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"Les Halles Cookbook" by Anthony Bourdain


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What's wrong with raw pork fat? I've eaten it recently sliced thinly over croutons, melted raw onto pizza--and in thick  hunks in Russia with vodka. Trichinosis pretty much disappeared from pork decades ago

Fat does no harbor parasites or allow for bacterial growth. I don’t see what the problem is. It is only when contaminated with protein from blood or other fluids that it becomes a problem.

Living hard will take its toll...
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So I'm thinking I need to get Tony to sign my book with some sort of sauce then.  Any suggestions as to what a good food alternative to ink might be, appropriate to the book's author and contents?

A.

Pigs blood comes to mind and it does not clog up you pen. lemmon juice or milk also work but have to be heated to be seen.

Living hard will take its toll...
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I bought the book for no other reason than to see if I could replicate the Les Halles frites. I was quite pleased to find the rest of the book a pretty damn good read. As far as the frites go, I had been taught to blanche at 320F; the book said to blanche at 280F. I tried it and they did come out a lot better. I had also never drained them on a towel before. Don't know if that made any kind of real difference but it didn't hurt. The fries weren't quite as good as the restaurant, but they were a hell of a lot better than any I had made before.

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About this raw pork fat business, maybe I just don't prefer it, I don't know. I've worked with it a lot over the past year, commercial, niman, and hand raised from an Amish aquaintance. It doesn't even smell good, smells like dead hog to me. lardo is cured, not raw. maybe these guys are telling you it's raw meaning not cooked. It doesn't make any sense to me. next time you're offered raw pig fat, ask the chef if he has cured it in any way, or did it come straight off the steaming hog in the slaughter house. When asked by anthropologists what human beings tasted like, cannibals in the south seas, exchanged courteous glances with one another and answered without disagreement, "Pork." Think about that the next time you're rolling a silky slice of raw pig fat around in your greedy maw.

I dig on swine like the rest of you. And I know for a fact that there are many ways to eat pig fat. Raw is pretty low on my list. There are so many finer ways to enjoy it, as on rillettes, which classicaly are topped with delicious creamy lard, originally a preservation technique.

The pig is king, long live the pig.

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I dig on swine like the rest of you.  And I know for a fact that there are many ways to eat pig fat. 

A common way to use pork fat in my home province of Newfoundland is to use cubes of cured (re: salted - yeah, yeah, we Newfies love our salt :biggrin: ) pork fat back in place of butter or oil for frying up a quick meal of fresh fish or game meat (moose/caribou). You render the fat first, add some onion, then add the meat with a splash of water to keep it from drying out. It removes the need for salt in the dish and the pork flavor adds another dimension of flavor.

I have no doubt this is a common practice in other parts of the world too. Does anyone have information to share on this?

Can't wait for Christmas - I know for a fact I'm getting Les Halles as a present. Considering my dad thought he did me a favor by buying me Bobby Flay's Boy Gets Grill (Flay's horrible writing distracts from what might be some decent recipes :hmmm: ), I really need to sink my teeth into good food writing to compliment the recipes.

Oh well at least I have a hardcover copy of A Cook's Tour I found in a used book shop to tide me over until then. (who gave THAT UP? My gain... :cool: )

(edited to fix rouge HTML tags)

Edited by Thumper (log)
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I was invited to Bistro Night and asked to supply a soup, appetizer and main course.

I took the Mushroom Soup, Rillets and Coq au vin.

I made Three French recipes and no Garlic? Is this a stereotype? Have been duped all these years?

I out of pure compulsion added a clove of smashed garlic to the Rillets, which actually turned really nice. It was loved by all.

The Mushroom Soup was also stellar. I made the recipe as written.

The Coq au vin was actually easy to make. Because of logistics I had to cut the time the chicken was in the Marinade by 6 hours. I was told by the host who last had the dish in Paris, that the dish tasted the same which, I’m told is a complement. I loved it. I had to double it for this meal, and was a little freaked about the number of cloves, I personally don’t like them much, but the dish came together very nicely. I would have liked it to be a bit thicker; however I think that was a function of having to put it in a container and travel with it. On the stove I think it would have been fine, although it does make me want to try using the blood thickener.

Great job Tony! Thanks.

One thing about this eve was real special is I got to have some real stinky, slimy, runny cheese from France which I am told slipped passed customs. It was an amazing evening. The Cheese I was able to sample is listed below.

Chabichou Du Poitou,

L etoila Du Vercors

Pierre Du tot Formageria de la Lemance

Epoisses Appellation D origine Berhaut

Bernieres Jort Camebert De Normandie

After Many bottles of wine, many groans and comments about feeling like a tick we all went home very well feed and very happy.

**************************************************

Ah, it's been way too long since I did a butt. - Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

--------------------

One summers evening drunk to hell, I sat there nearly lifeless…Warren

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I went through the book at Barnes & Noble today. Loved p.290 -- further reading. AB's comments are priceless. Particularly about Pepin's La Technique.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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$24.46 at Jessica's Biscuit or I can pay $95, have lunch with Mr. Bourdain and others, and receive a copy of the book at the Left Bank restaurant over in Larkspur on 12 November....but I'd have to call in "well" to work.

Hmmmmm.

I'm surprised the event hasn't sold out yet.

chrisv

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I got this book a week or so ago, and can't wait to start cooking. So far the only think I've tried, is making stock. The way Bourdain went on about making your own stock, I figured it was time to get off my ass, and make my own for the first time. I made the demi-glace (which I think turned out well...honestly I've never made it so how would I know), and a beef stock which smells awesome, but I still need to reduce it a bit.

I'm hoping to use the beef stock to make his Onion soup, (even though he recommends a brown chicken stock...I'm just stocked out right now). My father just brought back some salty, amazing, Gruyere from Switzerland last week, and I can't wait to use it in this recipe. I'm also looking forward to trying the Beef Bourguinon recipe.

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$24.46 at Jessica's Biscuit or I can pay $95, have lunch with Mr. Bourdain and others, and receive a copy of the book at the Left Bank restaurant over in Larkspur on 12 November....but I'd have to call in "well" to work. 

Hmmmmm.

I'm surprised the event hasn't sold out yet.

chrisv

$20.29 at Overstock.com, with $1.40 shipping.

My bank cancelled my debit card because of an attempted fraud they detected. So now I'm waiting while they issue me a new card/number. It's excruciating. This will be the first order to christen the new card.

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I got this book a week or so ago, and can't wait to start cooking. So far the only think I've tried, is making stock. The way Bourdain went on about making your own stock, I figured it was time to get off my ass, and make my own for the first time. I made the demi-glace (which I think turned out well...honestly I've never made it so how would I know), and a beef stock which smells awesome, but I still need to reduce it a bit.

I'm with you. I cannot wait to get some bones and throw together a demi. It's been a few years since I made one as well and I look forward to the process. I was close to selling my chest freezer, but now I can see that it's going to come in very handy for storing bones and ultimately finished product. I've decided to host T-giving this year solely so I can cook recipes out of this book for my family and the 'out-laws'.

IMHO - Brenner is a medicore writer at best, so it's not too far of a stretch to believe that her skills in the kitchen might cause a guest to gag. :rolleyes:

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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I made a modified version of the Frisee aux Lardons recipe from Tony's book tonight and it was really great. Of course, I made a few modifications which would have probably resulted in some "F" bombs being flung towards me, but I'm okay with that :wink:

I also have to agree with the criticism of Brenner's criticism...probably a positive sign in the long run.

=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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I'd seriously advise Tony to change his translator to German.

I bought the book, compared the funny and fuck-laden sentences I'd read as quotes here and elsewhere and they where just lame, weak, all the sharpness of Tony's writing blunted. I got really pissed off.

So I just brought the book back and ordered the English version from Amazon.uk. Tough luck for the German publishers and for Tony's German speaking fans.

Il Forno: eating, drinking, baking... mostly side effect free. Italian food from an Italian kitchen.
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Finally got my copy from Amazon.

Has anyone taken the butcher paper off and looked at the actual cover? Cool artwork!

So far it's a great read. I especially like the intro about the importance of getting your "meez" together... great advice that you seldom see outside of a school textbook.

My only issue, actually an observation, is the text for the recipe titles. Tony, who at Helicopter chose this font? It looks like a font used in the Betty Crocker cookbooks from the early '70s. :laugh:

Drink!

I refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward. --John Mortimera

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Ok. This might be a silly question and belong on the cooking thread but....

I'm making Tony's recipe for Tornado's Rossini tomorrow for our 10th anniversary dinner.

Am I assuming correctly that the proper construction of this dish is layering the foie gras under or atop the filet, or sould it be served on the side?

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Son of a bitch! I TOLD Tony he should use me as a copyeditor. :angry: What's missing from the recipe is in italics:

When it is rested and ready, put it on the serving platter, perhaps atop a nice cloud of mashed potatoes, place the reserved seared foie on top of the meat, and quickly finish the sauce etc. etc.

And, um, even though it's a whirlwind to make, that's tournedos. :wink:

Have a very happy anniversary celebration! :biggrin:

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Wow, that was a fast reply Suzanne, thanks! 

I'm a rotten spellier and even worse writer, it's why I don't post much.

Thank you for the salutation.

Happy Halloween!

Oh, please don't worry about spelling! Some of the best chefs I know -- and the best, most informed people overall -- can't spell their way out of a papre bagg. :wink: Never let that stop you, if you have something to say! Just say it however you can. :biggrin:

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Meez and Wooden Spoons

I have made several recipes from Anthony's Les Halles cookbook. All were very delightful to eat but...,the process was just as much satisfying. I love to read recipes and not really knowing french I had to read completely the ingredients and directions to realize oh yes this is a braised lamb stew.

Here's what I love.... Meez! ok I try to make 5 dinners a week from scratch after I come home from work and just go at it - so what's a little bit of chaos? I should know better, everything in place , even a brief stint in culinary school taught me mise en place but, over the years bad habits sink in again. Bourdain's relentless reminder to get it together FIRST has got me back prepping prior to just jumping in. Less mess and better on time finishing. Thanks

Another love,.... wooden spoons! Most utensils in his equipment list- is wood. I love my wooden utensils I collect them in my travels, and to see cooks on T.V using a rubber spatula or a metal utensil scraping a pan I cringe. I have even seen Anthony on the Today show with his wooden spoon. There is something nice about having wood in your hand.

(oops you know what I mean). I just want to say thanks T.

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The results of the Brenner-inspired bearnaise re-test are in: Test Subject took exact recipe from the book, and made it "cowboy style"--meaning over direct flame, not even using the safer and more gentle double-boiler. Test Subject used recipe proportions and directions exactly--except with added hazard of direct heat. Result was deemed "fine--in fact, really good". Conclusion? Reviewer Brenner did not pay attention to early suggestion that a "good heart" is a basic requirement for good cooking. Author has hard time believing Brenner is so lousy a cook that she could not make bearnaise sauce if genuinely motivated.

abourdain

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The results of the Brenner-inspired bearnaise re-test are in:  Test Subject took exact recipe from the book, and made it "cowboy style"--meaning over direct flame, not even using the safer and more gentle double-boiler. Test Subject used recipe proportions and directions exactly--except with added hazard of direct heat. Result was deemed "fine--in fact, really good". Conclusion? Reviewer Brenner did not pay attention to early suggestion that a "good heart" is a basic requirement for good cooking. Author has hard time believing Brenner is so lousy a cook that she could not make bearnaise sauce if genuinely motivated.

I guess that concludes it...for now. Until I get my copy and try it out that is :smile:

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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