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J Acord

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    London, UK
  1. J Acord

    The Terrine Topic

    Indeed, meat glue would simplify the whole process greatly - but welded meat may not have the same mouthfeel as a terrine
  2. J Acord

    The Terrine Topic

    I would love to know as well. I have asked a few times and the butchers say that it is possible, but resturants tend to pre-order it (which ones I wonder, I have never seen any evidence of it). Oddly I was taking to a friend about this today he mentioned that he got his from a Turkish butcher. Sadly, this is in London. Good back-fat is also an issue. ← Adam, next time you're down I'll give you some caul. Having just found it for sale I'll now have to make some dishes to use it in (braised ox-tail with a mushroom farce wrapped in caul perhaps?) I have also used back-fat in the past (though I tried slicing it myself, quite difficult to do to get big enough peices to line the terrine) but usually end up using something like bacon or parma/serrano instead as it is just that bit easier to find/work with.
  3. I'll play! My first couple of images are desserts that are based on one type of ingredient but presented in a number of ways (much like a chocolate sampler, etc.). First up is pears: Pear bavarian with a liquid raspberry couli core topped with poached pears set in a spiced jelly. Quenelle of pear sorbet with a dried pear chip garnish. Port reduction sauce. Sorry about the slightly blurred image, I later realised that there was a dirty great fingerprint on the camera lense! Next we have apples (even worse image, sorry ) A dome of poached red apple slices encasing a green apple mousse with a core of diced sauteed yellow apples. Topped with a puff pastry 'halo' and caramel apple sauce. I would usually further garnish this with a couple of hazelnuts dipped in caramel but I had a bit too much to drink before serving it and decided that dipping into hot sugar may not be the best idea!
  4. The fun part though, is that if you add an acid (like citric acid found in fruit or acetic acid from vinegar) then the gel will liquify again... wonder how you could incorporate that into the dish (or does it then change from being a dish to being performance art? )
  5. Oooh, I'm going to have to give this a try now! Still trying to figure out if the sodium alginate is present in high enough levels in the agar-agar for this to work... (Mad scientist cackling fades.....)
  6. Alternatively you could try putting some vodka (or other high alcohol solution) into the freezer for a couple of hours and then dropping your warm jelly mixture into this, which should cause it to set up right away (obviously water can only go to 0 centigrade before becoming frozen, but alcohol can get lower than that and still remain in a liquid form).
  7. Having just had a bbq last sunday for 25 people I had the same dilemma. Ended up making tropical fruit salad which you can then put into a big bowl and let everyone serve themselves, and also made spiced rhubarb cheesecake ('cause the rhubarb was nice and cheap, and I really like it but didn't want to do the normal rhubarb crumble). Was also going to mess around with a lemon tart, but decided to go out drinking on saturday night instead!
  8. The Witchery is very atmospheric, but the food is strangely old fashioned and very expensive. For the kind of money that you will spend there, there are many other better restaurnats in Edinburgh. But for ambience it does get 9/10.
  9. Hey Tarka As promised last night, here are my suggestions for Edinburgh (though of course, I take no responsibility if you don't like them ) Cocktails - Borough on Mayfield Road. Is actually a hotel but has a very good cocktail bar. You can also eat there, but we never have, so I don't know what it is like for that. Italian - Gennaro in the Grassmarket. A nice, cheap and cheerful italian restaurant. Don't stray from the pizza or pasta and you'll do fine. French - Petit Paris (I think) also in the grassmarket, basically two doors down from Gennaro's. Again very nice, actually run by french people, good authentic cuisine, be warned, it is quite samll and therefore doesn't require too many people to be packed. While in he grassmarket, go and see Isobel at the Cooks Book Shop (owned by Clarissa Dixson Wright, who occasionally is in residence). Say John sent you. Fantastic bookshop which I used to frequent very often. Kalpna always gave me wind (just be warned) None of the mexican restaurants are worth the money you pay for them Blue moon cafe does an excellent full breakfast (the gut-buster really lives up to its name) and also a good selection of lunchtime meals. Can also get very crowded, so get there early to get a table. Umm, thats about all I can think of right now, but if any more comes to me then I'll be sure to let you know. John
  10. J Acord

    Dinner! 2003

    Dinner party time again! Starters. Just decided to go for quick snacks rather than a formal sit down starter as I didn't have much time to prepare and wanted to concentrate on a good main course and dessert. Ended up with home made bread sticks and marinated olives, and also cherry toatoes stuffed with goats cheese. Main course. Slamon mi cuit on a bed of braised cabbage with a horseradish sauce and beetroot foam. I LOVE MI CUIT! It isn't like cooking at all! Two short blasts of heat to get the oil up to 35-40 C and then just leave it for 40 min. I didn't have to run around keeping my eye on anything, making sure it wasn't burning, etc., just pop in evey 10 mins, stick the digital thermometer into the oil to check if it needed heating up again and that was it. Mi cuit gives you plenty of time to drink with your guests. Horseradish sauce was different from what I was expecting; was basically runny horseradish mashed potatos, good flavour though. Beetroot foam didn't foam enough. Made plenty of mess though. Dessert. Mango imperial cake with strawberry sorbet. Have had better luck with a green apple imperial cake, but decided to change the main ingredient for something a bit more summery. Don't think the mango had the right depth of flavour for this dessert though. The mangos themselves were really good, and when you got to the diced mango layer of the cake it was quite nice, but the mango mousse topping just wasn't up to scratch. Strawberry sorbet was good, but needed a bit more sugar (probably should have let it soften a bit more before I tried to form quenelles out of it as well). Sugar 'spider' decoration was a lot of fun though, guests had a great time seeing how many legs they could knock out before the dessert fell over.
  11. Thanks everyone for your suggestions. It's always nice to have a place recommended, especially by discerning e-gulleteers, as it save me the hit and miss approach (which, while sometimes turning up gems, more often just turns up rubbish!) J
  12. Hello everyone. Knowing what a knowledgeable bunch you lot are, I want to pick your brains on good italian restaurants in central London. I don't really want to spend mega-bucks on a meal, just looking for a place where you can get a nice meal when shopping up in town (hence the need for central). The boyfriend and I always end up doing chinese or thai but would love to find alternatives. Also, if anyone knows of any good Vietnamese restaurants (and I realise we may have to travel a bit further afield for that) I would also appreciate any information on that. Thanks! J
  13. Yep, there was a review in the Metro, gave it a good write up actually.
  14. J Acord

    Dinner! 2003

    Okay, okay, I know that this is supposed to be about what we cooked last night, but I have just got back from my America holiday where I threw a dinner party at the in-laws house, and since they have a snazzy little digital camera I took some pictures and just wanted to share them with y'all. Starter - deconstructed gazpacho (no picture). Clear tomato water with a stack of julienned tomato, yellow squash, zucchini, red pepper and jicama and a brunoise of apple, plum, red chili, advocado, tomato and cucumber. Also had a few cherry tomoato halves (both red and yellow) floating around in it. Looked very pretty and also tasted quite gazpacho like when a mouthful of the vegetables was taken with the tomato water. Main - Pepper crusted seared tuna, red wine sauce, caponata, and papperdelle coated with a rosemary infused cream sauce. Dessert - White chocolate mousse on a sponge base (fresh raspberries inside the mousse) topped with glazed raspberries and surrounded with a decorated dark chocolate band. Set on a sauce of creme anglaise and raspberry coulis. Was all good fun, and surprisingly, considering it was all cooked in someone elses kitchen, an un-stressful experience!
  15. David and I are off to provincetown at the end of may, anyone have any suggestions of some 'must eat at' restaurants? Not really bothered if they are 'gay' or not (though I can't see how they would be anything but ) Suggestions please? John
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