I am so hungry now.
  22. In can be confusing. Here (Australia) I've never heard anyone ever talk about "broiling", but of course we do use broilers. The best I can make of the translation (USA terminology on the left, Australian on the right): Broil = Grill/oven-grill (as in, non-adjustable heat source above the food) Grill = Char-grill/barbecue/grill BBQ is a different beast. When we fire up the bbq to cook some sausages or kebabs Americans tend to fire up the grill. I was looking for a thread the other day to mourn what seems to be an Australian tradition of cooking meat to a dry crisp at weekend bbqs, but every bbq thread was about cooking ribs and the like. ← Why hello fellow Aussie! I believe that must be source of my confusion! I'm also from Australia (Sydney) and reading various cookbooks and whatnot, I always get frustrated trying to decide whether I should do the 'heat over food' or 'heat under food'. ...I think I may still be confused... ← For the most part, if asked by an American recipe to grill something I'll head to the bbq (or if I'm lazy, a charcoal-y cast iron griddle pan I have). It's a safe assumption, and usually it's made obvious by the context if this is not the case.
  23. I've been toying with a duck liver pasta idea, but I'm having some trouble finding duck livers. One butcher I trust can get frozen livers from his supplier, but only in 2kg lots. I have two questions: 1. Does freezing diminish the quality of duck liver for sauteeing? I can ask the butcher how long it has been frozen for. 2. Would I be putting my health at risk to thaw them in the fridge just enough to separate them to refreeze individually? Any input would be great.
  24. In can be confusing. Here (Australia) I've never heard anyone ever talk about "broiling", but of course we do use broilers. The best I can make of the translation (USA terminology on the left, Australian on the right): Broil = Grill/oven-grill (as in, non-adjustable heat source above the food) Grill = Char-grill/barbecue/grill BBQ is a different beast. When we fire up the bbq to cook some sausages or kebabs Americans tend to fire up the grill. I was looking for a thread the other day to mourn what seems to be an Australian tradition of cooking meat to a dry crisp at weekend bbqs, but every bbq thread was about cooking ribs and the like.
  25. Let me be the first to admit that I have absolutely no idea about most things Japanese, but I'm willing to learn! I'm asking this on behalf of my girlfriend, who will be off to Japan for a year in a couple of months. While this forum is excellent in describing where to buy non-Japanese ingredients she's keen to get a feel for what most Japanese people cook day-to-day. Kristin's threads on Japanese foods are really interesting, but I'm always uncertain where they fit into Japanese home cooking. She's more than happy to cook with whatever produce is ubiquitous in Japanese shops and make the kind of affordable weeknight meals that parents would prepare for their families. We were hoping to get a heads up on what kinds of ingredients are easy to come by and are found in most regular Japanese home kitchens? Sort of the Japanese equivalent to mince meat and tomatoes for spaghetti bolognese, or potatoes, milk and butter for sausages and mashed potatoes. Any ideas?
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