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fellowpeon

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  1. That induction Zo model (this one: http://www.zojirushi.com/ourproducts/ricec...rs/nh_vbc.html) looks mighty tempting. In part b/c I am enamored by all things induction right now. My wife and I are thinking of upgrading to one of those pressure rice cookers, which tend to be Korean-made. I think Zo or Panasonic used to make one but maybe don't anymore. My wife's parents and her aunt's family each have one. The pressure cooker lets them cook garbanzo beans and another purple bean (I don't know the name of it) that gets mixed in with the rice. I don't entirely understand how both the rice and dried beans get cooked to the right texture (maybe the beans go in first, then rice later), but it seems to work fine. Does anyone here have any experience with those models?
  2. Hi, infernoo. I was intending to go over to the butcher's today for chicken stock material and checked to see if those photos were still needed. I'm glad to see the issue of which cut has been solved. But it seems you're still unsatisfied with texture and flavor. Flank steak is a staple at my house now so I hope you don't mind but I'll chime in with some advice (ignore anything that's obvious). First, I noticed the steaks in your photos still have silver skin (that membrane-y stuff) on them. Take all that stuff off. You'll probably want to slice a bit off, then do a sort of peel-and-slice strips of membrane off the meat. But get rid of everything that's not meat and that will get in the way of the rub. After that, apply the salt/spice rub, but no marinade. I'm totally with David Ross about that cilantro/parsley vinaigrette and no marinade. Btw, salt is by far the most important part of the rub, both for flavor and for tenderizing the meat, and you'll probably want to use a good 1 or 1 1/2 tablespoon of salt per whole steak. I also like to include a tsp or so of sugar with the salt. Since the salt is the major concern, I would even put the sugar/salt rub on first, then spices afterward. You could also use a paste made of spices and just enough oil (olive oil or some neutral kind) to make it all stick, but get the salt in there first. Let it rest about 24-48 hrs in the fridge. Bring the steak up to room temperature before cooking. So about a half hour out of the refrigerator. Then get your grill or skillet roaring, smokingly hot (open all windows first), sear enough to char only (only about a minute or two), flip for opposite side, rest for about five minutes after searing, and cut on the diagonal for wide but thin slices. I like my steaks rare with a peppery char on the outside, eaten for breakfast with eggs and grits or hash browns, topped with David Ross's green sauce except we'd use lemon or lime juice instead of the white vinegar. Hope that helps. Fat Guy, another thanks for the beef chart! Looks really useful. [edited, forgot about tempering]
  3. Hi, again. The next time I go to the butcher, I'll get pictures of all three steaks in a line up -- hanger, skirt and flank -- and we'll see which one it was that mugged you in that dark alley of America. One thing, though: one can get a slice of steak twice as thick out of that cut, but one has to cut on the bias. That is, don't cut straight down across the 1" width if you want a 2" thick slice, but cut at an angle that slants into the cutting board. Okay, had to recall a lot of lost trig but I think that means cutting at 60 degrees off the norm, or 30 degrees off parallel with the cutting board.
  4. Okay, it took me a little while to figure out that image database thing. I think the cut in the picture looks kind of small, or that's a really big knife and lettuce leaf.
  5. Hi, infernoo. No worries, you had it right the first time. That's definitely flank steak you're describing and that's exactly how we eat it at home. Flank, skirt and hanger steak all exist over here. I think I remember reading that hanger and skirt are adjoining and that one of them is the diaphragm -- the one you use when you sing, not the one you use when . . . I'll spare you the innuendo. Flank steak is from the belly. I think it's the cow equivalent of bacon meat, but with the fat layers stripped off and only the lean abdominal muscle left (this last part is a guess). I usually only buy a half-piece, but the whole slab is about two feet long (or more) about a foot wide (or a little more) and a consistent two inches think, though this tapers at the ends of course. And the grain runs lengthwise and is really obvious, as with brisket. I poked around online briefly and found a picture. I'll try to attach it.
  6. Jmahl- That's a great photo. It's almost an visual illusion of toaster transparency what with the reflections on the machine corresponding with what's behind it.
  7. There might be some confusion because of word choice here. Is Alice Water just no longer serving bottled water at Chez Panisse or does *banning* mean something else here? Restaurant owners, like all business people, are entitled to make decisions based on conscientious political or social belief. Refraining from turning an easy but maybe ecologically regrettable profit on bottled water, which anyone can buy at the Andronico's across the street from Chez Panisse, is hardly outrageous. Though I have to admit, I'm with the others who think it's nonsense to purchase bottled water when tap water is potable, harmless and tastes just as good . Just my 2 p.
  8. Hi, John. To ask if something is fresh in Mandarin, say, "Xin xian ma?" which basically means: "Fresh?" The "xi" sound is something between a hiss and an "sh" (as in "sheep") in English. So the first word will sound almost like "sheen", but you'll likely not be understood without the hissy part ("sh" is its own separate sound). "Xian" rhymes with "chien" as in French for dog or the second syllable of "Vienna". Then there are the tones. The first part is a sustained flat note with a slightly high pitch. Sort of like if you were conducting an a capella recital and had to give the group a high A ("Xiiiii!"). The second word should be pronounced with a dip in tone, as though you were confused (like: "uhhhh?"). Looking over this I'm realizing this explanation is totally absurd. It would be a lot easier if to just find a Chinese person in NYC or Flushing (though I'm sure they're in short supply).
  9. I'm with sugarsugar on this. I really like fried chicken but not the breast pieces, so after the overnight buttermilk brine (with hot sauce) the breasts get sliced into fingers before the panko-covered frying. I don't really know at what point freezing is a good option. I suppose right pre-frying and post-panko, or maybe a par-fry and then freeze.
  10. Thanks for posting the article, lperry. It appears to have struck a few nerves and sparked a lively discussion! And hi, JohnL! I just wanted to respond to a thing or two you mentioned: Legally speaking, corporations allow shareholders to limit their share of liability (i.e., lawsuits and debt) and to distribute the responsibilities and advantages of ownership (decision-making, profit-making) according to investment (i.e., how much money you reap is tied to how much money you sowed). Also, it allows people to own and manage capital anonymously. It is a way of sharing the ownership of capital with a group of people. Note a common thread to all of these things: money. To say that corporations exist to limit money lost and to distribute profits proportionally is a more nuanced way of saying that corporations exist to make money. Yes, corporations are comprised of people, but the very nature of anonymous corporate ownership allows corporate directors to act less like real people and more like the faceless identity of a "legal fiction", which is what a corporation is. I can sympathize with this, though there's a tough dilemma here. What's more suspicious, the motives we can clearly discern or the motives we can't? It's probably best to dispense with the question of intention altogether. Who cares what the cook or the beef-packer has in mind? Even if they wish me all the evil in the world, it doesn't prevent the steak from being juicy and tender. But it could be irresponsible to dispense with our knowledge of how the food got to our plate. After all, even if tonight's pork chop is the tastiest and least expensive meat available, I'd maybe think twice about buying it again if I knew the packer that produced that pork chop was severely poisoning a county in North Carolina: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story...worst_polluters (this is from a different post I just read) Anyhow, I think you're absolutely right in ID'ing a thread of anti-capitalist sentiment in that Pollan piece and in pressing its validity. I'm just not sure that these are the strongest counter-points.
  11. Hi, Chocoholic. I'll second Recchiuti at the Ferry Building as a good place for a chocohol fix. Also, it might be good to have a few cheap eats in mind. If you make it out to the Scharfenburger tour (which is pretty informative, but not a must if you have other plans), try to get lunch at Vik's Chaat (Allston and 4th), which is Indian small plate food. Not too far from your hotel at Eddy and Larkin is Turtle Tower, which has north Vietnamese pho (which is cleaner tasting than the more common, anise-flavored southern kind). Go there for lunch b/c they close early and are in a part of town you don't want to be walking around in when the sun goes down. Both of these places are dirt cheap and serve excellent food; along with Cheeseboard Pizza and Tartine Bakery, they make up the standard tour on which my wife and I take all our out-of-town guests. I see you're from Vancouver so I won't bother recommending any Chinese places. I suppose you don't have any trouble getting good sushi either. As for pricier joints, the only ones we've been to lately are Rubicon, Range and Gary Danko. I would rank them in that order, descending, in terms of how happy we were with the meal. We have been meaning to go to Ame but haven't yet. I have heard only praise for them. A side note: I think Union Square is completely wifi enabled now so if you have a laptop you should bring it. It will probably make deciding what to eat next a lot easier. I hope you enjoy the city! [edited because I'd forgotten to mention Rubicon]
  12. I made it out to the new mall the day after it opened. The Bristol Farms food looked fairly fresh and eye-pleasing. Maybe it was still the same food by the time you got there? It would make sense, since the prices were so high there couldn't have been much turnover. What the city needs is a Berkeley Bowl, preferably three blocks away from my house.
  13. fellowpeon

    Anti-Brining

    Thanks, Russ and Ian, for the clear instruction. And, yeah, you're probably right about my pointing fingers at the brine for Costco's problems. They've got plenty of other things -- among them, sodium phosphate and starches -- that I'm not really accounting for. It's more like their chicken's problems gave me a clearer sense of what I found dissatisfying with my own. Kind of like (and here's a digressive analogy) when you go over to your college roommate's home for Thanksgiving dinner and you find at the dinner table that his sister laughs with a nasal snort that's just like your roommate's but magnified 20 times over, a weird little tendency that had before unconciously endeared your roommate to you (though you never were explicitly aware of its presence) but now reaches grotesque proportions in the sister. I hope that makes sense, but if it doesn't, allow me to never speak on the subject again. I was sort of thinking at the time of writing the first post that briniing might be a good strategy when pressed for time, but if brining also requires a period for air drying that maybe negates some of the advantage. . .
  14. fellowpeon

    Anti-Brining

    What does Mr. McGee have to say about this? I'm curious... Ian ← I thought for sure that Harold was part of the typical food scientist pro-brining camp. He completely blew me away when when he wrote otherwise in a Q&A a while back. From the eGullet Q&A with Harold McGee ← McGee's comment also caught me off guard despite its plain truth. It also got me to thinking about how my brined chickens seem moist enough, but don't really achieve a nice crisp on the skin (though maybe I just need to towel them off more?). Finally, I ate a Costco roast chicken last week that seemed to epitomize everything that was wrong with brining -- really salty yet insipid, moist but almost raw texture, and a weird starchiness or collageny-ness that made the teeth stick. Those three things made me want to convert to the pre-salting school for chicken. And so here I am, perusing the curricula. But a few questions to clarify: - do people apply the salt to the skin or under the skin? to the inside cavity? - how long is long enough? overnight seems to be the standard, but can it be less? so if i'm trying to roast a chicken asap (say i just got off work) i should stick with a quick brine?
  15. fellowpeon

    Le Creuset

    This person on ebay is selling Le Creuset at about 1/3 off retail price. I bought a big 7 1/4 qt round one off her for 165 or so (shipping included) and she was really nice and accomodating -- she reserved one for me in the color I wanted and sent me a replacement at her own expense when the first one was scratched (not her fault). Just in case anyone was in the market. edit: adding the information that prompted this post (doh!): http://stores.ebay.com/Andis-Apparel-Plus_...genameZL2QQtZkm
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