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pigeonpie

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Everything posted by pigeonpie

  1. Why not just ask them to break the 20-note down into smaller notes/coins so that you can leave a tip?
  2. pigeonpie

    Mutton

    I'm afraid I don't have any information about where to get mutton in the US, being on the wrong side of the pond, but I just couldn't let this comment go. Yes, mutton does have a strong taste, stronger than lamb, but also just different, and quite different from spring lamb, which will obviously have a far milder taste. That is the point. I have to utterly, utterly disagree with the idea that mutton 'ruins the dish it is in'. It's simply not true. I find mutton delicious, treated right. Yes, it is partly a matter of taste, but it is also a matter of choosing the right meat for the right dish. I love mutton, but i find it comes into its own in more highly spiced dishes, the depth of flavour standing up to and balancing the strong spicing. The gentle flavour of spring lamb, on the other hand, is drowned out by strong spices. As it happens, I am also half middle eastern, and grew up eating, and now cooking for myself, a lot of middle eastern dishes. For these, I do tend to choose lamb over mutton, though I will often use older, 'end of season' lamb, which is a year old, since I like the greater depth of flavour. For, say, an Indian curry, I'll choose mutton every time - the result is just far superior to the same dish made with lamb. Oh, and on the flavour of mutton, I actually find that mutton tastes something like a cross between lamb and beef, rather than simply 'lambier lamb'. In the end it's obviously a matter of personal taste, but, if someone wants to try mutton, spring lamb is clearly the opposite of what they are after!
  3. Hmm, I've never eaten a pet, but I can remember as a kid being more than happy to tuck into my mum's rabbit pie, despite having a pet rabbit at the time. Maybe it helped that rabbit pie had featured on the dinner table before I ever had a rabbit, so I didn't really associate the two. My younger brother, however, did connect 'bunny pie' with 'cute little pet bunny' and refused to eat it. All the more for me! Oh, and if you didn't know already, you can trim those long, sharp, claws - they are like fingernails, so you just cut the white part, not into the pink. I remember we had a special 'bunny nail clipper' for the purpose (no, I'm not kidding).
  4. This reminds me of a college housemate who was in the kitchen one day, cooking up a storm, when I walked in. I asked her what she was cooking; 'Arroz con pollo,' was the reply. There was a slight pause, and then she continued, 'Without the chicken'.
  5. Definitely go for a shoulder, or piece of shoulder. And cook it really slowly until it reaches an internal temperature of about 195 F or the meat falls effortlessly from the bone. Then you should have fall-apart, melting, fatty, porky yumminess ...
  6. Yuck! But to each his/her own. ← Have you never nibbled a bit while chopping them? They are surprisingly good raw. Though I've never actually set out to eat them raw.
  7. I tried whipping cream a little while ago with a hand blender. Within seconds, I had butter - or at least, it was well on it's way there, apparently having leapfrogged the 'whipped cream' stage entirely. This was in someone else's kitchen, with no whip of any kind available (we ended up going out and buying clotted cream, which is thick enough already - man that was a damn good banoffee pie ). However, I have a hand blender at home which I use for blending soups - even though I have a regular blender. It's just So much less messy to blend the soup right in the pan, particularly if I make a lot and would have to blend in batches in the regular blender. I've never tried using it for mixing cake mixtures etc, since I have other gizmos for that.
  8. Funnily enough, I saw this stuff in a Persian shop about a week ago, having forgotten all about since some time in my childhood when my dad brought some back from the middle east - in fact, I have a feeling he brought it back a few times, and I remember absolutely loving them. I didn't buy any, because by the time I noticed it, we were already loaded up with pastries (and boy were they good - sweet, buttery, flaky, melt-in-the-mouth goodness), but I made a mental note to get them next time. Definitely
  9. Ah, but have you tried roasting it in finger-sized chunks (peeled, and tossed in salt and evoo) until just browned around the edges and soft in the middle, then sprinkling with just a hint of brown sugar and cinnamon, back into the oven for five minutes, then eating (preferably with pork)? It's gooooood
  10. I'm not sure whether this is really what you mean, but: Pressure-cooking green beans (my mother). Pressure-cooking brussel sprouts (my grandmother).
  11. I think at least one of the main reasons why duck eggs don't turn up in big numbers in supermarkets is simply because it's not possible to farm ducks - for eggs or for meat - by the kind of intensive, battery-cage methods that are used to produce cheap poultry and eggs. And without doubt, the best eggs I've ever had are duck eggs - sold by people keeping them in the garden and feeding them scraps etc; even better than chicken eggs produced that way, richer and generally just all-round yummier!
  12. I can't say I do that much stirring either - and when I do, it's pretty much exclusively of things that have to be closely watched at the same time - for developing consistency, absorbtion of liquid, etc. So I'd still be standing at the stove, watching the stirrer stir. Thing is, stirring is also part of the process of knowing how a dish, a sauce, etc is progressing, since it allows you to feel how thick the sauce is, for example. So I guess that unless I made a Lot of risotto (which I don't) or had problems with my wrists/hands/standing at a stove for ages, etc, I can't see I'd have any use for an automatic stirrer.
  13. Wow, I didn't realise I was going to hit a nerve, and I certainly didn't intend to irritate. I honestly don't for a moment think that I'm 'superior' because I cook rice on a stove rather than in a rice cooker. I can't see that it matters how you cook it, so long as the result is good. I do it on the stove simply because that's the way my mum taught me to do it, and the way I've done it ever since. Maybe a rice cooker would do it better, I couldn't say. I only brought this up because I was genuinely curious about why people use rice cookers - I've noticed that a lot of people on eg seem to use them, and I couldn't figure out why. Kirstin's answer makes perfect sense to me, and I can see how it could be a very useful piece of kit, particularly when you eat rice every day, cook for a family, etc (neither of which apply to me). I find my bread machine - space hogging, expensive machine though it is - very, very useful, and doubtless all the bread-makers around here think 'why on earth does anyone need one of those?'. What's useful to one is a puzzle to others, I guess. Anyway, carry on ...
  14. Cucumbers covered in wax? That I've never seen. On this side of the pond they either come plastic-wrapped (in supermarkets) or 'naked', in grocers, turkish/asian shops, markets etc. Never peel my cukes, never peel my carrots - a good scrub, particularly the carrots to get the mud off, and slice away. Peeling butternut squash, however - for that I definitely use a knife ...
  15. As a kid, I can remember putting salt & vinegar flavour crisps into a gooseberry jam sandwich ... and loving it. I can still remember the crunch of the crisps through the soft squidgyness of the bread, along with the weird mix of salty/tangy/sweet flavours. mmmm Something tell me, though, that I'd be better to stick with the memory than try to re-create it. I think now i'd probably find it gross. Actually, forget the probably.
  16. Doesn't anyone ever just use a saucepan for making rice? Perfect steamed rice every time (for me it's usually basmati or thai jasmine rice), without spending money on something that takes up loads of space and can't do anything else. I kind of just don't get it - the need for a rice cooker, that is.
  17. I really, really wish I had not just eaten my lunch. And it was a nice lunch ...
  18. No, you want one of these: 'Digitron FM15 oven thermometer', from here: http://www.foodsafetydirect.co.uk/acatalog...ermometers.html (Scroll down to the one at the very bottom of the page) It's just over 20 quid, the probe sits in the joint of meat or whatever in the over, the display sits outside, with a silicone-coated wire connecting the two (you just shut the door, gently, on the wire, it doesn't break the seal on the oven door). That way, you can see the temperature without peering into the oven. You can also set an alarm to go off when it reaches a given temperature, so you don't even have to keep an eye on it. Oh, and it displays the temperature in increments of 0.1 degrees, celcius or farenheit - you choose which. I got through two, different, cheapies from Nisbets before finding this. This actually does the job.
  19. pigeonpie

    Cutting an Onion

    Yup, I'd have to go with this too, since you have the root-end to hold it all together when cutting both halves. Unless, of course, you absolutely have to have rings, in which case I'd slice the stem end first, leaving the root to hold the remainder together.
  20. Ditto. And if you make more than you need and keep it in the fridge, then you have your own bottled ready-to-go vinagrette made exactly to your liking. You can have several if you want, with different proportions, made using different oils/vinegars etc. As The Old Foodie says, just avoid adding fresh stuff such as garlic or whatever if you want to keep it more than a few days.
  21. Great pot - I looooooove my Staub (much prefer it to the LC pot I own). Are we going to see it in action? It's the perfect time of year for a rich, slow braise, a slow-simmered curry, a pot roast ... okay, now I have to go and plan something like this for dinner, I'm making myself hungry. Actually, that chicken dish of yours looks pretty scrummy, and I've just defrosted me some chicken ...
  22. That's only going to happen if you use a small pan on a large ring. Basically, if the flames are reaching around the outside of the base, you need to either turn the heat down or move the pan to a smaller ring, so that the flames only hit the base. Then there's no need to throw out a perfectly good pan, and rather less chance of burning your dinner ... Although this probably is a valid argument for choosing straight-gauge cookware for very small saucepans used for delicate sauces. Or you can go the cheaper route for this and use a bain marie.
  23. I take your lard and I raise you ... mutton. I made the most stupendous curry the other day, without doubt the best I have ever eaten, whether in a home or a restaurant, and what made it seriously fly was the depth and complexity of flavour that came from the mutton I used, in place of the lamb the recipe (courtesy of Madhur Jaffray) called for. The difference in flavour between meat from a five year old and a five month old is staggering.
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