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Everything posted by johnnyd

  1. Seven hour blocks at 450F with just a veil of oil each. Nice. Now we have to cook something. I'm on page 41 of Grace Young's "Breath of a Wok". I feel the need to get a good handle on things before I do anything complicated. Thanks, all, for playing!
  2. Fair enough. My fault for limiting the subset of "go-to wok seasoning agents" to youtube videos I've been canvassing for wok seasoning technique. Have to say this wok looks terrific, but lets see how it cooks our food. Pics soon...
  3. The internet is obsessed with Dawn detergent because it's a great product. Need your drain unblocked? Pour a half cup Dawn down there, wait 30 minutes, then pour boiling water in and, boom! All clear. Flax seed comes up a lot as the go-to wok seasoning agent. I'm on bake four at the moment and will keep seasoning until dinner, a total of eight hours. It's a medicinal oil so I won't be using it for cooking. I'm assuming this is a sealant.
  4. Finally got around to seasoning this Bad Boy: The delay was a result of seeing so many different ways of getting the job done but there was always something that felt off about every one until I saw this gentleman, Jason, on YouTube: Many of his conditions met mine, like a Gas range/oven at home, and he's clearly done this before. From minute one he displays the result I want. As I watched this video, I recognized sections found in other season-a-wok videos. So you don't have to watch, here is his punch list: Scrub inside/outside with sponge scrub-side and Dawn detergent. I spent about 20mins doing it over and over +rinsing Unscrew handle and use straight-jaw, vice-grip pliers to hold wok at handle stub when starting the bluing Remove gas-burner diffuser lid so the flame jets straight out of the burner. I didn't have to go past 4 (out of 9) setting to roast the wok from edge to edge in 20mins When cooled (surprisingly fast, I'm used to cast-iron) apply very thin coat of flax seed oil on both sides. Wipe again to absorb any excess. Bake at 200F for 15 minutes Re-apply flax seed oil thinly; wipe again to absorb excess oil. Bake at 300F for 15 minutes Re-apply flax seed oil thinly; wipe again to absorb excess oil. Bake at highest setting (I'm doing 450F) for one hour - after one hour, turn off oven to let cool (~one hour) This is where you can wok up your ginger/scallion Good Luck fry, but Jason does it three more times so I'm-a goin' for it. The only smoke I saw/smelt was a small wisp from inside the hanle stub which I didn't wash. I'm on the first hour bake and already it is a satisfying translucent blue/black color, evenly hued from edge to edge. Success!
  5. johnnyd

    Dinner 2022

    TicTac, yes 4tblsps red wine vinegar at service, stirred in before (big) dollop of sour cream in your bowl. And you're right, beef stew foundation definitely. Diced potato added to sheet pan halfway through roasting. Fine chopped onion added after searing stage til glassy, then 1st four cups stock. Recipe calls for fresh dill too but we didn't have any. I'd become so bored with whatever borscht recipe I was using so when this came along I've never gone back. A hit of paprika on your dollop takes it even higher.
  6. johnnyd

    Dinner 2022

    I met a Ukrainian Lady when I was in Vermont in the 80s who taught me the "proper" way to make Borscht. First you sear and simmer until tender, a bone-in beef shank in 4 cups beef broth. On this particular day my usual butcher suggested this honking-big marrow bone and a chuck sirloin end-cut he had behind the counter. Okay, then. Next, cut 2lbs beets and 1lb carrots into 1/2" dice and roast at 400F for 1/2hr. Add 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage, roasted veg, and another 4 cups beef stock. Simmer some more... Totally marries up overnight and takes on a little more crimson hue - served piping hot with creme fraiche and/or sour cream
  7. We always buy locally-bred meats from farms around Maine. It's pretty expensive but it's just better for you. Scallop season just started and they went to $36.50/lb this year. They are usually $20. Lobsters are steady at $10/lb. There are a gazillion new oyster farms so they are about a buck each.
  8. johnnyd

    Lunch 2021

    Blue fin tuna caught off-shore over the weekend... ...belly seared in coconut oil, dressed in house-made ponzu, a hit of mustard oil, furikake, arugula and local veg. Probably the tastiest lunch I've had in weeks.
  9. Wonderful mini-blog, Duvel! I've never been to Berlin. Your travelogue hit all the right notes and the diverse cuisine was most enjoyable. Thank you!
  10. johnnyd

    Breakfast 2021

    Take out Congee from Cong Tu Bot, Portland Maine (among the NYT top 50) featuring mung bean, pickled mustard greens, egg, chili oil. Delightful!
  11. johnnyd

    Lunch 2021

    Yam Nua - everything but fish sauce and limes grown within five miles
  12. Thank you liuzhou - I read that thread with great interest during my research last week - much appreciated.
  13. Yes, thus this posted Topic. Does one cook salt/potato mixture before the oil coat/baking time and after wash/scrubbing? Seems logical.
  14. Great thread! I have no quarrel with the gas force for everyday lunch/snax/dinner duty. I plan to use it continuously and swirl more oil as I go. Should have decent patina of I keep it up!
  15. Yup. I just ordered "The Breath Of A Wok" today. Andrea Nguyen of Viet World Kitchen .com writes of 'baking' the wok upside down in a coating of 2 teaspoon flaxseed or canola oil at 425°f for 30 minutes, allow to cool in oven for 15-30 minutes, then remove and let sit for 45 minutes. Then she cooks an onion in it for 10 minutes til charred. This is immensely better than range-top curing. Splendid!
  16. Most helpful, Rotuts! I don't mind removing the handle - I've already checked out if it's doable, now especially since you are recommending curing the wok in an oven. Flaxseed bottle is brand-new. At what temperature do I set my oven? I have a Café™ Gas 5-burner range and convection bake/roast oven, with a decent hood exhaust. If you say "hot, hot" maybe 450°f? How long at temperature does the wok stay in there before the next thin,thin coating? Do I let it cool a little first? Does it matter? Also, no sanding or scratching the steel - bloody glad I asked! That was gleaned probably from a "Re-store Your Rusty Wok" page somewhere - it's been a blur, really. To wit: this from Grace Young: New woks have a thin factory coating that must be removed before the first use. To do this, wash the wok inside and out with a stainless-steel scrubber, dish soap, and hot water. Rinse and dry it over low heat. Next, season the wok to protect against rust and start a patina. Turn on the exhaust fan, open the kitchen window (it’s difficult to remove all of the coating, so any that remains will give off a strong smell as the wok heats), and heat the wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates on contact. Swirl in 2 Tbs. vegetable oil and add 1/2 cup sliced ginger and a bunch of scallions cut into 2-inch pieces. Lower the heat to medium and stir-fry with a metal wok spatula, smearing the ginger and scallions over the entire surface, for 20 minutes-the long stir-fry creates a good patina. Discard the solids, wash the wok with a soft sponge and hot water, and dry over low heat. The seasoning process may change the wok’s interior color-it can have a yellow, black, or blue hue. Every wok reacts differently. See what I mean? Even the instructions that came with the wok said one, maybe two coats, but I want to turbo-charge the patina out of the gate. I guess we'll see what happens!
  17. I recently purchased a Craft carbon steel 14", round-bottomed wok. I want to season it properly and there is a wealth of conflicting information about doing so. I've picked out among it all what I believe is a good plan of action but still have a couple questions I bet the eG hive mind can help me answer. I've dug around in our archives and if I've missed anything I'd welcome any links to previous discussions. Opinions, as usual, high and low, are warmly welcome. Equipment: Also on hand is a cast iron wok ring that fits my wide-format gas burner perfectly - this is high setting: So no jet-powered high-output butane here. Punch List: Scrub both sides with Scotch-Brite pad and Dawn soap until no trace of shipping coating remain. People say about a 1/2 hour should do it. True? False? Longer? Use 320-grit metal sandpaper on both sides - this apparently opens the pores so it absorbs the seasoning oil coats. Shall I use coarser/finer grit paper? Do it at all? Remove wooden handle. Set on ring and heat at high setting until (very) hot. ...or just "hot", not "very hot", how about "smoking hot"? Have quarter sheet pan with about 1/4" of good oil - I have flax and grapeseed - Which is better? Using kitchen tongs, wipe balled-up paper towel in sheet-pan oil and apply thinly - and quickly - over entire inside surface. Smoking occurs... When smoking stops, re-apply oil in the same manner - slide wok around ring so the outer edges get heat consistent with the inner bowl. Repeat a bajillion times. No, really, six? Twelve? Twenty times? A set of six, then let cool, then repeat? More questions: When is it safe to apply thin oil layers to the bottom? How many coatings go there? Same as the inside bowl? I'm told the carbon steel changes color, the best being a bluish tint - unlikely owing to the weak gas flame output. What color am I looking for and is it a sign it's ready for a test stir-fry? I've made what I see now are rookie mistakes in the past, like put in peanut oil and leave over night; fry up a pound of bacon, all of which leaves a gross sticky surface. Some YouTube videos have dudes burning the handles, causing oil fires... all more interested in seeing themselves on YouTube rather than seasoning a wok. Intriguing Alternative: Charm the Vietnamese kitchen staff at the Thai place down the street to do it for me....
  18. johnnyd

    Dinner 2021

    Bit of Satay tonight. Marinated overnight with a recipe from a Malaysian fellow that I can't find now, but quite memorable.
  19. johnnyd

    Lunch 2021

    More Bluefin Tuna, loin and belly, Poke style.
  20. johnnyd

    Lunch 2021

    Tuna Salad! Seared Bluefin Tuna, local cukes, red onion, sweet peppers, radish, heirloom carrot, red-leaf lettuce, Japanese pickles, furikake, togarashi and house-made ponzu
  21. Some inventive plates here, and they look just great. I want to know what kicked that halibut/snapper ceviche into high gear. I see ribbons of pepper and tomato, but the key for me is how long to marinate? When I do scallops, they are ready in an hour in 4:1, lime:pineapple juices, minced red onion, cilantro stem and thai bird peppers (when I can get them). Beyond fresh bluefin tuna poke, I've never tried any other fish. Both halibut and snapper have a firmer, denser flesh profile. I will have to try making some... A sandled foot or two adds character to your compositions 🙂
  22. Agreed: Cheese has no business even being near fish...
  23. I hear you. I've had excellent ones in Portugal so I was nostalgic for them one day. Took two days to soak the bacalhau and carefully folded in potato/onion, then went to my friend's restaurant on an off-hour and used his frialator. They came out great. Tried it at home in a couple quarts of Wesson and they sucked. Haven't made 'em since.
  24. Absolutely! Good bunyols de bacalla depend on the oil temperature they are fried in. I've struggled to find the right range however tight because when they are done properly they are the tastiest thing on the planet; if the oil temp is too low they become little sponges of oil that mess up your stomach. We might even have a thread somewhere...
  25. Another level indeed, Herr Duvel My parents visited Portugal often when I was growing up. They brought me there one summer and we toured all over the country - it was magical. When my Dad retired they moved there and built a little 'fazenda' in the Algarve and lived there for 20 years (70's & 80's). We had water delivered for our cisterne, fired up the gas generator for four hours every night, the fridge ran on propane. They didn't get a phone line until 12 years had passed. They planted vegetables and grapevines but there already was a 100 year old fig tree next to the front patio. I slept in a hammock affixed to that tree when I was home from boarding school. There was a famous chicken piri-piri place in the hills of Monchique that looks exactly like Tres Turons. The busier beaches had open grills where you could get your fill of grilled sardines caught that morning. The Wine was excellent. I'm on Coast of Northern New England now because my time in Europe shaped my preferences. If I don't have some sort of seafood every 3 days I get pretty cranky, and it's really good here. But I miss our place in Portugal, but it's not at all the same. The Algarve is built up now. Google satellite shows a tennis court where our vineyard used to be and the acres and acres of olive and almond trees I remember are all villas. Your trip to Catalonia is wonderful and shain's trip to Greece too. I know there are some nooks and crannies on the Spanish coast that are still hidden. We should stay in touch...!
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