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Everything posted by jongchen

  1. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. That is a possibility. But I don't very often have 5 straight hours to spend in a park.
  9. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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
  16. This months Saveur has a recipe for making root beer at home Recipie It looked interesting enough so I obtained the necessary supplies and brewed up a batch. 4 days later I open a bottle and give it a try. It does not taste like any root beer that I've ever had before. Sasprilla taste, yes. But it isn't very sweet and has a very powerful molasses taste with a slightly medicinal finish. I don't really like the taste of molasses. I'm thinking of making the recipe again but with straight cane sugar instead of the molasses. Does anyone know where/how I should begin the substitution process? The recipe had 2 cups of molasses. Should I try 1 cup of sugar?
  17. This thread got me thinking. It would be really nice to have the burner specified in the first post at home. But since I don't have gas in my apartment and the thread brought up various safety concerns I don't think that it is going to work. But what about getting an electric version? I did a little searching and about the most powerful electric burner that I could find was in the 30,000 BTU/hr range. Which is kinda weak compared to 120,000 BTU/hr. I was pretty disappointed. But then I plugged the numbers into the equation above (120,000 BTU/hr) / 3.413 == 35,159 Watts. To put that number in perspective according to this article http://ezinearticles.com/?Major-Remodel---...!&id=236619 the average US home has 200 amp electrical service. To convert from amps to watts we use the formula watts == amps x volts. 200 amps x 120 volts == 24,000 watts. Which is less than 35,159 watts. So that means that if we had an electric version of one of these things it would draw more current than the average US house could provide. Interesting. To provide the needed power we would need (35,159 watts / 120 volts) 292 amp service to your house. That also assumes that nothing else in your entire house is on. The situation improves if you have 240 volt service. Then you would only need (35,159 watts / 240 volts) 146 amps of service to your house. That should give you a bit of head room. Though you probably can't run the A/C at the same time as your super hot electric burner. I guess this is why we never see electric burners this powerful for cooking. Though I hear that some glass melting furnaces are electric ... Please check my numbers though. It has been a long time since my circuit theory class.
  18. Unless you need to stir the item frequenly or are constantly adding cold ingridents you can just put your pot in the oven set to the proper temperature. Use the stove top to bring it up to temperature and then put the pot into the pre-heated oven. Works great for me.
  19. white sugar != brown sugar. Making brownies one night. Needed 2 cups of white sugar. Only have .5 cup of sugar. Hmm. What do I have that is sweet. Ah, brown sugar. Not as big a disaster as using salt. But those were some strange tasting brownies.
  20. Hey I was in Atlanta last week. Stayed in Buckhead too. I went to Nava which was in Buckhead. Great southwestern food. Kinda pricy though. I also went to Bacchanalia, new american. Very good food. They do a 4 course tasting menu. Go for the optional cheese course. Very nice. The wine paring is a nice option. I didn't care for the port or the dessert wine so it was a little wasted on me. It's a little strange in that you have to walk through an upscale market to get to the resturant in back. Took me a few minutes to figure out how to get in there. Jong
  21. Well that kinda depends on several items. Is there anything in those soffits and what is the height of your ceiling? Ikea is somewhat limited on the sizes of cabinets that they carry. According to the handy kitchen planning tool javascript:emoticon(':biggrin:') smilie their wall cabinets are only avaliable in 30" and 39" heights. They do have horizontal wall cabinets and "refrigerator cabinets" that are 15" in height so I suppose you can stack one of those with a normal cabinet to get 45" and 54" high cabinets.
  22. I recently remodeled my kitchen. In an effort to keep costs under control I used Ikea cabinets. Costs still spiraled out of control but that is another story. I've lived with the cabinets for maybe two months and here is my report on them. For people unfamiliar with the cabinets the body is constructed of fairly thick press board. They make the body in two colors, white and beige. The color of the body is only visible when the cabinet doors are open. Customization is provided via different doors and side panels. I got the medium brown wooden door. The door does not feel like a "hardwood”, it looks pretty but is fairly light. The drawers are also sturdily constructed and pull out all the way. What struck me most about the cabinets was how “clever” the designers were in making the cabinets easy to install. All the upper cabinets are hung on a rail attached to the wall. This makes it very easy to get all the cabinets hung straight on the wall. You get the rail straight and viola all your cabinets are straight. Also if you need to remove your cabinets from the walls for any reason you can. Just loosen a few bolts hidden by plastic covers and your cabinets are off of the wall. The legs on all of the lower cabinets are adjustable in height. They are pretty much like the feet on your range or washing machine. This makes leveling the lower cabinets easier. No need to insert a large number of shims into the edges of frames and such. My contractor pretty much raved about the ease of installation of cabinets. He also mentioned that he generally charged more to install “traditional” fully assembled cabinets. The reason he gave was because he had to send a minimum of two guy out to install those cabinets where as one person was sufficient to install the Ikea cabinets. I really like the cabinets, they are better than all of the cheap junk that I had in all the apartments that I rented. They are better than a lot of the cabinets that I see in 300K houses in my area (though in Northern Virginia 300K doesn’t buy you much house). The free kitchen planning software that Ikea has is also great. You can draw your kitchen out and then it has cad symbols for all of their cabinets. Once you finish your kitchen it can also render it in 3D. The best part is the software will print out a list of all the cabinets that needs to be ordered and a quote for the price. The people at Ikea were also great to deal with. They were all friendly and knowledgeable. When things went wrong with my order they even sent items via UPS to me for free. That was the good stuff. The bad stuff mainly deals with large delays in my order, and the fact that I had to visit Ikea over 5 times to pick things up. It’s great that they are willing to send items to you via UPS. But the vast majority of cabinets, side panels etc. are too large to be sent via UPS. So you are going to have to pick those items up. Fortunately for me the items that were backordered were non-critical items. But my neighbors were missing a few of their lower cabinets. It took 6 weeks to get the items from backorder. That delayed their project by 6 weeks. It took me over 8 weeks to get everything I needed to complete my kitchen. The delays that I encountered are not out of the ordinary according to my contractor when dealing with Ikea. Some hints for dealing with Ikea * Use the planning software * Go during the week so its less crowded and easier to talk to the sales people * Order your cabinets WAY earlier than you need them. I would suggest 8+ weeks before installation minimum. The bad part is that when your order comes in Ikea wants you to pick it up so you need to find some place to store them. They are all flat packed but still take up a lot of room. * Once you get your order check it over. I didn’t and mid stream had to return items and get the correct items. That delayed me by a few weeks. Checking your order over will not be any fun. I did a small kitchen and still had a shipping list that spanned over 8 sheets of paper. * Pay Ikea the $100 or so dollars to deliver the cabinets. Some of those boxes are very heavy and you’re going to need help to move them
  23. I have a Dacor electric range, RES30. The oven part is great. Very even and accurate heat. Previously my biscuits didn't brown evenly unless I rotated them. Not a problem any more. The range portion is okay. It dosen't seem that much more powerful than my cheapo GE electric coil range even though the specs says so. The thing that is nice is that the burners are offset from each other side to side so it's easier to fit multiple large pans on the stove. It is also a bitch to keep clean. But that I believe is the same for all smooth top ranges. The range surface is black. You can notice a single drop of grease on that thing from across the room (exaggerating). Unless you use the smoothing top range cleaner provided it also streaks like mad when you clean it. Oh yeah don't even consider the "back splash." The back splash was extra money and I have to say the stupidest looking thing that I've ever seen done to a stove. So if anyone is interested in a Dacor stainlessteel and black back splash it's all yours. Definatly shouldn't be a concern for buying a range but the Dacor does come with two digital timers. They are annoying to use. You have a single up and down button to set the timer. I have no idea why. But you can set time as low as 5 seconds to many, many hours. The software tries to help you out and counts the seconds slowely at first and as you keep holding the button down it starts to count minutes and then hours. It's virtually impossible to get the timer anywhere close to your desired time. The real problem for me is that the display at first shows MM:SS then when you get more than 60 minutes on the timer it switches to HH:MM. It's very confusing. There is a tiny 'H' mark on the display that says if it's showing hours or minutes. I'm so busy watching the stupid time count up on the display that I never notice it.
  24. I bring lunch every day. I do so for several reasons. -I like what I bring -It's much faster than going out so I get home earlier -The cafeteria at work is truely scary. I went there on my first day and never again I generally eat at my desk because I eat much earlier than the general population, 11am. I generally bring a sandwitch of on one of the Arnold breads. Great bread BTW. The meat and the cheese I vary from week to week. I have some pretzels to satisify my crunch urge. Then I have one of the Stony Field Organic yogurts, full fat, various flavor strawberry and blueberry preferred. That stuff is great! Then generally some sort of fruit. Fruit varies depending on season. But I gravitate towards bananns, apples, pinapple, pears, blue berries. Mangos and kiwies are too much work.
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