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vanveen

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  1. We have the classic champagne flute: The champagne glass: And the trumpet: (Let's avoid the saucers/coupes.) Cosmetics aside, which promotes aroma and flavor the best? It would seem to me that the trumpet-style, flared flute wouldn't be great because the aroma would disperse in all directions, but between the classic glass and flute, I'm at a loss. What differences would one expect?
  2. Rubber, to me, seems an unstable choice--do you have an example you can point me to? It seems to me that if you're thinly slicing onions on a less-than-stable surface, it wouldn't be difficult to knick off your thumb.
  3. They only come in larger sizes, sure, but they're much cheaper anyhow, that you could afford to use only half of one and still save. You should be able to get through the whole thing before it goes bad, though.
  4. Luckily, wrong The wine inside is stored in an airtight bladder that lets wine out but doesn't let air in, so because there's almost no oxidation. The wine inside, unexposed to air, will be as good as the day the box was opened even weeks later.
  5. The exact same blender, sans attachments (which seem to be only useful in the special cup that it comes with; I personally find these extras useless if you already have a real stand mixer/egg beater and food processor), can be had with model KHB100. It's been showing up on the Amazon Friday sale for the past two weeks at $30.
  6. vanveen

    Belgian Beer

    My reason for mentioning Unibroue's offerings.
  7. I'd be hesitant to freeze wine because of possible chemical degradations and repercussions (especially since the alcohol content will not react the same way as the water content and water/alcohol-soluble contents). Then again, while red wine shouldn't even be refrigerated due to the way some molecules irreparably change in the process, white wine can, and therefor may not suffer the same in the freezer. Dry vermouth (refrigerate) is an easy substitution and a good way to use it up within the first few months of opening, but if you're drinking wine with dinner, just use that wine. I would also re-recommend the boxed wine tip: decent boxed wine can be found these days and will keep, unrefrigerated, on the shelf, for weeks and weeks.
  8. Whew! This thread and related article were an investment, but I'm sure they'll pay off. slkinsey has given us all some invaluable knowledge. Now, to make some other investments... Let me see if I've got this right: Cast iron is slow with heating, but good at maintaining a lot of heat when it gets there, making it ideal for slow braises and roasts, in which case enamel-coated would win as far as reactivity goes (acidic liquids cooking for hours). Copper, meanwhile, quickly heats and heats well, but doesn't maintain it like cast iron, losing heat quickly, as well; slow cooking would probably still turn out great, but not as great as good old cast-iron. So copper might be more ideal for pinpoint precision and general high-heat application. If money is not a factor, and cast iron is Lodge and Le Creuset/Staub, while Falk is Copper (stainless steel-lined, of course), is there a real reason to get anything else? If I already have a Lodge skillet and a Le Creuset dutch oven, should I go copper with the rest and make sure I get multi-taskers according to my cooking style? Is aluminum-clad ever more desirable? Or anything else? And lastly, steak-related questions (because I love a good steak): My method now: Preheat a cast iron skillet in a hot (520+ degree) oven under the broiler for about 20 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes a bit less). Move the skillet onto a big burner and heat on high for up to another 5 minutes, till it's smoking nicely. Take patted-dry NY strips, kosher-salt and fresh-grind-pepper one side and immediately begin to sear it for about 45 seconds. Salt and pepper the other side while it's searing. Flip the steak (notice the beautiful browning) and sear the other side for 45 seconds. Put back in the oven and broil it for no more than 2 minutes more to get a nice medium-rare to rare. Questions by number: 2. I'm damaging the seasoning here, huh? 4. Salting when it's in the pan...a bad choice? By miscellany: The steaks come out beautiful, but I wonder if copper could give a better sear and without the smoky consequences? I also usually deglase the pan with amontillado sherry and scrape the fond into it before reducing elsewhere, but I imagine it would be easier and with better results in a copper pan...am I reaching, here? (If you care to know, the side dish is almost always half of a scored acorn squash with salt, butter, brown sugar, grade B maple syrup, and Chalula hot sauce. The heat and sweet and savory meld nicely.)
  9. Haha, I roast weekly. Unroasted beans keep for a nice long time, months instead of days, and you can't beat the price! I go through greencoffee.coop and find myself with great beans at $1-3/lb (vs. $10-15).
  10. Fresh coffee is crucial. You will notice a difference with freshly ground coffee, but it's more than the time of grind: the time of roast is also important. The roast should be within the last 10 days (enthusiasts claim that 3-7 days after roast is primetime, before that the flavors haven't developed and after that the quality begins to fall -- of course, this all depends on the beans used). The grind should be within the last couple minutes. Anything beyond these two requisites and you experience a sharp decline.
  11. Various things to keep in mind...Considering the good greens you can get, by the pound, for between 2 and 3 U.S. dollars, and considering the very satisfactory results I get from home-roasting, there's absolutely no reason, it seems, to prefer the more expensive professional blends (which usually come closer to $15 to $20 per roasted pound). Some of the batches I've roasted have come out worlds better than various staples of Terroir and Intelligentsia, while all of my batches at the very least come close to "professional" quality. Considering the money I'm saving, too, I can't complain. Another issue for me is that a lot of coffee goes stale beyond the week it was roasted (the degeneration of Intelligentsia's Black Cat is particularly noticeable); roasting my own batches means always having fresh coffee in the quantities I need. The entire experience is more flexible: you choose the beans, the proportions of blends, and so on.
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