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  1. Knives - Global G2 vs GF33

    Furi's advertising says "Engineered in Australia", but the knives are made in China. I've also used them and not loved them. ChrisZ, re your original question - G2 or GF33? - you answered it yourself in the first line of your post: "I have been intending to replace my 25+ year old Wusthof chefs knife with something newer and lighter." If you want lighter (and cheaper), choosing between those two, it's the G2. The GF33 is 50% thicker and a lot heavier.
  2. Assuming he's the Chris Wright I think he is, he's in Philly. Try United Refrigeration; they stock vacuum pump oil and have 2 locations near you: 606 Spring Garden and 4111 Whitaker http://www.refrigerants.com/locations2.aspx?cy=US If that doesn't work, here's a Thomasnet listing of vacuum pump oil suppliers in Eastern PA: http://www.thomasnet.com/eastern-pennsylvania/oils-vacuum-pump-54942404-1.html
  3. Fresh Spanish Chorizo

    +1. I think the OP has 2 unrelated issues; the mealiness and the lack of juiciness. The former is is most often caused by not keeping the mix cold, as TheTinCook and others suggest. There's some discussion of how this happens here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/79813-sausages-cook-off-17/page-6 The latter is most likely just not enough fat. Whole commercial pork shoulder is (these days) often about 15% fat. You need at least double that to make a decent juicy sausage. And I agree with EnriqueB's recommendation to use a coarse grind for chorizo, or at least grind the fat coarse.The fat should be visible here. I sometimes add small cubes of fat (sharp knife, almost frozen fat) to my chorizo. For more colour, you can add some unsmoked mild paprika.
  4. White Pepper

    1- Thai and many Chinese dishes. White pepper is the default kind in Thailand and some other parts of Asia (and even Europe). And also in light-coloured western dishes where I don't want black flecks. 2 - Yes, frequently. 3 - Yes, I have a dedicated ginder for white. 4 - Yes, for western dishes I usually grind it very fine to avoid flecks (it's not really 100% white, so finer is better for hiding flecks) 5 - Both. Coarse grind and/or whole for Thai cooking, fine grind for western. 6 - Thai for white pepper. Black pepper from Vietnam or India. Some white pepper can be a bit funky as a result of the frementation used to get the skins off. I avoid those. It's good to find a source where you can smell before you buy... in my case, I'm often buying in markets in Asia, so that's not a problem.
  5. Question about aging meat

    Don't worry about it if you're braising them. Just thaw and cook until tender.
  6. Capelin

    Capelin must be in season; my usual dim sum place has had them as a special the last couple of weeks. They give them a light coating of what I'd guess is cornstarch and deep fry them whole, bones, eggs and all, and plate with a sprinkle of minced quick-fried garlic and chili pepper. Very yummy.
  7. At the risk of sounding a bit geeky, the Victorinox knife you're talking about has kullens, not grantons. The former are indentations in the side of the blade that do not extend to the cutting edge, the latter are indentations that do extend to the cutting edge. Most knives billed as having a "granton edge" actually have kullens. Kullens don't affect sharpening. As far as cutting goes, I've used a lot of Victorinox both with and without kullens as my work knives, and I can't tell much difference. I wouldn't pay one cent extra for a knife with kullens vs one without, let's put it that way.
  8. Combi Ovens

    I've used the countertop Electrolux combi http://tools.professional.electrolux.com/Mirror/Doc/BR/BR_BR-9JDBO_1_34_1_1_9JDBOU.pdf for several years (about 10?) and am less than impressed. It's not very well built for something marketed and priced as a "professional" product, it doesn't steam well at lower temperatures, the oven has worse hot spot problems than some non-convection ovens (and that convection fan can't be turned off, annoying if you're doing things like souffles), the water tray holds enough for barely an hour's worth of steam, and the timer only allows the oven to run for 2 hours before it shuts it off, so it can't do prolonged low-and-slow cooking unattended. And it's not very big; usable interior space is about 22x30cm. On the plus side, it works well as a convection oven and holds temperature better than any other countertop oven I've used, even in the 50c-100c range, where most ovens just don't work. And it is quite portable, which combined with its ability to hold low temperatures, makes it useful for catering. And it takes standard 1/2 pans. For a while there was a very cheap identical-looking China-made knock-off of this available from a Hong Kong supplier, but it's gone. So if you want a cheap combi, especially one that doesn't require plumbing and wiring, your options are still limited - which is why I ended up with this in the first place. The pretty Miele and Gagganeau home units aren't bigger and are a lot more expensive (at least the last I looked) and proper commercial combis like Rationals are another order of magnitude more expensive.
  9. The Terrine Topic

    Indeed. That's a nice-looking terrine. In fact, pates and terrines are as traditional a use of sous vide as there is. The technique was originally developed for cooking foie pate by Chef Georges Pralus at Troisgros in the mid-1960s. Cooking terrines and the like remains one of its most useful applications. Baron Shapiro, your minimum temperatures are correct if one only takes the terrine to that temperature mometarily. But the temperatures Nick used are safe when the length of time the product is held at that internal temperature is factored in.
  10. It's not normal, but it's not necessarily dangerous. Pork fat starts to melt around 30c/85f, so most likely you liquefied some fat during the incubation. The fat pooled just inside the casing and is now leaking out through the holes you made to get rid of air bubbles. As long as you followed the usual safety practices, things still smell good, and you're not getting coloured mold or anything else nasty, the salami will probably be usable. But it may end up drier than usual, and if you're using weight loss to estimate when it's lost enough moisture to finish hanging, remember you've also lost some weight from the fat loss.
  11. Lentil confusion

    I use 'French green' or 'Speckled green' (which in my case come from Canada) or Puy lentils interchangeably and don't notice any significant difference. They're the same thing (Lens esculenta puyensis, if you want to get geeky about it) grown in different places. If anything, I prefer the Canadian, which also happen to be the cheapest. The key is that they should be small, dark green with dark blue speckles. Here's a photo: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/File:Puy_lentils_wooden_bowl.jpg If you've got brown and tan lentils mixed in, they're probably not all the same kind or quality.
  12. Turkey Brining

    It's impossible to say without being able to smell the brine. Used brine usually doesn't smell great, but it shouldn't smell very strong. Given that turkey wings are not expensive and hospital bills are, you may want to err on the side of caution and chuck them. I assume you're following this: http://modernistcuisine.com/2010/11/a-modernist-thanksgiving/ To avoid a repeat with the same uncertainty, I suggest following their method of a dry rub rather than a liquid brine. If you want to stick with liquid, I'd suggest a stronger brine with a shorter soak time.
  13. Storing natural hog casings

    I've successfully stored hog casings for a year without brine. Just throw a handful of salt on them and leave them in a plastic bag in the back of the fridge. Been doing this for years; it was recommended to me by a casing supplier as the best way to store casings long-term. I've never had a need to freeze casings, but a chef friend does it all the time and hasn't had any problems. It seems to be gospel that you need to run water through the inside of hog casings to rinse them out, despite the fact that it can be a pain in the butt if you're doing volume. I used to do it, too, but I've since worked at high-end artisanal charcuterie makers that don't, and there was nothing wrong with their product. They just soak casings for a few hours, none of the running-water-down-the-inside. I now usually don't bother with this step, and haven't noticed any difference.
  14. Duck fat versus Goose Fat

    I don't think it's universal. I've got French goose fat here that's snow white, and Chinese duck fat I rendered myself that's darker - the opposite of your experience.
  15. Chicken Liver Paté: The Topic

    My recipe is derived from Michel Richard's 'Faux Gras' from Happy in the Kitchen. No eggs, no pre-cooking the liver, no straining. Just lots and lots of fat. Saute but don't brown 200ml minced onion and 1 clove microplaned garlic. Add 125ml cream and a splash of cognac. Cover and cook until soft. Off the heat melt in 250g goose or duck fat (Richard uses butter here; I strongly prefer goose fat, or a 50/50 goose fat/butter mix). Add salt, white pep and a bit of grated nutmeg or whatever you like to taste. Figure 1t salt if you use unsalted butter or fat, plus 1/2t white pepper, and adjust from there. Like all pates, it needs to be saltier than you think. Puree everything with 500g of well-trimmed chix liver. No need to strain it unless you're working at a really classy place. Divide into 2x500ml ramikins, cover with foil, cook in bain-marie at 300F until set in the middle, about 40min if you started with boiling water in the bain, and you did, didn't you? Let cool, then top with a mix of parsley and melted salted goose fat (Richard uses parsley gelee here; the traditional aspic works, too). I am always surprised by how much of this stuff people can eat.