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Everything posted by ermintrude

  1. Can someone identify this vegetable, looks a bit like a cabbage and also what to do with it, I believe it's Italian.
  2. Apart from home made croissants I generally buy it, as a good quality ready made is as good as I can make and saves loads of work. That said, there are times when you need to make it yourself just for the joy of doing it or if you want to do something different.
  3. Bounce - From a modernist cuisine they use sodium bicarbonate to make certain dishes alkaline to increase the Maliard reaction, lye water also does this can they've substituted. You can't kill or cause major damage (via cooking anything that someone would eat) with bicarb but you could with lye water. Can they be exchanged? Reason I''m asking, have baking powder but no sodium bicarb, but have lye water I bought by mistake as in a rush and was next to rice vinegar (just that is a worry) and not reading Chinese how was I to know. Good job I read the ingredients of everything I buy and cook with.
  4. I've enjoyed every meal I've had at the London branch from a pre theatre meal to the full tasting menu. It's not cheap, I'd always wish to dine at the counter with up to 3 people more than that get a table. It's v expensive for what it is, best value it to go for lunch/pre theatre and also pick a few dishes of the a la carte, also they are fine if you want to share a dish between two. Service always attentive but not intrusive and it's like eating in Darth V aders garden.
  5. Also don't forget http://www.mesondonfelipe.com/ for tapas
  6. Hi Dick, yup these contain the ester, but what is honest about their truffle oils etc is they admit it and they are sensibly priced. I've yet to find a find a white truffle oil that tasted of anything without the artificial flavour unless very fresh and used quickly (home-made and pricey). Used wisely the ester's can add a lift to some dishes they are what they are. The main point of the post was to comment on fresh Tuber Borchii and yes I'd order it again. There are loads of truffles out there some taste great others rubbish just posting my experience of this one - anyone else tried this one or others?
  7. Not 2012 and not strictly a cookbook but have you read The crackling is superb by members of the Royal Society. The other would be have you read all of Simon Hopkinson's books he writes so wonderfully about food even if you don't cook a single recipe (bet you will though) they are worth a purchase.
  8. Just want to be sure that the original poster knows that a pressure cooker is very different from a pressure canner. One cannot, as far as I know, safely use an ordinary pressure cooker to safely can foods. I am happy to be corrected if I am wrong. You can use an ordinary pressure cooker to safely can foods provided it can reach the required pressure and you don't overcrowd it, the main problem is that you can only process small quantities due to the size of the pressure cooker (2 or 3 jars at most unless very small) but it's another use. So another vote for the pressure cooker, and get one with a spring valve (Fagor or Kuhn Rikon) and the largest you can.
  9. Anyone else tried these, very short season mid Jan to March? I got hold of some via these fellows So this weekend made a white truffle risoto with with anticipation as not knowing what to expect from past experiences- summer truffles were good for price, black winter yes if a bit steep, Chinese truffles Meh and then desert truffles, so far all I have found if a bland creation with little taste but there must be more to them. just to complicate thing, Even the same species of truffle can be strong/week in smell and or taste one large on wafts a gentle smell but another the size of a pea can stink ouy a kitchen. And also there are poisonous funghi out there to trick you and good fughi that smell like tar, taste well but know one will eat the when all that prevents them is fear. . This was the first time I have tried spring white truffles and after I purchased them they shortly vanished from the sight. Ordered on Sunday, was informed they'd been hunted on Tuesday and to expect first thing Thursday, When they arrived, very well packed I was disappointed as the aroma was no where near a good winter truffle and was very faint to mild, to be fair I did have a bit of a blocked nose, but even after a good blow not an intense smell. I bought 25g for £35 ($53) which arrived as two large marble size truffles, white on the outside and light/mid brown inside with white viens. I tried a sliver of each and the taste was reminiscent of the winter ones but stronger and more garlicky, So more flavour but less smell and also the thing that truffles do one was three times stronger in taste than the other. Perhaps you eat the smell for the winter whites and eat the taste for the spring ones. Anyway the risotto worked really well, just a plain risotto made with onions, celery, white wine and freshly made chicken stock and some Parmigiano-Reggianoand butter to finish. My dining companion who's a chef did not see that much difference once they were shaved on the risotto, except again the more garlicky taste. However a few drops of (fake) white truffle oil mixed into the risotto gave it a great lift as it cued the mouth for the truffles. While mentioning truffle oil and products I orders some from http://www.trufflehunter.co.uk/ as well since I was there, Turned out the 250ml concentrate of both oils is a very good cupboard black/white truffle oil and they were 100% honest about it being flavoured and not 100% real. And it works well, if used with restraint (Or not as for me as splash of flavoured white truffle oil mixed in with UK baked beans is wonderful - could be a perversion of mine but there are worse. And if I can get UK baked beans (Oddly Branston for bet beans, but for best balance to go with the butter, Sainsburys own brand (Not basic or TTD) a bit wet normally but after a few drops of Worcestershire sauce for some kick, a whisper of cayenne and then all mellowed with a monte of butter stired in till it becomes opaque, rich and can then get a mix of white truffle oil before poured over freshly toasted brioche - it's heaven and even used the a whole winter whites to shave over the top. Anyway the oils for thier price do what it says on the tin and I recommend them. Anyway recommend them for their fresh truffles and flavored oils. But truffle oil used well can be amazing and a £10 bottle goes a long way, truffle'd mash, eggs, rabbit, Ice cream - a small disk of that works well with avruga or caviar (avruga better( keep the caviar for the white chocolate). Some of the other products black truffle and cep salsa, I used it but to be honest 'Meh' seamed the concentrated oil swamped the summer truffle and porchini but was not cooking with it just heating so could be why. Bad but had better salsas and pasta from this maker http://www.sanpietroapettine.com/ Nom Nom Nom! I purchased several jars at taste of london but now coming to my last one. . The other product truffle honey, well not tried that yet and yes here is a sliver of white in the small jar, and it has concentrate in it so could be amazing or meh, so I hope so when I someone cute to taste it with we'll report back
  10. But you don't store it as it stays on the counter, does not take up much space, looks good and gets used practically every day! I know it cost a lot but if you can afford it it's worth it, as the machine is well engineered and high quality. My TM31 over 4 years old, only issue is I've worn most of the numbers off the front. When I've talked demonstrators about why not on general sale, firstly response is it's not something people "GET" without a demo, also if you know retail then you'll know the mark-up on electrical goods in retail etc my guess is they would charge any thing from 50 - 500% more. Anyway after my Thermomix purchase a collegue soon decided to get a TM21 for themselves, another a purchased a TM21 and just upgraded to the TM31. In the 8 desks around and inc me there are now three thermomixes and we're all happy with them. I wish i'd had one as a student :-) As for sous vide try some experiments in ziplock bags and water monitored with a thermometer, you can get some great results in a short time if your using fish.
  11. Each to there own, while I like the taste way to many mini bones to deal with for me, so I wouldn't turn them away but I wouldn't order them either. In the stock pot my first choice destination.
  12. ermintrude

    Burger King

    "According to the New York Daily News, they cut the sodium (there's still 330 mg in the small fries) and the fries have a coating that keeps them hot and crispy." What are they using asbestos (JOKE)! A french fry with a coating to me is NOT a french fry (Or as I prefer a Flemish/Nederland Frite or UK Chip) it's a sorry a USA abomination. From the wonderful triple fry, to the sea side greasy in paper as no real French Fry/Frite/Chip has a "coating"
  13. Try one of these http://www.bron-coucke.com/version_gb/index.php the website is a bit rubish but the Mandoline is fab. Can do Fries, chips, cross hatch etc and under $200 http://www.amazon.com/Bron-Professional-Stainless-Mandoline-Slicer/dp/B001AMGQ78/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1327527740&sr=8-1 One thing USE the pusher or some sort of protection if your not used (or even if you are) using one as they can do real damage if you are not 100% focused.
  14. ermintrude

    Gimme an Herb ...

    Not a herb but some sour tamarind paste can work wonders with sweet soups like butternut/carrot/pepper especially if there is also some heat from chilli/curry. Think a teaspoon per litre (with the paste I use)
  15. If you want to store them for longer once cooked chill in an ice bath and then keep well refrigerated (3C or lower) and use within 30 days. Cooking at 80C or above for more than an hour will kill of most of the bugs but not the spores of Clostridium botulinum that can lead to botulisum but if you keep it below 3C then they can't grow and produce toxin. Also even if there were some toxin present if then heating to 80C or above and holding for 10 minutes or more will destroy any toxin and so make it safe to eat. (Lower temps for longer can do the same but botulisum is not something to take risks with so make sure they are from a reputable source. Since we're talking SV I'd time it so core temp was at the given temp for the required duration.
  16. Chinese truffles have a much weaker aroma and flavour, even when ripe. Nothing wrong with them if you know what your getting and for the correct price which should be way less that Perigord truffles or even Summer Truffles for that matter.
  17. ermintrude

    Parmesan Whey

    I've made the parmesan water by using ground parmesan and water and letting it be stirred at 70C in a Thermomix for 1/2 an hour. Did not find a use for the whey as most of the flavour was in the water. However be warned once the whey sets as it cools it's very very difficult to get off, think parmesan cheese moulded into the container
  18. You should be able to substitute 1 for the other, I've no idea of an official conversion but each molecue of lactate and gluconate has 2Ca+ Ions. The molar mass of Calcium Lactate is 218 and Calcium Gluconate it's 430 so I'd try double the quantity of gluconate as a replacement for the lactate. Good luck.
  19. Temperatures above 60C for an extended period will destroy the toxin, 85C for 5 minutes seems to be what most advise. To kill the spores then you need to go to 120C for an extended period to ensure any spores are killed, generally under preasure. While filtration may remove the spores I don't know if filtration is a generally accepted way to make a commercial product safe and there are generally regulations that must be complied with if you intend to sell on a commercial basis. If in USA check the FDA website www.fda.gov otherwise check your local regulations.
  20. I was a vegetarian for several years, but came to the conclusion that I am happy to eat, and kill an animal provided it had a decent life and had a pain and stress free death. I believe if your not prepared to kill it, then you should not eat it so if you can't kill it don't eat it. I also am a huge advocate of British (or pink veal), I used to think veal was cruel and yes milk fed in a crate is, but now male calfs are just discarded often not humanely as the cost to humanely slaughter something worth nothing prevents, far better to raise humanely, kill humanely and sufering reduced and we benefit. Foie is at it's worst extremely cruel, at it's best (flavour wise as well http://www.gansoiberico.com/ ) cruel free, driving underground will (in the same way as drugs) can only increase cruelty, improved regulation I am in favour of but how could the foie from www.gansoiberico.com be illegal when the same place can serve a battery chicken!
  21. ermintrude

    Stock bomb

    Had the stock jelled due to the gelatine extracted. So heating from cold, the bottom portion melts, then turns to steam and the pressure launches the rest up and out all over the stove top etc?
  22. Great to see Noth Road got a star. The lunch there is great value and the food always interesting.
  23. Queue Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music, Just start at the very beginning, A very good place to start, When you read you begin with... Unfortunately "History and Fundamentals" don't rhyme but a very good place to start, I learnt a lot. But also use it as a reference and go for some of the recopies. It's a book with many facets enjoy them all.
  24. Surprised there was not more comment on this series. It was low key but every episode I watched made me want to go off and cook something. One program he made rhubarb crumble, I really wanted a good old fashioned crumble after viewing, and a hour later was eating wonderful spiced apple crumble. Another he did a plain risotto. Again, I wanted to make it, but I discovered none of my chicken stock left in the freezer but I spotted a scrunched up bag of dried porchini and had some chestnut mushrooms handy mushroom and red wine risotto was created. And when he did Piedmont peppers, I'd eaten but was thinking about them all the next day until I made them for a late lunch and ate four as I'd forgotten just how good they are. This review says it all http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2011/jul/23/the-good-cook-grace-dent-tv-od
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