Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Changing of the seasons

I feel like I've been quiet lately, and I have because I've been busy - much busier than I was when I first started this blog and had plenty of free time on my hands. I'm not going to get any less busy any time soon and I like what I do for work (I get to learn about rare and very weird diseases and they pay me well to do this), but a line from the movie "Julie and Julia" (I FINALLY watched it this weekend) struck me as relevant. In the scene, Paul Child (Stanley Tucci) asks Julia (Meryl Streep) "Well, what do you like to do?", to which her response was "I like to eat!", leading to a career as a culinary icon. Now I love to eat, but I have no visions of making a living as a professional eater, so I think I'll continue to use this blog as an outlet for the (many) times when I would rather be eating but can't.

Thankfully "Julie and Julia" didn't trigger any cravings for French food (I'm highly suggestible) and I liked the movie so much better than the book (Julie as the writer was so whiny I was ready to throttle her). What did trigger a craving though was an episode of America's Test Kitchen. The topic was old fashioned burgers and fries, and the episode started with a trip to NYC's mecca of all things burger, Shake Shack. ATK then demonstrated the method for making griddle burgers at home, using flat sirloin steak or flank steak, short ribs, a freezer, and a food processor. If that already wasn't enough to get me intrigued, they demonstrated a novel method for making crispy fries.

This was also a relevant discovery since the husband attempted to make fries in the oven for poutine. They didn't come out well - soggy and uncooked in spots, though it didn't really matter much when drowning in melted cheese curd and gravy. I'm scared of deep frying on our gas stove and I refuse to buy a deep fryer, but ATK has potentially converted me. Why? Because they put the potatoes in cold oil and heat everything up together to a rollicking boil. Using a large dutch oven where I don't have to introduce cold potatoes to a vat of sizzling oil is just fine by me. According to ATK, it takes about 20-25 mins to make a batch of perfectly crispy fries. They adapted the technique from the renown French chef Joel Robuchon and who am I to argue with him? I imagine the man knows a thing or two about frying. We'll attempt this method on the weekend and will report back if we don't burn the house down!


Jennifer said...

I've been wondering if you were just obsessed with making ice cream and were going to wollop us with many a flavor type post!

I've never had poutine....I need to try it!

Deep frying is terrifying on an electric stove-I think I might freak out if I had to do that on a gas stove.

PharmaFoodie said...

I think I've just been swamped between work and then catching up on reading for the book clubs... but I did find time to make a new batch of ice cream (see next post). Not sure it's going to make it to Saturday, so I've got the next flavor planned already...

Poutine is best when a) hungover, or b) after skiing or ) whenever hungry. :-)

At least you attempt deep frying! The only way I'm going to do it is to cut the ATK recipe in half so it will only be 3 cups of oil in the giant dutch oven.

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