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Shalmanese

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About Shalmanese

  • Birthday 06/05/1985

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  • Website URL
    http://blog.figuringshitout.com/

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  • Location
    Shenzhen, China

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  1. How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    I've taken to making very simple, minimalist stocks. The standard mirepoix style stock was a good choice back in the day when people were cooking 99% European food but we now live in a more multicultural world. In general, if I'm cooking some western dish, I'm already adding carrots and celery and herbs so the flavor is already present and doesn't need to be reinforced with a stock. I keep my stock to 4 simple ingredients: chicken, onions, garlic, salt. I buy whole chickens and when I break them down, I toss all the carcass and trimmings with salt and then throw them into a pressure cooker and saute over medium heat until the fat has rendered out and the chicken is starting to lightly brown. Then I add one onion and 3 or 4 crushed cloves of garlic with more salt to soften and lightly brown before adding the lid and pressure cooking for 1 hour. I used to make unsalted stocks but adding salt afterwards always produced a one dimensional salt flavor compared to the more mellow flavor of salting throughout. At the end, the stock is mildly seasoned but could easily stand a 2x reduction without seeming too salty. The stock is versatile enough to pair with most any cuisine and is a good middle of the road that's halfway between a white stock and brown stock. That's pretty much the only stock I make nowadays, I no longer make beef stock as I've found chicken stock works acceptably well even in beef dishes. I do make a pork stock occasionally for certain Asian soups and I find it baffling that pork stock isn't at all a part of the Western canon as pork bones provide far more flavor to a stock than beef bones. Electric pressure cookers are a godsend to stock making. The convenience of just being able to throw a bunch of stuff into a pot and get a perfectly clear stock at the push of a button has totally changed my stock game.
  2. I don't understand, it seems like you both value the solid stuff more than the brothy stuff. So shouldn't the solution just be to make a soup with more solid stuff and less brothy stuff?
  3. Frying sous vide wings from frozen

    How are you drying your wings post-SV? I've always found it difficult to get SV wings dry since the bag liquid is so full of gelatin it will thicken at room temp. Usually, what happens is there will still be liquid on the outside of your wings when you freeze which will explode in the oil. I always just keep my SV wings in the fridge uncovered, flipping every day. They last up to a week and they get better as they sit since the outside dries out and causes a crispier wing. If you're doing this in a restaurant context, maybe "washing" the wings in warm fat before freezing would help with the splattering. The oil will displace the water and, once you drop them in the fryer, there should be significantly less splattering. Maybe set a deep fryer up at 120C, then just get a few wings in a spider and swish them around in the oil for 10 seconds or so before laying them out on a sheet tray and freezing.
  4. Panasonic Steam Oven

    I recently bought the Panasonic NN-DS581M, the Chinese localized version of the Steam Microwave Oven. Price was 2200RMB, about $350 USD. Unboxing: Size snugly fits a quarter sheet pan. My 2qt pyrex pan fits in there but not my 3qt pan. Water tray for steam injector: Overall impressions: It's designed much more for microwave reheating than serious baking. It has nifty features where you can "IR reheat" to a specified temperature and "steam reheat" until something is cooked. Although the maximum specced temperature is 250C/480F, when I attempted to set it to that temperature, the oven never left the preheating phase. Overall heating is also less than even, when I roasted a chicken with potatoes, the potatoes in the back right corner browned significantly less than the front left. Annoying, although this device has the capability to inject steam in while baking, it's not directly exposed in the user interface. Instead, it's only available via 3 of the preset "auto menus", steaming eggs, baking cream puffs and baking cheesecake. The oven also has a "feature" where it will turn itself off every time you open the oven door and you must manually turn it back on by pressing start. The oven also doesn't have the feature where you can both microwave and grill although I care far less about this. Bizarrely, this version of the oven doesn't come with a clock (foreign versions do)! However, the UI design of the device is pretty good. The wheel style interface makes most common tasks pretty easy although I'm annoyed this doesn't allow you to push the start button to instantly start the microwave and add 30s cooking each time. Still, it appears that Panasonic is selling the same "guts" of the oven all around the world with different UIs localized for each market and, at $350USD, the Chinese version is significantly cheaper than overseas versions. If you have a Western kitchen with built in ovens, it's questionable whether this is worth buying. But living in a Chinese kitchen with limited counter space, it's a compact unit that lets you get something that's 80% good at 3 different things.
  5. Are you guys going to visit Dandelion Chocolate?
  6. Food funnies

    Mitchell and Webb: Animal Clinic
  7. Food funnies

    Less "funny haha" and more "funny oh" but blogger Geraldine DeRuiter makes the cinnamon rolls from Mario Batali's sexual misconduct apology letter.
  8. When is a baguette a PITA?

    I think if your Baguette ends up looking like a Pita, something has gone horribly wrong somewhere in your recipe.
  9. Commercial brown sugar is refined white sugar sprayed with refined molasses and has a rather one note brown sugar flavor. Raw sugars are closer to the natural, unprocessed state and have a more complex, mellow flavor. It's not better or worse, it's just a different end product. Something like Demerara or Turbinado is closer to 50/50 white/brown than all brown. Something like Mexican Piloncillo is closer to 100% brown sugar.
  10. "Top Chef" Season 15

    Wow, the person who posted that video is a real hero! He must be really handsome and suave.
  11. Garlic in Infused Oil and Ghee

    Cook, strain, then heat to 250F for 5 minutes with a thermometer to verify.
  12. Searching for EVOO!

    I like the Trader Joe's California Estate Olive Oil. I like mine a bit more peppery than you but it's a fine oil and reasonable priced.
  13. Scratch Guacamole - Labor Intensive

    I don't get it, slicing and scooping 72 avocados should take all of 20 minutes. It's by far not the most time intensive step of making guac.
  14. Freezing coconut curry

    Yes, curries freeze very well. In general, I've found for best quality, it's best to freeze curries at the 80% cooked stage. Most curry recipes will have you add the bulk of the ingredients at the start of the cook and then add certain ingredients towards the end like potatoes/green beans/herbs/peas etc. Portion off a small amount of the curry that you intend to eat that night and add the late stage ingredients. Let the rest of the curry cool and then freeze, adding in the late stage ingredients after defrosting.
  15. Recommended Sous Vide Circulator?

    Anecdotally, I've found from my friends that those who just have the Joule use it way less than those who have both a Joule and an Alexa. The ability to voice command the Joule removes a lot of fiddliness vs using the smartphone app.
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