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Everything posted by Waterzoy

  1. I have a few questions about foie gras that I hope someone will be able to help me with. What is to choose between duck and goose foie gras...is it merely a matter of personal taste preference? Is the foie gras you can buy in tins or jars good quality and if so, what are the brands to look out for? Or do the French generally avoid it ready-made and make their own? How is it usually served - with drinks before a meal or a starter - and what do you serve with it? Last question, what wines go well with foie gras? Any advice welcome....thanks.
  2. I have the following sites bookmarked: www.divertimenti.co.uk www.cucinadirect.co.uk www.lakelandlimited.co.uk www.richmondcookshop.co.uk www.silvernutmeg.com www.decuisine.co.uk www.armorica.co.uk www.cookshops.com I'm sure there are others. John Lewis might also have what you are looking for. Edited to say sorry these aren't links and I'm not sure why they aren't.
  3. I have two contenders for this thread. 1. "Are you hungry tonight?" - a thoroughly entertaining book containing Elvis's favourite recipes, many of which are actually very tasty and easy. Only the 6-tier wedding cake looks particularly involved and daunting. 2. "The romance of food" by Barbara Cartland. I don't know how well Barbara Cartland is known outside of the UK but she was a writer who churned out hundreds of soppy romance novels. She always wore pink and was usually photographed holding some sort of pampered lapdog. The recipe book has one or two absolute gems in it but also a vast number of odd and unfashionable recipes that involve so much work that they would leave you far too exhausted for romance. edited for spelling errors
  4. Waterzoy

    Menu planning

    We are at home for the whole period which I am pleased about. My family will be here on Christmas Day and we'll be meeting my husband's family in Battersea Park on New Year's Day. This is what my week looks like foodwise. 23rd - pasta with vodka/tomato sauce & green salad 24th - individual beef & mushroom pies & vegetables 25th - turkey 26th - turkey leftovers, pâté, some kind of soup depending on what veg is left, crusty bread 27th - tartiflette, green salad 28th - risotto milanese, green salad 29th - curry, daal, chapattis etc 30th - lasagne, salad 31st - fillet steaks, gratin dauphinois, green salad 1st - eating out somewhere close to Battersea Park....not sure where yet We don't eat puddings all that often but my husband has asked for a tarte tatin at some point during the holiday but I'm not sure at the moment which day I'll be making it. I'm also looking forward to some relaxed breakfasts over the next few days that will include pancakes, mounas, scrambled eggs, various homemade breads and several jams and spreads that I have been busy making recently.
  5. I certainly recognise the term 'cordon bleu' as being associated with a ham and cheese filling. I'm sure I recall that Marks and Spencer, which sells a lot of ready-made meals in the UK, used to have (and may still) a meal called 'chicken cordon bleu' so the term has spread further than the US. I don't know where the term originated though, or if the French use it, although I would be surprised if they did. edited to say....sorry, I didn't spot you'd posted this in the UK forum too and my reply might have been more appropriate there. Looks like I remembered correctly about M & S selling this though.
  6. Ravelda, all the back issues are listed down the left hand side of the OFM website at http://observer.guardian.co.uk/foodmonthly/
  7. Waterzoy

    Food Mills

    I want to buy a food mill and am not sure why some are more expensive than others.....as far as I can tell they all seem to look fairly similar and all come with two or three filters. Is there any reason to pay more or are the cheaper ones just as good? I did find a food mill thread but it was more about what you can do with them than which one to buy. Any advice welcome. Thanks.
  8. I would make either (or both) creme brulee or vanilla ice cream. Vanilla recipes don't come much simpler than these or much more delicious. I can help with recipes if you like.....just let me know. Edited to say that if you insert a vanilla pod in a jar of sugar, your sugar will eventually be infused with the scent and flavour of vanilla, and this can be put to good use when baking cakes.
  9. I have some silver anodised baking tins which unfortunately have had a spin in the dishwasher. The appearance of the tins is now spoilt but does anyone know if the dishwasher actually affects the performance of the tin, perhaps making it 'stick' in places next time I use them? I am hoping that the fact they are a bit unsightly now is the limit of the damage done.
  10. Does anyone know where I might find friand tins? I want the traditional oval shape and would be happy with individual tins or a tray of 6 or 12. Thanks.
  11. I've been making a lot of jam and chutneys recently and have been using an inexpensive stainless steel pan. I'm not all that experienced at jam making and although most of my jams are turning out quite well I'm wondering what else aside from practice, will help me to improve my results. I have recently seen a copper preserving pan at a moderately reduced price. I'd like to know if anyone thinks that using a copper pan makes a significant difference when it comes to making jams/chutneys/other preserves and if copper is therefore worth the investment.
  12. Thanks for the advice Beccaboo. I hope it can be salvaged.
  13. I don't buy ready-made stuff all that often because, as has been said up-thread, home-made is so much better. One thing I have bought for years though, until recently, is mayonnaise because I always thought that making my own mayonnaise was beyond me. I found a recipe for mayonnaise somewhere on this forum and it was incredibly easy, it didn't split on me and it tasted great.....so mayonnaise will not be on any of my future shopping lists.
  14. I have just started to make Christine Ferber's chestnut and vanilla jam. I have halved the quantities she suggested and have followed her instructions which were to put the peeled chestnuts, water, sugar and vanilla pod in a pan, bring to the boil and cook for 15 minutes, strirring gently. The next stage is for it to sit in a ceramic bowl overnight. This is the stage I am at. My mixture went solid the minute I put it in the bowl. The sugar is now quite hard and I suspect that I had the heat too high when I cooked it for the 15 minutes. I have two questions. 1. Ought I have cooked it for a shorter period given that I had halved the quantity of the ingredients, and if so, how long should I have cooked it for? 2. Is there anything I can do now to save it? My fingers are still sore from peeling the chestnuts and I am really reluctant to put it in the bin if anyone can suggest anything. The quantities I used were: 400g peeled chestnuts 400g sugar 200ml water vanilla pod Thanks for any advice.
  15. Waterzoy

    Preserving Summer

    This morning I made the apple jam with julienne of four citrus fruits from Christine Ferber's book. You can't see the zest very well in this photo but there is a good citrussy flavour to the jam. I must give it a good stir when I open it as all the apple seems to have collected towards the top of the jar. I've also made the green apple jelly, the fig and pear and the pear and chocolate jams from the same book. For the fig and pear, I used dark purple figs because I couldn't get green ones. The flavour is good and the colour is beautiful. The pear and chocolate is great with flaky pastries such as croissants. I was surprised to be most pleased with this one as it's the one I was least enthusiastic about making. I halved the recipe just to use up some pears which were beginning to go past their best so I was only able to fill one jar. I have really enjoyed it.
  16. I don't understand what cake flour is. Assuming US all-purpose flour is basic flour with no added raising agents, I'd use three cups of this and a couple of levelled teaspoons of baking powder. I hope it works out well for you.
  17. Hi. I know from what you posted that you probably don't want to hear this but the long espresso threads are really fascinating and you will learn a lot about the various machines available. It really would be worth your while sifting through what's been posted already. I've been interested by what's been said and I'm not even looking to replace my stove top!
  18. Those inserts can be eased out if you (carefully) push the edge of a knife between the plastic and the bottle. I find them a nuisance.
  19. You could think about a Galette des Rois, normally served for Epiphany. Have a look at the thread below for more information. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=14928&hl=rois
  20. Fanny, I think I have the recipe you want....it's in her book "Tamasin's weekend food". I'm not sure about the rules of posting recipes on this forum so I will send it to you by PM.
  21. Simon Hopkinson, who I often turn to for advice on these 70's dinner party dishes that I grew up with, says in his book "The Prawn Cocktail Years" '......No glace cherries or hundreds and thousands, please, just angelica and silver balls. This is classy Trifle'. However, much as I love Simon Hopkinson, I have to go with my instinct here and agree with Jackal in that trifle is not really a dish that benefits much from tweaking, innovation or the use of fresh fruit and unusual liqueurs..... it's perfect made with tinned custard and fruit, whipped cream and with some very basic decoration.
  22. I can't give you a particularly technical answer but boiling would kill most or all of the bacteria that might come to life during or after the initial thawing process.
  23. Thanks for these suggestions.....much appreciated. Andie, I must be the only person in the world without a microwave.....would your method work if I used the oven instead?
  24. Does anyone have tips on how to get rid of strong smells that linger in glass jars? A run through the dishwasher seems to work OK until you put the lid back on for any length of time, when the smell of whatever was in the jar in the first place returns with a vengeance. Any ideas?
  25. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by double stock......is this the same as demi glace where you reduce the stock to a more concentrated form? It's not generally a good idea to re-freeze anything but if you have to do this I'd make sure it was brought back up to the boil before a second round of freezing.
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