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DianaB

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    North Yorkshire, sometimes La Flèche.

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  1. As a very occasional visitor to eG I have only today come across the sad news of Anna N’s passing. I can’t imagine these discussions without her input although as I write this I realise that she would very much have wanted the community to continue. Anna N was always supportive of my overly ambitious cooking experiments; information that she shared helped me to become a better cook. Her writings, alone or in tandem with @Kerry Beal brought knowledge, amusement and humanity at a time when minor disagreements can all too easily take a wrong turn. Our paths can never cross now but I shall never forget my eG friend, Anna N.
  2. Still enjoying our Chefmaker, bought during their Kickstarter campaign and posted here: We used Chefmaker “sous vide” mode to cook ribeye steak for my husband’s birthday last Sunday. It was perfect, we couldn’t have achieved the same previously (different in summer when we can finish sous-vide steak outside with a blow torch). No effort, no mess. Delighted to have come across this little cooker and looking forward to diversifying from cooking proteins when time allows.
  3. I use the box at least weekly for bread but gave up attempting to use it for chocolate. I am very much an amateur chocolate maker creating the most basic confections and since discovering a method for tempering that works for me using a microwave and cocoa butter I have stuck with that. The box is great for bread, easy to wipe down after use; much less simple to clean when clarted with chocolate 😐 My husband!’s nephew is highly allergic to gluten and can’t eat anything made in a kitchen where flour is used. He spent much of his childhood in hospital until coeliac conditions were better understood. I don’t even offer him drinks from our kitchen for fear of contamination in a space where bread and pastry are regularly manipulated. Of course there are people with a gluten sensitivity able to cope with foods created in a not gluten free environment but one really needs to know the recipient if giving or selling foodstuffs.
  4. So many amazing desserts here! It is years since I last made nougat glacé and I don’t think that my recipe is NC friendly, nuts and cherries would end up just chopped into the base. @EnriqueB is it possible to know more about your recipe? i have never seen cloudberries before and need to find some to try as I wonder whether they might grow in England. Something to explore for next year perhaps. @EnriqueBs post on times and temperatures is useful. I have no problem with our everyday vanilla, based on crème anglaise. Often I mix a pot containing 50% vanilla and 50% fruit ganache (Opalys choc with either blackcurrants, blackberries or similar) and these need more spins. I have blackberry at the moment and find that this needs 1 gelato spin followed by 3 or 4 respins; with the information now provided I think that I will be able to work out a more time efficient way to achieve cream rather than granules. Many thanks.
  5. We bought our Chefmaker through their Kickstarter campaign, I understand that the official launch day is tomorrow, 15th December. Thought it worth posting as they may have special offers. There is a Facebook group that is quite active, if tainted by personal sniping at times. A pity that people don’t have better things to do. We continue to use our machine regularly, it really does manage proteins better than anything else we have tried to date. No more finishing chicken breasts with butter. Hoping to find time to try other things over the holiday period, someone posted a YouTube video on using the Dreo to make bread. I’m wondering also if it might help with tempering chocolate.
  6. About right @rotuts, for a couple it is fine, might be frustrating for a larger household. Results are magical for us, we don’t have an extraction fan so searing steak involved taking it outside, not always ideal in North Yorkshire 😁. Now the machine does this for us without filling the kitchen with unwanted aromas.
  7. We bought our Chefmaker after watching this preview: The unit hadn’t been launched when this was filmed so we followed the Kickstarter project through to completion. We paid £150 having committed to the purchase before the product was available. Frankly, had it been twice the price I think we would still have thought it a great purchase. The Chefmaker has a range of cooking modes including air fry and sous vide. Unlike most air fryers there is a water tray in the top so that steam can be introduced during cooking. We have an Anova sous vide set up but I think that most things that we might have cooked that way will now go into the new machine. The beauty of the pre-programmed options is that meats are seared as well as cooked to probe temperature. I understand reluctance to use YouTube but would just say that the short video cited above gives a better overview than I can provide having had the machine for just a couple of weeks. The only limitation that I can see as a real negative is that the cooking basket is quite small. One of the pre-programmed recipes is for boned leg of lamb. I bought the top half of a leg, removed the bone but it was still too large for the cooker. I cut the meat in half and tied each up into a roll. When cooked, the meat was perfect and each half would have given 3 or 4 good portions. Last night we did 2 chicken breast portions “sous vide” (there is a choice of cooking style where appropriate), I checked the temperature at the end of cooking with a Thermapen and it was spot on. The meat was absolutely perfect, tender with crispy skin. There is no obligation to use the pre-set programmes, one can establish ambient temperature, probe temperature etc to suit different cooking methods. Lots of experimenting yet to do. Dreo shipped Chefmakers to US customers before European distribution began, hence I was sure that I would find lots of discussion here, it must be the first time that I have been at the beginning of something!
  8. I have been extremely impressed on the odd occasions that I have attended formal dinners, with service as you describe as “synchronised? I have never properly understood quite how staff serving a couple of hundred guests can manage it so beautifully.
  9. Whenever we acquire a new piece of kitchen equipment, this is the first place I visit to seek advice. Last year it was wonderful to read the experiences of other Ninja Creami users just after we bought our own. A few weeks ago we took delivery of a Dreo Chefmaker, discovered via a YouTube channel that we follow (Sorted) and then followed on Kickstarter. This link is to the Dreo website: https://www.dreo.com/chefmaker-combi-fryer i have searched eGullet but haven’t found any reference to this little marvel. Perhaps I am not using the search function properly, any pointers in the right direction will be much appreciated. In the month or so since we received our machine we have cooked the best ribeye steak, leg of lamb and chicken breasts to ever come out of our kitchen. There are various users on YouTube demonstrating some of the possibilities that the Dreo offers, certainly not limited to meat - we have had beautiful baked potatoes over the past couple of weeks. Has anyone else tried the Chefmaker? Decided against buying? Here is George the cat demonstrating our Chefmaker, he finds fitting the probe a challenge having paws rather than fingers 😁
  10. Having very much enjoyed our low cost very basic pizza oven (highly recommended for those with limited budget or space): https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ferrari-G10006-Delizia-Pizza-Oven/dp/B002VA4CDI/ref=sr_1_3?crid=387KNIJRJHMRY&keywords=g3+ferrari+pizza+oven&qid=1701096690&sprefix=G3+f%2Caps%2C110&sr=8-3&ufe=app_do%3Aamzn1.fos.23648568-4ba5-49f2-9aa6-31ae75f1e9cd We decided that after 10 years it was time to move on, especially with Ooni launching a model that can be used in the kitchen. Our climate really doesn’t suit outdoor cooking, we didn’t light the barbecue once this year (that said, last year was entirely different with long spells of extreme heat). In the end we invested in the Breville Pizzaola and the results are just amazing. It took a while to master the technique of transferring from peel to oven, we had a few odd shaped pizzas in the early days, otherwise the results are just stunning. So far we have only made basic, Neapolitan style pizzas. Very much looking forward to trying other things including focaccia and pan baked pizza.
  11. I am struggling to persuade pepper (capsicum) seeds to germinate this year. I sowed a packet of seeds to give yellow fruits (Gourmet) and a packet for plants with peppers that ripen red (Gypsy). The Gourmet seeds did eventually germinate. Those little plants have been potted on and they seem to be doing fine. Not one of the Gypsy seeds germinated, with only 12 seeds in the packet I had sown the lot so the only option was to buy a second packet in order to start again. I have grown these 2 varieties for years now, they complement each other, taste great and freeze well. When I had problems getting sweet pea seeds to germinate someone (perhaps here) suggested getting them started on damp kitchen towel. I am trying this with my second packet of Gypsy seeds. Just wondering if anyone else has had problems getting capsicum seeds to germinate? Any other tips that might come in useful to prevent difficulties in the future? Happy growing!
  12. I am considerably older than your daughter but have only once tasted McDonalds food, a lunch choice of a colleague when I was living in France. We had a luncheon allowance and most restaurants offered a prix fixe menu that matched the standard allowance, so starter, plat de resistance and pudding. One rather meagre burger in a sweet (tasting) “bread bun” and a small handful of “fries” cost around the same as the prix fixe menu. Foods that I have never tried include some favourites of my mother: lambs brain sandwiches come to mind. I have eaten tongue but not heart, I have never tried thyroid whether referred to as “sweet breads” or not. I have never had bull testicles or similar parts of other animals. I have never eaten a song bird and have no regrets about that. Most of this list is filled with things one wouldn’t find easily in a UK or French retailer. Amongst fruits and vegetables that I have never tried are Jerusalem artichokes, plantain, goji berries and cranberries. No particular reasons for these omissions, there are so many great fruit and veg that I just haven’t got round to them all. We tend to eat what we grow in this category for much of the year so food is somewhat predictable. What about things you would love to try but can’t because such foods are not available in your location, or the expense just can’t be justified?
  13. Absolutely right, I gave up on the UK iteration years ago because it was more about “entertainment” than excellence in cooking. Same with “Bake Off”, the French version is, in my view, much better than that made for a UK audience. A shame that in the last couple of seasons the technical challenge has gone more towards the ridiculous, in earlier years the challenges were always based on historic recipes that demanded huge amounts of skill but were at least edible at the end. Both Top Chef and Bake Off (le meilleur pâtissier) used to be freely available to all who accessed the 6play website, unfortunately this is no longer the case, they also block known VPN mechanisms. I find that Nord VPN is the most reliable of those that I have tried. I would happily pay to watch the programmes but even that option is only available to those with a payment card linked to a French address.
  14. Top Chef season 14 has just started in its French iteration. The programmes are shorter, just 1 hour 45 minutes this year. They have taken the last round out of the main programme and that is shown straight afterwards but as a separate entity, I think that lasted an hour but it may have been just 45 minutes No sign of the usual accompanying programme where, in the past, previous contestants have come back to showcase regional produce. Amazing demonstrations of skill this week so well worth watching if you have access to a VPN (or live in France)!
  15. Guess this must have been soon after the shop opened? Of course one can go to the Meurice where they have offered M. Grolet’s delights for collection since the pandemic. Eg https://cedric-grolet.com/meurice/produit/fruit-de-la-passion-2023/ Swerving back to the original topic, we enjoyed sudachi citrus fruits a short while ago. These looked like limes on arrival but they turned yellow as they ripened. Beautiful citrus, almost as amazing as the equally difficult to source fresh yuzu. When I win the lottery (as we don’t buy tickets, this won’t be soon 😂)I shall have a vast glass house built so that I can grow citrus fruits ad infinitum.
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