Szechuan Peppercorns

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Joined Sep 21, 2001
Reduce red wine with Szechwan peppercorns then add that to demi-glace. I use that over charbroiled beef or pork. Very tasty. The red wine-peppercorn reduction is handy to have around for other uses, too. I also use peppercorns for making spicy soups, and making pepper oil.
 
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Joined Sep 22, 2000
cchiu,

I do a Lemon pepper quail / dove.

1. First I toast the S. peppercorns and then crush them.
2. Season the birds w/ seasalt, anis, and a little pepper corns. I will either steam or poach the birds.
3. Then deepfry for colour.
4. Stirfry with a little sesame oil, lemon juice, and then season to taste w/ sea salt and S. peppercorns.

This was one of the first dishes I learned by my 83 year chinese teacher. Along time ago.

D.Lee
 
2,068
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
Kimmie,

That's pretty vague of you. Care to share?

Dlee,

Thank you for your response. Where do you all find them? Asian grocery stores? Do you purchase them as "Szechwan Peppercorns" where you buy them or are they commonly under other names...?

The reason I ask is because they're really the dried berry/seed of a deciduous prickly ash tree.

Other Names: anise pepper, brown peppercorns, chinese aromatic pepper, chinese pepper, fagara, fahjiu (Cantonese), flower pepper, hu chiao (Mandarin), sansho (Japanese), sichuan peppercorns, timur (Nepalese), xanthoxylum
 
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Joined Mar 13, 2001
Cchiu,

Here's the thing. I crush together a tablespoon or so of each of the following peppercorns:

- Tellicherry
- White
- Pink
- Green
- Szechuan

It's terrific on steak au poivre. And I always use filet mignon, small in diameter but on the thick side.

Am I forgiven? :eek:

I suspect you will find them in Asian markets or in stores specializing in spices.

When you find it, you can make your own FIVE SPICE POWDER

40 Szechuan peppercorns
4 inches of cinnamon stick
1/2 T fennel seeds
12 whole cloves
2 whole star anise

Grind all to fine powder.
 
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Joined Sep 22, 2000
cchiu,

With all those names you really should not have trouble finding the product. I do buy it in the asian grocery store under the name "Szechwan Peppercorns". They are not that pricy maybe $3-4 Bucks.

D.Lee
 
2,068
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
Kimmie,

Sounds delicious.

Dlee,

Apparently, according to World Merchants

This product is currently under an import ban in the whole, unroasted form because of the citrus canker that infected the crop in Southeast Asia. We will not sell it whole as it must be ground and roasted at it's origin to satisfy US import regulations. Stay tuned for updates.
 
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
I do a Tempura of ahi tuna maki style, with a szechuan peppercorn,mirin sauce with a leek fondue and black and green topika
cc
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
My Tibetan friend gave me a small bag of a 'rare and highly prized Tibetan spice' to be used in stews, not knowing that it was actually szechuan peppercorns. They are so fragrant!

CC, I have to pick your brain about your last post:

I have heard the term fondue used for everything from a 'cookyourownfood" type thing to vegetables that would be more appropriately named "confit" rather than fondue. Could you please tell me when is it appropriate to call something fondue, and when is it an abuse of terminology? Also, what is a topika?

Thanks! :)
 
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
fondue [fahn-DOO]
From fondre , the French word for "melt," the term "fondue" has several meanings.

The first three definitions pertain to food cooked in a central pot at the table.

1. Fondue au fromage is a classic dish of Swiss heritage consisting of cheese (usually EMMENTALER and GRUYÈRE) melted and combined with white wine, KIRSCH and seasonings. Bite-size chunks of French bread are dipped into the hot, savory mixture.

2. Fondue bourguignonne is a variation whereby cubes of raw beef are cooked in a pot of hot oil, then dipped into various savory sauces.

3. Another version is chocolate fondue, a combination of melted chocolate, cream and sometimes LIQUEUR into which fruit or cake may be dipped.

4. In French cooking, the term "fondue" refers to finely chopped vegetables that have been reduced to a pulp by lengthy and slow cooking. This mixture is often used as a garnish, usually with meats or fish.

confit [kohn-FEE, kon-FEE]

This specialty of Gascony, France, is derived from an ancient method of preserving meat (usually goose, duck or pork) whereby it is salted and slowly cooked in its own fat. The cooked meat is then packed into a crock or pot and covered with its cooking fat, which acts as a seal and preservative. Confit can be refrigerated up to 6 months. Confit d'oie and confit de canard are preserved goose and preserved duck, respectively.

From the Epicurious.com Dictionary
 
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Anneke,

Tobiko is flying fish roe,
For the fondue of leek I use unsalted butter 6 leeks finely chopped, some garlic and mirin. For the fondue melt one of the tablespoons of butter,put in the leeks and garlic and saute till translucent,deglaze with the mirin and reduce 3/4 and mont with the other tablespoon of butter
cc
 
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Joined Jan 5, 2001
Ooooooooooooh.... Tobiko. I knew that one.

Thanks for the fondue method.

Can you use the term 'confit' for vegetables cooked in oil but not to a pulp? I've seen leek rounds done this way and fingerling potatoes too. Is that an abuse of the term confit?
 
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
Anneke,

Yes, I believe the term you are looking for is "confit". For clarification, there are others which might help clarify for future reference:

Confit
This term is a French word that is best translated as preserving. It has 2 meanings--one for the savory kitchen and one for the pastry kitchen. In the savory kitchen, it historically refers to a meat submerged in flavorful rendered fat and cooked slowly until very tender. Confit has recently been expanded to include interpretations such as slowly cooking meat, fish or vegetables in a flavorful oil such as olive oil (which may or may not be infused with secondary flavors). Confit has also been applied to anything that is cooked slowly, while not necessarily being completely submerged in fat , i.e. confit onions. This last savory interpretation is probably closely related to the pastry department's use of the confit. To the pastry chef, confit refers to candied fruit--fruit cooked slowly in sugar syrup until tender.

Ratatouille
A vegetable stew consisting of onions, eggplant, sweet peppers, zucchini, and tomatoes flavored with garlic, herbs, and olive oil. Traditionally simmered until all of the vegetables are quite soft and the flavor has blended into one, ratatouille takes on the appearance of marmalade. Newer versions reduce the cooking time, allowing the vegetables to retain some of their original identity.

Arlésienne
French for rings or slices of vegetables cooked in oil.

a la Grecqua
(French) Meaning in the Greek manner. Term describes vegetables cooked in a mixture of oil and vinegar, or lemon juice, with seasoning added. Serve cold or chilled.
 
2,068
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Joined Dec 30, 1999
I'm of the understanding that if you have the Szechwan berry (aka peppercorn) you only use the outside shell to cook with and not the seed in the seed in the middle because it tends to be bitter.

What do you all do?
 
4,508
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Joined Jul 31, 2000
Yes this is true CChiu, Thebest way to use the dried berry is to buy it seeded,When you buy the powder the seeds have been ground with the skin of the berry.
If you ever have the chance to buy "sansho" this is a very similar berry to the sichuan peppercorn, they are from Korea mostly.
It has a slight numming effect instead of heat like a true peppercorn and is used in japanese cooking to add a sharp note to fatty foods
cc
 
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