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Posts posted by fiftydollars

  1. I know... I am again late and some dollars short, but ever since I read Steven died, I have been thinking about all of the things that I learned from him and how many of these things I use every single day. I cannot believe he is gone and that I will never gain another amazing insight from him.

    I, as probably most here, never had the pleasure of meeting him in person, but over the years I had a few online interactions with him and I knew him well enough that he asked me not to call him Mr. Shaw.

    He was a great teacher. There is a whole host of topics where most of the important things I know about them are things I learned from Steven. These topics include steaks, eggs (!), braising (!!), cast iron, pizza... and the list goes on. I just can't think of one area of my food life that has not been touched by reading Steven's writing. I just can't imagine my life without this guy. I can't. I would have to go back to burned steaks, crusty cast iron, awful kitchen tools, and terrible restaurants... Worst of all; no relish.

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  2. Eff the vortex method. Go with a lot of water... like a 20 plus quart stock pot's worth of water. Heavily salted and a little vinegared. Think TK's method for vegetables, plus a little vinegar. By the time the eggs hit the bottom they will have set into the right shape, perfect. And with that much water and thermal mass you can do a dozen as easily as one or three.

  3. It would be amusing if, after all that complex investment, marketing, branding and aesthetic cleverness, McDonald's simply decided to make the food better and that increased demand. I guess the research indicates that people just don't care if the food is good?

    Dude, I totally agree. They can't seem to follow even their own crappy recipes. How about just doing that? How about just making their food with better fresher ingredients (or just fresh)? And then just having people give a crap when they put this isht together? Corporate can say what they want, but unless the franchisees actually make the food somewhat close to what it looks like in the adverts, people will and should assume it's the same old crap... wilted lettuce, horrible excuses for tomato, and should I even mention the meat (ammonia anyone? http://www.nytimes.c...agewanted=all). They can make frapuccinos and sweet tea all they want. But every time I walk into their store at Golden Gate and Van Ness, it turns my stomach and I have to walk out. I don't care that it's cheap and convenient. I don't care that I only have a dollar. I just see the quality of what they are serving to paying customers and I walk out.

  4. Summer has finally started to give me serious amounts of tomato. My current favorite roasting method involves cutting out the core, filling with oil marinated blue cheese and putting them on a hot grill until the skin blisters and the cheese melts. The centers of the tomato still taste garden fresh while the outside is nicely roasted with some caramelization and then there is that blue cheese...

  5. I see a lot of home kitchens, some of which are the kitchens of people with an alarming amount of disposable income. I see a lot of things where I say, if I had that kind of budget, I'd want those things even though they're expensive. But some stuff I see, I think no matter how much money I had I still wouldn't buy it.


    I'd like to put forward, for my first nomination, the cookware of All-Clad.

    It's a little unfair to call it a "total waste of money." If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn't have bought the all clad I have. But I've gotten 10 years on some of the stuff I have and it's still in fine working order. However, I have loads of crap in my kitchen (and garage) that definitely falls into the category of total waste of money. For example:

    citrus juicer attachment for the kitchenaid

  6. I'm picking up a three-rib roast tomorrow for butter poaching. It's prime graded and aged 21 days, but other than that it's a plain ol' rib roast from the good folks at Golden Gate Meat Co.

    I'll try to report on my success (or lack thereof) as soon as I can. I'll be using the recipe Michael Mina wrote for the WaPo food section. Let's see if Big Mike's recipe can wow the crowd. Wish me some luck...

    So I butter poached the rib as announced. The results were very good.

    Here are the ribs I started with. Golden Gate Meat Co. slices the meat from bone, ties it back together, then wraps it in caul fat (this accounts for the odd specks of fat that appear in photo).


    The recipe called for 8 lbs. of butter, but it actually took about 10 to cover the roast.


    The roast was a little to tall to cover it in a standard dutch oven, so I flipped it at some point.


    It took about 1.5 hours or so to get the roast up to 118-120, which is about when I pulled it out of the oven.



    After the poach, I seared the roast in a cast-iron pan using some of the clarified butter. Then, since I was running late and the mood among the guests was starting to turn ugly, I rushed through the final preparations and did not get any more photos. I am really, really sorry about this. My report is obviously incomplete without the money shot.

    As promised by Michael Mina the roast did not need to rest after searing. I was able to slice into the blood-red roast right away without leaving behind much fluid. My only note would be that the roast does not get much salt from the butter poach (if any), so it's important to season well before searing.

    One (maybe two) of the guests wanted it well-done, so I took some slices and ruined them to order by putting them back in the butter to poach until the desired over-done-ness was achieved.

  7. I'm picking up a three-rib roast tomorrow for butter poaching. It's prime graded and aged 21 days, but other than that it's a plain ol' rib roast from the good folks at Golden Gate Meat Co.

    I'll try to report on my success (or lack thereof) as soon as I can. I'll be using the recipe Michael Mina wrote for the WaPo food section. Let's see if Big Mike's recipe can wow the crowd. Wish me some luck...

  8. I have been waiting over a year but yesterday I was able to pickup a pack of Chanterelles from Costco. It was the last one too and I don't expect to see anymore either :(


    I just saw those there yesterday, too! They had a whole pallet of them and only $8.99...for what looked to be at least a pound. They seemed a little bit too old, so I didn't pick them up. But I'm hoping that if I see them again, I'll catch them when they are a little more fresh. The berkeley bowl has them regularly, but, as I recall, they are more like $15/lb.

  9. So i'm headed to Manhattan early Monday morning (7/14/08) on a last-minute, one week, trip to the Culinary Capital of the Known Universe and I need some ideas on what to do next week in The City. Usually I plan my itinerary, several weeks/months out, almost entirely around my lunch and dinner reservations, but this time, long story short, I just have between now and then (7/14/08) to plan.

    Where should I go? What should I do? Of course I'd like to go where IT is at, but IT in my experience takes reservations in advance at least one month to the day and I have no such luxury. As some may know and most will not, I love food of all types and stripes and have been known to eat anything that will stand still long enough for me to stick a fork into it as long as I have a reasonable expectation that it is good.



  10. They are tacos served in the style of Tlaquepaque, a City in the Mexican State of Jalisco (Guadalajara is also a city in Jalisco). They are barbacoa tacos served with a brown salsa (served warm) that includes some of the barbacoa cooking liquid. The sauce, and particularly the cooking liquid for the barbacoa (caldo), tend to be on the hot side... even by Jaliscience standards.

  11. There was a study which determined the microwave method was the best for disenfecting sponges.  Second was soaking in bleach water, and third was boiling. 

    Not from that study, but some useful information from WebMD

    The results showed that two minutes in the microwave at full power killed or inactivated more than 99% of all the living germs and the bacterial spores in the sponges and pads, including E. coli.

    After an additional two minutes -- a total of four -- none of the bacterial spores survived.

    Before you zap your sponges in the microwave, researchers offer the following advice:

    Microwave only sponges or plastic scrubbers that do not contain steel or other metals.

    Make sure the sponge or scrubber is wet, not dry.

    Two minutes should be enough to kill most disease-causing germs.

    Be careful in removing the sponge from the microwave because it will be hot and should not be handled immediately after zapping.

    Bitton recommends that people microwave their sponges according to how often they cook, with every other day being a good rule of thumb.

    I seem to recall that Cooks Illustrated (or America's Test Kitchen) did an experiment that had similar results. They said microwaving a sponge for a minute killed more bacteria than the other methods they tried. They did caution, however, that some sponges don't stand up well to the treatment.

  12. 6ppc, I'm glad you liked the black calypsos. I think they are great with bacon. And just to make sure you know how hip you are, Metropolitan Home named them number 60 in their Design 100. It's kind of silly but I'm happy they get their due.

    50$ re the health: Last week it was black beans and next week it will be pink. I'm hearing rumblings about white lupini as well. I think all the beans are a super food and they tend to pick one when they do these studies but not compare it to other beans. They're all Phaselous vulgaris and of the same family (except for runners, limas and teparies) so I doubt there's that much of a difference. But I'm no scientist. I eat them because they taste so good.

    Thanks, RG!

    I think I would eat them even if they were unhealthy, but I am quite glad that such is not so.

  13. On a somewhat unrelated note, I've recently been hearing rumours that red beans have more anti-oxidant content than blueberries (which are, so they say, quite high on the AOX scale). Are high levels of antioxidants found in other beans?

    And, please forgive my ignorance on the subject (most of my experience with red beans involves steamed buns and/or Sir Mix-A-Lot), but are red beans a suitable alternative to pinto-type beans?

  14. I wouldn't mess with a good thing. If the customers like it, as is, keep it that way. I would personally prefer to pay a little extra rather than have the recipe changed to lower the price. As far as making it easier to cover the whole sandwich... maybe buy larger rounds and slice them sideways?

    Anyway, your sandwich sounds delicious!

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