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Everything posted by Shalmanese

  1. This is incorrect. This would occur if the pressure cooker were in equilibrium with the surroundings but it's not. Pressure cookers contain a one way valve. If it starts with N molecules of air inside of the vessel and then vents some mixture of air and water vapor, then logically, there must now be less than N molecules of air remaining inside of the vessel and so the air pressure is lower. Only the water vapor gets replenished so as you continue to vent, the proportion of air gets lower and lower. You never reach absolutely 0 molecules of air inside of a pressure vessel but you get close enough to not matter. Thats why all good pressure canning instructions have a detailed section at the start on how to properly clear out the headspace. Air in the headspace at a given PSI causes lower boiling temperatures, resulting in possibly improperly canned food.
  2. There's an infinity of recipes on the web now. Nobody is buying a cookbook in order to accumulate more recipes. It's fine to credit and say "I originally got this recipe from X and made the following tweaks Y'.
  3. A man with one thermometer knows the temperature of everything. A man with two thermometers knows the temperature of nothing.
  4. FWIW, if you don't want to deal with skins, even slow roasting already canned tomatoes greatly improves their flavor. Buy whole peeled tomatoes in cans, cut them in half and remove the stem, roast cut side up and then use as you normally would.
  5. California burrito is a SoCal thing, centered in San Diego. It's practically unheard of in NorCal. There's a few places that do it in San Francisco but it's not standard. Like any regional specialty, finding it outside of the region is often a challenge. If you find a place that serves both french fries and burritos, you can usually talk them into making it as a special order. The problem is, outside of SoCal, there's not many places that do both. Another dubiously stoner yet pretty amazing combo is subbing broken nacho chips for the rice.
  6. Shalmanese

    Oxtail Soup

    For an entire ~2000lb cow, there's only ~4lb of oxtail so it doesn't take much for demand to rapidly swing prices. Enough price insensitive yuppies started buying it because they saw some recipe on food network that it's shot up in price, same as flank steak or chicken wings.
  7. You're chopping your vegetables too coarsely. This is about the texture you should be aiming for.
  8. Shalmanese

    Oxtail Soup

    When they were cheap, oxtails were a neat substitute braising cut that would save a few bucks. But now that oxtails have gotten stupid expensive and I've never found them at a price worth it for what you get. Remember, whatever price per pound you see them at, multiply by ~3 for a similar yield to whole muscle meat. In almost all circumstances, chuck, brisket, shank or cheek is going to be better value. The only time I ever absolutely have to have oxtail is for my oxtail ragu ravioli. They're braised in just a tiny bit of red wine + aromatics and there's nothing quite as unctuous, the texture is almost like an egg yolk. It takes all day to make but it's so intense that I only serve 3 - 4 per person so one batch can last for quite a few dinner parties when stored in the freezer.
  9. Avoiding Dashi in Japan is always going to be a challenge. You pretty much need to avoid most things that have some kind of soup/sauce component and stick to things with a few, obvious ingredients like Tempura or Vegetarian Sushi. Are you going to Japan to experience Japanese food or you're just going to be in Japan and need to survive on any kind of food? If it's the latter, there's a lot more options at places like Indian restaurants or Italian restaurants where the cuisine isn't so fundamentally rooted in seafood. There's also the distinctively Japanese tinged Yoshoku which borrows from Western influences but is unique to Japan. Curry rice, for example, if vegetarian should be completely safe and the ketchup version of omurice should be as well.
  10. They claim that sanitized sponges have a higher load of dangerous pathogens compared to unsanitized ones and posit that the surviving bacteria rapidly recolonize the sponge, meaning at least some remain alive. They don't go into the details of sanitization and I wonder if slight tweaks to the procedure would do a better job. If the entire mass of the sponge reaches 80C+, it's hard for me to imagine that much would survive that regime (I don't think there are any identified spore forming bacteria that live in sponges). I'm guessing commonly used sanitization methods leave cold spots in the sponge where enough bacteria survive to recolonize the sponge.
  11. I've always found that anything I've been able to pack is universally better than anything an airline can serve. I don't do cold dishes very often cooking at home so travel is a chance to stretch my legs a little in that direction. It's also permission to splurge a bit on expensive ingredients since a) no matter what I buy, it's still cheaper than paying for an upgrade and b) having something to look forward to makes the experience a little less intolerable. If I'm just trying to put together something quick, I'll usually swing by a grocery store and pick up some nice cured meats (my first taste of Jamon Iberico de Bellota was on a flight), a piece of fancy cheese I've been eyeing for a while, some dried nuts and fruit, a bag of fancy potato chips and a piece of fruit for dessert. If I have a bit more time, I'll prepare something like a muffaletta sandwich or a marinated chickpea salad or cold somen noodles.
  12. San Francisco is very vegetarian friendly so even most regular restaurants should have plenty of exciting veggie options. If you want vegetarian only options, Greens in the Marina is probably the most famous and a local institution, it was Steve Jobs' favorite restaurant. In the Mission, there's Gracias Madres which is an upscale vegan Mexican place, Udupi Palace which is vegetarian North Indian food and Shizen which is vegan sushi. All are beloved local neighbourhood spots where even omnivores frequent regularly. Enjoy Vegetarian would probably be closest to you inside of Chinatown and is quite good. Also, a number of places in SF have started serving the Impossible Burger (the new faux meat startup) so that might be a fun thing to try if it's not available where you are yet. But honestly, I feel like you're going to have a much more exciting time dining focusing on great vegetarian dishes at non-vegetarian restaurants.
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. I take cold pizza in my hands, open my mouth and then eat the cold pizza.
  24. Leftover mashed potatoes can also be turned into gnocchi.
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