perhaps this is an unorthodos response to the book of the month topic, but im finding that there are a lot of unusual tricks and tips in these books - Id be interesting in the responses of others who might have tried the recipes about whether the ideas are good.
Here are a couple ive tried so far -
roasted peppers - Wolfert advised putting the charred peppers in a plastic bag, letting them steem a bit and then massaging off the blackened skin - you then remove the peppers, swab off the skin bits, clean out the insides and wipe again to dry. I found this intriguing, effective in getting off the skin but messy, using up a lot ofpaper towels. Havent eaten the dish yet - not clear how much flavor this process preserved vs. washing off thepeppers at the end - any other thoughts? (I will write my notes on the dish after eating it - it is sposed to spend a day in the frig before eating.
use of wetted crumpled parchment paper in cooking pan - I dug out a roll of parchment paper crumpled and wetted it and placed it as prescribed over my oxtails and under the lid in the braising pan (there was no indication that it should stick out of the sides of the pan so all of the paper simply sat on the surface of the stew, spread to the sides of the pot as well as possible.. At the end of the two hour cooking time, I noted there was water on top of it - I removed it, with the enclosed water and tossed - is this what the paper is for, to catch condensation and keep it from going into the stew? any ideas? Verdict on the dish, which is not yet finished but smells wonderful, to come.