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Posts posted by TheSwede

  1. ...

    You can see Keller's evolution by comparing his new "Under Pressure" book as well.  His new book is very different from his French Laundry cookbook, as his food now looks very modern, almost El Bulli-ish in style and presentation. 


    You can actually see this evolution even with el Bulli itself. The recipes in A Day at el Bulli (from 2008) are magnitudes more complex than the ones in the el Bulli 2003-2004 cookbook.

  2. I checked my copy of Pierre Hermé's Macaron. It has a number of recipes for semi savory macarons like foie gras, black truffles, oscietra caviar etc. Even if the filling has little or no sugar in it, Hermés still uses the same basic 50/50 mix of almond flour and icing sugar mixed with an italian meringue for the shell.

  3. This was the first episode where I actually bothered to go look at the recipes. The judges comments on Jamie's scallop dish and Stefan's braised cabbage were just too intriguing.

    Top scallop indeed... "Sublime" was the comment from the french pastry chef, whatever his name was.

  4. I'm certainly no master baker like a lot of the posters in this thread, but in my limited experience the advice below is very important:


    Starting off in a hotter oven - About 25 to 50 degrees higher than recommended. Adjust the baking times around the minimum.


    You need a HOT oven to get oven spring. You can always turn down the oven after 10-15 mins. Preheat your baking sheets.

  5. I did the lobster with vanilla beurre blanc sauce. The combination was stunning!

    The recipe for the sauce is as follows:

    2 finely chopped shallots, 50 g lobster stock, 50 g white wine vinegar, 100 g white wine, 1 split vanilla pod. Reduce to half. Remove from heat, strain (or just remove vanilla pod). Emulsify 100 g cold butter cut in cubes. Salt and white pepper to taste. Be careful with the temperature, you don't want the sauce to get either too hot or too cold. Personally, I add the butter just before serving and work the sauce on and off over a steaming pan.


  6. Was going to a party, but girlfriend caught a cold so we are staying home. Upside with that is that I will do the cooking so the food will probably be better... ;) Although girlfriend probably won't be able to taste it. :(

    Starting with raw tuna and water melon slices, soy sauce, a touch of rice vinegar (had something similar at a restaurant - had to try it at home)

    Then lobster with vanilla beurre blanc (sounds so strange I had to try it), potato discs "parisienne", leeks,

    Transparency of manchiego cheese (from Alinea - of course inspired by Carol at alineaathome.com)

    Lastly Caramel Popcorn, liquiefied (also Alinea, see above. Not a proper dessert really, but another recipe I wanted to try)

    I have a nice bottle of Bollinger in the fridge to go with the first two courses, then we can switch to a port or madeira.

  7. I wonder to what extent natural truffle aroma is even fat soluble?

    It is certainly soluble in water and I've read that alcohol is an excellent carrier for truffle aroma, but fat?

  8. I've read the same things as you. Serve white truffle raw over hot food, cook black truffle (but only briefly). The reasoning is presumably that the more discreet aroma of black truffle will develop by a brief heating and also that the aroma is robust enough to allow it to infuse sauces etc.

  9. I just got "A day at el Bulli". While it is not just a cookbook, it is certainly the most affordable way to get your hands on a lot of el Bulli recipes (GBP 20, USD 40 or so).

    It is also the most up to date recipe collection in english, featuring recipes from 2005 and newer. Most of them are probably from 2007-2008.

    What struck me was how much more complex the "main courses" are compared to the 2002-2004 cookbook. Some of them are incredibly complex, featuring ten or more separate components, each component requiring extensive preparations.

    I also realized how much more enjoyable reading a cookbook is when you don't have to refer to a CD-rom för the recipes.

  10. Steep some lime zest or lemongrass in (hot?) water and mix with the coconut milk, perhaps add some lime juice. Just foamed coconut milk might be a little too bland?

    I assume your soup is cold since it is an gazpacho? Then it might be a bad idea to use coconut milkt at all, since the fat in the coconut milk might go solid and leave a greasy residue in your mouth.

  11. I dont know why people keep calling foam air.  Something isn't and "air" until you vaporize it.  Just because you are trapping air inside peptid and lipid bonds doesn't make it "air" it is just aerated.


    The air and foam terminology is one minted at Ell Bulli if I remember correctly. To distinguish between ISI whipper foams (espumas in spanish) and the much lighter foams you get with lecitin and an immersion blender, they came up with the name "air" for the latter. And of course it sounds cool on a menu too. Even if it isn't strightly an "air", I'm ok with the terminology.

    Edit: I've actually had real scented air accompanying a resturant dish once. It was liqorice air that came in big plastic bags together with a scallop dish. The bags had small holes cut in them and was placed under light pressure when the dish was served.

    So, ok, there might be a terminology problem.

  12. I'm quite narrow minded when it comes to my tea. I only drink Twining's loose leaf Earl Grey. :blink: I brew it with the tea straight into the pot and usually don't bother with a strainer when pouring. I also absolutely despise Twining's Earl Grey tea bags.

    (The above isn't strictly true. I happily drink green tea in japanese restaurant and gladly drink whatever I'm served if I'm eg having tea and scones at a café. But if I'm in charge of the arrangements, then Twining's Earl Grey it is.)

  13. ...for hot stuff, you'd want the nitrogen cartridges, not the CO2 unless you want to carbonate your foam as well... hehe

    You want to use the nitrous oxide for cold stuff too, trust me. See my post above about the foie gras foam. It tasted quite awful from the CO2 I used by mistake. Quite acidic and with a distinct taste of mineral water.

    Unles you specifically want to go for the carbonated effect (fruits, beverages), stay way from CO2.

  14. ...

    The Osso Buco came to the table pretty quickly, and tasted somewhat dry.  I suspect the meat was prepared earlier and then just warmed over for table service.  I also suspect that this happens frequently in many restaurants, and that in and of itself is not a bad thing, and that the execution is the main consideration.  Comments?

    Since Osso Buco is braised (say for two hours or so), it has to be prepared in advance. As you say, that is not a bad thing. Many slow cooked dishes will actually taste even better if they are prepared the prevous day and then reheated.

    It is not a hard dish to make - cook it yourself! I f you take the time to do it properly, the result will probably be better than what most restaurants will serve.

  15. Had an interesting experience this weekend. I was going to make a vanilla scented foie gras foam to serve as an appetizer.

    (Basic recipe here: http://www.isinorthamerica.com/recipe/print/print_18.html )

    However, I managed to charge the whipper with carbon dioxide (CO2) instead of nitrous oxide without noticing. The charges look exactly the same and the boxes are very simlar too.

    A couple of hours later I'm serving the foam in glasses (together with a sprinkling of home made crushed peanut brittle on top). The foam looks ok, a little bit uneven, but ok. But as soon as I put the first spoon in my mouth I notice something is wrong. The foam tingles on my tongue! A distinct tingling I recognize from my experiments with carbonized fruit. The second thing I notice is that it tastes pretty bad. Very acidic and a distinct taste of sparkling mineral water.

    Not recommended!

    But we were probably the only ones in the greater Stockholm area eating carbonized foie gras that night... :biggrin:

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