Monday, June 8, 2009
The general rule when making pasta seems to be 100 g flour : 1 egg plus a little water or olive oil to moisten the dough for a softer finish. Deep yellow pastas owe their richness to a higher ratio of egg yolks to flour, consequently reducing or leaving out egg whites altogether. A sprinkle of salt helps to reduce the necessary kneading time and allowing the mix to rest for at least an hour acts to fully saturate the flour for a smoother and more pliable dough.
I gave the Farina method for pesto an attempt. The idea of soaking basil to prevent discolouration through the removal of chlorophyll is a new one for me but it seems to work quite well. The pesto isn't cooked but merely heated through by the warmth of the pasta itself and a little cooking water to melt the parmesan so I opted for the addition of roasted garlic instead of raw.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
Thomas Dux, internationally codenamed: PROJECT BASIL.
Currently under informal investigation by the ACCC, masters of competition regulation.
In April 2008 the first large, mainstream gourmet grocer created by Woolworths, branded Thomas Dux opened in Lane Cove, followed quickly by a second in Paddington with much success, due largely to increasing consumer demand for organic/ sustainable produce. Early May this year saw a Macro Wholefoods Market acquisition by the supermarket chain coupled with a plan to essentially re-brand eight other existing Macro Wholefoods stores in New South Wales and Victoria.
The latest Surry Hills grocer was unveiled last Saturday with the support of Geoff Jansz and after much hoohah with free nut samples at work I went to have a look at it myself. While browsing the honeycomb rack I was introduced to a very friendly Benjamin who offered much product knowledge and a taste of the lightly misted and aesthetically perfect fruit on display.
A close scrutiny of every single shelf in store revealed a behemoth of quality products not available from parent supermarkets: white truffle-infused olive oil, Carême puff pastry, a range of Molini Pizzuti flours, Australian Biogenic cold-pressed nut oils, Nolans Road organic extra virgin olive oil, both red and black Scandinavian Lumpfish roe, smoked trout, goat's milk, real honeycomb, Barambah Organics dairy products, absolutely humongous chocolate slabs I've only ever seen at Chef's Warehouse and so on. Phew! And that's not even mentioning the flawless fruits (including guavas!), fresh pasta products, artisan cheese, spices and meat products on display.
Grant Corbett, Surry Hills Store Manager says:
".. It's open house every day at Thomas Dux. When you step through our doors you'll find market fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan-style breads, local and imported cheeses, oils, pasta and sauces, a great range of meat and poultry, lots of organic choices from fruit and vegetables to grocery and a menu-size range of pre-prepared meals. And if you feel like a taste of whatever tempts you in store... just ask! .."If you haven't yet been, I suggest you take the opportunity for some gourmet grocery shopping the next time your fridge needs refilling. Prices are ridiculously standard if not better than some.
Simon Johnson white truffle oil 250ml
Thomas Dux - $26
David Jones Bondi Junction - $30
Woodside Cheese Wrights goat curd 125g
Thomas Dux - $8
Ocello - $9
Thomas Dux Surry Hills
Shop 1, 285A Crown St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
P: (02) 8354 0388
F: (02) 9332 3582
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
"For those people that don't know what molecular gastronomy is, it's basically a very precise way of cooking that involves taking an ingredient and then presenting it in a dish in an entirely different way and in a different form and texture. So basically I took peas, and then using spherification techniques reformed them to a different shape." - Aaron