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Shaun Ginsbourg

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  1. A few years ago I cooked beetroot dauphine to go with roast beef for Crhistmas. From memory it worked well. I basically replaced potato plus roasted beetroot and extra flour in a standard potato recipe (I can't remember the proportions). I am guessing that goats cheese might work well in place of diced bacon. Can anyone recommend a tried and tested recipe?
  2. sigh ... tough night for left-wing Collingwood fans ...

  3. Reader's poll: should a garlic prawn pizza have cheese on it?

    1. Shel_B


      If you like it that way, why not? I had salmon and halibut served to me with cheese when in Alaska. I didn't care for it but the locals loved it.

    2. Panaderia Canadiense

      Panaderia Canadiense

      I think it should, but then again I make shrimp pizza fairly often and I always use cheese. At the end of the day, though, it's whatever floats your boat.

    3. Jaymes


      What's your goal? Are you eating it? Are you selling it? If you're eating it, do what you like. If you're selling it, make cheese optional.

  4. Needed a big glass of scotch after that near miss by the Australian Cricket team. Classic commentary from Mark Taylor: "Only little things need to improve for Australia: their top 6 need to make more runs"

  5. I recommend the free ALDI App that is available in Apple App Store and in Google Play: http://aldi.in/appaustraliavcc xbbnn. Gtfgvvvggghbhi

  6. On the train from Geelong to Melbourne wondering why Telstra can't manage to get their mobile network to cover the entire route when the Vietnamese provided coverage virtually everywhere I went including places in the middle of Ha Long Bay

  7. installed Facebook for Windows Phone

  8. I cook dishes from all around the world and ma po dofu is possibly my favourite of all of them. Made well, it has a most wonderful combination of explosive flavours and delicate textures. Like Luizhou my favourite version (I have tried many) is Fuchsia Dunlop's, with the following notes: 1. I make my own tofu. I have posted my recipe elsewhere on the site. If you are not going to these lengths I would recommend a soft (but not silken) Chinese-style fresh tofu, coagulated with gypsum. Dice it into 2cm cubes. 2. I use Lee Kum Kee brand toban jian as it is easy to get and I believe good quality. The more hardcore option is to find paste which is made in Pixian, which I have managed to do once or twice. It has a more depth of flavour, however its earthy, musty taste may not appeal to everybody. 3. If you use the right tofu you need to take care not to break it up when adding it or completing the dish. Once I have added the tofu I avoid stirring for the remaining stages of the dish and instead shake the pan to coat and mix ingredients. 4. I like to simmer the tofu for a good 8- 10 minutes in the sauce before thickening in order to ensure good penetration of flavour. Be careful not to boil down the sauce too much: there should be plenty of it without it being soupy. 5. I add about 100g peas a minute or two before thickening the sauce. They add a sweetness that balances nicely with the other flavours. If you take this step you can cut back the sugar in Fuschia's recipe to a pinch. I would love to hear other peoples tips for cooking this magnificent dish!
  9. Thanks for your advice Jenni. I have tweaked things a little and managed to get my dosa crepe thin and good colour. For my batter I used a higher rice - lentil ratio than previously. I read that this increases crispiness, although ultimately it is a matter of taste: 500g idli rice 100g parboiled red rice 200g urad gram 50g channa dahl (I read this helps fermentation) 3/4 tsp fenugreek seeds I soaked the lentils and rice separately for 6 hours. I pureed the lentils in the food processor with 1 1/2 cups of water rather than blender until it was a fine but granular paste I ground the rice and fenugreek in the grain mill (see previous post) Finally I added the rice to the food processor and mixed uniformly After 12 hours at 30C nothing much was happening so I added some lukewarm water (perhaps a cups) to make it the consistency of a thick pancake batter, a teaspoon of sugar, and a pinch of dried yeast. I don't know which if any or all of them did the trick, but after a further 12 hours the mix was doubled in volume. At this stage I folded through 1 1/2 tsp salt and enough lukewarm water (about 1 cup) to make it the consistency of thinnish cream and left it a further hour and a half. Obviously you should err on the side of being too thick, as you can always adjust it later. At cooking time I adjusted the consistency by taking a small bowlful out of my pot and adding water or batter to it as needed. I was able to make uttapam with the same batter. This only difference was that I just let it spread naturally. When cooked on one side I sprinkled on my ingredients (raw onions) and these were cooked just enough after I had flipped the cake and cooked it to a good colour on the other side.
  10. One more post whilst I am on a roll ... As well as torillas, I have successfully made excellent tostaditas using my fresh masa. I was mindful of Bayless's warning that home made tortillas generally do not deep fry well because they are too thick and just soak up all the oil. In this limited sense, so he says, factory tortillas are better suited to the purpose. With full size tortillas I have found this to be true. After some experimentation I found that by using smaller quantities of mases (10g instead of the 40g I use for a full size torilla) I get an 8cm disk that comes out of the tortilla press thinner than a full size tortilla and deep fries beautifully, bubbling and puffing up in the middle. They can be done in advance, sprinkled with powdered sea salt and reheated in the oven without losing their crispiness. They make great tostaditas or corn chips. A little labor-intensive, but worth the effort if you are really trying to impress.
  11. I should also note, in response to some previous posts, that Rick Bayless is adamant that neither the nixtamalising corn or the finished product should be refrigerated at any stage and certainly not frozen. He says that fresh masa kept at room temperature, as it should be, perishes within 12 hours. Therefore I start the process 25 - 36 hours before I want tortillas: 24 hours for nixtamalisation and 1 - 12 hour sitting time for the masa. Bayless is also adamant that tortillas can be made a few hours in advance and then reheated (using a steamer and teatowl). However I find that they are best used straight away after they have been cooked and allowed to sit to "steam" briefly whilst wrapped in a tea towel.
  12. I have been making fresh masa for tortillas at home in Melbourne, Australia, for a few weeks now and can post some pictures if there is still any interest given the length of this thread. Although we do not have many Mexican grocers here, I have sourced both yellow and white dried field corn: the former from an African supplier at our local market, and the later from the pet food store. I am using slaked lime sourced from a Thai grocer (similar to that referred to in the excellent blog in the previous post). I have been using Alton Brown's nixtamalisation technique which seems pretty standard. Having read the previous post I will try and refine it and post the results. Grinding, of course, is the biggest challenge. I agree that Alton Brown's suggested use of a food processor for tortilla masa is laughable. My solution is a hand operated Messershmidt steel cone grinder. Grinding with the hand crank was hard work so I motorised the unit using a 1/3 hp motor with a pulley wheel and belt that slows it to about 125 rpm. It is necessary to firmly push the corn down into the grinder but with the motor going this is easy work. The results are splendid. The grinder also works very well for dosa and idli batter. The resulting tortillas have wonderful flavour that beat, hands-down, packaged factory tortillas and even tortillas made freshly from masa harina.
  13. Hi Jenni It's great to hear from a real expert! I have some questions and comments. Questions: 1. I am trying to work out what you mean by urad gram as distinct from urad dal. Is it a different lentil? Or is it just the urad dal whole (but skinned) instead of split? 2. What rice do you use if not basmati? 3. Do you have a favourite potato curry recipe you can share for masala dosa? Preferably one with peas! And how does one make butter masala dosa? This sounds heavenly! 4. Can you share an uttapam recipe? Onion is my favourite. 5. Do you have a poori recipe? After reading your post I googled the Ultra Pride and saw a reference to making poori with it. Prior to this I have been using a shortened flour water dough without the need for grinding. Is this not authentic? Comments: 1. You are quite correct that I meant toor rathen than moong dal. Again Mahdur Jaffrey's version of sambar is delicious but I would love to hear yours (including your recipe for home made sambar powder). 2. Regarding the grinder I originally bought it for grinding nixtamal (damp, treated dried field corn) to make masa for tortillas. When I googled Ultra Pride I read a post by one person who had tried using it to make masa but found it did not grind fine enough. My grinder is adjustable and gives me a good consistency with the rice for dosa. I use a blender for the dahl. The tricky part is combining the two pastes smoothly. It is too thick for the blender so I intend trying the food processor next time which might work given the mixture is already ground. I would be grateful for your suggestions. 3. Jaffrey's coconut chutney recipe is made by adding to the coconut tamarind paste and a ground mixture of urad dal, brown mustard seed and dried chilli fried in a little oil and then mixed with asafatoeda. Can you suggest an alternative?
  14. I have travelled to the south of India several times and thin crispy dosa are one of my fondest culinary memories. I have now succeeded in making them at home using a Madhur Jaffrey recipe. The tricky part is the grinding, for which I now use a motorised grain mill: INGREDIENTS 400g long-grain rice 200g urad dahl salt water vegetable oil METHOD 1. Separately pick over, wash, and soak the rice and lentils in twice their volume of water for two hours. Drain. 2. Separately grind the rice and lentils with a combined total of about 250ml water. Jaffrey says to use one third with the rice and two thirds with the lentils, grinding both (separately) in a blender: the rice to a fine, granular consistency, and the lentils to a smooth, meringue-like consistency. I had no problem grinding the lentils with my 800W Kenwood blender. This was however the blender I bought to replace the previous blender I blew up trying to grind the rice, which was not fine enough in any event. Now I use a motorised steel burr Messerschmidt grain mill for the rice. I have done it by hand with the mill but it was very hard work! By using the mill I don't need to use any extra water and instead put the whole cup with the lentils, making that job easier on my blender. 3. Combine the rice and lentils to as smooth a consistency as possible. I am still working on this part. I think I will have to resort to a food processor for this step next time as the combined paste is two thick for the blender, and you don't want the mix too lumpy. 4. Cover the mixture loosely with plastic wrap and ferment the mixture at 27 - 33 degrees C for about 24 hours. I use a cooler box (in Australia we call it an "Esky", named after the leading brand) in which I have put a 20W lamp and the probe of a thermometer. By partially covering the box with a lid I can maintain a reasonably constant temperature that can be adjusted by moving the lid around. The mixure should at least double in volume. 5. Fold in a cup of lukewarm water and 1 tsp of salt and leave for an hour or so. 6. Heat a large heavy frypan (I find a 16 inch Scanpan is ideal) on medium covered with a thin film of vegetable oil. Ladle about a half cup into the centre and carefuly and gently spread out by moving the back of the ladle in a circular motion until you have a nice thin pancake. To succeed you need batter that is just the right consistency and a deft touch: press too hard and you will put holes in your dosa, press to lightly and it will be too thick. 7. Cook for about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. Carefully drizzle about a teaspoon of vegetable oil around the edge of the dosa. This will help the edge lift away from the pan. The underside is ready when it is a brown - red colour. 8. As far as I can tell dosas are traditionally cook on only one side. This will become the outside when it is folded over. However until you have achieved a nice thin dosa without lumps in the batter I suggest you turn it over and dook it for 1/2 minute on the other side. 9. Fold it in half and serve it without delay with your favourite condiments. Mine are a shallot and moong dalh curry and coconut chutney. Jaffrey has recipes for these. Potato curry with or without peas are also a classic accompaniment. Why bother, I hear you ask? Like with tortillas made with masa harina, dosa made from packet mix does not compare. Packet dosas use a rising agent that lacks the delicate, sweet-sour flavour that comes from natural fermentation.
  15. Shaun Ginsbourg

    Fennel Pollen

    In Melbourne Australia we are one month into summer and the abundant wild fennel plants that grow along the banks of creeks are are starting to flower: http://cid-d9bb91bf221f7d67.office.live.com/self.aspx/.Public/eGullet/Wild%20fennel%20flowers.jpg I am keen to try harvesting some pollen but I am not sure whether these flowers are ready for picking. They are quite tiny and seem smaller than many I have seen on the internet. Can anyone advise me whether I should wait?
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