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Everything posted by johnsmith45678

  1. johnsmith45678

    Pastry for Beginners

    To all you illustrious pastry chefs , what recipes would recommend to complete beginners? I've never really made anything in the pastry field, except donuts I guess. I've never made pate a choux, fondant, maripan, eclairs, etc. What are the "basics" from which one can get a base knowledge upon which to build? Nothing too elaborate , and perhaps things which offer the greatest bang for the buck. Thanks!
  2. johnsmith45678

    Good, Cheap/Inexpensive Knives

    I'm looking for a good, cheap set of knives for home use. Is there such a thing? Global knives seem the rage now. But Consumer Reports gives Chicago Cutlery a best buy ($60 for a set). When I worked in restaurants, we use Forshner and Henckels. What do you recommend?
  3. johnsmith45678


    I read this here: I've check Vitamin Cottage (the local chain of health food stores) and searched online. Looks like Matcha is pretty hard to come by -- I was only able to find VitaLife offering it and/or some Japanese brand of tea. Anybody know where to get matcha?
  4. johnsmith45678

    Preserving Chocolate with Invertase

    I have a recipe for chocolate truffles, and it states that intervase should be added to extend their shelf life (by preventing mold if there are air pockets). I checked the local grocery stores (including Whole Foods) and they've never heard of intervase. Google shows only 8 results for 'intervase chocolate'. Anybody heard of intervase, and where to get it? edit - oops, it's invertase . So, my question is - what places usually carry it, or know of any good mail order shops?
  5. johnsmith45678

    Favorite Piece of Meat?

    What's your favorite piece/cut of meat? Mine would be the outer layer on the top side of a piece of prime rib. Oooohhh man, that's soooo good. We rubbed prime ribs with a salt/pepper/etc. rub before cooking. When leftover prime ribs came back from the carving stations, I used to slice off and eat only that part. I think the inner part of prime rib is kind of nasty -- flavorless and rubbery and usually too rare. I also think T-bone steaks are pretty good. Ribeyes too I think (been a long time). As for filet mignons, I think they're overrated -- they're really tender, but don't have much flavor at all. update - Oh, flank steak is pretty good too.
  6. johnsmith45678

    Golf Cake Dimples

    Heh heh, ball tool, heh heh.
  7. johnsmith45678

    Buford on Gordon Ramsay

    I learned a new word today!
  8. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    I suspect I'm supposed to find all of the recipes on Good Eats/in AB's books delicious, but I've found many of them not to be: - powerbar with unshelled sunflower seeds - coleslaw (his draining method left way too much salt) - crackers - several others I'm forgetting
  9. johnsmith45678

    Buford on Gordon Ramsay

    That was a great quote. I guess so many critics/people are so accustomed to their extravagant lifestyle that they become jaded and bored. I'm sure Joe Public would find GR's food amazing. I've always loved how GR dismisses critics.
  10. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    Yeah, maybe. I've never thought cilantro tasted like soap/dishwater.
  11. johnsmith45678

    Buford on Gordon Ramsay

    Pretty good and interesting article, if a bit long. I guess it's nice to know GR isn't going soft -- reminded me of Boiling Point, and make me both nostalgic and glad I don't work in restaurants anymore. I was surprised GR didn't mentioned anything about his bad blood with MPW. The article made me think of GR as more of a craftsman than an artist -- he's interested in making good food rather than showing off on a plate ala WD-40, et al.
  12. johnsmith45678

    Food Movies: The Topic

    Damn, I've got a lot of movies to see! My faves: - Sideways: hilarious - Supersize Me - Waiting: Well, not really a fave, but it so accurately captured working in a dead-end restaurant job that I felt like I was back working in one and depression set in! - Cocktail: Not a very good movie, but I always enjoy it. - Charlie & The Chocolate Factory (with Gene Wilder) Haven't seen Big Night yet. I just requested it from my library. I first heard about it in A Cook's Tour where Bourdain meets Tony Schaloub. Great restaurant/food scenes in movies: - Goodfellas: where they're meticulously preparing an Italian feast in prison. - Hannibal: Brains anyone? One of the most disturbing scenes I've ever seen -- hell Silence of the Lambs is kind of about food too as a lot of people now associate fava beans and (a nice) chianti with it. - Better Off Dead: Boiled bacon? It's got raisins in it... you like raisins. - Caddyshack: DOG FOOD?!? - A Fish Called Wanda: Don't eat the green ones -- they're not ripe yet! I didn't like Chocolat -- found it slow and boring. I didn't care for Delicatessen either -- too weird. Oh man...I think I remember seeing that one! Clerks 2 is kind of a food movie... Nobody's mentioned Fast Food Nation. I started watching it, got bored and scanned through the rest. Didn't look that interesting. And on TV, I really enjoyed Kitchen Confidential.
  13. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    Yeah, it just doesn't taste as good. I recently bought some nonfat cottage cheese and can't stand it. I'll probably just throw it out. I love regular cottage cheese.
  14. johnsmith45678


    I toast sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on the stove. Why not do the same with quinoa? Or just stick them on a pan in the oven?
  15. johnsmith45678


    I recently tried quinoa and I like it! What's an easy way to wash it before cooking? My colanders, strainers, etc. all have holes/slots too big that they let the quinoa through. I'm thinking about washing it in a big pot then straining it through a coffee filter.
  16. johnsmith45678

    Did I do the right thing walking out?

    I do -- I would've eaten the food! Then complained about the wait.
  17. johnsmith45678

    Culinary Heresies

    I think I agree with you on all points. On the last one about food safety, I watch Good Eats and I think Alton goes overboard, boarding on OC. I'm careful with meat -- getting it to temp, keeping it separate, etc. And I generally try to keep things clean, but that's about it. I also don't pay much attention to expiration dates, unless it can go rancid or the flavor is adversely affected -- if it doesn't smell or look funny, it's okay. In all my years of cooking for myself and for others in restaurants, I've never poisoned anybody. I don't think I'd eat food I left out overnight though (what did you leave out?).
  18. johnsmith45678

    No Impact Man

    The article says they don't use toilet paper either. I wonder how they're dealing with that -- just spend extra time washing their hands afterwards, like in some parts of some middle-eastern countries? PS - love the responses here! These enviros make no sense to me either.
  19. What I've heard is that this used to be true, back when cans were actually made from tin, but that it's no longer a problem, but that people still are afraid to do it. Of course, this may also just be a myth . Kim ← That was a thought I had -- that oxygen would react with the inside of the can, forming rust (presuming all oxygen gets removed from the can in the canning process?). I think (guess) cans nowadays are treated on the inside to protect against rust or otherwise reacting with the food. Anyhow, I stored an opened can of pineapple in the fridge for a couple days and subsequently ate it and I'm still here feeling fine!
  20. QUESTION: Why isn't it okay to keep food in its can after opening it? Just open it, use what you need, put wrap on it, and stick it in the fridge -- just like a bottle, etc. Somebody somewhere told me it was bad to leave food in its can, and I can't really remember any place I ever worked leaving food in its can -- the food was always transferred to another container (plastic, glass, etc.) for storage. I suspect this may be a myth.
  21. johnsmith45678

    Japanese Knives – What to Buy?

    I don't know what to make of that either. Staking vampires? Or maybe it's to pound the handle further onto the blade, if it's loose, and if that's how they're constructed. Otherwise, beats me.
  22. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    I don't dislike veal, but I ate it many times when I worked at an Italian restaurant and found it overrated. It didn't have any flavor, compared to beef. It was just much more tender -- sort of like fillet mignon, which I also find overrated. It also seemed ridiculously cruel to subject calves to the conditions at the time for such an end result.
  23. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    Tofu -- it has absolutely no value, taste-wise. I'm not crazy about it when it's mixed in with other stuff either. But since it's supposed to be healthy...
  24. Wow, hadn't heard Mel's was closing. They did lose their chef a while ago. He went to Elway's Steak House (seems like a weird career move to me). Durango again: Once back from Dolores, drive nearly the same distance -- east this time -- to Keyah Grande. Their chefs have a blog, but I don't know the URL off-hand.
  25. johnsmith45678

    Foods that you are *supposed* to find delicious?

    I don't think anybody's mentioned these foods we're supposed to find delicious: - The vast majority of food sold that is loaded with sugars, HFCS, etc. - Same, but loaded with salt. - Same, but loaded with grease. I starting reducing my sugar intake a few months ago and I kind of find sugary foods disgusting now (same with salty and greasy foods, but longer ago). Mass-market foods have overloaded our taste buds with sugars and salt, to the exclusion of everything else.