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Improving my cooking skills (2003)


MatthewB
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We need to do some risotto too, Heather has never made it. Maybe we could all do Craig Camp's version?

That sounds great! I need to make me some more stock-- my eGCI stuff is long gone already. Maybe sometime next week we could....

Stop! [slaps self.] Down, boy! Bad! Bad!

"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 will do the duck early next week; this weekend is full (including our first Twin Cities eGullet get-together!).

Some questions:

1.  I hate sweet potatoes.  Should I substitute something else or just eliminate?  Or go with Julia's recipe?

Do you mean you hate parsnips? There aren't any sweet potatoes in the recipe I thought we were making. I would think just about any winter root vegetable that tastes goes with shallots, garlic and duck would work-either in the braise or served on the side.

Yes, I meant I hate parsnips. Duh! I'll opt for other root vegetables. Parsnips are just about the only food I just can't stand.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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Yes, I meant I hate parsnips. Duh! I'll opt for other root vegetables. Parsnips are just about the only food I just can't stand.

Good parsnips can be hard to find, even out here in the land of all things produce-related. If you can find small ones, I think they're good, but I too hate those big woody ones w/ the hollow core.

I would think turnips would be good with duck. But I will TRY and be good and follow the recipe as written. :smile: Experiement for me, too, okay?

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We need to do some risotto too, Heather has never made it. Maybe we could all do Craig Camp's version?

That sounds great! I need to make me some more stock-- my eGCI stuff is long gone already. Maybe sometime next week we could....

Stop! [slaps self.] Down, boy! Bad! Bad!

I sense some sleep deprivation, Seth. :raz:

I would be happy to do risotto with all of you, since I am a risotto novice. Will check out Craig's recipe ASAP. :smile:

I'm not making stock this weekend, though. We are getting the house ready to put on the market next week, so this weekend should be nutty enough without giant cooking projects.

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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... I'm not making stock this weekend, though. We are getting the house ready to put on the market next week, so this weekend should be nutty enough without giant cooking projects.

Yes, save that for when your house IS on the market. The smell of chicken stock on a cold winter day should entice people to want to call it home.

On a personal note, our beach house is on the market. Tomorrow I am baking an apple pie, timed to come out of the oven right before the house is being shown. I have no shame. :laugh:

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. . . this weekend should be nutty enough without giant cooking projects.

Yeah, let's wait and do giant after the holidays. Besides, I haven't even looked at the recipe.

I'm going to do the duck this weekend, too. I like parsnips fine, but I'm with maire-louise, the giant ones that you usually see aren't very good. I think turnips would work; even carrots would be OK, though their sweetness seems to run counter to the rest of the dish.

I'm up for risotto just about any time; I'll find the right rice and stand by. Seth, if I recall, Craig's recipe calls for brodo, which is not quite the same thing as stock. OK, I haven't looked at the recipe in a while, so I'm not certain. But I know that a deep, rich meaty stock is often not what Italian cooking entails.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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So somebody give me tips as to what I should look for in a good parsnip. I've never cooked with them, and I'm not sure I've ever even tried them.

I have some turnips in the house. I might throw one or two of those in with the duck too.

And everybody knows I was kidding about the whole risotto thing, right? Later. We'll do that later.

"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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So somebody give me tips as to what I should look for in a good parsnip.  I've never cooked with them, and I'm not sure I've ever even tried them.

Lots of parsnipiana here, but no picture (it's an interesting article, but not terribly up to date, so take it with a grain of salt).

So here's a photo: looks a lot like a carrot.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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How long does everyone think the duck will take to prepare. It looks like about 2.5 hours work to me.

I just read over the recipe and it it looks great. I bought some parsnips 2 weeks ago at the farmer's market 3 weeks ago, I think they'll still be good.

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I just looked it over, G, and it seems more like one-and-a-half hours to me. There's about an hour's worth of cooking, and everything but the duck can be prepped while the duck is browning/rendering for the first 25 minutes, right?

But I always think things are going to go more quickly than they actually do, so don't plan based on my assessment.

Dave: I understand you have some lemons laying about! This morning I made that Martha Stewart frozen lemon mousse I mentioned earlier. I'll let you know how we like it.

"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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It would be interesting to time the prep carefully and see how good our estimating skills are, as long as the timing itself doesn't affect the work.

Dave: I understand you have some lemons laying about!  This morning I made that Martha Stewart frozen lemon mousse I mentioned earlier.  I'll let you know how we like it.

I debated among a number of options, including that souffle, but finally settled on a tart with a shortbread crust, partly due to a persuasive partner, and partly because my freezer is not really up to snuff -- it's reliable only down to about 15 degrees (have we had a thread on buying a new 'fridge?). Likewise with the details.

Edited by Dave the Cook (log)

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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I'd like to believe that today's battle with the leaves has allowed me to win this season's war. So I'll now have more time on Saturdays to cook! :smile:

I'm planning on the sole menu tomorrow evening.

FWIW, I picked up Cooking at Home with the CIA today. (Seth, I think you need a new book!)

The duck will have to wait a bit as next weekend's out of town & we've then Thanksgiving. Though I might try to do the weekend after Thanksgiving.

This slacker will keep you posted.

I am thinking about the J&J turkey galantine for Thanksgiving. Thoughts and/or comments?

Edit: Incorporated Dave's correct spelling of galantine.

Edited by MatthewB (log)
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Dave, did you ever make the fried pies???

The family no longer takes my dessert aspirations seriously. Thing 2 and Mrs. Dave used up all the filling to top waffles.

It looks like my brother-in-law will be handling the Thanksgiving turkey this year, so I might volunteer to make fried pumpkin pies as my contribution. OTOH, I. too, was looking at the galantine. The B-I-L wants to fry a turkey. Who suggested the galantine might work fried?

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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So the CIA book is worth getting?

Scott and my brother are dead set on deep frying the turkey, so no elegant galantines for us. :sad: Unlike Seth, I have not given any thought to side dishes yet. Heck, I don't even know how many people I'm cooking for. My family is very noncommital. :hmmm:

Heather Johnson

In Good Thyme

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So the CIA book is worth getting?

Not sure yet. I'll spend a bit more time with & let you know my opinion.

Another plug for New Way to Cook . . .

Tonight's main dish is a composed soup from 3 recipes in that book:

Leek Broth (as a base for the below)

Fennel Seed & Curry Broth

Roasted Root Vegetable Hash (parsnips, turnips, celery root, potatoes, carrots, & onions)

The veggies added to the final broth.

And I'll have enough veggies to make hash w/ poached eggs tomorrow morning.

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And I'll have enough veggies to make hash w/ poached eggs tomorrow morning.

I'm having duck hash :raz:

There are leftovers?

i cooked a whole duck for myself.

I suck at cooking duck. I do it 2 times a year and it's never very good. It's OK, but never real good. Maybe I'm getting shitty ducks? This one was just OK. I didn't debone the breasts.

My problems with the recipe were:

the skin gets nice and crunchy when you fry it, but then when you put the lid on it stemas it and loses its crunchiness.

It says to cut the parsnips into 1.5 inch pieces, but that makes the stem end piece about 8 times the volume of the root end, some where underdone and some were mush. Are you supposed to take the center out of a parsnip? It seemed really woody.

The shallots never browned and weren't very sweet like braised shallots would be.

I had no fond to deglaze (stainless steel pan). the steaming dissolved it. I used lamb stock made from the backbone, neck and gizzards instead of water.

I think tomorow I'll broil the leftover breast and legs to try to crisp the skin up.

fa8d6645.jpg

Edited by guajolote (log)
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I had the same issue with the skin that you did, G: it was so nice and crunchy after the sauteeing portion of the prep, but pretty limp after another half hour under a lid. I also had your other issues relating to the onions and the lack of bits to scrape up, but I didn't really think either one was a problem. And I cut the end pieces of the parsnips in half.

Aside from the skin (which was something of a letdown), I thought the dish was really very good. It felt like a crime to cook duck breasts this way, though. I wanted to take them out and eat them about ten minutes into the recipe. Not that they weren't good Jacques' way-- they were well flavored. I just like them medium rare.

I enjoyed cutting up a duck. I usually just buy duck breasts. Was your duck fresh or frozen, Guajalote? Mine was a fresh Long Island duckling. I saved the carcass, wishbone and wing tips for Julia's stock, which I might make tomorrow. Or I might not. A question: is the leftover rendered duck fat very useful, since it was cooked with rosemary, shallots, garlic and parsnips? Won't these flavors stick around? I have probably two cups of the stuff left over.

Did you make the giblet salad? I thought it was great. Loved the giblets and the cracklings with the mustard vinaigrette. It also made me feel so economical! If I make stock, I won't waste one bit of this duck.

I think the duck took me about an hour and a half, which became an hour and three quarters with the salad. I was able to cut up the duck, then do all the other prep while the duck pieces sizzled. But not with a lot of time to spare.

Edited by SethG (log)

"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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