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I take great pride in that knowing the fact that I can replicate recipes on my own. I've had some pretty good success with coming up with flavors and foods that remind me of my youth, specifically, takeout items. I think I do a pretty good job of burgers, fried chicken, pizza, a multitude of a Chinese food dishes, etc. One item that I cannot seem to figure out, which should be so simple to do, but it's frustratingly and deceptively difficult, is Asian broth.
I'm talking wonton soup and phö broth. I can't figure it out and I need help. I've scoured the forums here and tried everything. But I can't get a clear broth and I can't get the right flavour. I need to know what I'm doing wrong, I've spent a decade trying to figure this out.
To me, there is nothing in this world like good soup broth. Can someone find it in them to help me, please? I would be forever grateful.
I have been tasked with putting together a team for a new kosher barbecue event in Arizona, happening sometime later this year. The event was supposed to be in mid-April, but the venue decided to cancel. The organizers are busy looking for a new venue, and have assured us that this will happen.
Many details for the event are not quite settled yet, so, I am trying to prepare for all sorts of contingencies beyond the usual concerns about putting out good food. What is known is that we will be following the KCBS kosher rules. As far as I can tell, there were 10-12 such events held last year across the US. So, it's a pretty small world. I don't think there's a kosher championship ladder like the other barbecue events have, either. I think it's a good time to get in, get practice and see where it takes me.
I should note that I am not Jewish and did not grow up around any kosher households, so I am also studying some of the finer points about running a kosher kitchen and learning about kosher ingredients. Modern competition barbecue is an odd mix of modernist techniques and ingredients, right alongside ordinary-folk foods like margarine, and bottled sauces.
For reference, the 4 categories for kosher events are: Chicken, Beef Ribs, Turkey, and Beef Brisket -to be served in that order.
So far, I have been running smokeless tests on chicken and beef ribs. Mostly learning to trim the chicken thighs (what a nightmare!) and seeing what happens at certain temperatures and times. I know things will be different with real smoking happening, but I want to see some baseline results so that I know what to strive for. I do have a bunch of thermometers, and have got some basic ideas about writing a competition timeline.
The chicken perplexes me in several ways. First, some of the competition cooks recommend boning while others recommend bone-in. Second, I see some folks injecting and brining, while others maybe do a quick half hour marinade, and even others are full-on modernist with citric acid under the skin, etc. Third, the braise vs non- braise chicken where some people load up their pan with a pound of butter, margarine or a couple cups of chicken stock while others do not. Fourth, The bite-through skin is driving me insane. Some people swear by transglutaminase to reattach the skin for a better bite. Catch is, only some types are kosher, and I can see having issues explaining it. I have tested an egg white egg wash which seems to attach the skin pretty well without showing. I think I need to go for longer times to get more tender skin. Today I did a pan (with olive oil) of six as follows: one hour at 220°, one hour under foil at 230°, then glazed and 20 minutes on a rack at 350°. It was only partly bite-though and the taste-testers wanted more crispiness. I tried showing them pictures and explained that it wasn't ever going to be crispy, that we're looking to go even softer. I am going to run tests on longer cook periods and see how it goes.
I want to ask people about the whole swimming in margarine thing which is in voque right now. people claim it makes the chicken juicy. I know that meat is mostly all about temperatures. I can see how the margarine acts like duck fat in a confit and helps prevent some oven-drying after hours and hours in the oven, but, in the end, isn't it just an insulator?
I've been making corned beef and other brisket dishes for over 20 years, so, I think I have a good handle on that. I will practice it in a couple of weeks. I simply don't need as much help on this item.
The turkey scares me. On TV, I see people dunking it in butter before serving it. This obviously is not kosher, and I don't want to do it with margarine I don't want to present anything in a competition made with margarine, there has to be something better! -Either cook the bird better or find a better dip, like maybe a flavorful nut oil or a sauce. That said, unlike ribs or brisket, it is not traditional to dunk turkey in a sauce. I went with some friends to a chain place called Dickies to do a little research and their turkey breast was odd and kind of hammy. Not like Virginia ham, more like ham lunchmeat. It was very moist and unlike any turkey I have ever eaten. Ok, I admit to not being very fond of turkey, so my experiences with it have been a bit limited. I am assuming it was brined. Given the limited amount of time we will have (about a day and a half) to cook, I am planning on just cooking the breast. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. The internet has been least informative on the topic of turkey. People's videos and such just show rubbing the whole bird and letting it roast for a few hours. Any tips at all would be appreciated.
Whew! Thanks for reading all of this, I look forward to any advice you can give.
At Groundhog's Day each year I start hunting for a good piece of meat to make corned beef for Saint Patrick's Day. I found the perfect piece yesterday and I have the perfect recipe (I found it 20 years ago on Food Network).
I'm all set except that I have a small problem. My recipe calls for saltpeter and my supply is running low. I'm all set for now but saltpeter is impossible to find in Costa Rica. I usually have my grandson bring some when he comes but he almost always has a panic attack when he does it. I just can't imagine why he gets so nervous just bringing a little white bag of powder through customs. However, I can buy curing salt here. I've been on Google trying to find a pundit who can give me an amount substitution for curing salt and saltpeter. They all said that it can be done but no one seems to have a clear idea of how much to use and by how much I need to adjust the salt in the recipe. Because we have some real experts among our members I'm hoping someone can give me an idea about how to do this. Please, I need your help.
Homemade Corned Beef
I started my Saint Patrick's dinner yesterday. I used a homemade corned beef recipe that I have had a lot of success with. Corned beef is totally unheard of in Costa Rica so it is homemade or nothing. I love it so much that I make it at least two or three times a year.
My biggest problem has been finding the meat that I need. The only type of cattle raised here are a big Brahma cross and they are all pasture-raised. The meat is lean and stringy and they always cut the brisket into small strips to be used for soup. To get a brisket you have to go to a slaughterhouse and buy the full brisket. Recently, I found a cut of meat that is not sold in the supermarkets or in the 'boutique butcher' shops. It is considered peasant food and it is wonderful. It is called giba (HEE-bah) and it is the hump of the Brahma bull. It's nice and marbled and very tender. They only sell it in the small local butcher shops and usually they have to order it for you.
My two pound piece of meat ready to go.
In the brine.
Two weeks to go but it's going to be worth it.
If anyone would like the recipe, I will post it on Recipe Gullet.
Update: The recipe is here.
Hi, I'm David. I'm in the process of starting a new venture, and need some advice. I'm starting a catering company to cater to 4 golf courses, and hope to expand into other offsite catering after a year or so. I'm looking for a space to put a central kitchen to cook everything, and truck it out from there. We will be serving about 1200 people per weekend. Im having trouble visualizing how big of a kitchen space I'm going to need, and am having trouble finding anything online to help calculate the size of said space. Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Chef David
I've had the CSO for a number of years now, but have yet to actually bake bread in it.
Reading through the Modernist Bread thread on this forum I see many of you are using the CSO to great effect, which is heartening.
To that end, I would like to know about your experience baking bread in it – what sort of extra equipment you use (pans, cast iron? etc), what breads work the best, any corrections you find yourself making, or anything you feel might be useful to someone else using the CSO.
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