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


Chris Amirault
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Uploading photos of the successful effort, but I wanted to show this video that illustrates simply how you bag liquids with a FoodSaver. Just make a nice long neck on the bag, lower the base of it below the FoodSaver itself, and:

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, our Christmas dinner is in the oven (yes, turkey), because we are celebrating today with our son. I wanted to take this opportunity to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful dinner tomorrow, as I'll be offline for part of it, travelling to the (snowbound) cottage.

Marlene

cookskorner

Practice. Do it over. Get it right.

Mostly, I want people to be as happy eating my food as I am cooking it.

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Scalded, vanilla-y milk on left. Sugared, ribbon-y yolks on right.

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Another great feature of this house: these hidden cutting boards that would make lousy cutting boards but are handy temporary counters:

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Post-tempering and combining milk and yolks.

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I got curious, so...

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Sure enough, a teensy bit of very, very tasty scrambled eggs:

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Then, as I was picking up my trusty Bennington Catamount Flameware fat separator, I heard a very unpleasant scratchy noise. Upon further investigation, I found that the handle had broken at the base:

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The break was only on the outside -- at that point. I decided that shards of broken glass wouldn't be appealing texturally, and internal bleeding doesn't really count as a Chrismas miracle, so I carefully switched over to the bag itself:

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As for the fat strainer, which I've had for a long time and use regularly, well, I just ordered a new one immediately, wiping away a tear.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Marlene, I wish you and yours the same!

Merridith, once you get the hang of it (careful stopping of the vacuum and sealing at the right moment, a long tail, and double sealing everything with the moist setting), it's not that scary.

Having said that, I'm running into the kitchen right now to check. :blink:

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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It didn't reduce, and the air in the bag somehow threw everything off. I put the perforated plate over the bag, so it was submerged, but when I went to the machine, there was curdled egg already in the bag.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Well, the prune armagnac ice cream is going to have to wait until I can get to a store for milk and eggs. We've got a batch of different fruits and some pastry shells, so I think Andrea's going to concoct something to cover my ass.

I did mention that I am not the house pastry chef, right? :sad:

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Ouch. Sorry to hear that, Chris. I'm curious, though: why did you heat the milk and temper the eggs before putting it in the SVS? When I did custard in the water bath, I just mixed everything while still cold, bagged it and went from there. Did you chill down the base before bagging it?

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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About English muffins: we noticed that when Thomas's started to trumpet the lack of high-fructose corn syrup, the muffins no longer browned nicely in the toaster. In fact, without the browning, the muffins lacked severely in the taste department. Chris, did you have any trouble getting your muffins to brown?

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Ouch. Sorry to hear that, Chris. I'm curious, though: why did you heat the milk and temper the eggs before putting it in the SVS? When I did custard in the water bath, I just mixed everything while still cold, bagged it and went from there. Did you chill down the base before bagging it?

Well, I was following Wolfert's recipe and then decided to go with the SVS & bag, didn't chill it down, trying to go too quickly.... I throw myself on the mercy of the Society.

About English muffins: we noticed that when Thomas's started to trumpet the lack of high-fructose corn syrup, the muffins no longer browned nicely in the toaster. In fact, without the browning, the muffins lacked severely in the taste department. Chris, did you have any trouble getting your muffins to brown?

Interesting: I like mine quite dark, so I haven't noticed that.

A few more photos before getting the tacofest rolling.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I am pleased to report that, while in the oven, the beef did not scramble.

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That's all set, with the liquid reduced, the vegetable/pork rind/marrow blended, and the beef resting in the fridge.

Andrea, bless her heart, immediately got out Desserts by Pierre Hermé (and Dorie Greenspan), and she started trying to find a new dessert. I confess my pride was bruised, and I wasn't too interested in choosing the dessert that would replace my disaster.

But it turns out that the dessert (mirliton citrus tart) required both grapefruit and orange supremes, something that Andrea's knife skills can't handle. Still tentative, I got down my new razor-sharp nakiri, and a few minutes later:

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Phew. I guess my skills didn't all vanish in an avalanche of curd. Now I can get a drink.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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The drink: Jura Superstition on the rocks. With a bit more cashflow in the house, I've been able to have some nice scotches in the last while, and this is one of my favorites, along with Talisker, some of the Bruichladdich expressions, any/all Laphroaig, and Ardbeg 10.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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As if to play Santa Claus on this strangely Grinch-like night, Pichet Ong writes with the following:

Gougeres

250 g milk

4 g salt

2 g ground white pepper

1/16 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

125 g butter

90 g gruyere + 50 g more for dusting the top before baking

125 g AP

4 eggs

1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Put the milk, salt, pepper, nutmeg, butter, and 90 g gruyere in a saucepan with 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly by scraping the bottom of the pan and folding the dough over and over with a spatula, until the mixture is smooth and just starts to stick to the bottom of the saucepan, 6 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.

3. Mix the dough on medium speed for 1 minute to allow steam to escape and the dough to cool slightly. With the machine running, add eggs, one at a time, and continue mixing until everything is well-incorporated, 2 minutes. Turn the mixer speed to high and mix for 10 seconds.

4. Transfer the dough to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-inch diameter plain piping tip and pipe out 1-inch diameter,1-inch tall rounds set 2 inches apart. Try to form a peak at the top of each. Sprinkle a generous pinch of cheese on top of each piece. Bake for 10 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350ºF and bake until risen and golden brown, 15-18 more minutes. Resist the temptation to peek in on the puffs; do not open the oven door while baking. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the pan.

Thanks to Pichet -- and a merry Christmas to all!

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Pichet's recipe seems right on. I'll give it a spin tomorrow, except for the last part: "cool completely on the pan"??? What joy is there in gougeres if they're not warm right out of the oven? (Alright, there's still some, but they're just not the same after they cool).

Bummer about the ice cream. I don't have a sous vide setup (yet) so I'm speculating, but the advantage of cooking a custard base that way seems to be that you can bag everything up cold as mkayahara suggests and thus completely avoid the danger of curdled eggs that comes with stove top heating. Worth another shot when the stakes aren't so high?

 

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... yawn ...

Dave: agreed. Definitely going to do this later this week; the prunes are all ready, after all!

Up and at 'em. Gotta be superquiet, as the kids are asleep, as per tradition, in the room next to the kitchen.

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Chris, congratulations on a what looks like mostly a big success. It's a shame about the ice cream, and I know how that feels; my own dessert effort was a partial failure, because our kitchen has no heat, and I miscalculated how long it would take boiled cream to cool when making what was supposed to be a satiny ganache icing. The cake looked like it had been smoothed over with a rake, the operative word being 'chunky'.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
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mscioscia@egstaff.org

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It doesn't look that bad to me -- and I bet that the texture is just perfect!

Surely we're not the only Society members up and at 'em this morning. What are others doing? No need to toil alone in a quiet kitchen!

Chris Amirault

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Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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