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Everything posted by Magictofu

  1. Thanks for the quick reply. I have been experimenting with Canadian AP flour which I believe offers about 12% protein and with bread flour. One of the reason I have decided to dig a bit further after hearing about that bakery in Montreal is that I always find that my bread are too chewy for my taste. I have tried the no knead technique as well as the 5 minutes a day technique but got the same chewy texture. I will try using pastry flour and see what happen. I think that I really need to learn more about flour! I have been trying to make chinese stretched noodles for a long time without success and I think part of the answer might also be found in the flour itself.
  2. I have heard that an important bakery in Montreal is trying to find/develop a local and organic flour with a lower protein content than what is currently available in Canada. The goal, as I recal, was to obtain a lighter, less dense, crumb for their baguette and other French breads. I always thought that a high protein content was a good thing when making bread. Most Canadian flour IS very high in protein and would probably be considered "bread flour" in most part of the world. Any clue as to how a high or low protein content in the flour used to make bread effect the final product? And why would a bakery avoid using a "bread flour" to make bread? Does this have any impact for home bakers? What I found online so far was more confusing than anything else but then I am a very novice baker.
  3. We call these fruits ground cherry around here. They are delicious.
  4. I am now using the backside of a very large cast iron pan with good results. Some people also use pieces of granite bought from people selling granite counters. Let us know if you find a good and cheap tile.
  5. Duck eggs are among my favourite eggs because of they seem to be much more silky when cooked. Flavour varies greatly from one flock to the other depending on what they feed on. Try to get eggs from ducks that feed mostly on land instead of dirty ponds. I have duck, chicken and turkey eggs in the fridge and will try to find the time for a more formal taste comparison and report back here.
  6. They put the whole series on DVD: http://www.imavision.com/fr/eStore,wciCata...,LoadCat-1.html
  7. For those interested, the DVD version of his French TV series, Martin Sur la Route, is now available: http://www.imavision.com/fr/eStore,wciCata...,LoadCat-1.html
  8. I addressed this briefly a bit earlier but when it comes to choosing restaurants I was motivated by three main factors: 1) R&C membership, 2) Recommendations from people I trust, 3) eG, food blogs, CH, etc. I'm not sure what you mean by this. I think we did a good deal of traditional eating and sampled a wide range of cooking in each of the countries. Do you disagree? ← I guess it is the number of dishes with foam and the likes that surprised me. Now that I look back at everything, it is true that the range of cooking that you sampled was quite wide but I was in the impression that there was more or less of a direction, or at least a clear interest in, for lack of a better term, "cutting edge" or modern cuisine. I think I got that impression from your comments as well but I guess I was wrong. Thanks again for making all of us so jealous!
  9. I was refering to Kent's mushroom, I did not realize this was an older post. The licorice smell is easier to identify when raw, it is one of the trick to identify wild oyster mushroom along with their shape, location and the presence of cute tiny black beetles. This smell disapear almost entirely when cooked as other stronger smell develop.
  10. I made the hot italian sausage from the book a few days ago but did not include enough fat in the mix (unavailable at the moment). They were a bit on the dry and crumbly side. The flavour was still good though. My bacon turned out quite good but I think it might be a bit too sweet as it burns very easily in the pan, even at low temp. I followed the recipe (simple bacon) religiously that time and wonder if this normal.
  11. Bryan, thanks for this great blog. I just have a few simple questions for you. How did you plan your itinerary? What guided your choice of restaurants and places to visit? I am particularly intrigued by how little of the more traditional dishes found their way to your stomach.
  12. It does look like its part of the pleurotus familly. If it smelled a bit like anis, as most oyster mushroom, it was very likely to be yellow oyster mushrooms.
  13. I have the French version and find it a delight for the eyes... my problem is not that it lacks "hardcore" recipes for actually making 'andouillettes' or rare local versions of blood sausage... my problem is that it is made for a French audience and anyone living outside of France would find it very difficult to source the right ingredients (the author is sometimes very specific). That being said, I love the book and have already read it two times from one cover to the other.
  14. Did you try ordering it from Stuffers? Just give them a call and tell them what you want, and they'll hook you up. It took about a week for mine to arrive. ← Its funny I actually bought my casings from them but since they did not mention pink salt on thei website I did even thought about asking. Thanks for the information!
  15. I have had this book on my shelf for a long time but never took the time to actually try any recipe... I didn't care that much since reading is a pleasure of its own. I have decided to start slowly. Two weeks ago I made gravlax combining elements from the book and from my own previous experiments. My partner had the last bit for lunch today. It was delicious but perhaps a bit too much on the salty side. I now have belly curing in the fridge and an order for a meat grinder with sausage stuffing attachment has been placed. I plan to buy a whole pig this fall and to build myself a cold room this summer. Getting pink salt in Canada is not an easy thing though!
  16. I have to second Sauces by Peterson. This book is fabulously instructive. Other books that are often mentionned and that I like a lot include: The whole Beast Nose to Tail by Fergus Henderson, Cooking by Hand by Paul Bertolli, Bouchon by Thomas Keller, the Babbo Cookbook by Mario Batali and The cooking of Southwest France by Paula Wolfert. You could also opt for cookbooks on specific topics such as breadmaking (Reinhart), charcuterie (Rhulman and Polcyn, Reynaud), etc. Or if you are interested in sourcing your ingredient, the river cottage series (although very UK centric) can be a good start. You could decide to learn about gardening and foraging in the wild as well.
  17. Magictofu


    Peas + bacon = heaven
  18. I am trying to grow fruit trees too but living in Canada makes the choice more complicated except for apples and pears which both benefit from cold climates. Many people here are also enjoying plums but my plum trees are still too young to produce. I wish I could have decent peaches and cherries!
  19. Cheek is one of the best braising meat but many restaurant now do exactly what jackal10 suggests: sous-vide at low temperature for long hours.
  20. As long as the bones were not aged too long it should be very good. The great thing with veal is that it is rarely aged for very long. If you get bones from a well aged carcass, they will taste off... unlike meat, bone marrow degrade quite fast.
  21. You can pickle the pods when they are stilll very small (no more than an inch long). The flowers are said to be delicious but I never tried. I think it might be a bit late for the baby milkweeds. Did your familly cook the mature plant or just the young shoots?
  22. Magictofu

    Pearl Onions

    You could buy them frozen... a cheap cheat I admit but it works well for weekday stews.
  23. Have a look at these: http://www.seriouseats.com/required_eating...-pig-tails.html http://findyourcraving.com/pig/nose-to-tail-eating http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=Barbec...g's%20tails http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/re...6_17966,00.html http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/536893 http://www.sauerkrautrecipes.com/recipe15679.shtml There are much more recipes online... I think the only thing to remember is that pig tail cooks a lot like pig trotters. They give a very pleasant onctuosity to any dish but can be a bit heavy. I'd say almost any recipe asking for pig trotter could use pig tails.
  24. I once made one of the best stew I have ever eaten with pig tails. (see: http://slurpandburp.blogspot.com/2006/02/j...-tail-stew.html). At that time, I was thinking about other tail recipes and thought about jamaican oxtail stew but feeling that jerk seasoning would work better with pork, I opted for a dish inspired from two different jamaican culinary traditions. If you like beans, you could make an extraordinary bean dish by cooking your bean along with the tails. Make sure to brown the tails slightly to render the extra fat if you keep the skin (as you should do anyway ).
  25. I wrote a long post on the morel season at http://slurpandburp.blogspot.com/2008/04/morel-season.html My best dish with morel was lobster in a morel beurre blanc: http://slurpandburp.blogspot.com/2007/05/l...vegetables.html Now that I have to take care of a one year old baby and that I spend almost all my free tim digging in my garden, I hardly find the time to go mushroom hunting, even though it would probably take me 2 or 3 hours to visit my usual spots and collect over 100 mushrooms. I can't wait for my son to be old enough to enjoy mushroom hunting with his dad.
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