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Everything posted by LesleyC

  1. LesleyC


    the braised kohlrabi with garlic and parmesan on this website is a particular favourite of mine.
  2. Today being Stir Up Sunday, I've just finished making my Pineapple & Rum Christmas pudding. Your gloop would be perfect!
  3. that is an experiment someone in the US will have to do. There seems to be some doubt as to whether it is legal or not in the UK, confiscations at customs, and certainly no online suppliers of the stuff. What is the teeny percentage of everclear that is not alcohol made up from? Could this if it ever come back into stock be a substitute (the rectified spirits, can be used as a liqueur base implies flavourless) or would this higher percentage vodka be a better substitute? .
  4. Yes, there is nothing really special about the sugar. It is a pale colour, but not quite as white as white sugar. None of it is as fine as powdered sugar, so I'm assuming that they have caramelised the sugars, let them set and ground them up, not very finely. The alcohol tastes quite strongly caramelly, and obviously very paint strippery. On the top of the dessert after flaming, there is no alcohol flavour at all, and the caramel flavour of the liquid mixes quite nicely with the caramelliness of the sugar. If I could get my hands on ever clear over here, I would probably have a go with a mixture of everclear and some caramel essence, and would do the caramelise, set and grind thing with the sugar. Quite apart from the visual appeal of the flames, I really like the way the sugar melts and sets with this method. Its evenly coloured across the entire surface, no bits darker than others etc. From now on my blowtorch is for setting the. alcohol alight rather than for bruleeing the creme brulee. Last night I used 4ml liquid per pot. Next time I think I'll go with 2ml,
  5. Kit arrived this morning (not bad, only ordered it yesterday afternoon). Creme's now basking in the oven. Ingredients: Liquid: extrafine cooking alcohol (96%) of vegetable origin, natural and nature identical flavours Sugar: glucose syrup, sugar, icing sugar the kits is supposed to contain a spray nozzle and measuring cup which were missing from my box. the box was still factory sealed so i'm assuming this is a problem with cookal packaging process rather than my local supplier, but will phone the supplier shortly. 1 dosage of the liquid is 6 sprays, and I think spraying will give a more even coverage than pouring liquid over the top, so will find a spray bottle around the house to dose it with. Not for many hours though sadly, cos i don't have anything to speed up the chilling process..
  6. i have ordered one of the kits containing the sugar and fluid, so when it arrives, if nobody else has given ingredient information, i'll post it.
  7. Yes yes yes!!! Thank you Lisa. changed my google search criteria to look for a kit and found this ... And this bunch have a lovely video and seem to sell the sugar and liquid separately if you're still wanting some.
  8. i'm going to try it with virtually any alcoholic beverage suitable for a little flambe, but the caramel flavouring in the liquid in the restaurant I think is important. the sugar certainly didn't cook long enough to give the caramel taste to the brulee. If it helps any the little spray bottle had a capacity of around 200 ml, so not huge, and it was clearly the bottle that the stuff was bought in, not decanted. I feel sure I would have noticed the word grappa on the bottle, and there wasnt the slightest taste of any sort to the dessert other than that of regular creme brulee. the liquid in the bottle was a caramel colour too.
  9. this week, at a little restaurant in Venice, Italy, I had a creme brulee (crema catalana on their menu) that arrived at the table in flames, the flames being used to brulee the sugar. after the meal i asked the waiter what liquid had been used for the flambe, and he showed me a little plastic spray bottle, the only word on which i could read was Caramel. he said that the sugar was just sprinkled over the creme, some of the liquid added, and lit. the sugar crystals when it arrived at the table looked more the size of normal granulated sugar than castor sugar, but by the time the flame had gone out some 40 seconds later, there was a lovely thin film of caramel on top of the creme brulee. Does anyone know what this liquid was, and where I may get my hands on some (preferably a UK source), but to be honest, just knowing what it was will help me find it. Many hours of googling my fingers raw has got me nowhere at all.
  10. to me, food honesty has to do with whether its highly processed or not - ham that is carved from a leg of gammon (however the gammon is cooked) is an honest slice of ham. A piece of square/round ham from a vac pack that is more water and other rubbish than pork is a dishonest slice of ham.
  11. Had the Oxtail & Kidney Pudding for dinner tonight. Was very nice, but I think I would prefer to take the star anise out before everything going in the pressure pot. Didn't burn off the alcohol fumes either, because I couldn't find any long matches, and kinda like my fingers. Worth making again at some point.
  12. Over here in the UK, Beko manufacture some chest freezers that will work down to about -18C, and they are one of the cheapest chest freezers on the market. They surely must have a US equivalent.
  13. Enjoyed the show, was slightly annoyed that I watched it a mere two hours after cooking steak for dinner. I'm intrigued by the turn every 15-20 secs thing, and have to try it ... soon. I do need to restock the freezer with hamburger patties though, so wil do them his way this time round. Very similar to the Perfection series hamburger, but with much less fuss. I did make the ketchup from the perfection burger ... once. It took an awful lot of ingredients and time to produce about 2 tablespoons full. Oh and not being a Texan allows me to really enjoy beans in my chilli
  14. the rivets that hold the two halves of the handle onto the knife (if you have that style of knife) deteriorate in the dishwasher over time, and eventually the handles won't stay on. It took 13 years of dishwashing for it to happen to mine though, so I suppose it depends on whether you're happy to replace when that happens or not whether they should go in the dishwasher. I do wash mine by hand now, because I was very upset when the last lot 'died'. I have had a wooden bowl that went in the dishwasher accidentally, and the finish was totally ruined. I do put the wooden spoons and other wooden utensils in though. I don't care what they look like, and replace when necessary. I do put crystal in, but run it on a special cycle that doesn't get as hot. If I used the crystal daily though, I probably wouldn't because normal glasses do get a bit cloudy after a few years of regular dishwashing and wouldn't want that to happen to the crystal
  15. the only things that don't go in the dishwasher are woodens, the one aluminium pan I have and the couple of good knives I have, the other knives go in. I cheat big time with my meatballs in onion gravy - its a wonderful dish for guests, cos the meatballs get browned, put in a oven dish and onions are sliced over the top and onion gravy added. it then goes in the freezer, and can get pulled out at the end of a day taking folk sightseeing and popped in the oven. The onion gravy is a powdered variety that I mix up with cold water before pouring it over and putting in the freezer. Please don't tell anyone who eats here about that one I hot hot water in the pasta pot too Neither do I truss chickens Very guilty secret ... I use canned chopped tomatoes (the unflavoured ones) when I run out of the tomatoes I've cooked, stewed and frozen into can size quantites while toms are in season. the only jacket potatoes anyone in this house gets are the ones done in 20-30 mins in the combination microwave ... Mmmm. I think I should stop now, before I write a 10 page essay ...
  16. All American Pressure Canner (21 quart) New Covent Garden Food Co Soup for a Year cookbook Basic Winemaking book (because our new house has a grapevine - Boskoop Glory grapes) If you have Amarula, you're pretty much morally obligated to make a Springbok or two. Preferably while watching rugby.
  17. Let's see ... 1) Be a little more innovative. Getting a monthly meat box delivery, and weekly veg/salad/fruit boxes delivered from the beginning of January, so I'm hoping the contents will help be cook things that I don't usually buy. I can look see what will be in the boxes online on the Monday, and the boxes arrive on the Thursday, so hopefully I will still be able to plan for minimal waste. 2) Get to grips with pasty in various forms. Probably not all, but at least 4 different types of pastry turning out reliably well. 3) Have a year of preserving. Pickles, jams, salsas ... anything. Got me a 21 quart All American Pressure Canner for Chrismas, which will really help. There is a limit to the amount I'm prepared to process in an electric pressure cooker that takes 1 pound jar at a time! Off Topic bits ... Its been about 2 years since I last posted anything here, due to 1) working my way through the freezer contents in our old house (took months) and getting rid of junk before international move, then making the move 2) living in temporary accommodation for 6 months (with a combi microwave and kettle) and buying a house with a disgusting kitchen (OK others probably thought it was fine but the gas oven couldn't get to more than 140C on Gas Mark Happily, the kitchen has now been gutted and rebuilt (almost, but the few things waiting to be done don't affect the kitchen's use)
  18. A potjie and cast iron dutch oven? Both for cooking over fires and both (especially the potjie) widely used in South Africa. A potjie is a round cast iron pot with 3 legs.
  19. I have two crocks and couldn't live without them, especially in winter. One is always on my counter and is used at least 3 times a week. Preparing food in the morning, and not needing to worry about how to feed the family in the afternoons is bliss when you've had a busy day. It doesn't matter how tired you are, dinner is ready
  20. LesleyC

    Feeding a crowd

    People who require their food to be halal (and who actually are strict about their dietary rules) will not eat anything from a kitchen that has pork cooked in it. If there are any strictly halal people at your function they will eat nothing at all - even if pork isn't on the menu because your kitchen isn't halal. Seeing as the kosher and halal dietary requirements are sooo similar, the same should be true of any strictly kosher diners.
  21. The one on the left looks like Butternut. My two favourites means of eating are roasted in a little lard (peel, seed and cut large chunks) - baste/turn every 15 minutes and roast for 60-90 minutes at 180C. Caramelises at the edges to a drak brown, almost black and is very sweet. You can sprinkle with whole cumin before roasting if you like too. Butternut soup is another fave in this house. Simmer in enough water to just cover for about 30 minutes, until soft. Throw in blender with a little chicken stock. Spice it up as you like (cumin again a lot of the time). Serve with a dollop of cream poured in after serving and some cilantro leaves sprinkled over. Can also be boiled an mashed - a local (S.African) 'tradition' would be to mix some sugar in with the mash. Butternut is m all time favourite squash
  22. Spaghetti Blow-your-nose appears in our household from time to time, courtesy of DD when she was about 3 or 4.
  23. In 2010, I will eat (hopefully with the help of the family) all the contents of the fridge and freezers, and grocery cupboard etc etc before we move countries towards the middle of the year. After New Year, I intend to buy no meat until the freezer is barren. I will make a concerted effort to stay away from the shops unless absolutely necessary, and limit foodie impulse buys until after we have moved. I will find a way to only purchase what we need for the week after our move instead of having a kitchen and freezer that could feed a rugby team for months. I will learn to roll out fondant icing decently without it sticking all over before I have to cover next year's Christmas cake, and hopefully not have the whole process ending in tears ... again. I will teach my daughter whatever culinary skills she desires, and hopefully get her cooking one evening meal a week. I will read and try out at least 2 new recipes a month.
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