Robin Joy's Profile

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Sunday (pub?) meal & Indian dinner help

The opportunity to throw stones at Tony Blair should not be missed. I'll make a booking now:)

Dec 18, 2014
Robin Joy in U.K./Ireland

Sunday (pub?) meal & Indian dinner help

Well it's hardly a thing of beauty, is it? Very, very plain is about as kind as anyone could be. Plenty of boarded up clones to be seen in run down areas, sadly.

Dec 18, 2014
Robin Joy in U.K./Ireland

au jus mix

Are Crosse & Blackwell products available in the US? This is pretty good for a packet sauce:

http://www.tesco.com/groceries/produc...

Campbell's consomme would be my other suggested starting point.

Dec 15, 2014
Robin Joy in General Topics

Need help with figuring out how much food to buy

Try a test meal with unprepared weights of half a pound of potatoes and half a pound of other vegetables per person some time over the next couple of days. I reckon on these amounts for hungry eaters, and it should be a good starting point for you to assess your needs.

Dec 15, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Electric food steamer advice needed

I have a 15 year old Tfal two tier steamer and I'm very pleased with it. I use it mainly for vegetables when we have larger gatherings. It sits in our utility room, so stove-top and kitchen real estate are freed up.

Tips: Have a few practice runs with varying amounts of food. This will give you an idea of timings (For instance 2 pounds of green beans takes longer than 1 pound, but not twice as long).
Also set a kitchen timer to remind you when it needs switching on. I find that it's pretty easy to forget, especially if it's in another room! Tongs are helpful for serving, and for a half way stage mix up, which helps even cooking.

Burnt on lid of Le Creuset dutch oven

Any news?

Dec 13, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

One pot cooking. Really?

Oh I'm not suggesting it cannot be done. It's just that very often I find it a lot quicker to use a couple of frying pans as well.

Browning 3 batches of meat at 5 minutes each followed by softening the veg for 5 minutes takes maybe 25 minutes in one pot if you include switch over time etc. 3 frying pans browning all the meat at once, plus the veggies softening in the dutch oven at the same time and you're all done in a much shorter time, say 10 minutes including pan washing.

Dec 09, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

One pot cooking. Really?

Am I alone in using two, three or even four pans when making, say, stew when the method implies a one pot approach? I find the clean-up time of maybe one minute per pan easily outweighs the time taken to sear meat in batches, then soften chopped vegetables, all in sequence in one pan.

Dec 09, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Basic Burger bun

Will you be eating them with a burger in? If so the fat content of the bun might not matter too much.

Dec 09, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Burnt on lid of Le Creuset dutch oven

What's in it?

Dec 08, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

Just like 5.45 into this 30 year old vid from a pair of has-been burger flippers:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3gUd...

Dec 05, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Best pot/pan (or cleaning technique) for low & slow scrambled eggs?

Glass bowl over a pan of simmering water. Very low & slow. Easy cleanup.

My marinade contains orange juice, will it keep for a month?

A few days, IMO. The scallions, onions, garlic, chiles and OJ will all be a bit manky after that. I think it would freeze OK.

Dec 04, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

What goes with cabbage?

Does colcannon really involve browning? I'd call that bubble and squeak.

Dec 03, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Best picnic baskets to buy? In Los Angeles, or on internet?

Great so far thanks. I'll try to remember to report after the Christmas and New Year break. I'll be at home for 10 days with a houseful of guests, so it'll get well used.

Dec 03, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Best picnic baskets to buy? In Los Angeles, or on internet?

Dec 02, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Uncommon lamb cuts

If you whip the bones out of the breasts you can roll (& tie) them to slow cook like this. It works really well, and is delicious:

http://www.theskintfoodie.com/slow-co...

Yours sound quite small, so they may be best rolled together.

Dec 01, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Highly rated Steak Knives

My cue Chem?

I have these:

http://www.amandamcclements.com/2010/...

Micro-serrations, no dragging or tearing, affordable, great for all meats, perfect.

Nov 27, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Elegant Monday Lunch in London with Mom

Where did you go please?

Nov 24, 2014
Robin Joy in U.K./Ireland

Curry'esque recipes?

That looks fantastic!

Nov 24, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Curry'esque recipes?

Yes indeed, you can push it around quite a bit. I was giving just about the simplest, short ingredient list route to a tasty curry.

Nov 24, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Curry'esque recipes?

It sounds like your colleagues are bringing Biriyani to work:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biryani

Cooking it correctly is indeed quite an involved process, but try this, which you could just mix with cooked rice to produce a really nice workplace lunch:

Quick Chicken Curry:

A good glug of oil (neutral, not olive). Don't be mean with it.
Chicken breast, cubed to about 1 inch.
Chopped onion.
Mild curry paste or curry powder (Patak's make a really good range of pastes).
Tomato paste.
Water

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

A non-stick pan is probably best for this. I use a non stick wok.

Medium fry the chicken and onion in the oil for about 5 minutes.

Stir in 1 tablespoon of curry paste/1 heaped teaspoon curry powder per person. Stir & fry for a couple of minutes.

Stir in 1 heaped teaspoon of tomato paste per person and then add water to produce a not too thin sauce. You won't need much, about 1/4 cup per person. Passata also works well in place of tomato paste and water.

Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.

Serve with Basmati rice and sprinkled with with chopped cilantro (optional).

You can raise the stakes a little by adding a sliced fresh chili at the frying stage, or using a hotter curry paste. This might help:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=597Dsx...

Nov 23, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Bob's Famous Bleu Cheese Dressing Recipe?

Certainly without the mayo from the ingredients from the jar listed 7 years ago by Tail Section! That just isn't mayo.

Nov 23, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Opinel Chef Knife from France

Here's a pic. next to my everyday 6 inch knife. I think I might find it rather big for most of what I prepare, but I really like the look, feel and geometry. It sliced potatoes for a gratin beautifully last night (OK, hardly the most challenging of tasks, but it felt right).

Now to dishwash it a few times to get that handle to a nice silver-grey.

Nov 23, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

making rack of lamb -- need advice

I used to seat naked to render the surface far....But then my wife found out.

Nov 23, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Opinel Chef Knife from France

Yup, a couple of days ago. Unfortunately she's at my rented city toe-hold, and we only had a brief moment where it all came together, but I hope she'll still be there when I return there from my weekend family life.

Report mid-week.

Nov 22, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Venison Stew

Having loved this at a dinner party, the hostess mailed me the recipe. It's a real winner (serves about ten):

6 lbs (2.75 kg)venison (or beef) cut into 1 inch squares.
2 pints (1.2 ltrs) guiness
10 fl oz (275 ml) port
2 bayleaves
4 sprigs thyme
8 oz (225 g) onions chopped
2 cloves garlic crushed or chopped
2 x 14 oz (400 g) jars pickled walnuts
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 level tablespoons flour
salt and freshly milled black pepper

Begin the night before by putting the meat into a large bowl with the bay
and thyme. Pour guiness and port over meat and marinade overnight in cool
place. Next day stir well.
When ready to cook, pre heat oven to gas mark 1 , 275 degrees F (140 C).
Take large casserole and melt half butter and oil. Drain meat (reserving
liquid and herbs) and dry a few pieces at a time (I don't do this!). Turn
heat up high and brown a few pieces at a time (if you add too many pieces at
one time it releases too much steam and doesn't brown. I use a wok to brown
the meat in). As soon as brown remove pieces and carry on until all is done.
Add rest of butter and oil to pan (or wok), and as soon as it foams add
chopped onion and garlic and brown for about 10 mins. Meanwhile drain liquid
off walnuts and cut into quarters. Return all meat to casserole to join
onions. Stir in flour to soak up juices, then pour in marinade, add walnuts
and season well. I generally add a stock cube as well, but it's not in the
recipe.
As soon as it simmers, put lid on and transfer casserole to middle of oven
for about 3 hours. I often leave it for longer or cook it the day before and
reheat it. It's really nice served with red cabbage. I always make it for
boxing day (I've a great recipe for braised red cabbage with apples which is
nice with it).
Good luck. Glad you liked it. See you soon.
Sally x

Nov 22, 2014
Robin Joy in Home Cooking

Le Creuset Curved Oven or Smaller French Oven?

IMO there's almost nothing you proposed 22cm round will do that your existing 25cm oval cannot do equally well. I have 24cm round and 27cm oval and, with the exception of a chicken sitting slightly better in the oval, they're entirely interchangeable. Save your money, I wish I had.

Nov 18, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Opinel Chef Knife from France

Just fell in love with that picture and ordered one from Amazon UK. Opinion to follow.

Nov 16, 2014
Robin Joy in Cookware

Best French Bistro in London

Mon Plaisir or Bleeding Heart should be fine. Not too far from where you'll be:

http://www.london-eating.co.uk/1814.htm

http://www.bleedingheart.co.uk/

As Zuriga1 has mentioned, Le Gavroche in Mayfair is several classes up from almost anywhere else, and the lunch deal (about £55 including some wine) is not to be missed. It would cost three times that in the evening. Probably booked out way ahead though.

Nov 14, 2014
Robin Joy in U.K./Ireland