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Lisa Shock

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Everything posted by Lisa Shock

  1. Be aware that the geometric second layer in your image will be extremely difficult to accomplish. Natural forms are easier because they are more forgiving. And, geometric patterns require the cake they are painted upon to be iced with extreme precision. If you haven't done this before, your wedding cake is not the time to try for the first time. (you'd have an easier time sewing your own gown)
  2. I do not know how big the msg molecules are. The Modernist Cuisine team found that marinating meat in oil was pointless because the molecules were too large to diffuse into the meat. I think your answer, with regards to any flavoring component lies there.
  3. I got tamales too! A friend of mine has a grandmother who knows I like the sweet ones. She only makes them during the holiday season, and sets some aside for me!
  4. I make hot chocolate by making a ganache that I keep in the fridge in pre-portioned cubes and then add hot water. I developed the concept years ago when I worked at a high end cafe and saw some ideas here on eG. I use good couverture, the reason is that it's smoother and the cocoa particles tend to be smaller due to longer conching. I find that this improves the sediment and mouth-feel issues immensely. I also add a small amount of my house-made chocolate extract to boost flavor a little, cream inhibits flavor a little bit. Good additions to the drink once it's made include: a twist of orange peel a sprinkling of cinnamon a small dab of toast dope a teaspoon of liqueur or non-alcoholic Italian syrup: nut flavor, cherry flavor, orange flavor, strawberry flavor, coffee flavor, etc. a little coffee a tiny pinch of red chile powder a sprig of fresh mint The ganache needs to be refrigerated, so, shipping could be a dicey situation -especially if there's a warm spell. I'd ship in an insulated package with frozen cold packs in it. And, I would give stern instructions that it should be refrigerated immediately upon arrival. In most instances, I would prefer to hand-deliver the finished product as a gift, or just ship some of the chocolate and the recipe.
  5. I haven't had one in over a decade. However, I do think this is a great example of how consumers really do care about details. I have worked for people who let shoddy food go out to customers because it was 'good enough' and then wondered why few customers returned. Sure, mistakes happen, but, IMO we should be striving to do our best every time.
  6. Lisa Shock

    Quiche questions

    If you want to save time, skip the crust. If you are worried about refrigeration, find two pans, or bowls, where one will fit inside the other. Take the bottom one and put ice in it and cater-wrap it. Set the other on top and you have cold holding with minimal mess.
  7. Looks like approximately 28% of US sports stadiums had 50% or more of their food service outlets incurring at least one major food safety violation during 2017. -Despite the fact that due to security issues and concerns about ticket sales, health inspectors at most of these venues have to make appointments for inspections, they cannot arrive unexpectedly. So, these venues prepared for the inspections. Here's how individual arenas performed. Some of the details are not for the faint of heart.
  8. Might have been underproofed, or the room was colder to start with. When you see a dark bottom and light top it can often indicate a good amount of last minute lift. (the bottom remains fairly static and is browning while the top is still changing shape. Does the light/dark setting affect proving? Is the proving cycle heated? Any idea about room temperature?
  9. I know that offerings vary regionally, and are voted upon by the franchisees. Here in the Phoenix area, the onion rings are made from scratch and the menu boards say "Handmade Onion Rings." I had a discussion about them today with a location manager. The cooks spend time making them every day -they are often the most time-intensive menu items to produce.
  10. Lisa Shock

    Cheese Fondue

    On the topic of ham, spam, and various sausages, while ham & cheese is a classic sandwich, you have to remember the whole business of it being a sandwich, that is on bread, generally two slices of bread, as opposed to ham and cheese on a plate, your hand, or here on a fondue fork. In many cases, it will probably be too salty for many people. It's up to you, but, if you're having company over, you may wish to think about this. Or offer your guests toast points to place their fondue items on. I myself am not fond of super-salty foods and often brush salt off my pretzels. Adding salty cheese would be overload for me. Just my $ .02
  11. No, we're describing THESE.
  12. The first episode aired on December 6, I can't believe it just snuck up on me! Luckily, I have On Demand. Look for episode 1 to repeat on Thursday night, the 13th followed by episode 2. This season takes place in Kentucky, and apparently will be heavily influenced by horse racing and bourbon. Fifteen chefs appear in episode one, and there appears to be a good mix. Many of them are from the American mid-west and almost all have worked under some big names. Only one is a personal chef. IMO, both the quick-fire and main challenges were fair, and each chef got to showcase their personal style a bit. Clips from future episodes show a lot of bourbon, hundreds of barrels of it, and a big change to restaurant wars. LCK is back and well worth watching. The only comment I will make here is that certain issues with under-doneness could have been avoided with different pans. High-sided pans are not the way to go on the oven, unless you're braising, or trying to contain a large volume of liquid.
  13. Saimen all the way for me!
  14. I prefer buying jars of goat's milk caramel at the Mexican supermarket. It's slightly tangy and has a good strong caramel taste.
  15. Lisa Shock

    Cheese Fondue

    You have to remember that the usual dipper for fondue is bread and recipes are created with that in mind. Yes, some people do fruit, but that's difficult to manage. Essentially, you are looking for something to let the fondue flavor shine while offering some texture. So the best dippers are subtly flavored/salted or have a contrasting flavor like apple slices -although apple slices are problematic because they have smooth surfaces. I'd look more at things like mini-cornbread muffins, mini-pecan pies, mini-burritos, whole roasted baby potatoes (peeled for less slippage), and other types of bread.
  16. The trick is to pull into a parking space, and really take time to read the menu. Or, check it out online. There are a lot of options. Even a simple burger meal has a lot of options for sides. Remember that when you press the red button to order, you can ask questions. They can and will make floats, like a root beer float, but it's not on the menu board. I guess I have an advantage because I've been a customer since the mid-80s. -Even so, I often debate trying new items. That said, with the app, and all drinks half price, I have become more adventurous in my selections. Cherry-limeade used to be my go-to drink, and I still get one on occasion. (I learned how to make it at home, so rarely have it when I'm out now.) The onion rings are my favorite food item. -They are still made from actual onion slices, unlike a lot of places selling a product made from compressed, minced onions. Here's a link (probably temporary) to the new Fritos and chili items.
  17. Sonic has an ordering app now, it's in a test phase. It only has a basic menu, based on national offerings. (Turns out that some of my personal faves, blackberry cream slush, peach cream slush, are regional.) Right now, the app offers half price drinks all the time, not just during happy hour. It does require that you load an online gift card with money, but, every time you do so, you get a free medium tots. (so, it's advantageous to add $10 at a time right now, instead of say, $50) The system also gives you little incentives every month or so, like a half price shake. Sonic offers a wide variety of drinks and mix-ins like fruit, candy, syrups, etc. Two of my current faves are: the banana shake (made with a fresh banana) with an add-in of caramel, and frozen lemonade with an add-in of real strawberries. I know it's winter, but here in Phoenix, it's when we emerge from our air-conditioned lairs and do outdoor activities. It's been about 70°F outside lately, perfect for some exercise.
  18. Maybe try a Shōchū? It's more alcoholic than wine, but can be very refreshing and pairs with light flavors. I have had yuzu scented types that were very refreshing. I like citrus paired with the fragrance of the ocean. I'd also look into a dry rosé, I like them for the light character with slightly less acid and more complex flavors than most whites. I think the industry still has not recovered from the 1980s, when big producers pushed a lot of bad, sickly-sweet rosés onto the mass-market and created a damaging image for the whole category. My ultimate recommendation would be for Veuve Clicquot vintage rosé, but, I recognize that it may be beyond the means of your guests.
  19. IMO, worth a try, you can scale your recipe down to make one test biscuit so you don't waste much cheese. Any of the dryer, crumbly cheeses should work well. I should try a blue cheese soon, myself...
  20. I can think of a couple of other things: Did you recently buy a new can of baking powder? -Maybe the old one was too tired. Did you change brands of flour recently? There's no industry standard for AP flour. It varies by brand, and with a brand it can vary by region. Professionals weigh out the eggs, partly because they are often purchased already shelled in cartons as a liquid. For each egg size, there's a (small) weight range. I'm sure you've seen larger and smaller eggs in the same carton. Try cracking the eggs into a small bowl and weighing them before adding and write down the result. Once you hit a good number, if one day, say 4 eggs weigh a tad too much, remove a little of the yolk. (yolks are part of an egg's magic, but, they add tenderness while whites add structure) Good luck!
  21. Admittedly, I am not fond of Cheddar, so, I haven't tried it. I did it once with Dubliner a long time ago. There will be variations with cheeses from different makers, and maybe how long you've stored it. (some cheese releases water over time) In relation to the original formula, I'd try 225g/8oz of Cheddar. It might need more, that's only .8oz per biscuit for the sandwich sized ones. Let us know how it goes.
  22. Are you using a scale for the dry ingredients? If you're using cups and teaspoons for flour, sugar, baking powder, etc. your are probably experiencing the compounding of errors inherent in the highly flawed and outdated system. Also, don't mix the creamed butter and sugar very much with the eggs. The creaming gives lift to ma cookie. If you mix with the eggs too long the sugar starts to dissolve in the egg instead of remaining encapsulated in butter.
  23. I agree. I have a few thoughts about the structure of the show. -I am always amazed that almost every reality show still uses the basic structure set forth by the first season of Survivor. It kind of works, but, IMO, someone needs to step up and have the guts to do something different. (The Great British Baking Show is the only exception I can think of.) For example, why does someone HAVE to go home at the end of each episode? I know producers think it creates drama, but, I think there would be more drama and pressure by keeping everyone and just running an ongoing point system throughout and calculating the winner at the end. I think, in the case of this show anyway, that would be far more fair. Everyone who competed on this show has a high level of skill, and most teams stayed until they got tripped up by a regional dish they were unaware of. Some teams who were eliminated early on would probably made it much further simply if the regional order was changed around. (Unlike some of the seasons of Top Chef, where they purposefully put some basic skills tests in early on to eliminate the truly weak.) I'd be more interested in seeing what everyone could do in every region. That said, I think there were too many teams to start with, There's a lot of content to cover in the first 4 episodes and I think some dishes weren't done justice on camera. I'd trim the starting lineup a bit. Another problem lies within the teams themselves. Why have them? Mostly, I think it's because of the imposition of the one hour cooking time, which to me, for fine dining, is very short. Yes, you can grill seafood in seconds, but a good braise, even with a pressure-cooker, takes time. Anyway, I found the field to be very uneven here by forcing people to have partners. Some teams, like my favorites Charles and Rodrigo, had worked together for some time; they could do the dance and understand each other's references. Other teams were just somehow formed by people choosing people they had never met. And, some of those were self-taught, meaning that they did not perhaps share some of the lingo common in French kitchens which is taught in most culinary school worldwide. They also were not used to how the other person worked. My suggestion would be to have the chefs either cook solo and have twice the time, or, give every chef a sous who is maybe a culinary school student who can skillfully execute basics like knife cuts and meat fabrication, and has fluency in their language. This way, the playing field would be more level, and they would immediately have enough talent for season two. I also am on the fence about the whole business of having to replicate a regional dish. Once again, those who went to culinary school had an overall advantage throughout and, those who had traveled or ran certain types of restaurants had advantages in specific challenges like the Japan challenge. The other issue with the challenge is the dilemma we all face with constructing a dish, tradition or innovation. -How far can you push something before its name is no longer relevant? And, in this case, how far can you go before a regional celebrity (singer, sports star, comedian, etc.) who is not a chef feels uncomfortable about transformations to a dish they recall fondly from childhood?
  24. When I made them in flan rings, we would wet our fingers and lightly press the biscuit dough into the ring to ensure that it filled the ring properly. Since the dough rises, if you start with a gap at the bottom, the dough around it just moves upwards and you can wind up with an even larger gap. That said, it was always pretty clear that we were always skirting disaster by using the flan rings. I would never go any larger than that, as I don't think there's enough structural integrity. We really only got away with it because we only used the biscuit for benedicts, not any type of sandwich or anything that a customer might pick up and eat out of hand. Our plain biscuit was smaller, a more reasonable portion. You can also lightly egg wash the tops, instead of buttering, to get them to hold together a bit better. You can reduce or eliminate the sugar as desired. Remember that these biscuits do not taste sweet. The sugar has two functions here: counteracting the bitterness of the baking powder, and aiding in browning. When adding a cheese, look for a dry type. Kerrygold's Dubliner is very good here, as well as the beforementioned parmesan. For moister cheeses, look to reduce the amount of cream by a tablespoon or two. Also, when adding cheese, you may wish to reduce the amount of salt. A whole wheat version can be made by replacing up to 50% of the flour with whole wheat flour (albino white or regular), preferably pastry flour. The biscuits will be more dense than normal, but that's the norm for whole wheat baking. I do not recommend going anywhere close to 100% whole wheat flour, the end result is too heavy and gritty.
  25. If it's more than a week old, it's not good. The fridge slows down the action of some bacteria and viruses and most of them remain active -just at a slower rate. There are a few bugs that thrive under refrigeration, and a couple that are severely inhibited. Don't risk it, there are all sorts of bugs, unlike mold, that you can neither see nor smell.
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