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HKDave

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  1. If a vendor doesn't say otherwise, it's almost always Turkish bay. "Spice Islands" is the only widely-available brand I'm aware of whose bay leaves are California bay laurel, and it would be nice if they clearly labelled it as such, but they don't. I have no problem cooking with either; I just use far less when it's California.
  2. HKDave

    The Congee Chronicles

    Here in Hong Kong, "congee" is the English name. It's "juk" in Cantonese. Here's a good article on the origin of the word: https://www.scmp.com/magazines/post-magazine/article/2119163/where-word-congee-comes-answer-may-surprise-you
  3. If the product has been hanging long enough to have cured and you're now at the weight you want, I'd suggest the next step is to taste it. If you're happy with the result, vac-pack.
  4. The recipes in Ruhlman and Polcyn's "Charcuterie", to cite one widely-used beginner book, are in the 2-3 week range for 30% weight loss in hog casings (which I think you're using? hard to tell from the photo), and maybe a week more for something in beef middles. And that agrees with what you've just found. In the real world, the time will vary with the amount of moisture in the recipe, the humidity of the cure room, and the diameter of the casings, so that's why we weigh.
  5. Bumping an old thread... In the end I bought a Braun 600w "Turbo", the made-in-Spain big brother of the one in andiesenji's post here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/80222-immersion-hand-blenders/?do=findComment&comment=1089108 It came with a whisk, a beaker, and a 500ml mini-bowl-chopper thing. 14 years later, I'm still using it. Braun still make similar models, now in Eastern Europe, so parts are available. The top of the mini-bowl-chopper broke a few years ago, and I found the part at ereplacementparts.com for under US$10. Now the main wand thing is getting shaky, so that's the next part I'll need. The all-plastic shaft version I have doesn't seem to be available any more, but a stainless one now is. And I should probably get a new mini-bowl-chopper blade. It's also available. Yes, at some point it's cheaper to buy a whole new rig, but I don't like throwing out things that still work, especially when everything newer is invariably junkier. Observations: - I use the "turbo" speed 90% of the time, "regular" speed 10% of the time, and the variable-speed dial never. - I don't regret spending more for a more powerful model. - The plastic shaft has held up to blending hundreds of hot soups, and doesn't scratch non-stick. I like. - I didn't use the beaker for years. Then I found the 2-minute-immersion-blender-mayo trick. Now I use it regularly. - The 500ml chopper bowl is incredibly useful. I don't have a food processor any more. - Braun sell these with less-useful 350ml choppers in North America, where they assume everyone owns a food processor. In the rest of of the world, we usually don't. I'd want the 500ml. - Braun has been through 3 different owners (currently it's owned by DeLonghi, who also own Kenwood) since my unit was made.
  6. Three weeks is a fairly normal length of time to get this kind of weight loss with salami in hog casings. What do you want to achieve by aging it longer?
  7. 1 - assuming your curing chamber wasn't too cold, you fermented your salami; your neighbour dehydrated his (because not much fermentation happening at 4 degrees Celsius). There should be a difference in taste. 2 - doesn't make much difference. Did you soak your casings in non-chlorinated water, and mix your M-600 with lukewarm non-chlorinated water? That makes a difference. 3 - I'd say there was no point taking them further. That's at the upper end of weight loss for most formulations.
  8. Joe, did you see my post (from 2011!) above? If you're getting liquid fat, it probably means things got too warm at some point. Re moving it to the fridge, what weight loss were you aiming for? For most dry salami, I'd probably bag and fridge at around 33% weight loss. Over 40% will usually give you pretty hard salami. Re dark vs light, most people (and I) cure in the dark. Not sure about the science. Re vac-bagging, obviously moisture loss stops as soon as you bag it. I don't think you need to worry about further aging in this case. One thing I've noticed with vac-bagging is that if you've got a "case hardened" salami, where the outside is hard from moisture loss but the inside is still a bit soft, vac-bagged for a time lets things even out.
  9. B.cereus won't grow in the fridge. It grows between about 4c and 50c (per US CDC), although most health departments say 4c-60c. It reproduces fastest around 28-37c, hence the need for reasonably rapid cooling after cooking. The main somewhat-common food pathogens that can grow in the fridge are listeria and yersinia, but both of those are killed by cooking or pasteurization. The problem with b. cereus is that it can survive cooking (and re-heating).
  10. There is no special safety issue with leaving rice in the fridge for a few days. The main safety issue with rice is that it may contain pathogic spores that can survive cooking, and which could then multiply if the cooked rice were to be held for several hours under 60c/140f, but still warm, like on a buffet. If you have a rice cooker with a "keep warm" function, it's holding the rice above this temperature for safety. The solution is to cool cooked rice reasonably quickly. Health Dept. guidelines here, where we eat a lot of rice, say that cooked rice should be cooled from 60c to 20c "as quickly as possible (within 2 hours)", and then to 4c (fridge temp.) in under 4 hours. Personally, I aim for 2 hours from cooked to fridge temperature throughout. Spreading it out on a tray greatly speeds cooling. Note that I'm talking about safety here, not esthetics.
  11. Cathy Erway's "The Food of Taiwan" is pretty good, and widely available. I'd also recommend Tsung-Yun Wan's "Home-style Taiwanese Cooking". Both have recipes for niu rou mian (beef noodle soup).
  12. This is pretty much correct. The variety is always piper negrum. "Tellicherry" are the 3 largest grades of Indian black pepper. They are: Tellicherry Garbled Special Extra Bold (TGSEB), 97-98% larger than 4.75mm diameter, no more than 0.5% "extraneous matter", no more than 11% moisture, Tellicherry Garbled Extra Bold, same other than 4.25mm+ Tellicherry Garbled , ditto, 4mm+ Malabar pepper comes from the same plants, but is made up of smaller and/or unsorted peppercorns. "Malabar Garbled Grade 1 (MG-1)" is roughly the same spec as Tellicherry for corns larger than 3.25mm. Lower Malabar grades have no minimum size specs and allow increasingly higher amounts of "extraneous matter". With (reasonably fresh; old corns are always garbage) black pepper, size matters. The reason Tellicherry commands a premium is that larger corns have a citrus/floral aroma and milder heat; smaller corns are hotter, but one-dimensional. The aromas in the larger corns are largely lost with cooking, and larger corns are a lot more expensive, so I use them for finishing, and cheaper/smaller corns for cooking. As an aside, the largest sizes don't work in all pepper grinders. I have seen (and, sadly, bought) pepper being sold as TGSEB that obviously wasn't, so if you're paying for Tellicherry, knowing which grade and having a trustworthy supplier is essential. I haven't found one here, so these days I'm using Tellicherry-sized, but ungraded, peppercorns from a small domestic supplier in Vietnam. They're at least as good.
  13. UK retail sausage meat is spiced. It's 70-90% fairly fatty pork, plus flour or starch as a binder, sometimes some onion, usually mildly seasoned with pepper, nutmeg and maybe a bit of sage. If you're subbing shoulder, I would add fat. Generic US pork shoulder is under 20% fat. UK sausage meat is probably 30-40% fat.
  14. We had a discussion about the various Larousse editions... was it almost a decade ago already?... here: Larousse Gastronomique 1938 (the first edition) As for the original question about the 'best' English edition, as I said back then: "There have been 3 'American' (=English language) editions: 1961, 1988 and 2001 [plus, since that post, a 4th English edition in 2009]. They're quite different; I don't know about 'better'. The book grew from 1000 to 1200 to 1350 pages over the 3 editions and certainly became more up to date. For one thing there's now more than a passing mention of 'foreign' (non-French) foods. But if you use it as a French culinary history reference book - which is what I think it's best at - the 1961 edition is the closest to a translation of the 1938 French original."
  15. 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.
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