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Cooking with "Heston Blumenthal at Home"


ChrisZ
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@Nickrey, I doubt I'll be seeing the banana shallots anytime soon here but I find that if I dip regular shallots for a few seconds in boiling water and then refresh in cold water they peel easily enough. @Olicollett, the first 13 hours of the cooking process ended about an hour ago, so now the skin is in the oven for the last five hours. It's certainly a long process to get this recipe finished! I plan to serve it with the Szechuan consomme (which I made a few days ago, and which is now in day two of its two-day ice-filtration process) and duck dumplings as a starter, and possibly the crushed potatoes as a side. Those potatoes were stellar with the sous vide salmon, and I think they'd go with the pork belly nicely.

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The pork belly was fantastic! I ended up serving it with roasted potatoes instead of the crushed ones, and with some of the choucroute as a side dish. It was definitely a do-again-sometime-when-I-have-a-spare-18-hours recipe...

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OK, I have now got a few more HB recipes under my belt (in more ways than one). The Slow Roasted Rib Roast was delicious, but took closer to 8 hours than 6 to cook (and it was a three-bone roast, just like in his book), and, while it was picture-perfect when I sliced it, five minutes later the beautiful pink had turned almost completely grey. I had cooked it to 55C (as determined by not one but two digital probe thermometers that remained in the meat during cooking), and while resting it had climbed to 60C. I covered the greyness with sauce (made without bone marrow as my butcher gave my bone marrow to someone else to give to their dogs!!), and no one was the wiser.

Today I am making the red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream, which looks like it will be gorgeous (the i/c is not nearly as strongly mustardy as I had expected) which I'm following with the sous vide salmon with crushed potatoes and choucroute. The salmon, potatoes and choucroute are repeats for me, but will be a new one for guests, so we'll see how they respond.

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I think I am the only person spending part of the holiday on this board while everyone else enjoys time with friends and family! But I shall carry on, fulfilling this community service of preparing menus from this incredible book and reporting on the results. The red cabbage gazpacho with mustard ice cream made for an incredible presentation to two guests the other night; they took a look at the odd sight of a ball of ice cream sitting on a bed of diced cucumbers, and were bemused when they read the description of the dish on their menus--then when I poured the purple liquid over the ice cream they were clearly impressed, but also a bit unsure of what lay in store for them. But when they tasted it their faces beamed with pleasure, since the combination really does work well!

The next thing I prepared was the brulee chicken liver parfaits. The preparation of the ingredients is a bit time-consuming (no surprise), especially the cooking down of the wine, madeira, port and shallots, and the end result is so minuscule that I wondered if it would really have any impact on the final dish. But indeed, despite it being a couple of tablespoons of winey lusciousness swimming in a murky sea of chicken livers, eggs and butter, you can indeed taste it. The recipe calls for passing the pureed liver gunk through two layers of muslin and a fine sieve, but I found that my sieve was fine enough on its own and did away with the muslin, other than for squeezing out the last remnants of liquid from the solids before decanting into my ramekins. The cooking process was simple enough, but a bit of water condensed onto the tops of the ramekins in the lidded pan, though this water poured off easily enough when the parfaits had reached 62C. The end result, with the bruleed sugar topping, made all the work worthwhile--this is a real show-stopper dish, even without the date-fig chutney (which I did make, but didn't want to open for my taste-test). Definitely a winner for the New Year's Eve menu I'm preparing for more guests!

Edited by jamesglu (log)
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It seems as if I am the only one who has cooked the caramelized carrots from this book. I made up my own spice mix which included powdered cumin, fennel seed, and chopped parsley tossed in at the very end. It was simply a beautiful dish - I was surprised to see the carrots get mopped up at the dinner party ahead of the french fries and meat dishes!

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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Well I have to say I think you would struggle to find a better pork belly than the one I cooked with this recipe last week.

The meat was incredible - tender, the fat almost dissolving on your tongue.

The Pea and Ham Soup was also great with the mint oil. One thing was I wasn't sure what temperature to serve it - I ended up settling for ambient temperature (I know Heston serves most food like this). Some people commented suggesting it was a little cold but I wasn't so sure, I thought that if it was too hot you wouldn't have the same refreshing feeling from the peas.

I served the pork belly as a main on a bed of Choucroute (I used leftover gammon instead of smoked bacon) with the crackling on top, pomme puree with truffle oil and glazed carrots. Rich? A little, but very good indeed :)

Finished off with the Lemon tart served with creme fraiche and some rosemary infused meringue. I was a bit unsure about the tart recipe - For the filling, it suggested just mixing together the egg, cream, sugar and lemon juice mixture before pouring into the tart case. The problem I found was that when I tried to mix the ingredients together it didn't really work, the eggs didn't really mix in properly. I ended up giving it a bit of a whisk before heating it up and pouring it in.

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Olicollett, would you mind expalaining what is meant by "gammon" in a British context? I have had gammon steak in Scotland, but I am not sure what a NZ butcher would know it as, or indeed whether I'm likely to find it here.

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I ditched the Carrot Lollies, but made the Whisky Sour, Red Cabbage Gazpacho, Salmon in Bourdain Sauce, Crushed Potatoes and Whisky Ice Cream. I've also made the Carmels in Edible Wrappers.

Having never tasted any of these, I wasn't completely sure what I was aiming for, but they all turned out great and the guests raved about them.

The whisky sour needed some doctoring to balance, and the men liked the Laphraoig Ice Cream, women not so much.

For the Gazpacho (which didn't get as thick as I'd hoped it would be) I served it in testubes with a cucumber stick for a garnish and skipped the mustard ice cream.

Heston's recipes scored for me, can't wait to try more. I even riffed off his pumpkin soup recipe to make a butternut squash soup that was incredible compared to other attempts.

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Glad your results mirror mine, Markm. The gazpacho has been a regular feature as a starter for us for a few weeks now, and all but one pair of diners have loved it (the exceptions were a pair of diners for whom the very concept of 'cold soup' was anathema). I want to try the lemon tart and the whiskey ice cream soon, and the chicken with sherry.

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I made the ribeye with bone marrow sauce yesterday. I ignored Heston's recommendation to slow roast the ribeye and used my usual method (sous-vide followed by grill). I followed the bone marrow sauce to the letter, down to using his exact recipe for the beef stock. The sauce was a real knockout - unctuous, gelatinous, beefy, multiple layers of flavour, and had a real mustard and tarragon hit. My only criticism is that it was too rich. It calls for 100g of butter, and 100g of bone marrow (which itself is very fatty!). I think it could do without 100g of butter, perhaps 20g would be more appropriate.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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I agree about the sauce; I could not get the bone marrow (the butcher in town gave "my" bone marrow to someone to give to their dog), so mine was not too too rich, but just rich enough. I also think that I would not bother with cooking the beef along Heston's method again, preferring instead to sous-vide it (I have not sous-vide'd a whole rib roast with bone in before; is that what you did, Keith_W?).

I made the lemon tart the other day and found that I had WAY more filling than my shell would accommodate, so I made a few extra tartlets with the leftover pastry and filing, and still had more filling to bake in ramekins. The tart is quite sweet, but has a lovely flavour and the texture is excellent.

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Roast Chicken with Wild Rice and Crispy Kale

I like the final result as far as seasoning of the chicken and level of moisture. The mustard reduction with tarragon and parsley also pairs very well with the chicken meat. One thing I may try to do different next time is the chicken temperature for roasting where Heston recommends 60C for the thickest part of the breast. Turned out I had a few red spots on my chicken specially near the bones. Next time I will try to bump it to 65 or 70C.

photo-5-XL.jpg

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi, the Marmite Consomme recipe has as first ingredient 750 gr of brown butter, used to sweat the vegetables. 750 gr is as much as the amount of liquid being used for the consomme (500 gr reduced wine + 250 gr water). This seems like a typo to me, even though there are a lot of vegetables to sweat (2,5 kg), in fact I did it yesterday using only 150 gr of brown butter. Anyone has made this recipe? How much butter did you use?

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