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Everything posted by Shalmanese

  1. 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.
  2. Shalmanese

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Why would you ever SV thin pork chops? The goal is to have maximum time to develop a nice crust before the center overcooks. Since there's no possible way you can undercook a thin porkchop, all SV does is rob the porkchop of all the energy it would have otherwise absorbed performing all the chemical changes necessary to get the middle cooked. You need that energy sponge if you want to keep it on the heat as long as possible. I stand by my original suggestion: Do everything you care to to make the outside sear well (in order of effort: pat well with a paper towel, leave uncovered in the fridge for a few hours, apply a browning solution of glucose/baking soda) and then sear hard on one side and then barely touch the other one to get rid of the pink. Serve seared side up and you get a decently brown crust and a decent amount of medium rare interior. It's never going to be completely perfect but you're fighting physics here.
  5. After compulsively hate watching the new American My Kitchen Rules, I can't believe what a farce the entire competition was. It surely must hold the record for the person most aggressively uninterested and uneducated about food to ever win a competitive cooking show.
  6. Do NOT cook beans Sous Vide if you don't know what you're doing. Certain beans contain Phytohaemagglutinin which is mildly toxic to people and isn't destroyed at under boiling temperatures. Beans need to be boiled for at least 10 minutes and preferably 30 to inactivate the Phytohaemagglutinin.
  7. At least in Japan, it's not typical for a strong smoke flavor to be put on Wagyu as it's felt it would interfere with the natural sweetness of the meat. More traditional would be an inside, tabletop grill cooked with binchotan charcoal which is a clean burning and mild charcoal. There's typically also not a hard sear put on Wagyu as that too is believed to overpower the flavor of the meat. Wagyu browns amazingly well so just a mild, even sear is typical. Often, top Wagyu is served shabu shabu style so there's no sear at all and all you're tasting is the flavor of the meat.
  8. My Northern Chinese mother, living in Australia used Five Spice Powder in basically everything. That and chicken powder were basically the only spices we knew growing up. Ironically, I had a devil of a time finding Five Spice Powder for sale living in Hong Kong. Nowadays, I make my own and it goes in a few specific dishes. I do like adding just a touch of it to conventional dishes, below the taste threshold, to give them just a taste of exoticness that people can't figure out (meatballs, steak, salad dressing etc.)
  9. For Mashed Potatoes, it's as important to get the water from the potatoes out as it is to get the milk in so this method seems destined to result in watery, bland potatoes. I've found the best way by far is steaming in the microwave. Put them in a covered container with the lid cracked a tiny bit and a 1/2 inch of water in the bottom and let them go for 10 minutes. Then leave uncovered and let the steam flash off until it's no longer steaming. You get ultra dry, well cooked potatoes with virtually no effort.
  10. Good for Anova but this acquisition doesn't make much sense to me. Unlike most culinary methods, there's no better and worse sous vide, all sous vide machines produce the exact identical quality outcome. There's some minor differentiation when it comes to size, noise, apps etc. but they turn out to be not super important in practice. As Sous Vide becomes more popular, all of the existing players are going to get murdered by cheap, Chinese generics and there's no real room for profit in the market. The devices are incredibly simple and easy to manufacture and there's no defensive moat around any of the technology. There's the possibility of Anova branching out from SV into other related devices but it's unclear where it could head to justify the acquisition amount. They can either choose to pursue devices that are even more niche than SV (combi ovens, vacuum sealers, chamber vacuums, centrifuges, rotovaps) in the hopes that they become increasingly mainstream or they can go after more popular devices (microwaves, dishwashers, toaster ovens, blenders etc.) which are incredibly competitive fields filled with tough incumbents. Neither seems like an incredibly compelling choice or one I would stake an acquisition on. I'm glad the team has gotten this far and has been instrumental in pushing SV more into the mainstream but I don't see many bright prospects for their future.
  11. What? No Western restaurant I've ever been to has operated like that. Western restaurants deliver a fixed amount of food to your table for a fixed price and then generally don't care what personal arrangements you make after that. Some will impose a nominal surcharge for shared plates but that's about it. We tend to get creative when we go out, ordering 5 appetizers and a main to come out at the same time, for example, or ordering dessert alongside the main, and by and large, every restaurant we've been to accommodates us uncomplainingly. Most western dishes aren't explicitly designed to be shared but they can be shared with very little effort. I'm generally very sad when a member of our party isn't ok with eating family style and most of the people I hang out with are sharers. I've been known to rope more people into a group just so we can order more of the menu in a single trip. It's never been an issue at any restaurant I've been to.
  12. Sorry, this was not clear, if I invest $100K, at the end of 3 years, do I get $115K back, $145K or $152K? It feels like there are other, more sophisticated ways to structure the deal that better align people's interests (profit sharing, convertible notes, collateralization, tranching the debt etc.) but maybe the simplicity of this is what's appealing. edit: Also, are you creating a separate corporation to buy the building as from running the restaurant? It seems to me that there are investors who can be convinced to invest in a low risk, high collateral real estate deal at substantially lower rates than a high risk, low collateral restaurant venture. Given everything people talk about how the restaurant business is such a low margin business, it seems like just being able to shave a percentage point or two off your payments might mean the difference between untold riches vs being unable to pay your bills.
  13. Aren't there businesses that take care of this for you? They install a box on your premise, they charge you based on your sqft and business type and you can program whatever playlist you want onto there and all the licensing revenue gets automatically handled by them?
  14. It's a cultured, unwashed butter. It's not meant to keep and it's not meant to be a neutral cooking medium. Instead, it's meant to express the unique and individual qualities of the milk and culture.
  15. All the local bodegas around here sell small pouches of pre-peeled garlic for a dollar or so. I consider myself to have a pretty sensitive palate and I cannot tell any difference between the pre-peeled stuff and the heads also sold there. Pre-peeled garlic is one of the very few convenience products I enthusiastically endorse as worth the extra premium. It's great to just be able to pick as many cloves as you want and use them right then and there. If they're getting a bit old, individual cloves do get moldy but I just throw those out and the remaining are fine. It's so cheap that I always have a bag in my fridge, regardless of how much garlic cooking I'm doing.
  16. Eat Your Books is fantastic for those indecisive moments in the store. Go to the store, figure out the two or three ingredients that are really standing out to you and use your phone to search through your cookbooks at home for interesting ideas involving them.
  17. The history of the Food Network is that it was a failing tv channel with declining audiences until it was bought by Scripps and Judy Girard was brought in charge and radically remade the network away from lessons on how to cook from actual chefs and towards travel/eating shows and reality competitions. Whatever the Food Network is today, it has almost nothing in common with Schonfeld's original vision except the title.
  18. How is everyone finding the smartphone only control scheme? For me, SV is so simple, I've been very happy with the Anova thumbwheel and I've never used the app. I feel like physical controls are always superior to virtual controls when it comes to SV.
  19. Wow, to think my parents were resigned to eating unfresh, unsafe and unwholesome food for their entire childhood! Thank goddess Alice Waters was the first one to combine all three! Surely McDonalds and Chipotle deserve to be on that list way more than a lot of these entrants.
  20. I wonder how this thing performs on amounts of liquid substantially smaller than 500mL? It seems like there would be issues with yield because the surface area of the container is so large.
  21. I mean, toilet paper doesn't ever go bad. Just buy it once a year when it's on special and you don't have to worry about it ever again.
  22. I received an email with 3 youtube links that don't appear on the website. The videos are marked as unlisted so I'm not sure of whether it would be right to share them but there's not a huge amount of information. Relevant tidbits that came out of it: * Self balancing * Rather than vials or buckets, the entire chamber is the bucket, allowing for 500mL in a compact space. * 2000Gs but some claim about how the special rotor design allows it to produce the same results as a conventional 4000G machine (I'm skeptical, but ok) * Super interesting feature where you can put a tube into an outside reservoir of liquid and the machine will decant and suck in more liquid using a built in pump. If it works, you could potentially do many liters of product in one go unattended but it also sounds like a very error prone and finicky process.
  23. Addelice is a European company selling a 220V circulator for the European market. They also plan to release a 110V version limited to 1200W.
  24. You might get a carbonized mess but you're extremely unlikely to get a fire. Properly operated, a pressure cooker should vent out all the oxygen and be filled with water vapor only. Since there's no other oxidizer present, a fire is impossible to start under any circumstance. Even improperly operated, the amount of oxygen inside the pressure cooker isn't enough to combust and there's no way for further oxygen to get in. People don't realize, you can drop a lit match into a can of gasoline and the match will go out because there isn't enough oxygen in the can to form combustion. About the only conceivable way I could imagine you could start a fire with a pressure cooker is if you were boiling something with a high alcohol content with an old school jiggle top style pressure cooker on a gas stove and you somehow bumped it sideways so the jiggle top fell off and it started venting gas directly into the flame.
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