The Food Thread

Fwiffo

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How does one get decent unblemished basil leaves? I bought one from a specially grocer and some from the market and I probably threw out 3/4 of the leaves. I'm making a caprese salad not stir frying it in some Thai dish so I'd like them to look immaculate. They came from Costa Rica and Florida respectively. I'm inclined to go grow my own basil now.
 

Pauly Chase

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Seafood boil
IMG_20200524_165217.jpg
 

QuandoDio

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Cooking an Uygur delicacy:

Boiled sheep head.

Lindsay is freaking out.

Take away the yucky factor and it is quite palatable. Sheep's head (pickled) is a nordic delicacy and I have had a few in my time, and sucked the eyeballs out too.

I'd say though, boiling ( and even pickling) 'meat' is a pretty terrible way to prepare meat. Though I get the tradition.
 

Pauly Chase

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Eyeballs are the best.

Sheep heads I bought were skinless, so not much meat left. I usually mix the meat with some cumin salt and toss in the wok with chopped red onions jalapenos, it tastes awesome with warm naan.
 

Dropbear

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I ate monkey brain soup once, because it would have been rude not to. Never again.
 

Pauly Chase

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When I went to Guangzhou for the first time, the exotic food capital of the country, someone told me about a restaurant that serves exotic meat only (tiger, crane, bear paw, monkey brain, armadillo blood). We walked by it and then walked away. Not for me , not for me.

Supposedly monkey brain was served via live animal......
 

fxh

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When I went to Guangzhou for the first time, the exotic food capital of the country, someone told me about a restaurant that serves exotic meat only (tiger, crane, bear paw, monkey brain, armadillo blood). We walked by it and then walked away. Not for me , not for me.

Supposedly monkey brain was served via live animal......
Wuhan Bat stir fried or steamed?
 

fxh

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Cooking an Uygur delicacy:

Boiled sheep head.

Lindsay is freaking out.
when I was young on the farm I used to kill a sheep for the family every fortnight. I’d read about sheep’s head soup so I tried it once or twice but in those days there was no net and I didn’t have any recipes. Made a good stock you could see but a bastard to skin and clean.
 

QuandoDio

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when I was young on the farm I used to kill a sheep for the family every fortnight. I’d read about sheep’s head soup so I tried it once or twice but in those days there was no net and I didn’t have any recipes. Made a good stock you could see but a bastard to skin and clean.

Man, that's cool. You couldn't really get stuff like that these days without some 'connection'.
 

Arnathor

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when I was young on the farm I used to kill a sheep for the family every fortnight. I’d read about sheep’s head soup so I tried it once or twice but in those days there was no net and I didn’t have any recipes. Made a good stock you could see but a bastard to skin and clean.
What was your favourite thing growing up?
 

Sammy Ambrose

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when I was young on the farm I used to kill a sheep for the family every fortnight. I’d read about sheep’s head soup so I tried it once or twice but in those days there was no net and I didn’t have any recipes. Made a good stock you could see but a bastard to skin and clean.
As a student in the UK in the 70s, I had a Libyan flat-mate. He would roast sheep heads in the oven for 24 hours, flavoured with cumin, coriander, chilli, basil and garlic. Superb. I'm off out now to talk to my butcher.
 

fxh

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As a student in the UK in the 70s, I had a Libyan flat-mate. He would roast sheep heads in the oven for 24 hours, flavoured with cumin, coriander, chilli, basil and garlic. Superb. I'm off out now to talk to my butcher.
But there's fuck all meat on a head.....
 

Sammy Ambrose

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But there's fuck all meat on a head.....
There is. On the cheeks. I'm talking about, slow, slow roasting. If you boil, you end up with a bone broth, which is full of goodies, but not very fleshy. Slow roasting is another story. But you need a fat Australian or New Zealand woolie to start with.
 

Arnathor

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Made a nice barley and vegetable soup with my Instant Pot last night, the cup I just had for lunch today tasted much nicer than yesterday's dinner. Have had a lot of legumes lately.
 

Kingstonian

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Due to the pies in the brexit thread, Pimpernel Smith Pimpernel Smith Kingstonian Kingstonian etc., what do you think about this chicken and ham pie, starting at 17:07:


Ist that something traditional (but made deliciously) worth trying?
Yes definitely worth eating if someone put it in front of me, but quite time consuming to make.

I don’t watch TV chefs, but your man had a sensible tip about untying the chicken to allow the legs to cook thoroughly. However, he was also using a blow torch and making his own elaborate chicken stock and a thickening ingredient I had not heard of. He did not make the pastry - but it was only a lid anyway. Pies often have a base too.

Resident cooking expert Fwiffo is better placed to offer an informed critique. Even if Fwiffo does not do pies, he would know if the process makes sense or if there are any short cuts. I have had home made meat pies put in front of me and they can be superb, but I cannot add anything useful about pie preparation
 

formby002

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Yes definitely worth eating if someone put it in front of me, but quite time consuming to make.

I don’t watch TV chefs, but your man had a sensible tip about untying the chicken to allow the legs to cook thoroughly. However, he was also using a blow torch and making his own elaborate chicken stock and a thickening ingredient I had not heard of. He did not make the pastry - but it was only a lid anyway. Pies often have a base too.

Resident cooking expert Fwiffo is better placed to offer an informed critique. Even if Fwiffo does not do pies, he would know if the process makes sense or if there are any short cuts. I have had home made meat pies put in front of me and they can be superb, but I cannot add anything useful about pie preparation
I very much doubt the Fwiffo could offer any worthwhile critique of Heston Blumenthal's cooking given that Blumenthal is one of the best chefs in the world.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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Due to the pies in the brexit thread, Pimpernel Smith Pimpernel Smith Kingstonian Kingstonian etc., what do you think about this chicken and ham pie, starting at 17:07:


Ist that something traditional (but made deliciously) worth trying?
It's traditional and he hasn't made it that much different from the normal way of making it. I prefer pastry on the bottom as well, a proper pie. Where cooks can go wrong, is too many leaks. That really spoils a chicken and ham pie.

The British kitchen is limited compared to say the Italian or Chinese, and there wasn't a great eating out culture until recent times. So British food can still get a bad press as being stodgy fish n' chips or Sunday dinner meat with three vegetables.
 

Kingstonian

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I very much doubt the Fwiffo could offer any worthwhile critique of Heston Blumenthal's cooking given that Blumenthal is one of the best chefs in the world.
I very much doubt Fwiffo’s approach would involve the use of a blow torch for food preparation. So I will go with a simple but sound approach.
 

formby002

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I very much doubt Fwiffo’s approach would involve the use of a blow torch for food preparation. So I will go with a simple but sound approach.
Blowtorches are used for lots of things in the kitchen, not all extravagant. Creme Brulee being one...
 

güero

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Thank you guys! I looked around online a bit for some recipes, I have two nice ones from Kylemore Abbey, for an Irish cottage pie and for a sheperd's pie. Wanted to try both for a long time and was reminded by the brexit thread. From the online recipes, I found the above most appealing. I don't think it's overly complicated and if the result is better than a standard pie, why not?

I prefer pastry on the bottom as well, a proper pie. Where cooks can go wrong, is too many leaks.
That's interesting. However, the pastry on the bottom and the sides will inevitably become soggy, if prepared as above, right? Or is a good pie crispy all around? I think the perfect pie would probably be in spanakopita spiral form, or like börek. So crispy all around and with a higher ratio of pastry to filling, so that you get a lot of crunch with every bite. But I want to start with the traditional version.

The British kitchen is limited compared to say the Italian or Chinese, and there wasn't a great eating out culture until recent times. So British food can still get a bad press as being stodgy fish n' chips or Sunday dinner meat with three vegetables.
I'm hoping Heston Blumenthal has changed that impression a bit. He doesn't do only fancy stuff, but also a lot of boring, traditional dishes like the ones you mentioned - but in a way that is super-delicious. I think he even has/had restaurants that only serve traditional fare and pub-type meals. Check out his recipe for Scotch eggs for example, looks really nice (well, for a Scotch egg...).
 

QuandoDio

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Heston Blumenthal is one of the greatest chefs of his generation and known for a bit of molecular gastronomy etc and his flagship restaurant has been at/close to the top of the world's best lists for over two decades so he knows his stuff. I have his 'cooking at home' book and it is excellent but I have cooked many four things from it as it is ...a lot. His 'poached egg' recipe is excellent and really the only reliable way I use to make good poached eggs.

However, Heston is often really elaborate and not really realistic for many and his adherence to a wet brine on poultry has mostly been discarded/improved. This video is old? Dry brine of sorts is the way to go for most meats.

Re 'pastry on the bottom' - it is just your basic blind baking, done properly etc, the filling shouldn't sog out/ have a soggy bottom. Shepherd's pie is different from cottage pie and that is different from chicken and ham pie -which the Yanks often make as a chicken pot pie.
 
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Fwiffo

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I can't bake. I did make a toad in a hole once and a wellington with boiled eggs that turned out to be a disaster.
 

Fwiffo

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Blow torch for simple cooking ? Yes or No ?

Isn't that like asking if sous vide should be used every day?

I don't have a blow torch. There's a rule in my building that I can't bring propane into the lift.
 

Kingstonian

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Isn't that like asking if sous vide should be used every day?

I don't have a blow torch. There's a rule in my building that I can't bring propane into the lift.
Good man. I had to look up ‘sous vide’ though.
 

Fwiffo

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My brother bought a machine with a remote control so you could prepare it in the morning and then time your cooking to start for when you leave the office and come home.

But like all kitchen gadgets they get used for awhile and then stashed in a dusty closet forever.

My brother had a blowtorch when he went through a creme brulee phase.
 

güero

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Blow torch would help with getting a low-temperature chicken crispy as well.
 

Fwiffo

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I've come across using it in a few recipes. It would also be nice to get rid of residual chicken or pork hair which I have a pet peeve against.

I would miss using it to char an oily fish like black cod or mackerel.
 

Fwiffo

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On a typical day I usually eat a little after 6a, and then again at 7p. I don't eat anything in between when I'm at work except coffee and tea - all black.

I do have lunch on weekends.
 
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