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Everything posted by trillium

  1. So did you use congealed duck's blood or did you go with pork blood for your soup?
  2. Perhaps an incentive to cook whole chickens? Anyhow, I'm sure your stock was delicious in hot and sour soup, the strong flavors probably stand up just fine to the chicken flavor. I guess it's more important in Cantonese food where things are a lot more delicate. The method for making stock is to use whole chickens or chicken parts of your choice and filtered water. The trick to keeping it clear and light is to never let it boil, just a very fine simmer. Hmmm...I mostly do it by look and taste to decide when it's "done". I'll bet one of my cookery books has a part on making clear stock (sometimes it gets called first stock because then you can make cloudy stock by boiling the hell out of the bones), I'll look it up and report back. If fat is an issue, this may not work for you, since a traditional stock isn't skimmed, lots of flavor is in the fat. regards, trillium
  3. oops. I meant to say canned onions or garlic...not tomatoes! I love Muir Glen canned tomatoes or my own canned pomarola any time tomatoes are not in season. regards, trillium
  4. I put another vote in for you to try Blanton's. It's my current favorite for sipping neat, not too sweet and not too hot (I'm not fond of Booker's (too much ethanol to taste the flavors...better with a little water) or Wild Turkey Rare Breed (blech, too sugary)). I dabble with the Rip Van Winkles, and Old Granddad, but always come back to Blanton's. I use Maker's for all those yummy bourbon mixed drinks. See below for my favorite cocktail site, use the virtual blender to find bourbon cocktails you may not have tried. Cocktail archive from Hotwired As for thanksgiving, it's lots o' bourbon for the pecan tart and brandy (RMS usually) for the pumpkin pie. I find fresh pumpkin too delicate for the amounts of bourbon I can't help but pour in, whereas brandy doesn't overpower the pumpkin. regards, trillium
  5. This may be obvious, but whenever we buy a whole chicken (which is at least 2x a month) we cut it up and throw the back and neck into a ziploc bag in the freezer. Nobody actually likes eating the back, right? I think there are 8 backs in there right now, languishing while I wait for a cool day to make stock (not while temps are above 70, I'm a heat wimp, which is why I was so happy to move to Portland). Also, I hate to say this, but the sort of stock you made isn't really suitable for traditional Chinese cookery, which calls for a nice clear, delicate stock without browned chicken overtones. Of course, you may know this and just prefer the heavier taste, but when traditional recipes call for stock, it's a very light clear one that is implied. Also, I tend to prefer adding my aromatics to the dish, not to the stock. I think the flavors get "muddy" quite easily and don't do well in the freezer, but then I refuse to eat anything that has canned onions or tomatoes in it either, so maybe I'm a snob! One last thing, go for the cleaver. We have a really great old Sabatier cleaver from way back when they did hand grinding to sharpen and polish it. It could fell a small tree. It's not a Chinese one for meat, but French, with a lovely curve to the back so that all of your force is shifted downwards to the tip of the blade. It's great for doing any butchering. It's funny you want to hack duck to bits, the partner, who is ethnic Chinese, admires the western way of cutting fowl, with those huge pieces of meat and no bone bits! regards, trillium
  6. So I would have never given away that half empty bottle of Amer Picon before moving the the left coast if I had known that there is no longer a US distributor for this fine amaro. Yes, there are other nice amari out there and I'm ordering some from Sam's Wine & Spirits but I NEED Amer Picon too....however will I have my Picon Punch when the skies grey up and it gets wet and cold if I can't find Amer Picon? I'm hoping someone has seen some in their travels and can pass the info onto me, so I can go hunt it down. regards, trillium
  7. Another trick is to let the fowl (cornish, duck, turkey, chicken, etc) dry over night in the fridge by putting it on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet after you've brined it. Of course, you need lots of space in your fridge, but it makes the skin crackle when you roast it. regards, trillium
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