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jongchen

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    Alexandria (Northern Virginia)
  1. jongchen

    Eric Ripert's New Knife Carrier

    I'd totally do it if I had the cash. You have to say it is less stupid than buying a Ferrari and then only driving 60MPH in it.
  2. jongchen

    Sani-Tuff cutting boards

    I have a stack of these boards and yes they came with a fine rubber powder when they were new. But the powder rinsed off with a little water and a soft sponge. I generally scrub the boards with one of those plastic mesh cleaning sponges and don't seem to generate any new rubber powder.
  3. jongchen

    Quick Strain Tin

    After playing around with the tin for a few days I've reached a few conclusions. It works as advertised. You really don't need to use a separate strainer. But then again if you have a little talent you shouldn't need a strainer if your using a boston shaker. In theory you can just strain the ice out by leaving a small gap between the tin and the glass when pouring the drink out. That never worked well for me. I could never get the gap just right to let my drink out without splashing and not letting ice chunks out. I always had to use a separate strainer. My concern with the quick strain is that it does not work well with standard pint glasses, it leaks. The seal is fine when you begin shaking the drink but once it gets slightly cold the drink begins to leak out. This is not a problem with the other boston shakers that I own (one made by rosle which came with its own pint glass, a cheapo $6 tin from a restaurant supply store and a generic pint glass). For the other shaker I always get a very tight seal and there is never any leakage. In fact you need a very significant "tap" on the shaker to break the vacuum to separate the tin from the pint glass. I have not figured out where the leak is coming from. The lip of the glass is well below any of the straining holes. So far I've found two ways to make the tin work. The first (tiring) way is to very tightly hold the pint glass to the quick tin when shaking. You must maintain constant firm pressure or you're going to have a leak. The other way is to use a metal mixing tin. I used a generic 15oz from a restaurant supply store. The 15oz tins are what you see a lot of pro-bartenders use. The down side to using the 15oz tin is that it get cold much faster than the pint glass. For drinks that need a lot of shaking I need to use a towel to hold the tins. At the end of the day I like the quick strain tin because it is one less item to wash. But I'd like it even more if it would work well with a standard pint glass like ever other tin that I've tried. Here is the quick strain tin with the "small tin." The small tin fits much deeper in the quick strain tin. This may be why it doesn't leak. But I think that it is because the softer metal of the tin allows more "flex" to get a better seal. http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/gallery/image/146721-quick-strain-with-15oz-small-tin/ This is a standard pint glass with the quick strain. It sits much higher than the "small tin." http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/gallery/image/146722-quick-strain-with-pint-glass/ As you can see the pint glass lips are well below the level of the straining holes http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?/gallery/image/146723-quick-strain-pint-glass-gap/
  4. jongchen

    Ikea Kitchen

    I have a kitchen with Ikea cabinets for over 3 years I like them. They are durable and I have not had any problems with them. One good thing with Ikea is the mounting system for their upper cabinets. The upper cabinets are all mounted on a single rail so they are easy to move / replace. It saved my contractors a lot of work when they had to run some new wiring in my kitchen. It also looks like they hardly ever change their shapes. So in theory I can go in and buy all new cabinet doors and give my kitchen a whole new look with minimal work.
  5. Check out this thread. The burners are cheap and much more powerful than the Euro brands. Safety is a different story. But 6,000 watts are not enough. You need something in the 35,000 watt range to stir fry like the restaurants do. Not exactly feasible at home.
  6. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    I have eaten at Hershel's. The pastrami there is amazing. So it is not smoked? Amazing. You are correct, the pastrami at Hershel's does stand up to Katz's. I prefer Katz but Hershel's is at least 95% as good.
  7. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    So I cooked the "pastrami" this weekend. This is it after the simulated smoking I ran out of time and wrapped it in tin foil and put it in the fridge overnight. I just finished cooking it tonight and here it is I brined it for 14 days which was too long. I only soaked it in smoked flavored water for 1 hour. That was not enough and the meat is really salty. Next time I need a shorter brining time or longer in clear water time. I did not put enough rub on the outside. It was only 1 table spoon each of coriander and black pepper. Next time much more to get a better coating. I slow roasted the meat over a pan of water in a 275 degree oven for two hours. I don't think it was long enough. The meat was moist but not falling apart. I think I need to go longer next time. I took it out at around 2 hours because the internal temp was already 180 or so and I was worried about over cooking it. As to the smoke flavor... there was just a hint of it but nothing I'd write home about. Next time I think I'll put the liquid smoke in the original brine solution and see how that turns out. Another experiment would be to just skip the whole simulated smoking part and just cook it until it is done the first time. Another thing to try.
  8. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    That is a possibility. But I don't very often have 5 straight hours to spend in a park.
  9. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    I though about that but discarded it for two reasons. The first being that it would generate a lot of smoke in my apartment which isn't that easy to get rid of. The other being that the cameron generates very hot smoke. It would cook the corned beef too quickly and not get enough smoke penetration. Stove top smokers work very well for thin items that do not need a very long smoke. The corned beef is very thick and needs something like 1 hour per pound. The stove top smoker is not designed for that.
  10. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    I cooked the corned beef by boiling it in water with additional spices. But I had to soak it in plain water for 1 hour before cooking. I cooked it once without the pre-soak and it was too salty.
  11. jongchen

    Making Pastrami, No smoker

    I have made corned beef at home a few times using Alton Browns recipe. It has turned out well. My true love though is pastrami. My problem is that I live in an apartment so I do not have a smoker. Pastrami is supposed to be cold smoked or smoked as slowly as possible in a hot smoker. The general rule that I've seen is 1 hour of smoking time per pound of pastrami. This pretty much rules out any type of stove top smoker. I suppose I could rig something up in my oven but I wouldn't have any way to get rid of the extra smoke. What I'm going to try to experiment with is liquid smoke. My current plan is to Do 10 day cure of the corned beef with the regular picking spices Take the corned beef out of the brine and then soak it in a liquid smoke and water mixture for 1 hour Added cracked pepper and coriander seed to outside Spritz with liquid smoke Bake in 200 degrees oven until internal temp of 150 (simulates smoking) Steam pastrami above pan of water in 275 degree oven until fork tender Any comments regarding my plan? Has anyone tried this already? Am I setting up myself for a miserable failure? Anyone work with liquid smoke before? Do I need to err "marinate" the corned beef in the water and smoke mixture longer? I could add my reasoning for all the steps above if anyone is interested.
  12. jongchen

    Whole roasted red snapper

    It depends on your objective. Are you faithfully trying to follow the recipe or using it as a starting point for your personal interpretation? If you are faithfully trying to follow the recipe then no. Sausages are going to be providing flavoring (in this case a spicy smokey flavor), fat and salt to the recipe which plain shrimp will not do. If you do replace the sausages with shrimp then you will need to be more aggressive with your seasoning to make up for the loss and possibly add some fat to the recipe. You will lose the smoky flavor. I'd say you can use bacon but you're trying to avoid that. Personally I would just skip the sausages and use some extra salt and pepper. I think the shrimp / fish combo is a little weird.
  13. I agree with the above. I've used a Thermapen for deep frying and candy making and it was a PITA. It kept turning itself off and you have to hand hold it. I suppose you could rig something up to hold it to the side of the pan but it would still turn off.
  14. jongchen

    Can Champagne Fly?

    The cargo holds are pressurized, though not heated Pet Transport I'd be more worried about the baggage handlers.
  15. jongchen

    Eva Solo Knife Block

    I had been eying the Eva Solo Knife Block Block ever since I saw it in the MOMA store in NYC. I just got a new knive (a Nenox Guyoto) and my current knife block is out of space. That gave me an excellent excuse to buy the block. The block is made out of plastic with a plastic accordion like liner. It has a fairly shallow angle and is tall and narrow. It has a brushed aluminum look for the exterior. Some web sites incorrectly describes it as made out of aluminum. The angle of the block is fixed. Some web sites incorrectly describes it as being adjustable to a flat version. It is not. Looking at the Eva Solo web site it seems like they sell two versions an angled and an flat version. I have the angled version. Pros: This is very subjective, but I really like the way it looks. It is very compact and holds a lot of knives. I have 2x 10" chefs, 1x 8" chef, 1x 10" steel, 1x 8" slicer, 1x 8" bread, 1x 6" chef, 1x 8" boning, 1x 3.5" utility, 1x 2.5" parer and 1 pair of scissors in it. There is a lot of room left over. The accordion like insert keeps all the blades separated and there is no chance of them contacting each other. The insert is also removable so you can clean it. That is a bigger plus than you can imagine. Especially if you have people in your house that puts knifes away dirty and wet. I am pretty fastidious about putting my knifes away clean but the bottom of my old wooden knife block was a little moldy. Ick! The manufacturers web site also recommends putting other stuff in the block like spatulas. Mine pretty full so I haven't tried it. Though I can see the utility of it. Cons: It is expensive. I paid around $120 for it plus tax at the MOMA design store in NYC. It is tall. If I slide it all the way under my cabinets I can't get the knifes out of it. It is "tippy." The block is made of plastic and thus very light. Due to the angle you have to be careful when pulling your knifes out. You need to pull your knifes straight out or you risk it falling forward. If you like your knives in a specific position you need to pay attention when putting it away. There really aren't any specific slots. You can put a knife in any "pleat." Conclusion: Even with the cons I still love the block. I like that it is compact. I like that it holds tons of knifes. I like that it doesn't only hold the knifes that the designer of the block wants you to store in it. Close up of block with knifes Another close up block in its normal location
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