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Everything posted by &roid

  1. We went to the French Laundry about 6 years ago and it is a memory I will have until I die. My first time in a 3-star restaurant, during the time when it was rated as the "Best in the World" (whatever that really means). Every part of the visit was brilliant and truly memorable - the ability to bring ten successive courses that each seemed better than the last was truly astounding. We had a great waiter who put us completely at ease, talking knowledgeably about not just the food but films, our home town, music... Even when things went slightly "wrong" it made us smile: they momentarily forgot to bring my glass of sweet wine to go with the foie gras course, cue fresh piece of brioche toast arriving just as the wine did (less than a minute after the mistake was noticed), just so I didn't have to suffer the imperfection of eating slightly cooled toast. They also managed a moment of comedy: bringing a $3500 lump of alba truffle to the table next to us, much pomp and ceremony, hand carved hardwood box, two wait staff, big fanfare then watching as the most expensive piece of food I've ever laid eyes on got fumbled after being grated to roll along the floor and under the table! I've enjoyed a lot of meals since then but this one really set the standard for uber-high end dining for me.
  2. I agree, that revised version looks a lot better. Better contrast in visual apperance as well as flavours. Onion soup and osso bucco are two of my favourite things in the world to eat. But both end up being pretty brown and meaty. I'm not sure that they'd be awful together, just that something like the second menu would give a lot more interest.
  3. Really simple this but it surprised me how nice it was. For a dip with middle eastern food just mix in some dried mint (which seems to work a lot better than fresh for this) and some really nice olive oil, possibly a little salt. tastes far greater than the sum of its parts.
  4. We're over in NY for a long weekend and had lunch at del posto today. It was fantastic, truly memorable - great service, beautiful room but above all some really really good food.
  5. Argh!!!!! I just can't take it any more, the pseudo-competetive crap is doing my head in. The cliches are just getting ridiculous. In fact I even came up with a drinking game while watching it today: down a shot every time we hear about a chef being "at the top of their game", "really feeling the pressure now" or (my favourite) "knowing that one slip now and the competition is wide open". I don't even remember the end of the episode and now my head hurts... SHOW ME SOME COOKING!!
  6. I'd say that you should just choose based on which crystals you prefer the shape/feel of. The salt in them is NaCl whichever way you look at it, the crystal shape/size can make quite a difference though.
  7. Surely this is the correct answer - everything else about the recipe is likely to be slightly different to how the original one was, the ingredients themselves will have different salt contents. So there's not likely to be any mileage in getting the amount of salt in the bouillon cube right to a tenth of a gram, just add it until it's right would be my suggestion too.
  8. I've got all three of the Thomas Keller books mentioned (ad hoc, bouchon and french laundry) and love each of them. they are nicely written and give a lot of good background information on what goes into the dishes. ad hoc and bouchon are perfect for everyday cooking but for what you want the french laundry one would be prefect. It will keep you happy for months! Ingredients-wise I've not had any problems with getting hold of things in the UK, it's all pretty standard stuff. It's a bit of an annoyance that everything is in cups/tablespoons when we all know that weights would be better, but hey.
  9. I'd say that the thickness of the rim of the glass has a far greater effect on my enjoyment of the wine than does the shape of the bowl. I love my Reidel glasses, but because of what they are made of not because I have 8 different types for different grapes. In fact, two types would do me forever, a flute for fizz and a nice generous large one for everything else.
  10. Ok, so I thought I'd give this a go. I've got a molecular gastronomy kit that I'd been given as a present last year which I thought had the right stuff to use here. I say thought as now I've tried it I'm not sure if something might be wrong! The carageenan isn't labelled as iota, just vaguely says "carageenans". Also, dumb question time, is citric acid the same as sodium citrate? I hope so because that's what I used. For the cheese I tried a combination of cheddar and pecorino. The mixture is currently cooling but it's really grainy and tastes pretty salty, any ideas which of the various things I might have messed up is likely to be the key here?
  11. It's basically full of MSG. http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2005/jul/10/foodanddrink.features3
  12. Interesting, i made some ny style pastrami before Christmas (standing outside in the snow, tending the BBQ was good fun!). Turned out very well but I was only able to get brisket rather than the navel plate they use at places like Katz's. What cut did you get from your supplier? Be interested to know how it turns out.
  13. ok so nearly 8 hours in the oven steaming and it's been stuck in the stall at about 170F for at least 4 hours... glad the oven will cook to a certain temperature and turn off - need to drive tomorrow morning and think I might be up till sunrise if I had to babysit it!
  14. Interesting stuff this and seems to make sense, how do you know when equilibrium has been reached though?
  15. I seemed to find such differing amounts in the various recipes on the net for this - Chef Fowke's recipe earlier in this thread called for THREE POUNDS of salt for a 7lb brisket which seemed like a mountain to me (what's that, like nearly 43%?). Does the amount in the dry cure matter as much as how long the meat is in there for? Not sure. Guess we'll find out soon... internal temp is upto about 180F right now, still feels very tight when I fork it so guess I'll need to wait a bit longer yet. Will report back later
  16. Happily smoking away in the snow (useful stuff, snow. piled some on the lid when it was getting a bit hot ): So, after four hours in the Weber (really can't do any more as its dark and about -7!) I've pulled it out: And brought it inside to finish cooking in the oven, its encased in a foil tomb, on a rack over some water, oven set to 250F to bring the internal temperature upto 185-190F over the next few hours.
  17. Temp finally gets down to below 250F and the meat goes in, I'm using oak chips, possibly mixed with some maple later (for no other reason than that's what I had in the cupboard!): We probably have about four hours of daylight left so I think I'll pull it out after that and finish it in the oven with steam.
  18. In the end I went with a 12lb brisket from a local Kosher butchers - seems the only way I can get one with enough fat on round here is to get from a kosher butcher. I followed this recipe for the dry cure: 3/4 lb kosher salt 1/2 lb ground peppercorn 1/8 lb white sugar 1/8 lb coriander seed (rough grind) 3 TBL ground clove 3 TBL ground bay leaf 2 TBL instacure (pink salt) and left it weighted in the fridge for 11 days, turning every day. After the curing (yesterday) I took it out of the fridge, rinsed thoroughly then soaked for 3 hours in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. I then ground up 1/3lb Peppercorns and 1/6lb corrainder seed and rubbed this well into the entire surface of the meat and stuck if back in the fridge overnight, weighted again. Here's how it looks this morning, ready to be cooked: As you can see, today is a perfect day for lighting up the Weber... Just waiting the BBQ to cool down now and the meat can go in...
  19. There is no wrong... only likes and dislikes. No, I'm sorry, that's just wrong! :biggrin: quite like my milk steamed like a cappucino in a hot chocolate.
  20. Peeling shallots. Can't stand it. Also, anything using a food processor - any joy at the efficiency of it is swallowed up by the mess of cleaning the damn thing afterwards.
  21. Looks really good. Cheeks have become my new favourite cut of meat this year, beef or pork have never been anything short of spectacular when I've cooked them.
  22. Just resurrecting this amazing topic having spent a whole evening drooling over it. I really want to make some pastrami but want to avoid the problems I've had with salt beef using brisket (ending up tasty but too dry). Does anyone have any tips what I should ask for in the UK to get what you guys call "plate" or "navel plate"? Looking at the diagrams on wiki, "brisket" in the UK seems to go further towards the back of the animal than it does in the US, i.e. it seems to encompass what you call the plate. How can I describe it so that I get the right level of fat to make a good pastrami?
  23. Link to the full sized SVS at just £349 in John Lewis: http://www.johnlewis.com/231061708/Product.aspx have to say I'm quite interested in one of these...
  24. Hmmmm, maybe that's it then, perhaps there was too much charcoal in there, I'll give it another go with some tighter packed smaller lumps only halfway up the chimney. Cheers guys... I'll be back!
  25. Hi crout, 1. The usual webber one. 2. Absolutely 3. Yup 4. Definitely, used solid lumpwood, sold as 'restaurant grade' so nice big pieces, probably used slightly more than the recipe to make sure it was properly hot, probably full to the top though with these big chunks that's not as much as it would be with briquettes/smaller lumpwood. 5. Well.... Sort of. It made noise and I could see spitting when I bent down to it, but when it came out after 1 1/2 mins it was still pretty pale brown, certainly got more appetising after it's time on the top but was definitely not charred. I think maybe I'll try it for longer periods of time with thicker steaks to see if that gets it nearer where it's meant to be. Hard to to fault the medium rare done-ness but not as mouth wateringly charred as I'd like it.
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