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Reductions - a Matter of Faith

 
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Mats
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PostPosted: Fri 08 Apr, 2005 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reductions - a Matter of Faith Reply with quote

I have been toying with various reductions lately (mosty beef). Whenever I do, I am always tested at the final moment. Even tho' I know everything will change at the last moment, I sometimes lose faith. For example, I just tried a recipe from a book called "The Foods of Venice". In the recipe I tried, a fillet of fish is placed in a cold pan, drizzled with olive oil, and salted. It's then covered with slices of ginger, minced garlic, rosemary sprigs, peppercorns, some lemon juice, and a cup of orange juice and a cup of water. This is all placed on a hot burner (covered) for 5 min. The lid is then taken off and the liqiuid is reduced to a thick sauce. Here is where the "faith" comes in. This watery liquid doesn't taste of much - one is tempted to take the fish out and thicken the sauce with starch. BUT, waiting just a few moments sees the sauce suddenly turn dark and thick and tasty. It's just a matter of faith!


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David
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My faith is tested every time I whip cream. My ritual is to say "There's something wrong with this cream... it won't... oh, there it goes".
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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David wrote:
My faith is tested every time I whip cream. My ritual is to say "There's something wrong with this cream... it won't... oh, there it goes".


That very thing happened to me yesterday. I don't usually whip a lot of cream so I don't usually lose heart. But I was making a black forest cake which calls for whipping 375ml of cream. At one point, I stopped whipping and went to look at the cream container to make sure that we hadn't made a mistake and bought coffee cream instead. I continued whipping for almost a minute more before suddenly seeing those telltale signs of the cream steadying.

The only other time that I've experienced this need for faith is in making red pepper sambal. The instructions are to stir fry chopped red pepper for five minutes until it turns deep red. Amazingly it really does take five minutes. Every time I make this sambal, at about the 4+3/4 minute mark, I think, "this isn't going to turn dark red!" And then 15 seconds later, hey presto!

MEF, that fish dish sounds really good. The fish doesn't get overcooked at all while the sauce is reduced?


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DataRyder
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Reductions - a Matter of Faith Reply with quote

MEF wrote:
I have been toying with various reductions lately (mosty beef).


I once listened to a well known chef (I can't remember who - but he *was* well known. Honest! I swear to God he was!)

When it came to reductions he talked of the virtues of turkey bones. He said there's nothing better. Local markets in his area, he went on to say, were often short on turkey bones because they were so highly sought after by other chefs.

In Toronto's Kensington Market the Poultry Specializer (sounds kind of science fictiony doesn't it..? Specializer...Zap!) St. Andrew's Poultry sometimes has turkey carcasses for sale. If no turkey they *always* have chicken carcasses. So does the asian market around the corner on Spadina. A couple of bucks will get you a pretty big bag o' bones.

For making a really good reduction, the very simple method our well known chef gave was this:

Roast the turkey (chicken?) bones in an oven until browned - and smell really good. Place all your nicely browned bones in a stock pot and using your favorite stock recipe make a good stock. ==> http://etherwork.net/recipes/soup.html#chickstock

Sidebar: One technique for our stock that we've been using for about a year is to start with cold ingredients and then *very slowly* bring the stock up to temperature. The other day I put the stockpot on a spacer and used the lowest temperature our stove top has. Our stock was on the stove for 4 or 5 hours without having come to a boil. But it was vaporizing nicely for most of the afternoon. The house smelled good too. At the last minute I do bring it to a boil, take it off the stove, allow it to cool somewhat then strain. This slow steep method really makes for a richer, headier stock, imo.

This 'baked bone' stock is really an amazing base for reductions. Just boil the sucker down until it's reached it's desired thickness, season for taste and 'Bob est ton oncle.' The method would work well for any bone I suppose, but a poultry base reduction certainly goes well with any meat. A little red wine can also be added and makes the stuff really shine like a dark ruby on your plate. For fish; I've never tried but for a robust fish, instead of red wine a little citrus?

-DataRyder


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Bramble
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 3:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

oh my, no reading about deliciousness before brekkie!


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Lawless in Lotusland
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PostPosted: Sat 09 Apr, 2005 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bramble wrote:
oh my, no reading about deliciousness before brekkie!


Have you ever used any reductions in breakfast cooking? stomp stomp stomp whoo hoo! whoo hoo!


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llizard (aka ejm)
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PostPosted: Sun 10 Apr, 2005 8:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bramble wrote:
oh my, no reading about deliciousness before brekkie!


But isn't that the best time? Then you can plan well for your whole day of dining. skip

(I see that you posted at 3:12pm. Just how late in the day do you wait to eat breakfast, Bramble? la la la)


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