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  1. I to have found joy in watching this series - I don't agree with the voting-off tactic as personal stuff can get in the way of cooking-ethics and excellent cooks can be voted out for tactical reasons.... This link doesn't work in canada - does it work in the states? Cheers GB
  2. Since my initial post, I've gone back to Careme's time and have found that it may be "classic", and you are right - it is NOT an escoffier creation. I made a poor assumption about all french classic recipes coming from Escoffier. I've learned a lot though, and I thank the patience of members here.... I found my answer though. Cheers GB
  3. Greetings Fellow Foodies I am so confused right now, I know that August Escoffier invented this dish, and I own Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery isbn:0471290165, and for the life of me can't seem to find this epitomise recipe in this book. I have searched under "fillet en croute" and went through the entire beef section to try to find it. This whole search started as I was watching MasterChef and they had a recipe calling for a crepe to protect the pastry from going soggy. This does make perfect sense actually, I just had never heard of it before. I checked Julia Child and she doesn't include a crepe, nor does Larousse, nor Herrings reference. I did find online recipe that does include it, but as we all know what's online isn't always AUTHENTIC and classically correct. I went to my apprenticeship books (canadian) and they don't include it. (Actually I just thought of a couple more reference books I can check though - Eugene Pauli and Paul Bocuse. I checked in my Joel Robuchon, Michel Roux and Alain Ducasse books and although their recipe all differ slightly, they don't include a crepe (I did learn that a lot of them use foi-gras and/or truffle-pate as an ingredient though) - but these are all modern renditions. I hit the escoffier.com web site and tried a search the original Escoffier recipe but came up dry. I have lots of cook books that have lots of great recipes but alas none of them contain a crepe. I know I'm being a little persnickety with this, but really want to find the old, old classical recipe done by escoffier - I did find websites with descriptions about who it was really names after, but alas none of them contained the "original, classic" one. I do realize that a lot of modern cooking, is only a variation of the classic Escoffier methods, but I am flabbergasted I can't find it in the one book it should be in - I feel really stupid that I can't find this, and slightly embarrased I have to ask this community with the 400+ books I own. Thanks a lot!!! Cheers Gregory Bastow
  4. Greetings one and all! I have been asked to compile a list a standard salt/fat/calorie content of all the house recipes. It's a slow tedious process to do this by hand, so I have come here for some advice. I am sure there is recipe database software that will do this, but of the 3 I have downloaded and test drived, they really don't have this kind of support. I am hoping someone here will have had some experience and can make some worthwhile suggestions. Thanks in advance. Cheers Gregory Bastow
  5. chefgregory


    Just to stay on topic, this is about SALTING and flavour penetration:-) I would like to thank you a lot for the recommendation of the Jaccard device - it is now one of my most used toys. We recently did a test of 4 pieces of striploin and the salted, tenderized piece has the most amazing color and texture. I found a little extra resting time was needed (usually 1/2 of cooking time), but hands-down this gadget is a wonder. I did find I had to hold the spring-loaded piece back on the thicker steaker (they are usually 2inches thick) to get better penetration. It was expensive here in Canada, pretty much $100 by the time shipping and customs charges cleared, but the pork loin we did tonight with a crab-apple-pecan crust was to dye for! Same recipe as before, but the pork held it's juices so much better than before, we were all amazed Cheers GB
  6. Santa was very, very good for me ; you can add 16 to your running total!!! Cheers GB
  7. If you blanch/poach them they will last a week in the fridge in their own juice. I'm not sure if you need instructions, so if not just ignore. Get the biggest pot you have and get enough water to cover them (I'll assume a gallon), throw in a tablespoon of peppercorns, 5-6 small leaves, a lemon cut into wedges and bring to a boil, couple tabelsppons sea salt. Put the oysters in when boiling rapidly and cook for 4-6 minutes (the water probably won't get back to a boil). They still should be soft in the middle. Store in the fridge covered in just enough of this liquid to cover them. Now from the fridge you can make lots of things from them. we used to make rockefellr (creams spinach and hollandaise) or "fire" baked in the oven with a hot sauce and cheese. One of my favorites was breading them in cornmeal/flour combo and panfrying them with a tartar sauce. Lots of choice at this point though. Cheers GB
  8. Downtown weekend brunch? Chambar's sister, Medina: http://www.medinacafe.com/ ← The newly re-opened DBBistro Moderne (a Daniel Boulud creation) is now doing brunch. I have yet to make it there - perhaps this sunday - but given the history of the Chef Patron I would expect it will be superb. http://www.dbbistro.ca/ Cheers GB
  9. chefgregory


    Great responce, very interesting... a couple new salient points.... I've order the Jaccard device - I love new toys - but it was expensive up here in Canada. No one from the USA would ship here and only one place at the other end of the country sell them. About the salt issue, I found an amazing resource that is actually designed for kids. It it compiled by Heston Blumenthal. "Kitchen Chemistry" published by "Royal Society of Chemisty" and it's fabulous. It comes with a DVD and really a work book designed for classroom work. I would HIGHLY recomend this for any students of the culinary arts. I've gone back to a few reference books I have, but not being a great brain with chemistry, the RSC books lays down some fundamentals for me that really help me understand the more complex issues that are discussed in this thread. Cheers GB
  10. Hmm, well firstly the goulash recipe was actually on one of my cooking tests; equal amount of onions as meat by weight, caraway, hungarian paprika and diced potatoes. I put diced pickles in mine (a very northern way) and I've known german chefs who put spaeztle. Theres tomato paste as well as beef stock (now that was the most backwards recipe I've ever written:-) Now to add to this thread; Wow, this was enlightening as I just did a count . I own 88 "about foods" or industry related books and 275 actual cook books. Most of them purchased in the past 2 years. PLus I have 4 more en-route. I freely admit to being adicted to cook books; there is a huge feeling of satisfaction with curling on with alinea, or the big fat duck book, a cup of tea and a roaring fire - along with my note pad. I am trying desperatly to keep the Gastronomic Event Horizon in view. There are so many great ideas that I have just never even concieved of, and methods I just never would have dreamed of. And I'm not just speaking of Molecular Gastronomy. Another favorite is; The Art of Eating and Gastrononica are my 2 favourite periodicals. I subcsribe to 20 odd periodicals and for recipes Cuisine, Good Food and Olive are my favorite. I so want an immersion cooker. Upon the recommendation of a fellow egullet member I just ordered a Jaccard meat tenderizer. I keep repeating the mantra "I am not obsessed" but I did just dream of being attached by a stale pita pocket. Cheers GB
  11. I was always taught to not "overwhelm" the water with so much product that you never loose the boil in the 1st place. And the timiing has always been to the texture of the product your looking for - it _will_ cook in non-boiling water (albiet slower) so testing texture with fingers is the best solution. Salted water will always speed up the cooking process as the outside cell walls willl break down faster. I would say its more important to go by taste/texture than a timer. Cheers Gregory Bastow
  12. Well, one of the methods I have always used to ensure great taste, is to dissolve the salt in the vinegar 1st, then add your other seasonings, and the oil should go in last. Yes, great EVOO will make a huge difference, but sometime you don't always want that olive flavour to be so stong - so mix the evoo with half sunflower, or a straight evo to lessen that fruity flavour. It is usually the quality of ingredients, so buy not only the best oil, but also vinegars - I like using champage vingar, or I've even mixed a very dry white wine with the vinegar itself. I'd be careful with the truffle oil, it's extremely strong and could overpower everything else. I would suggest this oil only drizzled on top of the salad, and not used in the dressing itself. Rememebr the classical french ratio is 1 part vinegar to 3 parts oil - although I usually will mix 1:2.5 or 1:2.0 as I like it to have some bite. This is all subjective according the oils and acids used. Cheers GB
  13. chefgregory


    Greetings fellow gourmands, foodies & chefs! I have been cooking for quite a few years, and have always thought I had a very good understanding of how and when to use salt. I know how salt extracts water from things. I've never used salt in marinades. I've never used it in stocks. My understanding is; salt corrects ph balance in the water which allows it to stops the transmission of flavour from the food into the liquid. I always understood that you need to salt all meats before sauteeing and grilling (as it creates a layer of flavour) and stops the bleeding of juices into the pan and protects the meat from drying out. Recently another cook challenged my constant salting of steaks, and had the position of it stops the "other" flavours from penetrating the meat, and makes the crust dryer than it should be. We did an experiment and I definitly found the salted meat did have a crustier exterior (which I like, and believe it should be like that) than the unsalted one, no change in the interior texture. we couldn't determine a taste difference as his position was a steak with a less tough exterior would be concidered more tender. I don't mind rethinking and adapting my methods, but I would like to hear some other opinions. After reading Thomas Kellers books, he clearly states blanching water should be as salty as the ocean; which is a much higher concentration than I use to use. Please, respond - I want to hear what you have to say. Cheers GB
  14. I'm not much a story teller, but there are a few things I would like to share as I find them all rather funny. I once had a customer walk upto the open kitchen and ask me if I could make a Paella without rice and seafood - I explained exactly what goes into and declined her request stating "I just can't make paella the way you want it, sorry". She sat back down with her table and ordered something else. After she left, the boss came into the kitchen and told me this lady had complained we wouldn't make the food the way the table wanted it. My boss (even though he knows exactly what paella is) suggested I should be more accomodating! Another one, is this lady who ALWAYS order her steak MR with no pink. When I sent the filet just a hair over MW, she complained it was underdone. When the server tried to explain the differences, she just got very defensive and said that is how she always gets it, and every other restaurant cooks it correctly. There is lots of humour in this thread as customers always want it their way - I've see people screw with flavour so much I don't really care if they want to change the dish - as any discerning palate would know, some flavours simply don't combine. One regular customer wanted melted cheddar on his grilled teriyaki salmon burger. Or the customer who always wanted a side of strawberry coulis for their prawn & scallop ceviche :-) One of the latest "crazes" is the invented food allergy! I can remember lots of examples - one of the most common real allergy is shellfish. And it is important to act as if they are always real, but the lady who said she was allergic to shrimp, so please add some prawns is NOT one of those examples. I personally blame Burger-King for all these customer re-inventing/changing menu items with their "have it your way" add campaign! I have always explained to the FOH to please inform the customer that by making asignificant changes to a menu item, they are dramatically slowing down the speed they will get their food. I would love to hear more of these humorous adecdotes. Cheers GB
  15. I don't mean to pick to many nits, but there often is several layers of "chefs" in a convential brigade - Executive Chef, Head Chef, Sous-Chef, Executive Sous-Chef at the level of management. In canada this labels get bastardized a lot - in a small restaurant with 75 seats the owner labeled his kitchen staff Executive Chef, Sous-Chef, then line cook (there were only 3 people in the kitchen). Then there is the new "Chef-de-Cuisine" that overseas all food production. You are right there is only one person in charge the kitchen, but that could be the sous-chef (2nd in command), the head-chef or even the executive chef. It all depends on the operation. The Red-Seal in Canada (imho) really only denotes a journeyman level cook - someone who hae completed apprenticeship. When I finished my apprenticeship in 1989 I was awarded the red-seal right away. When I interview prospective cooks I want them to have their journeymans papers as to me (again imho) it really only denotes their commitment to the industry and doesn't really state their cooking abilities. Cheers GB
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