Hard Drive Crashed - Again

Part 3 of the pigeon egg thing will have to wait since my brand new 100 gigabyte hard drive has bit the dust. Just got it in January and here, 6 weeks later, it's history.
Do the words UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME on a big blue screen strike you as familiar?

It's a Fujitsu drive for my IBM ThinkPad T30. 100GB which I got to replace the 40GB Hitachi/IBM drive that crashed in November.

It started out with funny noises, evolved to reporting bad file record segments (which I briefly fixed with a chkdsk /f and then proceeded to being unmountable.

Huevos de Codorniz / Pigeon Eggs 63°C/145°F for 15'

Part 2: The eggs

The idea here is to cook the eggs slowly so... pull out your trusty Roner Digital Control Immersion Thermostat (pdf link) and get ready to cook. No, I don't have one either; so this is what I actually did.


  • 6 pigeon eggs (fresh)
  • heatproof (Pyrex) bowl (for the eggs and some water to cook them in - not too big)
  • digital thermometer

    (in-oven type - with cable for remote sensing - preferably with an alarm)
  • tablespoon - to handle eggs and to stir the water
Try to trick your oven to, with the help of a bowl of water, to maintain a very constant 63 degrees Celsius.
  • Fill bowl with water; leave room to add the eggs later
  • Place bowl in oven
  • Place thermometer probe in water
  • Close door and set oven to 100C /200 F. If it's a convection oven turn on the fan. If you've got vapor...use that too.
  • Set thermometer alarm to 63C / 145F or watch the temp carefully
  • When water reaches 63C put in the eggs (the temp will drop - sorry)
    • Stir the water to move it around
  • Set timer for 15 minutes
  • Set oven temp to 150C / 275F - to make sure the heating elements go on
  • When the water reaches 63C again (a few minutes)
    • Give the water a stir again
    • Set oven to 60C (to turn off elements)
  • After the 15 minutes is up
    • If the temp if <60c
      • Stir water again
      • Set oven to 75C
      • Cook for 2 more minutes - just to be sure
    • Any other temp - - remove the eggs
  • Plunge in cold water (to stop the cooking)
  • Put them in the refrigerator to cool

Later I'll post about constructing this into a dessert / pre-dessert dish.

Toffee / Caramel Sauce Recipe

The first thing I'm making from the El Bulli 2003 2004 book is Huevos de Codorniz 63°C/15' con Tofé (tofee). a.k.a. Pigeon Eggs 145°F/15' with Toffee.

Part 1 - Toffee


  • 100 gr sugar [3 oz.] (I actually used 185 because it looked so to be so little in my big sauce pan and that was what was in the rest of the bag)
  • 100 gr 35% Cream (actually used 185gr; to equal the sugar)
  • scale - to weigh the ingredients
  • heavy saucepan
  • wooden spoon
  • small hearesistantnt bowl - to heat the cream
  • plastic sauce bottle
  • small funnel (optional)
  • Sugar in the bottom of heavy saucepan (the tall, straight sided type). I used my Mauviel.
    • No water; you're cooking the sugar alone
  • Apply heat, shake, to melt sugar (I also stirred -probably to excess)
  • Meanwhile, heat cream until it's steaming real well (not boiling). I use the microwave on 30% power
  • Cook sugar until a golden brown caramel color
  • Add cream to sugar
    • It will boil and foam up very vigorously; quite a surprise; which is why you needed the tall-sided pan
  • Cook, stirring, over medium heat, for 5 minutes to blend cream with the sugar
  • Let it cool (I poured it into another small bowl for this; so I could wash the pan immediately)
  • When 1/2 cool, pour it into the sauce bottle (easiest to do when it's still fairly runny)
    • Maybe use a little funnel to help
  • This filled an 8 ounce sauce bottle.
  • Store refridgerated.
  • Remove from fridge before use; use a room temp.
Next step…… the eggs - in the next posting.

El Bulli 2003 2004

Menu 9 april 2004

I bought the book today. €140 isn't cheap; but the Larousse in Spanish was already €100 so for the extra 40 I got this instead.

Two volumes, a folding card and a CD. Includes all the pictures, recipes, background and techniques. The works. Looks to be worth it. If you wanted to do a Bulli menu yourself - - you could.

Probably available in English in the fall.

If I actually make any of this stuff I'll let you know

I Love Monkfish (Lomo de Rape)

The title of this post should actually be "I Love Rape"; because 'Rape' is the Spanish word for 'Monkfish'; but it doesn't scan well in English. Might be misunderstood.

- Oven at 200 C (400F)

  • 550 gr lomo (strip/fillet) of monkfish (1+ Lb)
  • 2 shallots (sliced superfine)
  • 1/2 head of broccoli (chunked into flowerettes)

  • Place monkfish in oven pan
  • Place broccoli flowerettes next to fish
  • Sprinkle chunky salt over broccoli
  • Drizzle olive oil over broccoli
  • Sprinkle shallots over fish

  • Stick in oven for 15 minutes
  • Then, cover broccoli with aluminum foil

  • Continue cooking for another 15 minutes

At this point the internal temperature of the Rape is 60C

Stop, remove everything from the oven. Eat.

Me, this is what I had for dinner tonight. Simple. Dead simple.

Personal Chef

I'm investigating becoming a Personal Chef as a career and have collected a number of links to some sponsoring organizations (US-based). I'll quickly blog them here.

Personal Chefs Network: Uses the dreaded Comic Sans MS font a lot.

US Personal Chef Association: Very nice web site design.

American Personal Chef Association: A "colourful" red/blue web site. Sort of painful to look at for too long.