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Everything posted by fellowpeon

  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


    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


    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. 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
  16. After reading this thread, I can't help but think that induction cooking is the future. That said, it may be the future in the same way that the metric system is the future. A lot of the complaints here -- noise, inflexibly quantized step-dials, and the double-burner issue -- can probably be addressed with better design, which will come in the future. And the not insignificant cost of switching over to inductive cookware really only affects -- as FG pointed out -- those invested in aluminum, non-magnetizable stainless steel, and copper (hmm, that list seems longer than I thought it would be. . .), but will really not hold back later generations who are purchasing cookware with induction in mind. If it doesn't catch on here in the states, it seems likely to in places where fuel efficiency is given more attention (i.e., all other developed nations). I think an ideal domestic stovetop would have three or four induction plates and one really big gas burner. I think what's really winning me over is the potential precision and consistency. There's no reason the dial can't read 0-100 and perform with the same repeatability as the volume dial on a stereo amp. Am glad I found this topic b/c I'm in the middle of upgrading from my hodge-podge bachelorware to something more respectable. Will be sure to do the magnetic test from now on. edited: because I got to thinking. . .
  17. I'd try Molly Stone or Drewe's for veal. I've seen too many scary things in the Safeway meat department, to even try there. Carts rolled out with uncovered meat and left sitting for hours... There is also a butcher on Mission near 22nd. Check this thread for some previous cogitation about Mission neighborhood groceries. If that doesn't work out, there is a butcher in North Beach on Stockton at Vallejo, Little City Market. Surely, they must have veal. ← Thanks for the tip about Drewe's! It's not too far away either, I see. I'm about to head over there right now. The Mission Market butcher at 22nd is a good one -- I go there about two or three times a week -- but, alas, no veal. That thread link was an added bonus -- I hadn't yet discovered Good Life Grocery.
  18. Ah, I'd forgotten about the Alemany farmer's market. Thanks for the tip, eje and ludja! Will be sure to check in there soon. I've seen someone selling live chickens and fresh eggs out of a truck, but have never had the gumption to get one. Pandan leaf is used to flavor soups, rice and to garnish dishes in Thai cooking. It's also used in teas and as a scent in cleaning products (sort of like the Thai version of pine or lemon scent -- its scent was everywhere when I was in Thailand) . It probably has more uses that I don't know of. Veal seems to be not that easy to find. Neither Safeway, Cala Foods, nor Ranch 99 carry it. Have not tried Trader Joe's. Berkeley Bowl has it, though. . .
  19. Hi, all. Before moving to SF I used to live in the east bay, not too far from Berkeley Bowl, and have been bemoaning the downgrade in grocery options ever since. I'm within walking distance of a half dozen small grocers in the Mission, but they all seem to carry pretty much the same stuff: a wide variety of central/southern american ingredients and the basic staples, but not much else. Anyway, I thought a thread devoted to finding rare ingredient items in the city might be useful. I'll start: veal for thai food: cilantro (coriander) root galangal kaffir lime leaves pandan leaves beef tallow, or the fat around the kidneys for making beef tallow Thanks for the help!
  20. fellowpeon

    oxtail soup

    yes, swisskaese's recipe sounds quite good. the last minute parsley (and maybe some fresh tomato bits to boot) will really freshen up the broth flavor. oxtail and short rib soup are two of better reasons for aquiring a good pressure cooker. just follow the swisskease recipe, but instead of simmering for 4 hours, cook at high presure (15 psi) for 45 mins. just have to figure out a way of removing fat from the broth that's easier than skimming and faster than an overnight cool. . .
  21. fellowpeon

    Marrow Bones

    After reading some of the responses, I realized I misunderstood the original post -- I somehow thought you were serving a marrow-fava bean salad, which to me sounded like it would be a really tasty puree on brochette. An obvious seller, I thought, even if it never existed. . . I love marrow, too, and think the comparison to foie gras is a perfect one. Luxurious flavor, a rare occasion for relishing the texture of unrendered fat in the mouth. A few things I'm wondering: does one really need to keep the bone when cooking? Sure, it's necessary for presentation, but what if you plan to puree the marrow anyway? Also, does roasting help the flavor that much? We're basically warming/loosening fatty tissue, no? What if you were to scrape out the inside, put it all in a plastic bag, then poach? Higher yield, no? That said, I still think the French way of eating it -- salt, some incidental parsely or caper, scooped onto thin slices of toasted bread -- is my favorite. The only problem is that there's so little of it in comparison to the entire plate. percyn: that steak bourdelaise looks great.
  22. fellowpeon: Welcome to eGullet! I don't store ginger in the fridge. I found that, as with most things, storing ginger in the fridge will introduce water moisture on the ginger which causes it to sprout or go mushy as you said. I found that doing what the stores do is more effective: leave the ginger in a plastic wire mesh bag and leave it in the open (best where the air circulates a bit). The skin may go a little bit dry but it lasts for weeks. As far taking scallops/seafood out of the wok, thicken the sauce, then pour on top... that seems more like western cooking technique. (I do use the technique in braised dishes but not stir-fried dishes.) In Chinese cooking, we typically thicken the sauce first before you return the scallop/seafood. Once the scallop/seafood is coated evenly with the sauce, we can transfer the ingredients to the serving dish. Timing is crucial. In order not to overcook the seafood, it should be removed when it just turns cooked (or slightly undercooked) to compensate... just as Chef Dejah said. ← Thanks for the welcome, Ah Leung. I've been really enjoying your pictorial walk-throughs, by the way. Am looking forward to trying my hand at bitter melon. If I can remember, I'll try storing ginger both ways the next time I buy some and report back later.
  23. hanogver cures? Soup, all different kinds of soup, the spicier the better. But my favorite is kalbitang at 3:00 am in the middle of winter at a tiny hole in the wall in Itaewon. ← I just wanted to second that above. I know that moment and its feeling well. It's like redemption in a bowl. Sam gae tang is also good, and an option for sick-in-bed food. I guess beef and chicken soup are rather tame options, but I'm usually feeling less than normally venturesome after a night of drinking.
  24. I guess there's no established Korean food forum, so this must be the place. . . I had dong chib at a Korean drinking house in Oakland a few years ago. When my friends explained what it was to me, I was kind of confused b/c I would've thought that a sphincter muscle would be more like calamari rings in shape (since it's a circular muscle). Instead, the meat pieces seemed more nugget-like. I think this might have been followed by a round of jokes about how chickens were tight "down there." The dish was kind of like hush puppies, or actually, like rocky mountain oysters (cow testes), chopped up and batter fried -- basically, they were peppery, fried and just somehow unexpected in texture. The flavor wasn't especially notable.
  25. Hi, all. I'm new to this site and forum but am delighted by the find. This Chinese food forum is a treasure. For some time now, I've been trying my hand at imitating the clams in black bean sauce dish at a San Francisco restaurant called Yuet Lee (they used to do the dish so well, it was like seafood-crack), and will usually soak the black beans in shaoxing wine while prepping everything else. But from what people are posting here it sounds like the black beans should maybe be fried a little along with the garlic before the liquid elements get introduced. Will be sure to try the pre-frying method next time. Also, I don't know if this is an obvious one: store ginger in the fridge wrapped in aluminum foil. Plastic wrap for some reason makes it mushy. For stir frying, I try to make sure the ingredients are as dry as possible, either patted down with a paper towel or given a whirl in the salad spinner. For seafood in wet sauces (like clams or scallops), my usual procedure is oil + dry sauce ingredients, then wet sauce ingredients, then seafood, finish cooking, then remove seafood, thicken sauce and pour over seafood before serving immediately. This is just to take pains to insure that the clams or scallops don't overcook.
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