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Everything posted by TheCulinaryLibrary

  1. I agree, plating was huge in royal and wealthy kitchen in the days of careme, escoffier at al, just have to see the pics in larousse to see how seriouse those guys were, but i guess I was thinking more of the few new books that are around on restaurant and modern plating ideas, where food is presented in a more modern way than the old days. Some of the ideas coming out are amazing and not too difficult for the home cook to replicate.
  2. Here's hoping our concerns and awareness about animal cruelty,eg trying to eliminate battery cage pigs and hens,feed lots, live animal exports and slaughtering without stunning are more than just marketing hype trends. Although a small number of people are aware for many years or decades, I feel foods are not really trends or trendy? until most cooks are aware of them even if they don't follow or agree.I don't do MC but I know what it is, have eaten it and read about it.So even if something seems old hat to you, it may not be as well known to others as you think it is. I think 'plating' is an example of something new and in its infancy that we take for granted.Still room in the market for plenty of books on that!
  3. For the past 10 years it's been all about molecular cooking, micro-greens and buying organic but lately I've seen interest in the new trends of source tracking, ethical retailing and sustainable seafood. Organic seems to have driven us deeper to considerations of integrity, buying local and animal welfare. There's always someone new heading the food pack, something on the food horizon, so if you know something, what do you know?
  4. Its been around since the 60's but only in Australia since 2000. Here it sells for a whopping $2000 and has mixed reviews. Our Choice magazine says its good for busy family cooking or inexperienced cooks but the price is too high. I imagine it probably appeals to busy family people or maybe those who work and also like to cook. Would like to try one though and see what it can do.
  5. Having bought 2 pineapples recently, that smelled sweet but not overripe at the stem cut, I was peeved to find that both had extensive brown spoilage to their interiors, making them almost unusable. McGee says they don't sweeten or improve in flavor once picked, they only soften and that brown interiors is caused by chilling injury during shipment or storage. Does anyone have a good tip for selecting a good pineapple in the shop?
  6. Hard boiled eggs should never be boiled as it encourages toughness (boiling rubberizes the protein)and the formation of the greenish-purple ring around the yolk(the iron in the yolk and sulphur in the whites form ferrous sulphide). They should only be simmered. (between 85-91degreesC or 185-195degrees F is best) Fried eggs if cooked on high will also go tough....but cooking them too low makes the white spread out too much. To get a bunched up white and tender fried egg, 65-75 degreesC or 149-158F is best.
  7. Styling is great but the recipes leave a lot to be desired. More like a commercial Journo than a chef.
  8. I've been watching your posts and too ashamed to admit I'm not only a cold pizza for breakfast eater but also a cold Pasta eater. Well cold pasta reheated eater actually.When ever I have pasta over from the night before, which I am expert at, I reheat it for breakfast the next day in a hot pan with butter and oil with some chopped bacon and when its crispy, on one side, I throw in some chopped herbs, pine nuts and then smother it with grated cheese or throw in some cream. Yum! As you might guess I'm not a size 8..or 10..or... well never mind that......its addictive so don't try it without adult supervision...oopps, I don't think adults, other than Nigella, are supposed to admit to this kind of behavior.
  9. My abject apologies, PanaCan. I cannot imagine why I said such an all-encompassing remark. You can't get much more multicultural then Toronto. I'm just lucky that no Torontonians read my foolish remark. However....Peterborough? Not cosmopolitan nor multicultural. Except around the university maybe. We do well for Asian foods in our local Asian market...even some fresh things...but that's about it. Our daughter's BF is from Grenada and he always comes laden with stuff from the GTA and then he cooks for us. Deadmonton...I like that. I liked the abbreviation to PanaCan, seems like a +ve endearment. Like PanaCana! I've been reading the responses that said don't worry about your drop in guests, they should be grateful for anything. But It's a bit like cleaning up before the cleaning lady comes, to me anyway. We all want the experience of our guests to be something +ve they remember, we want them to relax and enjoy themselves, not see the chaos and preparation that's gone before. And Darienne, anyone who's been a gulli member for 2 years is definitely a better cook than most. So whilst your humility made me think twice about my own pride and prejudices, I think your guests are lucky indeed to eat at your table.
  10. One of the wonderful things about the gulli , to me as a new member, seems to be the wonderful passion and variety of knowledge members are willing to share. So thank you ScoopKW and everyone else interested in this question. I can see I will have to be on my toes, not be defensive, or get my culinary feelings hurt when faced with contrary views and evidence, and just enjoy the ride. But thank god we all have an abundance of salt and all our other wonderful ingredients to experiment with. Has the world of Cooking ever been so attractive to the psyche as it is today? I think so. Feeding ourselves with joy and creativity has stood the test of time, through thousands of years and with the benefit of technology has only got better. The culinary world lets us forget the mortgage, the rising price of oil, world peace, if only for a while, when we are preparing the next meal.
  11. Nigel Slater's take on seasoning: "When to season.This is something that cooks love to argue about. I have found that if you salt meat before you grill it the juices seem to pour out and you get a dry chop." "Rub your steak all over with olive oil, not too much, just enough to give it a good gloss, then grind a little black pepper over both sides. I put salt on later." Appetite, Nigel Slater, Cookbook of the Year, Andre Simon Award, 2001.
  12. In Australia, pretty much anywhere more than an hour or two from a city, like I am, is out in the never-never. No matter how lovingly cooked and wonderful smelling something is when I freeze it, it always has that unloved, abandoned, frozen-hearted feel when thawed. So I rely on my pantry shelf instead. Dried Radiatori Pasta, (those big fat luscious radiator grills) with a good jar of Arrabbiata sauce is always a guest pleaser. And for a surprisingly good, all-pantry-shelf, Thai Red Lentil Curry, just fry some onion, add some chopped carrots and stir in 2 tablespoons of Thai red curry paste from a jar, add 2 cups of water with stock-powder, 2 cans of brown lentils and then a can of coconut cream and a couple of handfuls of raw cashew nuts... Then just throw in any other canned veg, like, a can of sliced bamboo shoots, sliced water chestnuts, baby corn, chopped tomato etc. It just simmers for 10m till the carrot is cooked.
  13. Just looking at Richards, Adzuki Bean, post and it reminded me..... A good tip for cooking all pulses and beans is to know that minerals and salts toughen both the bean and its skin, so instead of adding salt to your soaking or cooking water add a pinch of Bi-carb instead, which will not only shorten the cooking time but also give you more volume with a plumper, softer bean.
  14. Perhaps the most traditional and popular way to use Adzuki, that I know of, are in Chinese Moon Cakes,central to celebrating the Moon Festival in mid autumn in China but not necessarily appealing to western tastes. A good tip for cooking all pulses and beans though is to know that minerals and salts toughen the bean and its skin, so instead of adding salt to your soaking or cooking water add a pinch of Bi-carb instead, which will not only shorten the cooking time but also give you a plumper, softer bean.
  15. Thanks, will check out sources. Seems there are a lot of differing opinions in this area and it will be good to look at facts. Another old but interesting resource is Belle Lowe's "Experimental Cooking" from the 20's. (ebook downloadable)Harold McGee has followed in her footsteps and together I think they have had a major role to play in modern cookery.
  16. Nickray: I like Harold McGees books and his website, curiouscook.com, as a modern scientific source and resource for chefs and cooks. He was the first modern expert to re-caution against adding salt to meat you are about to cook, just as older traditional chefs advised before him.(and before Judy Rogers of Zuni Cafe became so fierce about it). Even if meat is salted 10m before cooking, it brings a pool of water to the surface of the meat which will then turn to steam at 212degreees, well before the 310 degrees the meat requires to begins browning.The inhibition of color, shrinkage and a tougher end product result through the steam produced. For salt to begin softening the meat proteins and reabsorb moisture it must go on long before cooking, a day at least,and more for best results. The evidence that early salting lowers shear force are numerous eg.The Journal of Food Science: vol40, issue2, pgs227-230; vol 146,issue 5,pg 1563-1567; vol 37, pg224-6; Meat Science, vol68, issue 2, p305-311.Judy Rogers Zuni Cafe Cookbook also gives a good explanation.Salt can be a tenderizer and flavor additive but it has the opposite effect if done at the time of cooking. A double blind taste test done by chowhound.chow.com about this subject is interesting reading.
  17. Panaderia Canadiense::Using Google Scholar above for: Process of Pastry making you might enjoy seeing and reading a 1950 Patent application for pastry making using your freezing/chilling processes.
  18. FOOD SCIENCE SOURCES: I find the best sources for the current science on food is the Journal of Food Science, and on meats: Meat Science. If you don't wish to subscribe to Journals you might find this free shortcut useful: In your google enquiry box enter Google Scholar and then open the site. Use the query box for your question. It can be about anything eg salting times or quantaties for hams or raw meats, marinading, cooking, storing, freezing, protein breakdown, flavor etc. You will then be able to have a free look at the many abstracts for the published Journal articles on your topic and can then buy individual articles if you want.Journal published work guarantees professional peer and industry scrutiny.
  19. Sorry Crouton we're going to have to agree to disagree on this one. Aspiring cooks need the full story here. As a classically trained French Chef in London in the 70's (The Cordon Bleu and Elisabeth Russell schools)I have to go with the old masters and new scientists on the use of salt. Salting meat just before you cook it makes the muscle fiber proteins contract, resulting in a tougher, dryer and less tasty end product. Salting before cooking is only ever advised when done well before hand, i.e.preferably 12-24 hours, so the proteins have time to soften and partly dissolve and are then able to reabsorb their lost moisture, that's why marinating meat is always recommended overnight. If you want to cook meat straight away, season with cracked pepper or spices only, fry/sear/seal off quickly, cook and then add your salt to the meat in the pan, but at the very end after cooking is completed. I use a good quality finishing salt, like river murray pink, because it's pyramid crystalline structures breaks down immediately on surface contact giving good intensity, I would definitely not use an iodized, cooking or refined salt either before or after cooking meat.
  20. Hi Guys, I'm brand new to egullet, but not cooking, and the first post I read and (bravely) replied to is the soft-boiled egg question. But there aren't enough hours in three lifetimes to read all the fantastic posts and amazing replies posted over the past few years. I was wondering if any of you would be interested in sharing, here, your best-ever cooking or foodie tip, maybe some obscure or common sense secret, something simple that you've known for years or just found out? I've got a few of my own to get the ball rolling.... If you're going to stuff hard boiled eggs and want the yolks to be in the centre, tip your eggs on their sides for at least a day before cooking. If you're making ricotta or feta gnocchi, adding a pinch of Bicarb soda to the dough gives them an amazingly lighter, softer texture without effecting the taste. Adding oil to pasta cooking water is a waste of time and money and stops your sauce sticking to it. Seasoning raw meats with salt before cooking dries them out and hardens them, great for pork crackling but tough on steak. BiCarb soda + cream of tartar = carbon dioxide bubbles = fluffier & lighter pancakes, doughs, cakes and bread. ........Love to see anything you've got stashed away in your Culinary arsenals if you're willing to share..........
  21. Arey, I guess a good analogy would be, do you justify the expense and prefer the taste of a good French champagne vs a good local substitute? The AOC du puy green lentils are chemical free and have an earthier flavor because of the volcanic soil they're grown in, but Canada is now the worlds biggest producer/exporter of french green lentils (>70% world production). I think you can safely buy your local ones without any noticable difference in flavor, texture or color and your Salmon is long past caring.
  22. Dear Maggie, One small step for soft boiled eggs is definitely one giant step for egg boilers. But of course, like all cooking, it's an endless journey this quest for the holy grail of the perfect soft-boiled egg. FRESHNESS effects the cooking time required..and SIZE MATTERS so you'll need to add a minute for each upgrade from medium to large to extra large...and then there's there's the WHITE TEXTURE, salting the cooking water makes it toughen to rubber instead of setting softly luscious...then the YOLK CENTERING, turning your carton of eggs sideways the day before cooking will centre your cooked yolk perfectly.....oh...and now how to avoid that GREY-GREEN HALO when the iron in the yolk meets the sulphur in the white...
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