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About Shalmanese

  • Birthday 06/05/1985

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    San Francisco

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  1. Seafood stock help

    Why grind them? I've found that the peels from even 2 pound of shrimp is enough to make at least a liter (4 cups) of unpleasantly rich stock. I just simmer them for 20 minutes on the stovetop, maybe 20 minutes in the PC hammers them so much the flavor cooks out?
  2. Foodie Tech

    Yeah, but a $20 refractometer requires you to extract a sample which I doubt grocery stores would be happy with. The entire appeal of this is that it's non invasive.
  3. Are most of the dishes prep related or serving related? I tend to be a very improvisational cook but, now that I'm in a place with enough counter space, what I found helps to array all the ingredients and prep tools onto the counter before you start cooking and mentally walk through each stage of prep to understand what equipment is necessary and when. I've found doing it this way allows you to think way more easily about strategic reuse. For example, if I have a bowl I'm marinating meat in, once the meat goes in the pan, I'll use that bowl to store chopped onions unwashed. It saves me a trip to the sink, I use one less prep bowl and I get an additional little bit more flavour from the marinade into the dish. If I know I'm going to use a colander twice in a dish, I'll a) stage the clean use before the dirty use, ie: blanching green beans before draining pasta and b) have the colander set up to be ready to drain again after the first use. Before, I would have hurriedly grabbed a second colander seconds before I needed it but now it's there and ready when I need it. That, plus cleaning as I go (something else I didn't used to do), means I'm often left at the end of cooking with just a dirty chopping board and knife plus whatever dishes dinner was served in to clean up at the end of the meal.
  4. Chocolate dessert times two

    In the US, sweet cream is cream that hasn't been cultured (as opposed to sour cream). It's usually used in the context of butter since all heavy/whipping cream is assumed to be sweet cream unless specifically stated. Since the poster is from Poland and there's no other sweetener in the recipe, maybe they mean cream sweetened 30% by weight with sugar?
  5. Thanks to the abundance of people who have a interest in the other kind of herb, "Herb/Jewelry" scales are now both cheap and accurate. The most popular version can be got on Amazon for less than $9.
  6. I like to cook mushrooms covered in the microwave until cooked, drain off the liquid and then saute the mushrooms until browned before reintroducing the liquid. It's a much more efficient way of browning large batches of mushrooms because you're not trying to boil off huge amounts of liquids before browning.
  7. Oh, i forgot to mention this season of Eater's Dining on a Dime is in San Francisco and they've managed to find some interesting and unique places.
  8. In an ironic reversal, I'm now in Sydney. I'd say Sydney's regional Chinese scene is so much incomparable better than San Francisco's that it's not worth trying any of the SF Chinese places I listed above. If I were you, I'd focus on Mexican, Latin American, BBQ, Indian and Bakeries. Whereas Chinese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Thai, Korean, Portuguese & Middle Eastern Food, Sydney is so far ahead of SF it's beyond compare. Italian, Japanese, Seafood, French, Spanish and Coffee are about on par. I've not found fantastic sushi in SF but there are a couple of ramen geek places that have opened in the last few years that are worth checking out (Mensho and Orenchi are the two I like). I'd say the two restaurants which I'd put in the "hard pressed to get that sort of experience outside of the US" category would be Brenda's French Soul Food and House of Prime Rib. I try and take all of my out of town guests to both of those at least once when they're in town.
  9. I have this down to a science at this point. I usually am cooking at least one or two meals at a friends place when I travel and I only ever bring a small backpack so space is at a premium. My regular travel bundle consists of Homemade Five Spice Powder, Homemade Curry Powder, Bay Leaves, Unicorn Pepper Grinder, A Joyce Chen Wooden Spoon, OXO Good Grips Tongs & A Thermapen, all wrapped up in an apron. If I'm travelling by land and don't need to worry about TSA, I'll add my chef's knife to the bundle as well. I've found 5SP and Curry are great versatile spice mixes that open up a lot of possibilities while remaining compact. They have an added benefit of being great for adding in tiny quantities to add a little zazz to a dish (for example, a bit of 5SP in red wine poached pears or curry mayo as a dip). I generally try and scope out the space I'm cooking in first to get a sense of what's possible and then start constructing a menu at the market based on what looks good. I've done 8 course meals for 30+ people in a fairly abysmal borrowed kitchen with this kit. The key is having a good repertoire, being adaptable to the circumstances and knowing how to roll with the punches. I've found this is the minimal set of equipment that I absolutely need to produce good food, everything else can be worked around. The only other thing I've considered adding is a small travel sized sharpening stone so I can fix up any knives before I use them but I haven't spent the time to look for a good one. Most importantly about keeping my kit consistent though is that I can make sure I leave with everything I came with. Often at the end of the night, the kitchen is a disaster zone with equipment strewn everywhere so by keeping the set of things I brought absolutely constant, I can check each item off the list and make sure it goes home with me at the end.
  10. Fortunately, lamb has some of the hardest fat with the highest melting point which makes it super easy to remove as a puck upon cooling.
  11. Loving Your Leftovers Series: #3 Pizza

    I take cold pizza in my hands, open my mouth and then eat the cold pizza.
  12. Leftover mashed potatoes can also be turned into gnocchi.
  13. Espresso in chocolate donuts

    Equal parts chocolate and coffee results in a Mocha flavored dessert but a 10:1 combo will result in enhanced chocolate flavor with no noticeable coffee flavor, much like how salt works in desserts or anchovies in sauces. Yes, it makes bad chocolate taste acceptable but it also makes good chocolate taste deeper and richer. I've generally treated it as purely optional, nice to have when it's convenient to add in but never the end of the world if you don't have it. For people who are that sensitive to caffeine, they shouldn't be having rich chocolate desserts in the first place.
  14. Bland sauce

    Sounds like maybe you're not seasoning your meat properly as you cook it? Have you tried tasting the meat on it's own? Is it bland? No amount of salty sauce can cover for drastically undersalted meat.
  15. Hot Pot For Home Use

    Hotpot pots are only ever used for wet cooking so heat distribution isn't an issue and you want responsiveness so you can turn the flame up and down over the course of a session. A thin pot is perfect for this use case, there's no advantage in going thicker.