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Everything posted by Zacky

  1. Hi, I'm having my kitchen re-fitted and extended and I was wondering if anyone had any recommendations for equipment? Specifically, the double oven. Thanks
  2. Add a slice of rhubarb to the starter? Essentially - you are trying to capture the wild yeast bacteria that live in the environment, so don't go around spraying everything with "Kills 99% of all known bacteria" sprays! Temperature, enough flour for the bacteria to feed off and the right amount of water are all key - as is patience! Good luck.
  3. Okay guys, here's what I've decided - I'm going to do a whole roast tandoori bird. Question is - can I keep the pleasure of the skin by separating the skin and flesh (as I would if I was roasting a non-Indian chicken - adding butter to keep the breast moist) and adding the yoghurt marinade that way? I can have more marinade outside on the skin; top-up in between with some softened butter mixed with tandoori spices just before popping it into the oven, and - theoretically - get marinaded, moist tandoori breast on the inside, with crispy tandoori skin on the outside. Or, is this trying too hard to get the best of both worlds, when I should be happy with getting one right? Then, there's the option of doing one skinned bird tandoori style, with another - crispy skinned and western, alongside. There may even be a very bad joke I can make about my wife and I representing the different chickens! Man, I get carried away with food at the best of times, but with Christmas - the urge to have a splurge - the desire to create opulence but in a casual manner - I am obsessed with this at the moment! Also, I've sold myself on the idea of an Indian stuffing and Indian potatoes and I've been sold on the idea of a daal to go with that (also, it;s a good veggy sauce for my mother in law who is Amritshakar). There will be pakore and samose with imli dee chutney coming from her house as starters and some imli dee chutney can be served alongside my father-in-law's amazing green chutney. So, it's all coming together slowly but I'd still really appreciate the input of anyone still reading this thread! Seems a pity it got tucked away in the India section, really, as the idea of basting a chicken this way and achieving this end result has far wider-reaching implications... Did I say I got carried away with food?
  4. Good point. She is Panjabi, but we all love all Indian food and I'mactually more a fan of the southern style - less heavy and spicier! I'm kind of torn between the desire to do it really traditionally, as you do - but with some Indian sides and then, going all the way and creating some fusion, possibly CONfusion, dishes. I am also kind of stuck with the idea of carving into a 5kg bird and seeing that lovely tandoori-style marinade going into the breast meat! I guess I'll equip myself with all the ingredients and see what happens!
  5. I agree. Having gone gung-ho into the idea of an Indian-ised Xmas dinner, I am thinking that tradition must be upheld, but some more sides can satisfy the curry-lust. I will post the final menu for everyone's delectation. In the meantime, I continue to appreciate excellent ideas such as Kulfi ice cream! Keep 'em coming!
  6. Good ideas. I have a large amount of saffron that the mother-in-law brought back from India, so I'll add some to the marinade and then sprinkle some over the bird as it roasts. Maybe some silver leaf on the cardamom pudding?!
  7. Hi all, been away for a while, but the pressures of Christmas have brought me back. I'm married to an Indian and as the family chef, have been tasked with cooking for all the in-laws yet again! Thing is, they always claim that they want a 'traditional' English Xmas dinner - which I do believe they love. However, last year, I made an Indian alternative chicken dish - pieces marinated in garlic and ginger and roasted with spices - and it suddenly became the winner. So, I think I'll go full-blown Indian this year, except with the constituent ingredients of the traditional feast. Something along the lines of: Starter: spicy prawn cocktail starter Main meal: Whole Tandoori roast Cockeral (what I need is to get that red-roasted effect with the tinge of marinade going well into the breast meat) Sage and onion stuffing South Indian stuffing (curry leaves, split urad daal, chillies, mustard seed etc - a crunchy stuffing) Spicy roasted potatoes (Jeera etc) Minted peas Carrots with jeera/thania (coriander) Brussel sprouts with caremalised onions, chillies and ginger A gravy made in the traditional way, but with some curry leaves, imli (tamarind) and chillie (I may also use a little pre-prepared Gitt's sambhal powder) Dessert: Flambeed Christmas Pudding (already spicy enough!) with brandy butter Any ideas? Advice? Cries of "Don't do it!"? Suggestions? Come on e Gullet - don't let me down!
  8. Okay, so I got 'The Complete Robuchon' for Xmas and I'm well chuffed with it. I can see I am going to learn a heck of a lot from it for quite a while. Typically for me, the learning process throws up some questions too and here's one I really would like help with: BF-15s Not, as I first thought, a B52s tribute band, but a type of potato. Question is, what's the nearest substitute and has anyone ever actually bought these? Doesn't seem like a very marketable name!
  9. Zacky

    Winter Warmers

    Yum yum - this is why I started this string! You've reminded me of the Spanish staple 'lentejas'; slowly cooked lentils with morcilla sausage (their version of a blood sausage but wildly superior to most, with lots of onions and spice) and any other lovely piggy products. I love the addition of toccino - pig fat. It's a wholesome and worthy dish. The recipe I have is by the excellent folk at Moro in Exmouth Market in London. I'm revising my original list. OUT - Fish Pie and NEW IN at number 6 is lentejas.
  10. What about pepper-crusting some fish fillets to be grilled? And an idea from outside the box: green pepper ice cream?! Go on! It could be amazing!
  11. Zacky

    Winter Warmers

    I'm not 100% sure; it's an Escoffier recipe after all, so quite old. I'm sure every butcher 100 years ago would have some to dole out but not these days. After reading this my best bet would be the cartillage from cow's feet and ears etc, which really produce a lot of gelatin when cooked long and slow. I made pig's trotters a while ago and the resulting food basically set when I left it in the fridge! I think Escoffier's desired end product was quite a viscous but clear soup. I did add the arrow root though to get some of the same effect and that worked fine.
  12. Kieth Floyd, RIP, had a show on Indian cooking and the quantities of spice we saw him dump into each curry made us balk when watching. My own bugbear though, as it ruined many a loaf, is the: "leave to prove until doubled in size" instruction - invariably (for me, at least) leading to massive deflating and inedible bricks.
  13. Zacky

    Winter Warmers

    Sounds good! I'm going to make some tomato soup soon - like the idea of ginger in there for some kick. I recently made the Escoffier recipe of Oxtail soup: recipe Minus the "gelatinous bones" (my local butcher already thinks I'm strange!) and the result was the most amazing clear broth with the sweet carrots and oxtail meat sitting down there at the bottom of the bowl. It wasn't quite the Oxtail I remember from childhood - more of a British affair, with some of the meat blended into the stock (negating the need for all the clarification) to make a thicker soup. Still, glad I tried it. Tonight I'm trying London Particular An attempt to match weather with food in more than one way!
  14. Zacky

    Winter Warmers

    and Mmmmm - do you make your own tomato soup? Any recipes?
  15. Zacky

    Winter Warmers

    This morning in West London is COLD! Foggy and freezing. My usual trawl of the Internet turned up very little inspiration for top 10 winter warmers. So, I thought I'd turn to the eGullet folks and see what turned up. Here's my own: Steak and Kidney pudding (steamed for 5 hours) French onion soup Lamb stew/casserole Shepherd's Pie Leek and potato soup Fish Pie Split Pea and Ham soup Lamb curry (Achaari Ghosht) Boeuf Bourguignon Bangers and mash with roasted red onion gravy So hit me with your lists!
  16. I'm intrigued! Thanks for the Heston idea. I think I'll try pinning the edges of the skins to a baking tray with some fire bricks and see how that works, maybe with the garlic and ginger paste underneath so the crisping can take place above.
  17. So once again, I have two plump duck breasts sitting in the fridge. When I bought them, I had images of scored, crispy skin, rare meat; blood infusing a zesty puy lentil side and red wine swirling around my mouth, bringing it all together in a very French way. Then the wife demanded Indian and, being very pregnant, she gets what she wants! A quick leaf through all my recipe books and a trawl on the Internet threw up very little, so finally, I allowed my imagination to run with it and here's the end product: tandoori spice-marinaded breasts, seared to rare in a pan, served with the skin, removed before cooking, rendered to a crispy crackling, redolent with garlic and ginger paste and dusted red with tandoori spice mix at the end. The breast part I can do, but how about the skin crackling part? Then I started to remember all the other wild recipes I've dreamed up over the years (crispy bacon 'boxes' filled with pea and scallop puree), which have never seen the light of fridge door due to time/budget/ability restraints. So, this thread (and if I'm replicating a pre-existing thread, I humbly beg pardon and shall be merged most willingly) has 2 elements: Please help me with advice on achieving duck breast crackling Pray share your most ambitious, but never realised gastro creations!
  18. Zacky


    The Spanish dish 'Lentejas' is fantastic too. Here's a link to a good recipe by the folks at Moro in Exmouth Market: My link It's hearty peasant food - vary the sausages and try adding some amontillado sherry (a bit like wine is added to French and Italian lentil dishes) as much as you want, as long as they're good quality and the seasoning is right, you're onto a winner. The fat is great if you can get it, but again - fat is fat, I've made it with good lardons and cooked the fragrant veg in goose fat - delish.
  19. Success! I've cracked it! Thanks again for your help and the link to the eg sourdough clinic. That reaaaally helped me a lot. I realised I was actually using a biga, rather than a poolish and had been knocking my dough back - so losing all those precious bubbles. This loaf represents my first real success. I stuck with a thicker biga starter (400g) and added some water and 400g strong white bread flour (we don't have the same brands as you guys over there - KA etc. Here it's just 'strong' or not). I went for really hydrated dough. Man, it was like bubble gum by the time I stopped kneading it - popping and super elastic. That's when I knew I had something good. Then after folding, I let it rise ever so slightly before stopping the fermentation in the fridge and allowing it to firm up. I also invested in some fire bricks for the oven shelf and that helped a lot too. Now I've got the open crumb, the chewy bread and the crackling crust. It's still not quite perfect though - I'm going to try Paul's repeat folding during bulk fermentation next and add some refined white spelt flour for extra flavour, but guys - the smug satisfaction I got from eating this today cannot be matched and it's given me the biggest buzz. My family love it too. Imagine, all this from just flour, water and salt!
  20. I'm with John Rosevear - if I knew how to do one of those quote box things on here, I would've - get much better use out of your freezer and buy lots of freezer bags. My wife's Indian so I make loads of curries, along with a big range of other stuff, and I've just got used to making huge batches, then freezing them in 2 adult-portion bags. It usually means we can have quite a feast of slow-cooked foods whenever we feel like it, either just remove the dinner in the morning so it's defrosted by the time you get home, or buy a microwave. On the rare occasions when the freezer runs dry, there are all the other speedy options the helpful folk at egullet have been providing.
  21. So I guess we're moving from tools towards ingredients too, just to correct myself!
  22. andiesenji - I have a wonderful mental image of you living amongst giant vegetables! Thanks for sharing everyone. Nobody has come up with anything too scientfic yet - any liquid nitrogen people out there? I had some good advice on baking with spelt to add vitamin C and I myself have used ascorbic acid to start off some red wine vinegar. Let's hear a few medicinal/molecular gastronomy tales?!
  23. We all improvise when necessary and certain improvisations have become mainstays in the kitchen. The only place that pins get used in my house is for pricking the bangers so they don't, well, bang! My dad's old cut-throat razor has been my lame for slashing bread and scoring pork belly for years. Bricks from my local DIY store in the oven and even a good old paint brush I use for painting BBQ and the like. So what non-culinary cunning have you deployed? My personal favourite is gaffer tape - and I'm probably not alone there. The stuff is genius.
  24. Canned tuna makes a fine pasta sauce. My 2-year-old loves it! Then again, a nice quick tuna mayo sandwhich filler for days out is also a winner. Other than that, it's anchovies for a whole range of mediterranean recipes, from putanesca sauce to bruschetta, and indeed, some tasty Scandinavian dishes such as Janson's Temptation. Lastly, I do like a good clamato and who is seriously going to buy fresh clams for that?
  25. Okay, so here's my final white-food menu: Gibsons and salted almonds Seared scallops on cauliflower puree with cumin veloute Whole sea bream baked in salt with two salads: shaved fennel and new potato New York cheesecake Thanks for the feedback. Once my teeth can handle coloured foods again, I'll be thinking about other 'themes' as it really has given me a creative push. Now, does anybody know if I can use dishwasher salt to bake my bream?
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