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Everything posted by rickster

  1. I understand the desire to create some tension for the viewer in the episode, but it's too bad when you have to read a blog to find out what was really going on. In the epsiode they indicated problems with everyone's dishes. Even if seafood was available, I wonder if Jen chose something else to avoid being dinged for playing it too safe.
  2. Thanks for the insight. FYI, if my recollection is correct, the Tartine recipe calls for beating the butter in a mixer until just spreadable with an offset spatula. You then spread it on the detrempe, rather than beating the butter block with a rolling pin (the usual approach).
  3. This is very interesting. My background in this is only from reading books, and most do not seem to give any instruction on texture. In fact, I believe that implicitly butter will usually be firmer than the detrempe, if you follow their instructions. Having said this, my most successful croissant recipe, from the San Francisco bakery Tartine, does follow a procedure that gets you close to a consistent texture in both components. I also notice at times that the butter seems to fracture into small pieces in the layers - not sure if this is what is meant by marbrage. This seems to happen more on the second and any subsequent turn. I also wonder if it could be the result of a higher water content butter causing the butter to be less pliable than "dry" butter. Or would the reverse be the case?
  4. I don't have any suggestions, but have to say I am interested in any answers, since I have had the same problem with both puff pastry and sometimes croissants.
  5. I've liked The Chinese Kitchen by Eileen Yin Fei Lo. One thing to keep in mind is your friend's ability to get some of the more unique ingredients called for in some of the Asian books. My recollection of the Barbara Tropp book, for example, is that the ingredients were pretty common. Fuschia Dunlop's book is a bit more specialized and some things may be harder to find, depending on where she lives and how committed she is to find them.
  6. Linzertortes/cookies Lots of tart crusts call for ground nuts
  7. I can't vouch for its authenticity, but there's a recipe for this from an American bakery in a book called "Artisan Baking Across America" by Maggie Glezer.
  8. I wonder what would happen if you added baker's ammonia to the mix.
  9. rickster

    Fried Turkey

    Local Chicago TV station did a story over the weekend with someone from Butterball, and they were showing off an in home countertop turkey deep fryer. Supposedly handles a 10-12 lb turkey and costs in the range of $100-120. They did not say where you could buy one. It was not enourmous and had a lid you closed when cooking, like some smaller deep fryers. Supposedly avoids most of the safety concerns with propane fryers.
  10. I agree, unless you're looking for some speciality nut, the club stores, Trader Joe's and sometimes ethnic markets are the best choices. We also have a store here in Chicago called The Home Economist that has good prices, but that is a unique local situation.
  11. Other places besides Whole Foods, too
  12. I've used Guittard and Valrhona and been happy with both. Not sure what the issue is with quantities. There are a number of places that sell these in quantities ranging from 1lb to a couple of kilos. I've purchased from chocosphere.com and l'epicerie.com.
  13. In Chicago, Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma stores carry it. Might be the same in NYC.
  14. Seems to me that the flavor is very different.
  15. Grand Marnier always works well.
  16. Assuming you are talking about a typical frangipane tart, I am pretty sure blending in the plums would be a big mistake
  17. Plus he said the other elements of her dish were quite good.
  18. Interesting to see next week with Restaurant Wars coming up, if any of the top four chefs will be at risk. It seems likely that two of them will be the exec chefs of the teams, which usually puts a target on your back.
  19. My favorite as well. Don't know what recipe you are using or if by mild you mean not sour, but most naturally leavened breads are not esepcially sour tasting.
  20. I highly recommend these as well. I've tried the French and Italian cultures and would not go back to trying to start my own culture from scratch.
  21. I agree, and funnily enough, despite the very high quality of a number of the contestants this season, I've found a couple of episodes to be dull. My two theories are: 1)As others have mentioned, there is a big gap between the top 4 contestants and everyone else, so there is less drama in the competitions and no opportunity to create a come from behind story arc, for example 2) Las Vegas, while a restaurant mecca, seems to have limited and less interesting venues to stage competitions than places like Chicago, NY and Miami
  22. I refrigerate starters and don't feed them for a lot longer than a week, probably at least a month if not longer. However, when I want to use it, I have to go through a couple of day process of feeding to revive it, so if I want to bake on Sunday, I need to start feeding on Wednesday or Thursday morning, so it requires planning ahead. This makes keeping a starter manageable. No idea if it affects the leavening power, as I have never maintained a starter any other way to compare.
  23. I agree about Appleman looking like the villain. Question is: Do the Food Network want a recurring Iron Chef with a jerky personality that might alienate viewers? (I guess some people think this describes Bobby Flay already, but I happen to like him).
  24. You're correct it couldn't. The matzoh ball soup was in the first round, in which the reward was being given an advantage in the elimination round. It had no bearing on his elimination.
  25. I remember reading in some chef's book that American butternut squash was not as flavorful as Italian squash/pumpkin and the secret was to mix in some pureed sweet potato.
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