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Everything posted by KarenS

  1. First poach your fruit in simple syrup before drying (until transluscent).
  2. Seeing your pictures made me smile. My grandfather used to take me down there to eat crab (and we were "local"). I could eat one right now...
  3. I'd go to Cortez- though I enjoyed Aqua the last time that I went.
  4. ohmyganache, do you work with Cora at the Ritz? She used to work with me in Honolulu. Tell her "Hi" from Karen! Many years ago I used to work for the Ritz (not in SF). I remember doing tea service...
  5. Hi! I live on Oahu, and have also lived and worked on Maui and the big island. There are actually quite a few classes offered in Honolulu. There is a benefit in living in the middle of the ocean (and in the tropics). People like to visit here (and often combine work with vacation). I have signed up for a sugar class with Mr. Notter for the end of August. Hans Weiler (his company is now owned by Y. Hata) is a well known pastry purveyor in Hawaii- I have been buying from him for a long time. You may be buying from him too (if not, you might consider him, as he takes the best care of his chocolate and other products). He arranges an assortment of classes every year. He is also a retired (German) Pastry Chef who knows many in the industry (he always has "the gossip").The cooking program at KCC (a University of Hawaii campus that is in back of Diamond Head)- has grown quite a bit. They very often offer classes from visiting talents. Are you at Alan Wong's restaurant?
  6. Sauerbraten with red cabbage and potato pancakes Carbonade flamande (beer stew) Smoked cornish game hens (whole, boned) stuffed with wild rice)- this was a birthday request since it was a lot of work Tamale pie Won ton soup
  7. KarenS

    The Best Butter

    Based on the publicity around milk, I'd guess just about any US butter has growth hormones in it unless it is organic or specifically says it doesn't contain hormones. ← Actually, ALL milk has hormones in it, regardless of where it comes from and whether or not it is 'organic.' All milk has bovine growth hormone (BGH) in it specifically. Some cows, however, are given a supplement of rBGH, or recombinant BGH, that is identical to natural BGH, except that it is produced by recombinant organisms and then given to cows as a supplement to increase milk production 10-20%. Whether a cow is given supplementary rBGH or not, the level of total BGH in the milk is still about the same, because the supplemented cows use the excess BGH. It should be pointed out that neither BGH or rBGH are enzymatically active in humans because its protein structure is very different from its human growth hormone analogue. There are other issues here, for instance rBGH treated cows are more likely to develop mastitis due to their increase milk production, but personally I have very little concern about hormones in milk or butter, and would not pay more to get milk from cows that have not been given rBGH. ← I actually DO care and will pay more. I don't think that anyone needs to ingest extra hormones. I can't- I have a type of cancer that affects my endocrine system, I need to keep my body as hormone free as possible. People are ingesting huge amounts of hormones as they are added to livestock feed very generally in the US.
  8. KarenS

    The Best Butter

    Plugra is American.
  9. I agree on the Mae Ploy, I have red and green in my frig right now (a great way to whip up some dinner). That would also use some canned coconut milk! I also always have canned diced tomatoes, garbanzo beans (and others), canned anaheims, chipotles, anchovies (though i prefer in the jar with the lid that you can screw closed). I like the "fresh" canned crab from Costco. I eat canned tuna- I consider Spanish and Italian canned tuna a real treat. I will also on occasion eat pickled beets, artichoke hearts, and roasted bell peppers (when they are out of season and really expensive)- all canned!
  10. I know that Sushi Ran is in Sausalito- but it is my favorite! (not a bad drive either)
  11. Prospect Books has a very good glossary of 17-18th century English cooking terms. Codlings were apples that were poached "coddled", while still hard and green. Effort was made to keep the green colour. Discriptions of the apples suggest a pear shaped fruit, but Bramley apples are often cited as a modern codling type (although they don't retain their shape when cooked, so I doubt this). I'm assuming that the codling apples were used for their pectin. When I make guava jelly- I do as I was taught by an elder Hawaiian lady, always add a portion of green fruit. ←
  12. Back when summers meant dark, dark, tans- we used to tan ourselves like that (sun tatoos).
  13. I love that bakery! I used to go there all of the time when I worked in SF. The company sure has grown large. Check out Chefwear pants- they have elastic waists. I must say that I have eaten many caneles from there (and the croissants are great). You work the hours that I normally work. I think that Bay Bread and Tartine are the two best bakeries in SF.
  14. A cookie that is 12 inches high is a cake, not a cookie any more. You will need to reformulate your recipe entirely. To acheive a cookielike taste, you would have to bake a huge (very cold) pile of dough that had barely been mixed (combining almost frozen butter with the othe ingredients). Heat and friction produce spread.
  15. Taco Bell is horrifying food. The chain FAILED in SF. They could not compete with the many great burrito and taco places. Tacos and burritos are NOT made with ground meat. Salsas are so good and so important to Mexican food- they don't exist at Taco Bell. I ate there once- and even as a child , I could not eat ground mystery meat in a raw flour tortilla.
  16. Ultrapasturized cream very often has added stabilizers in it (guar gum etc...). I remember the cream in Las Vegas- not very good quality! I miss the Clover brand manufacturing cream in SF soo good!
  17. I would like to add a comment. Your whipped cream will be more stable if you do not add your sugar in the beginning when the cream is liquid. Add the sugar slowly when your cream starts to thicken (start on low, bring up to medium, turn up to high when the cream starts to thicken- after you add the sugar). I prefer superfine sugar. I have never had to use stabilizer- my whipped cream will last for about two days. The cream I use is 36% fat.
  18. I have never used a cake mix. My mom used them when I was a child. She didn't like to bake. I certainly have tasted them (and shortening buttercream)In my opinion, they taste terrible. No one has ever asked me to use a cake mix. I don't believe in that kind of food. I have spent over 20 years baking- and went to extremes to further my pastry skills. But I wouldn't eat at McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Burger king etc... too!
  19. I don't care for: green bell peppers (though love red, yellow, orange, etc... and anaheims, jalepenos) lobster (crab is so much better to eat!- though I did grow up in a N CA crab family- lot's of dungeness) marshmallows in "salad", or baked with sweet potatoes sodas (so sweet- it hurts my teeth), I like sparkling water much though "sweet" coffee, I love coffee- just don't care for it paired with sugar, meaning ice cream or sweet coffee drinks or desserts chocolate in general- I much prefer fruit desserts or vanilla. Being a Pastry Chef I use a lot of chocolate and understand that many people love it. My dad has an extreme chocolate obsession- my mom doesn't like it or eat it. cold lamb (yuck) chicken legs (hate the texture) buttered corn on the cob- I like just fresh black pepper I could live without ever eating cheesecake again. It does nothing for me- I would never order it. I always have it on the menu though... it is sooo popular.
  20. There are beautiful lychees grown here in Hawaii on the big island. They are in season right now. The same farm also grows amazing rambutan.
  21. I really prefer metal pans over flexipans for financiers and madeleines (especially madelienes- the weight and heat of the metal produces superior results). I too use sysco pan spray; I spray, flour (whack), and spray. I then chill them in the freezer until very cold. I bake them on a preheated sheet tray in a 325 convection. Perfect hump, and they all release just lovely. i sell a lot of them in our Espresso Bar. Hi David- remember me? I ran into you at the Foodland in Honolulu- I work at Neiman Marcus Honolulu. I hope you are enjoying living in Paris! That is where I lived when I went to pastry school (in 89). I love it there! I have some very old heavy weight financier pans (they only need spray). They make the best financiers. I find that flexipans do not create a good crust or hump in madeleines. They come out more "cake like" with a soft surface on the shell side.
  22. My first choice is Tahitian- though I also use Tongan, and Papua New Guinea (for less special puposes, and Hawaiian- to support a growing industry). Tahitian is a different species then the "true" Mexican vanilla (where it came from- and where there is a bee that naturally polinates them- instead of by hand like everywhere else)
  23. If you burr mix an overcooked brulee in a container that is in an ice bath- it will always come back (the mixture needs to still be hot). This is how creme brulee was made at Postrio- for about ten years, and poured into baked puff pastry shells to be "bruleed".
  24. I've been selling stove top brulee for twenty years. I think that they are much better (and no, I never use cornstarch). I first learned how to make creme brulee at Spago from Nancy Silverton- and returned to that method because of quality and ease of preparation!
  25. Maggie is right that drying out the dough (before adding the eggs) is really important. This is where I have seen most mistakes made. Cook the dough (turning and folding over) until there is a thick skin on the bottom of the pan. I make large batches- so I then put it in the hobart and paddle it on low for a few minutes so that more steam is released- before starting to add the eggs.
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