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society donor
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Everything posted by nickrey

  1. Can't see why myself. Wine, brandy, etc. add flavours from either fermentation or maturation in barrels that remain when the alcohol (mostly) disappears. Anyone who says don't put anything other than superior wine in your food is someone who is not used to balancing flavours in cooking. Put a reasonable drinking wine in the food by all means -- keep the good ones for drinking. Pure alcohol, suitably diluted with water, is basically vodka and is mostly tasteless: It, is a sweet, volatile, non-descript flavour. I can't see what it would add to food. Bourbon has cask flavours and sweetness -- the alcohol basically adds zip. I'm definitely open to persuasion on this one but, prove it. Someone expressing it as an opinion is less than convincing. I'm sorry, I don't believe.
  2. At a club. We use their commercial kitchen. The dinner above cost $120 per head, including the wine. Needless to say we’re not paid to cook.
  3. I have just recently finished my term as President of the Wine and Food Society of New South Wales, which was formed in 1939 as a vehicle to encourage and facilitate the association of people interested in fine wine and food. It is a male-only member club at which each week a different member cooks for his fellow members, with numbers of diners ranging from 25 to 50. I was also formerly Foodmaster. Each year the Foodmaster chooses six to eight main courses that he considers to be the best meals of the year and we hold a cook off with members rating each of the competing meals. From this, the chef cooking the top meal wins the Chef of the Year Award. We also have an award for the top seafood dish as well and, from this year, an award for the best cheese accompaniment. Winning the award is an honour, but it also brings the task of cooking at the next year's Chef of the Year Award evening. This time with appetisers, entree, main, cheese, and a dessert course. The function is mixed and this year had 67 attendees. Unusually this year, we also had three chefs as with COVID lockdowns, we have not been able to hold the function for a number of years. I cooked the main course, while my colleagues cooked the appetisers, entree, and dessert. The appetisers were: Three cheese Gougères. Prawn Cocktail on a rice cracker: Chèvre and Tartufata Tartlets: Entreé (this is not a main course in Australia) was Confit Salmon (also cooked sous vide) with a herb beurre blanc sauce: The main was duck three ways: the cheese was Beaufort (no picture) The dessert was Lemon Tart with Lemon and Basil Sherbet and Cointreau marinated blueberries: The accompanying wines were from the Society's cellar (which is around 9,000 bottles) and were served in the following sequence: Photo Credit: Paul Irwin. I also won the Chef of the Year and Seafood dish of the year with this seafood sausage dish (not cooked sous vide) so I will be cooking again next year for this function. The dish was a homemade seafood sausage made from hand diced salmon and ocean trout, smoked trout, egg white, cream, and pork back fat. Served on a Mooloolaba jumbo prawn with a tarragon beurre Blanc sauce. There was also a mango salsa, Canadian scallop, butter-glazed snow peas, and deep-fried forty-layer potato pavé with crème fraîche and Beluga caviar.
  4. Dinner for 67. Duck three ways: Confit (82C for eight hours) on put lentils with a red wine and duck jelly jus, Duck spring roll (confit plus carrot, green onion, enoki mushrooms, and peking duck sauce), and duck egg (62.5 for two hours) used as the fat component on a side salad that had been lightly sprayed with balsamic vinegar. Photo Credit: Paul Irwin.
  5. Where I grew up in South Australia, it was called Yiros. Obviously SA Greeks translated the word differently to those in Melbourne. It is lamb, chicken, or pork
  6. Kenji has a technique that I hadn't seen before, which is using a gas blow torch while wok cooking inside to give Wok Hei. I've done this and it works marvellously. With even one more tip like this, the book is going to be worth buying. For those who comment on his style, how many new techniques does he need to come up with? Even one is an advance in cooking! I see that there is an eGullet topic on this from 2020
  7. I have all methods of cooking at my disposal, including sous vide. Today I had the most moist chicken I have ever had courtesy of my newly purchased air fryer. Delicious. Next time I’m going to brine the chicken.
  8. You should have tried growing up in South Australia. In summer, the temperatures often reached 40C (or 100F). The milk left out in the playground in bottles was horrid by the time we drank it at morning recess.
  9. Your way should be fine. you are trying to achieve an outcome rather than slavishly adhering to directions. As said above, it would just take longer. Another way to achieve the same result more speedily is to ladle the liquid into a gravy separator jug. The fat rises to the top and the liquid poured off from the bottom of the jug would be similar to that achieved when skimming the fat off in the original recipe. Then return to the pan less the fat and thicken to the desired reduction.
  10. If you don’t you can get the big char marks. It’s six turns in a minute. How much faster can food get?
  11. You’re about 30 seconds over. Mine take around 60 seconds. The base is solid after 10 seconds. I try to turn around six times.
  12. After trying one peel and making a mess of it, I now use two peels. The Ooni peel has a thin edge than goes under the pizza easily. I use this to go under the pizza and bring it to the front of the oven. I then insert another round peel under the pizza at around a 30-40 degree angle. I then take the second peel off the first with the pizza on top, straighten it so the pizza is turned the angle and put it back in the oven. The whole process is very quick and allows you to turn the pizza every ten seconds or so during cooking to ensure even spots.
  13. When I was a kid, it was called a Chinese gooseberry not a kiwifruit.
  14. This was taken with an iPhone 5. In my kitchen, hand held, natural light. I'm finding composition and framing most important for presenting food. Here, for example, I've cropped it such that there is enough space for you to want to slide your hand under the oyster from the front to pick it up and eat it.
  15. I just purchased the Ooni Koda 12 inch version and am very pleased with results. This was my second ever pizza in the oven. I use my sourdough starter (which I keep in the fridge). Starter is 50% hydration. It is fed every two to three days. Recipe as follows: Feed starter in bowl (100g flour, 100g water), set out at room temperature covered with wet cloth for 24 hours. Recipe for dough for two 12 inch pizzas (linear scale up if you want to make more). 319g (Caputo Blue) flour 100g starter 186g water 10g salt. I use my Thermomix to make the dough. Add all elements except the salt. Bring together. Let sit for half an hour. Add Salt. Run for 2 minutes 10 seconds on dough setting. Transfer dough to pre-oiled bowl. I then put the dough into Brod & Taylor proofer at 27C for two hours. Then into refrigerator overnight, again covered. Take out two hours before making pizza, divide into dough balls, cover and let rise. The hydration is perfect for the heat of the Ooni oven.
  16. Asian foods are now commonplace in our supermarkets. I went to our local store the other day looking for Panko breadcrumbs and found that they had been moved from their former place in the Asian specialty section to the breadcrumb location. They do the same with sauces. It’s a great move forward.
  17. A bit late to the party on this one. Just a few observations: Entree describing a main course was always just a US quirk that made no sense to me. I made the foreigner’s mistake on a visit once of ordering two entrees thinking they were both appetiser size to get a taste of two different types of food. That it is emerging in usage in the UK is abhorrent to me. Barbecue (Barbeque, BBQ, etc.) is a word that has many different meanings around the world, and apparently even within the USA. Saying one meaning is correct is perhaps very inward looking. We used to have a show called the Cook and the Chef on our national broadcaster. The “cook” was a national treasure called Maggie Beer, who ran her own restaurant for years and was most definitely a “chef.” I think the cook label was to differentiate her from the “chef,” and make her more relatable to the viewers.
  18. In Australia the salad is always served either as a side dish to accompany the main course or on the plate as part of the main course. When we are tourists in the US, it is often a stand-off with the server as we will not have the salad until the main course arrives while the server won't deliver the main course until the salad is eaten.
  19. My mother, and most of her contemporaries, used a product called Gravox. The trauma is almost gone (but please don't mention pressure-cooked vegetables). If I want a sauce and don't have any home-made stocks, I'll use a stock that comes ready-made in a tetra-pak. Simply reduce, add vinegar/mushroom powder for umami/worcestershire sauce/whatever, thicken with a pure starch such as potato if necessary and voila, (almost) instant sauce. You can also add green peppercorns or fried mushrooms if you wish. Please don't call it gravy though, it brings back too many less than pleasant early food memories.
  20. nickrey

    Paella—Cook-Off 31

    Good chance to post a picture of a Paella I did for 20. Towards end of cook then after eating before continuing to enjoy Soccarat.
  21. So sorry to hear this. She was a lovely lady who was always bright and cheerful. I'll miss her posts. Condolences to friends and family.
  22. If you are looking for serious umami, you can't go past kombu (dried sea kelp, mostly Korean these days). Simply put a piece or two in your cold stock for three hours or so before cooking. You could also gently heat the stock and put the kombu in the warm stock (do not boil). Using sea kelp with seafood seems appropriate.
  23. The Coronavirus lockdown has led to some interesting consequences. The other day there was a full page advertisement for pasta flour in our National newspaper, The Australian. Shows just how many people are now making their own pasta at home.
  24. Cara Hobday. Food presentation secrets : styling techniques of professionals.
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