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Everything posted by jamesglu

  1. Looks very good, Colonel! Perhaps a blind taste test when you're next in Oamaru is in order!
  2. Thanks, Lisa, but since it's summer here, Brussels sprouts are not an option.
  3. MelissaH, I also found that link and plan to lean heavy on Ottolenghi for inspiration for this group. I also am thinking of doing a sort of tsimmes that I saw recently on Leite Culinaria.
  4. Huiray, you got me! I have made sure that the agent and the guests know that we do not have a kosher kitchen, and apparently the guests can handle that (which leads me to conclude they may not be all that orthodox, especially since none of the images of the father--I google people too!--shows him wearing a yarmulke).
  5. Lisa Shock, thanks for your reply. In case it was not clear, these are paying guests at my lodge, and I will be the one standing over the stove cooking, so there is no problem with proposing a solution that requires someone manning the stove while the guests eat.
  6. PS there is no kosher deli in my very small town in NZ (not have I seen one in any of our larger cities) but tempura sounds like it has potential.
  7. Thanks for all the replies! I realise now I omitted a few key details! First, I myself am Jewish and originally from NYC and even attended yeshiva for the first five years of my schooling so I know the kosher rules even though I am completely areligious. The guests are from NYC and unfortunately I am unable to communicate with them (they've booked through a travel agent). Also I have learned that one of their number is avoiding dairy, soy and wheat. They know that my kitchen is not kosher (they'd have their work cut out for them looking for kosher kitchens in NZ) and they have requested kosher (mevushal) wine for sabbath dinner (Friday) but are willing to drink non-kosher wine on Saturday night, which leads me to believe they may not be 100% kosher in the first place.
  8. I am going to be welcoming a group of Orthodox Jews to my lodge in New Zealand for Christmas and Boxing Day. They are kosher, but are willing to eat fish. What kind of starter do you think we can serve them that will be festive and yet not a violation of their religious observance?
  9. As a favour for my niece, during my visit to LA, I took myself out to Barrel and Ashes to sample their apparently famous hoecake and report back to her on what it was like (she saw it on TV some time ago and wanted to replicate it for some reason back home in CT). Unfortunately I wasn't in a position to try anything else on the menu, and the hoecake was, in my view, not really worth a detour to Studio City. Has anyone else been, and is the rest of the menu any good?
  10. Only very basically, since while hotpot and mala Xiang guo are similar, they are also pretty different, primarily since mlxg is dry while hotpot is wet.
  11. Thanks to all who contributed with recommendations. In the end, my friends asked to meet in Chinatown, taking advantage of my Chinese-language skills and giving us an opportunity to was nostalgic about old times spent over dimsum. So we went to Nom Wah on Doyers Street, which we enjoyed pretty well and where, while it was not quiet, we were able to have a nice reunion.
  12. First things first--I'm a born-and-bred New Yorker, but now live in New Zealand where I cook professionally. I am in NYC for a bit of a break and am meeting up with a friend for brunch/lunch on Sunday. My mantra--no meal should be wasted--is key, but so is the reality that we need to be able to talk more or less in peace and it needs to be affordable (but it also needs to be in Manhattan and close to transport). Any clever ideas??
  13. THanks, Leslie. Is Will of 24Carrot a username on eGullet, or a business?
  14. Does anyone know of a commercial grower of globe artichokes in New Zealand? I have a patch of my own, but they are not yet very productive and they turn out rather small specimens, while I would love to have a source of large artichokes to use for guests. Any ideas?
  15. Here's my process: I keep the dough in a plastic box until it has increased in volume by around 30% or so (estimating; it's usually around 4 hours, unless my kitchen is especially cold). Then I follow the instructions and fold it into a boule shape (more or less) and place in bannetons until it has again risen a bit (usually 3+ hours; the ones most recently rose at very cold room temperature overnight while covered with a plastic bag). Then it goes into a very hot oven (260C), which gets infused with steam and then the temperature is reduced to 220C (this is in a professional oven) and it bakes for 24 minutes, during the first 14 minutes of which time I infuse steam every few minutes.
  16. Yes, since I follow the same technique each time, and the "bread tumours" only appear occasionally.
  17. Yes, I do! Should have mentioned that before.
  18. So here's another question. I have been baking the basic country sourdough for a long time now, and on a regular basis the loaves sort of "explode" in the oven, producing an unsightly bulge on one side (occasionally on top) and resulting in a big gaping hole on the inside. Clearly there is too much rising going on too quickly, but I'm not sure what to do to prevent it. If it's of any relevance, I am baking the breads in a commercial Turbofan oven with steam injection, starting off at 260C and reducing the temp to 220C when the loaves go in, and putting a lot of steam into the oven at regular intervals for the first 10-14 minutes of baking.
  19. Thanks, Robert, your reply is pretty much what I was thinking, so I appreciate the corroboration! Just in case my guests do expire as a result of the meal, however, please do forward me your contact information so I can include you in the countersuit ;-)
  20. I was given a whole salmon the other day, which I have cut up into fillets to prepare sous-vide. I don't really need them all right away, so was wondering if I could freeze them in their packages and cook as normal. Would they survive the freezing without losing texture, and if so, how much longer should they cook than normal?
  21. My first contact with Andrea was over the question of whether I could use my Midea soy milk machine (that I bought in China expressly for the purpose of making tofu) with her recipes. She got back to me right away with the advice not to use it, and I have to say that while the tofu I had made earlier using the machine's soy milk were unmitigated disasters, the tofu I have made with Andrea's recipes has been perfect. I don't know if it's her technique or the soy milk that's making the difference, but why mess with perfection? I will continue to use the machine for making soy milk to drink, and may just do an experimental batch to see if it can be used for tofu as a fall-back, but honestly, the non-machine recipe is dead-easy, so I cannot see any particular reason not to just hunker down and do it.
  22. Last week I bought the Kindle edition of Andrea Nguyen's newest book, "Asian Tofu", after hearing her interviewed on a radio program. Living in rural New Zealand, we have little access to good tofu, so the prospect of being to make my own was very appealing, especially after I tried a recipe that appeared a year or so ago in one of the US food magazines and found that the results were far from satisfactory. I am very pleased to report that my results so far with Andrea's recipes have been stellar. I started off with probably the second-hardest of the varieties of tofu in the book--block tofu--which requires a certain amount of finesse in addition to an unusual ingredient (nigari, which I happened to have bought while overseas last year). This tofu was easily the best I have had, and I should point out that I used to live in Beijing and New York, two cities with ample tofu supplies. Emboldened, I next tried her silken tofu, which is probably the easiest recipe in the book, since the tofu gets coagulated in its serving dish and requires no pressing. This also was delicious, and makes an incredible version of hiya-yakko, the Japanese cold tofu dish that is often found in sushi bars. Finally, I made the tofu pudding, which is the hardest recipe in the book, according to Andrea, but which I found to be quite straightforward, especially since her instructions are very clear. Making tofu looks set to be in my regular weekly routine now, especially since it is really not very time-consuming, as long as you remember to soak your soy beans overnight. I would recommend this book very highly, and now am embarking on trying some of her recipes that use the tofu in the book. I should point out I have no relationship with Andrea Nguyen, other than being a new big fan of her books!
  23. Mjx, I do not rely on the knob of my oven for anything other than a very vague estimate of what the internal temp will eventually be. For one thing, I have two ovens--one is a gas oven that (since I'm in New Zealand) only has gas-mark numbers anyway, so I have to check my oven thermometer inside the oven to determine what temperature I have set, and the other is a professional electric fan oven with steam injection. The latter is the one I use for baking most things, and I used it for the croissants, setting it at 165C and baking for around 12-14 minutes with an occasional injection of steam. This, I found, was the 'sweet spot' for baking my croissants, and it's what I'd use in the future. For one batch I did use the gas oven, set at 180C, and found that after as little as 20 minutes the croissants were nearly burnt.
  24. Thanks for the reply! I think that keeping the butter in a single block would be a lot better than cutting it up into bits, so I may try that next time. And re the freezing, that is actually pretty much what I did--I froze them on trays, put them in bags and stored, and then the night before I want to use them I place them in the refrigerator, taking them out as soon as I'm up (which is usually ridiculously early) so that they have a bit of time in a room-temp environment before baking them. How long does CI say to bake them for, and at what temperature?
  25. So I bought Tartine several months ago and have been enjoying baking with it, particularly the sourdough bread recipe so I decided to try out the croissant recipe. Having now made two batches, I think the recipe has the potential to be a winner, but I have a few questions. For one, does anyone know what you can do to make pounding the butter a bit less messy? (The way I've done it, the cubes of butter fly all over the kitchen.) Also, I find that the baking time is WAY too long. I don't mind 'bien cuit', but if I bake them at 425F for 30 minutes they come out more like 'brûlée'. Finally, does anyone have any recommendations regarding freezing the croissants after shaping them? I don't really often have need of as many croissants as the recipe makes (especially since I tend to make them smaller than the recipe instructs).
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