Archive | April, 2011
Guinness PDF

Modernist Cuisine: Guinness “pâte de fruit”

This one is just for fun, and is probably exactly the sort of thing that drives many anti-modernist cuisine types up the wall. For one thing, it’s a preparation that has scare quotes in its name! For another, it’s not exactly what you would call an… intuitive preparation. It is, however, exactly what it sounds […]

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Chicken wing confit

Adaptation woes: Chicken wing confit

In light of my success with the duck confit recipe from Modernist Cuisine, I decided to try a variation that would allow me to serve the poultry on the bone, but in a small enough portion to be an appetizer. In other words, I decided to confit chicken wings. I started off by tweaking the […]

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Clover Club

Friday Night Cocktail: Clover Club

Although winter has held on for too long this year, spring finally seems to have set up shop, and my drinking habits are making their seasonal shift from brown spirits to white. And since it’s Easter weekend, what could be more appropriate than a drink with eggs? I’ve written about certain egg-based cocktails before, but […]

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Autoclave onion soup

Modernist onion soup

Although beans were one ingredient I was looking forward to making in my new pressure cooker, they weren’t the main reason I decided to buy one: having recently acquired my copy of Modernist Cuisine, I knew there were going to be a bunch of preparations I would want to try that needed to be cooked […]

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Pressure-cooked pintos

The pressure is on: Pressure-cooked beans

This story is getting a little old. Every time I go and try out an idea I’ve picked up from Ideas in Food, the results are so good, so much better than the alternatives, that I wonder why I ever bothered with any other approach. The latest episode in this series is dried beans. As […]

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Twice-Cooked Scallops

Twice-cooked scallops and twice-learned lessons

Another take-home lesson from the Ideas in Food classes was the importance of brining seafood. I’ve long known that it was important to brine some fish, especially salmon and arctic char, when cooking it sous vide, to prevent protein from coagulating on the surface in unsightly white puddles of goo, but I’d never really considered […]

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What can Top Chef Canada teach us about “Canadian Cuisine”?

I have no more intention of making this blog about TV than I do of making it about restaurant reviews: frankly, I try to limit my TV consumption, and when I do watch, it’s rarely food programming anymore. But I’ve been a longstanding fan of the Top Chef series, so I was intrigued to see […]

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Macarons with Dulce de Leche

Macarons: My new favourite use for egg whites

As a predominantly savoury-kitchen cook, I don’t follow pastry trends closely – I pretty much completely missed the cupcake trend, for example – but more and more, I’ve been seeing rows of lovely, pastel-coloured French macarons in local bakeries lately. I know they’ve been trendy for several years in other cities, but trends are often […]

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Retrograde Mash 2

Retrograde redux

Unsurprisingly, I came back from Ottawa with a renewed enthusiasm for playing around in the kitchen, and especially to tackle some of the projects I’d had less success with the first time around. First on that list: retrograde starch mashed potatoes. This time, I had a better idea of what was essential to the process […]

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Chicken Skin Sweetbreads Final

Ideas in Food in Ottawa: Intro to Activa

If you’ve never have heard of Activa, or of the enzyme it contains, transglutaminase, you may nonetheless have heard the nickname it goes by in many kitchens: meat glue. But don’t call it that in front of Alex Talbot of Ideas in Food. He has two objections to the expression: first, it’s unprofessional. And second, […]

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