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Improving my cooking skills (2004-)


marie-louise
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[Moderator note: The original Improving my cooking skills topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Improving my cooking skills (2003)]

 

It seems that the group lost some cohesiveness over the holidays. I know I had a hard time finding the time to participate. I'm still interested. Are others? If so, how often? What cookbook/s? What should we make next?

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Sorry, I was out of town for a few days. marie-louise, you know I'm interested. If I don't hear from y'all in a week or so, I'm proposing another menu.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Give Dave a chance-- he's been in NYC with his whole family! I expect him to come bounding into this thread again at any moment.

I don't think we need to begin a new thread-- will Matthew mind if we carry on in his name? But if people want to let it die, that's okay. I don't want to be the Paul McCartney of this group, soldiering on after everyone else has lost interest.

But if you are interested..... I'm having company on Sunday, and would love to plan a menu from either book with y'all. It needs to involve fish again, since one of the guests is a non-red meat eater.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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FWIW, i made recently Wolfert's pork smothered in olive oil: pork shoulder marinated in cracked black pepper/wild fennel seeds/thyme, slowly braised in olive oil - the result was mind-boggling.

Is that from the new book?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Matthew said to carry on without him for the time being. :smile: Come back soon.

And good for Dave! I hope he, Mrs Dave and the kids had a good time. We are thinking of taking our kids to NYC in the spring.

One restriction I will have is Emma's dairy & egg allergies. We have to cut out all dairy & eggs for the time being.

Salmon cooked on its skin? I love this, from J&J. And maybe one of the veggie preparations from ANWTC?

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I'll be back just as soon as I get the house ready to sell. 18+ years worth of dejunkifying. Then cleaning. It's horrific.

Oooh, good luck. I still have a bunch of this to do - moving date is 2/26! Are you moving to a new city, Susan?

First thing we're doing is remodeling the kitchen in our new place. We may have to live with electric skillet cuisine for a while. :blink:

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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Oooh, good luck. I still have a bunch of this to do - moving date is 2/26! Are you moving to a new city, Susan?

First thing we're doing is remodeling the kitchen in our new place. We may have to live with electric skillet cuisine for a while. :blink:

Same city, just a bigger house. If anyone is interested, we have a 3-bedroom perfect house in North Minneapolis with a huge kitchen; completely re-done woodwork; gorgeous pergola; garden.

We're aiming to get the joint on the market January 23. I'm working night and day on it, and the family is going to hate me before this is over.

And, if you need any hints on cooking without a kitchen, let me know. I got lots of practice when I remodeled the kitchen. It's amazing what one can do with a microwave, crock pot and electric skillet.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Salmon cooked on its skin? I love this, from J&J. And maybe one of the veggie preparations from ANWTC?

I'm down with salmon, Heather! I might opt for the potato case salmon on the facing page, however. Have you tried that one?

I was thinking about serving pissaladiere and a green salad as a first course. I like this pissaladiere I've made before from Peterson's Glorious French Food. But I'm having trouble pairing something with the salmon. Rice? Spinach? Braised red cabbage? I feel bored just thinking of these selections, all of which are contained in Jules et Jim. What do you think? If I go with your salmon selection I could serve a potato side, or some other starchy puree, maybe something from New Way.

While I'm going overboard, I was also thinking of making Pithivier, from Dessert Circus. I've been wanting to make this for months. I've never made puff pastry before, so it would be exciting for me to try. I might make this dessert over the next couple days and freeze it for baking over the weekend.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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LOVE pissaladiere. I'd be happy to make it this weekend, probably as a meal rather than an app though. I've always used the recipe in Mastering the Art.

Haven't tried the salmon in a potato case. If it has a potato case, would you want a potato side? And pink fish and red cabbage doesn't sound exciting, I agree.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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I'd love to make the pissaladiere if someone can PM me the recipe.

Seth, I'm so glad someone else is into making a dessert, especially a pithiviers. That recipe was the first thing to really catch my eye from Dessert Circus; I've been warned that it's not as exciting as it looks, but I still want to try it. Something about its oven metamorphosis appeals to the kid in me, I guess! :biggrin:

Erin
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Heather, I've never noticed Julia's pissaladiere in Mastering the Art! I'll have to check it out. Peterson's is a little non-traditional. His is rectangular, and he calls for red onions. There's also a (traditional) pissaladiere in Villas' French Country Kitchen, an out-of-print book I've had out of the library recently. I can PM anybody who wants Peterson's recipe.

Regarding potatoes, I was trying to say, with my usual lack of clarity, that we could do a potato side if we do the salmon on its skin, not the potato case salmon.

As for pithiviers, I sure hope it tastes as good as it looks! I've been drooling over the picture for a while now!

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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I have to say, I think Pithiviers, and Jacques Torres' adulation thereof, is highly overrated. But hey, I'm not that fond of frangipane for some reason. If you like it then maybe you'll love pithiviers. If you've never made puff pastry from scratch you really should try it, you'll learn a lot from the experience and if you use good butter it will taste way better than the Pepperidge Farm stuff from the freezer section.

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I cut a bunch of Land-O-Lakes into little squares and put it in the freezer this morning, but given the Pithiviers advice here, I guess I'll pick up some Plugra (or even better butter if I can find it) and start over.

Now that I've taken a look at Villas' recipe (and Julie Powell's rendition of Julia's), I think Peterson's Pissaladiere is unconventional in a different way than I realized. I don't have Peterson's (very heavy) book with me at the moment, but if i recall correctly his crust is actually made from a very sticky active yeast dough that is left to rise for a while, then punched down and stretched out to cover a baking sheet. Once cooked, it makes a crust that bears some resemblance to focaccia.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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A question about the Pithiviers. If Torres calls for one third of his puff pastry recipe, should I make the full recipe and then cut out a piece that's one third the size of the whole thing? I don't think I should make just a third of the puff pastry recipe, because there's a lot of folding involved and I want the right number of layers to come about without the thing breaking apart or something.

What do you think? Should I post this question in Pastry & Baking?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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A question about the Pithiviers. If Torres calls for one third of his puff pastry recipe, should I make the full recipe and then cut out a piece that's one third the size of the whole thing? I don't think I should make just a third of the puff pastry recipe, because there's a lot of folding involved and I want the right number of layers to come about without the thing breaking apart or something.

What do you think? Should I post this question in Pastry & Baking?

It does freeze well, so I'd suggest making the full recipe and freezing the unused portion.

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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Erin, are you making this Pithiviers? I'm 2/3 done making the puff pastry. I'm a little insecure about how it's going, but I think I'm doing it right.

And do you still need a recipe for Pissaladiere, or are you going with Julia?

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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Seth, how's the puff pastry going? I've never made it at home.

I'm going to shop for a whole lotta onions tomorrow morning. :smile:

Did anyone see the yahoo news item about eating farmed salmon? Apparently it's so loaded with chemicals that researchers are recommending limiting servings to about 8 oz. a month. I will hunt it down and post a link. In the mean time it's the wild stuff for us if there's any at Whole Foods.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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