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Everything posted by jmridd

  1. Quick thought: A lot of textbooks these days are going digital; the publishers offer a copy to download from their website at a lower cost. Do you think the same could or would or will happen with cookbooks? I think it would be wonderful if they did... just think about the database of recipes you could search through instantly on your computer...
  2. The most recent addition to my library of italian cook books was Giorgio Locatelli's "Made in Italy," and while it is a magnificent book, it set me off on to a hunt for another book... Is there any sort of definitive, penultimate, authentic book of Pasta? In my mind, a book like this would really be two parts: pasta and sauces. The first part, pasta, would be alphabetical and describe all of the different shapes of pasta, and include such information as basic details--size, shape, fresh/dry?, where it is from, and what its made of; what the traditional sauce for it is and WHY; a basic recipe and suggestions for close variations; and what wines are regionally had with it. The second part would be the sauces.... again, to match the pasta with such details as traditional ingredients, loose recipes, history, etc... Am I dreaming this up?
  3. I think there is a... distinguishable difference, but also some major similarities. Think.. what is the difference in drive, dedication, and perseverance between a Chef running 20 course, world renown tasting menus, and a Chef training for months to cook flawlessly for seven days under the scrutiny of a panel to earn Certified Master Chef? Nothing - what drives them is perfection, and they exhibit the same passion. How the passion is manifested though is what is the difference between greatness and genius, and this is true for everyone at every level of the kitchen. I think anyone can be a great chef by mastering technique, flavors, ingredients, and managing their kitchen successfully. I think anyone can be a culinary genius by mastering their mind and manipulating their ingredients to manifest that control. You don't have to be a genius to be a chef, and you don't have to be a chef to be a genius. Alice Watters is a culinary genius. She revolutionized cuisine in a part of the world; she took ingredients from her region and changed what everyone thought about them. She's not a great chef though, Paul Bertolli is. Furthermore you have to wonder.. The CMC is flawless, but is he/she creative? (not always) The Genius is creative, but is he/she flawless? (not always) "But then I admire the busy line cook as much as I admire the gourmet chef, both have a different set of skills." Exactly. I love kitchen work, but I have an (much stronger) inclination to overfill my brain with information and ideas than to work the hot line all the time. Some are the opposite. and both are necessary in the industry
  4. Whoa... was this thread about the book, or the validity of the title? and it isn't really misleading at all, and isn't really a reflection of reputation at all, and it is catchy, and it is accurate, as keller uses cryovac'ing for everything from compressing fruit to infusing flavors to indeed, sous vide cookery... Anyways, I do hope there is some sort of book+immersion circulator package as that would truly bring this style of cooking to the professional and amateur chef. I think it is somewhat of a shame that the technology seems to have such an elitist air about it. Hopefully this will book will open up the possibilities to a larger group of both practitioners and consumers - there's no reason why we can't be sous-viding our burgers! With the knowledge, know-how, and equipment now publicized things might change...
  5. jmridd


    it sounds like you've been to heaven and back, snowangel as for lemonade- its one of those things thats got endless possibilities i don't ever have a set recipe, just some concepts and guidelines i subscribe to: don't ever ever ever use the pith. i know some say you can pressure cook or boil to death or roast your fruit to leach out the volatile's, but having before tasted lemonade which was made with the pith, i am very leery of its inclusion. bitter beyond bitter. so- don't put whole lemons in your simple syrup, don't puree whole lemons, and don't let anyone convince you "it doesn't matter" haha it does, in a big, nasty way. my personal favorites in terms of herbs are tarragon and chervil. separate, together, whatever, they make a great addition. I've never tried steeping them in hot simple syrup, i've only put 'em in the blender. and on that note- if you're gonna put whole leaves of tarragon or chervil or whatever herb in the blender, start with a very smallll amount of your lemonade, or else the leaves will just buzz and whir around and never get torn up. i've heard of this, but never tried it- apparently thickened lemonade is wonderful. i heard from a friend something about using kudzu starch to thicken the lemonade into a milky consistency. sounds worth a try so usually i do something along the following lines: zest my lemons zest goes into simple syrup on the stove, cook and strain juice lemons, strain combine juice, syrup, and water down pour just enough of the lemonade into a blender to cover the blades throw in your picked herbs blend to your hearts desire pour in the rest of your lemonade and give it a whir come to think of it, steeping your herbs in the simple syrup is actually a better method because the green herbs will turn brown in the acid if let to sit for too long, and thats no good for presentation as for presentation- crushed ice and condensation. something i bet would look great and be functional- slice your lemons super thin, cook in simple syrup, dry in the oven, lay on top of the glass to float.
  6. Recently I was having a discussion with a friend/pastry cook and we got to wondering how honeysuckle sorbet and/or ice cream is made. I have searched through the forums already, and the one link to a sorbet recipe was no longer functional. Any help or insight or recipes would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
  7. jmridd

    Rendering Lard

    quick question- if you use lard to deep fry something, say chicken, can the fat be strained and reused? or is it dead/will go bad after one use?
  8. jmridd

    Rendering Lard

    Unfortunately, Peacock doesn't elaborate! He simply states that it takes three laborious days and results in a product which, according to Lewis' sister, was the finest lard ever had.
  9. jmridd

    Rendering Lard

    I was reading through Peacock/Lewis' The Gift... and started to wonder about his "3 day purification process." I thought I'd question y'all to find out if anyone has a preferred or specific method for the process.
  10. HA- when the price of bottled water is far more per gallon than GASOLINE, I think it is certainly time to make a change. evian=$10 per gallon... and gas 'round here is about $2.59 right now i'd say? lead the way, Miss Waters
  11. perfect grits? haha thats impossible to pin its depends greatly on the product you're going for; to you want a pure corn flavor, something rich, or something in between? are you pairing the grits with breakfast, shrimp, or meat? if you want a pure grit flavor, go with a ratio of 1 cup grits to 4 cups water, and a healthy pinch of salt. bring your water to a boil, whisk in the salt, then whisk in your grits to prevent clumping. cook at least 45 minutes to an hour on a poppingly low flame. if you scorch the bottom your grits are no good. after 45+ minutes, taste for texture, salt, and spice- add more water or butter, satl, cheese, and/or tobasco/black pepper. if you want something rich- use 2 cups milk and 2 cups water, if thining is needed, use water, and finish with butter. using chicken stock gives the grits a very nice rounded out quality- somewhere between rich and basic. now, if you're from the carolina low country and you're making shrimp and grits- your recipe oughtta look like this (this is attributed to a South Carolinian chef from Chez Panisse/the CIA) wake up 6 am and get your basic grits (4w-1g) on the fire start taking the shells off your shrimp make a quick shrimp stock with the shells, some lemon, some vegetables and herbs as the grits tighten up over the next 4, yes Four, hours of cooking, you'll add the shrimp stock to thin them out around 930 or so start frying your (seasoned!) shrimp with whole butter in batches. deglaze with the stock and pour butter, fond, and stock into the grits. continue until all shrimp are cooked. serve shrimp on top of grits, hot! for a quick breakfast taking a note from her, if you plan on serving your grits as a base for a pork dish- use some pork stock, same of poultry and red meat.
  12. really? The time I went, my friend took me and said she had "made reservations," and that "it was necessary." HMm... haha I've been had? anina, what do you mean by "Let's see: I'm wondering how I could include an article I wrote about Chef Michel Richard of Citronelle. How do I do that?"
  13. I'm planning a menu to make for a friend all around lemons, and I'd like to serve a candied piece of lemon at the very end, but I don't know of the means to go about making the candies... In my mind I envision the candies being about a quarter-inch cube and covered in granulated sugar. Sorta chewy, sorta soft, some juice, but also dry? My initial, and only idea, was to cut up the lemon as such- square off, remove all peel, cube, slowly dry out in an oven around 150-200F? Pull, very lightly coat in squeezed lemon juice, and then toss in sugar. I've read through methods for candying peel by blanching and cooking to oblivion in simple syrup, but thats not the product I'm going for... Any feedback at all would be Greatly appreciated.
  14. I'm currently on my externship in the deep south, and am quickly becoming familiar with the omnipresent hunger for Fried Chicken. I was reading an eG post detailing duck confit, and I just wondered if anyone has ever tried or at least thought to take a leg of poultry confit (frig cold), dunk in buttermilk, flour, and deep fry at a high high temp to cook the flour and just heat through the meat? Would this even work or would the meat fall right off the bone?
  15. jmridd

    Brain Teaser

    I was brainstorming applications for smokers and it hit me- is it possible to impart a smokey flavor on liquids? I was at school and asked my Chef, who seem bewildered by the idea- it had obviously never crossed his mind. I've heard of smoked maple syrup, but never anything like dairy, juice, or even water. Just curious if any one had any experience? I'm thinking cold smoked apps'- why not smoke your milk and cream with sassafras root for ice cream? hickory smoked vinegars? black tea leaves+orange peel+vanilla+cinnamon stick smoked honey?
  16. "I'll be in DC late March and will have dinner there. Are there any other places that I should visit?" How much time do you have? Citronelle is a climax of a starting point, in my opinion. Everywhere you eat for weeks after Citronelle just won't even phase your palette. busboy is dead on- CityZen is a wise choice. Chef Eric Ziebold is doing a lot of cool stuff. Also... Colorado Kitchen- make reservations. Its a tiny restaurant, only open half the week, and seats quick. Great food. Don't let the humble atmosphere deceive you- this is good food. Colvin Run Tavern - Kinkead's place at Tyson's. Really good, not cheap, but again, really good. Any of the Black Restaurant Group establishments are going to be winners- Addie's in Rockville MD, Black's in Bethesda, Black Salt on MacArthur blvd, or Black Market somewhere in MD haha. If you're gonna be in DC you have to go by at least one of Jose Andres' places. Check out Bread Line- its cheap, and popular for good reason. but, back to topic. Citronelle... In the introduction of "Happy in the Kitchen," by Chef Richard, Thomas Keller notes to himself "Why didn't I think of that?" while reading Richard's recipes. That makes a point. I think the difference in the two restaurants are the motivation for the chefs- Keller seems to strive for perfection, Richard seems to want to play until something is perfect. Richard's dishes reveal a playful genius, a sense of humor... Keller's reveal exactness and stringent technique. Equally valuable, just different. To understand "what he does that is so good," you need to check out his book. It speaks volumes about not just his style of food but the way he thinks. He's outside the box- way outside. He's not using quail eggs, hes making fake eggs. He's not just searing and roasting, he's poaching and then searing. If the kitchen were black and white he'd be color.
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