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David Ross

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  1. Hard to believe we are the nation's top apple producers here in Washington, but until this year we hadn't cultivated an apple in the state. Washington State University created the "Cosmic Crisp" which is just now in markets. From what I've read it takes years to cultivate a new apple so I'm sure they've been at it for a while. They will own exclusive rights to sell the apple for 10 years. I haven't seen it yet, but it's described as a cross between the Enterprise and the Honeycrisp. They say that it has a long shelf life and does well stored in the fridge. It's best for eating they say with a good balance of sweet and tart and very crisp. I'll try to buy some when it shows up locally. It's already in markets in the Seattle and Yakima areas.
  2. Sorry, thought I already answered this one. Yes, it seems odd to cook the apples in sugar that long. I do check about every 25 minutes or so. The apples will show some dark areas on the top, where they aren't touching the caramel. But when you flip it over, deep golden brown and the apples never taste burned. It sounds crazy I know but I've used this consistent cooking time for years.
  3. Thought I would revive this topic and use myself as an example of how a camera makes a huge difference in food photography. I've been a Member at eGullet for many years and when I started taking food photos it was sort of a new thing. The world hadn't yet taken on stylized food photos and there weren't a lot of software programs out there. For years I used a little hand-held Canon Powershot. About three of them in fact. They worked ok, but I was brutal on them in the kitchen and they took many a tumble to the floor, got gunked up with oil and other ingredients. But I was at least able to portray closeups of food fairly well. These first two photos were taken with the Canon Powershot. Smoked Idaho Trout Salad from 2016- Salmon Poke with Macadamia Nuts from 2018- Pan-Fried Yaquina Bay Oyster Sandwich from 2019 with the Canon EOS Rebel T7- Apple Tarte Tatin, taken last week- The EOS has all sorts of different settings, and I've got about three software programs I could use. But for now I'm keeping things simple. I still prefer closeup shots and don't use a lot of stuff in the background so I can focus on the food. I reduce the pixel size of the photos for clarity and do some minor editing but that's it. I'm not sure I'll ever go further than that because I happen to prefer simple yet clear food photos without a lot of stylization.
  4. Another one of my Fall favorites is the Pear Brown Betty. I think most people think of Apple Brown Betty, which is delicious, but the pears add a different flavor and a nice change from apples. I've researched the Brown Betty and it appears that it found its way to restaurant menus as early as the 1860's, but it might have an earlier legacy. It's so simple that you wonder how something with four ingredients, pears, butter, breadcrumbs and spice can be so delicious. In this recipe I used Bartlett pears, but it's just as good with Bosc, Red Bosc, D'Anjou and even Asian pears. This year instead of cinnamon and nutmeg I used Chinese Five-Spice. Full disclosure, the cinnamon and nutmeg were far beyond their "best" date so in the bin it went and out came the Five-Spice. Ingredients- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs 1 cup dark brown sugar 1/2 tsp. Chinese five-spice powder substitute cinnamon and nutmeg 6 large Bartlett pears 10 tbsp. butter, cut into small cubes Instructions- Heat the oven to 375. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. To make the fresh breadcrumbs, cut the crusts off 8-10 slices of white bread. Break the bread into pieces and place in a food processor. Pulse the bread until it's broken into crumbs. Keep the breadcrumbs covered in the fridge for up to one week. Peel the pears and cut in half. Scoop out the core and cut the stem out that runs down the middle of the pear. Cut the pears into small chunks. In a large bowl combine the brown sugar, five-spice powder, and pears. Toss the pears to coat in the sugar and spices. Layer half the pear mixture in the bottom of the baking dish then add a layer of 1 cup of the breadcrumbs. Put half the cubes of butter on top of the breadcrumbs. Add another layer of pears, breadcrumbs and the rest of the cubes of butter. Cover the baking dish and bake for one hour until the crust is golden and bubbling. Serve the Pear Brown Betty warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. https://todayshomekitchen.com/pear-brown-betty/
  5. You know up until about 15 years ago I never had heard of the Apple Tarte Tatin. Every year I make it the flavor is always the same. You just sort of melt and say "aah," my friend is back.
  6. Every year at this time I post about the Apple Tarte Tatin and for years I've been posting my efforts here at eGullet. Living in Washington we are fortunate to be not only the top producer of apples, but we have dozens and dozens of different varieties available to us throughout the season. This year I bought a new camera specifically for taking food photos, which also enhances the look of the Tarte Tatin this year. When I tell people the variety of apple I use they are surprised-the Golden Delicious. My original recipe is adapted from Saveur Cooks Authentic French cookbook which calls for the Golden Delicious. I've tried the Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala and many others and none seem to get the right balance of sweet and slightly tart, and soak up the buttery caramel. And after the long baking time the Golden Delicious still holds its shape. Here is the recipe, along with some new photos for this year. This recipe suits a 10" cast-iron skillet but the photos were taken using a 6" cast iron skillet. For the apples and caramel- 10-12 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and cut in quarters 2 sticks butter 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 1 tbsp. light corn syrup (optional, I add it because it makes the caramel more sticky) For the pastry- 2 1/3 cups all-purpost flour 1/3 cup cake flour 1 tbsp. granulated sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1 stick cold butter, cut into cubes 1/2 cup Crisco 2/3 cup ice water Make the apples and caramel- -Heat the oven to 400. Heat a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to the skillet and melt. Once the butter is melted, Add the sugar and stir it into the melted butter. Stir in the corn syrup. -Once the sugar and butter bubbles, arrange the apples in the skillet. The photo shows a small 6" skillet with apples halves. For this recipe, we use a 10" skillet and overlap the apple quarters next to each other to fill the skillet. -Place the skillet in the oven and cook the apples in the caramel for 1 1/2 hours. Check on the apples every 20 minutes and press down using a spatula. The apples are done when the caramel is a deep golden color. -Once the sugar and butter bubbles, arrange the apples in the skillet. The photo shows a small 6" skillet with apples halves. For this recipe, we use a 10" skillet and overlap the apple quarters next to each other to fill the skillet. -Place the skillet in the oven and cook the apples in the caramel for 1 1/2 hours. Check on the apples every 20 minutes and press down using a spatula. The apples are done when the caramel is a deep golden color. -Remove the skillet from the oven and let cool to room temperature. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Make the pastry and bake the Tarte Tatin- -The next day make the pastry. In a large bowl combine the flour, cake flour, sugar and salt and mix together. Add the butter and Crisco and cut into the flour using a hand-held pastry cutter. The pastry should be the size of large peas. Add the ice water a little at a time and use a fork to blend it into the flour mixture. Continue to add enough ice water for the pastry to form soft ball. Cover the pastry and chill in the fridge one hour. -Heat the oven to 400. Let the pastry dough come to room temperature until soft so it's easy to roll out. Flour the counter and roll our the pastry to about 1/8" thickness. Gently place the pastry over the top of the apples in the skillet, then trim the edges. Fold in any extra pastry to fit within the skillet. -Heat the oven to 400. Let the pastry dough come to room temperature until soft so it's easy to roll out. Flour the counter and roll our the pastry to about 1/8" thickness. Gently place the pastry over the top of the apples in the skillet, then trim the edges. Fold in any extra pastry to fit within the skillet. -Bake the Tarte Tatin in the oven until the pastry is golden and the caramel is bubbling around the sides, about 30 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and let it cool 2 minutes. -Run a paring knife around the edge of the pastry. Place a cookie rack on a baking sheet then place it, rack facing down on top of the apples in the skillet. Hold the skillet with one hand and the baking sheet in another and gently turn over the skillet to unmold the Tarte Tatin onto the cookie rack. Let the Tarte Tatin cool from 10-12 minutes for the caramel start to set before serving. -Slice and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.
  7. For about the fourth or fifth time, "Hometown Appetites, The Story of Clementine Paddleford." As more of the great food writers and journalists fade away, and the great food magazines of yesteryear are gone, I'm drawn more and more to these folks.
  8. I had two apples for dinner! Also uncooked. An extra Golden Delicious from the batch I bought for making the Tarte Tatin and my new favorite variety, the Envy. I haven't cooked with the Envy but it is a bit soft so don't know how it would do. Probably in a recipe like applesauce or compote. But it is not too sweet and good as an eating apple.
  9. This year I'm doing my annual Apple Tarte Tatin. In fact it's in the oven right now. But I'm also bringing out two recipes I forgot about that I found in my archives today. An easy Apple Strudel and an Apple Tart. The base of the tart is a cheddar custard and I put ground toasted hazelnuts in the crust.
  10. This is the perfect time of year to revisit our Apple Cook-Off. What apple dishes are you making right now?
  11. Hi there. You can actually make the corn stock with frozen ears of corn. Corn seems to be one of the vegetables that freezes well and doesn't lose too much flavor after freezing. This recipe is for four small side dishes, but really two bowls for a hearty lunch. The recipe I made is actually half of what I'd do for a family meal so it's easily doubled with no ingredient changes. I haven't done the polenta in a slow-cooker, so I'm not sure the creaminess would work. On the stovepot it takes less than 10 minutes once you put the cornmeal into the boiling stock, then a few stirs until it thickens and it's ready.
  12. Well after taking far too long to get this recipe finished, I finally did today. Luckily for me I had made enough corn stock a few weeks back that I have plenty in the freezer. Likewise, I froze plenty of fresh sweet corn when it was in season and used it in this dish. My thought was to showcase the corn stock in a basic dish of polenta. I wanted to see if it added to the corn taste, and what I thought about adding corn kernels to the polenta and also as a garnish. The sage is a favorite fall herb for me and while I don't eat much bacon, it sure was good on top of polenta. I suppose the only "cheat" was that I added some grated parmesan to make it extra creamy. I had some polenta left in the saucepot so I quickly spooned that into a brownie dish and will let it cool overnight to be fried-up tommorrow morning for breakfast. And this will be a new side dish for the Thanksgiving turkey. Sweet Corn Polenta with Bacon and Sage- 1/2 cup ground cornmeal 1/3 cup sweet yellow corn kernels 2 cups corn stock 2 tsp. chopped fresh sage 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese salt and black pepper to taste 2 tbsp. crumbled bacon sage leaves for garnish Pour 1 1/2 cups corn stock into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Place the cornmeal in a small bowl and add the remaining 1/2 cup corn meal and stir to make a thick paste. Whisk the cornmeal mixture into the boiling stock, whisking constantly to combine. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to stir the polenta. It will bubble and thicken while it cooks. After about 6-8 minutes, the polenta will be cooked through and thick. Add additional corn stock if it's too thick. Stir in the corn kernels, sage and parmesan. Season the polenta with salt and pepper to taste. Quickly spoon the hot polenta onto servings plates and garnish with corn kernels, crumbled bacon and fresh sage leaves.
  13. I was in airline management for 28 years for Horizon/Alaska. The most senior flight attendant I supervised had started working for Northwest "Orient" in 1957. She was in the group that was forced to quit if they got married or pregnant. Some years later she came to work at Horizon in the early 1980's. She was part of a lawsuit claiming they were wrongly terminated on marriage. It got all the way to the Supreme Court and the NW Flight Attendants won a large compensation. She had tons of photos, old menus and great stories to share. I remember a photo of her with her crew that flew on the DC-6, (not a jet), from Seattle to Honolulu. Now that was some trek. And all the wonderful food went along in those days.
  14. This is an interesting discussion thread at flyertalk.com with the menus from hundreds of flights and dozens of different airlines. There are both older and newer menus and each post has the aircraft type and destination info. Not a lot of pictures but interesting menus. There is also a section of flyertalk.com for trip reports from frequent fliers that does show some photos of what airlines are currently serving. Most of it looks awful with the exception being on long-haul international first class. https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/trip-reports/833998-all-airline-ft-menu-collection.html
  15. Yes and even sausages hanging from the display. Imagine charcuterie on a plane.
  16. So true. I remember back then we couldn't afford to fly because as Mother said, "it's only for rich people." Our summer vacations were by car, train or bus.
  17. This comes from the site fashbak.com. This is a photo of first-class service on the DC-8 on SAS Airlines. Can you imagine hand-carved Jamon Iberico at your seat? Not only that, but properly displayed in the tool specifically crafted to hold this precious ham. Amazing really and you won't see this on an airplane today. https://flashbak.com/all-a-smogasbord-vintage-photos-of-scandinavian-airlines-meals-362543/?utm_campaign=shareaholic&utm_medium=email_this&utm_source=email
  18. You know what's funny, I had posted that on my Facebook page so maybe she shared it. I follow a couple of vintage airlines Facebook pages and this is where it popped-up. How great a comparison.
  19. David Ross

    Dinner 2019

    We've been making and discussing a lot of sweet corn dishes over in our Sweet Corn Cook-Off- https://forums.egullet.org/topic/159336-eg-cook-off-83-a-bounty-of-sweet-corn/ Corn Soup with Vadouvan Spice and Lump Crab Meat- Shrimp with Sweet Corn and Basil- Corn Stock-
  20. Making corn stock was incredibly easy and I'll be using it as the base for a corn puree. I'm pretty happy because I will freeze some and use it throughout the fall and winter using it in all sorts of soups, stews and sauces. I shake my head and think all those years where we just threw the cobs away. I'd describe the flavor as not overly salty with a light corn flavor. It's not a punch in your face corn flavor, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it as the base for a chicken noodle soup. I used local sweet corn. I prefer the yellow color ears if I'm eating corn on the cob, but for the corn stock I didn't think it mattered if it was the white/yellow corn. Corn Stock- 4 ears sweet corn 5 cups water 1 tsp. salt 1 tbsp. black peppercorns 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped 2 cloves garlic, smashed Put all the ingredients in an Instant Pot and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Ten minutes seemed just right for the cooking time since it takes a while for the pressure to build up, then cook, then the pressure to come down. Since steam builds up in the Instant Pot during the process, I think next time I'll reduce the water to 4 cups so the corn stock has a little more flavor.
  21. Thanks that helps a lot. I'm starting on it today.
  22. Any recommendation on making corn puree? I'm going to start with the corn stock I made, but from that point on I am considering two options. Add some corn kernels to the corn stock and just a little fresh thyme, dash salt and pepper. I considered a bay leaf but think that may be too strong. Then cook the corn down and puree it with cream. Then strain to make it silky but a texture like soft mashed potatoes. Anything else I should add? Then another option I thought of trying but not so excited about is using the corn stock to make a loose polenta. I'm not sure though if I would like the grainy sort of texture you get with polenta. Any thoughts?
  23. It took a number of tries but I think I got the sweet corn just right. The original thought was to do a sweet corn tempura but after three attempts that idea didn't work. Tempura is normally one piece, like a prawn, bean, spear of asparagus or slice of sweet potato. I found that little kernels of corn were hard to hold together in a tempura batter. The next thing I discovered was the water in each kernel seemed to affect the crispiness of the finished tempura. But the biggest problem was the batter. I began with a trusted source, "Dining With The Chef" on NHK broadcasting Tokyo. The recipe calls for all-purpose flour, (although I think the Japanese use a flour milled for making tempura), one egg yolk and ice water. The batter ended up to much like a pancake type of fried corn cake, not light, airy and crispy like we think of tempura. Then I tried a recipe with flour, both baking soda and baking powder, a whole egg and ice water. It was actually more cakey than the first batter so I figured it was time to lose the egg. I tried another recipe with boxed tempura flour and ice water, but it didn't hold the corn kernels together. Finally, I remembered a show I had seen on YouTube for "Kakiage" which is a Japanese vegetable pancake fried like tempura. The recipes I found use julienned onion, carrot and potato, so I had to work on how I could do it with sweet corn. I settled on the simplest of batters, cake flour and soda water. Cake flour is fine and light, giving cakes their light volume. The soda is what creates the crispy texture. To start, I removed the husks and silk from ears of corn and blanched them in boiling water for 1 minute. I wanted to start the cooking process but still keep the kernels crisp. Then cut the kernels off the cob. (I saved the cobs to make corn stock, that I'll use later this week). The finished corn kakiage was nothing like I have tasted before. Light, crispy and the batter wasn't at all "cakey." The sweet corn stayed crisp, but it also has a slightly toasted flavor almost like popcorn. Definately will sit aside my traditional corn on the cob recipes. Next, the batter. Cake flour and ice cold soda water. Put some of the corn kernels in the batter, then using a spoon, scoop the corn onto a spatula. I know, not an easy technique but it works. I've never grated daikon for a garnish before and I don't know why. It adds a peppery flavor to the sweet corn kakiage. Just grate some daikon and garnish with sesame seeds or in this case I used chives from the garden. The "tentsuyu" is a traditional dipping sauce for tempura. This time I used dry instant dashi combined with boiling water. Usually I make my own dashi stock and have enough for a dipping sauce, miso soup and other sauces. Sweet Corn Kakiage with Tentsuyu Dipping Sauce- 2 ears sweet corn, husked, silk removed 1 cup cake flour 1/2-3/4 cup club soda Nanami Togarashi Japanese Flour 1-2 tbsp. grated daikon radish snipped chives for garnish Korean cucumber pickles 1 cup dashi stock 1/4 cup mirin 1/4 cup soy sauce 2 tsp. sugar Pour the dashi stock, mirin, soy sauce and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Turn the heat off and let the sauce cool to room temperature. I make the sauce ahead of time then keep it covered in the fridge. Some people like to serve it warmed or room temperature, I like it cold. Heat a large pot of salted water to the boil, then blanch the ears of corn for 1 minute. Drain the corn cobs and let cool. Cut the kernels off the cobs. Cut the cobs in quarters and reserve to make corn stock. Heat oil, (I use canola oil), in a large pot to 365. Put the cake flour in a bowl and whisk in enough club soda to make a thin batter. Put a large spoonful of the corn kernels in the batter, then using a spatula, spoon the corn on top of a spatula. Gently push the corn off the spatula into the hot oil. Fry the sweet corn kakiage for 3-4 minutes until crispy and the kakiage just starts to brown.
  24. Well, the Soviets seemed to find a way to sing the praises of corn back in the 1950's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ILAMjdMCtQ
  25. This coming week I'm going to use some of the corn stock for cooking wild rice and another use will be corn stock for making a corn puree.
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