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Posts by SDesforges

UPDATE:  Five Years Later...   For all of you who struggle with bread making, I wanted to post an update.  After making literally thousands of baguettes, loaves, and boules since the original post, BDL was right on the money.  Thanks, BDL.   The three biggest issues were under-kneading, thoroughly killing the dough by abusively punching down after the first rise, and extremely poor shaping techniques resulting in little to no surface tension.  If you want to handle the...
Not sure if the cause of your problems is the same as mine was but... I, too, use the Reinhart and Bertinet formulas for French bread.  As I started to make higher hydration breads (70% and higher), I was having a similar issue.  The outside was browning nicely but the inside was damp and gummy, I assume from not fully cooking.  If I increased the cooking time, the outside burned before the inside was fully cooked.  Here are a few things I did that seemed to work for...
 Christmas Eve at my grandmother's house, waiting for her to finish the crabmeat au gratin.  I can still smell the white wine simmering with the heavy cream.  She also added mushrooms with the wine and cream but pulled them out before serving.  Truly, it is a dish that brings back memories of my youth.  I also fondly remember my mother frying shrimp on Friday evenings during Lent.  She would toast small loaves of french bread and pile them high with hot, golden, crispy...
Shrimp etouffee over plain, long grain white rice. Good, hearty stuff on a cool night. Would have been better if I had not added to much shrimp stock thus reducing the viscosity. Next time, I will concentrate more on preparing the dish than talking to my guests while cooking. Still, the flavor was great.
I want to make New Orleans style French bread since I can't get it where I live now (Alois J Binder is my favorite, BTW). I searched the Internet and found a recipe that many folks said is very close to the real thing. In fact, I found the same recipe on many web sites and it received good reviews on most all of them. Here it is New Orleans French Bread Recipe Anyhow, I made it on four occassions. Each time, it comes out with a crust that is far too thick and the inside is...
I use a 2:1 (liquid:rice) ratio any time I cook rice, either plain (with gumbo) or in dishes such as jambalaya. Since jambalaya is the cousin of paella, I would assume the ratio should be the same.
I am a home cook with no aspirations of a culinary career. I'll leave that to the professionals. They work too hard for their money. Anyhow, I am an intermediate home cook comfortable with the grill or smoker and can saute or braise cuts of meat. Nothing great but I turn out some respectable dishes. I want to progress as a cook, though, since I have a passion for food. I want to perfect some other basic skills, particularly sauce making. I am capable of producing a...
that I grilled last weekend, I made a small pot of turkey and andouille sausage gumbo. Pretty satisfying on a cool winter evening.
Been listening to a lot of Buddy Guy, BB King, and something new (new to me, amyhow)...a bluesman named King Ernest Baker. ...and, as always, plenty Stevie Ray Vaughan. I'll throw in some Sarah Vaughn and Bille Holiday from time to time. I regularly add a bit of Thelonius Monk, Miles Davis, and John Coltrane. I like some of the Big Band era stuff, too, like Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman. Stan Getz gets some play, as does some New Orleans jazz stuff like Kermit...
with onions, celery, rosemary, lemon, shrimp stock, and cayenne, threw in some sauteed Gulf shrimp, added a handful of grated parmesan cheese and served it over mini rigatoni (easier for the kids smaller mouths). I added a side of garlic and rosemary roasted carrots and some fresh bread (to soak up the remaining sauce) to complete the meal. The wife and kids liked it quite a bit. I thought that the sauce needed a bit more life but I usually do when I cook. It must have...
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