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Everything posted by chezcherie

  1. chezcherie

    Confit Duck

    hmmmm... i was trying out a method (barbara kafka's?) where the duck is first poached in stock (that's why there was a considerable fat layer to salvage), then roasted in a hot oven for a brief period (about 30 min)---do you think that fat is still overheated? it is very creamy pale yellow. not browned. thanks for your experienced response!
  2. chezcherie

    Confit Duck

    yup, me too. great start to a great year, i hope! i have some somewhat elderly confit in the back of the outside fridge (vintage 8/04?) and it is covered with a nice thick fat layer, so with what came from roasting this duck, rendering fat, and skimming from the stock, there's plenty for a new batch. off to the duck market on monday for a new batch of confit. made a pleasant duck ragu with some of the roast duck meat, to serve over spinach pasta made with the new kitchenaid pasta roller from santa. mmmm, duck ragu. happy new year!
  3. it took me a few days to get the hang of my wusthof santoku. as you point out, it is disconcertingly light at first. in addition, i found the lack of "rock" (due to the relatively straight blade) awkward also. but i gave it a 3 day "test drive" and it is now my "go to" knife, unless i am chopping through duck bones (as i was today, with my trusty-and-deadly $12 carbon steel cleaver from the asian market.) i do find that the divots help keep slices from clinging to the blade. so, i guess it grew on me.
  4. chezcherie

    Confit Duck

    is the fat that rises to the top of duck stock considered "rendered?" do i need to do anything else to it before i use it for confit? (i have some other duck fat, but don't want to waste this!)
  5. our family just made a contribution to doctors without borders for use in this disaster of unimaginable proportions. i really appreciate the discussion here, which helped make a choice as to where our $$ could be best used. prayers go out to all affected by this mounting crisis.
  6. no questions asked? is the diner supposed to disclose his/her immune status, or how is it determined why the request is being made? i would opine that the diner's immune status is his or her own business, and not to be determined by the server.
  7. That raises an interesting point, and one I see an awful lot of : "Chef, the customer on table X is allergic to :" egg dairy products (but not butter) margarine water (!) gluten garlic, onions, tomatoes all vegetables blood Now, I'm a biochemist by original training; I know people can be allergic to all sorts of things, but I suspect a lot of people are jumping on the 'allergy bandwagon' in order to lend weight to personal whims. ← this is my line-cook son's pet peeve. "just say you don't like/want it. don't say you are allergic to it. ESPECIALLY when it's caramel, and you are ordering apple tart with(out) caramel sauce. the caramel is sugar and cream, and that's in the blasted tart." (he didn't say blasted, but i'm his mother...)
  8. i'm left-handed, and something that i do instinctively is to hold the zester "upside down" on top of the fruit when i zest, so that the zest is caught in the "channel" of the inverted microplane, rather than falling to the counter. (does that make any sense? i wish you could just see my hands right now as i hold the imaginary orange and microplane...) it all stays neatly in place until i'm ready to deposit it somewhere. several people have given me the "wtf" look when they first see the technique, but then the light goes on when they see me "download" the goods into the batter bowl.
  9. that's a great quote! i will be using that, with proper attribution, of course!
  10. espresso whipped cream filling, 70% bittersweet/creme fraiche ganache "bark"...it was goood.
  11. gorgonzola, red onion and prime rib panini yesterday. mmmmmm.
  12. put a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup (or larger, or another microwavable vessel) full of water in the micro, and heat until boiling. stick the starter in there (leave the steamy warm water in there, if there's room--otherwise just shut the door quick to trap as much warmth and steam as you can)...instant, ersatz, improvised proofer.
  13. the mold is used to form the shape, but the puffs are placed inside the (upside down) mold. when the mold is filled, it is inverted, then "pressed" ( i can just see the face my oh-so-french culinary instructor did as he demonstrated this, but it is hard to describe) to loosen the caramel and release the tower of puffs. voila! une croquenbouche!
  14. well, then, merci beaucoup, 'cuz that's where i picked it up!
  15. yesterday i picked up some really beautiful almond paste, made by mandelin. it is supple, and fresh and lovely to behold. what are your favorite uses for almond paste?
  16. here's a tip that people don't always know about: don't use honey to sweeten anything. kids under a year should not have honey. something about botulinum spores that they have not developed immunities for at that age.
  17. chezcherie

    Making Tamales

    such great info here. thanks. can you estimate how much yield there would be from 5 lb white pork fat? i am getting my ducks in a row. or pigs.
  18. chezcherie

    Making Tamales

    is the ratio of 5 lb masa to 1 lb lard about right? does this change when you use freshly rendered lard? i am ready to make the switch, but there are a lot of tamales involved, so i need to have an idea of the level of commitment required. it's exciting!
  19. i have a panini press that has flat plates...i wonder??? i do so love the crispy skin!!!
  20. my microwave. (it's the only thing i use it for--kids do soup, and i do bread...) put a bowl of water in and bring it to a boil. leave the bowl in (if there''s room for the bowl and the bread dough) and place the bread dough in. close the door and put a post-it on the outside with a warning that bread is proofing in there. steamy, warm, improvised proofbox.
  21. i peel the little pearl ones ( a mix of yellow, white and red), and simmer them until glazed in hard cider (pear is my current fave). finish with a bit of butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar. they look like jewels.
  22. a teaspoon sounds awfully tiny. i have made croquebouches, but just for private parties and friends. a tablespoon seems closer to me? edited to add" Croquembouche means "crisp in the mouth"--the caramel is the crisp. shattery crisp.
  23. do jello shots--that should relax everyone, and get them in the festive holiday mood!
  24. chezcherie

    Whipped Cream

    i was actually going to suggest that someone could wear the bowl, if space was tight....and the sister seems the perfect candidate. now, about that whisk....
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