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Posts posted by kismet59

  1. Oh My....the Time Life Books! I also was gifted a set a LONG time ago....and somehow it found it's way out of the collection....I was thinking about those the other day.

    My top three cookbooks are...

    1. My grandmother 1957 copy of the Betty Crocker Cookbook - gingham covered and ful of notes in the margins, recipes written on the back of envelopes tucked between the pages - it's a treasure.

    2. Jacques Pépin's Cooking Techniques - I was out of work and unable to finance culinary school - so I worked front to back with this one and taught myself. (I read the Tom Colicchio had done this as well and thought "if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me"

    3. Culinary Artistry - this book opened my eys to combinations of flavor and methods that I had not concidered before - this book and it's more recent release The Flavor Bible are ones I give to all my foodie friends for gifts.

  2. Wow...you guys have some great stocked up fridges!

    In my kitchen fridge I have the

    stock makings bags - meat-veg scraps


    ice cream

    frozen corn and peas

    and frozen can cooler holder things to keep canned soda and beer icy :)

    In the chest freezer I have -

    Frozen pasta

    stock cubes and tubs

    chops and roast butchered down from a whole loin of pork

    Filet and tips from a whole beef tenderloin

    Amish Friendship bread starter (I ran out of friend before I ran out of starter :)

    I'm slacking off here!

  3. I really like the sticky note thing, if working with an unfamiliar recipe that would be real handy.

    I have gone from a large kitchen to what is basically a hallway with appliances. My old kitchen had a 5'x3' farmhouse cutting board table (in storage waiting for our new house) Now I have cutting boards I put over the sink, that fit over 1/2 the stove and 2 small ones I use all the time that are only 12"x10.

    I do really, really miss my prep table!

  4. Hi,

    I also like to adjust the flavor profile just before service. 

    This can be done with great vinegar, cognac, vincotto, an herb stir, fat, or a separate reduction.  It's basic sweet, sour, salt, bitter and umami balance.

    Twenty years ago I read a suggestion from Madeleine Kamman about tasting your sauce and the wine to be served.  This will give you guidance on adjusting your flavor balance to achieve harmony in your dish.  Seemed pretty reasonable and it works.


    I love this tip! I am going to go make a sauce right now :)

  5. The current crop of Top Chef contestants have a few potential stars and a couple of folks who look completely out of their element.

    Bravo’s choice to increase the contestant pool from 12 to 17 means “Middle of the road” contestants are going to take longer to get to know. With only an hour a week, if they don’t do something completely stupid or amazing sublime, they are just not going to get the airtime

    Having just one episode to judge by I will go out on a limb and pick my early favorites:

    Jennifer– Works for the most technically perfect chef I have ever seen, Eric Rupert and pays great attention to detail. – Achilles’ Heal – The clock will beat her.

    Kevin – Really surprised me with his interpretation of the challenge. He almost has to be a favorite – each season the winner of the 1st elimination challenge has gone on to win the whole thing. - Achilles’ Heal – He may just be to smart for his own good.

    Bryan – Great knife skills, economy of movement, great game face. He didn’t do great the first week but he’s one to watch. Achilles’ Heal – His brother.

    Eli – I like him just because he looks like a devilish little monkey and he knows his way around a kitchen. Achilles’ Heal - He looks like a devilish little monkey.

  6. I really loved your article.

    Having owned - and closed - a restaurant I know well the life cycle of intense hyper-care - hitting your groove - coasting - inattention - exhaustion - frantic scramble and then finally done.

    All restaurants have cycles and it has been my experience that the length of the cycle is exactly as long as the owner or managements team's enthusiasm and love for the concept.

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