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MobyP

eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by MobyP

  1. MobyP

    goose liver ravioli

    It worked out very well for me. This isn't batali's. The sauce is based around jerusalem artichokes, after a ducasse idea.
  2. I was told that it is supposed to be showing in Europe - on the discovery channel or some affiliate, but I'm buggered if I can find it. If anyone has the techie bod sense to track down the showing times here, my wife would appreciate it. She wants to see me eat a pig's head on camera (courtesy of St John... hmmm... pig's head....)
  3. I think you'll find your thread here in the general section. As for advice, drive or rent a car and go to Paris, to E Dehillerin and buy at half the price.
  4. John, I agree with you entirely about the charred corn ravioli being the dish of the meal, as I think I also noted. To be honest, I still can't tell if I hit a really bad night for the kitchen, or whether it's his food that misses me. Since that meal I've been to Astrance in Paris, which I think works for us as an example, as Chef Barbot also uses a lot of Asian spicing. [Edit to add - Ah, I see you've been there!) They brought me, as part of a tasting menu, the most spectacular dish - simple roast ceps with a wasabi yuzu emulsion, and a few vegetables (see appalling picture below). Onto this they lay paper thin slivers of shaved cepe. Now think about the flavours for a second. Unadulterated mushroom with wasabi and yuzu - it sounds like a car crash waiting to happen. How can the subtlety of the mushroom stand up to the powerful flavours of wasabi and yuzu? If I had read it on the menu I would have rejected the dish. Well, it was a miracle of taste. Pascal Barbot balanced the flavours with such skill, with such intelligence, that I still don't believe it. But most of all, rather than the dish being about a fireworks display of spicing, or bold citrus notes, it left me with the impression that I had learnt something really profound about eating cepes. You know the feeling? (By the way, there were a few other dishes at Astrance that were just as good. The stunning foie and paris mushroom tart (Just found your great demo pics here). The langoustine. I can't recommend the place highly enough.) I just can't put that cepe dish next to the ones I had at JG without getting angry about them. You note his apparent like for strong flavours. It just felt like a car crash to me. And I'm certainly willing to accept that your meal was more restrained than mine. Though who knows what that should mean. Thanks for the report and pictures.
  5. MobyP

    L'Ambroisie

    Bartow, as one of Pacaud's serious fans, I just couldn't imagine that any vegetarian menu he could produce would be on the same level as your non-veg meal. There is Arpege, obviously. And Barbot at Astrance might be worth a thought.
  6. Did they know you were hiding under their table, Andy, or was it - erm - a pre-arranged thing?
  7. Bacchus, do you brine as well as sous vide?
  8. the vac packing seems relatively affordable. It's keeping a consistent temperature for 36 hours that I can't find affordably.
  9. MobyP

    The Terrine Topic

    Daniel, there's a really great book that's worth buying, even if you never use it. It has amazing stuff on charcuterie. This base recipe came from Culinary Bear, and I made some substitutions. [NOTE: The first recipe I posted had the wrong salt amount. I've corrected it.] 580g chicken livers 480g belly pork, inch cubes 25g salt 2tsp ground black pepper 2 bay leaves sprig thyme 15g butter 30g shallots in fine dice 30ml brandy 1tbsp chopped parsely 75g crustless bread, small cubes 150g milk 2 eggs 90g double cream pinch nutmeg So I had four quail which I deboned. I substituted the thigh and leg meat for an equal amount of chx livers. As I was using belly pork, I added 20% of meat weight in back fat, and reduced the bread and cream by about a third. Otherwise, I followed his recipe. Mix salt, livers, pork, pepper, bay leaves and thyme. Refrigerate overnight. Remove thyme and leaves. Sear livers in pan with butter, remove. Soften shallots in same pan, deglaze with brandy, add to livers, refrigerate. Mince pork, liver mix through a fine mincer. Mix bread and milk, let it soak up for a few minutes. Add egg, cream, nutmeg, mix with minced meats. Adjust seasoning. I used a simple short crust recipe (450g flour, 125g butter, 100g lard, 1 teaspoon of salt). Rolled it out, lined the two molds. Put a layer of farce along the bottom. Pan seared the breasts, then covered them up with another layer of farce, and a pastry lid. Cut a steam and aspic vent, and baked at medium temp until an internal temp of - hmm I don't remember. Probably 150 or 155. I made aspic from the quail bones and trotters, with white wine.
  10. MobyP

    The Terrine Topic

    Here are a couple of quail pate en croute that I made for a picnic this summer. You can't see the gelee in the pics, but it's there, and was really delicious. Also, I didn't have proper en croute molds so had to use pottery terrine ones instead, which meant I didn't get the colours I wanted. Other than that, it tasted really, really good.
  11. Hey, u.e. I don't think this is a case of not liking acids and - as a culinary aesthetic - the use of vinagrettes etc. I think these dishes were so out of balance that I'm relatively confident you would have had a similar reaction to my own. You can taste in a vinagrette if the cook has overdone the acids against the fats - and in the right circumstances this can be really appealing - like the peruvian green sauce (chimichurri?) used by Nobu with certain sashimi (or with putrified shark meat, or boot leather for that matter), or a good mojo with roast pork. This was different. The acids were so over done they were killing the flavour of the proteins. The 'Asian Spices' were killing the flavour of the squab or pidgeon. The heat/chilli was taking all flavour away from the veal (which frankly when I wiped away the sauce I didn't think had much to begin with). Interestingly I had a version of the scallop caper raisin vinagrette made by JGV's ex-head chef in London, and it was excellent - and all about balance. The NY example was abhorrent. And the scallop was cooked with very little sensitivity. There are people I respect (u.e. - you included) who swear by the lunch option. Doc - The Fat Duck performs with incredible consistency. The dishes change at a glacial pace. It's unlikely you would be disappointed. In contrast Gagnaire can change everything between a lunch and dinner service, and you often need 2 or 3 meals there to get how appallingly brilliant he can be. I was lucky. I had only one (my first post ever on eG, I think), half the dishes of which were life-changeingly good.
  12. With a few exceptions, I had just an awful dinner here in mid August. It's the kind of meal that you leave the table feeling midly resentful over, and by the time you reach home, you're ready to do some serious griping. We shared the two tasting menus, one classic and the other seasonal. Overall, the dishes were entirely unbalanced, from the famous caper/raisin vinagrette (which tasted as if it had the addition of a spoonfull of hot mustard to carry it through), to a stupid use of miso sorbet with (I think) a sea trout that was far too strong (so strong, the waitress warned us not to eat too much of it, for goodness sake); a use of chili that you would expect in a bad mexican restaurant - so much that we ended up sending back a veal dish that was overwhelmed by it - and a use of curry powder that overwhelmed a squab dish - which we also sent back mostly uneaten. Vinagrettes had too much acid. The wine sauces had a harshness of uncooked wine. It goes on. Chili used in one course stayed in the palate through the next, destroying any (optimistically longed for) subtlety. Stand out dishes of the evening were: A charred corn ravioli with fresh tomatoes and corn - generally very good, but also unbalanced vinagrette which was far too strong. The foie brulee was much fun, served with strawberries, though the flavour of the foie ran short - as it did in Craft the night before - unlike imo the best European examples. Neither of the fish dishes merit a mention, and neither were 3 star Michelin quality in the slightest. The turbot was a sliver - less than half an inch thick - though not over cooked, it was hard to see the point of it. The sauce, my (exceptionally well dined) companion said, had the harshness of uncooked alcohol. I found it monochromatic in flavour. Also the meat dishes - which as I mention above, we sent back pretty much uneaten. Tasteless veal, approximating the correct texture, overwhelmed by chili. The squab had the after taste of 'Asian Spices' that had all the subtlety of a cheap curry house. The foie couldn't come close to saving it. Again, we sent it back. The garlic soup with the frogs legs was pretty good, but again out of balance. The summer poached egg with caviar and cucumber foam was light and a bit empty of substance. I enjoyed the JG egg, but didn't find it the revelation I was expecting. It seemed like the sum of its components, rather than anything greater. The desserts too - though showing intelligence, there wasn't a single one that was a more than a clever bistro dish, and certainly not a three star knockout. Even the mignardises were odd - I found the mini macarons to be sickly sweet. The grapefruit and vanilla marshmallows were almost identical in flavour. And Jean Georges was in the kitchen this night. A really intolerable meal. In both conception, materials and execution, the Craft meal the night before was just much, much superior.
  13. What is an ISI? I've tried several times with lecithin and had very marginal results. If someone could write about liquid temperatures, uses of gelatin, bamix's etc I'd appreciate it. For example, I added some asparagus puree with a little chicken demi-glace to a milk cream mix, added lecithin, heated and used the bamix. Although it got somewhat foamy, it wasn't really as much as I would like.
  14. Not all extra vecchio tradizionale balsamics are that good. I bought one when in Modena - 25 or 50 years old - and I've found the acidity is unbalanced. I've had more interesting 50 year olds, as well as more interesting 12 year olds.
  15. Thanks Marlene, yer a star.
  16. Okay, I've scanned a few pages, but I don't have time tonight to read all eleven of them. My apologies. Your pig looks extremely good. Could someone give me a rundown on the temperatures required for slow roasting in an oven? I understand there's a temperature stall at around 170 or so. What final temp should I look for to get that lovely, pull apart, greasy porky goodness?
  17. MobyP

    Whole Duck ideas

    Would you part with the recipe? ← That would be a little tricky to do, as it's quite long and involved. It originally comes from a tremendous book I found in a second hand shop called Pates and Terrines. This has everything from simplest country pates, to liver mousses to an entire stuffed Boar's Head coverd in aspic (the picture of that is stunning)! Although the instructions for that particular recipe begin with the classic line (I paraphrase) that if you need to ask how to make this particular dish, you probably shouldn't be attempting it! Anyway, it's a galantine of wild duck recipe covered in pistachios which I adapted to a nice small duckling that my butcher had. The farce is foie gras, duck breast, pork and back fat (very high quality gloucester old spot/tamworth mix) mixed in with pistachios, smoked tongue and ham. You should use some preserved truffles, but my wife is allergic to all mushrooms, so alas. So, debone the duck. Cut out all the cartilage. Even up the meat. Make the farce. Stuff duck and carefully roll in roasting film or cheese cloth. Poach in a duck stock made with the bones from the duck (they say) for 45-50 minutes. I did it at a lower poaching temperature of approximately 60 C /140F for about 2 hours, until the internal temp was about 138, then let it cool in the poaching liquid for an hour or so, and placed it in the fridge. The next day, unwrap, scrape off rendered fat, reduce and clarify the poaching stock to a glace. Cool that quickly over ice. Roll the duck in this almost gelling stock, and then roll in a tray of ground pistachios. The galantine cuts differently at every location. Further up than the picture, the farce was in the center and surrounded by breast meat on all sides. The picture above shows where the breast meat goes into the thigh.
  18. MobyP

    Whole Duck ideas

    This wasn't simple, but it was delicious. Duck galantine
  19. Does anyone remember the AWT place called Menage a Trois? I'm looking for any information I can find. So far via google I've discovered that it served only starters and puddings, and was Princess Diana's favourite gaff. Any info or recollections would be appreciated.
  20. UE - you write very well about food. Could you sum up your sense of the meal in relation to the others you've had recently?
  21. I'm not entirely full blooded - or entirely English for that matter - but I have a proper pork pie in my fridge awaiting the bell to strike noon (about 15 seconds to go) and I would gladly go for a slab of your one insead.
  22. Sainsburys has stocked San Marzano for a a couple of years now - there might be an old and shocked post of mine somewhere about. Although I'm thankful, I don't think they're of a very high quality. Still, beggars and all that...
  23. My wife - gaw bless 'er - made me a piggie bank for my birthday (well, an ornate box with a pig on the side) bearing the legend 'L'Ambroisie 2006,' and bunged in a few score of Euros to help me on my way. On a slightly more relevant note, Le Champignon is vastly reasonable in its pricing. And if you book the train carefully, you can make it up there and back fairly inexpensively - like in the 40 quid range or under. The cook book should be fantastic, as (I'm told) David talks not just about recipes, but also why certain categories of flavour work together. It can't get here soon enough.
  24. MobyP

    The Terrine Topic

    Thanks chaps. As to scale, well, it's a whole duck, so the roll was 3 to 4 inches across. Sure. Koffman had a famous recipe back in the 80's of stuffed pig's feet which I've done a couple of times. There's also one in the French Laundry book. Open up and debone the main shank, leaving just the toes. Braise with extra hock for 3-5 hours. Cut the meat into cubes, and fopld this into a chicken mousseline with some sauteed morels, and use that to stuff the trotters. Koffman would wrap this in foil and steam it until the mousseline was just cooked. Gordon Ramsay takes almost the same recipe and cuts it into rounds (once cold) and fries them until crispy. He serves this with in a salad with truffles.
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