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Everything posted by gourmande

  1. First, please understand that I am a novice at bread making... and not much acquainted with the workings of yeast... I was just wondering if a bowl of proofed yeast could be kept (refrigerated or otherwise) should one not be able to use it when planned. My concern is not so much one of preserving my proofed yeast as it is understanding how long proofed yeast can "live". Thank you in advance for any and all insight you can provide this newbie
  2. Thank you... I'll email these suggestions to them. I've started a second restaurant list... given the options Toronto has to offer it was inevitable! G
  3. Camdan, GordonCooks (and those who msgd me): Thank you so much for all your help ... I included your suggestions in the list I compiled and which I've now sent along with weblinks. I'll be seeing them in Bronte Creek on Sunday and can't wait to find out how they made out... I'll let you know when I return. I should definitely make an effort to get to Toronto and try some of those restaurants. I drive through TO often enough but never seem to have time to stop over! Thanks again ! G
  4. HELP... I have friends from Michigan who are visiting TO for the first time this coming weekend (Sept. 19-21). They will only be spending two nights (arriving late Friday) and are looking for a memorable dining experience for Saturday, and a great hotel - I know, I know, hotel requests don't fit this forum but I thought I'd mention it anyway... Anyhow, not being from TO I haven't a clue what to suggest, but knowing them I'm thinking Perigee would be one option as might have been Canoe but they're not open Saturdays. Can anyone help out here... ASAP? Many, MANY thanks G PS: If you can suggest a hotel as well I'd appreciate it... They want luxurious accommodations with secure parking for their vintage sports car. They're first inclination was the Royal York...
  5. Oh yum... Deep fried cod tongue and cheeks... is there a better snack food? All to say, yes I love 'em. They go down well with pitchers of beer on a Friday afternoon, followed by a fish and chip dinner with mushy peas, and for dessert, a thick slice of figgy pudding ... MMMMMMMM
  6. gourmande

    Steak at home

    Thick bone-in rib steaks, cooked on the grill, are what we've been enjoying most lately, and - don't shoot me - La Grille Montreal Steak Spice continues to be our favourite rub.
  7. gourmande

    Ziploc omelet

    Haven't tried but certainly will! I'm always looking for "easy cleanup" and "multi-purpose" recipes/preparations for our camping excursions. Edit: Bonus with this idea: the same water could be used for our tea/coffee... no waste. Thanks for the tip.
  8. Here is today's chili simmering away... As mentioned yesterday, today I'm making a very simple ground beef version. The ingredients include: ground beef, onion, red and green sweet peppers, canned tomatoes, canned kidney beans, chipotle in adobo sauce, garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cocoa powder and salt. Once served I'll top with some chopped fresh cilantro and grated cheddar.
  9. For the few times we indulge in frites at home... Being a home cook for just two, days in advance prep is not an issue. However, I usually peel, cut and chill (in ice water) the potatoes a few hours ahead then dry them thoroughly before blanching and frying. I prefer a 1/4 inch cut for frites and as condiment... a nice mayonnaise. ... Of course, chips for fish is a whole different story
  10. OK, I'm going to pick up the gauntlet here. How is this chili? It sounds like a wonderful braised lamb stew. Are there actual chilis in it? I mean these questions in the friendliest of ways, of course! ← Well, to begin with it involves ground lamb rather than cubed (which is what I associate more with stew), the "chilis" or peppers I have used in various incarnations include the sweet red and yellow varieties along with fresh hot Thai peppers, and/or smoked paprika or dried chipotle... as I said it's a work in progress so to speak (the original recipe was never divulged), but it absolutely is an interesting twist on "chili"... and YES, quite good.
  11. Phew!!! Someone else mentioned lamb first. I was afraid to post this earlier, but one of my favourite chili recipes (I use the term loosely) includes lamb, chick peas, toasted ground coriander and fresh mint. Back in the day, we'd have après-ski chili nights, and one weekend, a friend brought her lamb chili that wowed us all! I've been attempting to replicate it ever since... I plan on making a ground beef version tomorrow and for the first time, I may even take notes as to actual ingredients and quantities...
  12. Today I made the Caribbean Pork Shoulder (page 354) ... meh... nothing to write home about so I definitely will not be doing that one again.
  13. Thanks Jayhay, they were indeed delicious, and even better reheated a few days later. For the second use I removed the meat from the bone and heated it in the sauce with the remaining veg. And believe it or not, we still had some leftover; just enough for lunch the next day! IMO, the only way to judge it honestly is to make it as it is written. However, I don't have a copy of it so for now, I think I'll stick with my Balthazar recipe
  14. I agree, there is no way that amount of liquid will reduce much in 10 minutes. Then again, maybe that's why they suggest cooking uncovered. If it were me, I'd cut back on the amount of liquid and go for a covered braise. edited for clarity
  15. How much meat is called for in your recipe, and is there other liquid involved as well, like stock? It does sound like an aweful lot of port though. My favourite short rib recipe is Balthazar's, which calls for 4 cups of wine, 1/2 cup of port and 6 cups of stock (plus extra if needed) for 5-7 lbs of short ribs. The resulting sauce is truly amazing. As regards braising meats uncovered, I've never done it, but I would imagine that you'd get a lot of evaporation that way and would probably have to turn the meat quite often to prevent the exposed areas from drying out...
  16. Oxtails Braised in Red Wine Though in my case it was a single oxtail, which still yielded a fair amount of meat for two. This turned out a fabulously rich and savoury dish that I would definitely try again, though perhaps using meatier short ribs in lieu of oxtail. Here is my attempt at photodocumenting the process. You'll have to excuse some of the seriously out of focus images. It's what happens when the left hand is doing the cooking and the right hand is trying to capture the Kodak moment Day one: The marinade The bouquet garni: cloves, allspice, peppercorns, bay leaves and rosemary. The meat, wine, bouquet garni and salt are "in the bag", and ready to go in the fridge for a 48 hour marinade. Day two: The braise 1- The ingredients The drained and dried off oxtail pieces ready to be browned... ... then out from under the broiler The aromatics: pancetta, onion, carrot, celery, garlic and tomato paste The soaked and drained porcini (the liquid reserved and strained for use later) The liquids: reserved marinade, stock, brandy (reserved porcini soaking liquid not in picture) 2 - The process Cooking the aromatics... ...until I got a nice fond in the pan The liquids were added and reduced in layers as recommended... ... before the meat was tucked in. The crumpled parchment is placed over the meat before covering and putting into a 300F oven, which I turned down to 275 later to maintain a gentle simmer. (I do not extend the parchment over the sides of the pan as she suggests) After three hours, the meat is tender and were ready to finish this off. The meat and veg are removed, set aside separately (just the meat is picture here) covered with foil and kept warm... ...while the sauce is finished with the addition of a bit more stock. 3 - The plate A nest of garlic mashed Yukon Golds holds a bed of the braised veg, the pieces of meat perched atop and the sauce poured over the meat. Ok, ok, my plating skills need work but trust me, it was a knockout taste wise. edited to correct marinating time
  17. I'm liking this already! Any more hints/suggestions on the preserving side besides just packing in salt and oil? (Our market is overflowing with peppers right now... but I'm reluctant to indulge unless I have a safe, quick and easy way to preserve them)
  18. Sloooow cooking indeed! The recipe I used the other day was "Oxtail Braised in Red Wine" from Molly Steven's "All About Braising" cook book. It too uses some weighty herbs and spices like rosemary, clove, allspice ... and the resulting sauce is absolutely fabulous. It's nice to be able to try different approaches, and I will certainly give some of the other recipes posted here a try. edited for clarity
  19. Ooooooo, I'm liking that flavour combo, and I just happen to have all those ingredients at hand!
  20. Today I made mushroom and barley soup, loosely based on Jacques Pépin's "Quick and Easy" recipe. It truly is quick and easy, but most of all, very flavourful.
  21. I bought one whole tail this weekend (which the butcher cut into 2" pieces for me) and it weighed about 3 pounds. The resulting cooked dish (a braise in wine with veg) could feed 4 easily - after serving the two of us, plus seconds for my DH, we still have enough left over for another meal. So if your recipe requires two tails, you're looking at anywhere from 5-7 lbs. worth. Mind you much of it is bone, especially towards the tail's end.
  22. For beef stew, my favourite cut is blade, hands down. I always brown the pieces well first, ensuring a nice all over crust. Sometimes I dredge the cubes in seasoned flour first, but not always.
  23. gourmande

    Dinner! 2005

    Sunday I was back in my own kitchen, and with the colder weather my thoughts turned immediately to braising and other forms of comfort cooking, so... Sunday: Chicken braised in white wine with onions, peppers and apricots; served over lemony Jasmine rice; mixed leaf, cucumber and tomato salad. Monday: Stuffed peppers with tomato sauce and shaved Parmesan; roasted Yukon Golds; leafy green salad. Tuesday: Baked rigatoni (tomato meat sauce) topped with lots of Provolone; mixed leaf, cucumber and red pepper salad. Wednesday: Baked Coho salmon fillets; duck fat roasted veggies (potato wedges, baby carrots, red peppers strips, thick sliced zucchini rounds); spinach and orange salad.
  24. Well... did anyone catch Julie on "Martha" today? I tuned in towards the end of the show, just as Julie was beginning her spot. I think she held up very well under the, er... circumstances. In fact, I found her quite appealing as far as FoodTV goes... she displayed some good potential for that media, I thought: knowledge, humour, confidence, presence, and an average Joe, I mean Julie , demeanor. "The Julia Project" TV Series anyone?
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