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


Chris Amirault
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If I didn't know better, I'd say the house was built for you, to your specifications. Does your wife share your food and drink interests? No fighting over who got the shelves?

She shares most of them, and we were in agreement about those two aspects. We also share a midcentury modern design aesthetic, which enables us to avoid most tussles over things like that.

And I agree: I feel like this house was built for our family's life.

I would so love to be able to see this room in its entirety - it sounds so lovely. Do you have a photo of the whole room or of the context of the shelves?

I'll grab that tomorrow; it's easier to see in the daylight. I'll do the same for the dining room.

PS Hope you got your dishwasher installed OK!

Well, it was a trial, but.... It's in!

Hey, you can leave your cocktail glasses in your three seasons room to keep them chilled.

The daily use ones are in the fridge; the ones in the bar are mostly sets that I ice down for group drinks as needed.

As someone not from the north, what is a three seasons room anyway? Just one where you don't have a heater?

Yes, a room that's not heated and that usually has lots of poorly insulated windows.

Finishing up a long day of cooking with a wee dram of Rhum J.M Vieux 1997. A few pix are on the way.

Chris Amirault

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Here's the new machine; I'm staying up late because we had a drainage problem that lead to a wet kitchen floor, the last of several snafus requiring trips to stores, a jigsaw, Gorilla tape, and more. But ain't it bee-uteeful?

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So, some prep for tortillas. The corn is slaking; the onions are pickling. I also prepped the carnitas, shrimp, and tomatillo salsa. Here's the secret to my carnitas: note the label on the jar of fat:

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I came up with a solution to the problem of floating tomatillos:

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Here's the "high-end" equipment I use to blend the tomatillos etc. up after cooling -- and, no joke, it's a beast:

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I prepared the shrimp in the Sous Vide Supreme and used a couple of tricks. One is to rinse off the shells and make a very quick stock that you then reduce to a couple of tablespoons. It's rich, dark, and almost roasty, a great accompaniment to the shrimp in the bag:

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And here's a little shrimp cleaning trick I learned somewhere or another, a two-stroke deveining technique. Lay down some wet paper towel. Then, butterfly each shrimp to expose the vein:

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Using the point of the blade, poke the vein out and press it against the paper toweling, then pull the shrimp away. Works like a charm:

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All that prep plus dinner making (the red beans & rice, spiffed up with more trinity vegetables and some additional chorice), and it seemed a drink was in order. I've been making a lot of Old Fashioneds this year because I have had the benefit of some fine aged spirits that don't need a lot of tinkering. This one is a very slight tweak of the Oaxacan Old Fashioned by Phil Ward (Society member phlip):

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2 1/2 oz Herradura añejo tequila

dash Del Maguey Minero

1/2 oz demerara gum syrup

2 dashes Bittermens xocolatl bitters

1 dash Regan's orange bitters

Stir with cracked ice; strain; orange peel rimmed and in.

One more day of blogging, folks. Cheers!

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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And here's a little shrimp cleaning trick I learned somewhere or another, a two-stroke deveining technique. Lay down some wet paper towel. Then, butterfly each shrimp to expose the vein:

DSC00033.JPG

Using the point of the blade, poke the vein out and press it against the paper toweling, then pull the shrimp away. Works like a charm:

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THAT trick is worth the price of admission ! Way cool.

And, like Shelby, I have a *lot* of the same cookbooks. Great minds.....

--Roberta--

"Let's slip out of these wet clothes, and into a dry Martini" - Robert Benchley

Pierogi's eG Foodblog

My *outside* blog, "A Pound Of Yeast"

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Boy do I agree. Every day I have learned something(s) from you Chris. Oh, and I totally enjoyed the photos of the seafood and the beautiful plates of oysters. It made me want to get on the next plane to RI to try them all! Can't wait to see all the party food. Thanks again for all these truly blogalicious days.

I've got one body and one life, I'm going to take care of them.

I'm blogging as the Fabulous Food Fanatic here.

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This year my husband and I "blind tested" Cokes from Japan, China, and Korea together. The finding: more clove flavour and sugar in Chinese Coke, less bubble. Japanese Coke and Korean Cokes seemed more carbonated, with Korean Coke seeming sweeter than Japanese. I've always assumed they tweaked the flavours somewhat to appeal to the national palate.

FWIW, my coworker who used to work for Coca-Cola in Africa, said they go to great lengths to ensure the taste is the same around the world, including sustainable water supplies meeting stringent quality requirements. (Of course that appears not to include paying for cane or beet sugar in the USA.) I heard anecdotally about a water supplier here in Australia who was required to relocate his well away from a stream when drilling a replacement. The new well had slightly too high iron and he was not allowed to treat or blend it.

And back on topic: Thanks for the great blog, Chris. I need to make some rosemary simple syrup. How do you think an x the brave would be with bourbon?

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Thanks, Chufi and CDRF -- but it's not done yet! I'll be taking you right through the Night Before New Years Eve party. To that end, I have some shopping to do this morning. Breakfast is a slice of that heavenly pear cake and a mug of Ichiban Hojicha tea from Norbu, a dark roast grown in Shizuoka, Japan.

The market I'll be going to is pretty interesting, so I'll take a few snaps. Then, today is a big prep day -- and the new dishwasher's coming! The new dishwasher's coming!!!

AWESOME. My assumption of this blog's demise was premature.

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Good morning!

And back on topic: Thanks for the great blog, Chris. I need to make some rosemary simple syrup. How do you think an x the brave would be with bourbon?

Thanks!

Not sure about the bourbon question. I think that you'd want to use a bourbon that's spicy and got a high alcohol content, like Henry McKenna, and not something softer and wheatier, and you'd still want a good 1/2 oz of something smoky. Give it a go and report back!

Because we have several last minute "yes" RSVPs, and because we can't leave well enough alone, we're bumping up the menu a bit, adding my wife's flour tortillas along with the corn, doubling the punch recipe, and adding a few other things. Gotta head out to the stores for supplies and get cooking!

Chris Amirault

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jnash85, I tend to go by feel for hot sauces. Arbols and pasillas toasted and soaked, I think, then some garlic, then, um, ... :hmmm:

Cooking up a frenzy. Trying to document as I go but it'll be a bit spare.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, your energy and scope is kick-ass. I don't have any useful ideas regarding sous vide and mixology, unless it can sustain 46F for the champagne tomorrow . . .

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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Quick updates:

Ras al hanout spiced nuts are very dangerous, as it's hard to leave enough for guests.

Those sous vide cherry tomatoes listed in the SV index are terrific: the ones whose skins don't break are a great surprise when you bite into them expecting something raw, and the ones whose skins do break are very tasty in a rosemary garlic infused oil with black oil-cured olives.

I don't think that anything smells better than the oleo saccharum for Regent's Punch.

Snow is very good for quickly cooling both champagne and sous vide salmon.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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You make eggs that don't peel without tearing the egg whites to shreds. :unsure:

I'm not near your level of cooking..but I always turn the faucet on cold, put the egg under and let the water pressure help me peel when they start being difficult like that.

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Dave hit the nail on the head: too fresh, I'm quite sure.

Yawn.

Pix en route.

You no doubt know the old remedy about putting baking soda in the water with quite fresh eggs. Works every time. Then plunge the eggs into cold water and crack them all over. Leave them in the cold water and peel them in a while. Running them under cold water as you peel them can also help. We are old hands at the too-fresh eggs scenario. :sad: (Personal aside: I hate hard-boiled eggs in any way, shape or form.)

Edited by Darienne (log)

Darienne

 

learn, learn, learn...

 

Life in the Meadows and Rivers

Cheers & Chocolates

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Thanks to Dave Wondrich, aka Splificator, our house is a Regent's Punch house. Of course, anyone reading this topic will have grabbed his splendid book, Punch: The Delights (and Dangers) of the Flowing Bowl. Below please find a step by step guide to this fantastic tipple, just in time for your New Years Eve party. (NB: go buy a pineapple immediately.)

Regent's Punch

(a 150% variation on this recipe by Dave Wondrich.)

Assemble your tools for the oleo saccharum, and any available child labor:

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Using a vegetable peeler, peel 3 lemons, 2 oranges (3 if they're small), and 2 bitter oranges into your punch bowl or some other receptacle large enough to receive the sprays of precious citrus oil, leaving as little pith as possible on the peels:

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Weigh out 6 ounces of demerara sugar:

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Dump sugar over the peels in your bowl:

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Deploy child in the act of muddling, grinding rough sugar into acquiescing peels to release citrus oils:

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While child is muddling, obtain appropriate pitcher for your spirits:

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Mix your spirits:

12 oz Marie Duffau Bas Armagnac

3 oz Appleton V/X

3 oz Batavia Arrack van Oosten

If you have a few ounces of rum that has been macerating raisins for the better part of a week, please add that as well. Finally, add three ounces of (in this case, smoked) pineapple syrup, which you made at least 12 hours in advance by macerating cubed fresh pineapple in demerara syrup:

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Now make 24 ounces of green tea, or, if you have it on hand, a hojicha roasted green tea:

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By this time, your child should have muddled the peels into submission, producing the remarkable oleo saccharum, the sweet oil that is the foundation of your punch:

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While still piping hot, pour the tea over the peels and oleo saccharum and stir well to dissolve:

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Juice and fine strain your citrus:

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Combine spirit mixture, tea syrup, and juices, strain out the peels, and chill thoroughly. While they are chilling, obtain your crystal clear block of ice from the small insulated cooler in which you've prepared it three or four days in advance, and carve into a shape appropriately sized for your bowl with a bread knife:

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Pull the three bottles of bubbly (Mumm Napa Brut Prestige, here) out of the snowbank:

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Combine punch base and sparkling wine in your punch bowl, add your block of ice, and serve in cups with a scrape of nutmeg.

No photo here, I'm afraid. I was overrun at point of service and lost the ability to photograph.

Cheers!

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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