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Julia Child Award nominations for 199...

Rebecca's picture

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If you'd like to see the list, go to IACP Online.


If anyone has been cooking from Jean-Georges, please let me know. I'm having problems w/some recipes and need some help & advice. Thanks! Rebecca

mangia!'s picture

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Thanks for this, Rebecca. Has anyone tried Carole Walter's Pies & Tarts? What's your review, if so?

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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I think that I have raved about the book many times before. One more time--it's great.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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I have used Jean Georges. What are your questions.

Rebecca's picture

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Thank you, MC, here goes:


1. Pork in Caramel Sauce: medium-high to cook the sugar seemed way too high. It foam-boiled & I think it was cooked too much, esp. since it gets cooked more w/the shallots & pork. Almost no sweet flavor left w/slightly bitter taste. We still liked it but it wasn't great & I have a feeling it should have been sweeter/richer based on the recipe description.


2. Sticky Rice: Mongo was the only one who liked this - very blah w/out added salt. No worse than regular rice. An easy way to prepare this rice but the coconut flavor is not discernable. Should it be? We didn't go beyond step 2 (no banana leaf steaming). Bittman says this is a-okay.


3. Broiled Chicken Breast w/Cloves: very bland w/almost no flavor of cloves (my cloves are quite pungent & fresh). Should the cloves not be blanched?


4. Glazed Fall Vegetables & Fruits: Are the cooking times too long? I even cut down the last 10 minutes to about 3 minutes because by that point, the potatoes, radishes, and turnips had turned to mush. Not an attractive dish to look at (I don't care about this, though). So, the final verdict was: there was no glaze to look at, but we did have a pile of somewhat mushy veg & fruits that were very delicious. Then again, all that bacon is very flavorful.


5. Halibut en Papillote: Made w/cod. It was easy & very good but very plain. Worked fine.


6. Of course, we had to try the Apple Confit: Here we made the caramel over medium heat & it worked fine. The final product was basically stewed apples. No way it could be cut like a cake. It baked for 6 1/2 hours & didn't shrink as much as the recipe said it would & the apples were meltingly soft. There was way too much liquid and the taste of orange was very sharp, almost like a liqueur, but pretty good; much better & little mellower after a couple of days (we even used 4 oranges instead of 5 since they were large). The recipe description says, "...apples, layered with sugar and citrus slowly cooked so that they retain their shape but melt into a dense all-apple cake..." It did not appear that the ingredients cooked/melted together at all. Now, our apple slices were closer to 3/16" thick but the recipe says to make slices "about" 1/8" thick. Should the oven temp be lower, cooking time longer, slices thinner?


So, no real disasters but where is the touted "genius" and "difference" to these recipes? The results are quite unspecial. Our favorite was the fish in papillote but that is a basic and not very new preparation. Where is the surprise in that 1/2 lb. of bacon will make something taste good? Also, even though I don't mind recipes that leave out a lot instruction (its okay w/me if they assume the reader has above average cooking skills - I have & manage fine) there could be a little more guidance like, if your apples are too thick, the confit just won't work, or whatever = since the ingredients & methods are billed as "simpler" than many other recipes, there could have been some caveats put in. Advice for these recipes in particular or for other recipes in the book? Anyone else w/similiar results?


Did I just choose the worst recipes in the book? Are the others just spectacular? They all sounded so good but now I'm hesitant to continue (The Complete Meat Cookbook was slated for the next round of meals...should I just skip to this?) BTW, I'm grateful MC for your tip about finishing rice in the oven. This has been great for us!

mebird's picture

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MC,

I missed you're advice about finishing rice in the oven.Would you mind terribly posting it again.
Thanks.

janehall's picture

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Looking forward to future visits with you! Jane

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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Saute shallots or onion with butter until soft. Use a straight sided saute pan. I usually make basmati rice which is 1 1/2 cups stock for each cup of rice.
Add rice and stir to coat about 2 minutes. Add stock (chicken), bring to a boil, cover and put in prehaeted 400 degree oven for 16 minutes. Remove, let sit covered for 5 to 15 minutes. Fluff, season and Eat.

MEAN_CHEF's picture

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Well, you caught me. I have only made one of the recipes. Mainly because I have different tastes. Sticky rice sucks no matter how it's made..Too bland.
Don't like the flavor of cloves as a predominent thing. The halibut is a plain white fish. Would be better than cod though. The other two I can't help with.

The caramel sauce is tricky. Sounds like you overcooked it. The trick is to remove the pan from the stove immediately when it turns caramel color and plunge the bottom into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Then you can continue with the rest of the sauce without risking that burnt taste. Caramel will keep cooking after you remove it from the stove if you don't stop it.

I have made only 7 or 8 things from the book so far and have had decent luck with all of them. The savoy slaw is to die for. I use powdered Colemans mustard.

Personally, I much prefer the content of the Complete Meat Cookbook. Absolutely everythig I made from this book was excellent.

Chiffonade_'s picture

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Mean - if there is anyplace near you where you can get Chinese Breakfast, try sticky rice there. I have had it 2 ways, prepared in banana leaves with meat and served under a rounded glass bowl with lots of minced veggies and other ingredients.

It really doesn't suck.

Rebecca's picture

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Thanks, MC. I'll be more careful w/caramel in future and putting the pot in ice water sounds like a good idea. What else have you tried and would you make it/them again? I started w/the recipes that sounded easiest and that might please everyone, 6- and 8-year olds included. They liked the stuff better than I did! The slaw sounds very good. We took tonight off and had toasted cheese sandwiches made w/homemade sourdough bread & butter (my mother always used margarine instead - yuck). I'm rambling...too much cheese.

Gerard's picture

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Rebecca,

I wouldn't expect a recipe to dictate your personal taste in salt any more than tell you how much sugar goes in your coffee.

My wife, being Chinoise, makes glutinous rice.
It sucks but I don't tell her.
The texture is just too strange.

Usually cloves overpower anything.

The variables involved in baking anything can render instructions useless, the type of pan alone can change the rate it cooks. Then theres your oven.
Ditto on the apples.

nihon_no_cook's picture

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Rebecca, be ashamed of yourself! There is no such thing as too much cheese! You want a second opinion, talk to my cardiologist . . .