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Everything posted by JayBassin

  1. I put the cast iron pan in the self-cleaning cycle of the oven. Removed the rust, baked-on crud, etc., down to bare metal. Works like a charm. Then seasoned it in the usual way.
  2. I edited my post to include a clause about cost. I have been dreaming of making a rib roast with yorkshire pudding, but I am trying to keep costs down. Oh how I love yorkshire pudding! ← Capon is not expensive, but usually needs to be ordered in advance. Baked ham (either a smithfield ham or a honey-roast); noodle cake with apples and walnuts and raisins. Rump roast of beef is inexpensive and if you cook it medium rare in a slow oven it will be quite tender, so you could do that with Yorkshire pudding.
  3. If duck and goose are too exotic, you've got a problem. Anyway, consider a standing rib roast of beef or bison accompanied with traditional Yorkshire pudding, green beans (casserole or with onion confit and mushrooms), and glazed carrots. Or roast capon with wild rice and sweet potato puree For dessert, do a yule log (buche de noel)---always a crowd pleaser (who doesn't like chocolate cake?) and much easier than it looks.
  4. I had the torte at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna a few years ago---mainly because it wast THERE! I agree: it wasn't worth it. Maybe because I'm not a big fan of raspberry, but even so, it was dry and not very tasty. I wouldn't say it was "awful" and I did finish it, but if you're visiting Vienna, there are too many other good pastry places to waste your time and money at Sacher.
  5. 3/4 C sour cream for a 9" cake would be like a glaze---probably why it's not cooked after. Typical cooked sour cream topping would be 2 cups or more, spread on, and baked for 5-10 minutes as Tweety69bird says. I agree that there won't be a health hazard. You ought to keep the cake chilled until about 1-2 hours before service, though. I suggest adding 1 Tbs of bourbon to the sour cream and 2 Tbs bourbon to the pumpkin filling.
  6. Perhaps I missed it, but the recipe you posted doesn't appear to have a sour cream topping--it calls for a ganache topping. Do you plan to add a sour cream topping also, or instsead of the ganache? Usually, sour cream toppings are added to the cheesecake and baked for 5-10 minutes to set before final chilling.
  7. JayBassin


    Thanks, GG! I guess I'll try another Costco.
  8. JayBassin


    I used to get good veal shoulder roasts at my local Costco, but for the past six months they've not had them. I recently asked and was told they no longer sell veal. Is this a general Costco policy, and if so, does anyone know if it was because veal doesn't sell, or is it just my store (Beltsville, MD)?
  9. JayBassin

    poached eggs

    You can pre-poach eggs, then cool them quickly in an ice bath and keep thein m chilled water overnight. At work, you can use the microwave to heat water just below boiling and warm the eggs in the hot water. You won't know the difference.
  10. When I brine turkey and chicken, I always loosen the skin between the skin and the meat by sliding my fingers and hand around (before brining), then I rinse or soak the birds in fresh water, then ALWAYS dry uncovered in a fridge for 24 hours---srhcb's ditty is right on. If you have time, re-run your fingers under the skin once or twice during the drying period. The point is to reduce water in the skin (oil/fat is fine). BBQ Bryan's trick about pouring boiling water (or dunking the birds in boiling water) also works (it's a step in making traditional Peking Duck), but I usually don't bother. Oiling the skin before roasting is also useful. I usually roast chickens in a rotisserie, which I find gets uniformly crispy skin. Ditto with small turkeys. Roasting in an oven, it's best to rotate the bird a few times: for example for a chicken, I roast (preheated 425 F) breast down 20 minutes, left side 15 minutes, right side 15 minutes, breast up 15-20 minutes.
  11. Reporting back on restaurants in Redondo Beach, based on a non-random sample during the week of Nov 14. First, let me say that most of my choices were limited by group-think among my colleagues. Old Tony's -- On the Pier. Great location and views, mediocre, institutional food, poor service. I ordered grilled halibut. The fish was slightly overcooked, but it and the accompanying potatoes were so over-salted that I had to send it back. The waitress was rude and denied that the kitchen ever salted the fish. My companions had different versions of halibut (with sauces) and they were pretty good. I wouldn't go back. Harbor Drive -- On Route 1. Hard to tell because I went with a group of about 15. Surprisingly good wine list, and excellent service. Food was high-end institutional, nothing particular to remember. I wouldn't go back. The Charthouse -- On Route 1. Also visited with a group. Excellent service. You have to wonder, though, when the top recommendations by the server at a seafood restaurant were beef shortribs and beef medallions. I had halibut, and it was ok. Appetizers were over cooked (scallops, calimari, fried oysters) with a pedestrian unimaginitive lemon sauce and cocktail sauce. Desserts were chocolate volcano cake and a slab (literally) of coffe ice cream with fudge sauce. The cake was fine; the coffee ice cream was flavorless, but the portion was huge. Again, a surprisingly good (and reasonable) wine list, including some fine alsatian gewerztraminer as well as well-priced California varietals. Captain Kidd's -- On Route 1 just north of the Pier. For lunch. Wide variety of fish for platters and sandwiches. Place order, get ticket, come back and pick up. Usual sides (potatoes, slaw, etc). I had grilled monkfish. The fish was good, but served on a plain dry bun. Coleslaw inedible. Prices very high for what you get. Japonica --- about 1.5 miles south of Redondo Beach. Excellent Japanese/fusion restaurant. The chef(s) stuck pretty close to traditional Japanese presentations of sashimi and sushi. Some home-marinated albacore was excellent (house specialty). Meal began with a complimentary "california roll" (what else?). Soup was excellent, service excellent. I'd go back in a flash. I was told that Kinkaid's Bay House was excellent, but didn't make it. Other people went to Ruby's Diner and reported that it was "pretty good."
  12. I use powdered egg whites a lot and have no problems baking with them. The biggest lesson I learned is that you need to mix the water/powder and let the powder hydrate for at least 1 hour before whisking. Also, make the usual precautions against any fats/oils in the utensils.
  13. First, I want to add my thanks as well. Your word choice caught my eye, "geedunk." Is that mostly a navy term, or something you picked up from someone else? Curious, bc my Father-In-Law calls it that, too, and he's retired Navy Reserves. Thanks! -edited bc I can't type.... ← "Geedunk" was coined in the early part of the 20th Century in a comic strip, referring to a type of icecream sundae. See here for the "official" U.S. Navy etymology. It was in still in common use in the 1960s when I went to sea.
  14. Here's my favorite: onion-poppyseed rolls, but very light.
  15. JayBassin


    Also commonly hunted in upstate NY. At my brother's farm, I either make a stew out of the breasts with bacon and mushrooms (using the carcass and legs for stock) or a braise. There is very little meat except the breasts. "Chuckers" are a type of partridge for the uninitiated.
  16. Will you please describe your training as a navy cook, and explain if you receive any specialized training for the submarine force in addition?
  17. Did you make with the buttermilk version or sour cream version of the recipe? I haven't tried the buttermilk, but as I noted elsewhere on this thread, the sour cream version turned out very rich and moist.
  18. I agree. Keep the chocolate well wrapped and in plastic, and in the proverbial "cool dark place." If it gets too warm you can get a white bloom on the surface, but that doesn't matter if you end up melting the chocolate (the bloom is crystallization due to detempering). The hard part of keeping high quality chocolate is to keep from eating it!
  19. My biggest use of the KA at home is making breads and rolls. Large volumes of egg whites are another good use. Large cakes, or batters that need beating or whipping. Sometimes, though, it's just as easy to use a whisk or a small hand-held mixer for small jobs like a couple of egg whites. I also use a food processor for some mixing jobs like pie crusts and choux paste; mainly because the KA is not on my counter all the time and the processor is. I also use the bowls to brine chickens (just the right size) or chill stocks for defatting.
  20. Sure they can be made without whole eggs or egg yolks. It's not clear what you mean by "egg substitute" because what I think of as egg substitute (e.g., "Egg Beaters") are egg whites with coloring and lecithin added. If your guests object to eggs in any form, then egg substitutes won't do. If they only object to yolks, you can make them with substitutes+cream+starch (cornstarch or tapioca starch or arrowroot). The eggs (mainly the yolks) act as the thickener as well as providing flavor and mouth feel. Egg whites alone will be too dry. You can finish with a bit of butter whisked in.
  21. I have a 12 L Kuhn Rikon that I use for stock and an 8 L Wearever (aluminum) that I rarely use. I like the Kuhn Rikon a lot. I agree with the previous recommendation to stick with stainless steel. The wearever has a weight that sits on a post on the lid and rocks when the steamer is at pressure. The Kuhn Rikon and other modern ones have an integrated spring pressure valve. The big difference is that the spring valve doesn't release a lot of steam, so cooking for a couple of hours in one means you don't need a lot of water (a good feature). The wearever/weight models vent a lot of water/steam during use, so you need to take that into account. Second, do not ever dish-washer the lid or the rubber gasket. I ignored the warnings in the manual, and found that the heat of the dishwasher or drying cycle shortened the life of both the gasket and the rubber pressure-release valve. You can only fill the cookers 3/4 full, so a 12 L cooker only results in about 4-6 L of stock (depending on the volume of bones and veg). All in all, the large Kuhn Rikon is an excellent investment.
  22. Heritage India on Wisconsin Ave; Le Mannequin Pis on Rte 29 in Olney MD.
  23. I don't use mixes because I avoid all trans fats (which are common in mixes) and because I want to tweak the cakes. I have no religious scruples about anyone else who wants to use a mix. However, if I was going to buy a cake from a pastry shop, I think I'd be a bit annoyed if I knew it came out of a DH box; somehow, I'd like to think I was getting something that showed creativity. That said, I think I'm missing something: I read with interest many of the posts above, including Wendy's (whom I greatly admire), and I don't see any that use the mix per directions on the box. Everyone seems to have a different way of doctoring the mix, sometimes with as many new ingredients as it would take to make a cake from scratch! What are you saving in time if you add flour, sugar, flavorings, sour cream, etc?
  24. JayBassin

    Turkey Brining

    Woodburner, this was excellent advice, thanks! I've had problems in the past with over-salty turkey and too-salty drippings, but your idea of 2 20-minute soaks solved the problem of over-saltiness. The bird was very juicy and not salty. I also find that brining additives like herbs (esp. bay & rosemary) and garlic do flavor the meat; I boil them with the salt & sugar for 20 minutes, then dilute with cold water to the right proportion. I use 1 C kosher salt + 1/2 C sugar per gallon. (BTW, I put the small-leaf herbs like thyme & rosemary in a cheesecloth to keep them from sticking all over the bird's skin.)
  25. JayBassin

    How best to puree?

    Great idea, Alex. A food processor isn't good for fine purees; you'll always get bits that don't get pulverized. I use a food mill if I want to strain out some bits, like tomato seeds, skin, or strings from stuff like celery. I used to use a regular blender, but now use an imersion blender almost exclusively for soups.
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