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Cooking with Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home


OliverB
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I also made this with the seared duck breast. I have to say, I really loved both. Like you, I'd never had kohlarbi or cooked radishes. Also, the duck breast recipe is phenomenal. I couldn't get over how amazing the flavor of that was with just a little bit of such simple ingredients.

IMG_3208.JPG(the book)

IMG_3213.JPG(mine)

I think I'd rather try yours! The duck in the book is cut up lengthwise, isn't it? I don't know why, but it looks strange to my eye.

The apple fritters are gorgeous, too. Fritters seem like a fairly straightforward thing - are they Keller'ed up in any way? Apples pureed into the batter or some such?

I'm going to Malaysia next month, and I've already had a friend buy a copy to hold on to for me. Amazon isn't shipping until February, so I figure I'll get it faster through that route anyway. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

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i've got all 3 Keller books on order but as everyone has commented Amazon isn't shipping them until Feb. That pot pie looks great, we made one last week with a herb crest and herbed winter vegetables from epicurious that was really good. But that pot pie looks almost even better. The fried chicken would be great to make as well.

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The apple fritters are gorgeous, too. Fritters seem like a fairly straightforward thing - are they Keller'ed up in any way? Apples pureed into the batter or some such?

I don't think so; I have to say think, because I've never made Fritters before. But the recipe is a pretty straight forward batter, apples cut into matchsticks, dipped in batter, and fried. OTOH, Keller's roast chicken in Bouchon is also extremely straightforward, but also some of the best roast chicken I've had. This one looks good but more importantly seems to hit the right spot dead on for balance and taste. OTOH, I've not had a huge range of fritters, so there could be better.

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My latest from Ad Hoc was the Glazed Sweet Potatoes. Visible in this, rather poor I'm afraid, picture. They were extremely good. As shown, they were served with steak (sous-vide, then seared 30s/side) and braised bok choi. The bok choi was a good match. The steak was an OK match. We had a fairly sweet red wine with it; it was not as sweet with the potatoes; I don't think you would want a dry wine with something so sweet. These will, for sure, get made again.

22271_260571487240_535972240_3193753_8374783_n.jpg

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I also made this with the seared duck breast. I have to say, I really loved both. Like you, I'd never had kohlarbi or cooked radishes. Also, the duck breast recipe is phenomenal. I couldn't get over how amazing the flavor of that was with just a little bit of such simple ingredients.

IMG_3208.JPG(the book)

IMG_3213.JPG(mine)

I think I'd rather try yours! The duck in the book is cut up lengthwise, isn't it? I don't know why, but it looks strange to my eye.

The apple fritters are gorgeous, too. Fritters seem like a fairly straightforward thing - are they Keller'ed up in any way? Apples pureed into the batter or some such?

I'm going to Malaysia next month, and I've already had a friend buy a copy to hold on to for me. Amazon isn't shipping until February, so I figure I'll get it faster through that route anyway. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

*********************

The lengthwise slices shown in the book are a typical French slicing of duck breast, and fairly thin, but seem kind of at odds with the book's description: "Cut each piece of duck lengthwise in to 3 slices." Is that a home cook simplification they couldn't bear to do for the photograph?

(Both pictures look nice).

Edited by inductioncook (log)
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Another interesting question about this book is -- how many of these recipes are "back formations" from a sous-vide approach at the restaurant? "Butter-poached marble potatoes," for example, seems like a sous-vide recipe that has been transformed into a more conventional recipe. That's not a bad thing -- just interesting -- in Under Pressure there's a description of changing the butter-poached lobster from sous-vide back to an open pan and getting more of the real feeling of cooking, and that feeling is one of the things that is so nice about this book. But there may be others. I wonder if the duck breast recipe was cooked to a fairly low temperature sous-vide and then slowly cooked on the skin side, in effect the reverse of the procedure in Ad Hoc.

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I made the Glazed Sweet Potatoes tonight. The recipe calls for letting the baked wages cool before brushing with the butter in the pan then dusting with brown sugar. I started with 2.25 pounds of wedges but only a little more than a pound made it back into the oven for caramelizing the sugar. There were no instructions on how NOT TO EAT before the last step :raz: LOL

edited for grammar & spelling. I do it 95% of my posts so I'll state it here. :)

"I have never developed indigestion from eating my words."-- Winston Churchill

Talk doesn't cook rice. ~ Chinese Proverb

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Dipped my toe into this book, which I received for Christmas, and tried one of the simpler recipes this past weekend - Cod with a parsley and breadcrumb crust. A total faliure and I tried it twice. Coating was oily and fell off the fish. I think the timing is off on the cooking, although the fish was done properly the second time I tried with the convection turned on..

I also wondered if there was a misprint in the recipe, as it called for the fish to be started with the breadcrumb side down in a pan on the top of the stove, and then transferred directly to the oven without turning. I would have probably flipped it and roasted it with the breadcrumbs on top which would have helped reduce the oiliness.

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That is unfortunate, rickster; I've made that 4 times or so and it has worked everytime. I wonder what the variances are. I do cook it for the recommended period. I should note that I use Halibut, but that shouldn't make much difference. The only time my crust approached 'oily' was once when I did crowded the pan too much and there wasn't enough heat (I should have used 2 pans). Of course, oily is a matter of taste, so all my results could have been oily. Haven't ever had the coating even come close to falling off. I do leave the coating down in the pan.

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Dipped my toe into this book, which I received for Christmas, and tried one of the simpler recipes this past weekend - Cod with a parsley and breadcrumb crust. A total faliure and I tried it twice. Coating was oily and fell off the fish. I think the timing is off on the cooking, although the fish was done properly the second time I tried with the convection turned on..

I also wondered if there was a misprint in the recipe, as it called for the fish to be started with the breadcrumb side down in a pan on the top of the stove, and then transferred directly to the oven without turning. I would have probably flipped it and roasted it with the breadcrumbs on top which would have helped reduce the oiliness.

I took a look at the recipe just now, and I suspect your problem has to do with heat control.

Keller says to heat the oil over medium-high heat until the oil starts to smoke, then turn it down. This sequence ensures that 1) the pan will be hot enough to initiate browning; 2) that you won't experience a significant temperature drop when you add the fish; and 3) the surface of the fish will start to steam immediately, which will push oil away from the persillade. As soon as the crust starts to develop (Keller says about a minute), you remove it from direct heat and stick it in the oven to finish. The oil will still be hot enough to continue browning the crumbs; as that dissipates, the oven heat takes over.

None of this will work if the oil isn't hot enough -- either because the cook hasn't brought it up to proper heat, or he crowds the pan (like Paul did one time), causing a temperature drop from which -- because the whole thing cooks so quickly -- he will not be able to recover.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Tell me more about the scallops.

He uses giant scallops -- more than two ounces each -- and brines them. The scallops are laid out on paper towels, salted, then put in a pan with smoking-hot clarified butter. They cook for three to three-and-a-half minutes, until they caramelize.

That's it. I don't see why you couldn't do it with regular sea scallops, though it won't work with little bays. The trick, if you want to call it that, is to let the scallop release from the pan on its own, then flip immediately, so as not to overcook them. If you can't get the giant specimens Keller can, the timing will be shorter -- about two minutes, in my experience.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Another thing that may be changed from the restaurant to eliminate sous-vide cooking is the boneless short-rib recipe. The restaurant has had "48-hour short-ribs" while the book has a conventional, higher temperature version that takes only a fraction of that time.

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He uses giant scallops -- more than two ounces each -- and brines them. The scallops are laid out on paper towels, salted, then put in a pan with smoking-hot clarified butter.

Each of those steps is crucial in my experience, as is having scallops that haven't been treated with phosphates. Otherwise, you'll never get that crunchy fond. Up here, Bomster scallops are the only ones to buy for this reason.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Dry scallops are essential. But I've caramelized scallops much smaller -- around an ounce each are what I can get reliably -- than the U-7s Keller likes (not that I wouldn't love to be able to get them). You just have to be fearless about the heat of the fat and trust your protein.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I've made the scallops several times. I use the giant scallops and buy the best local ones I can find (dry); they run about $3/scallop here (seafood is expensive in general here). That recipe is all technique. Heat control is absolutely key. It took me a couple of times to hit it just right and results are still not as reliable as I would like, but they are actually pretty good each time. Last time I served it on some Frisée; the was an error, it was too bitter. In all the previous times I served it on some apricot preserves (essentially apricot purée). I also bought a super thin flipper just because of that recipe. I now serve scallops fearlessly to guests.

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I really would never have thought to:

1- brine the scallops

2- cook them for as long as Keller suggests before flipping. This seems so simple and obvious now that I've tried it, but you know what they say about hindsight.

I bought the largest and best sea scallops I could find. In my neck of the woods, this meant a trip to Whole Foods and about $2.5/scallop. These came out to about 8 pieces per lb. I cooked them in a cast iron skillet and let them go for about 3 and half minutes on the first side in very hot clarified butter. I flipped with a pair of tongs and cooked for another 2 minutes...or maybe a bit less on the other side. They came out perfect, moist and delicious with a wonderful texture. To serve them I prepared a Meyer lemon risotto (lightened it a bit by not adding any cheese and very little butter) and parsley oil.

Scallop-Lemon Risotto-Parsley Oil .jpg

Scallop-Lemon Risotto-Parsley Oil 2.jpg

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I have done a handful of recipes from this book.

The short ribs came out very well, though as ever they did not look like the picture. Keller's have a uniform pink that mine simply lacked. I liked the idea of the cheesecloth to keep them free of clingy mirepoix. Very tasty overall.

Garlic confit: the first time I burned it horribly. The second time was better. The garlic mashed (or whatever he calls it) were the best version of this I have ever made.

Brined pork tenderloin: I generallt find PT very dull. This recipe livened it up a bit, but it was still not too memorable. I thought it needed a sauce. It was at least very juicy.

Santa Maria Tri-Tip: I did not have espelette pepper and so substituted 1/2 cayenne and 1/2 chile powder. Meat was cooked to a perfect MR. Still, not too powerfully flavorful. The idea of basting with lemon slices and garlic is a good one, and the side of the meat where the lemon slices rested was more flavorful than the other side, but there was not enough oomph to really make this great. I think a true SM style tri-tip has to be cooked on a mesquite grill, anyway.

Leg of Lamb: Hugely flavorful and excellent. Bravo, Thomas!

Butter poached potatoes: lots of work emulsifying butter one small chunk at a time, and also very profligate with the butter. The end result was meh. I think I could have gotten close-enough results just boiling the potatoes, draining them, and then coating with a little butter.

I am dying to try potatoes pave, but it looks quite exacting.

Edited by manton (log)
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I am dying to try potatoes pave, but it looks quite exacting.

I've got the pave in the fridge waiting to be fried up for tonight's dinner. it wasn't too bad to this point. rather simple actually and less time consuming than au gratin potatoes. the only thing I would have done differently is to build it in a smaller (say 8'x8") pan.

I've also made the chicken pot pie and it was exquisite. and better reheated in the oven for lunch the next day.

DSCN1293.JPG

Edited by twoshoes (log)
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I have done a handful of recipes from this book.

The short ribs came out very well, though as ever they did not look like the picture. Keller's have a uniform pink that mine simply lacked. I liked the idea of the cheesecloth to keep them free of clingy mirepoix. Very tasty overall.

Garlic confit: the first time I burned it horribly. The second time was better. The garlic mashed (or whatever he calls it) were the best version of this I have ever made.

Brined pork tenderloin: I generallt find PT very dull. This recipe livened it up a bit, but it was still not too memorable. I thought it needed a sauce. It was at least very juicy.

Santa Maria Tri-Tip: I did not have espelette pepper and so substituted 1/2 cayenne and 1/2 chile powder. Meat was cooked to a perfect MR. Still, not too powerfully flavorful. The idea of basting with lemon slices and garlic is a good one, and the side of the meat where the lemon slices rested was more flavorful than the other side, but there was not enough oomph to really make this great. I think a true SM style tri-tip has to be cooked on a mesquite grill, anyway.

Leg of Lamb: Hugely flavorful and excellent. Bravo, Thomas!

Butter poached potatoes: lots of work emulsifying butter one small chunk at a time, and also very profligate with the butter. The end result was meh. I think I could have gotten close-enough results just boiling the potatoes, draining them, and then coating with a little butter.

I am dying to try potatoes pave, but it looks quite exacting.

Back to the point of how many of these recipes are adapted from more high-tech versions. Isn't the fact that "Keller's have a uniform pink" a suggestion that his were done sous-vide at a precise and lower temperature?

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some great food going on here! I haven't gotten back to the book yet, haven't really had time or inclination to cook much lately, too much other stuff going on, but I hope to get to several of the good things in this book very soon. Maybe even this weekend, if things work out. Glad to see this thread is alive and well!

"And don't forget music - music in the kitchen is an essential ingredient!"

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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pave prior to finishing w/ butter and chives. this may be the best potato dish I've ever tasted, though I remain very very fond of au gratin potatoes maybe because I'm crazy for cheese. this was the test piece for an afternoon snack.

DSCN1307.JPG

not as lovely as the ad hoc image but oh so good. was better for dinner w/ garnish.

Edited by twoshoes (log)
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