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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by gfron1

  1. gfron1

    Lunch! What'd ya have? (2018)

    I've not heard of it as a food in North America, but certainly for medicinal purposes. The Chippewa and Cheyenne both used it for pain relief, and I seem to recall other tribes using for other medicinal purposes. But, as for food that is new to me.
  2. gfron1

    German Cookbooks

    I've been perusing the Cookbooks & References topics from years past and didn't see anything on German Cooking. What are your favorites? BTW, any mention of German food leads me into my story of being 18 and in Bavaria for the first time. I refused to translate menus since I eat anything, and after 10 days of eating way too much meat, when I sat at a certain restaurant and saw "Wurst Salat" I was overjoyed at the chance to get a salad with a bit of meat on top. What came to my table 30 minutes later was a massive bowl of shredded bologna marinated in some dressing. No ruffage at all - none! Mmmmm...I ate 3 bites and was done. Now back to the books!
  3. That's so odd that they're that far north. I didn't realize they were any higher than say Ohio...I guess its not that much further though.
  4. They've become my largest (by volume) forage since moving back to the midwest. We pulled over 100# post-processing in three days. All vac-packed and ready for future use.
  5. That's what they say. My 50 year old eyes didn't see it, but yes, that's what I was doing.
  6. Jim - you know the difference between an online class and an in-person class? One teacher lets you shmoosh your cocoa butter from cavity to cavity on the cotton ball while the other tells you to throw the cotton ball out after two cavities. And that, my friend, made my good shine great.
  7. My How I Spent My Summer Vacation collection (all the new skills and techniques from my summer chocolate workshops) : Citron creme brulee, bananas with caramel and rum, Pecan gianduja with Tahitian vanilla, Passion fruit cream, and Sesame honey caramel. #connoleyfinechocolates
  8. Welcome @Nickos! Nice work. As you start exploring the forum you'll find all sorts of chocolate topics that might be of interest, and certainly can benefit from your experience. Here are a few that we regularly revive: Our showoff topic: Showroom Early years learning; HERE Trouble shooting: Backroom Confections: HERE
  9. Pretty much all of my professional life has been documented in these forums so it just makes sense that the next phase be documented as well. I started cooking professionally about 8 years ago when my small (but mighty) gourmet grocery morphed into a successful restaurant in Silver City, NM. This past summer I closed the Curious Kumquat and moved to St. Louis, which is where I'm born and raised. I've been working to open a new restaurant here in town ever since landed, and in the next few weeks we hope to have wrangled investors to sign a lease on a building, with an expected opening date of July of 2017. Over the course of these upcoming months I'd like to share... •Investor recruitment and terms •Staff recruitment, pay and training •Facility identification, renovation and equipping •Operational budget preparation •Marketing •Adjustment of my philosophy and practices from a one-man show in a remote community to a multi-person operation in a major city I would love to have questions and requests guide my posts. I expect to post once per week but knowing how my mind likes to dart around I wouldn't be surprised if I post more frequently. In the meantime, I'm off to Orlando for a dinner I'm cooking this weekend in support of my cookbook. I hope y'all enjoy!
  10. I addressed that in my press release, but so far none of the media have picked that up Maybe they will later. They are both forms of Southern cooking, and the distinction lies in the ingredients and a few techniques. For example (while none of this is exclusive), Ozark cuisine uses more pawpaw, persimmon and spicebush. Sorghum is the traditional sweetener of choice. There is a preservation technique that we're hurriedly researching where wax coated burlap is used to top fermenting foods. Again, you may see this in all of Southern cooking due to migration, but those specifics seem to have a stronger prevalence in the Ozarks.
  11. Our big press release went out today: FEAST MAGAZINE
  12. I thought we had a recent topic about this but not seeing it. I bought 5 packs of 5 beans each of $13.99 Tahitian. A little shorter than normal but they are definitely moist. Great deal! I'm stocking up.
  13. gfron1

    Tempering Cocoa Butter?

    One of the dishes at Alinea this weekend was a shot that included green apple juice or cider inside of a cocoa butter orb dusted with horseradish set in celery juice. The orb was crisp and thin. I've never worked with pure cocoa butter...can you temper it by itself? I didn't taste the sweetness of white chocolate, nor was it billed as white chocolate.
  14. Some more suggestions of recent topics: Storing bonbons in freezerHot weather chocolate production Making your own cocoa butters You'll quickly see that someone on here has always gone through what you might go through, and we are also happy to see new questions because often times it brings up an older topics that we haven't discussed in a while, and all of our skill levels have grown potentially giving us better information to share in our responses.
  15. Welcome Prasham! Really looking forward to seeing your work and also more about your life in India. I'll be very curious to see what its like making chocolates in the heat of India. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the Pastry and Baking forum INDEX which gives a good overview of some of the topics, but then just explore because our pastry forum is very active.
  16. Word has it that I get the honor of welcoming our humble crew to St. Louis in 2019 for the next workshop. I relocated to St. Louis about two years ago (born and raised here, but gone for 30 years), and already know all the chocolatiers and culinary school staff, so this should be fun. At this point I'd love to hear your thoughts on a few things: 1. Dates. Typically in May. Often there are conflicts like the NRA convention and weddings. The facility may drive this answer but I'd like to hear what you all would prefer. 2. Content. What would you like to see covered and what maybe hasn't worked so well in the past? 3. Here in town we have Rick Jordan and Nathaniel Reid in addition to a bunch of casino chefs and other artisanal chocolatiers. Christopher Elbow is across the state (5 hours). No question, just throwing that out. 4. Does anyone live nearby who can help with planning, or even if not close can support the planning from afar? I know that when Ruth and I worked on Vegas neither of us were on-site, but Ruth made a few trips so the work can be done from anywhere. 5. Any must or absolutely nots from previous events? As always I hope we have a great mix of new and old, experienced and novice. St Louis is central, and being a secondary airport you can normally get really cheap flights!
  17. Another way of tackling this is to do just one cavity. You'd be done in 30 minutes tops.
  18. She said they tried it and you can't get the same precision. But we all know how OCD she is
  19. Here's the tutorial and I'll add my running active time (hands on time) so you know not to ever attempt these if you want to make money on them. Start by polishing the mold. Then firmly press the tape into the cavity. She used her bare hands and we all questioned her on it, and her response was - if your hands are clean it will be fine. But more on that later. You'll have to develop your own technique. I have big fingers so I settled into a 3-phase pressing process for each strip. Then press down with a q-tip to make sure there are no loose spots or air gaps. Add your perpendicular strip and repeat the whole process. This is what you end up with. This process too about 35 minutes to set the tape evenly and remove air bubbles. Cost if I had my lowest paid laborer: $8. Then you look more closely and find all the mistakes that you didn't see the first time. I used my rubber nubbin' to get rid of those air bubbles. You'll note that I used painters tape bought on Amazon at 1/4". Melissa used Martha Stewart Craft tape that she bought at Michaels. It felt identical to what I used except hers was a pretty pink color. I then re-polished carefully to address the potential finger prints. Spray with tempered cocoa butter. This was a Blue Saphire that I laid on fairly heavy. Now the grueling work. With a q-tip rub away oppositional triangles. The goal is to push excess into the tape creating a subtle line that will be trapped by the tape. The first cavity or two are easy as the cocoa butter is still soft, but very quickly it sets and you're cursing your choice to do this project. Start looking closely now at my lines because I've seen many people do this technique poorly and it screams at you when its bad. If you're going to do this micro thin line it has to be perfect to look good. I averaged 3 q-tips per 2 cavities. And did I mention how hard it was to get the point!? Then allowing your finger to caress the tape as its being removed from the surface to add just a touch of body heat, pull the tape away. If you don't do the step the way I'm describing you'll get flaking and tears. You laziness very quickly begins to show... I went back then and carefully polished with an alcohol dipped q-tip each cavity that I had just cleaned. Because at this point you might as well finish the job right. I sprayed with a thinned tinted white chocolate. Running time: 90 minutes. Cost for lowest paid employee on my staff to do the work: $22.50. Shelled as per usual. (I'm using a slightly new technique that I learned from Melissa - to learn it for yourself take one of her classes or join us at the eG Chocolate and Confection Workshop next May in St Louis.) And here's the result. I left one uncleaned so you can see the short version of this. I also colored it slightly different. These are pretty good but you can see all of the flaws - some more noticeable than others. But of course if you were the one doing the work you would see every single flaw. We'll call my employee rate to finish (active time only) $27.50 divided by 28 cavities...labor alone for a mediocre job: $1 per cavity plus ingredients, overhead and attrition of staff who say they'll never do that again...you can see where this is going. For passion not profit. So there you go. That's how Melissa got this...except much better:
  20. More often than not I can get my supplies via Amazon at a better price than my distributors...often times because the suppliers of my distributors are on Amazon. When you search, if you want lower prices aka larger volume, search for "bulk."
  21. If we don't count the precision as a step, then the brushing technique was not complicated. Two or three colors painted along the rim. Then...just don't screw up the temper. But yes, I was referring to the aesthetic simplicity which I found appealing.
  22. Having just taken Melissa Coppel's ganache formulation class I'm looking forward to sharing that info. If you're like me you usually start with someone else's formula and substitute ingredients not knowing the impact on shelf life or consistency. Now I have all the formulas. I'll be making my own from scratch recipe next week.
  23. They did call it arroz con gandules, and it tasted correct (I've had many Puerto Rican friends in the past). And I debated if I wanted maduros or tostones, but my sweet tooth won out like always.
  24. I'm off into the woods for the weekend, but when I get back I want to put the time into doing this correctly. There is absolutely no way of doing this in a profitable situation, but for show I'll put a couple of hours into a single mold. I'll demo it when I get back for folks.
  25. gfron1

    Tempering Chocolate

    The only time I think to look at the package is if I run into troubles. Otherwise I just follow the rules.