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Kerry Beal

Cooking in your Thermomix

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We've got this great Thermomix thread going in the P&B forum, but searching out a thread in the cooking forum didn't yield what I was after.

I think this would be a good spot to start a thread on what items you cook in your thermomix. I'm starting it because I have a question I need answered - and that is has anyone used their thermomix to make a nice brown roux like you would use for gumbo? Will it give that kind of browning? I've got to think it would be ideal to leave to do all the stirring for you while you assemble everything else.

So after answering this first, most important, question for me - what else are you cooking in your thermomix - as compared to the pastry and baking items you use it for?

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Wow, that would be so awesome if it will make a roux, too. Can't wait to see the answer to this question.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Wow, that would be so awesome if it will make a roux, too. Can't wait to see the answer to this question.

I suppose I could simply do the experiment myself - it's only the cost of some fat and flour!

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Wow, that would be so awesome if it will make a roux, too. Can't wait to see the answer to this question.

I suppose I could simply do the experiment myself - it's only the cost of some fat and flour!

I've never even seen a Thermomix before, so take these comments with a grain of salt...

Seems like making a roux would be really difficult, now that I think about it. Roux is one of those things that you have to watch like a hawk, like burnt caramel - so easy to overshoot. Can you actually * see * the mixture while it's cooking and, therefore, stop it when it gets to the right place?

Though I suppose with a little experimentation, you could nail the time & temperature down pretty closely.


John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Wow, that would be so awesome if it will make a roux, too. Can't wait to see the answer to this question.

I suppose I could simply do the experiment myself - it's only the cost of some fat and flour!

I've never even seen a Thermomix before, so take these comments with a grain of salt...

Seems like making a roux would be really difficult, now that I think about it. Roux is one of those things that you have to watch like a hawk, like burnt caramel - so easy to overshoot. Can you actually * see * the mixture while it's cooking and, therefore, stop it when it gets to the right place?

Though I suppose with a little experimentation, you could nail the time & temperature down pretty closely.

You can look through the opening on the top - so as long as you have it in a spot with enough light, you can see how dark it is getting.

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I think I can safely say that dark roux is not something that can be done in the TMX. At four and half hours at the highest temperature I had a lovely blonde roux - tasted great - but it wasn't getting any darker no matter how much time went by.

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Amazingly, my Thermomix arrived today. I am shocked at the rapidity of shipping from Canada, however it was from B.C. so at least it did not have to make the diagonal trek...

I have read the manual, carefully... I learn from the experience of others.

Now I just have to decide on my debut performance with the machine. I have delved into the recipe book and have downloaded a printed a stack of recipes but am leaning toward this one:

http://thermomix-er.blogspot.com/2009/08/thermomix-onion-jam.html

I was actually planning on preparing a batch of onion confit tomorrow because I am down to the last little dab in the jar in my refrigerator.

This sounds soooo good and so easy, although it is a rather small batch and I just purchased one of the enormous bags of onions at Sam's Club. (Same as the ones at Costco.)

I will eventually have to do something with the "excess" onions but this gives me more latitude - I am envisioning several small batches with differing "flavors" or additions.

So far I have simply been admiring the sleek design of the machine.

Incidentally, I unboxed and set it up on the center island in my kitchen and when my basenji came in the house his hackles went up on his back, he folded his ears back and walked stiff-legged toward the "stranger," growling the entire time. Finally I convinced him it was not going to attack and he trotted off but is still not too sure what this thing is doing in the kitchen.

This incident was almost as bad as week-before-last when a neighbor put a large pumpkin on my back deck. :blink:


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Incidentally, I unboxed and set it up on the center island in my kitchen and when my basenji came in the house his hackles went up on his back, he folded his ears back and walked stiff-legged toward the "stranger," growling the entire time. Finally I convinced him it was not going to attack and he trotted off but is still not too sure what this thing is doing in the kitchen.

This incident was almost as bad as week-before-last when a neighbor put a large pumpkin on my back deck. :blink:

My hubby had a somewhat similar look on his face the other day when he saw this latest kitchen appliance sitting on the counter for the first time.

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I think I can safely say that dark roux is not something that can be done in the TMX. At four and half hours at the highest temperature I had a lovely blonde roux - tasted great - but it wasn't getting any darker no matter how much time went by.

Kerry, recipezaar insists you can make a roux in the microwave. I've had this bookmarked for years, but still have never tried it. Probably worth a shot!

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I think I can safely say that dark roux is not something that can be done in the TMX. At four and half hours at the highest temperature I had a lovely blonde roux - tasted great - but it wasn't getting any darker no matter how much time went by.

Kerry, recipezaar insists you can make a roux in the microwave. I've had this bookmarked for years, but still have never tried it. Probably worth a shot!

I do a lot of cooking in the microwave but can't quite see that a good roux can result without some degradation of the fats.

I have had limited success with using the Stir-Chef in a heavy-bottomed copper pot for the long, middle part of the cooking but did keep a close watch and removed the appliance and did the finish with my favorite wide, wooden paddle that fits nicely into the "corners" of the pan and scrapes the bottom evenly.

It seems to me that it might be possible to cook the roux in the TMX to the point reached by Kerry and then transferring it to a regular pan and doing the finish that way.

It would certainly remove a lot of the labor from the process and would allow one to do many other tasks while the machine was operating.

I seldom prepare a roux just because while keeping an eye on it, I manage to ruin other things or forget to do something that is critical at a particular time. (It is annoying because I am usually very well organized.)


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I think I can safely say that dark roux is not something that can be done in the TMX. At four and half hours at the highest temperature I had a lovely blonde roux - tasted great - but it wasn't getting any darker no matter how much time went by.

Kerry, recipezaar insists you can make a roux in the microwave. I've had this bookmarked for years, but still have never tried it. Probably worth a shot!

I do a lot of cooking in the microwave but can't quite see that a good roux can result without some degradation of the fats.

I have had limited success with using the Stir-Chef in a heavy-bottomed copper pot for the long, middle part of the cooking but did keep a close watch and removed the appliance and did the finish with my favorite wide, wooden paddle that fits nicely into the "corners" of the pan and scrapes the bottom evenly.

It seems to me that it might be possible to cook the roux in the TMX to the point reached by Kerry and then transferring it to a regular pan and doing the finish that way.

It would certainly remove a lot of the labor from the process and would allow one to do many other tasks while the machine was operating.

I seldom prepare a roux just because while keeping an eye on it, I manage to ruin other things or forget to do something that is critical at a particular time. (It is annoying because I am usually very well organized.)

And that is exactly what I did with it. Put it in a heavy pot, and in about 10 minutes had a nice brown roux! Now need the rest of the ingredients for a gumbo.

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Here's a report on my first week with the TMX (which I have named Tuffy - because it sounds exactly like a vehicle I used to own when grinding hard stuff on Turbo!)

I love it! I have cooked several things from the recipe book and from the Thermomix forum recipe list.

I made risotto painlessly!! It did all the work. I made it twice - once with mushrooms and once with chestnuts

and I cooked the chestnuts in the Varoma basket.

The mushroom risotto was made with an inexpensive Bello arborio rice. Because it turned out so nicely, in the second batch with chestnuts, I used the significantly more expensive Tenuta Castello Carnaroli.

I don't know if it was the chestnuts or the quality of the rice but this was absolutely fantastic.

I've also made stollen - doing the mixing and kneading in Tuffy, proofing it in a dehydrator and baking it in the oven. It was very good. It only makes one loaf, where my usual recipe makes six, but it was also very fast and easy.

I also made the basic bread from whole wheat berries, grinding the whole grain first to the recommended appearance then adding the other ingredients. I did put it into the fridge overnight and allowed it to proof for longer than recommended and I think I got a pretty good result and liked the flavor.

I cooked a sauce in the bottom, veggies in the basket and potstickers in the steamer bowl on top and everything came out perfect.

Pasta was a surprise - I read all the stories noted by other people but was still wondering how it didn't break up the cooked pasta but it didn't. I made the sauce first, with onions, peppers, fresh tomatoes and seasonings, dumped it into a bowl then simply added water to the jug, set the heat as recommended started the "Reverse stir" function and stuck the linguini through the hole in the top and watched as it slowly was drawn into the machine.

Total time was 15 minutes at 100° C. Amazing.

I mentioned the marzipan I prepared on the other topic. I've also cooked my mixed grain cereal twice, minced ham for deviled ham spread.

Yesterday I made a cooked cranberry/apple/orange relish to serve with a guinea hen I roasted.

I've also made slushies and made a pear sorbet and a banana/pear/pineapple/yogurt mix that was frozen in several steps of scraping and mixing, as one would do a granita. It was very nice.

I've done several other things but this is enough for now. When I do something really different or interesting, I will report on that.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have read dozens of reviews of the TMX and even had Kerry's in my possession for a while but nothing has convinced me that I need to give it another shot as your review has! Thank you. I wonder why it has not caught on in N. America as it has in Europe and Australia. Sometimes, I guess, when something sounds too good to be true it just might be that good. :biggrin: Do keep reporting.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Let me add another thing.

I have a friend who lives in a senior citizen center and has a tiny "kitchenette" in her apartment but is not allowed (for safety reasons) anything with an exposed heat source, i.e., no stovetop, no hotplate (for some reason the management does not understand the principles of induction stoves. Also most coffeemakers, toaster ovens are verboten. But not toasters - those are okay. A rice cooker is allowed and of course, microwave ovens.

She was here yesterday and is fascinated with Tuffy. She watched all of the videos on the various sites and thinks it would work beautifully for her. She can afford it and so is going to the center manager, with several pages I printed about it, and see if they will allow her to have it.

Now this is the kind of application where this machine can really shine. It is expensive but if it becomes more popular here and more units are manufactured, surely the price will drop.

She also has friends who are snowbirds and live year round in their motorhomes or trailers - not poor people, several winter in Palm Springs, etc. She told me she was going right to her computer and send these folks the URLs showing the TMX. She is more enthusiastic than me...


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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So Santa showed up very early at my house carrying a Themomix TM 21! I was speechless as you can imagine. I had borrowed Kerry's for a short while but was entirely too intimidated by it - what if I damaged it. :shock: But this one is MINE, MINE, MINE.:laugh: So, of course, I had to try a couple of breads in it first - a country loaf filled with seeds and this morning these amazing Cheese and Basil knots - no Basil in the house but everything's better with bacon so I subbed in bacon bits.

IMG_1419.JPG

IMG_1421.JPG

I know it seems that this should be in the Pastry and Baking forum but I am not using it as a professional tool so I hope this post can stay here as I will be cooking other things and reporting on them. I have almonds ready for marzipan but am waiting clarification on the recipe and have just got the ingredients to make the vegetable stock concentrate which I plan on starting tonight. Later in the week I will make a Thai-style soup. I do hope others who have a TMX will continue to post and help us newbies along. It would be especially helpful if anyone is using the older TM21 model.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Those rolls look heavenly. Makes me want to pull one off the screen and start munching!

I used the marzipan recipe from the UK site:

http://www.ukthermomix.com/recshow.php?rec_id=69

The only difference was that the eggs I used (yolks only) were pasteurized.

I pasteurize all my eggs, just to be on the safe side.

I did note that I ran it on the Dough setting for 2 1/2 minutes, instead of the 1 minute plus 30 seconds after adding the almond extract.

I had a great result and have made a second batch.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I made the marzipan - next time I'll leave out the lemon and the rosewater. I'll bet Andi uses the meyer lemons for this - I found mine a little acidic.

I made the Thai soup, was a little disappointed in the one dimensional nature of the recipe - but I think I need to find a good recipe that I like and just adapt it for the TMX.

Made my raspberry chocolate filling in it yesterday - had to change things around a bit, to melt the chocolate first (usually use a food processor and add the melted chocolate second), but with the power and ability to heat a little - worked like a charm in producing a nice smooth filling.

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...

I used the marzipan recipe from the UK site:

http://www.ukthermomix.com/recshow.php?rec_id=69

Andie - Thanks! What did you do about the 40 grams of sugar that seems unaccounted for?


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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...

I used the marzipan recipe from the UK site:

http://www.ukthermomix.com/recshow.php?rec_id=69

Andie - Thanks! What did you do about the 40 grams of sugar that seems unaccounted for?

I just included it in the icing sugar part.

That is, I weighed out the 240 g dumped it out and put 100 g back in the bowl ground it to caster sugar, tipped it out and put the rest of the sugar into the bowl and ground it to icing sugar.

Continued with the recipe. Worked fine.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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....

I just included it in the icing sugar part.

That is, I weighed out the 240 g dumped it out and put 100 g back in the bowl ground it to caster sugar, tipped it out and put the rest of the sugar into the bowl and ground it to icing sugar.

Continued with the recipe. Worked fine.

Thanks. I went with just the 200 grams and it worked OK except it was not as smooth as I wanted so will try again using your way of additional mixing.

Last night I adapted a recipe for Thai coconut chicken soup and it was certainly painless but I will tweak the recipe some more for next time. However, I made some bread dough this morning and forgot completely that the temperature was set to 200F from last night so managed to boil the dough! :angry: It's a learning curve.

I am desperate for room in my tiny kitchen so I am hoping to put my food processor and my blender down in the basement and use the TMX for all those things that required these two machines. The TMX, of course, will not slice but I never used the Food Processor for slicing anyway so it shouldn't matter.

I also ground coffee yesterday and while I know that coffee geeks insist on a burr grinder for me it worked just fine - another machine that can go downstairs!


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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This machine intrigues me! Anna, sounds like this wonder machine will be responsible for a springtime yard sale. :smile:

I did not realize it was such a good grinder too.

You guys are a bad/good influence on my kitchen wish list, but if it does all of this stuff it might be THE kitchen appliance to have.

Can't wait to see what you come up with next.

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So I have been playing with Big Bertha (I HAD to name it!) for a couple of days now. I have made:

Bread doughs

Dough for parmesan grissini

Dough for flour tortillas

One of the vegetable concentrates (used in place of bouillon cubes in some recipes)

Chicken in Yogourt

Chocolate salami

Spanish meatballs in tomato sauce (the sauce is made in the bowl and the meatballs are steamed above it in what Thermomix calls the Varoma which is simply a steaming basket.

Ground coffee

and I have concluded that the machine works quickly and efficiently but the recipes lack precision and TASTE. It's not difficult, however, to tweak the recipes just as you would with any cooking method. I suspect that many of the recipes appearing on the various blogs have never been truly tested. I also think that the enthusiastic fans have a tendency to think that the Thermomix can be all things to all people and do all sorts of cooking tasks that it simply is not well-suited to. Whatever anyone else may assert sauteeing is distinctly not its strong point. Furthermore, like any cooking method it needs an attentive cook to judge whan to turn down the heat, when to grind longer than indicated, when to scrape down the bowl, etc. But, having said all this, you will have to liberate it from my cold dead hands if you want to take it away from me! What it is designed best to do it does better than any other appliance I have owned. It is also the easiest to clean. I will continue to experiment, to tweak recipes and to put Big Bertha through her paces.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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I've made up several of the bread recipes from forumthermomix: http://www.forumthermomix.com/index.php?board=30.0

And have been mostly pleased with the ease of use and results.

I am beginning to convert some of my favorite recipes to the TMX - requires significant adjustment as most of my recipes are for batches of dough too large for it.

I cut my banana/walnut bread recipe in half and it turned out very nice.

The pumpkin bread not so well - I think I forgot to add something... :unsure:

A few of the Asian recipes I have tried do not have quite enough flavor for my taste so I have spiked them with either sweet chile sauce (Mae Ploy, my favorite), salsa from a jar, a sambal (homemade) and various herbs and spices.

Sadly, I have been very lax in recording my "experiments" - I will have to find a fresh microtape for the little dictating unit and be sure the batteries are charged. (The one that I was using was left on the desk and Aston decided it was a perfect chew toy. :shock:)

I prepared a custard that turned out quite nice and with no attention from me.

Did mushroom risotto again yesterday, shitaki this time - can't get over how effortless it is.

There was enough leftover risotto with which to experiment so I added some chicken stock and ran the machine at speed 7 for 50 seconds and the result was a thick and very tasty sauce/gravy that I am going to put over something that needs gravy. :biggrin: Possibly this is healthier than the usual pan gravy I prepare. Certainly there has to be less fat.

I don't know if it is because of the items I am preparing in the TMX or because I have been more active with all my baking and such, but I am losing weight. Eleven pounds in two weeks. :laugh: Usually at this time of the year I gain - so this is a big plus!


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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