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Everything posted by Zacky

  1. Wow! Some excellent ideas here - escovitch could pip my scallop idea as a starter - and I'm liking the idea of a lemon risotto Snadra. It's interesting how when you impose limits on your gastronomy it can get you thinking outside the box a bit. I'll post the final menu tomorrow to let you know what whiteness prevailed. Man, I wish I could have a coffee right now...
  2. No! I could never give up the wonderful staining foods! Blanquettte de veau is a great suggestion. Thanks for that - I have 48 hours of this. Thing is, once I started thinking about it, the more I had difficulty thinking of WHITE foods! Parsnip? Potato? Rice? Pasta? I'd be interested if anyone had a white risotto dish?
  3. Painful dentistry out of the way, I'm having some mates over for dinner and would love some ideas. I was thinking pan-fried scallops on pureed cauliflower for a starter and white chocolate in some form for dessert but I'd love to hear any ideas and recipes people may have. There's a 48-hour deadline, people!
  4. Paul, you've been MOST helpful! I will put this into practice and promise to post a picture of my success. Thanks a lot. Zac
  5. Good advice guys. I guess I'd had a sneaking suspicion in the back of my mind that after trying a very hydrated dough initially and it having failed to rise - I'd obtained the shape of loaf I wanted by making a less hydrated dough. Therein lies the problem. I need to use more water, more stretch and fold, more rising and proving time, and maybe let it prove twice. Back to the drawing board. As for recipes, I HAD been using one from Bertinet's book 'Crust' but I abandoned it and have been kind of winging it - which felt good as bread making is such an organic process; influenced by so many environmental factors. His recipe IS for a very wet dough. The problem I had with it was that after I'd kneaded it, it rose, but then after 'knocking back' it didn't rise as much and I had awful problems getting it into the oven. Each time it just flopped down and became a rubbery disc. BTW Paul - great pics and that's exactly what I'm after - could you share the recipe and technique in more detail?
  6. Although I'm sure if I trawled through the hours and days and weeks that have already been spent on forums like this one dealing with precisely this topic, I'd find my answers - it seems that this may be speedier. If anyone knows of any archived chats on the subject then direct me please, but for now, here's the problem: I have a beast of a starter - wild yeast fermented from strong, organic white flour and tepid water. I've even developed the knack of feeding it 6 hours before making bread to get it really bubbling and my loaves are rising well, proving well and getting a good crust (I'm using a tray with water at the bottom of the oven and also spraying the inside when I put the loaves in). So far so good, but I'm an awful perfectionist! thing is, my loaves all have a dense crumb, even if well risen and quite 'light'. I've even made a loaf that was, in my opinion, too 'light' - bordering on woolly. What I'm after are those 'holes' which are surely created through some yeasty action once the bread is in the oven, or perhaps from proving? And along with that, a chewier, more 'pain au levain' type of texture. It could be that I'm just not kneading enough? My dough is too dry? I've tried using different ratios of flours, such as more spelt or wholemeal along with the strong white, but while the loaves may be denser, they're still a fine, dense crumb that isn't chewy enough. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  7. Zacky

    Rice pudding

    How about using Indonesian black rice and coconut milk/cream along with vanilla pods and some soft brown sugar? The rice is super healthy and glutinous so it makes delicious rice pudding and it looks amazing! Kalhua sounds odd to me too, but now you've got me thinking about making a rice pudding equivalent of a white Russian cocktail, or is that just a step too far?
  8. Zacky

    Game Cookery

    "Fast and hard, or slow and long" is the rule with lean game. I'd go fast and hard with the breasts(if you are cutting the birds up) and long and slow with legs etc. You might find the breasts are quite small too, but very tasty! I recently cooked a whole mallard the long and slow way and that was great too - brown the top in butter, season well and braid with streaky bacon then braise with sweet white wine and apples. Rest the bird while you finish the sauce with cream and some reduced stock.
  9. We do a family roast every Sunday. It's a grand tradition that the whole family can take part in and you get all the lovely leftovers on Monday!
  10. His 'bible' achieved such success based on his training with an erstwhile royal chef and its adherence to 'basics' in Thailand such as crushed coriander root in so many recipes and, as you said, ingredients that are hard to find outside of Thailand. So? Either get the ingredients or approximate, but it seems churlish to take out your frustrations on him, as obnoxious as he may be, just because he's staying true to the cuisine that has become his livelihood. As for the substitutions you mentioned - what are they? I'd love to be able to help on that front. In Thailand, just as in any part of the world, there are as many ways of cooking the recipes he has transcribed as there are people who cook them! All hail the satay! Did you use your own curry powder? I've just run out of a batch that was given to me by an ex-student from Madagascar and not sure what to do next time I fancy making it.
  11. Challenges, eh? hmmmm! Good idea. Let me cogitate a while and get back to you.
  12. All good responses. Fat Guy, I was in the same boat - then I made a list! It's food I can make without recourse to any recipe book and know will be good: Steak and Kidney pudding French onion soup Keema peas and aloo ghobi Masala Dosai Spaghetti Carbonara Sausage pasta Chicken Tikka Masala Steak and chips Chicken Tagine Shepherd's Pie Chicken Cacciatore Lasagna Nasi Goreng Roast Chicken Rissotto Caesar salad Thing is, kind of like my i tunes library - it's all boring! So it's either blowing the dust off the obscure cook book a la Chris Amirault, or eggs. Talking of obscure cook books - I recently found an odd one on my shelf called 'The 12 Unexpected Guests Suddenly Arrive For Dinner Greek Cook Book'. It has an excellent recipe for Moussaka which requires 3 days of solidly drinking retsina before you even lift a pan. Inspiration!
  13. When everything in your fridge seems lacklustre or it's sitting bare. When you can't even settle on a cuisine, never mind a dish. How do you decide what to make? Recipe books? Old faithful recipes that never let you down? Eat out? Roll a dice? I'm in this predicament (quite a luxurious predicament, I'll admit). So share your solutions!
  14. I agree with the chillie route and always have a batch of kick-ass spicy Indian tomato and red lentil soup (rasam) in the freezer. I add loads of fresh tumeric root, which just feels like you're creating a cold cure. Sinuses melted, tummy bubbling. Of course, then there's the single malt whisky...
  15. Thanks for your reply. I think you're right about amounts (I have the powder) and I'll only add it after the kashmiri chillies to see how red they make the meat. As I live near Southall in London and my wife is Indian, we have no shortage of access to obscure products and ingredients. What I do need more of is the time to cook them and hopefully one good BBQ-ing day to make some nice tandoori chicken! Thanks again.
  16. I found some ratanjot powder in a local Indian food shop and bought it out of curiosity. Only later did I google it to find out it is a natural colourant from the bark of a tree, used to give Rogan Josh and Tandoori dishes their signature red hue. I'm planning to make one of those dishes and thought, as my first post here on eGullet, that I'd ask other members if they have any ideas on: How to use it in the recipe, including amounts If it is completely safe, ie. non-toxic, as my wife is pregnant Naturally, we have all become wary of adding things to recipes simply to change the colour! Thanks.
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