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Everything posted by thelawnet

  1. One problem with Cradle of Flavor is the recipes are for some reason made using Western shallots, rather than the Indonesian 'bawang merah'. The numerical quantities given are too low for the correct shallots (which are readily available in the west, at least as readily available as some of the other ingredients used at any rate - and much more aromatic and better flavoured than shallots), while the weight quantities are far too high. I suspect substituting three bawang merah for one 'shallot' in the given recipes is about right.
  2. thelawnet

    Rabbit + foie gras

    I've prepped rabbit before, and there was actually no foie gras in the dish. Rabbit is cheap and experimentation was the name of the game. Does China export rabbits? Here in England they are cheap and plentiful running around the fields. Sure. But it was lacking for this effort. It's not the end of the world, that the legs had already been removed. But no, not ideal, as I said in my post. Sometimes you just take what's available, altough the butcher I used is a good one and they sell game bought directly from hunters. We have good sharp knives, and there was no trouble taking off the tenderloin. The stuffing was nice too, double cream and pork belly contributing the necessary fat to the leg meat. The instructions given for cooking seemed rather implausible, certainly in retrospect, perhaps the caul fat would have made all the difference, but I think it was a problem beyond that. The preparation you describe is roughly the one I read. I've purchased farmed rabbit once before, I think it tends to come from France here, I didn't see the point particularly, given the much lower cost of wild rabbit, but maybe it's worth another go. OTOH, I'm not particularly keen to do so, I did pigeons yesterday and mallard today, and both were very tasty and seem a more fruitful starting point - I have no particular inclination to cook something I don't enjoy eating.... Anyway, foie gras may now be partnered with poulet de bresse, but I haven't quite decided....
  3. So, I have tomorrow arriving: Lobe De Foie Gras Cru De Canard 1er Choix ~500-700g Poulet de Bresse 1.50kg~ Does anyone have an up-to-date link for this recipe?
  4. thelawnet

    Rabbit + foie gras

    Well the rabbit was decidedly off-putting. Having taken off the tenderloin, everything else was braised and then put in a food-processor with some sauteed shallots, chanterelles and double cream, and roughly chopped. The recipe called for the loins to be stuffed with rabbit confit (no time for that, so the braised rabbit was used instead), wrapped in caul fat, and poached, wrapped in cling film. Unfortunately we didn't have any caul fat and didn't substitte anything for it, but basically the rabbit fillets were slightly tough (not too bad), but completely bland and flavourless. The problem I think is lack of fat - the braised rabbit was nice because of the double cream, bacon and pork belly, but the rabbit fillet had nothing. And essentially boiling it (well, poaching) a fatless meat just didn't work. Maybe the caul fat was supposed to melt into it? I have never used it. Anyway, it was so bland and flavourless that any thought of trying to repeat the recipe seem unlikely. Basically when you make a point of serving someone the best part of the animal, it's supposed to be tender and flavoursome, but this was tasteless and slightly tough, even if the rest of the dish was ok. I'm not sure if it could be tender and flavoursome if cooked better, but I don't really have much motivation to try again... I'm sure a farmed rabbit would be more tender, but they are comparatively expensive.
  5. The reason McDonalds can offer oatmeal all day long is that the oatmeal machine is not used for any other purpose. OTOH, they will not cook McMuffins at the same time as burgers as they share the griddle.... So no, no breakfast products beyond this.
  6. I am experimenting with rabbits, basically the idea is to have a sort of mix of peasant and luxury, this is for a cooking course, and is being cooked to a budget (albeit a somewhat generous one). The advantage of the rabbit is that it is somewhat technical (for assessment purposes) to bone the rabbit, remove the tenderloin, and so on. I have seen a number of recipes for stuffed rabbit tenderloin, basically the rabbit tenderloin is stuffed with something, wrapped in caul fat, and then poached and possibly seared as well. Gordon Ramsay has a recipe involving french trimming a couple of the rabbits ribs and serving these alongside the stuffed tenderloin, the rabbit I purchased were already cut up and this did not seem practical given their rather battered condition, but perhaps I will try this again when I get some more rabbits, this time hopefully whole.... Anyway, I currently have four rabbit tenderloin fillets and the rest of the rabbit is braising in the oven with some white wine (cider might be better here), pork belly, and vegetables. I am going to figure out somehow to assemble this when the rabbit is done.... I have a foie gras lobe arriving on Wednesday, for which I am going to acquire some more rabbits to cook with it, I wonder if anyone has any suggestions for how to integrate them? Simply searing the foie gras is one option, but rather uninspired.... Haven't handled foie gras before, so this is a new one. Due to the cost of the foie gras, it will not be possible to serve any more than 2 ounces of foie gras per person. Also I wonder if any one has any good sauce recommendations to go with it? I bought some nice blood oranges, I suspect they would overpower the dish though.... Otherwise, some kind of apple, or possibly a madeira sauce? The final dish needs to be refined, with fussy presentation, this is not country cooking....
  7. Ok, I might have some chicken stock also, commercial and home made. That will save some bother, specifically that it's now 4:45pm and the stock is going to take about 7 hours to make..... I think I have some game stock in th freezer too. I've actually put the oxtails in the oven already, but I'm sure it will be delicious with something else.
  8. As per the title, I have a Gordon Ramsay recipe for red wine sauce, to go with loin of venisons; the sauce specifies veal stock, which he makes of veal bones, Madeira and port. I have two options here, not having veal bones on hand nor in my local butcher. First is I bought some oxtail, and can make oxtail stock instead. Second option is to just use a commercial beef stock (long-life vacuum pack). Thoughts?
  9. Hi v. gautham, No offence taken . I have no doubt Oseland's work is a very fine book on its own, but I already own Sri Owen's and Yasa Boga's books on Indonesian cuisine (there are two books on Indonesian cuisine, one focusing on main dishes, soups, salads, and noodle and rice, and the other on snacks sweet or savoury, written by 4 Indonesian ladies active in local [indonesian] publishing circles, and they call the grouping Yasa Boga. The two titles are published by Singapore's Marshall Cavendish Ltd) that have the truly Sumatran preparation of rendang and Javanese interpretations, and I do have Christopher and Terry Tan's Shiok, and Mrs Leong Yee Soo's series on Singaporean cuisine and Mrs Lee Chin Koon's Mrs Lee's cookbook that have the Singaporean/Nonyan preparation, and am receiving Betty Saw's book which should be the Malay version. Oseland's book will probably offer not much new materials for my case. I have no doubt he will have many good tales and kitchen tips, but to me it doesn't justify spending US$35 for me, unfortunately. ← I have two of Sri Owen's books as well as a dozen or so locally published ones. Oseland's book is much the best. Owen's recipes lack spicing, Oseland's are much tastier.
  10. I have some frozen conch. Any good recipes?
  11. I think there's some confusion here. The literal meaning of CKT is indeed fried rice noodles. But in Malaysia and Singapore at least, CKT has a more precise definition. It specifies a set of ingredients and a method of preparation that are unique and instantly recognized. The room for variation is limited. If the recipe is altered beyond a certain point, it can no longer claim to be CKT. Would you make the argument that mie tiao goreng is the same dish as pad thai? ← They are very similar in flavour. Pad thai really doesn't taste anything like either of them. I think it's the same dish
  12. thelawnet


    It is near identical to fresh ginger in usage and handling. Remove the thin skin, and mash it up into a paste. I guess 10g peeled is probably about the same as a teaspoon, although much nicer.
  13. That's why what you described is known as "mie tiau goreng" and not "char kway teow" which is the topic of this thread .... ← It's the same dish..... It's like the guy who says he went to French restaurant and didn't eat frogs, he ate grenouilles. "mie tiau goreng" means fried flat noodles, and so does char kway teow. Same meaning, same dish, different executions in different places.
  14. the problem in Indonesian cake making is the low-grade ingredients. There is no tradition of dairy/butter, so cakes are made with margarine and oil. You can forget the idea of finding beautiful patisserie made with cream and liquers, even if they look nice the ingredients are still low grade and there are just not the trained pastry chefs who understand how to make rich western cakes. In addition, a lot of traditional cakes are steamed, as there's not necessarily ovens in people's homes. Indonesian cakes are an acquired taste.
  15. In North Sumatra it is known as 'mie tiau goreng' (where mie is noodle and goreng is fried). The fresh mie tieau (which are the flat rice noodles, and ALWAYS fresh, never dried) are covered in sweet soy sauce (not swimming, but just adhering to the surface, given the stickiness of sweet sauce this happens easily) and then fried in a paste of fresh shallot, garlic, ginger and chili (the ginger is the key taste (along with the sweet soy sauce), the only spice beyond the obligatory chili/garlic/shallot triad). It is served with kerupuk (prawn crackers) and sliced cucumber. It often contains either chicken, egg, or prawns. Never cockles or anything weird like that.....
  16. thelawnet


    While that's true, powdered turmeric (along I guess with salt) is the one ingredient with which it is easiest to ruin a dish. Adding an extra teaspoon of coriander, cumin or whatever is much less likely to make a dish taste unpleasant than turmeric. Most commercial 'curry powder' is turmeric-based, leading to a flavour that tastes cheap and unrefined. That is why you are always much better off with more complex spice blends (either commercial or self-made) that depend on spices that aren't quite so brash, cardamom, cumin, mustard seeds, etc. Anyone who is not familiar with turmeric is advised to use great caution and restraint (e.g., half a teaspoon) until they are familiar with its use. And I definitely recommend the fresh stuff.
  17. thelawnet


    Tasteless? You must be kidding. Any more than about a teaspoon of powdered turmeric destroys most dishes. It's a strong flavour that is not all that nice. I prefer to always use fresh tumeric root which does not have the harsh flavour of powder.
  18. It is the BUD that is used in those countries, and is reasonably well documented outline. Picture of the bud at left here - which is somewhat prevelant in Oriental shops in the West http://home1.pacific.net.sg/~ccchia/pict20.html I am more interested in the seed pod, which as far as I can see is not documented in any source at all, despite being part of the cuisine of at least a million people, and the seeds being very tasty, it seems odd to me that all these people in Malaysia and Thailand do n ot use it. I guess it has perhaps not occurred to them, but it seems a slightly trivial piece of experimentation of throwing the fruit in the pot - compared with my recent trip to Grenada, where the lovely smell of the fleshy nutmeg carapace makes it unsurprising that it is used to make jam, but equally unsurprising that has only been done relatively recently, given the greater effort required to make jam from shells as against adding seeds to cooking
  19. I just cooked my first recipe from this book. The ayam panggang sulawesi was delicious, and not a technique (pre-cooking) I've come across in Indonesia. The bumbu was delicious authentic-tasting - Indonesian chicken bumbu is always turmeric-based. We had no lemon grass so substituted grated kaffir lime and dried (largely tasteless) galangal. I was a bit surprised about tying lemongrass in knots. I couldn't particularly see the point of this, although I guess it is artistic. Just a good bruising with the side of a cleaver and splitting into two would seem more effective at eliciting the citral. We also lacked fresh turmeric so used dried - somewhat sacrilegious in Indonesia, where I recall taking my mother-in-law to an Indian restaurant where she was not impressed with the taste, telling me that 'Indians make their curry from powder'. Just a comment on chilis, the chilis used were 'cabe merah', as per http://indonesianfoodmart.com/catalog/cabe...3dd3af0ad0e1468 I think the Indonesian variety are a little longer than the Thai ones that we seem to get in the UK, although certainly the same shape. My mother-in-law did insist that the chilis weren't as tasty when she visited as the ones back home. These are the most important chili used for nearly all foods. The second chili used is 'cabe hijau' (green chili), which is the same size and shape as cabe merah but green in colour They are used for dishes requiring the less fruity taste sweet characteristic of this red chili. They can be used in huge quantities to bring out the distinctive green chili flavour - requiring an Indonesian stomach for chili. The final chili required is 'cabe rawit' (birds eye chili). THese are tiny, not used for cooking, just for sambal and should be chewed on while eating to add extra spice. Strictly for the experts.
  20. I wonder if anyone has any experience of torch ginger. The buds are widely used in Malaysian cuisine, but in Indonesia they also use the seed pods to make sayur asam. Here is a picture of the seed pods http://www.viveroanones.com/vawebsite/Phot...y%20GINGERS.htm (bottom left, 'Red Torch seed pod') Those pictured are rotten, except for maybe the ones at the bottom. When sold in the markets of North Sumatra they would be firm and fresh. They are bruised and split and the seeds use to impart a delicious sour flavour to fish and chicken dishes. I can found no record of the seed pods being used anywhere else other than North Sumatra, and wonder if anyone can comment. I would also quite like to grow the plant, but I guess indoor cultivation would not be practical to achieve any viable yield.
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