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"The French Laundry Cookbook" by Thomas Keller


gruyere
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I did the truffle infused custard with black truffle ragout tonight, although I switched the truffle ragout for a mushroom ragout (minced white mushrooms sweated in butter, chicken stock added, reduced and then seasoned with a little sherry vinegar, salt, papper, dash of truffle oil added before serving) and didn't do the chive potato crisps.

It was very nice. However, I wonder about the texture of the result. Are you supposed to end up with a creme brulée texture (shiny and sort of firm), creamy or (like mine) more of a fluffy texture? Fluffy doesn't feel right.

I did cook in a bain marie (although on the stovetop) and my dish definitely didn't break (hey, it was good!). Maybe I had too much air left in the custard base? It rested for an hour in fridge befored I started cooking it, but there might still have been a lot of air left.

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I did the truffle infused custard with black truffle ragout tonight, although I switched the truffle ragout for a mushroom ragout (minced white mushrooms sweated in butter, chicken stock added, reduced and then seasoned with a little sherry vinegar, salt, papper, dash of truffle oil added before serving) and didn't do the chive potato crisps.

It was very nice. However, I wonder about the texture of the result. Are you supposed to end up with a creme brulée texture (shiny and sort of firm), creamy or (like mine) more of a fluffy texture? Fluffy doesn't feel right.

I did cook in a bain marie (although on the stovetop) and my dish definitely didn't break (hey, it was good!). Maybe I had too much air left in the custard base? It rested for an hour in fridge befored I started cooking it, but there might still have been a lot of air left.

It should be the texture of creme brulee. Firm but creamy.

-Chef Johnny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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  • 1 month later...

Diner Girl recommended this apple cranberry cake.

It'll be served for Thanks Giving tomorrow. I'll make the cream sauce before serving. I have the feeling the sauce is going to taste like sweetened condensed milk.

gallery_39290_5073_22582.jpg

I made it in a spring form pan. Hope the berries stay put when I remove the pan.

gallery_39290_5073_12582.jpg

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It should be the texture of creme brulee. Firm but creamy.

-Chef Johnny

Thanks. Too much time in the blender I guess.

Redid the truffle infused custard with black truffle ragout this weekend (with real black truffles this time). Now I got the texture perfect, exactly like creme brulee. The custart base rested for several hours in the fridge and I skimmed of any trace of foam before using.

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  • 1 month later...

For the second year in a row, I cooked a French Laundry inspired meal for my wife's birthday - for her and 11 friends! - mostly using the FL cookbook. For the second year in a row, everything turned out great, but required a ridiculous amount of work and being able to adjust a few things as the cooking times don't always hold true. Cooking from this cookbook makes you really appreciate the depth of technique and detail that goes into these dishes - the flavors, combinations, creativity, and visuals are all incredible in these recipes.

Rather than typing up a full accounting - I'll simply point to a flickr set of photos I posted (including a lot of the prep work that went into the dishes). The are detailed descriptions for each photo to help explain what they are!

The dishes I did this year from the cookbook included...

"Peas and Carrots" (lobster!)

"Surf and Turf" (monkfish and braised oxtails)

"Coffee and Donuts"

"PB&J"

one I called "Eggs" (white truffle custard w black truffle ragout)

and "Chips and Dip" - a recipe I found online from Keller for fingerling chips and green goddess dip

All turned out great

Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/sets...57603697458801/

And to see last years meal (which included Kellers' crab salad, "Fish and Chips," the amazing cones with salmon, and a truffle version of the "Chips and Dip" - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/sets...57600210905325/ )

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For the second year in a row, I cooked a French Laundry inspired meal for my wife's birthday - for her and 11 friends! - mostly using the FL cookbook. For the second year in a row, everything turned out great, but required a ridiculous amount of work and being able to adjust a few things as the cooking times don't always hold true. Cooking from this cookbook makes you really appreciate the depth of technique and detail that goes into these dishes - the flavors, combinations, creativity, and visuals are all incredible in these recipes.

Rather than typing up a full accounting - I'll simply point to a flickr set of photos I posted (including a lot of the prep work that went into the dishes). The are detailed descriptions for each photo to help explain what they are!

The dishes I did this year from the cookbook included...

"Peas and Carrots" (lobster!)

"Surf and Turf" (monkfish and braised oxtails)

"Coffee and Donuts"

"PB&J"

one I called "Eggs" (white truffle custard w black truffle ragout)

and "Chips and Dip" - a recipe I found online from Keller for fingerling chips and green goddess dip

All turned out great

Enjoy!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/sets...57603697458801/

And to see last years meal (which included Kellers' crab salad, "Fish and Chips," the amazing cones with salmon, and a truffle version of the "Chips and Dip" - see http://www.flickr.com/photos/kaplanbr/sets...57600210905325/ )

Beautiful stuff! How far in advance did you start prepping?

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Beautiful stuff! How far in advance did you start prepping?

Well, actual planning started weeks in advance, planning things out like a military attack, buying a few ingredients and a few pieces of equipment, then actual heavy prep started on Wednesday and got progressively heavier each day until an all day Saturday cooking marathon. The oxtails involved the most time by far, and the lobster dish occupied a good chunk of the day Saturday. Demanding recipes, but worth it in the end for a special occasion.

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Simply amazing, biskuit. The preparation, the food, the setting, the leftovers (I look forward to the day when I can sit outside eating leftover truffle ragout for lunch), your wife and guests are all very lucky. Well done!

Were you able to participate much in the dinner itself, or did you stay behind the scenes cooking for a lot of it?

Dr. Zoidberg: Goose liver? Fish eggs? Where's the goose? Where's the fish?

Elzar: Hey, that's what rich people eat. The garbage parts of the food.

My blog: The second pancake

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Simply amazing, biskuit. The preparation, the food, the setting, the leftovers (I look forward to the day when I can sit outside eating leftover truffle ragout for lunch), your wife and guests are all very lucky. Well done!

Were you able to participate much in the dinner itself, or did you stay behind the scenes cooking for a lot of it?

Thanks, it was great, but I was purely in the kitchen (and bringing out the dishes and describing them). It was for my wife and her friends - girls night. There is no possible way to successfully pull this off and be seated at the table too! At least I can't imagine it. I was sure to make enough to include myself and my two friends who came to help out in plating, serving and cleaning - we ate (almost) as well as the "guests" did, though we were eating it in the kitchen in a less leisurely way! Last year I did it entirely solo, and having friends help with the service and cleanup was a huge help. They were happy to volunteer in exchange for food!

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I really sat down and read the book last night for the first time since I received at Christmas. I saw what I wanted immediately. I am going to do the salmon "chop" and mate it yin-yang style with the potato "chop" that was shown. Not sure about a sauce, but I can figure that out. What a great book!

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I really sat down and read the book last night for the first time since I received at Christmas.  I saw what I wanted immediately.  I am going to do the salmon "chop" and mate it yin-yang style with the potato "chop" that was shown.  Not sure about a sauce, but I can figure that out.  What a great book!

The "FrenchLaundryAtHome" blog just did the salmon chop. Sounded good...

http://carolcookskeller.blogspot.com/2008/...-and-black.html

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Nice work, biskuit.  The lobster crepe dish is a great one but a lot of work.  I've made it.

Thanks, it was great, and it was a lot of work! I got to the part where you actually use the lobster glace and did a double take - all that work for a tablespoon that goes into the lobster salad! Yow. Every little detail plays a part in bringing the dish closer to perfection.

Edited by biskuit (log)
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I bought the FL cookbook around Thanksgiving and seeing this thread gave me the impetus to start looking at it.

TK makes such a good case for the chinois and tamis that I ordered them. Of course, to get the full use out of them, I had to buy the conical pestle and rubber scrapers too. While we're at it, let's throw in a cheap oven thermometer and an infrared thermo to go with my Thermopen. Since I'm trying to be so gosh darned accurate, how about a Salter digital scale to go with my 0.1 gram accuracy molecular gastromony scale.

That'll do it.

Oh wait, I want my food to look pretty too. I've wanted a set of circular cutters, since we're going crazy here, lets throw those in too.

Does this happen to anyone else?

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TK makes such a good case for the chinois and tamis that I ordered them.  Of course, to get the full use out of them, I had to buy the conical pestle and rubber scrapers too.  While we're at it, let's throw in a cheap oven thermometer and an infrared thermo to go with my Thermopen.  Since I'm trying to be so gosh darned accurate, how about a Salter digital scale to go with my 0.1 gram accuracy molecular gastromony scale. 

Does this happen to anyone else?

Sounds familiar, all Keller's fault that I now have a china cap ... and an extrafine strainer ... and silpats ... and circle molds and...

Edited by biskuit (log)
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  • 1 month later...

I love the book as well, it's just that I can't make many of the recipes cause they all call for foi gras and truffles. But I did make the lobster broth and the "macaroni and cheese" lobster dish. Wow, I had no idea lobsters and cream would be such a luxurious combination! It was terrific, though I might cut down the amount of heavy cream in the future. REALLY heavy stuff.

And on a side note, I really love Bouchon as well. I actually prefer it to the FL cookbook since it uses more available ingredients but still keeps to Keller's standards of technique and constant refinement.

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I love the book as well, it's just that I can't make many of the recipes cause they all call for foi gras and truffles.  But I did make the lobster broth and the "macaroni and cheese" lobster dish.  Wow, I had no idea lobsters and cream would be such a luxurious combination!  It was terrific, though I might cut down the amount of heavy cream in the future.  REALLY heavy stuff.

And on a side note, I really love Bouchon as well.  I actually prefer it to the FL cookbook since it uses more available ingredients but still keeps to Keller's standards of technique and constant refinement.

Actually most of them do not use Truffle and Foi! My biggest challenge is the time commitment that most recipes need.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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So far, I've only had the courage to try making the chive chips... *g* you know, basic.

** shutters ** I made those friggin' things everyday for 6 months. Just looking at them makes my hands hurt. Just wait til you try the pommes maxims. :wacko:

- Chef Johnny

BTW, nice pictures in your Flickr set!

Edited by ChefJohnny (log)

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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I am making yabba dabba do tonight with a Silver Oak to go with.

I made the bourdelaise sauce and must have used too many carrots. It was sweet. Not what I was expecting. I toned it down, but is that the correct flavor?

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  • 2 weeks later...
** shutters ** I made those friggin' things everyday for 6 months. Just looking at them makes my hands hurt. Just wait til you try the pommes maxims.

Oh, ChefJohnny, honey, baby, sugarpie, love.... I need you to teach me how to do those chips. I failed miserably at them. I've now done 82 out of the 100 dishes in the book, and I'm still pissed at myself that I can't get those chips done right. I'm doing trotters and the rabbit dish on Sunday, and am gearing up for the pig's head, which I'm actually looking forward to.

Edited by Diner Girl (log)
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** shutters ** I made those friggin' things everyday for 6 months. Just looking at them makes my hands hurt. Just wait til you try the pommes maxims.

Oh, ChefJohnny, honey, baby, sugarpie, love.... I need you to teach me how to do those chips. I failed miserably at them. I've now done 82 out of the 100 dishes in the book, and I'm still pissed at myself that I can't get those chips done right. I'm doing trotters and the rabbit dish on Sunday, and am gearing up for the pig's head, which I'm actually looking forward to.

:D Well, I gotta say, 82 out of 100 is pretty freakin awesome! Congrats! I would totally teach you how to make the chive chips. As a matter of fact, I still have my plastic guide for the shape taped to the inside of my recipe book. I noticed you're in MD, Im just over the border in VA. Cooking class? lol :P The trotters are awesome. One of my favs. And the tête de couchon.... holy crap. Its heaven wrapped in cheesecloth. Just make sure you make the sauce gribiche. ;)

-Chef Johnny

John Maher
Executive Chef/Owner
The Rogue Gentlemen

Richmond, VA

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Chive chips?

It's a garnish for one of the dishes.

At the age of six I wanted to be a cook. At seven I wanted to be Napoleon. And my ambition has been growing steadily ever since. ‐ Salvador Dali

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