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Everything posted by &roid

  1. Made the best pancakes I have ever made this morning: Mix the following into a batter: 115g plain flour 3 egg yolks 2 heaped tsp baking soda 170ml buttermilk (plus a splash of water if it looks too dry) Whisk the 3 remaining egg whites to stiff peaks then fold these in to the batter gently. Fry over a medium heat in a little oil or butter and serve with smoked bacon and maple syrup :) perfection. The whisked egg whites and baking soda really add a superb lightness to them though they HAVE to be eaten immediately, never had a problem with that mind!
  2. I've made it and found it pretty easy though also very longwinded, the results were good but I'm not sure quite justified the amount of time it takes. The meat ends up very very soft and some of our diners found that detracted somewhat from the 'steakiness' of it. I think a bit of chew is no bad thing in a steak. It's such a large piece of meat that I'm not convinced you need to go to such lengths - have had much more enjoyable and considerably quicker results from taking a rib of beef, charring it as quickly as possible on a gas grill then finishing it in a low oven (120C seems to work fine) until the core temp comes upto 52C then resting well. I love the taste of charred meat and with such a thick cut it's perfectly possible to do this while leaving a large amount of perfectly cooked flesh beneath.
  3. Went through quite a lot of different types of flour trying to get the no knead recipe right, the very high gluten content in the Canadian stuff from waitrose seems to give a lovely crisp crust with a nice chewiness - you get REALLY dramatic in-oven bubbles too, looks and tastes very good for the tiny amount of effort needed. Thiss flour seems to take a lot more water too - 750ml per 1000g is a lot wetter dough than most of the no knead recipes I tried first.
  4. No need - you can do it easier and better yourself! One of my favourite finds on eGullet has been the no-knead bread recipe. Never quite managed to get a whole loaf that was how I wanted it but for pizzas, garlic breads or little dinner rolls it's perfect. You'll find the thread somewhere on here but in short all you need to do is mix the following ingredients using a big spoon then leave it for between two and five hours somewhere warm. You can use it straight away or get an even better flavour by keeping it in the fridge for a while (successfully upto about three weeks for me). It works with all sorts of different flours but this particular combination gives great results: 1000g Waitrose extra strong Canadian bread flour 750ml hot water from the tap 25g salt 12g dried active yeast Just mix till the flour is all incorporated into the water then cover partially with a plate and leave somewhere warm until it's risen to fill the bowl and gone shinier and smoother, to be honest I was amazed that it gets to this consistency without any kneading at all, but it really does. When you're ready to make a pizza just cover your hand in flour, grab a good handful and pop it in the middle of an oiled and floured sheet of foil, dump loads more flour on top then roll it out as thin as possible. Top how you like then cook on a well preheated pizza stone in a really hot oven -perfect pizza at home with little or no effort EDIT: just been back through this thread and have seem that this sort of recipe has already been suggested using different American flours, if you've got a waitrose near you then give it a go using the above quantities it really is foolproof.
  5. As you have pointed out the paper claims are pretty much worthless unfortunately so it's going to be difficult to be sure about the noise level without hearing the hoods in action.
  6. Does seem a bit strange doesn't it, any way, I've decided that I'll do a little experiment. I've got some completely sealable containers so I've pulled the meat and put it in those, in one of them I've added back in a little of the cooking liquid but the rest I've left as they are (i.e. dry-ish). I'll see which seems best in the morning. At least this way I've got a nice easy job of de-fatting the liquid tomorrow and can decide what to do with the second overnight storage before finally serving/eating this great looking food on saturday Thankfully our weather forecast at the moment looks more like autumn/winter than summer
  7. Exactly what I'd always thought but these two comments made me wonder:
  8. I've read through all of the sections of this amazing labs session and I've just finished my first attempt at braising short ribs. one question I have is how best to store the meat/juice overnight. There are a couple of posts in the Q&A that mention the idea of separating the meat from the liquid overnight, problem is I can't find any more information on this. Is it really the best way? All I've ever read before (especially things like McGee) seem to suggest that cooling an storing meat IN the juice is the best idea as it somehow rehydrates the beef, is this wrong? top marks to any quick responses as I'm going to have to go to bed soon!
  9. Right, not sure how "July 4th" fried chicken is but woke up this morning and decided to do a meal from your side of the atlantic tonight. I read through most of this thread and went shopping. decided to do the recipe from martha stewart but had to cheat a bit and only had the chicken in the buttermilk for about 2 hours (I'm so bad at planning ahead with food!). I used 50:50 vegetable shortening (Trex) and Beef dripping and intended it to be a semi-shallow fry approach but really it was deep-frying. I cooked it at about 350F for 10 minutes or so which left the dark meat amazingly juicy and tender, white meat was a bit far gone for me after about 8 minutes in the second batch. The coating was amazingly crisp, a bit overly dark for me and could have been better seasoned, also it had a bit of a taste of burnt flour about it - does this all sound like I should try a lower temperature next time?
  10. I've had a Wolf pro wall hood for the last 8 months or so - a PW362418 with an 81131 900cfm internal blower. I use it over a 36" wolf cooktop which goes upto about 50-60,000 BTU with all 5 burners on full. Not sure how much it would cost in the states but it was about £1500 here in the UK so may be above budget (though you can get less powerful motors than the 900cfm one I went for which would save a bit). I can't speak highly enough about it, I have been absolutely amazed at its ability to get rid of smoke/smells from my cooking. The noise level is pretty impressive considering how well it works - on the lower settings it is way better than the cheap and nasty vent it replaced and still does a good job with normal cooking; if you're browning or wok cooking you will notice more noise but I think that is just the nature of the job - certainly, there is little noise other than air moving, not like the old vent which was lots of screaming mechanical noise and little or no air moving. Just for some examples of what it copes with: since the new kitchen has been fitted I have NEVER had any condensation on the windows, previously making pasta/risotto/anything with boiling liquid would cover all my windows in loads of water. I have a black iron skillet that I like to get VERY hot for browning meat, 10-20 minutes of heating, groundnut oil and batches of meat over ten or twenty minutes, lots of smoke which previously would have left the room unusable for an hour or more now leaves literally no trace within a couple of minutes of finishing. We spent a long time researching and planning our new kitchen and I'm really pleased with all the different bits (big fridge, boiling water tap, wine fridge, decent german oven are all great) but there is nothing that has impressed me as much as the hood. oh yeah and the baffles are a doddle to clean, just pop them out and stick them in the dishwasher. EDIT - just re-read some of the OP's ducting points - the hood I have uses 10" round felxible ducting, ours goes up about 2ft, through one 90 degree bend then another 8ft or so. I had originally though I should get an external motor (or inline one) but was advised against it by wolf here in the UK, for the sort of lengths we are talking about there are apparently few benefits in this sort of setup to removing the motor from the kitchen - as already mentioned almost all the noise comes from air movement rather than motor noise so the cheaper internal motors are fine - I was sceptical but am glad I listened!
  11. Its wrong to think there's any universal rule! If you have a good, modern, high accuracy oven with an electronic control to the nearest 1°C, then believe it until the results force you to question its accuracy. But if you have an antique with a mechanical switching thermostat that seems to require different cooking times or temperature settings as compared to what your trusted recipes state, then question it, check it against ANY plausible reference and adjust to improve (or get someone in to do it.) Cheap 'oven thermometers' may not be super accurate, but they will likely be more accurate than many people's oven thermostats. Particularly in the kitchen, before accepting ANY advice being offered blindly (such as by tv chefs and others unaware of your individual knowledge, kit, circumstances or experience), its well worth asking yourself if that advice really applies in your specific case. ← Hi Dougal that's exactly what I was getting it: the mantra of "get an oven thermometer, the thermostat in your cooker is rubbish" seems to be so ubiquitous that it seemed everyone just accepted it as the truth without questioning if the oven's own workings may actually do what they are meant to.
  12. Just got to wondering why we all seem to accept that we should get oven thermometers instead of trusting the dial on the oven itself? why would the thermometer you buy in the kitchen shop necessarily be any better than the one that comes with the oven? I can well see how it may be better but should we just accept that it is better? example: I've just got a shiny new Miele oven (electric) which cost about £1500 (so what, $2000+ at the moment?), why would I trust the oven thermometer I have which cost about £5 to be more accurate? If it does hold true that cheap oven thermometers are better than most/all in built ones, why don't oven manufacturers use them instead? I think what I'm getting at is that unless you have a calibrated unit which you KNOW is right, why assume your oven's thermostat OR your separate thermometer are correct?
  13. &roid

    Freezing wine?

    I'm always amazed by how quickly people think wine goes off. re-corked and refrigerated wine will easily keep a week and more likely two if you're using it for cooking. We did the experiment on a wine tasting course I did (two identical bottles, one opened on the night, one the week before - net result: very little difference). I'm sure there's nothing wrong with freezing wine for cooking but you may be able to get away with longer than you think in the fridge.
  14. excellent, thanks for the replies, will try the gordon ramsey one from youtube (thanks trekflyer). Will probably try it with a bit of meat stock added though.
  15. I've just trawled through all my cookbooks (not a quick job!) and can't seem to find a recipe for this, despite my and my other half being certain that we've seen one somewhere. Does any one have any suggestions for a good recipe? Google wasn't nearly as helpful as I thought it would be
  16. the recipes are NOT the food themselves, it's the conversion of the written words, the ideas, into real edible food that is cooking. And it's this that's the real skill. Give 100 people a recipe and you'll likely get 100 different versions of the "same" dish. improvising (in any field) can only come after plenty of experience, there is not a single person who was able to improvise a dish the first time they stepped into a kitchen - we are not born able to do this stuff.
  17. have a look at the 5 minute artisan bread thread in the pastry and baking section. makes amazing bread with little or no effort. even better is the pizza you can do with the dough - easily the best I've ever eaten at home and now that I've got a big bowl of dough in the fridge its ready within the time it takes the oven to get up to maximum temperature. a little tinned tomato/passata cooked down with olive oil and a ball of mozarella, beats any supermarket bought pizza hands down. oh yeah, and soup.
  18. Does anyone have any suggestions of companies who install these labtops in the UK?
  19. Hi, I think the cut may have had too much fat trimmed off it and this affected the end result but the quality of the meat was beyond doubt - local artisan butcher that we have a really good relationship with and have always had outstanding meat from. Interesting, I'll give this a go next time and see if I can produce better results. thanks for all the input guys
  20. Hi Kerry, you may have something there, certainly this was the leanest of all the pieces I have tried. What sort of time/temperature combinations do you use?
  21. Hi, This is my first post on here so looking forward to hearing people's thoughts on this problem. I've been making salt beef (or corned beef depending on which side of the atlantic you live) to take back to the family for Christmas for the last few years and have seen a steady progression and improvement. Unfortunately, it's still not quite how I'd like it, I've done a good bit of searching but I'm still not sure what I should try next. The problem I have is that although the taste was the best I've managed the texture was still a bit on the tough/dry side. Here's what I did so feel free to suggest anything I might try next time: brined in an 80:20 solution of water:prontocure (pre-made mix of nitrate, nitrite and normal salt) equal to half the weight of the 6.5lb brisket. I left the meat in for 7 days which was slightly too short a time (tiny area of grey meat in the very centre after cooking). I then rinsed the joint thoroughly in cold water and put it in a large stockpot with plenty of cold water, a couple of onions, some celery, carrot, cloves, juniper berries and put it on a very low heat, this took about 4-5hrs to get the water upto 65C, I then did another couple of hours at a slightly higher flame which brought the water upto about 75-80C. The internal temp of the meat was mid 70sC so I took it off the heat and cooled it in the brine before vac packing and taking it down for the holidays. It was very tasty but also very firm and needed to be sliced wafer thin to not be too chewy. Sorry for the long ramble but any thoughts?
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