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Everything posted by Mano

  1. I'm looking for the best thickness -3.5 mil vs.5 mil for vacuum sealer bags to be used to freeze food, not sous vide. Links to recommended bulk bags would be appreciated, as well.
  2. For years, I've been extremely happy with the KA 3 roller set (tried hand cranked) but does anyone have experience with the KitchenAid KPEXTA Pasta Extruder? It's expensive and the great deals on ebay appear to be long gone.
  3. Dunkin Munchkins. I'm not kidding. I don't eat them, but for gatherings like that everybody else will.
  4. A Ph.D. is an academic degree and an M.D. is a medical degree. Having earned either one entitles the bearer to be addressed as doctor.* The OP seems to have decided the guy is a "fake" chef. Even if he was a "real" chef, he'd still push her buttons by puffing himself up and putting her down. How she deals with him as an obnoxious irritant is the issue here. IMO, a chef is someone who creates dishes and is in charge of all or part of a kitchen in a professional setting. Having the legitimate title of chef is no indication of competence. *In 1987, a week after I was awarded a Ph.D., my wife and I celebrated at a local fine dining restaurant. When the Maitre D welcomed "Mr. and Ms. mano" I corrected him, "It's Dr. mano." He apologized and gave us at the worst seats among dozens of good ones. My first words to my wife were, "I'm sorry, but he gave us exactly the seats I deserved." The sweetbreads were terrific and we laughed over what a dick head I was. Except in professional settings I never introduce myself as doctor.
  5. A member of our party has many food restrictions and wants a moderate byob that serves steak, veal chop or some sort of hearty meat dish. We are in the Bucks area and will travel to New Hope, Lambertville or Philadelphia. Also eastern Montco. We offered Italian and sent a menu for Kanella, but no go. Cochon can't accommodate us on the night we're going and No. 9 in Lambertville, known for their short ribs, is not that good, IMO. I really want to make her happy and while I pride myself on being a BYOB champ, frankly, I'm stumped.
  6. Sorry, a Reuben's not a Reuben unless it's made with marbled rye.
  7. If you have good reason to be a confident home cook then go for some experimentation. But it's best to use familiar ingredients which you have a passion for. Duck happens to be one of mine. Medium-rare grilled duck breast with demi is excellent or get a simple recipe on google. There's a lot you can do with Port, duck or beef stock/broth, shallots and even garlic. If you haven't already, make some duck stock from the bones. Taste the backyard cherries and see if they're fit for a sauce. Cross-hatch the skin to get out the fat and for a great presentation. Take pictures!
  8. Mano

    Crunchy wine

    I was pretty close to a full belly laugh with that one!
  9. Any recommendations on where to buy Chorizo and Bomba rice at a reasonable price in Philadelphia? Fantes sells paella pans but I'm open to other recommendations especially if I can do one-stop shopping. I don't know if La Tienda is still around but when I went there quite a while ago their prices were very high.
  10. Going from a whirly blade grinder to a burr mill made the biggest improvement of all the changes I made. I don't know what's available in Australia, but buy a decent mill for around $75-100 and either go French press or get a decent drip maker with auto shutoff for $30-100. Buy whole bean coffee by the pound, even from the supermarket, grind right before brewing and you'll be drinking very good stuff. There may be a learning curve figuring the right amount of coffee for water. My setup is a $275 Technovorm (nothing automatic about it) and a $200 grinder and I'm certain I wouldn't be able to tell the difference in taste with a setup at half that cost. FWIW, the three other people I converted to burr grinders agree with me.
  11. Talk about variations, to date the Aberlour A'bunadh has 37 batches, each getting its own set of reviews. My Batch 27 is not one of the best but with none of the others to compare it to, is very good.
  12. I told everyone that in post #6! But would anyone listen? Nooooo...
  13. Last year I bought the large walnut end grain board from Philadelphia Butcher Block and am very happy with it. It's great looking and has stood up to regular use with very sharp knives and occasional hacking with a large vintage cleaver. I applied several coats of mineral oil the first month or so and then a combination of mineral oil and bees wax every 4-5 weeks. The price is excellent and they'll make custom boards with most any modification you want. Stay away from bamboo. We have one and it's rougher on our knives. I read something about it being a type of grass that's held together with lots of glue, which isn't good for knives. End grain is supposed to be the best surface for cutting boards. For practical purposes maple, walnut and cherry should suffice, but aesthetics are subjective. FWIW, I was seriously thinking of Boardsmith as I'm very familiar with them. The Philly board is fine for me as a home cook. If you buy a Boardsmith you'll be getting your money's worth.
  14. What kind of knife were you using? We reboxed the guillotine after one use and sold it at a yard sale. The pinch and a really sharp bread knife glides through. I use a MAC 10.5" but the Tojiro costs less but is supposed to be just as good. Everyone who cooks is bound to cut themselves now and again no matter what.
  15. Yes, brine. We have a surplus of duck fat and intend to get extra turkey thighs and confit them along with the thighs and legs of the whole bird we buy. We'll roast the rest. I wouldn't waste good duck fat on a couple of wings. Turduckhen is a worthwhile one-time novelty. Since watching Pepin's YouTube on deboning and stuffing poultry I've been heavily into it. I'm sure I could make my own turduckhen and get kudos for years to come, but they're just not that great for all the effort and expense.
  16. Thanks for the replies. I bought demi glace at DiBruno's.
  17. I'm going to the Italian Market tomorrow and need veal stock. The small demi-glace packets are available several places but IIRC they're expensive. Any other recommendations?
  18. Generally speaking folks who use water stones either freehand (IMO the best way to sharpen) or on an expensive adjustable system, like EdgePro, loath pull-through gadgets, electric or otherwise. The pull-through people usually find water stone based sharpening burdensome and reason their knives are sharp enough even though they may eventually ruin good knives.
  19. +1 chicken stock, some mushroom water and white wine.
  20. No idea of the age of yours but just this past summer I emptied a partially filled bottle of Galliano that was at least 40 years old and made a batch of Harvey Wallbangers. Tasted fine and everyone got toasted.
  21. Nice to see such a great, but infrequently used, word in its proper context. Regarding the ban (can't raise it or sell it is,indeed, a ban) on foie gras, it's a wonderment the politicians and populace of our largest state caring a whit about this matter. Same goes for Chicago, Philly and anyplace else people feel the need to legislate what about 1.5% of Americans occasionally eat. I'm aware of the practices of Hudson Valley and other farms that raise the geese as humanely as possible. If you're going to eat domestic/farm raised animals you know they're going to experience some distress somewhere along the line. I love foie and have been know to buy an entire lobe, knowing one of the dinner guests was bringing a bottle of d'Yquem.
  22. After reading this thread I thought, "For the first time in my life I feel normal."
  23. Does anyone buy his wines, and if so, what are your opinions? When Newman was Chairman of the PLCB I bought dozens of cases of wines he scored from select vintners at bargain prices. They were legitimate over-runs, closeouts or discontinued product. With the Commonwealth of PA's money he bought huge lots at pennies on the dollar and passed the savings on to Pennsylvanians. I all but revered the guy. He had a great palate, too. When he went private Newman kept his contacts, formed a consortium and did the same thing. I bought a lot from stores like Circle Liquor in NJ and Canals. Also some from WTSO. About a year or two ago it seemed he was ubiquitous on WTSO rating his own wines with a score of 92 as the standard. I may be wrong about this, but it also seemed he was creating his own labels using names like Thumb Print, Kingston and Rust Ridge. The b&m stores said they were over-run juice from known vineyards sold at a deep discount. But IMO the wines were nothing special and the prices were creeping up. After about a half-dozen disappointments I stopped buying his wines. They weren't terrible; just nothing special, as they had been. I'm willing to overlook the ridiculous ratings if the wine is a great buy, but am I missing something?
  24. For liquids, different sized plastic containers from Chinese take-out. Scotch tape on lid and write with black marker what's in it. For solids, portion out, wrap in foil, put in plastic bag purge air and use black marker. Dating is an obviously good idea which I never considered.
  25. EJ, I forgot about the sub-minimum. Years ago I waited tables and so did my daughter, more recently. To me, it's the same difference. The low wage is ostensibly supplemented by tips, which for some servers is great and others not so much. Also, there are lots of restaurants where excellent servers who maximize tips are required to pool tips with less competent servers. I'd like the European standard of professional servers who do a good job and are paid a decent wage. If they do a great job add a small gratuity.
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