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Just found this site a few days ago.

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Hi! I'm britt.
I started cooking when I was about 10. My Grandmother was a free lance carteerer in Chicago. I used to help her on summer vacations. She moved here from Germany after WW1. She worked at the Drake hotel as a pastry chef for about 10 years and went on her own. Her clientele was mostly the Jewish community in the Chicagoland area. She was a fabulous baker. Back then I thought that was girlie stuff and didn't take much interest in it. I really regretted that later.
Through High school I did the Mr. Steak thing at a very busy location in Denver. Learned early how to keep it together under pressure.
I got out of the service '77. Worked as a resturaunt cook while I was finishing up college. Got my first taste of upscale eateries and knew where my heart was.
I was very fortunate and worked with some great chefs. I moved around a lot and tried to learn as much as I could. I started to participate in the culinary competitions in the Denver area. I was certified by the CCAF in 1981.
My first chefs job was a seafood place in Downtown Denver. I spent my last 5 years with Specialty resturaunts. My last position for them was Chef at Baby Does' overlooking Mile-hi stadium. We were doing 125,000 + week in food sales(that was at mid-80s' prices). When the Broncos played at home, we could plan on 2000 covers for Sunday brunch and around 800+ for dinner. My Health started to go bad and I moved to Ohio for a sales job.
I still got the "bug". After a few years I met a couple who were struggling with their resturaunt. It was an old CorknCleaver. That was the worst kitchen to work in. Tight and just no equiptment. We got a good crew put together trained. Things really got popping. I was able to keep up for about a year and a half. Then my health started acting up again. Back in '98 I met the chef at a local C.C.. He needed a sous-chef. He knew my conditions but I wanted to try one last time. 6 months and I had my second heart attack.
I stayed in sales after that. I just went on SSI disabilty last year.
I try to keep my hand in at home. But I have a wife who likes to say, "why can't we have normal food?'. LOL.
britt
post #2 of 24

I stumbled on this forum a few days ago, too.

Hi and welcome, Britt. I came across this site when I was surfing for some help with a confit. My first job was as a cook for a little neighborhood restaurant when I was 16. I kept that job for 3 years, and after the first few months, ran the restaurant alone in the evenings after school and weekends and maxi-full-time in the summers. In college I cooked in the dorm for an ever-evolving group of friends. After that, my career was never cooking, but it has always been my passion. A constant throughout the 35 years since college has been a weekly dinner party, no matter how busy my life is with other demands. I'm now semi-retired from the practice of law and enjoying more time in the kitchen. Cooking keeps me focused and calm, gives me an outlet for creative energy, and perhaps best, gives me the opportunity for fellowship and joy with friends and family.

About that confit? I have prepared goose, rabbit and duck confit (legs only of all three) and am planning to serve all three at next week's dinner party. If anyone has any ideas on presentation, I'd be grateful. As accompaniments I'm thinking snap peas steamed in lettuce leaves and tiny new potatoes.

Any suggestions?
post #3 of 24
Thread Starter 
That guy who peddles the new orleans itching powder and (a thousand and one other hyped up products), says its the best topping for a baked potato. Other then that its a primary ingredient for cassoulette. Made it once or twice but never got into it.
Did you seal it with its own fat or olive oil. I thought the olive oil gave a better flavored end product.
britt
post #4 of 24
I sealed all three with goose fat. I've made cassoulet and garbure before, but this time I want to serve the legs on a platter, after roasting them briefly to crisp and warm them. On other occasions, I've ground a bit of a vaguely Moroccan combo of spices (black peppercorns, nutmeg, cloves, orange rind, rose petals, grains of paradise and ginseng) over them and drizzled a little balsamic vinegar over.

I'm just trying to come up with an idea for presentation on the platter -- maybe some sliced fruit (I live in California, and every imaginable fruit grows in my backyard) or something.

Patricia
post #5 of 24
welcome to you! i'm new here too.
heres my suggestion...meyer lemon and blood orange sliced on the round, thin like stained glass, on a pale yellow plate! or rolled la cornu, placed around the confit. do you get honeyberry? a few of those sprinkled about would be pretty, too, and good to pick and nibble at.
post #6 of 24
That sounds great, and I have Meyer Lemon and blood orange trees in the back yard. Super thanks!
post #7 of 24

Ambitious

hello everyone, im new and i just found out about this place today. SO i decided to join because it seems very interesting. I was looking for kosher gelatin and i came upon this website. so nice to meet you all.
If anyone can answer my question, i would like to know if there is any store in chicago where i can find kosher powder gelatin? i need to make chocolate mousse as soon as possible. :chef:
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post #8 of 24
Hi, ambitious, and welcome to the forum!

According to this Jell-O is kosher. So You don't have to go crazy looking in specialty stores. I don't know about knox gelatin, but you can always call the helpline for most products and get an answer. Good luck.

http://users.rcn.com/sue.interport/food/gelatin.html
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #9 of 24
Thread Starter 
My Grandmother was the expert on this. I just did what she told me. A lot of her functions were done in a temple and we a Rabbi looking over our shoulders to make sure we were on the right track.
I would think the concern is not that jello can be considered Kosher, as far as edibility. The issue would seem to be the incorporation of the meat by-prouduct and dairy for a mousse would be a no-no.
My suggestion would be to make a more traditional mousse using whipped egg whites.
britt
post #10 of 24
Britt, jello is considered neutral - can be used with either meat or dairy. However, I agree that the traditional whipped egg white method is the best anyway.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #11 of 24
Thread Starter 
I'm not sure there. Just from my limited experience, the Orthodox/Kosher rules are very inflexible. I could be mistaken here; but my understanding was that combining any meat(or meat product) and dairy was strictly forbidden. And as, ambitious, made a point of the Kosher aspect, I would procede with caution here. As I said I'm in over my head.
Thanks for the backup on the mousse. A mousse with gelatin is like a nobake cheese cake. Might as well buy SarahLee.
britt
post #12 of 24
Wow! Lots to respond to today.

First of all, I'd like to extend an official Chef Talk Cafe welcome to Britt, Ambitious and Patlaw. You all sound like eager new members, and we'll be glad to see you here often.

As for the gelatin question: Britt is absolutely correct. Rabbinic authority on kosher rules is ironclad. Here is a site with authoritative information on the circle-K items, which are acceptable to most Orthodox Jews. To make a very long, detailed article short, use agar-agar or carrageenan- not gelatin- if you're making kosher food and aren't absolutely sure your gelatin is kosher. Unless you are able to locate truly kosher gelatin (and it does exist!), go with these products, as they are made from plants.

This page has the symbols of kosher certification used around the world. If the product you buy has one, it means it's been supervised and considered officially kosher by an Orthodox rabbi from one of many, many Orthodox groups.

I suggest searching this site, because discussions of these topics have taken place in the past. Also, asking at one of the pastry forums will also get you a response. Several of our pastry experts either are Jewish or have catered to Jewish patrons (and to Muslims who observe halal). They can help you with questions and product sources.

Regards,
Mezzaluna
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post #13 of 24
Wow! Great page Mezz. Thanks. I had no idea it was that complicated. I assumed jello was ok based on it being: kosher/pareve and my kosher kitchen (but not orthodox) friend's say so. Obviously, it's not that simple.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #14 of 24
depending on the movement, different ones have different kashering boards.
go to the site judaism101 and hit the kosher definition page; they have links to the main certification outfits.
post #15 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the clarifications. If I overstepped my bounds, I do apologize. I was wrong in getting involved in an important issue that I have so liitle knowledge of. After reading over that site, I saw a number of KEY points I was totally wrong about.
I should have made the suggestion on egg whites for the mousse and left it for others to handle.
britt
post #16 of 24
^ Me too. I'm only half Jewish. Shouldn't have said anything. Apologies. :(

Did mean well, though.
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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post #17 of 24

a salmon crunchin' muk, thats me

me three. i went kosher as a vegetarian.
anyway, lets remember, the subject here is a chocolate mousse. what did you finally decide britt? and by the way, good for you for asking, and being curious.
post #18 of 24
No problem, Britt. I'm "totally" Jewish and saw nothing to be concerned about in your post.

One thing I love about this site is that we work together to solve culinary challenges. The array of people here is vast, and we all have something wonderful to bring to the table.

Enjoy!
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post #19 of 24

Ambitious

thanks everyone, that was a lot of help, i was a bit busy with school so i didn;t have time to reply,
now as Kerryclan said, just used the whipped egg process, im not sure if that would work becasue i am making raspberry mousse, and i really am an amature
but then Mezzaluna said use agar- agar, is it a powder? do i use it instead of gelatin, and i would hate to ship it form over seas which will take days.
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post #20 of 24
Thread Starter 
Heres' one I found from Bon Appetit

Exported from MasterCook II *

Raspberry Mousse*

Recipe By : Bon Appetit Magazine 1985
Serving Size : 8 Preparation Time :0:00
Categories : Desserts And Sweets

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
3 Cups Fresh Raspberries -- or
30 Ounces Frozen Raspberries -- thawed and drained
-- liquid reserved
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tablespoons Cold Water
1 Tablespoon Light Corn Syrup
3 Egg Whites
1/2 Lemon
2 Cups Whipping Cream

For Mousse:
Choose a few perfect raspberries for garnish and set aside. Puree remaining
raspberries in processor or blender until very smooth. Transfer 2 tablespoons
of puree, with seeds, to measuring cup. Strain remaining puree into mixing
bowl, eliminating all seeds. Add enough strained puree to the 2 tablespoons
to measure 1/2 cup. Set aside. Chill remaining strained puree, which will be
used as sauce.
In a small heavy saucepan combine sugar, water, and corn syrup. Bring slowly
to boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally and brushing down any sugar
crystals from sides of pan with brush dipped in cold water. Raise heat
slightly and cook until temperature of syrup reaches 240 F (soft ball stage).
While syrup is cooking, beat 3 egg whites in a mixer until stiff.
As soon as syrup reaches 240 F, lower mixer speed to slow and pour hot syrup
onto beaten whites, in a very thing stream. When all of the syrup has been
incorporated, raise a mixer speed and beat meringue until cool.
Stir together the 1/2 cup reserved raspberry puree and lemon juice and fold
into the meringue until nearly blended. Whip cream until stiff and fold into
the meringue until blended. DO NOT OVERMIX.
Source: New York's Master Chefs, Bon Appetit Magazine : Written by Richard
Sax, Photographs by Nancy McFarland : The Knapp Press, Los Angeles, 1985
Chef: Andre Soltner, Lutece Restaurant, New York

No geletain.. I hope this helps.
britt
post #21 of 24

Ambitious

thanks britt. that was a lot of help. i can't wait to make the mousse. it will be great.
:bounce: :lips: :D :) :p :chef: :roll:
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post #22 of 24
Well, I'm glad that's solved!

Let's continue these conversations in the cooking and baking forums, where questions can get more attention- and more participants. :D
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post #23 of 24
Thread Starter 
Dear my thread was hi-jacked..
I think I handled it well.
britt
post #24 of 24
You sure did. How'd that happen? Oh, well, it was a good thread though. :p
"Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks." -Lin Yutang
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