Thursday, October 22, 2009

Aspic preparation-Clarifying stock- accepting the challenge

Frank and Dinah challenged me to do an aspic so here's my first attempt. I made stock with roasted chicken bones, cellery and onions...I did have to add a boulion cube to give more flavor.

To make the jelly you need to use some type of thickener - in Holland we have the gelatin sheets like in France....but first if your stock is cloudy - you need to clarify it - make it clear in other words.
My stock was wicked cloudy so I turned to Julia for the solution. When you first read it you're like - this will never work - but amasingly enough it does. You need to boil half of the stock but keep the other half cold....beat egg whites into the cold stock and slowly add the boiling stock to this mixture and then put it back on the heat until a sort of foam forms on the surface...this is where I started to groan and laugh when reading the recipe - but really it's not that bad - the description is way more complicated than what you actually have to do....turn to low and move to one side of the burner so only 1/4 of the pan is touching the heat surface - do not stir - repeat 3 more times rotating the pan to get all see the shit rising to the surface! (page 111)
Julia says to strain it through four layers of wet cheese cloth - please - two layers of damp papertowels in a fine strainer works just fine.
After you strain it off you add the gelatin leaves while it's still warm - they should disolve pretty quickly otherwise you'll have to put it on a low heat....add some madiera wine and put some in your molds to let it set to create a bottom - which will actually be the top - think ahead - it's like jello and needs time to set.

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