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Everything posted by therippa

  1. The first thing I bought from the gourmet chef outlet store by my house when I started cooking was one of those rubber plastic tubes you roll garlic in to get the skin off. The next week I learned the smash-it-with-a-knife trick. 90% of the stuff in the kitchen is mine and I plan purchases very carefully...I've thwarted various attempts by roommates to bring in their various unitaskers. But much to my chagrin there is a circa-1980s popcorn popper my newest roommate insists on having...even though I've offered to show her how to do it on the stove stop in a stock pot a couple times.
  2. I just got the Vita-Mix 5200 at costco (I've been researching it for two weeks now, was going to get the vita-prep 3 2hp model for the same price). I thought my old blender worked well...I was wrong. Right now I'm enjoying a smoothie through a very thin straw. Has anyone tried any of the recipes in the book?
  3. 90% of the time it's fingerling or baby yukon golds roasted with duck fat and herbs de provence and roasted asparagus with olive oil. Conveniently I cook them both at 425, which is the same temp I use to finish off the steaks in the oven after pan searing while I make a pan sauce, lately with shallot, red wine and french laundry veal stock (12 minutes for asparagus and 25 minutes for potatoes)
  4. Christinajun mentioned San Francisco...I live there, and when someone says tapas I immediately think of Cha-Cha-Cha (and so does everyone else here, it's the one restaurant everyone in the city agrees on). Their cookbook is no longer in print, but it can be picked up pretty cheap... http://www.amazon.com/Cook-Eat-Cha-Festive-Recipes/dp/0811811468 It's more of a cuban/puerto rican tapas cookbook, but in my experience they have better/bolder flavor. And as an added bonus, you get the recipe for their sangria (tip: cut the sugar in half and make a simple syrup using a 1:1 water/sugar ratio with a tablespoon of corn syrup to prevent crystallization, it mixes into the wine way easier). This stuff is a hit at my house parties...we consumed over 6 gallons of it on Friday. I go to this restaurant about once a month, and I could eat their cajun shrimp, garlic-sherry mushrooms, and fried new potatoes every day if I needed to.
  5. If you live in/around a major city then there probably is a class. I found one on craigslist a couple years ago that was being held at a Viking Kitchen store.
  6. All you really need is a chef's knife, boning knife, paring knife, and bread knife. I stick with Wusthof, but cook's illustrated recommends Forschner knives as best buys (models 40520, 40513, 40501, and 40547 respectively). The Forschner knives will cost only $75 for all 4
  7. For me, it was Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles cookbook. I cooked a bunch of recipes out of it, and they were "decent" at best. I found most of them to be bland and uninspired. For instance, I made some of his recipes listed under "the classics". The beef bourguignon was like some watery flavorless stew (I had to add a cup of veal stock I made using the french laundry recipe to even make it palatable), and the cassoulet was a gigantic disappointment...I was going to serve this with duck confit and various other things when I made dinner for someone for the first time. After tasting it a couple hours before serving, I drove to the store and grabbed some filet mignon, potatoes, and asparagus to serve instead. The only two recipes I took out of it that wowed me were the mushroom soup and fois gras with a prune reduction sauce, but the fois gras recipe is more of a method than a recipe.
  8. There's an Andronico's in Walnut Creek, they'll have duck breasts there
  9. Check out this guide here... http://amath.colorado.edu/~baldwind/sous-vide.html 148 degrees is supposed to give you the perfect egg
  10. So I take it we're not using oil here? Just let the ol' all-clad get rocket hot?
  11. How hot was your skillet and how long did you pan sear it for? I've been having problems searing pieces of sous vide red meat, they seem to gain about 10 degrees in the pan (I do 3 minutes each side at medium-high)
  12. Adding to the list... 1. whipped cream 2. club soda...my roommates and I go through a lot of vodka soda's at my place, I got a classy isi soda siphon for $35 at the restaurant supply store and chargers on ebay for $.50, saves $1/bottle, space on the bar, and a lot of waste 3. mayonnaise whenever used outside of a quick deli meat sandwich 4. egg nog 5. any sort of pre-made alcohol mixer, like margarita mix
  13. I just use the ziplock vacuum bags, I find if I use it on a smooth surface (glass table) and push down really hard, I get a great seal. I haven't had any problems with air bubbles or anything.
  14. I did use the claws, they're sitting on top of that bread. I squeezed the leg meat out and the next morning we had it with scrambled eggs (cooked in the reserved lobster butter of course!) Forgot to mention I added a tablespoon of tomato paste and a little over a cup of mire poix to the stock. Adapted the recipe from here
  15. I did lobster on New Years Eve and got around this problem by throwing the lobster whole into a pot of boiling water for two minutes, then chilling in an ice bath. The meat came right out. I then cooked the lobster (with butter in the bags) at 140 for about 45 minutes while I made stock from the shells (about 1.75 cups of white wine and water to cover). Strained, reduced in a skillet, added some heavy whipping cream, thickened with butter. I wish I had some parsley to throw on it, it would have looked even better. The taste though...this was one of the most flavorful things I've ever cooked, and certainly by finest sous vide experiment so far.
  16. -spoilers ahead- We had a bunch of people over the house to watch it, felt that Batali/Lagasse thoroughly beat them, and had no doubt that the results were fixed to favor Comerford and Flay. I can imagine Batali/Lagasse not really caring whether they win or not, but Flay isn't going to let the producers do that to him. Also, if this was an all-American tasting, why were two of the judges British? And could the Flay/Comerford sous chef seem any less capable?! Also, I feel like Batali should have cut the burnt tops off the radishes and re-seared them, no one like the taste of pure carbon. I'm with you on the ravioli, would love that recipe. Highlight of the episode - Alton saying "I cannot FREAKING wait to watch Lagasse put this together"
  17. First off, hi all! This is my first post. After reading through this thread I decided to get a sous vide set up and start experimenting. I chose this as my first recipe (well the first was a strip steak just to see how it would turn out). Since Bob didn't take a picture, here's how mine came out... Excuse the low lighting and sub-par quality of an iPhone picture. I cooked it at 135 for 48 hours, and it was delicious. Unlike Bob I could pick out the flavor of the liquid smoke, but would definitely add more next time I make it. Anyway, just thought I'd share. Next I'm going to attempt duck confit using foie gras instead of duck fat. I'll post how that turns out.
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