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menon1971

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Everything posted by menon1971

  1. Actually, some of the Therias Et L’Econome knives look quite nice: http://www.therias.com/bandeau_new/anglais.html.
  2. There were several factories using the water power of the falls at Thiers but most have closed; a lot of the old stock went to Lee Valley Tools, of Ottawa, and was sold off until 2003 in their stores or online. That was quite a sale; we were able to look at or purchase a huge variety of carbon steel knives dating back to 1920. There is still a small factory in Thiers making Sabatier SS knives, and apparently carbon steel as well. ← To the best of my knowledge there are at least three Sabatier-identified cutlery operations in and around Thiers: Thiers-Issard, L'econome, Sabatier Diamant, and Sabatier-K.
  3. mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.....intoxilicious
  4. For what it is worth our local "celebrity chef," Frank Stitt, really likes the Catering line.
  5. I assume you mean from ingesting chiles not just handling them?
  6. It really depends on the type of oyster. Bluepoints, Malpeques, West Coast Olympias, etc., are usually fairly small, but possess distinctive flavors. These I like with just a squirt of lemon or simply in their own liquor. Apalachicola, which is the most common (and lest expensive) in AL, I eat in a variety of different ways. I tend to eat the small ones with just lemon or a tiny splash of hot sauce. The big ones are great with mignonette sauce, with horseradish, hot sauce, lemon juice, or any combination thereof.
  7. Making sure of the provenance of Sabatier and Laguiole products should help folks steer clear of the masses of junk out there. Most of the good stuff is made in either Thiers or Laguiole. Also, it is a good idea to ask questions about construction: method, steel used, design, etc. Accepting my example of obvious fraud above, a lot of the stuff actually made in France is of low quality. Sad to say that if you want the real thing you will most likely have to pay for it.
  8. All similar to what has happened to Sabatier. Some of the stuff is produced with excellent quality control, but much is either made in China or cheaply made in France. A number of years back I picked up one of those inexpensive Laguiole pocket knives at T.J. Maxx that was labeled on the outside of the container as made in France, but came to find out later that the knife itself was not made in France (perhaps only the nice pine box was).
  9. That's utter nonsense. Refusing to understand the risks might be called stupid, but an informed choice to take a risk is just an informed choice. I go rock climbing and ice climbing. Some closed minded people call these pursuits stupid, but the fact is that I spend a lot of time studying and managing the risks. My choices to to accept or not accept those risks are personal ones. They can be judged on a scale of cautious to reckless, but not smart to stupid. In the same spirit an intelligent person on this board might choose to uncooked ham, smoked fish, soft cheese, or raw eggs. ← A short lesson in risk is in order. Risk is ALWAYS coupled with consequence. Low risk, low consequence, do it. Low risk, high consequence, most individuals will chose to do it. Certainly flying in a commercial airliner is low risk, high consequence. Moderate risk, high consequence, most will avoid When one writes about rock or ice climbing, one needs to specify what type of climbing one does. Do you free climb, climb with aids or 'top rope'. If 'top rope' or climb with aids, then you obviously believe there is a substantial risk associated with free climbing that you avoid because the consequences are high(death). One cannot talk about risk without talking about consequence. In this case the risk for free climbing is dependant on your ability but the consequence is always high and does not depend on your ability. Which type of climbing do you do? I used to 'top rope'. Low risk, high consequence. Eating uncooled raw cured ham probably has a moderate risk but high consequence. One might think that its low risk, high consequence but that is debatable. In any event its the high consequence associated with the risk that determines whether or not one does something. If the consequence for eating uncooked cured raw ham were low, then I would not be writing this response.-Dick ← Just for the sake of analytics, if the likely outcome of listeria is most likely a nasty illness, but not death, does that not make the consequence moderate? Also, is the possibility of contamination not theoretically similar in other raw products including jamon Iberico?
  10. It looks to me like the risk is minor, as with many other foods. If you're unwilling to eat uncooked, salt cured ham, you should similarly avoid smoked fish and soft cheeses. http://cerhr.niehs.nih.gov/common/listeria.html ← And I will raise you a raw oyster. It seems that the lysteria may develop on any cured meat that has not been cooked to a certain temperature. I found the Journal of Food Science piece (thanks, budrichard) cautionary. One of the questions I have at this point is whether the risk is any greater for VA ham than any other cured meat, for this would seem to implicate a plethora of European charcuterie including most sausage. What is the calculated risk for a healthy human to eat such things, i.e., is it really more likely for a person to get ill from well treated cured meat than, say, cross contaminated dishes from a careless restaurant, a slightly undercooked egg or mishandled/improperly grown vegetables? Also, what quantities of lysteria, E. coli, salmonella, etc. can an average human metabolize? If every person got ill from every exposure to salmonella, for instance, few of us would be able to leave our bathrooms. Admittedly anecdotally, I have eaten some things that should have, by all rights, laid me out, and have been incapacitated by others that most would consider benign. I am really asking here.
  11. I have had the same locking Zyliss for the last decade or so and it is still gets the cans open with ease. The current model is about $15. http://www.zyliss.com/
  12. I've never used All Clad and can't compare, but I've owned the 10.25 inch Sitram saute pan & cover for more than 30 years, having purchased it at Bridge Kitchenware from the late Fred Bridge himself (see Fred mentioned here). Fred was an old curmudgeon who warmed up to customers only if he suspected they were serious about cooking. Otherwise, he could be rather disparaging . I apparently passed his test, because he chatted me up and recommended the Sitram saute pan along with a Wusthof chef's knife and swore they would last a lifetime. After years of constant use, they are as good as the day I bought them. I love Sitram, I love the memory of Fred Bridge, and I love telling this story. ← I have a two pieces from the professional line, the line right below catering, and really like them. They heat evenly and quickly and appear to be quite sturdy. There are some really great deals on them at amazon.com. I also have quite a few pieces of All Clad, good stuff, but the Sitram will get the job done.
  13. This is true of the polyphenol content of unrefined oil, however, I believe that the ratio of different fats is the same - equally high in mono-unsaturated.
  14. Extra virgin is fine for sauteeing, but I would not use it for frying for two reasons. First there is the relatively low smoke point of somewhere between 325F and 375F, depending on who you ask, and the second is the difference in taste would be negligible. However, the thing is being overlooked here is that "pomace" olive oil, which I believe comes from the third pressing, has a smoke point of around 450F, and is not much more expensive than other oils. So if you want the health benefits of olive oil, have at it.
  15. Mundial is not a bad brand for the money. It is German steel made in Brazil. The stamped Wusthof and Henckels are also pretty good, if you get the ones made in Germany. MAC's Original series are thin, but wickedly sharp. Check this set out: http://premiumknives.com/ShopSite/MAC_Kniv..._FK70_PK40.html I have a couple of these that I picked up at a junk store for cheap. I put an edge on them and now they are my traveling knives. You could also get a small set of forged knives from Wusthof and Henckels for under $200. I purchased a set of three knives plus a steel of the latter while in grad school and was not disappointed.
  16. I see a difference between the deliberate marrying of different regional cuisines and the assimilation of ingredients. Did the Italian cook say to him or herself "here I will take a fruit from the New World and a starch from the Orient and create a fusion hybrid of the two distinctive food cultures"? Fusion, it seems to me, as a culinary movement, requires the cook to have more of a knowledge of distinctive cultures and also a frame of consciousness that desires to meld cuisines as opposed to simply assimilating an ingredient here or there over time, into an existing food culture, i.e., the addition of spices to an already extant recipe. ← I am no expert is fusion cuisine. But the whole concept of fusion as a "culinary movement" -- as opposed to talented chefs saying "what if..." makes me a little queasy. Knowledge of ingredients and techniques, and the talent to combine different styles well: yes. "Knowledge of distictive cutures?" I don't think so. Did Thomas Keller have to study Moliere and The Enlightenment to master Frech technique? When Gray Kuntz marries tamarind with barbecue (and when I spill it onto a hanger steak and serve it with Salvadoran beans and rice), there's a huge cross-cultural thing going on, but I don't think he set out to make an intellectual statement. I think, just as that ancient Italian, he's just looking at what's around and trying to throw them together in new and wonderful ways. I never had raw fish until I was almost 30. My son, now 18, walks around the corner to nosh on carryout sushi whenever I'm willing to cough up the six bucks (long discussion, there ). When I was force-fed sushi the first time, it was still vaguely exotic and very "Asian." Now, it's just carryout food available in neighborhoods across America. Just like tomatoes were exotic for a few years in Naples,until they made it their own. Just like "fusion" cusine is now, until the generation that grew up on sushi and Asian supermarkets gets into the kitchen, and starts treating star anise the way their elders treated garlic. ← When I think "fusion" I usually conjure up images of cooks (in the Pacific Northwest, for instance) who deliberately try to, for example, take an expressly Asian dish or set of flavors, prepare it using French techniques, using local ingredients. Regarding your rather tasty sounding use of tamarind - are you using it in a sauce?
  17. I see a difference between the deliberate marrying of different regional cuisines and the assimilation of ingredients. Did the Italian cook say to him or herself "here I will take a fruit from the New World and a starch from the Orient and create a fusion hybrid of the two distinctive food cultures"? Fusion, it seems to me, as a culinary movement, requires the cook to have more of a knowledge of distinctive cultures and also a frame of consciousness that desires to meld cuisines as opposed to simply assimilating an ingredient here or there over time, into an existing food culture, i.e., the addition of spices to an already extant recipe.
  18. I agree regarding lemon juice. Also, I think there is a slight difference in flavor depending on when you add the lemon juice - adding at end gives a more aromatic and fresh taste.
  19. Jacques Pepin's autobiography, The Apprentice is very interesting, as is The Perfectionist, about Bernard Loiseau. There's also lots of information out there on the web. The brigade is a very structured and compartmentalised system, and I'd be curious to know how strictly it's adhered to these days. Here's a Wikipedia entry describing the brigade de cuisine.* *That Escoffier guy pops up again. He's everywhere. ← Are we speaking of history here, since both men you mention apprenticed before I was born (I am 35). I am sure that there are aspects of this system still around, but the days of apprenticing at age 14 are over. I am not trying to be antagonizing here, but in reference to the original topic are we lionizing (and I might argue fetishizing and reifying) France's past rather than its present?
  20. My SO is baffled by the amount of water I can get on the floor and counters when cooking and cleaning. My excuse is that I work quickly and efficiently, and let the mayhem be damned.
  21. Of course they are highly respected. Is it demanded, or earned? Does a grunt respect a drill seargent? I do not think it is all hogwash, if that means a thing, because I would respect any chef in France that has risen above and beyond. Our esteemed friend in France will surely have more insight for both of us. ← Respected or feared? Is the image of the French chef something mythologized in similar fashion to what Tim was saying about their cuisine? I also wonder about the validity of our generalizations and perceptions/stereotypes about the inner workings of French kitchens. Perhaps I need education on this point too, but are there perspectives out there that are not simply anecdotal?
  22. Sounds like you are already eating greens. Do you want to try southern style greens? Many of the greens commonly consumed in the south may be prepared just as you, and I very often, prepare spinach. Are you wanting to do the low and slow greens with a wedge of cornbread? If so, then there are many collard afficianados that can assist you. This time of year, in your geography, that is probably all you can get your hands on fresh and at a decent level of quality. In a few months the variety will open up like crazy. I'll be happy to help in any way I can. ← Based on your previous post on the subject I would personally like to know more about how you prepare greens of various types. I have cooked collards etc., and although they are usually tasty, I rarely achieve the depths of flavor found at good meat and threes (slow and low, I assume) or at southern fine dining establishments (more al dente). I could use some education on the subject...........
  23. sigh... is chivalry truly dead? Wasn't/ isn't just in France. Just plain good manners. Busboy has the right idea. These days given liberation & all it probably doesn't apply. A wider interesting topic might be how manners are evolving, or not, in this day & age. ← I would suggest that it is good manners for a host to pour libations when possible, but I am not sure that should be a gender based decision. Lest we get into a discussion about patriarchy...........
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