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  1. Since I'm on a soft foods diet for the next couple of days, i thought I might French Onion Soup tomorrow. Tea is about all I can handle right now . I've always used just regular cooking onions to make it, French Onion Soup but it occured to me that spanish onions might also be a good choice. anyone have a favourite onion they use when making this soup?
  2. Happy Bastille Day! As I was thinking of cooking something appropriate for today and have the music playing in the background. I thought the lyrics of the France National Anthem can be slightly modified and used against the covid-19 tyranny. I did make crepe for breakfast, but have not decided what to make for dinner. May be I will make something for tomorrow. Anyone have ideas? dcarch
  3. Hi all. One of my favorite cuisines is dishes that you would find in a French Bistro. It's a natural match for the great ingredients we have in the Pacific Northwest-seafood, wine and hazelnuts to name a few. Here are some recent dishes I did in a French Bistro theme: Crispy Frogs Legs with a Parsley-Cilantro Sauce Moules Marniere-Mussels in White Wine-Saffron Broth
  4. Hello All! I wanted to share some great news-- my friend, French cook and culinary instructor Kate Hill, is bringing famed butcher and charcuterie master Dominique Chapolard for a bunch of workshops. There's still seats available at some of the sites--here is a link with the details: http://kitchen-at-camont.com/2013/02/24/two-day-workshops-in-the-usa-the-french-pig-making-farmstead-charcuterie/ TTFN, jeff
  5. Hi all, I am a first timer with regard to making confit duck legs. Living out in the sticks, I cannot readily get fresh duck, so have procured some frozen white pekin duck legs. I have defrosted them, trimmed off the excess fat to render, salted them heavily with sea salt, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, juniper berries and pepper and vacuum sealed them. I intend to leave them to cure for twelve hours in the fridge, unpack and rinse then cook sous vide at 78 degrees C for 12 hours. The photos are just after packing. My main questions are: How much liquid should be extracted from the legs? Should I include further seasonings in the bags when cooking? Is 12 hours curing adequate? How long should I let it rest before consumption? I have trawled the forums and google, and I am finding so much conflicting information. Thanks Simon
  6. I thought I'd learn some more precision and improve my method of cooking vegetables, so I recently got this book. The recipes aren't complicated. Following the recipes is the tricky thing; I'm a throw-in-a-bit-of-this-and-a-bit-of-that-and-see-what-happens kind of cook. I'll write what I think of the book when I've tried a few more of the recipes. For now, here's the first one I made: Pommes rôties au laurier - roast potatoes with bay The first step in this recipe is to slit the potatoes (I used Exquisas) and slip some slivers of bay inside the incisions. Then you roast them in a mixture of stock and olive oil. Here they are ready to go in the oven: The unusual thing about these roast potatoes is that they're half-way submerged in liquid at the start of cooking. The plan is for the stock to boil off and the potatoes then to roast in the oil; you don't parboil the potatoes first. It's really more of a braise. After 40mins in the heat: The potatoes are very tender after 40mins bubbling away in their bath. They taste - and you'll hardly credit it - of bay, so can make friends with any dish that likes bay. The flavour is pronounced, but perhaps not as much as you would expect with that many leaves getting involved. They are also attractive to look at. On the other hand I had to pour the stock off for the final part of cooking as it didn't evaporate as intended. I will try the recipe again with larger potatoes and a shallower dish - the size and shape of the vessel and the vegetables are left to the imagination by the recipe. That meant pouring off the oil too, which probably affected the texture at the end. There was also a bizarrely large quantity of oil specified so I only used about a fifth of it. The potatoes taste rather one-dimensional; I would perhaps prefer them with some garlic slices stuffed inside as well. We ate them with a green salad and flageolet beans, with a French Domaine Vocoret Chablis in the glass.
  7. Here I am back again for my third food blog. I hope everybody will enjoy this one even though it going to be somewhat narcissistic. Please bear with me; I'll try not to be too boring. This blog is going to give my food/cooking history over the years. Because I'm older than dirt that makes for a lot of history. Monday will have me born & my food history up to 1980. Then a decade a day up to Friday and a close off on Saturday. As this is my personal food history elements of my life outside food will have to be included. I'll keep these to a minimum, but they will be necessary to provide context to the food history. What I'll do in answer to questions or comment is the following: (pretty standard, but I like things to be clear.) - I'll answer if I can. - If the subject is too personal or somewhat off topic I'll answer, but either deflect or steer back on topic in my answer. - If really out of line I'll just ignore the question/comment. Equally, I'll do my best to stay on topic. I really don't think that PM's are appropriate when discussing a food blog so I'd like everything to be out in the open. If you have questions that are off topic in regard to food or my food history, but pertinent to France, living or visiting here then by all means PM me. Enough about that. In this blog I'm going to not only take you on a culinary journey, but a physical one as well. The USA to Spain then Spain back to the USA then the USA to Belgium then Belgium to England then England to the USA then back to England then back to the USA and finally to France. There's Japan and Asia squeezed in somewhere as well. I've travelled a bit. At a class reunion a few years ago somebody asked me why I'd travelled so much? My answer then and now is: "I needed to keep one step ahead of the sheriff" Until tomorrow. I'm going to have fun with this. My autofoodography? My cusineography? You name it. PS: Having looked at what I've written I've decided that its too literary. Thus I'm going to post topical ( i.e. what's happening this week) inputs which will be far more pictorial. PPS: Yes, I do have a mystery object. Wait for it.
  8. It looks like my wife and I will be going to Paris in January. While there I'd like to have duck in press, or whatever it's called, like at Alinea Paris 1906 and on Andrew Zimmern. Any suggestions for places?
  9. I'm no kind of pastry chef or even a particularly keen pastry eater. (I tend towards the savoury rather than the sweet.), but I thought this article by the BBC would be interesting to all the eG pastry chefs. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24609525. Nice to see innovation.
  10. This is probably the most delayed dining report ever to appear on eGullet. We went to Paris in May of 2011 and I am just now getting to the point of this report. What can I say – life intervened. But some folks are still PM’ing me with hints about this report, so I thought I’d go ahead for anyone who is interested. We got lots of help and advice on the trip before going from eG folks, especially Forest who we were fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with. If you want to see the England part of our trip you can start here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/139686-england-trip-report/ Wednesday 5/25/2011 That morning we took the train from St. Pancras station in London to Gard de Nord in Paris. We left so early that we didn’t have time to stop for a last English breakfast and had to make do on the train with a Crunchy, an apple and a pain au chocolat. Train food being train food, the Crunchy was the best part! Arriving in Paris was otherworldly. Everywhere we went in England felt like my natural home, but Paris was ‘foreign’ in a very special and wonderful way. You must remember that this was the first time I’d ever been anywhere that English wasn’t spoken. It was exciting and scary all at once. My Mary Tyler Moore moment as the fact of actually being in Paris really washed over me: 25-20m by ozisforme, on Flickr Our hotel was the Familia in the Latin Quarter on rue des Ecoles. Family owned, small and charming with a wonderful, welcoming and helpful staff. When the young lady who served us coffee and croissants in the mornings realized that I didn’t like coffee, she brought me (unasked) fabulous hot chocolate every morning. After checking in and hurriedly dumping our luggage we hit the street. We were still ravenous after our train snack, hour long taxi wait at the station and open mouthed drive through Paris so we stopped at the first place that smelled good and bought two quiches to eat as we walked: 25-20k1 by ozisforme, on Flickr A mushroom for Mr. Kim and a Lorraine for me: 25-20k2 by ozisforme, on Flickr Not fabulous, but perfectly good and much better than any street food that we are used to. We took a bus to the Eiffel Tour area. And, as an aside, we found the Paris bus and Metro system incredibly easy to use. Mr. Kim has a little French and I can say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” and recognize lots of menu French, but even so I think that I could have gotten around on my own fairly well, I think. I was raised in Washington DC and that Metro is supposedly based on the Paris one. I think it must be true because I found the maps very familiar. We walked and gawped and grinned for some time. I loved finding the food stores and wished I had a kitchen: 25-33kby ozisforme, on Flickr 25-34kby ozisforme, on Flickr 25-35kby ozisforme, on Flickr And, of course, the bakeries: 25-36kby ozisforme, on Flickr 25-37kby ozisforme, on Flickr Some of the canned goods gave us a bit of a giggle: 25-56k2by ozisforme, on Flickr 25-56k3by ozisforme, on Flickr The food that French people don’t want us to know about! And, dear Lord, the cheese shops: 25-56k4by ozisforme, on Flickr Since we were taking an evening Seine cruise, we had an early dinner at Café Constant: 25-61k9iby ozisforme, on Flickr I’m sorry that I can’t remember who recommended this to us, but thank you! Every single dish was excellent. And the restaurant itself was charming with a nice mix of old and modern: 25-61k9bby ozisforme, on Flickr 25-61k9aby ozisforme, on Flickr We had a nice chat with the waitress and bartender while we were waiting for our table and it turned out that the waitress had worked in NYC for some time. Again, as I noted in my England report, folks on my side of the ocean don’t do near as much traveling as the British and French folks that we met. I started out with Bisque de crustaces aux queues d’ecrevisses a la crème legere: 25-61k9dby ozisforme, on Flickr Creamy shellfish bisque with crayfish tails. Perfect. So light and intensely flavored with the shellfish. Mr. Kim’s starter was Terrine of ‘Kako’, pressed foie gras and pork shin, lentil salad: 25-61k9eby ozisforme, on Flickr No idea what ‘Kako’ is, but this was stellar. Albeit a tad scary looking to a fellow raised on middle class American food, but he bravely tucked in and cleaned his plate! Mr. Kim’s main was duck and potato pie with crispy apples: 25-61k9fby ozisforme, on Flickr Perfect pairing and really good. My main was veal cutlets from the Basque country with white Tarbais beans: 25-61k9gby ozisforme, on Flickr Just gorgeous. Tender and flavorful and the beans were so perfectly cooked firm, tender and each one separate. And that little wedge of lightly grilled romaine on top: 25-61k9hby ozisforme, on Flickr was just astonishing in its simplicity. I’d love to know how that was done. Of course, I couldn’t possibly find such perfect little lettuces in Richmond VA, so I’ll just have to make do with the memory. More than a year later, I can still feel the texture and taste it. The cruise was wonderful. One of those things that seem slightly too touristy before you go, but something that I’d recommend to anyone visiting Paris for the first time. Especially if you only have 2 and a half days there. Since it was an evening cruise, we got to see Paris light up for the night. Breathtaking! After the cruise, we walked along the Seine and took the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe and wandered down the Champ-Elysees. I ended up having a head cold for most of the trip (irritating, but not bad) and was hoping to find something like Sudafed. Just down from the Arc is the Pharmacie du Drugstore des Champs-Elysées. The sign indicated that this was an ‘American Drugstore’. Translation is everything. This was NOTHING like an American drugstore. Gorgeous place with little specialty shop-type areas, amazing confections, Joël Robuchon’s L’Atelier in the freaking basement. Tres posh. But alas, no Sudafed. At least not that we could find. One of the travel guides that we read said that when in Europe resistance to McDonald’s was futile. That, no matter what we thought ahead of time, no matter how lofty our culinary standards, we’d end up in a McDonald’s. Primarily because of the bathrooms. Once inside, it posited, we’d succumb to the familiar fragrance and the cheap food. Well, we didn’t eat there, but strolling along the Champs-Elysées, we DID need a bathroom and lo and behold there was McD’s. So, we’ve been into a McD’s in Paris. But not even a cup of coffee passed our lips. We felt like we’d passed some arcane test. Cab ride back to the hotel – around the Place de la Concorde, past the Louvre, across the Pont Marie and into the Latin Quarter. To our first view of Paris at night from the balcony of our room: 25-150kby ozisforme, on Flickr Coming up - first full day in Paris and my favorite meal.
  11. There's been a lot of discussion about pâte à choux technique recently. It's a tricky dough, to be sure. But what are you doing with it? Does everyone just make the traditional éclairs and cream puffs, or are there more adventurous types making glands, salambos or the elusive divorce? Is nobody game enough for the croquembouche? (Sorry for the French links, I couldn't find anything in English) For my two centimes, here's an old favorite: the Paris Brest (originally posted here). Makes a great birthday cake. Bon appétit.
  12. This past Saturday, we had an amazing 9 course tasting meal at the Breton restaurant La Porte in Montreal. It was the perfect way to celebrate our tenth anniversary. The dessert was a Kouigne-Amann, served with a salted caramel sauce and a buttermilk sorbet. I'd never heard of this dessert, much less tasted it, and it was divine. During dinner, we talked about what we wanted to do before our 20th anniversary. For one of my goals, my wife has set me the task of learning how to make a perfect Kouigne-Amann. Can anyone recommend some top quality Breton cookbooks? In English or French? (Preferably French?) Thanks in advance.
  13. DanM

    Smoked Beef

    One of the surprises from our move to Switzerland is the availability of kosher charcuterie. Sausages of all types, confit, mousse, rietttes, etc... One of the recent finds is this block of smoked beef. It has a nice fat layer in the middle. Any thoughts on how to use it? Should I slice it thin and then fry? Any thoughts would be appreciated.
  14. I was planning on buying jar of duck confit at the market, but I had a dimwitted moment and grabbed the confit goose gizzards instead. What should I do with them? Suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! Dan
  15. Long story, but I have a friend with whom I share a lust for French patisserie in general and kouign aman in particular. We have another friend, kind of a starry chef in France. We'd like to surprise our Parisian friend by being at least marginally competent with the kouign the next time we meet up. I had always heard of a specialty rolling pin called a Tutove (I think it's the name of the manufacturer). It's supposed to be the Secret Weapon of puff pastry. The idea is that the pin has grooves/ridges that better place butter into the layers of dough. So I found one (a real one, made by Tutove) on Ebay at a good price, but I need any basic tips y'all have for using it. Anyone here use one, or have a resource for how to roll with a Tutove? Many Thanks!
  16. Not sure if this is the right place to be posting this. I'm looking for a restaurant that serves La Potence, had it a few times on holiday in the French Alps several years ago and want to introduce this to my girlfriend. Does anyone know of anywhere that serves this??? I live in the South East (Milton Keynes - an hour out of London) but enjoyed it so much last time that would be willing to travel a fair distance to have this meal again.
  17. I'm always finding that my glazes are incredibly thick when I downscale my recipes. I am not sure whether it is the ingredients I use, my technique or the recipe is problematic when scaled down. Do I just add sugar syrup to thin it down to required viscosity?
  18. I'm trying to track down a Paris eatery where I can find an old Burgundian staple which has disappeared from menus & blackboards. Saucisson de Lyon, pommes a l'huile. Recommendations or sightings would be most welcome.
  19. Dateline Bangkok late 2014/early 2015: France has now replaced Italy as the perceived sine qua non of European fine dining with the opening of two local outposts of French Michelin starred restaurants: Joel Robuchon's burgeoning foray into Asia of his successful L'Atelier brand & Jean-Michel Lorain's J'aime eatery, a Bangkok outpost of his flagship La Cote Saint Jacques at Joigny in France. I wonder if any of our forum's Southeast Asian expat & local gastronomes have visited the aforementioned and, if so, what is their take on the head-to-head start-ups in Bangkok. Does Bangkok merit a Michelin guide of its own?
  20. Would some kind soul in the know inform us of the disappearance to the excellent Michelin 1* star Bernard Morillion restaurant in Beaune. It no longer exits. Just to jog someone's memory, it was located as part of the Cep Hotel. It was one of my favourite 1* star restaurants in France and I would like to know when it closed and what happened to the marvellous husband & wife team who cooked & took care of front-of-house operations. The chef-patron was of the old school - more Escoffier in his repertoire than "nouvelle cuisine" [sic] - and his larger than life wife who was certainly une grande dame. Whenever I lunch/dine at a French retaurant I envsion this lovely restaurant as my personal benchmark for the quintessential French Michelin 1* restaurant of the old school genre. Call me old fashioned...or what?
  21. Hi everyone, I'd like to make some eclairs to take to an event with lots of people bringing food - because there'll be a variety of (tasty) stuff I'd like to make my eclairs really small so they're not too filling and people can try them (also I think they'll look cute). Is there any reason I couldn't pipe out very skinny choux lines and hopefully end up with dainty little puffs? Ideally the final baked size would be about 8 - 10cm long and less than an inch wide... but i'm wondering if they may not expand properly or have a solid shell or something... anyone know? Cheers, Stuart
  22. Please excuse my ignorance; I do not cook much with pork. I have a recipe in French that calls for "ventreche de cochon". I know this translates literally to "belly of pork". However, I am wondering if this is specific to raw, or some sort of cured product. The recipe calls for the ventreche de cochon to be sliced paper thin on a deli slicer, and it is briefly sauteed (3 minutes) into a fricassee of escargot. Does raw pork belly seem right to use in this scenario?
  23. Help, I am having a dinner party on Thursday night which is difficult for me as I work all day everyday. I am making lie flottante, I am going to do the creme anglais sous vide on Wed. I want to make the meringues early, but don't know how long they will keep. I also have a chamber vacuum sealer and am having trouble keeping the liquid in the bags upon sealing. All help is greatly appreciated. Ike
  24. I'm cooking for a group of 20 soon and planning to do Coquille St. Jacques. After looking through dozens of recipes, I'm still torn between the a la Parisienne and Provencale styles. Serving with a crustless asparagus quiche and pea shoot salad. As a spring event I want the scallops to be somewhat light and fresh. Your comments and suggestions please.
  25. So I know that mirepoix -- the mix of onion, celery and carrots typical in French cooking -- is supposed to be the backbone or starting point of stocks, broths, soups and sauces. Having learned much of my cooking from traditional texts like Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I absorbed that lesson. For years I made my stock with the trio and then used that for soups and sauces. Then I started making my stock without anything but meat and bones and decided it made for a much better result -- if I want the taste of vegetables I add them later. I gradually stopped automatically using mirepoix and found that in most cases, it made an improvement in my cooking. I was reminded of this recently when I made tomato soup using a recipe I found that called for the usual mix of onion, carrot and celery. I figured I'd give it a try again, but sure enough, it wasn't great. Not only was the tomato flavor severely muted, but since the soup was only partially blended, it also left little bits of carrot and celery in the soup, which were offputting. I'm glad I gave it a try, because now I know I was right. No more mirepoix for me (at least not automatic mirepoix). Am I the only one?
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