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Everything posted by Wolfert

  1. Wolfert

    Cooking Dried Beans

    Rancho Gordo, Thank you for writing that your runners need some soaking! I had trouble getting t hem to cook to perfect tenderness when I skipped the soak. On a second try, I did my usual overnight soak and they tasted fabulous. In fact, I would call your white runners "best of breed." I'm not surprised that Thomas Keller uses them at his restaurant. Another problem with bean cookery not mentioned upthread is soft versus hard water. I use mineral-rich well (hard) water and it makes a difference in bringing out the flavor of many foods, but it inhibits proper bean cookery. Perhaps soft, distilled water is the way to go if you want to soak beans. Has anyone tried adding a pinch of baking soda to the soak? I've seen many recipes in Italian suggesting its use. I was always under the impression it makes the beans taste soapy. Any comments on this? As for throwing out the soaking water: I think you lose some nutrients. On the other hand you do gain some comfort. Has anyone else read Vogue this month? There is an innovative 'non soak' method for beans byJeffrey Steingarten.
  2. Wolfert

    Cooking Dried Beans

    I would never skip the soaking of 'old world' beans such as garbanzo and favas On the other hand, I am intriqued by the pressure cooker method and can't wait to try it with white beans---especially for a simple soup. For salads and some dishes such as cassoulet, I think it is very desirable to fully soak beans overnight. Then if you cook the completely swollen beans in a minimum amount of liquid along with aromatics the final dish is more flavorful.
  3. Wolfert


    Lori, Here is information to help you make an informed decision. http://www.thirdage.com/news/archive/ALT17...26-03.html?html
  4. Wolfert


    I think browned fat should be considered 'spent' and therefore unhealthy. If you do want to use it, I'd keep it separate from your clean rendered fat. The fat from homemade confit can be used for potatoes, stews, soups, etc., but if you have used it to brown the confit, I wouldn't put it back with cleaner fat.
  5. Wolfert

    Confit Duck

    You might like to prepare the lamb shanks in olive oil. You can strain the 'used' oil and reuse it for cooking meat and vegetables. Be sure to strain it through cheesecloth and keep the oil in the fridge. Marinate 4 small lamb shanks (about 14 ounces each) trimmed of excess fat in a mixture of 1/2 cup orange juice, 1 tb chopped parsley, 1 to 2 teaspoons sea salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest, l teaspoon dried thyme, and 2 sliced garlic cloves for about 8 hours. About 3 1/2 hours before serving time, remove the meat from the refrigerator. Wipe the shanks clean. Prheat the oven to 300 degrees. Put the shanks and 8 large garlic cloves, whole and unpeeled, in a 9- or 10- inch shallow glass or ceramic baking dish. Pour over about 2 cups olive oil and cover the pan with foil. Bake in the center of the oven, turning the shanks every hour, for about 3 hours, or until very tender.. Brush some slices of french bread with 2 tablespoons of the cooking oil and toast lightly in the oven while the lamb is still baking. When the lamb shanks are done, remove the cooked garlic from the oil. Squeeze the creamy pulp from the skin and spread on the toasted bread. Remove the lamb shanks from the oil and nestle in some prepared puree of greens such as spinach. Serve with garlic croutons on the side. page 31, Mediterranean Cooking, revised version. HarperPerennial 1994.
  6. Wolfert

    Moroccan olives ?

    The most popular green olive in Morocco for cooking is the picholine variety. If you can't find it then by all means ue the manzanilla.
  7. I don't have that particular pot but I think it is very similar to the Columbian black clay la chamba pots www.nutierra.com Elie: Don't worry about pouring hot water into this kind of clay pot with porous walls. This is the first step to the evolution from a 'new' to 'seasoned' pot. What you cook in it will continue the process. t
  8. See step 6 for convection oven variation. If you don't have the recipe, bake the caneles for l hour and 15 minutes at 375 F for a deep, deep brown canele. You don't need to switch racks when baking in a convection oven.
  9. The custard consistency is what I generally found in Bordeaux. It's the combination of the butter with the flour rather than with the milk that creates that creamy texture. To avoid the concentration of batter at the bottom, try setting the filled molds out on a preheated baking surface before placing them on the center oven rack. When I learned to make caneles in Bordeaux, Chef Antoine's bakers switched the trays from the top to the bottom racks midway.
  10. Wolfert


    To really taste the great flavor of mutton you need to eat it rare. Keen’s steakhouse in New York has had mutton chops on the menu for decades. They might even give you the name of a purveyor for the rest of the flesh. www.keenssteakhouse.com
  11. Unlike a recipe for a cake which if followed exactly is always a success, a garbure is hard to make the same way twice. A huge problem for a food writer who only gets to publish the recipe one way! There is no precise recipe to execute a a delicious garbure. It's a soup without pretension made with a lot of ingredients, and these ingredients change in quality from month to month so there is room for improvisation. Still, the deep, full flavor of garbure derives from a balanced mixture of aromatics, the use of some good duck fat, and a few days of gradual cooking and cooling. Put this altogether, and you will have something truly wonderful.
  12. Excellent question! There are hundreds of recipes for garbure and a handful for the fricassee. A fricassee needn't have all the vegetables chopped, though most often they are. My thought is the leek gradually releases its tangy flavor and thus sets off the blended taste of the rest of the fricassee.
  13. Chef Gerald Hirigoyen of the Restaurant Piperade provided this terrific recipe for my book. His restaurant is a Basque food paradise in San Francisco. The bean of choice for this soup is the Basque Tarbais bean now available in the States. Www.chefshop.com or frenchselections.com. If you don't want to obtain them by mail, then I suggest you use any thin-skinned white bean that is sweet-tasting and buttery textured. Look for the Greek gigantes or the French lingots as substitutes.
  14. I change the proportions of oil and butter to whatever I have on hand.
  15. Canola oil does develop an awful smell when heated to a high temperature. I don't know if it leaves a smell in the molds because I've never used it. What I use is my version of the Bordelais "white oil." This is a combination of grapeseed oil, clarified butter, corn oil and a small amount of beeswax.
  16. Confit made with Moulard or Pekin Duck can be crisped in the oven or in the skillet. On the other hand, Muscovies with their thin skin are better when crisped in preheated hot fat in a skillet.
  17. Bordeaux-based Patissier Daniel Antoine told me he boils the molds once a year. I assume he did this to remove that funky odor. Then he said to simply re-season them. I had the same problem so I boiled them and did the ritual seasoning. It worked but it took baking off one or two canneles to get everything back to normal.
  18. I thought the story was funny, but it was so unnecessary for her to put down the egullet testing team. Her testing methods were a bit sloppy. I question why anyone would make a fava bean cassoulet in the middle of winter? Why mix up "Nine pounds of fresh fava beans, husked and peeled." with nine pounds of husked beans. The recipe calls for peeling one cup. Why would a cookbook reviewer test a recipe in an uncalibrated oven and then complain that the food burned? And why did she substitute a crucial ingredient and then complain about the results?
  19. In Morocco, I remember reading that the infusion of sage leaves reduces milk-flow in lactating women.
  20. You score the duck breast fat while it is still chilled. I think it is best to cook the breasts at room temperature so I suggest leaving them out for about an hour. If the muscovies are very thin you can leave them out for less time.
  21. Why would lining your oven with quarry tiles change the glaze on top? Something with absorbing moisture? And I don't even want to know what a hearthkit is. My wish list is too long already! ← Side panels create a chamber similar to a beehive oven with great conductive properties. You can purchase unglazed quarry tiles at any home depot type outlet.
  22. You can cook the pork stew and beans in advance and store them together in a container in the fridge overnight. When you are ready to combine the pork, beans, confit and other goodies as directed in step 9, you put everything into an uncovered cassole or pot and set it in the oven to bake. If you line the sides of your oven with quarry tiles or set in a hearthkit you'll be able to simulate the old fashioned village oven approach to glazing the top. If your beans don't develop a brown glaze similar to the one on the cover of the book, simply switch your oven to broil and brown for a minute or two.
  23. I think you missed reading part of the mussels recipe. I can see where this could happen if you are busy opening 2 pounds of mussels. Check the last sentence in step 2. "Cover loosely with foil and set in the preheated oven to keep warm."
  24. Zora, I'm pretty sure baqli is purslane and hindaba is dandelion.
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