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    Boston, MA
  1. sandercohan

    Top Chef: Masters

    The format is probably by design -- it'd be impossible to get these guys away from their kitchens/business managers for three weeks while they film it all. The way they did it is probably easier -- two days an episode, then a call back for the final. I enjoyed the show -- good, laid back television.
  2. sandercohan

    Range Hoods & Vents

    Yep. I figured it was a pretty terrible idea. Thanks for all your help! Sander
  3. sandercohan

    Range Hoods & Vents

    Hi guys, What are people's experiences with downdraft hoods? I'm putting in a gas range and due to a long complicated tale involving duct work, I'm looking for some alternative options. I've found that people either love them or hate them. What models would people recommend? Is it possible to have a good reciprocating downdraft hood? Thanks, Sander
  4. sandercohan

    Microwave Over Range

    Hi, Our kitchen redesign is finally starting to gain traction. We've gotten contractors to call us back, and now we're starting to make some decisions on how it will look. I'll post photos once things get underway. The kitchen footprint is very small, and given its orientation (and our budget) putting in a full vent hood is not an option. I'm fine with that and I'll put in a recirculating vent. One, slightly irritating, discussion we keep having is that people keep asking us "where will the microwave go?" to the point where I think the microwave lobby is paying people to say that to us. We don't really use microwaves (we don't have one now), but I acknowledge that once we have kids and when we decide to sell the house, a microwave would be helpful. So its going into the design. Fine. My wife wants to put it over the stove. I think this is kind of ugly and slightly impractical and want to put it elsewhere. Am I being insane? Putting it elsewhere might mean less counterspace (which is a premium in this scenario) How are people's experiences with over-the-range microwaves? Thanks s
  5. sandercohan

    Nursery-school cooking project

    This is what I was going to suggest! I have very fond memories of doing this exact exercise in nursery school....thirty years ago. s
  6. sandercohan

    Meat Slicers: The Topic

    I have the Chef's Choice #632. I love it. I got it because I wanted a meat slicer and that's what they sold at Williams Sonoma (where I had a ton of gift cards). It's a good entry level product for small projects. I wouldn't use it for large scale projects (catering, etc...), but it's compact, pretty, and easy to handle. Cleanup is a bit cumbersome, I would have liked dishwasher safe components, but whatever, its not that big and its only five minutes out of my life. Half price, I think it would be a great idea. No experience with the serrated blade. That might be my next purchase. s
  7. sandercohan

    Making Bacon

    Liberating isn't it? We have not bought bacon since starting to cure our own. It is also economical since bellies are around $2 / lb or less and good bacon is more like $10 / lb and up... ← Nice work. That looks really tasty. Your photos lead me to an interesting question -- does it matter which side is up when you smoke your bellies? I noticed you put yours skin-side down. When I did mine a few weeks ago, I smoked them skin side up. Is there a difference, you think?
  8. sandercohan

    Making Bacon

    Seriously. Really drives home the meaning of "marks from where the jockey was hitting it" I'll probably just cut it out. Its a pretty large belly anyway, and it'll give me a good excuse to see if the cure made its way to the middle or not before I set to smoking it.
  9. sandercohan

    Making Bacon

    Here you go. It's not as pretty as Chris' photography, but any help with the diagnosis would be great. Lemme know if you need another angle. Thanks! I promise to publish photos of the finished product to offset the ghastliness of this one.
  10. sandercohan

    Making Bacon

    Guys, I need some help "troubleshooting" some of my bacon. I'll post pictures tonight, but maybe my description will yield a quick answer. I ordered a pork belly from niman ranch last week (which, on the downside, arrived frozen, but, on the upside, was way bigger than I expected), thawed it, and parceled it into four smaller bellies (about 4 lbs each) to make bacon, maple bacon, pancetta, and salt pork. I realize this is really bacon, bacon, bacon, and bacon, but I'm working on technique here. Anyway, they've been sitting in their respective cures in 2.5 gallon ziplocks, stacked on each other in a drawer in my refrigerator since Saturday afternoon, overhauling every other day (or so). I plan to pull them out on Friday to begin phase 2. My maple bacon seems to have developed a "bruise". Maybe I didn't notice it before, but it definitely has a dark spot that appears to be below the skin (i.e. not USDA dye or green mold). Its fairly large, probably about 1.5-2 inches in diameter. Should I be worried? My instinct is to cut it out, but I don't want to overreact. I also don't want to get sick, either. Thoughts?
  11. sandercohan

    Dishwasher decisions

    My parents put in two dishwashers when they redid their kitchen fifteen years ago. It really worked out nicely when they entertained. My friends, however, made fun of me mercilessly. I'd like to think they were jealous.
  12. sandercohan

    The Best Boston Restaurant

    I have to second the Tuesday and Wednesday night tasting menus at Ten Tables. Very nice meals, appropriate amounts of food, and not very pretentious at all.
  13. sandercohan

    Vancouver Island Restaurants

    Hey guys, So my fiancee and I are spending our honeymoon in Vancouver Island. We'll be there from June 9-15. We're spending two nights on Mayne Island, then moving onto Tofino, where we're going to spend three nights, then trucking back to Vancouver, where we'll spend one night there before heading back to Boston. Yep, it's a lot of driving and a lot of ferry trips, but we love both (we're big fans of the Maine coast), so there you go. We also really like to eat. We have plans to eat at Pointe in Tofino, but I wanted to get some recommendations from you guys for some other spots, especially if there are some "must-try" places. Also, if you have an idea of a really great lunch place between Victoria and Tofino that would be much obliged. Our tastes run pretty broad, and your suggestions don't have to be fancy, or even sit-down. Thanks for your help! Sander
  14. sandercohan

    Top Chef Season 4

    I've been ruminating on that movie as well. All the ideas I have are good, but not nec. fine dining (much like the movie, actually). I haven't seen the movie in a while, either, so my memory might be foggy: 1. Something involving chile peppers, evoking the scene where they accidentally kill the hitman sent to take care of them. 2. Lloyd is a pet groomer -- something with hot dogs/sausages? 3. The whole end of the movie takes place in aspen, and involves the untimely demise of a snow owl (or was it a whooping crane...I might be confusing it "PCU"). There you can go in the small cooked bird direction. Okay, enough of this.... A braised rabbit evoking Fatal Attraction would have been just beautiful dark genius. No Chicago movies, either. Risky Business Puttanesca anyone? s
  15. sandercohan

    Whole Wheat Pasta

    I tend to tolerate the Ronzoni. Which is (sigh) fine. I think the real solution is to eat pasta less often, or perhaps in smaller portions.