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Pork belly pieces

Make Char siu.

about 1 hour ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Smoked Mullet Dip

The dip ought to have been fine sieved to remove the hard bits. Then it's like a patte.

about 1 hour ago
Puffin3 in General Topics

What Is This Salmon I Bought

Chum salmon are the bottom rung of salmon quality-wise. That's why the Chinese buy so many. They are cheap cheap cheap to buy from the fishermen. Yes they contain a lot of oil and taken just before they enter fresh water they are not bad. They deteriorate very quickly after being caught. This again is due to the high fat content which goes rancid BDQ.

about 1 hour ago
Puffin3 in General Topics

5 Times to Say "No Thank You" and 3 Things to Do When You Hear It — How to Be a Grownup

You forgot "eff off!'.

about 2 hours ago
Puffin3 in Not About Food

Dinner Tonight: Gourmet Hotdogs!

Thanks for all your ideas folks.
So I bought a four-pack of all beef HDs from my butcher who makes them. Individually wrapped. They were twice the diameter of regular HDs but about the same length.
Bought some buns from the bakery which I sliced down the middle. Then opened and the insides and lightly grilled.
Mine was first some grilled corn kernels. Then grainy French style mustard/ketchup/relish all homemade. Fine sliced lettuce then the HD topped with julienned pickled beets.
Really tasty.

about 3 hours ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

What to do with a bunch of saltine crackers….

Into food processor. Fine chop.
Into a bowl. Add enough whole milk so the crackers just absorb the milk. You don't want excess milk. Into fridge. In processor put four mild italian sausages with the casings removed. Two eggs 1 LB ground pork. 1/2 C rough chopped parsely or cilantro or watercress etc.
Season with S&P. No extra herbs needed. Add the cracker/milk. Pulse until throuhly combined.
The mixture will be sticky. Use OO or water on your hands to form the mixture into golf ball size meatballs. Into hard simmering salted water or stock. The meatballs will take a few minutes to cook through. Check one to make sure you are cooking them long enough.
Out onto a tray to cool. Into fridge when cooled. Then into Ziploc bags then into freezer.
This method works for any type of meatball.
I like to use ground pork and fresh prawns and fine chopped chives.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

How many at home dishes have you truly mastered?

It's easier for me to think in terms of what dishes I have not 'mastered'.
I seriously don't want to come across as bragging. After cooking three meals a day for about 55 years and really been interested in making excellent dishes of all types it is what it is,
The only dishes I have pretty much given up on ever getting right is Chinese food.
It ought to be dead easy but I can't ever really get it right. It has come down to the fact that I'll never have a screaming hot blast furnace wok I guess.

Dinner Tonight: Gourmet Hotdogs!

Just for fun I want to make gourmet hot dogs tonight.

Does anyone here have any gourmet ingredients that we wouldn't ordinarily think of putting in a HD?

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Pork leg - please help

Get some 'pink salt' from a butcher and cure it for a week. Then low and slow roast it and you'll have ham.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Smoked Salmon

Get the package VERY cold first. Not frozen but close to it. Use a very cold rolling pin to gently roll up each piece. Like you are rolling up a layer of pastry off the countertop to then unroll on a pie baking dish.

1 day ago
Puffin3 in General Topics

Cooking show chef forums?

Anyone know of a site that has forums devoted to one cooking show chef?
Malto? Floyd? Julia?

2 days ago
Puffin3 in Food Media & News

Storage Containers For Freezing Food That Are NOT Plastic

I started freezing fresh fish in salted water in clean waxed cardboard milk containers thirty years ago. Just stapled the top closed w/ a label attached.
You can use/reuse these milk containers for anything that goes into them cold. Like soups/stocks/stews.
Now I use mostly ziplocs but in the case of fresh cod/halibut the meat is much better after thawing when it's been in a frozen block of salted water then slowly thawed.

We've all hit the Pyrex ceiling

I agree. But he'd know how to properly roast a leg of lamb first before he sprayed the foam on it b/c his distant relative wrote the book about how to roast a leg of lamb. LOL

Feb 25, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

We've all hit the Pyrex ceiling

Very interesting article. It's notable to read each chef's nod to Escoffier.
They clearly are saying 'it's fine to be creative in the kitchen but before doing so a cook must understand the underlying logic of how and why food is cooked in a way to get the most from it.
I like the chef who said, paraphrasing, "Escoffier taught us how to properly cook a chicken. What we do with it after is our choice".
That's all I've been saying.
Understand the fundamentals first.
It's like someone who wants to be an artist painting 'what inspires them' but turns out muddy paintings b/c they can't be bothered studying color theory.

Feb 25, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

Newbie questions about chicken stock (possibly dumb)

Ya I also have been using Ziplocs forever. When the stock is cold after refrigerating overnight I skim off the fat and save it to be used soon, in the fridge.
I'm lucky to have help.
My wife rolls back the top inch or so of the Ziploc and I carefully ladle in the stock/sauce, whatever into the Ziplock using a teacup. We know how much to put into each Ziploc. (About two full teacups and a bit about 2/3rds full). Then she carefully rolls the top back into place and Zips up the bag. Double checks it then onto a baking tray. We can flat stack three or four bags on top of each other. When they are frozen, (I forgot before we start each bag is labeled) they are stacked upright like books on a bookshelf, in a dedicated place in the freezer.

Feb 25, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

what's a good side for coq au vin?

Yes indeed!
IMO hot food ought to be served on hot plates. I got into the habit of putting the serving plates in the oven turned low and it really adds to the enjoyment of eating hot food.
Homemade or store bought egg noodles are my first choice. For other veg steamed small pearl onions and small whole carrots plated after the CAV is put on the plate. It's nice to have a 'clean colors' to contrast with the bird/sauce.
Don't tell a soul but if you really want to find the real thing ie an old roaster and are willing to process it yourself they are very easy to come by for free.
Around here I can go to 'Used Cowichan' on-line anytime and find a dozen 'free' for the taking offers: "Free Old Roaster". Complete with photos. What has happened is a rooster became some kids family pet on a farm and the parents couldn't then get rid of it. Plus lots of small farmers like to keep an old rooster marauding the layers and keeping an eye open for eagles/ravens/hawks/cats/dogs.
Here's one example:http://www.usedcowichan.com/classifie...
There must be a "used'.....near you all.

Feb 25, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

We've all hit the Pyrex ceiling

Thanks for the opinions.
Next time you are a line cook in any Michelin star restaurant in the world make sure to tell the Chef your thoughts on Escoffier. I'm sure they will be very interested to learn that Escoffier's recipes are only "guidelines" and there's no need to follow "another's cook's recipes" right?
"I just 'eyeball' the ratios when it isn't critical". Chef: "So when isn't following the recipe for making any dish in this kitchen critical?"
I can't understand why there's such a thing as a cookbook?
Joy of Cooking? You needs it?
Do you understand you are contradicting yourself?
Same with any home cook. "I know the recipe calls for three cups but really how critical can it be if I eyeball the amount. It's only Angelfood cake after all"?

Feb 23, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

On Being a Chef, Nobody Gets Out Alive

I owned a small restaurant once. I never had any problems hiring staff. I had very little success keeping the staff. 99% of them were high school drop-outs who couldn't get a job anywhere but in a restaurant.
I treated/paid them better than most owners would have BTW.
AB describes the endemic problems found in running a restaurant.
The professional Chefs and line cooks included.....Not to mention the owners themselves/unions/purveyors/health inspectors/bankers/family members looking for freebies/food critics/the 'City'. You name it. Everyone wants to get their beak wet.
Around here it's a constant game of musical restaurants. Openings and closings. Staff changes. Menu/theme changes. Location changes. Partner changes. There have been five health inspector changes in four years!
All of them are apparently reading from a different manual.

Feb 23, 2015
Puffin3 in Not About Food

What are tricks to the perfect spaghetti sauce?

Here are my 'tricks' not in any order:
The stem of the tomato has a LOT of tomato flavor. I only add one small stem which I remove later.
The pulp has the umami.
Whether I'm using whole canned or fresh I first fine sieve out any seeds/skins. They are bitter and once the sauce goes bitter there is no way to reverse it.
Sugar only masks the acid. I look for low acid fresh tomato varieties. I do add a pinch of sugar sometimes depending.
I never use baking soda.
I reduce a small amount of good red wine to half and add it to the tomatoes before reducing the sauce down to end up with a fairly thick sauce.
I don't use basil. I use only oregano either fresh or dried.
I never add salt during the reduction process as I believe salt will add a sour note when cooked too long.
I season the sauce just before serving with S&P.
I use a very small amount of the sauce on pasta.
Pasta should be the star IMO.
When the pasta is al dente I put it into a pan with a little best OO over low heat. Stir in a small amount of sauce and add enough pasta water to end up with the consistency of what comes out of a can of Chef Boy-R- Dee' [sp].
Onto a hot plate. Crated PR and a very little drizzle of OO and red pepper flakes.
This is the way I've had pasta served in out of the way small town ma and pa restaurants throughout S./Central Italy.
Like all other foods prepared using water it's the water that always adds that 'special something' that can never be duplicated elsewhere.
The new wave of culinary focus is going to be the flavor of the water. There are restaurants who are importing water by the barrel from Italy to NYC to use in making Italian dishes.
Water from Marseilles to make bouillabaisse in Seattle. The fish will never be the same of course but the water brings a nuanced flavor to the dish.
Tip to restro. owners: Look carefully at the water you are using.

Feb 23, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Cooking for a Very Hungry, Slightly Picky Crowd

Premake a bunch of 'bridies' with an assortment of fillings. Mark the surface before baking to let you know what filling is in each one. 'B' for ground beef (traditional) 'C' for chicken etc.

Feb 23, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking
1

We've all hit the Pyrex ceiling

The best bread I ever tasted was from a corner bakery near Nice.
Best ravioli from a restaurant in San Remo. Best bouillabaisse in a Marseilles restro. Etc etc.
There are certainly some very really excellent home cooks, such as myself, but few and far between. IMO 99% of home cooks are too concerned with their hard working hectic lives to afford the luxury/expense of making really excellent dishes..... though many hope to some day.
I've been there. Now cooking excellent food is more of a hobby than a necessity. We could just as easily go out seven nights a week.

Feb 23, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

dinner host responsibilities

I think we've burned up this thread now.
"this corn is special".

Feb 22, 2015
Puffin3 in Not About Food

dinner host responsibilities

"Thanks for inviting all of us out mom. If anyone wants a drink they'll pay for it themselves."

Cooking for a Very Hungry, Slightly Picky Crowd

Isn't skirt steak red meat?

Feb 22, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Cooking for a Very Hungry, Slightly Picky Crowd

So one of the group doesn't like red meat so you won't be serving it to anyone else?
What about the other friend who doesn't like bread?
Come on!

How to keep pizza from sticking to the stone.

My stone is the color of shiny black glass through years of use.
I'd rub OO on the stone and slowly bring it up to temp. Do this a number of times until the surface is shiny. Then you'll have no issues with sticking.

Feb 22, 2015
Puffin3 in General Topics

Wild Game Butchering The Way Our Ancestors Did in Plantation Days

Not to put too fine a point on it but back then there were Blacks who owned White slaves.

Feb 21, 2015
Puffin3 in Food Media & News

Homemade chicken soup question

I consider Thomas Keller an "expert".

Feb 21, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Homemade chicken soup question

I don't consider adding natural gelatine as cheating.
Natural gelatin comes from real animals.
It's a 100% natural product. We do not get enough gelatine in our diet IMO.
Trying to get anything worth eating nutritionally speaking from a pre roasted chicken from a store let alone using the poor beast to provide a healthy tasty stock is well................

Feb 20, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking

Homemade chicken soup question

Do you mean you've started simmering a whole already roasted chicken whole???
Sorry folks but using already roasted/rotisserie chicken from the store to make stock from is akin to using McDonalds burger patties to use in Scottish 'bridies'.

Feb 20, 2015
Puffin3 in Home Cooking