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Everything posted by Blamo

  1. The Introduction in The Man Who Ate Everything written by Jeffrey Steingarten (food writer for Vogue) details a 6 month process of eliminating all of his food phobias and dislikes. He writes, "For I, like everybody I knew suffered from a set of powerful, arbitrary, and debilitating attractions and aversions at mealtime. I feared that I could be no more objective than an art critic who detests the color yellow or suffers from red-green color blindness." After facing and debunking his food issues, he comes to the conclusion that only three non-harmful entities are inedible: hair, paper, and feather. I recently watched the Namibia episode of No Reservations. Tony Bourdain ate the partially cooked rectum (fecal matter still partially within) of a wild boar roasted in ash and a host of other parts, fur intact. The tribe extolled the rectum. They being a gracious host gave it to their guest of honor to eat. Their delicacy was Tony's ridicule. Even Jeffrey Steingarten's extremely liberal criterion for food consumption eliminates their luxury from the realm of enjoyable. We eat fashion that just happens to sustain life. Everyone has equal say in taste. That isn't to say that I don't enjoy the writings of specific food critics. I obviously enjoy Jeffrey Steingarten because he merges humor and food so well, and Raymond Sokolov for his anthropological understanding of food and of course his occasional metaphorical gem. He once referred to the gruyere upon his onion soup as a "ropey toupe" that he could do without.
  2. I've been watching Iron Chef since it was available in the US. Morimoto has always been one of my favorites to watch. It's amazing that he just gets better. I believe that was one of the best ICAs I've ever seen. He missed a perfect score by 1 point. The challenger scored like 50-52 pts which usually is enough to win. In the age of the celebrity chef, Morimoto truly deserves recognition.
  3. Use the search function with the key word hydrocolloids. You should get several threads. I'm sure something will apply to what you need. Additionally, here is a link to a hydrocolloid recipe collection: http://khymos.org/recipe-collection.php
  4. "Microorganisms are native to food products, for example - Salmonella is associated with chicken/poultry, E. Coli contaminates beef, etc. Boiling would kill most of those "bugs", but in SV we typically don't get into the boiling water temps (100C), so the solution is to remove ALL air and ALL oxygen ( 19-21% of air content), and pretty much "choke" the harmful microorganisms to death." I highly suggest you purchase a copy of On Food and Cooking if that is truly your understanding of food adulteration. "Vacuum is not required in SV cooking. And, ice is not required for ice skating.... Again, vacuum (the "vide") in Sous-vide is essential." The given name of an entity or action does not necessarily define or limit its action. I played American football this past weekend, but I didn't use my foot.
  5. Throughout 14 episodes of Top Chef season 3, Hung employed crude sous vide methods, using stove top burner, what looks to be an analog candy thermometer, and possibly without vacuum. His food amazed the judges, which eventually led him to win season 3. He used sous vide and spoke of sous vide so often that the editors of Top Chef season 3 pieced together a segment of Hung saying "sous vide" countless times in jest.
  6. Blamo

    Seafood Noob

    Mario Batali and Jamie Oliver fought a cobia battle on Iron Chef America a week or so ago. The show details preparation of cobia from living to dinner plate. In the end, Mario wins, or rather REIGNS SUPREME!
  7. Blamo

    Tire Shaped Meatballs

    http://www.activatg.com/ USE MEAT GLUE!
  8. Blamo

    Veal Breast

    You should make blanquette de veau in an effort to learn all of Raymond Sokolov's 101 Classic Recipes Everyone Should Know. It's not Raymond's recipe, but Daniel Boulud will do! here's a link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/reviews/103000
  9. My local grocer carries pomegranates and pomegranate juice, but it does not offer pomegranate molasses, which is what I would like to play around with. There are ample recipes for reducing pomegranate juice into molasses, but I would like to first experience a prepared molasses for a reference, kinda like eating Heinz Ketchup before making your own. Can anyone suggest a brand/type/specialty shop to order true pomegranate molasses from?
  10. I used this method a few nights ago as well. The result was a crisp surface and a fluffy potato center, all one desires in a french fry. This method is not without caution however. The fries will stick to the bottom of your frying pan if they are left completely unattended. My advice is to jostle the fries occasionally to prevent sticking. It seems obvious to say, but I personally made the mistake and had to scrap a few fries off of the pan surface. The majority, however, were delicious. Thanks Joel.
  11. I use two 40 liter Rubbermade tubs, one inside the other to provide stability and insulation. I cut an opening in one of the lids to prevent evaporation and heat loss.
  12. I wouldn't even consider making nachos if I didn't have a steady supply of El Ranchero chips produced in Chicago. These chips taste of corn and have a considerable thickness. They are delicious. http://www.consumatron.com/2006/10/el-ranc...salt-14-oz.html
  13. Because FN has no interest in providing material only the high-end crowd enjoys. We account only for such a small percentage of FN viewership that they systematically removed anyone with any culinary fervor and replaced those chefs/educators with the Rachael Rays, the Sandra Lees, and the Michael Chiarellos. FN initially thought home-viewers would enjoy watching and learning from true professionals. FN was wrong. The common viewer can't relate to artisanship and would rather watch Sandra Lee pour taco seasoning on dog food. That is why Anthony Bourdain is no longer on FN.
  14. Blamo

    Confit Duck

    I really have to thank those who put this thread together and those who have actively participated. The pictures alone helped me immeasurably, as I have never made confit of duck or confit of anything for that matter! Anyway, using CIA's The Professional Chef cassoulet recipe and the information found here, I treated my family to a terrific holiday meal. Ordinarily we'd have pizza!
  15. Blamo

    Dry-aged beef

    Vogue magazine's food critic Jeffrey Steingarten writes an in-depth article about USDA beef grading and dry/wet aging in his book It Must've Been Something I ate. I'd suggest purchasing and then reading the entire book for this information alone.
  16. Yes, unfortunately. I thought perhaps it was due to being unclean, so I took it apart and meticulously scrubbed each part. It's just as loud now as it was when it arrived from Ebay. Outside of the sound, it works perfectly fine. I've run it for as long as 12 hours straight, and it held temperature within .2-.3 degrees C (confirmed by a seperated thermometer).
  17. A fish tank filter designed for a 20 gallon tank has a low-end retail value around 20 dollars. I'm not saying that one should be used in conjunction with this new device. I'm just giving a general cost of a circulating device. Perhaps a filter doesn't fit the model perfectly, but a fish tank filter is certainly more complex than the circulation features on my Haake D8 immersion circulator, which is annoying loud unlike the pacifying sounds associated with a fish tank. My immersion circulator generates so much sound that I have resorted to purchasing two 10 gallon plastic storage tubs and lids (one sits within the other and the lid is cut for proper insertion of the circulator) and have moved my sous vide operation into my bathroom; more specifically, into my bath tub where the 10 gallon tub is easy to fill, easy to empty, and door easily shuts. The sound level has been lowered from that of a fire-breathing dragon to an overly excited neighborhood dog.
  18. Blamo

    Stupid Chef Tricks

    ahah yes! I also love how Rachael Ray says EVOO then immediately follows by saying extra virgin olive oil to explain to her viewers the abbreviation. WHAT IN THE HELL WAS THE POINT OF SAYING EVOO IN THE FIRST PLACE!
  19. "mock chicken legs" ... I just had a discussion with my mother about the very same cut of meat. While looking at a diagram of veal cuts, I came across the neck region and saw "city chicken", which refreshed childhood memories. My mother cooked this cut of meat for our family fairly regularly. I asked my mother why she stopped serving "city chicken". She said that the butcher retired and afterwards could no longer find it. The market that took the butcher's shop over replaced "city chicken" with some sort of ground pork on a stick, which I also enjoyed, but just wasn't the same.
  20. Blamo

    Stupid Chef Tricks

    The Professional Chef 8th edition states, "Roux can be combined with liquid in three ways. Cool roux may be added to hot liquid, cool liquid may be added to hot roux, or warm roux may be added to liquid of the sauce temperature."
  21. Blamo

    Dry frying

    I made a chicken caccitore (my mother's favorite) about a week ago and dry fried coarsely chopped white mushrooms in a heavy cast iron pan heated on high for 4-5 mins prior to putting them in the sauce. This technique really elevated the ordinary. My mushrooms actually had some flavor. Alton Brown suggests searing mushrooms in this manner in I'm Just Here for the Food and Michael Rhulman also writes about doing the same in The Elements of Cooking. Anyway, I would say that the mushrooms in the caccitore became more interesting than the chicken itself! Thanks Alton and Michael.
  22. There wasn't a pastry made during the holiday special that any foodie couldn't make or even possibly make better. There was absolutely no innovation. If anything the show highlighted what has become of FN. I'm half-surprised that instead of Kevin Brauch announcing they didn't replace him with Guy Fieri so that he could (inbetween tanning sessions) run over to Tyler Florence and proclaim, "That's money! Boy this egg nog ice cream puts the egg in egggsstaticl!"
  23. I rarely look in this set of forums, but am I glad I did tonight! It never even occurred to me to alter the flavor of the common marshmallow. Well, I gave Nightscotsman's recipe a shot. I didnt have strawberries or orange water around my place so I started off with a finely ground cinnamon and cardamon mixture ( tossed into the sugar and brought it up to 240 degrees). As I was waiting on the sugar to come up to temp, I saw that I had a granny smith apple on my counter so I pulled out this lemon juicer (basically a giant garlic press) and cut the apple up then juiced every molecule of water out of it that I could. The marshmallow came out perfectly! I couldn't believe it. The taste of the apple was subtle and the spices highlighted the natural sugar taste but didn't overwhelm. Even my brother who eats only pizza and cheeseburgers thought they were tasty.
  24. I have a similar issue. I live with my brother who pretty much only enjoys pizza and well-done cheeseburgers with no condiments/lettuce/tomato/onion! a few days ago, I made sous vide short ribs served with a bordelaise sauce and mushroom risotto. It turned out great although he would have been just as happy if not moreso if I just fried some hamburgers and made fries. UGH! I mean I love a good hamburger but come on. It does get frustrating.
  25. That would be the logical choice. I'm certain there are opportunities here in the US, and perhaps I should just find work in Chicago as I only live an hour or so away, but that takes away from the spirit of my journey. I want to expose myself to a different culture with the potential of exposing myself to several extremely varying cultures by just traveling half a day. The difference being that if I were to sample food from the Chicago area then travel 300 miles (roughly 500 kilometers) in any given direction I'd still be eating pizza only the crust would be thinner or perhaps my iced tea would be prepared with sugar. If I were to do the same using London as a focal point I could potentially end up in France, Germany, Ireland, Holland, Wales, Belgium, Luxembourg. Surely the difference amongst their cuisines is much greater and interesting than what the midwest United States has to offer, the thickness of pizza. As for working in London, yes, that would require a visa if I were being paid. I am unsure if the circumstance changes if I were to receive no pay. I will look into getting a visa once I get my passport. It would certainly be nice to be able to find paying work to extend my stay in England. If I can't get the visa what I do know is that a US citizen can travel in England for 6 months with only a passport.
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