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  1. french fries

    Do you grind the stems from cloves along with the rest?

    I'm making Garam Masala. I remember reading that you had to use only the ball at the tip of cloves in spice mixes? I wonder if the stems can also be ground along with everything or if you do have to take the time to separate the ball from the stems and use only the ball. I don't mind doing it, I...
  2. french fries

    Why cook ground beef until it sputters?

    I often see in recipe instructions "cook the ground meat until it sputters". Why? What does the sputtering mean and what does this achieve? Thanks!
  3. french fries

    V channel grates in Argentinian grills

    Has any of you ever cooked on a grill with V channel grates? I wonder if they truly make a difference and if they're truly better than regular flat or circular bar grates? Thanks!
  4. french fries

    What do I do with California, Guajillo, Pasilla-ancho and Morita chile!?

    From my last trip to the U.S. I brought back a bag of bulk California chile and another of Guajillo chile, only now I don't know which is which. Is there a way to tell visually? Or by taste test? I also have a couple of bags, labeled, of Pasilla-ancho chile, and Morita chile. Any idea what I...
  5. french fries

    Chicken quesadillas, Guacamole, and.... what else?

    I'm planning a small get together with a few friends, I'll be making chicken and cheese quesadillas, guacamole, served with sour cream, Cholula and green tomatillo salsa... wondering what else I could serve that would compliment that? Any ideas? I'm not picturing people sitting down for too...
  6. french fries

    Cooking with truffles... ideas?

    A friend of a friend gathered black truffles from the south of France and is now selling them, so I bought a few, at €400/kg I suppose that's a good deal considering the prices around here. This will be my very first time cooking with truffles, so I'm not too sure what to experiment with. Off...
  7. french fries

    Melt-in-your-mouth braised / slow-cooked meat dishes?

    With the winter setting in around here, I'm craving all kinds of meat dishes where the meat is braised or slow cooked, preferably where the meat is fork tender, sweetly caramelized or doused in a deeply aromatic luxurious velvety sauce... only I tend to always go back to the classics I know. Who...
  8. french fries

    The huge Kalbi experiment (Korean short ribs — in the oven now). Crossing fingers.

    So I found these two HUGE short ribs at the market. About 2.5 lbs each. Beautiful, meaty cuts from the Charolaise breed; not too fat at all. Decided to try a Kalbi slow roasting thing. I know, it's not the right shape for that cut, not the right size (at all), not the right marinade, and not...
  9. french fries

    Another walk in the forest! Making crème de marrons (sweet chestnut cream)

    So now that mushroom season is nearly over, I went back in the forest and this time found chestnuts!! Made crème de marrons which is quite labor intensive but oh so precious to me for the upcoming cold winter season morning breakfasts!!! Here's what I found: I brought back home 4 kg of...
  10. french fries

    Walk in the forest, I found some nice Porcini mushrooms!

    Here's what I found today! And how I prepped them.
  11. french fries

    Acid in marinades: why?

    As I am marinating some pork skewers in olive oil, oregano, smoked paprika, garlic, coriander and cumin I find myself wondering wether or not to add lemon to the marinade. I've always instinctively added lemon to my marinades, and I also remember reading somewhere that a marinade nearly always...
  12. french fries

    Korean Fried Chicken (and fried chicken in general)

    Ok here's a fried chicken question I never really found the answer to. Should the 'batter' be dry or wet before the chicken goes into the fryer? I mean, let's assume you're marinating your chicken in buttermilk or soy sauce or what have you so that it's kinda wet-ish. You coat it in flour or...
  13. french fries

    Will a tough cut of meat always get tender with braising?

    I wonder, when braising a tough cut of meat, does it always end up tender after a while (say 3 or 4 hours), or do some really tough cut, or certain quality of meat never really go tender?
  14. french fries

    Slow dry-baking HUGE short ribs in the oven

    So here in France we're getting those HUGE short ribs (while most everything is bigger in the States vs in France, cows seem to be the exception). Just got two short ribs (just about 4 lbs). So nostalgia here we go, now that I live in France I'm craving good old American barbecue, and I'm...
  15. french fries

    Hollandaise: why use clarified butter vs butter?

    When making Hollandaise sauce, what is the reason for using clarified butter vs using butter?
  16. french fries

    Bought all those dried chilis, now what do I do?

    While traveling, I bought a bunch of dried chilis because I cannot get them here in France. I got: Chile Guajillo Pasilla Ancho Mulato Chile Morita California chili Now I need to come up with some ideas on how to use them... ?
  17. french fries

    Has anyone tried making their own curry powder?

    I have a craving curry powder roast chicken. The kind of curry powder you can find in western supermarkets. Only I don't have curry powder. I have tons of spices, but no spice mixes, so no curry powder. I found recipes online for curry powder, including typically turmeric, cumin, coriander...
  18. french fries

    How to "season" a new mortar and pestle?

    I just got a new rather large granite mortar and pestle, the brand is Kesper. I noticed that there's fine stone powder coming off as I rub the pestle in the mortar... is there something one needs to do before using the mortar and pestle? Other mortar/pestle reviews indicated some kind of...
  19. french fries

    What's the upper basket drawer of your freezer for?

    I was given a small freezer with 3 medium size drawers and 1 upper basket drawer that's 1" or 2" tall. What is that basket drawer for? It looks like it would be good to freeze stuff that I want to keep flat.. but other than that? Thanks!
  20. french fries

    Roasting a whole duck?

    I was thinking about roasting a whole duck... I've done it twice in my life. The results were okay but far from stellar. The meat was a bit dry. Certainly the breast meat was dry. I understand that the idea way to cook a duck is to separate the breast meat from the leg meat as they don't cook...
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