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  1. I'm actually not one to talk! But what made me think about my comment was that many years ago, I made a sauce from Eric Ripert's book " A Return to Cooking" whose base was tomato water.. I just remember being surprised at how many tomatoes I needed to make enough tomato water for enough sauce for 4 people...
  2. Unless you're a tomato farmer, that must be one expensive bread!
  3. An urban farmer's work is never done...
  4. As others have stated, for chicken broth, 2 hours tops at a slight simmer. Also, I would tend to add the meat first, maybe with onion, but add any more delicate herbs like green onion or thinly sliced ginger, much later on - like towards the last half hour or so. Also, I think you need a lot more salt - one thing I find similar in all restaurant wonton soups is a much higher amount of salt than I generally use at home - but it's necessary if you want to recreate that taste accurately.
  5. If you're trying to imitate a westernized wonton soup broth, I'd definitely leave out the dried shrimp. I'd use a combo of garlic, ginger, green onion and white pepper... and don't skimp on the salt if you want to recreate what you get in the restaurant!
  6. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Yep... I once saw an interview with Popeyey's CEO when the NYC transfat ban went into effect. The interviewer asked how Popeye's was going to have to change its recipes and how they'd be impacted by the new laws (KFC had major problems dealing with it as they used to use some kind of shortening), but the CEO said that they wouldn't have to change a thing since they always fry in lard. And yes, I've always thought their biscuits were much better than KFC's - KFC's biscuit is like a giant cotton ball by comparison.
  7. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Keep in mind that some branches are better than others... just about all of them are better than KFC!
  8. The key to blanching is not the 10 minutes, but to start from cold and bring to a simmer. Once you're there you can dump it - no need to wait. Also, use the minimum amount of water possible to just cover the meat for the blanching... don't use tons of water.
  9. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    Be careful... Popeye's is addictive!!! There is one 5 blocks from my apartment, and a short way away from where I work... I have to make sure to stay away because once I get started.... I think what makes Popeye's so much better than the rest is the fact that they fry in lard...
  10. Most flavor doesn't get out of the meat into the broth until a long time... and most meat has a lot of impurities which don't taste so good. So you have a couple of options: 1) Don't blanch the bones but constantly skim skim skim skim as it cooks.... 2) Blanch for 10 minutes, throw out the water and rinse the skum off the bones then start over for real with less skimming needed This is stock making 101... any french cookbook will discuss this. Beef broth should simmer for like 8 hours for full flavor extraction. That's a long time and a pita to watch. I (and a lot of us here) take a shortcut and use the pressure cooker... then it only takes about an hour, and if you use a natural release, winds up with a really clear broth. In classical cooking, one can clarify soups/stocks by utilizing a raft - since the clarification also removes flavor, you commonly mix meat and veg into the egg whites to replace the flavor you might have lost. The steps are basically once you strain your stock, mix a couple egg whites and ground meat/veg and add to the cold stock (mix prior toadding). Bring up to a simmer - the raft materials will slowly float to the top - once it covers the whole surface, poke a hole in the middle and allow the broth to simmer up through the hole. Simmer for like 20 minutes, then gently remove the raft and strain. This is classically how you'd make consomme, which looks like a typical Chinese wonton soup base but will be much higher end. Also, if you want a lot of flavor in your soup, don't just use bones as you would for making stock, but add quite a bit of meat in there as well - that will add a lot of flavor.
  11. First - while kombu and bonito are the ingredients for dashi, the method is completely different. I usually put the 10g kombu per liter water and cook at 65degC for an hour. Remove the kombu, bring to a boil, dump in a big handful of bonito flakes, let sit for 30 seconds, then strain. In any case, dashi will not get you close to a pho or chinese wonton soup flavor because it would never be used in either. If you want to amp up the umami, try some dried shiitake mushrooms or msg. Lots of people on this forum love Red Boat fish sauce, but I think it's very expensive and completely not necessary if used in a broth or in anything other than finishing. Maybe it would be worth the expense in a cold dipping sauce (that's never been cooked). To me, it's kind of like using an XO cognac for cooking... personally, I like the Squid brand of fish sauce - which is like $4-5 per liter, or Golden Boy which is similarly priced. A homemade chicken broth will be orders of magnitude better than what's available at a chinese takeout place that uses boullion cubes or powder - but it won't taste the same if that's what you're trying to do. Kind of like making a high quality genoise and buttercream filling taste like a Twinkie. Also, the chinese takeout wonton soup broths are MUCH saltier than anything you'd make at home. I think you'd be surprised at how much salt is in this stuff. This is mostly because those boullion cubes are mostly salt.
  12. For the clearest broth, I use a pressure cooker with natural release - even though, true pho broth is never clear. I've had many bowls in 3 different regions of Vietnam and none of them have been clear. In one place in Hanoi, I was able to watch them making the broth and it was boiling vigorously, ensuring a cloudy emulsification of fats and proteins. In general, Hanoi style pho has an almost imperceptible sweetness and is barely scented with spices - it tastes mostly of meat. In Saigon, it varies but all the versions we had were sweeter than the Hanoi style, some by a large order of magnitude bordering on clawing (yet it was still packed with locals so it was a stylistic choice) and some were so heavy with spices that I could smell them in my head 30 minutes later. I would also say that none of the pho broths I've had in Vietnam were made from canned or powder - not so though for some of my local NYC shops where they cheat for sure. Regarding wonton soups - while many of the broths are based on a chicken broth, in Hong Kong, the broth was almost always made from shrimp (and the wontons were filled with shrimp as well). At many of the local NYC takeout joints, I know that some make their broth using a powder or bouillon cube (like Knorr) because they have showed it to me. I'm not saying they all do, but quite a few do. It seems like the ones that taste the strongest are most likely to use the boullion/powder.
  13. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    @ShelbyI figured you'd have a few dozen quail in your freezer from Ronnie's hunts, no?
  14. Depending on where you get your Chinese takeout from, many restaurants use a canned or reconstituted powder broth - they don't make it from scratch. Many of them are industrial products using ingredients unavailable to the home cook. With regards to pho broth, it gets even trickier since the broth varies wildly in Vietnam from North to South. The broth in Hanoi is typically quite different than in Saigon.
  15. Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    No problem... the only reason I was thinking about making my own was to make it healthier... many store bought prata are made with some kind of trans fat... this recipe uses oil - so you can use a mild olive oil or grapeseed oil and, theoretically, have a "healthy" prata, if such a thing could ever exist....