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Sid Post

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Everything posted by Sid Post

  1. Sid Post

    Dinner! 2005

    That looks wonderful and sounds delicious. I think I will go the market and see if they have those ingredients. That should go well with a cool morning as I watch the Hummingbirds in my yard and sip a good cup of coffee.
  2. Why don't you use a regular knife like a Wusthof Super Slicer?
  3. Do those induction heating rice cookers come in smaller models available in the USA? The two models listed above seem to be the only ones I can find with nothing smaller. I am thinking that ~5 cups is a better size for a single person like myself. I use what I think is about 3 "Japanese" cups of rice which makes more then I can eat at one time with just about enough left over for a healthy snack the following day. What I keep reading suggests that I would do better with a smaller model. I currently have a cheap Wal-Mart 10 cup Panasonic model and I was looking at getting a new "fuzzy" logic (Micom) model rice cooker in the 5.5 cup capacity. That will cost me about $160USD. The 10 cup IH model listed above is available for $220USD at my door but, I am a little concerned that it is too big for me. Any thoughts on small amounts of rice in a 10 cup rice cooker? Does it really make a difference?
  4. Those look really good. Reading this thread has my curiosity up so, I guess I will need to find a Bento box and do some experimenting. Canned soups and sandwiches at work are boring. This thread has me thinking I should give it a try and eat something healthy for a change. The 3:1:2 rule and the box size rules seem to be a useful addition to my meal planning. While I am not overweight, I generally over eat because I eat the entire "cans" worth of soup or beans which can be anywhere from 2 to 3 servings.
  5. Company cafeteria food - no consistency. Each major building has a Eurest cafeteria. One is a fine diner type of place, the others generally serve glop that would be appropriate for a hog trough. For the prices charged, you would expect a descent meal and be very disappointed. Dried out bread, stale tortilla chips, pre-frozen breaded things left in the freezer too long (or something with that funny taste and soggy crust). One building is simply stellar with fantastic sandwiches, awesome soups, wonderful pizza, grilled items, etc. A real nice place that puts chain resturants to shame. Good institutional food is possible but, most places are hampered by incompetent cooks and low quality labor. The good company cafeteria is proof that you can get good help that will make a good meal but, most of them just don't care and it shows in the food.
  6. The one you linked to looks just like mine. IMHO, it is a waste of money. I have a good convection oven it does nothing to help my pizza making. I suspect if I still have that apartment oven, it would make a tangible difference. Knowing what I do now, I would go the "make my own" route so I could get more thermal mass into the pizza stone surface. If I could get a local potter to make a pizza stone an inch thick, that would probably be a good way to go for a single "piece" stone. Unglazed Italian or Mexican floor tiles would be my second pick. Preferably, the 16 or 18 inch ones stacked on top of each other for thermal mass and low cost. For something a little upscale, I would try one of those quarries or a Granite countertop "mom and pop" shop, looking through their scrap for the largest piece that would fit in my oven. Finally, if your oven is old and doesn't maintain heat well, a layer of normal clay fired bricks in the bottom will help keep all the BTU's your old oven spits out doing as much as they can. Myself, I am thankful for the convection oven in my house.
  7. Thank you for the concise explanation. I am a little more encouraged now to try this myself. Most people just say NO to raw fish without ever trying it. They will never know what they are missing. Growing up in the mid-west USA, I was a steak and potatoes guy for years. Fortunately I had some Asian friends at work that helped me though the menu's ocassionally and I am a fan of the great tasting and healthy offerings at many Asian places. I have a terrible time getting fish of aceeptable quality to eat raw so, I am basically limited to a Sushi bar in town that has their fish flown in daily. Unfortunately, that is expensive enough I don't go as often as I would like to (it is also a long drive for me and takes a long time to get there). Something I have found with eating raw fish variations, is that the sauce you use with it can make a lot of difference. I have tried soy sauce or wasabi by itself but, I find I like the two mixed together best with most fish. I tried some Red Snapper that just didn't taste good with any combination of these indgredients. I has some Sukiaki sauce of some sort which was basically a really sweet soy sauce. It was terrible on the rice but, with a piece of raw Red Snapper alone it was awesome. It really brought the flavor of the fish out and the sweetness made a good contrast for a very pleasurable dining experience. It looks like I need to spend some time on-line to learn about "Sushi" combination using ingredients other the fish. Sounds like a wonderful dining experience is waiting on me to get busy in the kitchen! THANKS!
  8. That's an understatement! My mother stopped by yesterday after work and left after learning the line was 3 hours long just to be seated. She was so excited to learn they were opening up near Quail Springs mall. It really is a sad state of affairs around there.
  9. Lotus of Siam, definitely make it a diner stop. My lunch experience was a disappointment. Lunch is too geared to the cheap buffet IMHO. Coming from LA, I don't think you will be impressed with CRAVINGS. I would suggest SPICE MARKET as a better option IMHO. While buffets are a Las Vegas classic, I am more inclined to try one of the places in the Caesar's forum shops (Palm, Bertolini's (sp?)), or maybe the Fix or Olives or Oragantique (sp?). Those are just the places that come to my head under the influence of the over the counter cold rememdy's The Bally's Sterling Brunch is the one buffet that I think I really need to experience. At ~$55 it isn't your typical Las Vegas strip buffet though so, you won't have the same experience as most people in the buffet lines on the strip.
  10. Are those peculiar to the West? I have never seen such a commercial. I guess that's why my grease goes right down the sink, no problem. It's all just a state of mind. Seriously, I rarely have more than 1/4 cup of grease at a time, but I've NEVER had a clogged kitchen sink drain. I used to think about it but experience has taught me that it's a waste of mental effort. ← When I lived in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex in Texas, I never gave such matters any thought and never saw and Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the subject. While living in various apartments, I frequently had to sign a waiver that I would not flush dirty diapers or a certain feminie hygene product down the toilet (apparently that was a common occurence at the apartments I lived in). Regarding dumping used oil and grease down the toilet, that sounds like a better idea but, with these darn low flow toilets these days, I would be concerned with drag in the trapways. Most houses don't have power assisted flush toilets so, those things clog way to easily already. I had a coworker with a rent house that underwent expensive restoration due to this specific problem. The renters plugged up the drain lines in the kitchen with grease and oil. The expense involved was no where near the ~$150 mentioned. I'm not sure if some city building codes or ordinances were involved but, they essentially had to replace the entire run of drain line from the kitchen sink to the larger main waste water drain for the house. Why I keep seeing these PSAs on Cox Cable out of Tucson is mystery. Perhaps the Tucson sewer system is having problems dealing with the quantities of stuff coming into the facility. When I am in Tucson, I do see a number of fat/grease/oil reclamation trucks running around. For all I know, it could be part of the reclaimed water program in addition to general sewer facility issues.
  11. I keep seeing these public service commercials on television that warn people not to pour grease down the sink. That is obvious to me. Then they further specify that you need to wipe the pan out with paper towels. Is that really necessary? What I typically do is pour off all the grease and fats I can (typically from the bacom I get from the butcher) into a vegtable can for the garbage can outside. I then take a liberal dose of dishwashing soap and a little bit of water and scrub it good, ensuring I get some soapy bubbles and rinse. Is this adequate to prevent plugging up my dishwasher and sink drain lines? This will prevent grease build up in my waste water lines won't it?
  12. I went to CRAVINGS twice on a recent trip through Las Vegas. The first time was for lunch and the food was good with adequate selections that were prepared above average for a buffet. The atmosphere was also nicer then what I am used to for buffets at other places. The second time I went was at about 3PM local time. The food was uninspired. I suspect that it had something to do with the time of day that I was there. Most of the food was mediocre, not bad but not real good either. The sushi was not fresh, having been prepared earlier and left out for an extended period of time resulting in that film that forms on the fish. Overall, my experiences at the SPICE MARKET were better. I understand there have been some changes to this buffet which I hope haven't taken away from what was an excellant buffet. I went to the buffet at Paris Paris, Le Buffet I think is what it's called. It was better then Circus Circus (which was terrible) but was a big let down. For a cheap buffet, the one at the Flamingo is pretty good. Next time I go out to Las Vegas (twice in January that I know of), I intend on trying some of the places in Forum Shops. The Palm businessman's lunch looks good. There there was that Italian place that looked so good. Seems like there was another one similar to the Palm that I am forgetting at the moment. Of course there is that new Italian place (IL Moumo sp?) on third floor to fit in which seems to be getting high marks.
  13. Hungarian paprika from a good spice shop will help pick it up. You can also add a blend of good peppers and some hot onions. Take your chilli pot, or a bowl full at a time in a skillet, cook the onions down with some good paprika and other peppers as required, then add you bland chilli and heat through out for a while to mix the flavors.
  14. The cost of a good kitchen knife isn't in the value of the steel of the blade or paper/resin of the handle. I can grab a piece of carbon steel from the shop and shape it into a knife and it will work as such. It won't have the stain resistance (rust) of a German blade or the refined design. It would cut though. Ignoring issues such as VAT (Value Added Taxes) and Customs to the mix in addition to trans-Atlantic shipping, marketing and access are at work here. I can get Falk Culinair (in small groups of 2 or 3 pans) for the same price I can get premium All-Clad. Even off Ebay, All-Clad Copper Core is over $200USD plus shipping (which is often marked up) per pan. The Falk Culinair pans are typically about ~$150USD. Now, where do you buy true copper pans? Wal-mart, Target, shopping malls, specialty stores? The volume is low so, where is the mass market discount? Calphalon has gotten much cheaper now that it has gone mainstream at every shopping mall anchor store and places like Amazon.com. I doubt margins are as thin on copper pans as they are on Calphalon.
  15. Sid Post

    Le Creuset

    Same here, the retail prices stayed the same but the little oval went up $13 and the rectangular pan I got went up by $20. $33 in savings thanks to the good folks who participated in this thread. Thank you! I plan on putting both of them to good use tomorrow thanks to the FedEx driver and Amazon.com getting them to me today.
  16. Wow, there is a ton of good knowledge there! After all that reading, I'm considering retiring a general use Calphalon hard anodized pan with a Sitram Professional from Amazon.com. The convenience of having a pan I can toss in the dishwasher when I'm in a hurry is attractive. The prices are very good as well so, it's easy to justify getting one to "test drive". I find it hard to believe that this Sitram pan costs less then the thin crappy RevereWare "scorch-ware" sold everywhere. The Falk Culinair Saucière looks like the best place for me to start my Copper experience. The Try Me $95 dollar 1.4 quart pan seems like a good size for a single person like myself as well.
  17. It seems like the stainless steel lined copper pans are the way to go. With such a thin layer of stainless to heat up, I don't see that being a problem with any of the pans I have looked at. I am curious how e-dehillerin pans compare to Falk Culinair and Mauviel. Also, I would like to know what is involved with have their pans shipped direct to me. Specifically, do I need to worry about US Customs taxes? How much is shipping for something this heavy? How long does it take? UPS, FedEx, or DHL can ship fast and get it through US Customs quickly but, the price based on past experiences was atrocious. Trying to compare prices between A City Discount on Maviel and Falk Culinair at their $500 price break level is a tough one. It seems like a toss up when I look at the full line because if a pot is more expensive from one company, it will have a slightly higher capacity and weighs more. When both have the same pan, the price is almost equal (within a few dollars). So, does anyone have specific do's and don'ts with any of these three companies and their respective lines of pots and pans? THANKS!
  18. Sid Post

    Le Creuset

    Amazon treated me right. The 2 & 3/4 quart dutch oven was $56 with no shipping or sales tax which made it over the 66% off they showed when you figure that in. The rectangular baking dish was only 40% off so I attributed the $20 off coupon I had to it. Of course no shipping or sales tax either so, that got me past the %50 off threshold. Yes, $60 for a baking dish is a heck of a lot of money when a $6 Pyrex dish would do the job. However, on those cold nights here in the Sonoran Desert when the temperature drops below 50 degrees, the thermal mass of the dish will come in handy during a slow dinner when I'm not using the dutch oven.
  19. In addition to searches on this great site, I have been looking at Bridge Kitchenware and Creative Cookware and A City Discount and finally Falk Culinair. This all started when I began looking for a better price on a All-Clad Copper Core Dutch Oven. I can get one of these at my door for ~$250USD. Searching this website, I found a lot of great information about alternate brands that offer the same or better performance at the same or a better price point. I found that I could get the All-Clad copper core pans heavily discounted (first quality, not seconds) but, as noted above there are a couple of places that offer aggressive pricing on the Mauviel pans as well. The Falk Culinair pans are competitively priced but, don't seem to be discounted as much as the others. So now I have come round full circle in cookware education. It seems like the uniform opinion on this site in general is that true copper pans are best. Tinned pans sound like something I should avoid with the newer CuprInox style pans being preferred today. The All-Clad copper core pans seem like an equivalent quality pan but, have the benefit of easier clean up and maintenance. I am seriously considering getting a Mauviel Sauté pan from these guys as a starter pan instead of a smaller 1 quart sauce pan of some sort. While I was originally looking for a mid-size Dutch Oven, I later decided based on information on this site that a smaller ~2 or ~3 quart Dutch oven would be a better choice for me since I live alone and generally cook for one. Perhaps a 4 quart sauce pan would be a better choice since I seem to use that pan the most right now. Should I be shopping based on price alone in the Mauviel and Falk Culinair lines? Does one offer an advantage over the other or is it just a price issue? I am cognizant of the thickness differences so, should I just stay with the 2.5mm Falk Culinair line and their slightly higher prices? Do you have advice on the Iron versus Brass handle issue? Anything else I should consider? For a little background on my kitchen, I use natural gas with some small burners and some large burners (6 total ranging from 5K to 18K BTUs). I currently use Calphalon Hard Anodize cookware almost exclusively (it is what I found several years ago when I found I could not live with the Revereware thin stainless pans I had at the time). My cooking technique is pretty simple for the most part but, reading things on this website and sampling some of the different offerings at good restaurants has piqued my curiosity about what I could do at home. Thanks in advance for your advice and wisdom...... Sid
  20. What does dinner at place like this run (pizza, drinks, desserts, or all together)? Do you need really deep pockets to dine there? THANKS!
  21. Sid Post

    pocket knife

    The SAK (Swiss Army Knife :D) is a favorite of mine. A knife like the Victorinox Spartan is relatively cheap and definitely non-threatening for office use. The toothpick and tweezers are certainly a handy feature and, while in Europe I actually used the Corkscrew at the youth Hostel . The original poster wanted something that locked open so, most of the Victorinox knives are ruled out by that request. Also, the Victorinox Spartan does not pass the "cream cheese" test. Yes it will spread cream cheese and butter but, its narrower blade profile does not give it enough surface area to make spreading this out on a bagel easy or convenient (it does slice a bagel in half real well ).
  22. Sid Post

    pocket knife

    My friends call me a knife knutt but, in realality I'm just a steel dust junkie Joe Talmadge knife FAQ's are a wealth of knowledge for the unitiated. From what you posted, I would suggest a Gerber Gator in ATS-34 which should run ~$50 at Wal-mart and similar places. It is a lockback so, it will not close on your finger without some fundamental user error (i.e. its a pretty safe knife to use). Its thin profile and good edge geometery make it a good cutting tool for bread, tomatoes, sausages, etc. I like its wide profile because it "self aligns" when you cut something thick - you get nice straight cuts. It also spreads butter and cream cheese much better then a blade that is not as wide. A plain edge Spyderco is a good choice too. Personally, I like the VG-10 bladed models but, there is nothing wrong with the cheaper AUS-6 knives either. Stay Sharp, Sid http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.gsp...2498#long_descr
  23. Thanks for sharing your experience with the school lunches. Your essay and this thread are very interesting.
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