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Old 09-20-2006, 08:47 AM   #1
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Nice... finally found a hearty webforum for sharing cooking info.

My name is Nick, and I'm a 24yr old foodie from Western Massachusetts. My first inspirations were watching "Great Chefs", Graham Kerr, Julia, and Yan on the Discovery Channel and PBS. Started picking up books like Fannie Farmer and bought my first 8" with my paper-route. Then I was a devout FoodTV watcher when it first came out with David Rosengarten, Two Hot Tamales, Grillin n' Chillin, and Emeril's original show. Haven't watched any of the newer stuff in the past few years though, because I ditched my cable service.

Started getting much more involved three or four years ago when I picked up the CIA's "The Professional Chef" and McGee's "On Food and Cooking" along with my long lusted-for All-Clad and Wusthof gear. I make/freeze all my own stocks/glaces/sauces now, and have become a "From Scratch" nut.

Anyhoo, over the past couple years I've been working on perfecting my techniques on American Regional fare and French Bistro grub. I hope to pick up some tips and give some out if I can. - Thanks!


Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver
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Old 09-20-2006, 08:52 AM   #2
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Welcome to the site!

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Old 09-20-2006, 09:51 AM   #3
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Welcome Nick. I'm sure all your questions can be answered here so ask away. We'll be asking you for answers too!
Please spay and neuter your pets. The Animal Rescue Site
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Old 09-20-2006, 09:57 AM   #4
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Ciao Nick!! Welcome to the forum, we are glad that you have found us!! Hope you will have tons of fun.
Well, btw I would love to hang out with you in this forum but please stay away from me when we are at a concert!!
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Old 09-20-2006, 10:49 AM   #5
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Hi Nick! Welcome! I'd be very interested in your French bistro fare...!
'Never eat more than you can lift.' - Miss Piggy
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Old 09-20-2006, 12:08 PM   #6
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Hello and a great big welcome.
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 09-20-2006, 01:25 PM   #7
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Talking Happy Wednesday

Hi Nick - welcome to DC. You have chosen the best Cooking Site to be on with great cooks and chefs and great personalities.

Jill and Jolie
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Old 09-20-2006, 02:23 PM   #8
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Welcome. It's great to have you here with us.
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:05 PM   #9
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I'll throw one of my recipes up before I venture into the other parts of the forum. French Onion Soup - A bistro style soup everyone loves. I played around with alot of recipes, and combined all the qualities/techniques that I felt worked the best. Started with a magazine recipe circa 1980's, added homemade brown chicken stock ala the CIA ProChef, made some modifications after reading Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles book (mainly the bacon & balsamic), and then added a few extras in from various other recipes and my own experimentation. Here is a copy from my digital cookbook I keep so I don't have a zillion pieces of paper in a shoebox.
French Onion Soup

A perfect soup for cold days - it goes excellent with a smooth red wine and thick piece of beef (great setup for a Chateaubriand amongst two). Slice the onions thinly, and short enough to fit in the bowl of a spoon. Be sure to caramelize the onions to a very deep brown coloration, building a thick fond on the bottom of the pan. The Calvados and port really enhance the flavors of the soup. The sweetness of the balsamic ties everything together. A good brown chicken stock is absolutely essential here, don't skimp with canned stuff or you'll be disappointed. The bacon adds a hint of smokiness, and an underlying essence of pork. Be sure to use real Gruyere cheese, as there is no substitute for that salty/nutty/sweet flavor that melts out and infuses the broth. Mozzarella may have the stringy quality, but it falls on it's face in the flavor department. I use regular yellow onions, as they don't overwhelm the broth with caramelized sugars like Vidalias or Reds.

3-T Butter
4-T Clarified Butter
1.5-oz Bacon (Minced to a Paste)
2-lbs Yellow Onions (Thinly Sliced)
1-fl.oz. Calvados (Fine)
1-fl.oz. Port
1-fl.oz. Balsamic Vinegar
1-qt Brown Chicken Stock
5 Large Cloves Garlic
1-t Black Peppercorns
1 Sprig Fresh Parsley
1 Sprig Fresh Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
8 Baguette Rounds
12-oz Gruyere Cheese
Kosher Salt - To Taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper - To Taste

Serves 4

Pre-heat the oven to 375*F. Tie one garlic clove (crushed), the peppercorns, fresh herb sprigs, and bay leaf in a piece of washed cheesecloth.

Melt three tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook long enough to fully render the fat, then add the sliced onions to the pot and caramelize to a deep brown color. De-glaze with the Calvados, port, and vinegar. Add the stock, and cheesecloth sachet. Bring to a simmer and cook, reducing slightly, for 30-45 minutes.

While simmering the soup, crush the remaining 4 cloves of garlic and add to a small saucier with the clarified butter. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce to medium-low and cook until the raw garlic gives way to a nutty golden-brown color and scent. Brush the baguette rounds on both sides with the garlic butter, and bake in the oven until golden-brown and thoroughly crisp. Remove the croutons and allow them to cool on a ventilated wire rack. Position the oven rack to the highest possible position, and turn the broiler on.

When the soup is ready, ladle 6-8-oz into each crock, top with two croutons, cover generously with the sliced Gruyere (allowing plenty to hang over the edges), and broil until the cheese is melted and mottled black. If the broiler is not powerful enough to brown the cheese, a handheld torch can be used after the cheese has melted in the oven.
The soup and croutons can be prepared a day ahead. It actually tastes even better if allowed to work it's mojo overnight. Then the next day you can whip out bowl after bowl like nuthin'.
I'll be posting in the Roasted Chicken thread sometime this weekend. Roasted Chicken is one of my obsessions.

Thanks again for the welcome.
Nick ~ "Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators." - MacGyver
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Old 09-20-2006, 07:10 PM   #10
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Nick, your recipe sounds perfect. Welcome to the family.

Come visit my foodie blog: www.SockmonkeysKitchen.com
This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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