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Cooking with "Heston Blumenthal at Home"


ChrisZ
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Merkinz: my mistake! The tikka masala is from "In Search of Perfection" - not At Home. I should note that I didn't make the tandoor - I grilled the chicken on a cake rack in a very hot (closed) oven on grill until it was beginning to char. It was absolutely amazing. Tomorrow I will be making it again (because the recipe makes so much leftover garam masala) but this time I am substituting goat for chicken as I have some I need to use up. Where in NZ are you? It is always nice seeing other kiwis who share similar interests. I just bought a really awesome sous vide gadget so I can attempt all of the sous vide recipes in the book too.

ChrisZ: you will love the curry - definitely do it! Show us pics when you are done.

LT Wong: great news! I hope you post some pictures after you do it :)

I made the lasagne last night - big disappointment - the first in the book. I won't repeat it. It was a little bland and the quantities seemed to be a little off - not quite enough of the fondue or sauce and much more fish meat than needed. I used the exact sized dish too.

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Merkinz: my mistake! The tikka masala is from "In Search of Perfection" - not At Home. I should note that I didn't make the tandoor - I grilled the chicken on a cake rack in a very hot (closed) oven on grill until it was beginning to char. It was absolutely amazing. Tomorrow I will be making it again (because the recipe makes so much leftover garam masala) but this time I am substituting goat for chicken as I have some I need to use up. Where in NZ are you? It is always nice seeing other kiwis who share similar interests. I just bought a really awesome sous vide gadget so I can attempt all of the sous vide recipes in the book too.

Hey jfrater, thanks for the extra information on the recipe. I look forward to making it some time soon. Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money? I really enjoy the recipes I've made from HB At Home. I live in Nelson at the moment but hope to return to Wellington sometime next year. I'm hoping to get a Sous Vide for xmas for all the recipes in Modernist Cuisine (and I imagine 'Modernist Cuising At Home' which I have on pre-order). If you are ever interested in getting some of the more exotic (read: expensive) ingredients from MC and want to go halves just let me know, I'd probably be keen!

Cheers.

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Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?

It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.

It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...

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Merkinz: In Search of Total Perfection is the best one to get as it combines recipes from the other "perfection" books. Here is a link to it on Bookdepository - it is $10 cheaper (NZ) to buy it from there with free shipping than Amazon: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Total-Perfection-Heston-Blumenthal/9781408802441

I just started cooking my first sous vide ever with my new Sous Vide machine (I got it for my birthday) - I am cooking the sous vide pork belly from Heston Blumenthal at Home. It has been in the water bath for 12 hours now. I am very excited - it is such a simple recipe too. I will post some details when it is done :)

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Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?

It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.

It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...

I am not sure if you are so inclined, but I believe that torrents are available for all of Heston's shows which is a lifesaver for those of us who don't live in the UK and don't have them broadcast in our own countries.

Also, another book which is worth considering by Heston is "Family Food" - it covers lots of traditional home cooked meals that are easily done by most home cooks - the difference being the little additions he makes to the food to improve it - such as cooking onions with anise first to get a richer meat flavor when combined with beef. It is here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/Family-Food-Heston-Blumenthal/9780140295399

I am lucky enough to have a signed copy which I got at the Fat Duck.

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Tonight I am making the sous vide lamb rack with tapenade and bean and radish salad. The lamb is vacuum packed and ready to cook at 60c for one hour in my sous vide machine. This is one of the simplest meals in the book so far. I will add a photo of the finished dish.

582829_10151208028956061_504284269_n.jpg

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If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...

Hey ChrisZ, you know I actually spent alot of time researching the Family Meals book from Adria, and I probably spent an hour in total with the book at a local book store but concluded that it simply wasn't 'up to par'. I've read several reviews online about the large number of errors and sloppy writing in this book (eg. listing an ingredient and stating nowhere to use it) with no errata page by the publisher. :unsure: I have a relatively healty cookbook collection at home and don't mind spending money on good books but I just couldn't bring myself to buy this one. The quality just didn't live up to what it should have.

Merkinz: In Search of Total Perfection is the best one to get as it combines recipes from the other "perfection" books. Here is a link to it on Bookdepository - it is $10 cheaper (NZ) to buy it from there with free shipping than Amazon: http://www.bookdepos...l/9781408802441

I just started cooking my first sous vide ever with my new Sous Vide machine (I got it for my birthday) - I am cooking the sous vide pork belly from Heston Blumenthal at Home. It has been in the water bath for 12 hours now. I am very excited - it is such a simple recipe too. I will post some details when it is done :)

How was the pork belly? :biggrin:

Do you think that the "In Search of Perfection" cookbook is worth the money?

It depends what you want out of a book, but if it's simply recipes and you're on a limited budget then you could be better. I have both 'perfection' books and also his 'feasts' books. They're a good read and I'm glad I have them, but they're not recipe books like HB at Home. I think there's only 8 recipes in each book, and in some cases they use such specialised ingredients and techniques that it's unlike you'd ever make them.

It's a shame that the perfection series isn't available on DVD, but you can watch lots of bits on youtube, if you have the patience to piece the sections together in order. I'd suggest that you put the funds towards a different book and watch the show online. If you like HB at Home, then maybe something like the Family Meals book from Ferran Adria...

I am not sure if you are so inclined, but I believe that torrents are available for all of Heston's shows which is a lifesaver for those of us who don't live in the UK and don't have them broadcast in our own countries.

Also, another book which is worth considering by Heston is "Family Food" - it covers lots of traditional home cooked meals that are easily done by most home cooks - the difference being the little additions he makes to the food to improve it - such as cooking onions with anise first to get a richer meat flavor when combined with beef. It is here: http://www.bookdepos...l/9780140295399

I am lucky enough to have a signed copy which I got at the Fat Duck.

Thanks for the recommendations guys, I found a few of the HB in search of perfection videos (full length) on Vimeo for free viewing. I also had never heard of "Family Food" until now so I'll definitely be checking that out! :rolleyes:

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Here is a photo of my lamb rack - I put a little too much tapenade on the rack and I feel it really overpowered the meat. The lamb itself was incredibly tender and a very nice way to cook lamb chops. I took the step suggested in the book of refrigerating the lamb until it was needed and then frying it - I think it needs some time in the sous vide to bring it back to 60c before frying because I felt it was too cold after fridge to frying pan. The salad was okay but nothing very special. I probably wouldn't make this combination again - but I would consider doing lamb rack this way in future - just without tapenade.

My presentation is a little lacking I am afraid! And I spent hours on the bones cleaning them up.

photo.JPG

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  • 4 months later...

I thought that the lamb rack was better at a slightly lower temperature and for two or three hours instead of Blumenthal's one. I mean, at least, I was happier with a version in the eG 'sous vide index' than I was with the one from Blumenthal at Home.

Anyway. Tried the scrambled eggs recipe today. First time I've cooked scrambled eggs sous vide. Didn't have any cream on hand so I just used milk and butter. I really liked the texture. Would've been so much better with a little bit of diced crisp bacon ... such a shame that I decided to prepare it on the last day of my vegetarian challenge.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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  • 3 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?

EnriqueB....

How did this turn out using the smaller amount of butter? What did you think of the consommé? I'm in the process of making this and was thinking the same to myself....wow! What a lot of butter!!

Did anyone else ever make this? I don't seem to be able to find that someone did.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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Hi Todd, it was good but not great, to our taste. I made some research and the 750 g seem to be good amount, it's not a typo. So likely the taste profile changed with the lower amount of butter....

Well my friend, I'll let you know as I went full bore! The thing is, is that most of that is recovered. I think the original amount is something like 7.5 sticks of butter here in the US, and from what I recovered as SOLIDIFIED on the top, I weighed and found only about 1.5 sticks as "missing". I fully believe that those went in the can with the used veggies. I plan on clarifying this evening, so will let everyone know!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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  • 4 weeks later...

marmite-consomme.jpg

Hi Todd, it was good but not great, to our taste. I made some research and the 750 g seem to be good amount, it's not a typo. So likely the taste profile changed with the lower amount of butter....

Well my friend, I'll let you know as I went full bore! The thing is, is that most of that is recovered. I think the original amount is something like 7.5 sticks of butter here in the US, and from what I recovered as SOLIDIFIED on the top, I weighed and found only about 1.5 sticks as "missing". I fully believe that those went in the can with the used veggies. I plan on clarifying this evening, so will let everyone know!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

I made the Marmite consommé a few weeks ago. Just had some over the weekend, and it was good. Very funny the stunning amount of vegetables that goes into making so very few portions.

We did like it, and kind of what Heston said, can be used as a substitute for Beef Broth, which is what it tasted like! A good complex one though. I served it with enoki mushrooms and sliced scallions.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

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Team....

I also FINALLY made the olive oil poached salmon over smashed potatoes with bois boudran sauce. We liked it, and would have it again (which is a good thing since I have enough for 3 more dinners (saucewise)), but I fudged the potatoes which came out without enough texture and a darker color. There were still pretty good, but I know what I did wrong.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

2013021995220904.jpg

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I made the Marmite consommé a few weeks ago. Just had some over the weekend, and it was good. Very funny the stunning amount of vegetables that goes into making so very few portions.

We did like it, and kind of what Heston said, can be used as a substitute for Beef Broth, which is what it tasted like! A good complex one though. I served it with enoki mushrooms and sliced scallions.

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago

Thanks Todd, maybe I should give it a try again.

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I have cooked, or used as inspiration, many of the recipes from Blumenthal's books. For some reason, the way he does things really clicks with my taste buds. I think his "In Search of Perfection" books work better in tandem with watching his shows where I think he does a better job of explaining the whys behind the elaborate techniques.

A few days ago, I had an extra boar belly. I decided to give long cook sous vide one more chance. For some reason, it has not appealed to me. It's a texture issue or something. I did lots of research, and found that Heston's recipe for pork belly called for a lower temp (140F) and less time (18 hours) than most. MCAH, for example, calls for 149F for 36 hours as the preferred time. I tried Heston's. Success! I loved it! It was tender, juicy, flavorful, and had just the right chew. The only seasoning came from a 10 hour brine followed by a 1 hour soaking with the water changed every 15 minutes. I think I now see a way forward with long time SV in a way that will appeal to me.

I also made tandoor chicken using his chicken tikka masala recipe. I didn't make the masala sauce, and just grilled the chicken. It still took 2 days. Awesome-est chicken ever! Intense garlic, ginger, and masala. Juicy and fall apart tender.

Being raised in Texas, I make a lot of chili and am super proud of it (never say a bad word about a Texan's chili). What could a Brit teach me? I followed quite a few of the ideas from his "Perfection" book and show. It took a couple of days to make, whereas I usually only need 8 hours or so. My wife has eaten my chili for 20 years. I put the Heston-inspired chili in front of her. "I'm sorry. You put a lot of time into this, and it's a lot of work. But THIS is REALLY good chili, and I hope you do it again."

He even changed my daily pasta. I used to buy the ubiquitous Barilla brand , but his description of what he likes in pasta made me change. Now there is only one store I know of in my immediate area that carries brass-extruded, slow dried pasta. The cheapest is the Fresh Market brand, which they claim is made for them in Umbria.

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  • 8 months later...

The 'at Home' chilli con carne is forgettable, I discovered. Changing from the short ribs of the Perfection version to the mince of this one was a bad decision.

Chris Taylor

Host, eG Forums - ctaylor@egstaff.org

 

I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

Melbourne
Harare, Victoria Falls and some places in between

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Then tonight, I made the garden salad with sauce gribiche for a potluck. To say it was a big hit would be an understatement. And so fun to do! I'm going to do a couple of big ones for an event next week. Will probably doctor up the sauce gribiche with some cream cheese to give it a little more bulk and a consistency more capable of holding up aspargus spears.

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that looks great! I'm thinking of making this for Thanksgiving, but am confused about the grape nuts. Does he mean the cereal or real pits from grapes? I somewhat think the cereal, as the real ones are quite bitter, but want to be sure. Also can't find "real" grape nuts or stones, which also makes me think it's the cereal. Is it?

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

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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thanks, I think you're right. Read up on them, they've been around since the late 1800, so I guess they're known in Britain as well. Sounds better than the bitter real things too :-)

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

- Thomas Keller

Diablo Kitchen, my food blog

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