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Everything posted by Wolfert

  1. Good question. I decided to remove the pages on deveining foie gras when I tested the recipes with the Artisan Brand foie gras from Sonoma Saveurs. Due to special feeding and sophisticated production techniqus, the liver only needs trimming and surface blood removed. www.frenchselections.com and www.preparedmeats.com sell Artisan foie gras. If you prefer to use another product, here is the text that I removed from the manuscript: I'll post the drawings later on when I figure out how to transfer them to egullet.. To Devein a Whole Foie Gras: Before deveining, let the liver come to room temperature; a chilled foie gras cracks easily. Cut away any surface fat and greenish parts. Place the liver smooth side down on a work-surface covered with a clean kitchen towel, with the smaller lobe to your right. Separate the two lobes by pulling gently at points A and B with your hands. If the surface membrane begins to peel, remove it. Start on the smaller lobe. Pare off any bloody parts with a seesaw motion so that as little as possible of the liver is lost. With the inner part facing you, gently bend the smaller lobe lengthwise so you can see veins C to D to E. With your fingers, a pair of tweezers, or a small knife, loosen the exposed veins and pull them out firmly but gently, without breaking up the flesh. Set the small lobe aside. The larger lobe has a more complicated network of veins. Begin by slitting the liver from F to G and pulling out veins F, and F2. From G to h to I to J, bend the lobe gently or slit it with a knife, if necessary, so that you can reach the veins. Pull them out. At J, where the vein separates into three major parts, cut carefully and pull out veins J and J2. If the vein toward K is not excessively thick, leave it in place. Trim off any greenish parts or visible blood spots Rinse the lobe in clear, tepid water; drain and pat dry on a kitchen towel. After removing the veins from the foie gras , you can season the whole on the outside with a light seasoning of salt, pepper, sugar and a grating of nutmeg. Wrap in paper towels and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. To obtain even slices, cut this smaller lobe lengthwise as shown in the drawing above. You might have to click to get this drawing to show up on your computer
  2. Oooh I love the confit of Chef Alain Loirvel at Le P’tit Plateau, a restaurant which may just be the ideal accompaniment to your book ← Thanks to Carswell for nailing that method.
  3. I don't have the book so I don't know if he uses this method for all pasta or just for very thin pasta. I do know that the secret to preparing a great Ligurian Handkerchief pasta is to freeze it before cooking.
  4. You should crisp the confit of duck cooked in the style of sous vide if you plan to eat it solo. I provide a variety of detailed instructions for crisping duck confit ( traditional, crock pot , or sous vide) on page 197. My favorite method for crisping confit of MOULARD duck is from the Bordeaux-born chef of the Montreal bistro Le P'tit Plateau in Montreal. It is a brilliant and easy method. Here is how he does it: You simply place a moulard confit of duck leg, skin side down, on a non- stick or ceramic baking dish or skin skin up on a rack over a pan, then bake in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until crisp. MUSCOVY and PEKIN duck confit should be crisped in a fry pan.
  5. Kryovac packed poultry often has an off-putting smell when you first open the package. If the odor doesn't disappear after a few minutes of airing followed by washing, I think you might consider returning them. A little pork or goose fat added to the duck fat makes the confit even better,
  6. Thanks for posting the photo because it helps me to see the problem. The sides of your skillet are too high. Next time try a shallow cast iron or non stick skillet as indicated in the recipe. Ideally, the moisture expressed from red potatoes quickly reach the cover and is wiped away at the intervals called for in the recipe. This allows the bottom potato layer to develop an even and thin crisp crust. A skillet with shallow sides will make it easier for you to turn it over. Do try it again and let me know. Happy New Year I found two photos on line : http://jardihaie.free.fr/potager/pdt/diete2.jpg http://www.iseria.com/iseria/cuisine/brandade-thon.html#plat
  7. Sarlat potatoes are tricky even to cooks in SWF. After much testing, I think I have it right. They are best made with smooth and moist textured red potatoes as directed in the recipe. Salting throughout the cooking would have released too much moisture which would have produced too much steam. I am sure you weren't successful because you chose to use Yukons which have a denser, creamier texture. (I know this to be true because I tried them once with Yukons!) Chicken Basquaise: I use both legs and thighs. After heating the skillet over moderately high heat and then adding the duck fat and letting it almost smoke before adding the chicken you do get a nice crusty and deep golden brown skin as well as partially cooked flesh. The chicken is then allowed to rest for 15 minutes while you prepare the sauce over low heat. This allows the flesh to continue to cook a bit. Then when you lay the chicken pieces on top of the sauce, cover, and cook for 10 minutes over low heat the chicken should be almost done. Another 10 minutes, covered, in residual heat should do the trick. If your chicken legs and thighs are extra thick, then by all means extend the cooking time in step 3.
  8. Did you see the Nora Ephron piece in the NY TImes the other day? She was waxing over a strudel of cabbage and apples
  9. ← Here is a gentle reminder to add ONE pound to the "1/2 pounds" potatoes in the ingredients list in the Quercy recipe. It is 1 1/2 pounds in the 1983 edition but somehow got lost in 'translation.' What a bummer to happen to such a great and easy recipe!
  10. I am pleased you like the book. The farmhouse dessert called grimolles is unique to the Poitou-Vendee region of France. After bread is baked in a brick oven and if there is still plenty of residual heat, a thick crepe batter blended with some sliced apples or pears is spread on a thin layer of wilted cabbage leaves and slid onto the oven floor to cook until golden brown on the outside and creamy within. The cabbage leaves aren't eaten. It is often served with homemade apple cider. There is a second version using an iron griddle. This is the version I chose for the book because it would be easier for the home cook. Grimolles is truly " a dish of the poor " and the taste and aroma of slightly burnt cabbage is the secret to success. I am curious what type of pan or griddle you used to create the necessary smoky aroma? BTW. Even though I like the combination of smoky cabbage and sweet apple alot, my editor truly disliked it!
  11. Although I own a huge number of clay cooking and serving pots, I plan to make it clear to the reader that only five basic ones are required to execute the recipes in the book...an investment of less than a hundred dollars. Abra, you are halfway there with a cazuela and/or the Polish baker or a tagine. Plan on purchasing a clay sandpot from your local Asian market for bean dishes and waterless vegetable cookery. One should cost about $10.00 and is worth every penny. You can cook lots of different vegetables or legumes on top of the stove or in the oven. Clean up takes place in the washing machine. You will want one or two unglazed covered pots as well since they work differently with meat and poultry than LC or its lookalikes. I love the chamba black pottery casserole from nutierra.com. to prepare daubes and braises. And, finally a covered romertop baker for simulating the roasting of a large chunk of meat or a whole chicken in a clayoven. It also is great for bread. Oh, another item I use is a stoneware colander for steaming couscous. Www. claycoyote.com is my source. They also have lovely oven to table pottery.
  12. Elie: The onions do look great. Keep in mind that all the Bras recipes in the book are fabulous and worth making. Never mind that they take time if they are that good! I was so lucky to have worked with him back in the 80's when he had a smaller restaurant, fewer michelin stars, and time to spend with a young food writer. Chrisamirault: The potatoes are best baked in a stoneware, earthenware or enamled cast-iron baking pan. Did you know that when one cooks a gratin in Pyrex or glass you need to bake food for a longer period of time or change the temperature by 50 degrees? A daube is best cooked slowly in a pot that retains its heat through thick walls. All the recipes for long cooked meats in the book can be prepared in any good, heavy porcelainized metal vessel or claypot so long as they're the right shape and size and can hold and distribute slow even heat. One reason I now cook daubes and other braises exclusively in clay is though they are prepared with less liquid, the final product emerges especially moist with an unctuous tender texture, and a special distinctive flavor.
  13. Now that the moulard duck is available and the book is an update, I posted the new recipe first. It isn't critical to use the breast from the moulard duck, but it is a lot better and more traditional. At the bottom of the recipe on page 83 in the new edition, you have the old recipe for Pekin duck breasts which weigh about 5 ounces with the skin on. If you reduce the seasoning as I suggest and the curing time you should be pleased with the results. Let me know how it turns out. It is not necessary to shave the duck skin just more traditional with moulard ducks. When the duck is cured, simply wipe the breast skin with some mild wine vinegar to remove any bacteria. It is correct to roll the large moulard breasts lenghtwise to avoid any air pockets. Your short fat cylinder should be fine.
  14. Here it is: http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/bisteeya.html
  15. What do you use for pickling or salting? Note the differences in weight between common salts in the US marketplace. * 1 tablespoon fine table salt equals 21 grams *1 tablespoon Morton kosher salt equals 17 grams * 1 tablespoon imported Maldon sea salt equals 14 grams * 1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal coarse kosher salt and imported Grey Sea Salt from the Ile de Re equals 12 grams
  16. That is a beautiful combination. What did you serve it with? You might be interested to know there is similar Tunisian salsa called sauce Kerkennaise. It is served with grilled octopus or shrimp.
  17. The dough for simit as prepared in the city of Salonika is made in the same manner as a short crust by combining flour, confectioner's sugar, butter, and a bit of baking soda. The moistening liquid is a small amount of water flavored with aniseed. After tearing off a piece of the dough and shaping it into a circle, the surface is sprinkled with sesame seeds. When all are ready they are baked until golden and sold while still warm. I used to see the sellers balancing enormous trays of stacked and still warm simit on their heads as they weaved through crowds. Nowadays, they use little carts and sell sweet drinks slong with the simit. BTW I am pretty sure bagels are boiled before baking.
  18. Actually, the fragrant, thin-skinned Meyer lemon can substitute for the lim doqq lemon, the creme de la creme of Moroccan lemons destined for the salt pot. The taste isn't a perfect match but it's close enough. When using them, add at the end of a dish to avoid falling into shreds . The thick-skinned lemon called limun buserra is similar to the Californian Eureka and after curing you can use it in a tagine without it falling apart..
  19. I think I am responsible for promoting the '5 day preserved lemon." See page 33 in my book, Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco, 1973. Please allow me to explain: The quickie method requires cooking of the lemons rather than slow curing. These lemons would rot if left around any longer than 1 to 2 days. Making a big jar of preserved lemons with a 30 day cure allows you to have lemons for a long time. And, the lemons just get better with time. The lemons are more attractive and more useful in Moroccan recipes if partially quartered rather than cut into eighths. Either way, you need to salt for 30 days It is a good idea to wear gloves or use wooden utensils when handling the lemons. You risk introducing foreign bacteria which can screw up the aroma and taste of the lemons. If your lemons smell like furniture polish you did something wrong, and that is usually the reason.
  20. Try mixing some baking soda and plain white vinegar to a loose paste and use a scrub brush to clean all parts. I use this mix for burnt skillets, saucepans and other metals.
  21. Wolfert

    Storing Duck Fat

    I agree with Abra and Fifi. You might reheat it to a simmer then let cool before using, especially if you want to use it for making confit.
  22. Bagels are boiled before baked. Is that the case with Turkish Simit?
  23. You can purchase liquid smoke at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...1630373-4883351
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