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paul o' vendange

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  1. paul o' vendange

    Veal stock

    Hahahah - I love it - "Tongs Embargo." Good explanation, too, thanks Paul. I'll try to dig that up, interesting subject.
  2. paul o' vendange

    Veal stock

    That would be great to find out, Paul. The gram thing I hadn't heard, but I guess I'm not surprised. I did know of the tong thing - if I'm not mistaken, he uses fish turners wherever possible and tongs are basically persona non grata.
  3. paul o' vendange

    Veal stock

    Hey Paul, Interesting thought, and of course there are a million variations on ratios, components and techniques on any stock. What piqued me, however, is that for both the veal and "primary," let's call it, chicken stock, both recipes, with few exceptions, are identically worded. So much so, in fact, that I presumed Bouchon's was merely repeated from TFL, until I saw this halving of both the veal bones, and in essence, the time. Add to this that TFL does a remouillage and obviously, you end up with a substantially thinner sauce. Radically thinner, I'd think, though I've never made the Bouchon version. At any rate, just caught the difference today and found it interesting. In terms of what they're doing today, can't know, of course. My gut actually tells me this primary stock and the way it's made is really the soul of Keller's cooking, the essence of his cooking philosophy, written in the words of a recipe. I actually imagine nothing's changed at all. Would be interesting to know.
  4. paul o' vendange

    Veal stock

    Sorry to resurrect, but obsessing. Randomly - Have long considered Thomas Keller a demi-god and tried to learn all I can from him. "My" veal stock was "his" veal stock, no interpretation whatsoever, for years. I have a hard time breaking from anything he does, but I've always found the stock a bit red for my truthful taste, and a bit sweet. I've made Escoffier's stock-espagnole-demi-glace for decades, and it wasn't till coming to TFL and Keller's way, that anything changed. Just your thoughts: TFL uses 10 lbs bones, remouillage, a lot more time, to get to 2 quarts. I only realized today that Bouchon uses half the bones and only 4 hours, to get to the same result - 2 quarts. Is this a typo, anyone? I feel like I'm missing something. TFL has aromatics working a total of what, 12 hours? Yet it works, in my opinion; I don't taste "dead." It goes against orthodoxy ("....add in and simmer for one more hour....."). Thoughts?
  5. Thanks, Baron. Believe it or not that method is one I used, but it's easily been 25 years or better and with my memory issue being what it is, it literally dropped off my map. Not even sure where I picked it up, but it was definitely a French chef or other French source. Sincerely grateful to you for mentioning it as it does work fantastically well. Wish I had the "Recettes Originales" in the original, to see what they write there. Just seems crazy, so agree all, it's likely a typo or mistranslation.
  6. So would I, which is why I've always been so puzzled. Goes against everything one is taught, etc. But these are the Troisgros's, and I don't know if this is a mistranslation or not (I only have the English version, would be nice to see the original).
  7. Hello everyone - Hope you're looking forward to spring as much as I am. Let's just say this winter, in particular, ready to say goodbye. Odd question, but it's bugged me for as long as I've had their book. If anyone has it or has seen it, in the Troisgros Bros' book, they call for doing a chicken stock "making certain to keep it at a full rolling boil for 45 minutes" and "skimming the fat off the top." "These two things are important if you want to ensure a crystal-clear stock." I've never tried it, though I should. As it stands, I do keep stocks at a brisker simmer than some, probably, as I find I get better clarity with enough simmering agitation to better dislodge impurities from the meat and bones, not anywhere near a boil and emulsifying. But rolling boil? Trip. Anyone?
  8. Can I give you a counter-example? An inspector who "followed the letter" on opening requirements. Hot water, based on peak capacity. Part of that calculation was a hot water sink for washing lettuces and other vegetables. A hot water sink. For washing lettuce. It tipped us over the edge in terms of total capacity needed, and we would have needed to get a new hot water heater, to the tune of, as I recall it, over $10,000 we didn't have, to start up. Thankfully I fought, and argued before the state, that you don't use hot water to rinse lettuces. I won, and so our existing hot water heater was enough. What if it wasn't? How many businesses can't open, or fold, because of ridiculous laws like this? I really loved the requirement that there could be no exposed silver in the restaurant. A French place, expected to keep our tables covered in plastic during service. We, and I think mostly everyone, kind of winks together....we put the plastic on for inspection, the inspector inspects, knowing the second she leaves, it comes off, and we move on. How much sense does that make? It's important to think of these, too. And in terms of this French cheese issue, I think it's very relevant. OK, I already posted my Abondance cheeses. Here's some tommes, and reblochons. I only came to them because I was gifted to taste the real thing, nurtured along masterfully, from France. I find this incredibly wrong.
  9. Hi Rob, I'm sorry, I'm not following the stat. I think you'd probably need to do something else, like total dairy, per capita, and so forth - right? We own 13% of the nation's total dairy, but we're a ghost town compared to some places. The concentration of farm capital is large, and expanding hotly. And that concentration exerts its influence on laws in my state. One example only - again, anecdotal though it's easy to look up. We, for example, are the only state in the union requiring cheesemakers to undergo state licensing. To the tune of 240 hours of official apprenticeship, and required courses from one sanctioned place only, UW. The sum cost to the would-be cheesemaker is about $3,000. I can tell you from what little beginnings I did, the curriculum is heavily slanted to large production. Raw milk cheeses are the devil - a point on which I didn't make any friends among the speakers on a given day, actually. They literally refused to countenance studies - FROM UW itself - showing, for instance, the beneficial effects of flora on wood cheese shelving. And much more. As jaded as I've become, I was stunned. But I felt I knew the environment I was throwing myself in to. I abandoned the plan, like many other cheesemakers, actually (abandoned, or moved out of state). Is the cheesemaker's licensing requirement reasonable? Not in my books. How about chefs? I believe it, like many other laws on the books (trust me - the "on farm" law was scratched from the state, only with the state kicking and screaming. I know a small, Amish farmer, who had his farm shut down on multiple occasions. And he fought).
  10. Can't speak for all states, but in Wisconsin, things like that were originally successful, then the state argued before the courts these were all just end runs around the prohibition against raw milk (Ha....truthfully, wasn't thinking Prohibition when I wrote that .... same brilliant conception, right?) and the state was initially successful. Now, we have "for farm consumption." Just what that means is the whole ball of wax. Most states that are on the fence play like this - the state hates it, the lobby hates it, and they'll do what they can to shut any producer down. But there are vocal supporters of an individual's right to choose what they consume, and so we have our middling, cumbersome, silly laws (feel like owning part of a cow? You're golden in many states!).
  11. I can tell you it's a war here in Wisconsin, and I believe that is squarely explained by the huge corporate dairy interests that inform our state's policies. The definition of "farm consumed," "club" etc., get to the silly. Testament to the fact that those who want it, like Paul said, should be able to consume it.
  12. Hope it's not too off-topic, and it certainly is arguable, the group's aim, but if interested in more information on raw milk, you can go to the Weston A. Price Foundation, or RealMilk (I think RealMilk is associated).
  13. I agree with you here, Weedy. Unfortunately, I think that's the problem. A good many regulators from the USDA are actually drawn directly from the upper management of agribusiness companies. Here in Wisconsin, heavily oriented towards dairy agribusiness. The rules - cumbersome as they are, and becoming even more so - are therefore being designed by the former heads of large agribusiness companies. Those rules - such as the boards I mentioned above, costing upwards of $100,000 for some - actually put smaller, artisanal producers out of business. I can tell you truthfully, the primary reason I begged off continuing the process of putting the first Abondance production in Wisconsin, is because it's ridiculous to try and be an artisanal maker in this state. Hard not to see a connection between how outlandish and ill-founded the rules, and who stands to benefit by their imposition. It ain't the craftspeople, doing traditional work.
  14. Absolutely agree, Paul. I feel the same way. My experience as a maker is in Abondance, which if folks don't know is more or less a smaller cousin of the alpine giant Beaufort. The process is virtually the same. I do love this family of cheeses, but I'm also drawn to them by the simple fact they've been around since at least roman times. (I think it was Pliny the Younger who first chronicled Beaufort). Millennia of production history, millennia of insanely good, healthful cheese, all on raw milk. Don't touch it. With you, Paul - that's how I feel.
  15. Weedy, with respect, my "anecdotal" thing was a joke - as in, I'm alive. Guess it fell flat. I wasn't using that as any basis for my argument, and never would. I understand your point of view. Yes, in an era when sickened cattle were in tightly cramped urban lots, fed leftovers from distillers grains, their milk combined into tanks and shipped to points far and wide, pasteurization was necessary. Just as now, when milk is gathered from large farms, under only slightly better circumstances, with cows stuffed with antibiotics, the farms' milk again combined; yes, pasteurization is necessary. It is not only unnecessary, but less healthful, if you're drinking raw milk from known small producers using known practices, with healthy cows fed on food they should be eating (grass - pasture) as I do. Pasteur's germ theory of disease was a landmark development in the history of medicine, but as with all models, it has it's limitations, and here, I'd say, is one. Just an illustrative example. Vacherin - named d'Or in Switzerland, du Haut-Doubs in France. In France, raw milk. In Switzerland, pasteurized. There has been a history of listeriosis with this cheese - a soft ripened cheese, gooey and stinky as all get. Raw milk, of course, even more dangerous because of the limited aging time, high water content, and soft paste. Right? Except it has been the Swiss, pasteurized version, Vacherin Mont d'Or, that has had the history of outbreaks - even deaths, tragically. To this date, as far as I know, none of the cheeses from France - all, by French law, made with raw milk - have been tainted with listeria. This is just one example. There really is an entire scientific body of evidence that supports the notion that it isn't so much the presence of microbes - wonderful, delicious, living yeasts and bacterias - in our foods, but rather how well they take over an ecosystem to prevent or contain the growth of pathogens to acceptable or lower limits. The above Vacherin story merely illustrates this. Another, somewhat related. The fertilizer theory of agronomy. That without fertilizer, you cannot have good growth. So, we've killed our growing fields, now, to the point where the farm's earth really is a kind of dead fiberboard, there merely to push the sticks of plants into, a substrate to drown with fertilizers. Doesn't it make sense to allow the microbes that transport oxygen to plant roots, to thrive and let them do their job? All without the cost and detrimental effects of fertilizers? Anyway, big subject. I've studied it quite a bit, as I love natural food, make it, hunt for it, as I love the earth, so I want to know what drives it all. Not saying anyone is incorrect, but I'm convinced by what I've studied, and know my personal choices. I drink milk from a farm of 4 beautiful girls - and I'm grateful for the gift.
  16. Late to this, saw it on the main page. Wonderful blog, Shelby - thank you for doing it. Can you tell me what model grinder you have there? Beast is an understatement - very nice! Edit: Just doing a little digging, it appears Tor-Rey is discontinued and is now rebranded as ProCut. Stout grinders, whatever the name...!
  17. Insane. Anecdotally, as a drinker of raw milk (2 gallons weekly) and maker of my own raw milk cheeses, I'm well, alive, and writing this. Scientifically, it can drive you nuts, the absolute ignorance of the FDA on the topic. Not to mention the USDA - and the fact its upper management tends to come from agribusiness concerns. Until they understand the goal is not sterilization of all bacterias and yeasts, but rather the environmental encouragement of the microbes we want in order to outcompete the ones we don't want, we're lost as to millenia of food culture. It's so exasperating. Small case in point - don't know where it stands since I'm no longer considering taking my French-alpine cheeses professional - but a few years back, out of NY, a USDA inspector on her own decided wood shelving was "inherently unsanitary," and shut down a creamery until they retrofitted their aging room shelving with plastic or stainless. To the tune of 10's of 1000's of dollars. The idea caught fire, and all of a sudden inspectors everywhere were giddy with a new rule, completely unsupported by science (in fact, quite the opposite). I and hundreds of others flooded anyone and everyone we would with science proving that not only was wood a sensible choice, it was the safer choice. Why? It was loaded with good microbes, strong microbes we wanted in our cheesemaking, who out-competed pathogens exceedingly well. It's part of the larger issue - we don't need to rid the world of pathogens in our foods; we just need to make them unwelcome with the help of the natural, microscopic world.
  18. Haha! Great. Hmmm....6 quarts of chicken stock, a small container of demi, 2 containers of fish fumet, some remaining leg portions of northwoods venison, 3# of duck carcass, some rendered duck fat, 1/2 roll of cod cake and.....a ton of Trader Joe's variabilia. Should be fun!
  19. As a dog lover and a person who often even feels more canine than home sapiens, yes, this offends me to the quick. That said, I realize the hypocrisy in such a sentiment. I will say, however: I'm a dyed-in-the-wool hunter. Itself, a contentious issue. The most serious responsibility I take, whether consuming meat someone else killed or killing an animal and eating it myself, is that needless cruelty plays no part in the animal's life, nor in its death. I owe everything I have to kill the animal without suffering, and to treat its life, its death, and its flesh, with the utmost dignity and respect. I don't personally care if the image of that poor animal was "planted" by a protest group or not. The image of that tortured, sentient creature, is as bad as images I've seen from the worst of agribusiness crimes. Whoever did such a thing, whoever supports such a thing, in my opinion, should be deeply, deeply ashamed.
  20. "Butter, more butter, always butter!"
  21. I've abused plenty of starters while away, and am always amazed at their resilience. Keeping in mind that any change to any ambient factor will alter the balance between various strains of yeasts and bacterias, I've left things to "rot" in the fridge for as long as a month, with a viable culture on returning - just took deliberately under-inoculating the 12-hour ferments to encourage lots of young growth (i.e., lots of generational growth as opposed to mature, anaerobic fermentation) over the course of several days. The first, very little inoculation and 24-hour cycles, then as the culture starts exhibiting good strength, I go to greater inoculations and 12-hour shifts. Freezing will do the same. It will preferentially favor some species over others, and your balance will shift, yielding a different poolish and final bread. But if you return to your regular routine, on your return, eventually your population mix will re-adapt to your ambient conditions, and you'll be back in business.
  22. Going a bit cookbook crazy, old and new. Like Enurmi, on my (don't know how many) re-reads of Culinary Artistry; Pro Chef 7, starting over and working everything; Escoffier (had the crazy idea I'd start over here, too - but at 55, I think I need another 47 lives); Re-Reading Wells's/Robuchon's Simply French in a new light. Still ruminating on his true potato puree, and how close this book is to his working recipes. Dotting among: Bocuse's Cuisine Marché Troisgros bros Vergé Chapel (more a rumination on cooking, than a recipe book - which I love. The man was deep); Very recently acquired and loved already: Gault-Millau's Dining in France Jean-Louis Palladin, Cooking with the Seasons (Man. All I can say is, man). I know this book is as much the artful photography by Fred Maroon as it is the genius of the late Jean-Louis Palladin, but I still can't wait to do everything I can to replicate these incredible plates. I wish I could have known the chef. Recently acquired, and in the "not sure yet" phase: Robuchon's Complete Robuchon. I should have read the sub-title more clearly. Was hoping for a different book - a book going fairly deeply into his haute cuisine technique and outlook, not a compendium of bourgeoise and bistro classics. No hubris to say, nothing to be gained here.....riiiiiiiight. Was just hoping for a better "instructional" text from this grand-master, past taskmaster to Ripert and countless others. Suggestions, btw, welcome. Maureau's Recettes en Provence; Fisher's Art of Eating as well as Brillat-Savarin's book, a re-read as well. Coming and can't wait: Nignon's Eloges de la Cuisine Française Grand Masters of French Cuisine: Five Centuries of Great Cooking (Re-)acquiring Loomis's French Farmhouse Cookbook Anne Willan's La Varenne Pratique. Just got and briefly skimmed her Chateau Cuisine as well - a beautiful book. Have yet to dig in to see its practical value. Pellaprat's Great Book of French Cuisine.
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