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BRM

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  1. BRM

    That layer of fat, on top of stock

    After saving fat from making chicken stock for some time I tried a confit of chicken. I cured chicken thigh/leg in rosemary and salt overnight and then poached them in chicken fat I had saved. The results were fantastic. I have since done this dish for dinner parties and everyone else liked it as well.
  2. Maybe a couple of months ago there was an Iron Chef episode where a product was used that was called (I think) peratto or something like that. It definitely stared with a "p". Anyway, I had never heard of it but of course Alton had. My guess is that is was pork belly, cured with black pepper, dried but not rolled or smoked. Has anyone ever heard of this? And am I right about the method?
  3. BRM

    Homemade (fresh) chorizo?

    There are fresh and dried chorizos. If you are referring to fresh chorizo and you buy the pork already ground and you don't need to stuff into casings then, yes, it really is that easy. Grinding and stuffing are not hard by any means just some additional equipment. Drying is a bit more involved.
  4. I am certainly no expert but I wonder if the last one refers to those spatula shaped pounders for poultry and veal. Most all the chefs I have seen simply whack the ball of har gow dough with the side of a cleaver. It takes a little practice but isn't hard if you keep at it. I tried using my poultry mallet and found the cleaver method worked better. Here is a brief video of the process
  5. BRM

    The Perfect Burger

    When I buy ground beef I try to look for the distinct 'strands' the the meat forms when coming out of the grinder. A lot of places take it away from the grinder and mash it into some shape that starts the process of overworking. I love the ground beef I get at, of all places, Trader Joes. Their beef comes in very distinct strands like they held the plastic tray up to the grinder and ground right in to that with no handling in between. If you mix anything into the beef before you form patties then consider that folding rather than mixing. I try to turn the meat over with my hands rather than mixing with a spoon or something else. Be very gentle with it.
  6. If the food is for the cyclists it also depends an when you think they will be eating it. If they will be eating it on the bike then then you might also think about some little grilled pannini sandwiches and bananas. The former are traditional cycling fare for most european cyclists before the advent of powerbars, etc. You could also make your own energy bars. There are a thousand recipes on the net. As noted above most pro teams will provide this for their racers (most pros won't even take water from a spectator except to pour it over their head to cool off) but the amateurs will likely take you up. If you will be serving them after the race is over then smoothies are a great idea. ETA: Another thing you might do is talk to the race promoters and tell them you want to do something to help out. Race promoters love stuff like this. You can spread a lot of goodwill by making box lunches for the race officials and corner marshals and police officers, etc. I race for a local cycling team that is sponsored by a cafe that sounds a bit like yours. We also promote a race every year where the owner of the cafe does things like this.
  7. BRM

    Making Peanut Butter

    I make cashew and almond butters quite often. Not as much peanut because I prefer the taste of the others. I don't roast my own but I do warm the nuts in the oven for a few minutes before beginning the process. If the mix won't pastify in the food processor I just add a little canola oil. Not too much though. About a tablespoon at a time (I do batches of about a pound of nuts) and let the mixture go. Generally I find the best thing to do is be patient, It will start to liquefy after a while. I process mine until the slurry goes around continuously in the food processor but there is a lump that is sort of a 'loose' ball. I also find the the final product is much better if I take the time to put it through a seive but that can be a messy process. I reprocess the stuff that won't go through to increase yields. I get about a pint from each 1 pound batch.
  8. The technique for those wrappers is very similar to Moroccan warka [sp]. Paula Wolfert goes in to great detail on how to make them in her book Couscous and other good foods...
  9. BRM

    Pork Fu

    This is what I have been doing thus far. Putting it in soup or congee seems like a good idea. It's pretty dry as is.
  10. BRM

    Kind of like a pig roast

    Nothing wrong with that. I am picking up my meat two days in advance so that would only save me a day. I do like the 'theater' of standing around the grill with a beer with the smoke billowing out and the meat all nice and brown on it knowing full well as i would that this is just for show. Just adds to the experience a little.
  11. BRM

    Kind of like a pig roast

    I am planning a party for some friends and colleagues. What I would like to do is a pig roast but its only going to be for 14-16 people and I really don't have the space to roast a whole pig. Currently I've ordered a bone-in shoulder at 9-10 pounds, ~3 pounds of belly and some rib roast, probably around 6-8 pounds but easy to go up or down on this. What I wanted was to get some different parts of the animal with some different textures and fat content. Dinner is going to be served at around 3 pm. I've read through the 'butt' thread and a few others on the site that deal with pig roasts. I have a bullet smoker and a weber kettle and I have the ability to do cold smoke and hot smoke. because the dinner is early I have been toying with the idea of applying some smoke the afternoon before and holding the meat in a low oven overnight and then doing some finishing the next day. I'd like this much better than getting up at 2 am to get started. Does anyone have any experience with doing it like this? Anything I need to be careful of? Is 225 a good overnight hold temp, or should I go lower? Does it make sense to do all the cuts this way or just the shoulder? Any other thoughts or words of wisdom here (other than lots of =Mark's sauce which I am already on top of). Thanks
  12. BRM

    Pork Fu

    I picked up a small container of pork fu at the asian market I usually go to. Its dried shredded pork flavored with soy. How is this generally used? The results of my googling haven't yielded much that looks very...well...asian. Thanks in advance
  13. BRM

    Dying couscous to look like caviar

    I once saw a chinese chef boil spinach. The green scum that rose to the surface was skimmed off and used to coat stir fried shrimp. If it would stick to stir fried shrimp it might stick to just about anything. I have never tried it myself. But, hey, you asked for ideas. What about saffron. It will color anything, including my fingers when I handle it a lot. What about making the couscous. It's not that hard. Then you can make it any color you want - from the inside.
  14. My two cents worth... I am a big fan of the Time Life series by Richard Olney. The thing I like most is that there is a lot of focus on techniques, ratios and generally the why's of cooking rather than just recipes. The technique pictures are pretty helpful. They are out of print but a friend of mine whom I gave a similar opinion has been picking them up at used book stores and through Amazon for very little money, $2 to $5 per volume I think (there are 19 volumes I believe). Another good book for this sort of thing is The New Professional Chef by the CIA. It isn't as complicated as it sounds. Its somewhat similar to Pepin's book mentioned above. I like the books by Trotter, Keller and others but they don't teach as much technique but some great recipes to be sure.
  15. I find the same thing is true for hot smoked salmon. Fresh out of the smoker or in the fridge for a few days the flavor is good, but frozen for a few weeks or longer the flavor is much better. I always chalked it up to the smoke flavor continuing to penetrate the meat even though in the freezer. Maybe there is another explanation.
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