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Everything posted by jmacnaughtan

  1. It depends on what you're looking for, but I generally don't use stock at all. If you use a lot of decent onions and caramelise them properly, a little flour and then just water seems to give a cleaner flavour. I'm not really a fan of the really beefy/winey/boozy onion soups. IMO, the real problem comes when you try to short-cut the browning process.
  2. This started out as a take on a standard lemon curd. This version will give a softer set that's good for tart filling - if you want something with more structural integrity, use all dark chocolate or increase the dark chocolate content by 50%. The quantities here will give enough for a 16cm tart. 2 large oranges (for a stronger orange flavour and more acidity, use 3) 80g sugar 2 large eggs 80g milk chocolate 80g dark chocolate - Wash then zest the oranges directly into the sugar, stirring between oranges. Set aside, preferably overnight. - Juice the oranges and weigh or measure the volume of juice - there will probably be around 250ml (three will give you around 375ml). Put it into a pan or microwave-proof bowl and reduce until you end up with around 120ml of juice (this increases the flavour and acidity). - Break the eggs into the sugar/zest mixture and beat well. - Break up the chocolate into a large bowl, then place a sieve or strainer over it. - Pour the hot juice over the egg mixture, mix well, then pour into a pan and cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens to a bit thicker than a crème anglaise consistency. This should be around 85°C, or until it coats the back of a spoon. - Take off the heat and pour through the sieve/strainer over the chocolate. - Let it sit for a minute or so, then stir or blitz with a hand blender until it forms a smooth, ganache-like consistency. - Pour directly into a tart shell and refrigerate. It will set quite softly, but will still slice. For a firmer curd, see the comment at the top. ETA: I forgot to adjust the sugar content for the milk chocolate - with all dark, use 100-120g, depending on the cocoa %. I've tweaked the chocolate levels as well.
  3. Something of a tart-making spree this weekend - more desserts in three days than I've been making all year. Here are two of the better ones: Apricot and milk chocolate Pâte sucrée Apricot confit Financier Milk chocolate and apricot crémeux Dried apricot pieces Chocolate, orange and hazelnut Pâte sucrée Chocolate orange curd Toasted hazelnuts Candied bergamot This one was the most successful - I love my chocolate orange curd recipe 😍
  4. Nicely done! I find that madeleine and other buttery sponge layers freeze badly. Maybe try a financier next time? They're fairly forgiving.
  5. jmacnaughtan

    Milk-fed lamb

    Looks great. I'm a huge fan of Spanish style milk-fed lamb.
  6. In a similar vein, I used to make lemon curd over a double boiler too. I don't do this any more, but I won't use a microwave for it either.
  7. I don't get it - tempering egg yolks is easier and lazier than your method. You end up hovering over the pan stirring for much less time - put them all in cold and you're stirring from fridge temp to 82 degrees, temper it and it starts much closer to the target.
  8. jmacnaughtan

    Dinner 2022

    From distant memories of eating bridies, I recall them being more like Cornish pasties made with puff pastry. Possibly lower-quality meat and fewer vegetables too.
  9. jmacnaughtan

    Dinner 2022

    I brought back a nice jar of red Keta salmon caviar from Russia, so instead of just spooning it from the tub as usual, I thought I'd make a meal of it. Plain caviar on buttery croutons A Russian style potato, fennel and cured salmon belly salad with red caviar Poached salmon with broccoli and a celeriac galette... ...with a red caviar beurre blanc. No dessert - I'm not that creative.
  10. jmacnaughtan

    Dinner 2021

    Also, turbot and sole are great! I love doing a turbotini for two 🥰
  11. It's got to depend on how aged it is... Last time I rendered down some properly aged fat (from a sirloin, I think it was 100 days), the kitchen quickly filled up with that blue cheese/urinous kidney stank. IIRC, I only used that fat to sear more beef. I'm not sure I could use it in anything else, it was way too strong.
  12. Was it this site? I've tried a couple of times, and learned that it doesn't work (at least for me) with jarred or tinned chestnuts. You really do have to peel them yourself... Also, discouragingly, it seems that many chestnut varieties can't be candied. He suggests chatting to your local chestnut producer at the market about which varieties he grows. You've all got a local chestnut producer, right?
  13. If you're using a cake ring to assemble the cake, you can just leave it on and cover the top with glaze. The only problem is that the glaze is designed to protect the mousse, so it may dry out and discolour. When using a decent glaze and putting it on at the right temperature, it should be fine to eat. I use the Migoya one from The Modern Café (possibly the only worthwhile recipe in it), which works well. Alternatively, you can spray cocoa butter over the frozen cake, or spread jam or neutral glaze on it before coating with nuts or something else. Tbh, I've moved away from mirror glazes not because of the flavour, but because it's a pain if you just have to do one cake...
  14. Ensaladilla Rusa is fine, but the king of potato salads is Salad "Olivier" - the proper Russian salad served at New Year. I think it's the malossol pickles and sausage that really makes it. Great with champagne, and great for breakfast the next day. I should add that I've never made it - I do most of the cooking, but this is very much my partner's dish and I'm not allowed anywhere near the kitchen when it's being made.
  15. I hadn't been entertaining for some time, so it was good to finally spend time on a dessert. This is a milk chocolate and apricot tart. Tonka bean sablé breton Roasted apricot and milk chocolate crémeux Toasted hazelnuts Candied bergamot Basil
  16. I'm a fan of keema - it's usually made with lamb, but it's good with beef too. For something less spiced, cottage pie is always a winner too.
  17. I think a lot of the places that make pink pralines do a final coat of gum arabic, so they're smooth to the touch - yours look a little rocky. You may want to try panning your pralines, if you want to do any large quantities. @Kerry Beal is a good person to ask about this, among many others.
  18. @David Ross your dessert looks great! However, that is not a clafoutis. It is something much improved - a proper tart with pastry, and no stones in the cherries. I feel that I'd very much enjoy your one, which can't be said for most traditional clafoutis.
  19. I was rather referring to the quality. The sight of those grey elephant legs rotating sweatily still makes me shudder.
  20. Sadly, there is very little Greek or Turkish Cypriot about most of the kebabs sold late at night.
  21. If that's what you meant, then sure. But it didn't come across like that for me - more like meat pies were an obscure eccentricity. Whenever I've heard "pie and mash", I've never understood it to be with eel and parsley sauce. Just gravy. And I've never heard any non-British person talk about eel shop pies, either.
  22. Uhhhh... What British person has never eaten a pie? They're on the menu of every pub that serves food (almost always with mash), available widely in supermarkets, butchers and service stations, and are a staple at Scottish football grounds. They are a popular dish to make at home, and you can often get them at late night kebab shops and chippies. And that's only hot pies - Melton Mowbray pork pies enjoy their own protected geographical indication, and are widely available across the country. This is a horrible slur on the excellent meat pie.
  23. @liuzhou, I don't suppose you want to do a sequel about French Food Myths?
  24. I wouldn't agree that the wars were responsible for the decline in British cuisine, but rather that the Industrial Revolution was the trigger. This generally served to eliminate much "local" produce and cuisine, driving people into cities and instilling a more scientific approach to food. This is still the case today, where much more emphasis is placed on nutrition, the diet and animal welfare than in countries such as France. You can also see it in many households, where many dishes are still indiscriminately served with a side of boiled vegetables, "because they're good for you". It also led to a widespread embrace of new technology in the food industry, which provided labour-saving processed food and generally turned the working population towards the notion of food as fuel, rather than something to spend time and energy over. Luckily, there has been something of a renaissance in local British cuisine over the past couple of decades, with a lot of excellent restaurants embracing local ingredients and dishes. Day to day eating can still be pretty utilitarian though - most meat is generally consumed in a heavily processed form, from sausages, pies and kebabs to burgers and pasties. Which I love! But they're clearly not for everyone.
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