Articles from kuan

  1. A Gift that Keeps on Giving

    Cooking stock is a wonderful thing.  If you cannot find the time to roast the bones and hang around to watch a pot simmer you should still do something with the bones. At the very least you can quick boil them or if you have a crock pot you can slow cook your bones for stock in the crock pot.  You can deal with the aromatics later.

    If you're reading this article and wondering why I'm starting with stock read http://www.cheftalk.com/a/the-duck-meal here.  :)  

    Lunch was duck ramen.   A...
  2. The Duck Meal

    Yesterday http://www.cheftalk.com/a/i-love-duck was preparation for tonight. Tonight we eat.  That mess of stuff Duck Skin Rendering has become wonderful cracklings.  It's hard to resist fresh deep fried duck skin sprinkled with lime salt.  This almost did not make it to dinnertime.
    Starters were amazing.  Pickles, some duck pate, Heidi made a fresh Ciabatta for the meal.  Yeah, there is a dirty plate in the picture, some crumbs, a half eaten piece of bread, half a glass of wine.  THIS IS...
  3. I love Duck!

    Today I bought two ducks and I made a bunch of stuff.  I'm sorry I don't have pictures of some of the process.   I just decided that this was going to be too large of a Facebook post so here goes:

    1)  Cracklings

     This is a picture of duck skin floating in a simmering slurry of duck fat and water.  Ugh, but in a few hours this will become cracklings.  Try and remove as much of the protein as possible as it cooks by gently scraping the underside of the skin.
    Eventually you'll get some liquid...
  4. Gumbo!

    Gumbo.  There are rules.  I probably just broke all of them.   There's a Thread about gumbo on Cheftalk in which several contributors chime in on the correct way to make gumbo.  File or Okra, both or either, or one or the other?  How brown to do the roux?  To cook the trinity in the roux or not?  Seafood with chicken or should it be one or the other, not both?  When to add file?  I decided to step out of my comfort zone for this one.  Here's my experience.

    First I made the roux.  I used an...
  5. Beef in a Pan Demystified

    Why go out and pay $45 for a steak?  Do it yourself and save some money. Heck you can mess it up three times and you'll still be ahead.  Here is a method for doing steak on your stovetop.
    I cut the steaks out of what we in the business call an 0x1.  This is a whole strip (loin) like the kind you can find at Costco. It's called 0x1 because there is zero fat on one end and a 1" trim on the other end.  The part with no fat is closer to the rear of the animal and the part with the 1" trim is...
  6. Roast Chicken the quick(er) way

    Roast Chicken.  I don't know how much there is to write about but here goes.  This is a method for making a quick roast chicken with crispy skin.  It is quicker because the chicken is split in half.  First pick a knife.  I used the medium chef knife.  This was my workhorse knife in the kitchen for years, and now that it's in the home, it's still my workhorse knife.  It still does 90% of the work in the kitchen, just not for hours on end.
    This is how you split a chicken in half.  Or duck, or...
  7. Classic and Quick Apple Cobbler

    This is one the quickest fly by the seat of your pants desserts you can make.  Here it pays to develop your knife skills.  I use a Suntoku.  If you were really badass you can use any knife like This guy.  I'm not that good but still, this way saves a good amount of time.   I like to slice my apples about a 1/4" thick. I find they don't overcook and turn into mush this way.  Once again no recipe.  If you have to have a recipe Google is your friend.  My rule of thumb is one medium apple per...
  8. Fondant Potatoes

    Fondant potatoes are potatoes browned in a pan and then glazed with reduced stock.  These can be done in 20 minutes.  Try this if you're tired of microwaved baked potatoes.

    Peel and slice the potatoes so they're between 3/4 and an inch thick.  Next preheat your pan.  Hot pan, cold oil, food won't stick.  The pan needs to be hot enough so the oil dances on the surface when you add the oil. Naturally since I had I used duck fat laying around I went ahead and used it.  Why not?
    Folks think I'm...
  9. Simple and Elegant - Lamb with Sauce

    This post is all about sauce, a really simple sauce, and a really simple way to make a special dinner for a special guest.  I always say cooking is not complicated and this is as uncomplicated as it gets.  No fancy recipes just plain off the shelf ingredients.  Here I present a simple dish comprised of lamb loin medallions trimmed off a lamb chop and a wine reduction demiglace.  If you are organized it should take about 30 minutes.  If not, add ten minutes.
    I got a package of lamb chops from...
  10. Pictures from the ACF Convention in Kansas City

    My last ACF convention was in Chicago 14 years ago.  A lot has changed since then.  Students are getting better and the food is more complex.  Chefs are creating amazing things using lesser cuts of meat, budgets are getting tighter, kitchen brigade styles are changing, and so on and so on.

    Anyway here is a glimpse of what happens at these conventions.  The following group of five photos are from the Chef of the Year competition.  Four finalists compete.  Each chef has to present four...
  11. Waffles! Technique Technique Technique!

    So you say you want a recipe?  Well today's your lucky day, I am not grumpy, so here goes:

    I love waffles.  The perfect waffle is a combination of technique and ingredients.  The type of ingredients matter, the proportions can be approximate.  Technique matters, but if you've flubbed a couple of things your waffles will still taste great. There's just one thing.  Do not overbeat your egg whites.  Did I say technique matters?
    A few notes on the ingredients.  Use fresh baking powder and...
  12. Student Pastry Gold.

    This is one of the two individual student golds awarded at the 2014 ACF National Convention.   Some cooking schools field culinary teams.  If a culinary school doesn't have a culinary team a student can also compete as an individual.  For a team to make it to the National competition they first have to compete in the regional competition.  This is an example of what is possible at a high level cooking school.

    Amazingly enough, despite having done well enough to win a gold medal, there were...
  13. Dinner With Team USA

    We were fortunate to have Team USA make us dinner.  Yes, there is a Team USA and they compete every four years at the International Kochkunst Austellung, aka the Culinary Olympics, or affectionately, the Kochkunst.  

    We started with passed appetizers.  There were four types, a yellow tomato gazpacho with lump crab shooter where the tomato juice was separated using a centrifuge, a tuna tartare in a nori wasabi wafer cone, a chevre cheese cake, and a pulled pork corn cake on a spoon.  The...
  14. Progressive Ideas (A Restaurant Review)

    Do we need more pictures of food from Travail?   Why not? I don't quite remember what everything was as there was just too much to remember.

    Oysters and Tapioca Pearl pudding, chive oil.  Lemon gelee garnished with a Nasturtium leaf, cauliflower puree and salmon roe.  
    Hamachi and lemon "taco."  Panacotta with prune glaze and candied hazelnut.  Summer sausage with deviled eggs.  Tomatoes with parsley oil and soy glaze.  Compressed watermelon.
    Does this count as a course or is it an amuse...
  15. Fabricating a Saddle of Lamb

    This is a saddle of lamb.  This is what appears in the grocery store cut up as lamb chops.  Lambs meant for the grocery store are butchered into thirds and this is the middle.  This is also where the rack of lamb comes from, only this has section of ribs that wraps around removed.  It also has the "tenderloin" section attached which makes it sort of like a small T-bone roast.  In the foreground next to the saddle are new potatoes and in the background are heirloom variety tomatoes, blanched...
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