Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

eG Foodblog: Chris Amirault (2010) - Holidays in Rhode Island


Chris Amirault
 Share

Recommended Posts

DSC00028.JPG

I should have sliced the onions from tip to root, not this way. No big deal, but the packets were a bit difficult to negotiate in the oven.

I'm confused. Doesn't this photo show a "tip to root (or maybe root to tip, w/e)" cut?

I can't quite find the right words. Let me try again: you want to slice it along a longitudinal line, north pole (tip) to south pole (root). The onion naturally breaks along that line, so you don't want two of them, just one.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I did have a stand mixer here, but I just beat it by hand with a stiff spatula as I was only doing a half recipe (we were a small group with big ambitions). In the future, I'll definitely go with the mixer for the full amount.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

DSC00028.JPG

I should have sliced the onions from tip to root, not this way. No big deal, but the packets were a bit difficult to negotiate in the oven.

I'm confused. Doesn't this photo show a "tip to root (or maybe root to tip, w/e)" cut?

I can't quite find the right words. Let me try again: you want to slice it along a longitudinal line, north pole (tip) to south pole (root). The onion naturally breaks along that line, so you don't want two of them, just one.

Now I'm confused. I understand what you're saying about cutting the onions "pole to pole" -- it's what we teach our students. But what I don't understand is that -- to my mind and eye -- in the photo you ARE cutting the onion north pole to south pole. The other way would be (as we tell our students) along the equator, which you are clearly not doing. Am I missing something?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think what he is saying is that he wants you to make a single radial cut, literally such that the tip of the knife starts at the north pole and run straight down to the south pole, so that any given layer of the onion is only sliced once, rather than twice. What he did was make a cut across the entire diameter, resulting in each layer falling into two separate pieces. Chris?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . .

Does anyone else who has been cooking SV find themselves hoarding small amounts of fat and other tasty goodness? That's about a tablespoon of pancetta fat there that I saved, and I found it rummaging around the fridge. It was a great addition to the onion stuffing.

Damn, your food looks good! Here it's all about Christmas eve: yesterday was a sandwich and a bunch of hastily thrown together rice. Oh,and the last of the venison in pastry, which became a bit dry on reheating, even at a low temperature.

No SV cooking here, but I do keep duck fat in the refrigerator, and I have a whacking great bag of suet in the freezer, which was collected at the slaughterhouse in its raw form, and rendered at home for the annual Christmas pudding. I also use it in any recipe that calls for solid vegetable shortening (you just can't get suet here, since it's all exported or used commercially).

Aha!

This is how Chris shows cutting the onion, from top to bottom:

gallery_6393_149_198.gif

. . . but this is the proper cut:

gallery_6393_149_2781.gif

Thanks Dave, I kept staring at the photo of the onion and the explanation of how it ought to have been done, and wondering what I wasn't quite getting.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chris, robirdstx, and Dave: YES. Thanks. What I confused was the word "halfway" in Wolfert's directions, as you can now all see.

Up early because it's snowing here! My parents hit the road early to try to beat the storm, and I have to head out to get a few things -- including a kettle. I have had two of these OXO kettles, and will probably get another one right now. If anyone has any suggestions, and is up this early, I'm all ears, but it's gotta be available at Sears or Target.

Meanwhile, I have to make a classic storm run: eggs, whole milk, some vegetables. I'm off, but have the Droid so I can check in.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, the traditional mid-Christmas/New Year eastern seaboard blizzard. Sometimes I don't miss North America at all.

I realized I didn't do a Christmas food gift update, but that's because I don't have any Christmas gifts save one on pre-order: this pamphlet by Society member Nathan Myhrvold.

Ok, I just clicked over there for the first time, because I am not a modernist cuisine-type AT ALL, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is some feeling (amongst the bullet points) from Nathan M that cheap pans may (sometimes?) perform better than expensive ones - something I have inadvertently found, mostly from spending most of the year cooking in my cheap-ass pans, but then using my parents and parents'in-law's expensive sets and burning everything when I visit Canada.

What are your thoughts? Any idea what he's on about?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good morning, Chris. I can't believe you have time for blogging with all the cooking that you're doing. Those onions look fantastic, I need to look up that recipe.

Does anyone else who has been cooking SV find themselves hoarding small amounts of fat and other tasty goodness? That's about a tablespoon of pancetta fat there that I saved, and I found it rummaging around the fridge. It was a great addition to the onion stuffing.

A question for folks who keep little bits of things--like your pancetta--in your freezer. How do you keep track of it? Do you keep a list? I forget what I have until I stumble across it a year later.

I hope the weather forecast doesn't complicate your week too much. I just got back from my own snow food run--the family members who were supposed to be flying home later today or tomorrow have already had their flights cancelled so will be staying a least an extra day. And snow shoveling can work up quite an appetite!


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, I just clicked over there for the first time, because I am not a modernist cuisine-type AT ALL, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that there is some feeling (amongst the bullet points) from Nathan M that cheap pans may (sometimes?) perform better than expensive ones - something I have inadvertently found, mostly from spending most of the year cooking in my cheap-ass pans, but then using my parents and parents'in-law's expensive sets and burning everything when I visit Canada.

What are your thoughts? Any idea what he's on about?

Interesting. Do you have a link to that comparison? I'd like to know what "cheap" means exactly.

A question for folks who keep little bits of things--like your pancetta--in your freezer. How do you keep track of it? Do you keep a list? I forget what I have until I stumble across it a year later.

For a while I kept up a good freezer list, but since the move I've not gotten back onto that system. Once summer comes and the bulk of whatever's in there gets used up, I will probably take another crack at it.

I hope the weather forecast doesn't complicate your week too much. I just got back from my own snow food run--the family members who were supposed to be flying home later today or tomorrow have already had their flights cancelled so will be staying a least an extra day. And snow shoveling can work up quite an appetite!

What did you get? I grabbed some shrimp on sale to have with tortillas, a piece of sockeye salmon to cure and smoke, a bunch of brussels sprouts on sale, and the standard issue milk and eggs -- extra of those so I could take another crack at that ice cream!

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Missed this post:

RE: Dessert snafu. While I'm not surprised that you would try something for the first time for the eG Foodblog, I am surprised that you would try something for the first time meant to be served to a lot of guests!

I do that all the time! I feel like it's part of the fun, serving something new for everyone. Life on the edge, Mitch, life on the edge....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Interesting. Do you have a link to that comparison? I'd like to know what "cheap" means exactly.

My words; not his. The Amazon product description says:

A sampling of what you'll discover:

* Why plunging food in ice water doesn't stop the cooking process

* When boiling cooks faster than steaming

* Why raising the grill doesn't lower the heat

* How low-cost pots and pans can perform better than expensive ones

* Why baking is mostly a drying process

* Why deep-fried food tastes best and browns better when the oil is older

* How modern cooking techniques can achieve ideal results without the perfect timing or good luck that traditional methods demand

His description of "low-cost" and my description of "low cost" may have a large variance, however.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah: my Sitram probably rates as "low cost."

Speaking of shopping, got that kettle at Target:

DSC00035.JPG

The younger among us may not believe this, but in the olden days, when you went shopping for things, TV chefs didn't stare at you:

DSC00001.JPG

DSC00003.JPG

DSC00008.JPG

And Target can't hold a candle to Macy's and their "Culinary Council."

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah: my Sitram probably rates as "low cost."

I buy a new $10 non-stick pan every year. Does that count as low-cost?

How about my $8 wok?

I picked them out without the help of Paula Deen or Giada de Laurentiis, amazingly enough.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Back at that ice cream base. I took Matt and Chris's advice above:

DSC00023.JPG

Decided to strain out the foam and a bit of the yolks that didn't combine:

DSC00025.JPG

Sealed it up -- look, ma, no hands!

DSC00029.JPG

One of the things that I felt contributed to the first disaster was that I put the large bag in laying flat. I think that the horizontal bag blocked the water circulation, creating hot spots within the Sous Vide Supreme. So this time I wanted to secure it so that it stayed vertical:

DSC00031.JPG

Results tonight, but I'm feeling better this time around.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A few shots of food equipment in the capacious garage. You saw the freezer up topic. Here's my beloved Bradley smoker ($250 at this eGullet friendly Amazon link -- yeesh!), sitting on a stainless steel rolling cart that I found at a yard sale:

DSC00010.JPG

This Patio Wok I got years ago; it's no longer available. I keep it scrupulously clean, as you can see:

DSC00017.JPG

And those who think I have only "high-end cooking equipment" will enjoy my long-serving Char-Broil charcoal grill, bought at a scratch-n-dent sale:

DSC00013.JPG

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Missed this post:

RE: Dessert snafu. While I'm not surprised that you would try something for the first time for the eG Foodblog, I am surprised that you would try something for the first time meant to be served to a lot of guests!

I do that all the time! I feel like it's part of the fun, serving something new for everyone. Life on the edge, Mitch, life on the edge....

Oh, I do it too. We still (well, others do) get a laugh from the less than successful assortment of desserts I've made over time. Like the Italian bread pudding that was impossibly dry or, or, or...

BTW, I loved my late (sniff, sniff) Char Broil barbecue. The one I had was built like a tank.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For me, that's a good example of a piece of cooking equipment on which it's not worth spending lots of money. I've looked at the high-end Webers, Big Green Eggs, and the others, and while they're appealing, for what I do -- briefly push stuff around on a grill over charcoal -- they don't make sense.

This Char-Broil has too much plastic, and the circumference of the thing is annoyingly larger than the standard Weber 22.5" grill grate that's available all over town, meaning that I put a Weber grate atop the warped, rusted C-B one. But for what I paid ($50?) and use if for, it's just the thing.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

LindaK: I have three freezers so I need to know where things are as well as what I have so I developed a colour coded spreadsheet. Each freezer has its own colour and code, i.e. UR for upright freezer, etc. The columns are: Name of Item, freezer code, how many package of each item, when it was put in and what shelf or compartment it is in, and the last area I use sometimes for weights of meats, for example if I have pork tenderloins that I'll weigh them and note the weight. The whole list can be sorted by item name or freezer code. Of course the big trick is to religiously keep it up-to-date. Once a year when we clean the freezers I'll check the inventory's accuracy and usually it is pretty good. My friends think I'm nuts but I'm retired so have time to do this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...