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Everything posted by gperls

  1. I've been making a carrot ginger dressing that is very popular. The recipe is exactly the same as Suzanne F's, except it uses mayonnaise in place of the canola oil. I blend it in a Vitamix to get it smooth. It holds it's emulsion very well.
  2. I put a 5 cu. ft. manual defrost chest freezer in my garage a few years ago. Bought it at Costco, as was suggested earlier. I opened it daily. I found the manual defrost to be a major pain - the frost builds up badly to the extent that it was taking up storage room. Taking everything out, storing it (where) while defrosting was an afternoon's work. Plus, it didn't take long to quickly outgrow it, and it was a pain digging through the top layers to get something out from the bottom. I finally bought an auto defrost upright, 17 cu ft. with multiple shelfs and drawers. I'm much more satisfied now.
  3. I just received my order of fresh-frozen IQF shrimp from CajunGrocer.com. I cooked up these head-on shrimp in a New Orleans BBQ style - butter, herbs, seasonings. The shrimp were not peeled, slit, or beheaded before cooking. They cooked about 6 minutes in this butter/stock mixture. When I went to eat them, I found the shells very thin, thinner than what I'm accustomed to getting from my other shrimp purchases, and they were very difficult to peel, sort of like a fresh egg that takes off meat along with the shell. Is this a good indicator or bad indicator of the quality of the shrimp? Any ideas of how to make peeling easier the next time? Should I slit their shells before cooking next time? Any insight into what is going on here would be appreciated. I still have 24 more pounds of them to go through. Greg
  4. I bought a frozen lobster from Whole Foods once. Its meat was like mush. It was real bad. I won't do that again. On the other hand, lobster tails always come to my part of the country frozen; it's the only way to buy them, and they seem fine. I'm not an expert, but I recall reading that once a lobster is dead, it releases an enzyme that immediately breaks down it's muscle, making it mushy. Maybe that happened to my frozen lobster. Or maybe they only freeze the ones that come in from the boats already dead.
  5. gperls

    Shrimp Stock

    I make shrimp stock regularly, much like chicken stock, only it gets done much quicker and doesn't have so much fat to skim out. I use it for lots of cajun dishes: gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee. You can also use it in fish stews to good result, or even seafood paellas or risottos.
  6. The best BBQ beans in KC are made with bits of smoked brisket cooked in with the beans. They whole thing is then cooked in the smoker. The meat gives it a wonderful boost of flavor and texture.
  7. gperls

    Food Mills

    I like the Cuisipro.
  8. Caphalon has alot of different "models" of their cookware, from decent to flimsy. They discontinued their professional line a few years ago as they started mass marketing themselves. They go from Cadillac to Chevy. I don't know in particular which you have. The weight of the piece is often a good determinate. The stuff Target sells is their least expensive, while Bed Bath and Beyond and Williams-Sonoma sell their better stuff.
  9. On the end of the carton, right before the expiration date, is a 3 digit number which represents the julian date the eggs were packed. This is a pretty good indication of how fresh they are. And you're right, sometimes the factory eggs are fresher than the farm-fresh, local, organic ones.
  10. Snowangel, I store mine exactly the same way you do, and have never suffered any ill effects. I'm no expert, but that seems to work. I've been doing it for 5 years or more. Greg
  11. I'm in charge of picking a restaurant in Las Vegas for 12 of us co-workers. We have a budget of $100 per person, including tax and tip (not including alcohol, which we have to purchase individually and pay for separately). We are a diverse group, so a restaurant that has a variety of dishes would best appeal to everyone. If it's located in a casino so people can go right into gambling after dinner, all the better. I'd appreciate any help. I haven't been to Vegas in 30 years, so am totally out of touch with the eating scene there. Greg
  12. I just received my Niman Ranch 3-bone prime rib that I ordered through Costco. I cook a prime rib every year, and like to try different sources. I've heard Lobel's is the best, but their prices are too high for me. I thought this one would be a good compromise. It arrived at its appointed time, still frozen in cryovac. It is beautifully marbled, and not too much of a fat cap (I love making yorkshire pudding from the beef's fat). I may try a week of dry aging at home, ala Alton Brown. If interested, I can report back on how it turned out after the holiday.
  13. I second the vote for a Vita-Mix. I was in the market for a blender a few weeks ago, and saw them being demo'ed at Costco. It can do everything, and more. It comes with a 7 year warranty. I've even seen them in bars and on Iron Chef.
  14. gperls


    I always get their pasturized lump crab in a can, in the refrigerated section. Also, their 3-pack of baby back ribs and U-12 frozen raw shrimp. And when they're on sale, their Alaskan king crab legs are great.
  15. gperls

    Salt-Packed Anchovies

    I've been using these salt packed anchovies for a number of years now. I've been able to successfully keep them in their tin can until I use them up. But I've also used a tupperware-type container with a tighter lid also. I just make sure there is salt covering the top layer. It takes me about 2 years to use up a can of them, and they're good to the last filet. Greg
  16. gperls

    Pizza Sauce

    There's a brand of crushed tomatoes, 6 in 1, that makes excellent pizza sauce straight out of the can. It's the de rigor choice on pizzamaking.com. Give them a try and see what you think. You can always add some oregano, sugar, and red peppers if you want more flavors to it, but its quite good straight.
  17. Kosher chickens are also very good. They come pre-salted, so brining isn't necessary.
  18. As doctorandchef mentioned, I had a Sitram piece and used it on my gas stove. It developed that burn ring around the base. I got rid of it.
  19. About a year ago, I sent them back my 12" saute pan of the same model, and they replaced it with one from their "professional" line. I had had it for 20 years, so appreciated any replacement.
  20. Are you talking about live crabs? Most online places I've seen pass on the actual FexEx shipping cost, which is always high for overnight shipping. With you being in Wisconsin, you're about as far from any coast as you can be. Might there be a fresh seafood market in Chicago you could have ship to you? I've never seen one online, but you never know. In my town, the chinese grocery store sometimes has live crabs. It's hit and miss as to what's available on any given day, but it's a possible source for you if you have one in your town.
  21. gperls

    Do I need a chinois?

    Not being a professional cook, I've used the trial and error method to learn what works best for me. I make my own stocks, and never like that fine sediment I get, even from an expensive chinois. I finally came upon an idea to use a flour sack towel to strain through. It works the best of all for me, and is rewashable for many uses. Even that sediment doesn't get through.
  22. I always save my chicken fat, but never had a use for beef fat.
  23. gperls


    The Wal-Mart grocery stores around here sell 6 lb. frozen stewing hens for $.69/lb. In adddition to my saved bones and wings, I throw one of these in for my chicken stock. Its cheaper than what some stores sell backs and necks for.
  24. I'm not an authority, but the only differences I've read about concern applying heat to the pan itself, for browning or making gravy. The All-Clad usually comes out on top for these purposes. It's thick and heats up more evenly than others. Plus, it's color allows you to see the color of your food on the pan bottom better than the nonstick ones. I've never heard of a difference as far as cooking the turkey or roast goes.
  25. gperls

    Steak at home

    I've followed Alton's instructions with a whole beef tenderloin that I get from Costco, packed in cryovac. It's usually wet and mushy when first purchased, but if I let it dry out in a refrigerator for 5 days before I cook it, the flavor and texture has improved significantly. It makes a difference that it is untrimmed, because there's alot of surface area that has to be cut off after the drying. I wouldn't do this with a steak or other small, trimmed cut of meat, there'd be too much waste.
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