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Everything posted by TheCulinaryLibrary

  1. Belle Lowe, Experimental Cookery From the Chemical and Physical Standpoint. 1932 The original source inspiration for McGee, Blumenthal and the Adrià brothers.
  2. Does anyone know the 'science' behind the hot water sponge? Best ratio to dry ingredients etc ? An friend of a friend of mine has a recipe for the most amazingly light sponge I have ever tasted. Unfortunately it's her family's secret recipe from a few generations ago and she doesn't share it, ever! My research has led me to believe it might be a hot water sponge but I cant find out any science about it. Why it works, what does it do, what are the critical factors for success etc. The amount of hot water seems to vary considerably from 1/2-1 cup for an average size cake, and recipes vary as the whether the hot water is boiling or not but I can't find out why.
  3. I agree with FeChef. I keep sofrito up to 2 weeks in fridge then freeze if I don't use. XO is not like worcestershire as it has chilli rather than acid so 4 weeks is about the safe limit I think.
  4. the other brands on the link have the same voltage problem. the Sumeet has great reviews but is 120v. Indian power is 240v like Oz and UK but I can't find an online source of the Indian home market version. thx anyway, will keep looking
  5. ultra pride is 110v and we have 240v in Oz so would prefer 240. Sumeet seems to be unavailable. Any other suggestions?
  6. I'm thinking of buying a wet spice/curry paste grinder. Any ideas on what brands are the best? Premier super-g, Preethi ??
  7. Farinata and Socca are the same thing, it’s just in Nice they call farinata socca. The more oil used, the crispier outside and creamier inside. Non stick pans are good or the dull silver metal ones in commercial kitchens. Always serve farinata hot as it goes elastic as it cools. The longer you leave the batter sit the better your farinata will be (in Italy it’s often made the day before cooking) The traditional batter for 3 x28cmxround farinatas = 1+1/2 litre of water, 500 g chickpea flour, 200 ml extra virgin olive oil + a splash for the pans, salt and pepper. I like a bit of color and use a hot oven and hot oil in the pan, I colour the batter botton on top of the stove then finish cooking and colour the top in the oven.
  8. TheCulinaryLibrary

    Nut Oils

    bruschetta, brush on after toasting (walnut oil is best used cold as it develops bitterness the more it's heated) add to cold sauces drizzle over hot pasta and cooked pizza walnut oil and apples make a great couple, drizzle over the top of apple crumble after it's cooked dukkah + crusty bread + balsamic for dipping + nut oil for dipping
  9. Both fat and moisture (volume of liquid) effect the texture of sauces. More fat or less moisture =thicker sauces. By volume, milk is the primary ingredient in béchamel sauce. Butter is the primary fat ingredient. The difference in butterfat content between low fat (2%) and full fat (4%) milk, in itself, should not significantly effect the viscosity of the sauce, it does however effect both flavor and mouth feel and this could be what you are experiencing. There is a significant subjective difference in mouth feel (texture/thickness) between low and full fat milk. Frost, et.al in ‘Food Quality and Preference’, 2001 confirmed that a combination of adding a non-fat thickener, whitener and cream aroma to low fat milk mimicks the sensory mouth feel of full fat milk. But if you want a thicker sauce you can always try: Adding a little less milk when using low fat Adding a little more flour and/or fat Adding a few grains of calcium chloride to help “bind” the milk particles tighter. (Because it’s salty you’ll need to reduce added salt. Available for $5.99/50g @ modernist pantry.com ) Try thickening your sauce slower at a lower temperature as higher heat breaks the bonds between food particles making sauces ‘looser’.
  10. In the 70's I remember making a salad (adventurous for those times) with steamed cauli flowerettes, chopped dates, chopped bananas and mayonnaise! Nobody in my family likes this flavor combination today though.
  11. It's a matter of choice and dissent. You don't "need to add" aromats to first stock. Historically classic chefs have not agreed on this question and for commercial kitchens it was simply a way of using up left over ingredients. Escoffier seems to be the first to 'systematically' move away from the "meat simmered in water" first stock idea. It probably depends on the type and number of uses you have in mind for your stock. What seems to be agreed today though is that stock is best made on a long simmer and not on the boil.
  12. I would consider it a good starting point and better than I have found so far! thx
  13. A few years back I took my daughter and son-in-law to dinner at Gordon Ramsays when he was at Claridge's. $1000 for 3 people! (not including wine) and the only thing that was truly amazing and that I couldn't work out what they had done, was their sweetcorn soup! It was intense and amazing unlike the rest of their luke warm food. I have searched for the recipe, unsucessfully, every since so if anyone knows what it was or has the best ever corn soup recipe, I'd love u to share.
  14. I'm a big fan of preserved lemon with slow roasted meats, beef, pork, lamb, etc and also with rich Indian curries. Easy as... so making a few jars each year is quick and cheap. I add Nigella seeds to mine. Instead of throwing out lemon rind, I shave it with the vegi peeler, dry, store and use in curries, stews etc or zest and freeze.
  15. I used to use Mae ploy (a friend of mine in Chinatown informs me this is a cheap bulk buy paste many food hall cooks use, ) but I have swapped to patak. It's more expensive, but for me, has more depth of flavor. I find Thai kitchen too 'weak'. These days I'm a fiddler with curry flavors, I fry most pastes off with oil and almost always add extra sambal oelek and, like andiesenji, I mix, add and taste until the flavor matches my mood. An extra splash of fish sauce here, lime juice there, cane sugar, tamarind, powdered cashew, etc I have also started using pastes together adding a spoonfull of Madras to vindaloo, mixing red and yellow thai, green with yellow etc. I'm addicted to coconut cream so I add that to everything,........(purists look away.) ..........even tom yum!
  16. Research on the effects of different drying methods on the loss of aroma (volatiles) in bay leaves* has confirmed that oven drying at 45 °C and air-drying at ambient temperature produced similar results with hardly any loss in volatiles compared to the fresh herb.( Freezing and freeze-drying on the other hand resulted in substantial losses ( aroma & flavor) of volatiles, and created some unwanted chemical changes). So probably best to stick to fresh or ones you dry yourself. And even if your palate cant detect strong bay flavor the medicinal benefits alone make them worth using. (free-radical, antioxidant and alcohol inhibitor, anti bacterial and anti inflammatory properties) *The Journal of Agriculture Food Chemistry Research 2002
  17. The publishing question is an important one these days because of the transition from traditional publishers and bookstores to print on demand and internet stores. I've been down both tracks and am now totally convinced that selling on Amazon and net platforms offers far better leverage financially and emotionally than following the old ways. My royalty returns are approx. 400% higher than with traditional publishing. My books are aimed at a different market than yours though( a building reference library rather than an entertainment) and I choose to use no photography even though I have taken thousands of professional images. I'll be interested in what your publishing plans are and how that goes and wish you luck.
  18. Shel_B, unfortunately can't get Blis in Oz but I hear it's great. Megachef does have added sugar, 2%sugar, 1%fructose, its not noticably sweet, but I love it. I agree though, Red Boat is consistently reviewed as the best and doesn't have added sugar. ElsieD, The strength of its natural protein or Umami taste, is graded by numbers which indicate the nitrogen content per litre. When a bottles is labelled °N/1L, it indicates the concentration of fish protein in each drop. The higher the number the more fish protein, the bigger the Umami taste. That's why higher costs more. 43°N/1L = highest protein, highest umami flavour, first extraction. 40, 30, 20 and 15°N/L, indicate subsequent extractions, after additional water(usually seawater) has been added.
  19. Harold McGee is one of my heroes and a national treasure but he claims in his article , "there’s scant evidence for tomato toxicity in the medical and veterinary literature." This is not strictly true. Google Scholar is the place to search for published Journal articles and their medical literature database is one of the most comprehensive in the world for current research. I did a search for Tomato leaf toxicity and humans and then for animals and it gave some interesting research suggesting it's best not to ingest tomato leaves or flowers. You don't need to be a member to access findings as most articles have a free summary.
  20. While you are waiting for a reply from Huiray I thought I would mention some interesting choices in Fish sauce. As with many foods there are natural products and there are those that are chemically enhanced with artificial flavors and colors. With fish sauce there are also those who’s fermentation process has been reduced from 1 or 2 years down to 2 days by the addition of chemicals and enzymes. Short or artificial fermentation usually results in a strong fishy flavor and long natural fermentation in a sweet, nutty, rich flavor. I use Megachef because its 2-year natural fermentation gives it a big clean umami punch and then Red Boat is my second choice. Both are naturally fermented using traditional methods. I avoid artificial, chemically enhanced products because of their taste.
  21. DANDELION ................................................................... Taraxacum officinale. Native to North America and Eurasia, all parts of the dandelion plant are edible. The flowers comprise multiple small florets held aloft on a composite flower head. This mighty flower is a power pack of nutrients including Vitamins A, C and K. They go well in salads and match well with blue flowers such as Borage or Chicory. "Edible Flowers & Leaves", The Culinary Library, Vol.2. Pub. Amazon 2013. D & P Gramp.
  22. I think an analogy with cheese could be useful here. many cheeses begin in the same way with similar ingredients but the softer, delicate white cheeses must be made quickly in sterile bacteria free conditions to give their taste, color and texture. The darker, more pungent blue cheeses can't develope their distinctly robust flavors without time and bacteria. Each is admirable in a different way and preference simply a matter of taste, palate, pairing.. Pepper is the same I think. What we call true peppers come from the same plant, piper nigrum, but the end product is determined by ripeness at harvesting and processing. Enjoying one white pepper doesn't mean you can't enjoy another. Loving black pepper doesn't mean you can't learn to enjoy white and preferences are just that, prefernces, not rights or wrongs. Living in times of abundant food means we have the luxury to choose our preferences and to be inclusive or selective.
  23. It's getting a lot more hit or miss these days even with prime cuts. I put it down to animals reared in unnatural environments like chemical feed lots. Fat marbelling or in a layer helps as most of us don't lard anymore (yes I confess, I still have my larding needle, somewhere), a quick, hot caremilization on top of the stove then into a slower, cooler oven than you'd normally roast in, then a good long rest afterwards covered with foil. (Pot roasting on the stovetop can give a tender result although it's not strictly roasting and gives a different flavor). For the bigger, cheaper cuts an overnight marinade before cooking is a must. I must admit I love rib roasts too but too expensive now so I resort to whole fillet, scotch fillet or porterhouse/entrecote. I wonder if this 'toughness' question is the reason chickens, pork and lamb are easier choices for a roast?
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