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Everything posted by Darren72

  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


    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. 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.
  16. I don't want to change anything specifically. I'm very happy with the cherries that we make, but am curious if others mainly pack in alcohol only, or a mixture of alcohol and sugar. Fruit packed in syrup by itself - as you described - is entirely different and not really what we're after.
  17. For the last few summers, my wife and I have preserved tart cherries in alcohol to use in cocktails throughout the year. Our basic plan is to stem the cherries, pack them into Mason jars, and fill with alcohol and sometimes other spices. Then we store them in the fridge. We tend to let them steep for a month before opening. They seem to last forever, but after a year we notice that the flavors aren't nearly as bright. We mainly use kirschwasser or whiskey. Sometimes we add spices like cinnamon, clove, etc. One thing that has puzzled me is that nearly all recipes I've seen for this specify that you pack the cherries in both sugar and alcohol. I presume the sugar is just there for the sweetness, not to aid in preservation. Does anyone pack cherries in alcohol and sugar? Just alcohol?
  18. This one of my favorite recipes from Ferber's book. A few of the recipes in the book seem to have lost something in translation (or just suffer from poor editing), and this is one of them. She says the jam takes three days, but it actually takes four, unless I'm missing something. Day 1: Begin to macerate strawberries in sugar. Day 2: Strain syrup, boil it, and then return it to the strawberries. Day 3: Here's where it gets weird (I don't have the book in front of me, so I may have a few words wrong). She says something like "boil the syrup five times. Strain the syrup, boil it, and return it to the strawberries. Do this four more times at 8 hour intervals." The wording here is awkward. Plus, boiling five times at eight hour intervals puts you in the middle of day 4. Nothing wrong with that, but I've never been clear about whether I've misunderstood the directions. Then she says the rhubarb must be started at the same time as the strawberries since it also needs to macerate in sugar overnight. Well, presumably she doesn't mean to start it on Day 1, but on Day 3. Then, in the middle of Day 4, you mix the strawberries and rhubarb, check the set, etc. and can them. They turn out great and are one of the few recipes I've done without pectin that actually set really nice. MissMegan - to answer your question about turning over the jars, rather than processing them. A lot of people do it this way. The USDA and most sources I've consulted recommend processing in a water bath, rather than simply turning the jars over. I tend to process all of Ferber's jams for 10 minutes, just to be safe. But when I made the strawberry-rhubarb jam last month, I ended up with two much and didn't have room in the water bath for my last two jars. So I turned them upside down, just to see how this works. The jars are definitely sealed.
  19. Right - I like that the one Amazon comment says that the pot plus lid costs $180 (the commenter goes on to say that it is worth the money). The current price for the pot plus lid on Amazon is $355!
  20. I just realized that I had a typo - I meant to write that I am not opposed to skimming. I'm just curious what purpose it serves.
  21. Just curious about this. The main difference between the rondeau and the saute pan is the height of the sides. When frying, won't the high sides on the rondeau get in the way when you go to turn or remove food?
  22. Just a follow-up about my experience. I took the grinder to an authorized repair place. Turns out a bearing of some sort (I don't remember) needed to be replaced. Now the grinder is as good as new. Also, earlier when I wrote that I give the grinder some "juice", I meant that I press the grind button.
  23. I have an All-Clad 8qt "stock pot". The pot is about 12" wide by 6.5" tall. I always knew this wasn't a great pot for making stock, hence the quotes. I have a proper stock pot for making stock. When I first read this thread, I was confused about the difference between my pot and a Rondeau. But now that I reread Sam's lesson, I see where my pot fits in. All-Clad's stainless steel line doesn't have a "Rondeau," but it has both a 3qt and a 4qt casserole (the diameter on these is roughly twice the height, as with my "stock pot"). I agree with Fat Guy that this pot really is great. It is clearly the most useful pot I own, but since I also have a saute pan and Staub French Oven, the "stock pot" gets used less than it could be.
  24. Most of my jam recipes call for skimming the scum when you boil the fruit and syrup. I'm opposed to skimming, but I'm curious why this is done. Is it for aesthetic reasons or something different? Thanks.
  25. My Rocky is making a strange noise and I'm hoping you can give me a little guidance about the cause and what I should do about it. The noise sounds as if the lower burr is grinding on something. That is, I've removed the top burr. I've cleaned out as much of the grinder area as I can. Then, with the top burr removed, when I give the grinder a little bit of juice, I get a slightly high pitched noise that sounds like that lower burr is grinding against something. I've tried running some Grindz tablets through the grinder and that doesn't help. I have not tried to take the lower burr off. Any ideas?
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