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About scott123

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  1. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    So you're copping to being the steak police, huh? As long as your body cam doesn't mysteriously malfunction, I think we'll be fine Seriously, though, if you really want to split this many hairs, okay... let's start splitting First of all, you're overlooking an absolutely critical aspect of the protein denaturation equation. Fat. In lean meat, sure, protein molecules will latch on to each other and squeeze the liquid out, but, just like wheat protein molecules have trouble latching onto each other in fatty pastry crust, muscle fibers have issues latching on to each other in fatty meat. Less cross linking = weaker bonds = less water loss. Well marbled steak, when cooked until well done, is still very tender, succulent and juicy. Secondly, how, exactly, did you become the arbiter of 'normal' marbling? Was that part of your training at the academy? I would think, that, within these walls, when the topic of steak is brought it up, unless cost is specifically mentioned, it's in the context of 'good' steak, the context of well marbled steak. Is well marbled steak hard to find? Absolutely. But just because it's difficult to source doesn't mean that all steak related discussions should only focus on typically inferior supermarket fare. Third, the ribeye cap that I linked to wasn't Wagyu. Just about all ribeye caps have that level of marbling, even in choice meat. In your typical ribeye, the cap will only be a small fraction of the entire steak. I'm not presenting ribeye cap as being typical or in the slightest bit common. I'm only using it as an example to show how incredibly delicious well done extremely well marbled steak can be. Once someone has tasted well done cap, any stigma they might attach to well done well marbled steak will be obliterated, as it was for me. Fourth, this isn't about my own personal taste. Cook a ribeye cap, any ribeye cap, well done, and you will be hard pressed to find anyone that doesn't do backflips after tasting it. When you move towards the leaner end of the spectrum, towards well marbled rather than extremely well marbled, the appeal will be less universal in comparison to medium rare, but it will still have it's adherents. And this group will consist of far more food aficionados than one or two odd ducks. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to see 3 out 10 people prefer well done well marbled meat in a double blind setting. Fifth, have you ever pan fried brisket? If it's fatty enough, it fries up beautifully. Does connective tissue/collagen play a part in the burnt end equation? Of course. But I guarantee you that the lion's share of what makes people go so incredibly nuts over burnt ends relates directly to the fact that the ends of brisket tend to be the fattiest. When all is said and done, none of this hair splitting is all that relevant. I'm not the one looking down my nose at fellow food lovers. I'm not the one calling anyone names- in seriousness or in jest. To make my case, I don't have to prove that well done steak is always comparable to less cooked steak. It obviously isn't in every instance. All I have to prove is that, depending on the fat content, well done steak can be phenomenal, and that, if the food snobs could actually taste a well done well marbled steak, I'm not saying that they'd prefer it, but they'd see enough value in it to end the derision.
  2. Meat Blasphemy – Well-done Steak

    The stigma of well cooked steak is culinary bigotry, plain and simple, and the celebrity chefs that have perpetuated this prejudice will not be remembered fondly by history (I'm looking at you, Mr. Bourdain). These self appointed steak police just need to f off already. I'm uncouth for enjoying well cooked meat, am I? A 'barbarian?' Who are you to tell me what tastes good? Do these pompous elitist a holes point their fingers at burnt end worshipers and say "OMG! BBQ ruins meat!" Hell no! But cook a steak to a fraction of the wellness of burnt ends and the steak nazis go ballistic. From the moment our ancestors made their first animal kill on the savannas of Africa to the inevitable end of this planet, great tasting meat has always and will always be about one thing. Fat. Sure, take a garbage lean steak and cook the crap out of it, and you'll have leather. But singing the praises of this same inferior meat cooked to reddish pink? Please. Garbage in, garbage out. You took crap meat and, by cooking it less, you made it the tiniest bit less crappy. Good for you. Alert the Nobel committee. Fat changes the equation entirely. In a sufficiently marbled steak, with extended cooking you get juiciness, you get succulence, while, at the same time, achieving a greater penetration of Maillard compounds. This is why you can take a well marbled brisket, smoke it for hours, and end up with something orgasmic. Don't believe me? Take out a second mortgage on your house and get yourself one of these. Cook it until it's well done, and, if it doesn't make your eyes roll back into your head, then come back and call me a barbarian. I dare you
  3. Pork loin ground with fat (60/40) stays nice and moist But that's the only way I'll eat it.
  4. Avocado Recipes

    When it comes to fragility, avocados are just like bananas. Unripe, they can handle getting banged around a bit- especially if they're very unripe. Once ripe though, it's kid's gloves only. And you're not going to find gentle treatment in a grocery store bin- just the mere weight of other avocados on top of a ripe avocado will cause it to be bruised- and that's just sitting in a pile. Once you add the potential injury from handling - produce dept. workers and checkout people, being able to walk into a grocer and purchase a ripe unblemished avocado is pretty much impossible. I don't go as crazy as I used to, but I used to make little pillows out of paper towels for my ripening avocados. And, of course, 'unblemished' is relative. I've been to plenty of parties where hosts made guac from hideously brown fleshed avocados without blinking an eye. But, for me, If the brown parts can be cut away, I'll try, but if it's more than half brown, off to the garbage it goes, with a pour of my forty for my dearly departed homie Speaking of things that make you want to cry, avocados were $2.50 a pop this week in my local grocer. They were a dollar a couple weeks ago, so hopefully they'll drop again soon, because, as much joy as they bring me, it'll be a cold day in hell when I spend $2.50 on an avocado.
  5. Avocado Recipes

    You couldn't pick a better time, imo. This is right smack dab in the middle of one of the best avocado seasons I've ever witnessed (on the East Coast). The only downside is that avocados aren't as inexpensive at they were last year this time. But the quality is through the roof- at least, so far.
  6. Avocado Recipes

    None of these combinations are the least bit out of the ordinary, but each brings an unbelievable amount of joy into my life (when avocados are in season). 1. With anything that you'd have ketchup with. A burger is the obvious choice, but don't forget other ketchup adorned foods like egg sandwiches. 2. With anything you'd have soy sauce with (see sushi comment above). Also, alone, with a drizzle of soy sauce. 3. Any Tex-Mex dish you'd have sour cream with. I know, no surprises, but there's good reason why avocados have become so closely associated with these foods.
  7. In all seriousness, these new cakes you're pointing out are a bit of a thorn in my side. With a greater level of automation, cheaper ingredients, and a far larger profit margin, these herald the end of the classic crumb cake of my youth. It's only a matter of time. If you enjoy them, that's great, but, for me, they mark the incredibly sad end of a much loved childhood staple, that, unlike many childhood staples, has stood the test of time, and, for the most part, continues to be as good as it always was..
  8. One would have to assume that crumbled cake would most likely, at one point or another, be visible in the end product. Maybe not all the time, but, in my 40 years of eating crumb cake, I've never seen a visible morsel of cake. That being said, there's a dryness to the real thing and a slight crunchiness that I've never seen in a home version. I've always assumed it was the dryness of shortening/later palm oil as opposed to the butter based home versions, but I'll concede that there might be cake in there. If they were taking this router, for ingredients purposes, it would have to be leftover cake from crumb cake.
  9. I'm sorry, but your cut rate pound cakes (cheaper to manufacturer) with nutless crumbs (again, cost cutting)- these crumb cake wannabes aren't welcome here I don't care how they label it, a pound cake with crumb is still a pound cake
  10. Well, the calcium propionate, as an anti-bacterial, prolongs shelf life, obviously. And then you've got the xanthan and cellulose gums, which I'm sure act as humectants, prolonging staling. Other than those, it's just your average mega-bakery juju (mixing aids, emulsifiers, etc.) For the record, I don't care about the cake component. I'm not worried about the cake. The crumb is the hard part, imo.
  11. I'm floating the idea of making an Entenmann's crumb cake knockoff. I spent a few minutes googling it, and it's amateur city. None of the attempts that I came across actually took the time to read the ingredients, which, imo, is copycatting 101. The two major standouts that I can see is no butter, and the present of nuts. Has anyone come across a crumb recipe that's palm oil and/or hydrogenated soybean oil based and that contains nuts? I'm not looking for something similar. I want the real deal.
  12. Shortbread

    Rice flour, in a recipe with some water, might produce a crispier and product, but, in this recipe, it's not going to lend the shortbread any structural integrity. Some form of liquid (water, egg, etc.) would be the most sure fire way of gaining handling ability, but it would also risk toughness, and also perhaps stray from authenticity. I would bet you any amount of money that Walker's get's an end product capable of being shipped by pressing their cookies. If your baking pan is stackable, you might try pressing down on the shortbread very hard with another pan. You could also find something rigid, square and flat that you could use to tamp the shortbread in the pan. That might give you the structural integrity you're looking for. Or, you could try water- perhaps with a very fine sprayer. But, like I said, be careful.
  13. Shortbread

    Less mixing = less gluten development = weaker shortbread, not stronger. The amount of water in butter is minimal, so less or more mixing isn't going to make that much of a difference to texture, but if the OP wants strength, less mixing is the wrong direction, imo.
  14. Sugar-free ice cream

    I highly recommend xanthan and guar: If you can tolerate the polydextrose, I'd add more. I would try doubling it. Depending on how it's manufactured, polydextrose gravitates towards pretty high molecular weights, but scoopability is much more than just a freezing point depression game- air, as you noticed, is a big player, as is limiting water activity. Emulsification also plays a role. Polyd is a weak emulsifier but a very strong water activity inhibitor. At the quantities you're using, I think there's a decent chance some of your erythritol is re-crystallizing, which would account for the strange cooling sensation you're experiencing. Dissolved erythritol doesn't give off that endothermic reaction, but keeping it dissolved can be difficult. I've tested a pretty wide range of polyd/e syrups, and, it seems like the version that's happiest/least prone to recrystallization is 3 parts Polyd/1 part e. If, say, you go with 2/3 C. polyd, I wouldn't go above a quarter cup erythritol. With the drop in e, you'll lose some sweetness, but you weren't getting much sweetness to begin with, so, as you figured out, you'll need a high intensity sweetener. If you have a brand of stevia that you like, it might work well with vanilla, but, should you want to make chocolate ice cream, where the sweetener needs increase, stevia might not cut it. Erythritol has an exceptional synergy with splenda. By combining them, you can use exponentially less than on their own. I'm guessing that since you haven't mentioned splenda, you're not a big fan, but one advantage of using two sweeteners is that you'd be using very little splenda. Another high intensity sweetener with great synergy with erythritol and splenda is ace k. That's the best taste you're going to get. Ace K has a pretty questionable track record in terms of health, but, as a component in a formulation, you can get away with using microscopic amounts. You might also consider xylitol. Birch xylitol is supposedly superior. It's a sugar alcohol, which carries all the side effects that sugar alcohols carry, but it seems to be a tiny bit more benign than most. The bottom line- the greater variety of sweeteners, the better. As far as I know, erythritol and xylitol don't have synergy with each other, but xylitol should have great synergy with polyd- and splenda and ace k. So with a little xylitol- perhaps a small enough amount that prevents digestive issues, you can dial the splenda and the ace k way way down. That way, if you have health concerns regarding splenda/ace k, you can somewhat mitigate them by knowing that you're ingesting them in incredibly small quantities. Or you can do polyd/e/xylitol/stevia, which will taste better than polyd/e/stevia. But, again, though, should you ever decide to work with chocolate, trace amounts of splenda and ace k will knock it out of the park. The other advice I'd give you is to go with smaller batches. The faster ice cream freezes, the smaller the ice crystals. And, while I think whipping the cream is a worthwhile idea, be careful not to whip it too much, or the freezing process will make butter, and produce a greasy mouthfeel. Lastly, polydextrose is polymerized dextrose, while inulin is polymerized fructose. Neither process produces 100% polymerization, so, with polyd, you're getting trace amounts of dextrose, and inulin has trace fructose. Fructose does some wacky things in ice cream, such as boost the sweetness far more than the quantity used. I know fructose has it's critics- deservedly so, but the trace fructose in inulin might be worth it, especially if you won't use artificial sweeteners. edit: This is also a useful discussion relating to sf ice cream formulation
  15. Hmmmmm... I have about 10 pb jars, and about three times that many lids, so this would give me another size lid to have to worry about. Still, though, I like that price- a lot. Thanks.