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Darren72

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  1. Darren72

    Steven Shaw

    Such shocking and surprising news. I was an early eGullet member, though I haven't been here in a very long time. But eGullet played a crucial and lasting role in my life. More importantly Steven played an important role, even though we never met in person. I was an early reader of his Fat Guy site and reviews. I gobbled them up when I lived in the NY/NJ area. He wrote a great article on Zagat (critical, of course) in Commentary Magazine back when none of this was on-line. On a whim, I emailed him to ask if he could send me a copy of the article and I was surprised an honored to get a faxed copy from him later that day. Seems so quaint now. But so much of what I know about food, restaurants, exploration, and internet commentary comes from him and I will miss him.
  2. Darren72

    Aldea

    Any recent experiences at Aldea? I'm considering going during an upcoming trip. Thanks.
  3. Does anyone have experience with the Waring IC70? Amazon now has it for $50.
  4. Darren72

    Pickles--Cook-Off 32

    Hi everyone, I have a quick question that I hope you can help me with. I made some half-sour pickles this week. The pickles fill 6 wide mouth, pint-size mason jars. I originally thought I'd keep the pickles in the fridge. Now I've decided that I should have processed these pickles so I can store them out of the fridge. I'm wondering how to recover. Can I just put the jars (now filled with pickles and cool liquid) into a water bath for, say, 10 minutes? Or should I remove the brine, boil it, return it to the jars, and then process it? Or am I past the point of no return? Thanks in advance.
  5. Actually, when I read this quote, that's about when I decided not to continue reading. What he's describing is actually quite simple: we aren't a homogeneous society. There are some who eat fast food and others who watch cooking on TV and cook from scratch (and every shade in between). His statement implies that these are the same people - they are not.
  6. Just out of curiosity, why do you heat the liquor?
  7. I think it is clear (to me at least) that any pan can be seasoned. The question is which pans would you want to season. As best I can tell, the answer appears to be "only non-enameled cast iron". I have a Staub French Oven (which is enameled cast iron) and I seem to recall that the Staub website said something about the cooking surface improving with use. Their website is under construction now, so I can't get their exact wording.
  8. Interesting. I rub mine with salt, rinse with water, and dry. I do this because I thought you weren't supposed to use soap on a cast iron pan. When you wrote that you scrub with metal, do you mean something like steel wool? What about dishwashing soap?
  9. So is what you're saying is that they will corrode and get stains and that perhaps AC does contain the nickel, hence less corrosion and stains. ?? Just trying to be clear before I go purchasing any Sitram. FWIW -- I love All Clad but stains don't really bother me. Shows much love and use in the kitchen. Rhonda ← Note that these pans are 18-8 in the interior and 18-0 in the exterior. How that affects anything important, I'll leave to others. I know this thread isn't about non-stick pans specifically, but I have two excellent Vollrath nonstick skillets that I picked up at a restaurant supply store for about $30 each. The body of the pans are aluminum. The older of the two pans is probably 6 years old and just started accumulating enough wear and tear that the non-stick surface doesn't release eggs that well. The second pan is probably 3-4 years old and the surface is great. I don't think it makes much sense to buy a relatively more expensive nonstick pan with a stainless body since the nonstick surface will wear out way before the body does.
  10. Yeah, I understand the quandary. For the past couple of years, my wife and I would lay out about 8 Mason jars, fill each with cherries, and then fill with various liquors and spices (some whiskey, some eau de vie, some without spices, some with cinnamon and cloves, etc). Then we take up the better part of a shelf in the fridge with all of the jars. Honestly, we don't notice any significant deterioration in crispiness or texture of the cherries, even after a year. As I said above, the flavor isn't as bright as it was. The main modifications we'll make this year are (a) to try some with sugar in the mix, and (b) not make quite as much. We end up with enough uneaten cherries that we've decided to cut back and reclaim some of our fridge space. All this is to say, I think you could make a few jars, store them in the fridge, and not worry about options for storing them in the pantry. *Breaking news: I just received the weekly email from the Chicago Green City Market. It says that cherries will be available at this market this week.
  11. Darren72

    Pork Shoulder

    Richard, I can't speak to your most recent question (though I would error on the side of throwing it out), but I have a refinement to the original question about how to quickly thaw the shoulder: Food thaws quicker in moving water than in still water. I have a two-part sink. I put the food in one side, close the drain, and run cold water. When the water begins to overflow, it falls into the other half of the sink and goes down the drain. Thus, the water surrounding the meat is cold and continuously moving, and the meat thaws faster than if it was sitting in still water. If you don't have a two-part sink, you can still do this, but you have to find the correct flow of water so that the meat stays submerged. i.e. so the water comes from the tap at the same rate as it goes down the drain. I wouldn't thaw in warm water.
  12. Well, I should be more clear. You can heat it or process the mixture in a water bath, but that makes a really different product. When you heat the cherries, you change their texture a lot. You might end up with something that tastes great, but I don't think it would be the type of thing you'd want to use in a cocktail. Plus, if you pack the cherries in alcohol and then heat everything, I suspect you'd burn off the alcohol and lose its preservative properties. (Because the cherries aren't processed in a water bath, I keep my cherries in alcohol in the fridge, not the pantry.) If you heat the cherries, either before or after packing into jars, I think you'd get something closer to jam - or something that might be great on ice cream - because the texture of the fruit would begin to break down.
  13. You don't want to heat the cherries (if you are packing them in alcohol). I also don't do anything other than rinse them in water. For general preservation information, I turn to the following: http://www.amazon.com/Ball-Complete-Book-H...45785306&sr=8-2]Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving Ball Blue Book of Preserving, which is a short version of the Complete Book. Joy of Pickling (Note that this is a new edition and doesn't have many reviews on Amazon as a result.) This book focuses on pickling, not preserving in sugar or alcohol. I like the Time Life series "The Good Cook" book called "Preserving". These are coming up on 30 years old, but have great recipes and general information on techniques, safety, etc. You can usually find these on Ebay ranging from $1 to $20, depending on the particular volume. Finally, the USDA has a nice website on home food preservation: http://www.uga.edu/nchfp. My understanding is that they are somewhat conservative in their advice and methods, but that's not a bad thing.
  14. Yes, I've been adding aromatic spices (see my post above). The spices give a nice subtle flavor. In Chicago, the sour cherries come around the same time as the bing/sweeter cherries. The farmer's market vendors don't always call them "sour". My batch of preserved cherries from 2008 is dated July 11, so they should be coming here pretty soon.
  15. Darren72

    Open Table

    I love the convenience of Open Table, especially now that there is a version of the software for mobile phones. I've also dined at a restaurant and then received an email that my reservation was canceled. It happened to occur during a promotion where you received extra dining points. I emailed Open table customer service and I received my points.
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