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Everything posted by phatj

  1. So there's a Kickstarter project out there now for these new pans -- intended to supplant cast iron, they're made much lighter from wrought iron which supposedly also imparts greater thermal conductivity and increased toughness. Here's the link for those interested: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/495892923/solidteknics-pans-1pc-wrought-iron-not-cast-lighte?ref=6mccke Curious if anyone has one of these pans? Supposedly they've been available in Australia for a few years now and have been popular.
  2. I just got one of these and the induction ring is much smaller than the bottom diameter of the pan that comes with it, as shown by boiling water in it, where you can clearly see bubbles forming in a ~4-inch ring at the bottom. I tried it with a 10-qt stockpot, with a much larger bottom diameter, and got the same results. This is not a high-end unit.
  3. I own an immersion blender, acquired as a work service anniversary gift where I got to choose from many cheapo items in a catalog. I have used it never, in probably close to five years. This thread makes me think I should give it a chance though. My Vitamix, sadly, has been neglected for months now.
  4. phatj

    Reputation Makers

    Just stumbled across this thread while searching for "tikka masala". I submit one of the few recipes that I really consider my own, original creation, and without a doubt the most delicious thing I have ever made. The recipe was originally written for chicken but it's truly transcendent with duck. Roasted Apple & Garlic Bisque with Duck 4 tart apples, such as Granny Smith4 whole heads garlic3 T melted duck fatsalt & freshly ground black pepper1 medium onion, chopped1 c sherry1 c reduced duck stock2 c heavy cream1 T melted duck fat1 c cooked duck pieces (preferably dark meat, ideally confited leg meat)salt & freshly ground black pepper1 T minced fresh thyme leavesduck skin cracklings Preheat oven to 350F. Cut apples into wedges and cut stem end off of garlic heads. Toss apples and garlic with fat and sprinkle with salt & pepper. Spread apple wedges, peel side down, on a baking sheet. Wrap garlic heads in a foil packet. Put apples and garlic into oven and bake until apples are browned, 45-60 minutes. The garlic can be removed after 45 minutes and left to cool. While apples and garlic are roasting, in a large saucepan, bring sherry, stock and onions to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook until alcohol smell abates, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. Also while roasting apple & garlic, heat a small skillet over high heat for a few minutes until very hot. Add fat, then duck pieces. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned all over. Remove from heat and set aside. Scrape apples and any accumulated juices into a blender. Squeeze in cloves from garlic heads, and pour in sherry, stock and onions. Blend until smooth, pour back into saucepan, and stir in thyme. Over medium-high heat, bring mixture to a boil. Stir in cream and bring back to a boil. Pour bisque through a strainer into a serving bowl. Rock strainer around to let liquid pass, but do not press solids through. Ladle soup into individual bowls, add a few pieces of duck and a sprinkling of cracklings to each.
  5. I can see the utility of a wider pot, but I can't justify spending $200, let alone $400, on a stockpot. I have a $40 Tramontina that I got at Costco about 10 years ago that works great, but it doesn't actually work any better than the cheapo all-stainless pot that I got in a set years before, I just use the newer one more because it's 10-qt instead of 8. Also it came with a pasta strainer thingy which is handy.
  6. So would my wife. RA can be a b***h. Do you grip the noodles in both hands and bend it to break it? I hold the box against the edge of the counter and press on the ends with the heels of my hands. Takes no hand strength to speak of.
  7. phatj

    Show Us Your Ladles!

    Boy did I misread this thread title! I have nothing to add - I have a couple cheap ladles that I've owned for a very long time, which aren't great but they work.
  8. The low-carb/Paleo/Primal/whatever thing really works. Many may have a hard time with it in the beginning because they're essentially carb/sugar addicts, but once you get over that hump (which only takes a week or so) it's pretty easy to stick with. It works because protein and especially fat make you feel full much more than carbohydrates; meanwhile, carbs (and to a lesser extent protein) trigger an insulin response that makes your body try to store excess calories as fat. It's certainly possible to lose weight with a high-carb, low fat diet, but it's difficult because it relies a lot on willpower to maintain portion control, whereas a low-carb, high-fat diet tends to be self-limiting. You'll eat only the calories you need. I lost almost 20 lbs in about two months, though I wasn't even overweight - I was just on the high end of the normal BMI range. Because this diet is high in fat, it's important that you educate yourself about different kinds of fats, and how heat affects them. Avoid most vegetable oil (canola, corn, soybean, safflower, etc.). Use olive oil for salads or low-heat cooking; avocado or coconut oil (or rendered animal fats) for high-heat cooking. Wherever availability and budget permit, opt for naturally-raised meats, e.g. grass-fed beef, free range chickens, etc. These will tend to have a superior Omega-6/Omega-3 ratio and will be higher in other nutrients as well.
  9. In my immediate family, it's me by a country mile, except for baked goods. My wife cooks only if she has to and while she does fine, her range is pretty limited. She does however bake very fine breads, pies, cookies, and cakes though, something that I've never had the inclination to get into much. My dad began to take over cooking duties from my mom when I was a teenager, and he, like me, is not afraid to try new things, whereas she's pretty much a Betty Crocker gal, but I've outpaced him by far, I think. The best cook in my extended family other than me is undoubtedly my maternal uncle, who has an artistic flair. Which of the two of us is better is hard to say, since I see him so rarely (he lives in Washington state, I live in Pennsylvania).
  10. Wusthof knives are fairly heavy, so I'm not sure that would be the direction I would recommend for you. Have you ever used a Japanese gyuto? It's the closest equivalent of a western chef's knife, but with a thinner blade, and a harder steel. I have a 270mm (~10.6") Kanetsugu Pro-M gyuto that is 2.5 oz lighter than my 8-inch Henckels. The thinner blade means it can take a keener edge and that it takes less work to get it through whatever you're cutting. The one thing it doesn't do well is cut very hard material, as the blade will chip more easily than a thicker, softer one. But you could always keep the Chicago Cutlery knife for those types of tasks.
  11. Not sure if the price has come way down since I asked about this a year ago, as this is listed for just $24 on their site, but I got a Thermoworks oven probe thermometer for Christmas, and so far, so good. However, it appears to have identical internals to the Taylor I had before - same features, same buttons, even the same sound. Hopefully it holds up better.
  12. I got two more Japanese knives for my collection for Christmas, both Misono Molybdenum - an 80mm parer (which I asked for specifically) and a 145mm boning knife. My others are a Kanetsugu Pro-M 240mm gyuto, which is my daily driver, and a Shun Classic 150mm petty (which I don't know what to do with - the blade is too long to be useful for paring, and too short to be useful for chef's knife tasks - but it's beautiful). The gyuto originally was wickedly sharp, and still, after three years, is a much better tool than the heavy Henckels that I used previously, but I've learned that I've been mistreating it in my efforts to sharpen it. It came with a convex, rather than beveled edge, and my Spyderco is designed for a beveled edge. Can I keep at it with the Spyderco and eventually convert the edge to a bevel and thence to superior sharpness once again, or should I switch to sandpaper and a strop?
  13. Always last night's leftovers. Which these days usually means a big tossed salad with lots of veggies plus some form of protein, usually sliced into the salad.
  14. This reminds me of when I was on vacation in Mexico with my brother and sister-in-law, and we stopped at this roadside taco stand for lunch. They had squeeze bottles of sauces on the table, and my sister-in-law thought the green one was guacamole. Whoops.
  15. I too bought a Unicorn Magnum because of this thread, and it's great. The only thing that holds it back from being perfect is that it won't grind quite fine enough for certain things. I have another pepper mill that I use when I need a very fine grind but it takes about five turns to equal one from the Magnum.
  16. I appear to be in the minority, but I never really noticed any difference between one brand and another. I just bought whatever was cheapest at the supermarket (I pretty much don't eat pasta at all any more, as I avoid processed carbs).
  17. phatj

    Corned Beef, Sous Vide

    My favorite preparation of corned beef (storebought) is slow cooking at low temperature in an enclosed vessel, but elevated so it doesn't braise so much as steam. I soak for 24H in the fridge to desalt. I make a rub with the spice packet (toasted and ground), lots of pressed garlic, a big dollop of prepared mustard, and some paprika, then bake it at 200F overnight. In the morning it goes into the fridge, and it can be ready for dinner in 30 minutes in a 300F oven followed by a quick blast under the broiler.
  18. phatj

    Buxom Cluckers

    Whooeee, those are some big 'uns! You sure they're real? I mean, 2.5 lbs is about as big as a typical chuck roast. Maybe they're turkey?
  19. If the ingredient label can be believed, it contains no citrus. Water, SB peppers, modified food starch, onion, garlic, salt, acetic acid.
  20. Anybody have or use the ThermoWorks probe oven thermometer? I'm not sure I can justify $69 for a thermometer, but I'm looking for a quality replacement for the crappy Taylor probe thermometer I have that went on the fritz after a few months.
  21. I got a bottle of Native Treasure Blazing Inferno Island Pepper Sauce in Barbados a few weeks ago. It's made with Scotch bonnets. Seriously spicy, at least for my taste, but with a really nice, sweet, citrusy flavor under the heat. I like it a lot.
  22. phatj

    Boiling potatoes

    Try salt potatoes some time. It's a central/western New York specialty. Small waxy potatoes boiled whole and unpeeled in a VERY salty brine, and the salt makes the boiling point higher than it otherwise would be, so they cook differently than regular boiled potatoes (maybe akin to the pressure cooker), with a dense, creamy texture. Plus they have a wonderful salty skin when they've been left to dry for a few minutes.
  23. A Unicorn Magnum peppermill. This is the second time I've had a peppermill on my list, but the first time I've gotten a good one.
  24. By far my favorite soup, and the best recipe I've ever come up with, is this: If you really want to go all out, make it with duck. Buy a whole duck, render fat from trimmings and leftover skin, make confit with the legs, remove the breasts for another purpose, and make a stock with the remainder. I made this for a dinner party recently hosted by a professional chef and he was blown away.
  25. I saw those at my local Acme for $55. I thought about it, not gonna lie, but ultimately I didn't trust that it would be any good. I see reviews are generally favorable, however.
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