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Posts posted by Duvel

  1. While I love this, it almost always contains cinnamon (either the pepper or the ginger are not included).  You could try it without, but it wouldn't have that great quatre épices aroma.

    Yes, Some of the more realdily available French brands (e.g. Ducros) do fold in some cinnamon. I'd stick to the classic mix, which - if fresh - does have quite the quatre epices aroma to me.

  2. I strongly suggest "quattre epices", a classic French mixtures of cloves, macis or nutmeg, dried ginger and pepper. From my perspective it has the same earthy, warm qualities as cinnamon, albeit with a little different overall profile. Works great as a cinnamon substitute in cream catalana, which actually passed the mother-in-law test (and she is a stout traditionalist when it comes to Catalan cooking)

  3. Great topic. I had "Smarties Kuchen": a thick sponge cake base, topped with a layer of butter cream, then a layer of Bahlsen butter cookies and finally dark chocolate frosting in which smarties (= M&Ms) are scattered (actually, since it's a German cake, there are arrange in a neat geometrical pattern ;-)

    Best thing was to have so much left overs that the next day you could eat then straight out of the fridge with. The butter cream almost solid ... Yum!

    In two weeks it's my sons first birthday and guess what I asked my mother to bring ;-)

    • Like 1
  4. I don't think that the claims are outrageous. Its basically a small autoclave with two heating coils in it. In the CNET review the closing mechanism is described and it seems feasible to me that the chamber is in fact pressurized, giving you the same cooking advantages as in a pressure cooker (cf. the overpressure valve).

    So, as Dcarch has pointed out, as the cooking time of the food will depend on the internal temperature, which in turn is determined by the boiling point of the water in your food and the latter is raised due to the pressurized chamber, it will in fact cook your turkey much faster. Since you have two additional sources of heat/IR radiation (the coils) that will create higher temperatures on the surface than a pressure cooker alone would permit. I do think the turkey story seems feasible.

    Its a nifty idea ...

  5. I think you will be fine with the cheap one. For a long time I used a very similar model that came for free with two dozen bretonian oysters.

    The traditional style has a thick short blade, the guard Is usually there to protect you from cutting you fingers with parts of the shell as well as preventing part of the shell to splinter off and getting into the oyster by too enthusiastic shucking (like this one http://www.amazon.fr/Tefal-K0693014-Couteau-Huitre-Métal/dp/B00EHAG8WI/ref=pd_sxp_grid_pt_2_0 ) Since you have already proper protection and don't work in an oysterbar with impatient customers I'd consider it optional.

    There are a lot of oyster knives out there now with a long sharp blade (eg. this one http://www.amazon.fr/Birambeau-5968-Ariane-Ouvre-Huitre/dp/B000SA8766/ref=pd_sim_sbs_k_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0BR02373VAXJRQJM9QYB) and I have to admit that while it takes a slightly more delicate approach - more like "feeling you knife" in the oyster that the "stab&twist" with the classic one - I like the results: done right less danger of getting pieces of the shell in you oyster. But I had to practise ...

  6. That may be so, but it was only when JO appeared on the scene that I first heard of the term. Anyway, whenever I hear "spag bol", JO is the first person who comes to mind.

    Strange. When I hear "spag bol" I always think of Heston Blumenthals "In search of perfection". Excellent read ...

  7. I am all pro regulating food names or designations.

    Usually when I buy food - especially item with a premium price - I'd like to get what I intneded to buy. If I am out to buy a Roquefort I really want that and not a Bleu d'Auvergne (cow instead of sheep) or any other nondescript "blue cheese". Now, if I get an "American Roquefort" made from raw sheeps milk, coagulated with the same rennet and inoculated with the same strain of Penicillium would it be the same ? Maybe. But riping would take place in another place, conditions may vary etc.

    We are used to like and pay dearly for specific wines from special places, specify the grape we like and the style. Nobody would question that buying a Chateauneuf du Pape should get you exactly what you pay for and not a wine made from the same grapes in the same style but from Napa Valley. It might be a fine wine but definitely not what you asked for.

    Nobody forbids you to use the decription "in the style of blahblah". Germans love Schnitzel, but they are usually made from pork and the "healthy" one from turkey. They are called "Vienna style" and the meat type is given as they are pounded, breaded and fried but nobody would call them "Vienna Schnitzel" as those ones are made from veal and fried in lard. Its a fair solution: you know what expect approximately, but are not cheated into investin into an orinial dish hen you just get a copy (which might be not inferior, mind you).

    So in conclusion: a proper (and maybe protected) name helps the customer to choose what he really wants. If someone wants to indicate what his products resembles using a phrase like "blahblah style" is from my perspective a fair solution to help the customer decide whether he wants the products or reaches out to get the original.

    • Like 1
  8. Bonkboo,

    I would go with something a little more rich to complement the acidity and fruitiness of the Saison. Maybe circular puff pastry base, some "confit" meat (think Rillette, slice of foie, slice of Boudin noir), something sweet on top (caramelized apple, onion marmelade, ...) and a dusting of the herbs you put in the beer ...

    Good luck with the "Brew & Chew" and let us know how it turned out ;-)

  9. I visit Korea on a semi-regular basis and - being fond of the local cuisine - have bought a couple of koren cookbooks over the years. In my opinion "The Korean Table: From Barbecue to Bibimbap" by Taekyung Chung is a nice mixture of authentic and approachable.

    • Like 1
  10. Liuzhou,

    You will need to clean the kidneys and soak them in salted water for around 30 min (you may add a slice of ginger). After that pat dry and fry over high heat in clarified butter with garlic and persil for about two minutes. Alternatively, with ginger and finely sliced scallions in neutral oil and add a tiny bit of Zhenjiang vinegar at the end. Anything longer than two minutes will result in a rather "al dente" experience ...

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