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Everything posted by barbhealy

  1. @lindag, go to http://www.gardenweb.com and search on "induction" in "home". Lots of models, lots of opinions....
  2. It's not the cooktop. It's because I'm so used to induction, where I could cook ON the dishtowel, that I forget there's a live flame under my pan.
  3. @lindag, please read this thread by Dave Scantland. It's the BEST description of why gas is not really for home cooks, and it's hilarious, too. I never tire of reading it. http://forums.egullet.org/topic/138325-flameout/ When we designed the new kitchen I considered adding one gas burner, to use in case the electricity went out (it does that too often here), but I didn't want to waste the countertop space or pay to have the gas line extended. I don't remember what we paid for the Miele but it was worth every penny. We had the 30" 4-burner unit. Our new Thermador is a 36" unit which also only has 4 "burners" but those burners can be anywhere, and any size your cookware is. So, I can use two 14" saute pans simultaneously! Or, two griddles. If you have room for a 36" unit, I would recommend the Thermadore Freedom. Obviously I have't cooked on it yet but all the reviews I've read have been glowing (on other forums, which I trust, not on sites like Amazon where paid reviews are a problem.)
  4. You cannot ban him due to his nationality or tipping practices but you can absolutely ban him for being disruptive. If he's constantly badgering the waitress and then criticizing her when she doesn't fall over backwards for him, his behaviour is possibly preventing her from giving your other customers excellent service. I am a consumer, not a restaurant owner, and people like this guy really do ruin the experience for the other diners. Serving him yourself would give you an opportunity to explain how his behaviour is impacting your servers and your other customers but it might also give him the 'recognition' he craves (he's the only one being served by the chef) and it might make the problem worse: when you don't serve him, he'll be even more obnoxious so that next time you will. The problem with people like this is that you cannot change their behavour - they think it's justified. I've had friends who were both thrown out and banned and, knowing them, I understood exactly why it happened and would never hold it against the restaurant. If you do ban him, and he trashes you to his friends, they would probably take his words with a grain of salt. I say ban him. Or, have the bus boy serve him. If he complains, tell him he can have the waitress if he promises not to abuse her. If he stiffs her, next time he gets the bus boy. Eventually, he'll stop coming on his own. If I had been sitting next to him the night he complained so loudly about the duck, I would have given him a piece of my mind....
  5. It's not a commercial unit. It's a cooktop, not a range, and was installed in 2003. The seller owned a high-end appliance store so it's probably the best that was available in 2003. There is no sales receipt, only a manual, and no model number. It has 5 hobs with dual stacked sealed burners and two-tier burner knobs. It has a griddle accessory which we've never used. It's probably a decent cooktop if you like gas. After using induction, I have decided I hate gas. I wouldn't even have another Viking. Gas is wasteful (too much energy lost to the room), uncomfortable (too hot), unhealthy (combustion byproducts), requires a massive updraft, and it's dirty (too hard to clean so kitchen always smells.) When I was younger I thought having a massive gas range was proof I was a 'real' cook. Now I know the 'proof' is in the pudding and I make much better pudding with induction. I enjoy it more, too. However...if I couldn't have an induction cooktop, I would take gas over conventional electric. Conventional electric, including ceramic glass units, are worse than gas. IMO. BTW, we have a Wolf convenction oven and warming drawer and they are very nice - we are not replacing them.
  6. I've had gas hobs from the time I left my parent's home at age 20, including a Viking range, until we moved to the suburbs 25 years later. We couldn't take the Viking with us so I managed first with an electric Jenn-aire (which I hated) and then with a GE ceramic glass electric (which I also hated) until we put in the Meile induction 2 years ago. I was very apprehensive about committing to another electric stove but I absolutely LOVED the Miele; and, now that I've used induction, I will never, EVER, go back to gas. With induction I had infinitesimal control, it was easy to clean, and it didn't heat up the room. Fast forward two years.... My husband accepted a new job which required us to move and leave my beloved kitchen (this is why I've been absent from the forum - I'm STILL unpacking boxes from our move last August!). The house we moved to has a Wolf gas cooktop and I HATE IT! I have set on fire 3 dishtowels and singed 2 pot holders. In an effort to avoid cleaing the grids after a messy fry, I covered the unused hobs with foil and melted the control knobs - yes, that was dumb, but it shows how much heat didn't go into my cooking vessel. I made risotto a few weeks ago and had to use the biggest hob to keep the pot simmering when I added stock. The heat forced me to wear an oven mitt to protect my hand while I stirred. When the risotto was ready, I was drenched in sweat despite the fact that our house is only 64 degrees. A few weeks ago I had a small pot of stock boil over. When I cursed the cooktop my husband commented, "You let something boil over and it's the cooktop's fault?" Well, yes, if the cooktop doesn't have a low enough setting to maintain a simmer. The Meile would safely melt chocolate without a double boiler. Cleaning the Wolf is a nightmare and, because the grids hold their heat for so long, I can't clean them when I wash the rest of the dishes, I have to wait until the following morning. I cannot think of one thing I like about this unit. (I don't remember having these problems with the Viking but, perhaps, never having cooked on an induction hob then, I just accepted them as 'normal'. ) Fortunately....construction started last week on my new kitchen!! It will have a Thermador Freedom induction cooktop and I am counting the days 'till the kitchen is finished. (I would have used Meile but they don't have a Freedom-style model in the US yet.) I will never, EVER, willingly go back to gas. The old cooktop will stay, for now, because we can't afford to remove it (the new kitchen will not replace the old one, it's being built next to the old one which will become a prep-pantry). I see only two uses for the old gas cooktop long term - it will enable us to cook when the electricity is out (with a match to light the flame), and it can be used to char peppers, which I rarely do. @cookwareset - I would advise you to put your money into an induction hob and buy one of the inexpensive cookware sets mentioned above. Regarding my cookware, I have some of nearly all the lines mentioned above and I have not noticed any cooking performance advantage with any of them. I use the Demeyere Atlantis, the Iittala, and the Le Creuset more than the others because the handles are not riveted and they're much easier to clean.
  7. barbhealy


    Two years ago, because of this article, we replaced our electric cooktop with gas even though I had been lusting over gas for 15 years, and not only have I never regretted it but, when we move at the end of this month, I will be replaced a 5-burner Wolf gas cooktop with an induction one. I would like to have 2 gas burners in addition to the induction ones for when the electricity goes out, as it tends to do in this neighborhood, but if I have to chose between them I will take induction every time. Thank you so much, Dave, for taking the time to write the article.
  8. I have been reading and re-reading this thread for months now trying to determine the best cookware for induction and have not been able to find the answer. It seems to me there are three properties that cooking vessels need to have to make them "good": 1. the ability to heat up quickly and evenly 2. the ability to hold that heat when cold food is added to the pan 3. the ability to loose heat when the heat source is lowered @slkinsey and others have repeatedly mentioned carbon steel and Mauviel Induc'Inox as the ideal but if neither stainless nor carbon steel has a high degree of thermal conductivity, how will it be "good" at point number three, loosing heat quickly? Won't both of them function very much like cast iron once they are up to temp? Or, does steel loose its heat as quickly as it gains it when that heat is generated by a magnetic field? Assuming that all induction-compatible cookware heats evenly (can I assume that?), if I have determined that the most important characteristic -- for me -- is responsiveness, and I don't care about the ability to heat quickly or to retain heat, which would be best: carbon steel copper with a feromagnetic base Iittala's All Stainless Steel Induc'Inox Here are some other questions (in blue) regarding induction: Can any induction-compatible pan be expected to heat evenly, assuming the pan is not warped? I'm having a lot of trouble understanding this... When the cold chicken hits the pan, the hob will sense a drop in temp and increase 'heat' to compensate? Or will the pan just not be affected by the cold chicken (and how can that be)? Would induction-optimized cookware not have the same need for a thick or multi-ply base to prevent warping? Thanks in advance, I'm so confused.... Barb
  9. Thank you, David! They had a few pieces which are on their way to me now! No Fait-toute, unfortunately, but they did have a 4qt saucepan and a few other pieces that I need. When they arrive, I will compare them to the other brands I have and post an update. I'm still open to suggestions on the other pieces...Even if Prima Matera is fabulous, they don't make all the shapes and sizes I need.
  10. Why would the Prima Matera be the best choice for all my needs and not just the sauteuse? Thanks, Andiesenji! I didn't realize there was another straight-gauge clad copper option (other than All Clad). Were they more responsive on induction than on gas or was the response time the same? Yes, I did the magnet test right after we made the decision to convert. The majority of my current pots and pans are All Clad LTD, Iittala Tools, Le Creuset and tin lined copper. Iittala and Le Creuset are the only ones that are compatible. Even the pressure cooker and stock pots (16 and 32 qt) have to be replaced. I have a tagine, too, which I suppose I will have to get a disc for. I have a Mauviel roasting pan which I believe is induction compatible. The only time I roast, though, is at our Thanksgiving Dinner and I found a way around the last minute gravy scramble: my husband loves leftover turkey breast sandwiches and there never seems to be enough left over so I bought an extra breast, roasted it the day before, and made gravy with the drippings. He was happy and I had one less thing to worry about.
  11. In two days we will be replacing our ceramic glass electric cooktop with Miele Induction (!) and I will need to replace most of my cookware. I have read, multiple times, the understanding stovetop cookware thread as well as all of the Q&A associated with that course and the only clear recommendation was for Mauviel Indoc'Inox which is no longer available. So, what is the best cookware currently available for induction hobs, from a construction / functionality standpoint, regardless of price? I need the following (sizes are approximate and my biggest hob is 11"): 1. 11-12 inch fry pan used mostly for eggs (I do not use non-stick) (Demeyere Proline? Cast iron?) 2. 5qt conical sauteuse used primarily for risotto (Demeyere Atlantis?) 3. 2qt conical sauteuse used for hollandaise and similar (De Buyer Prima Matera Copper Induction?) 4. 6-9qt rondeau/saute my go-to pan used for everything from frying fish to making stew (Paderno Grand Gourmet**? Demeyere Atlantis or Apollo? Mauviel M'Cook?) 5. 4qt sauce used primarily for thick soups, sauces, beans, rice, etc (Iittala Tools? AllClad D5? Mauviel M'Cook?) 6. 8qt pasta/chili pot (Paderno Grand Gourmet**?) **Is Paderno World Cuisine Grand Gourmet the same as Paderno Grand Gourmet? I realize that none of my suggestions may be ideal but that is all I am familiar with so please offer alternatives. If possible, please support your suggestions with an explanation (either technical or practical).... Price is no object. In fact, I prefer to pay for beautiful design, if it is also functional, than to save money on something that is equally functional but not beautiful. I prefer to buy American-made but that is less important than performance. I prefer welded handles and pouring lips but they are also less important than performance. Weight is no object. Although I wash all our cookware by hand, I would like to be able to put them in the dishwasher on occasion. Note: On my ceramic glass electric cooktop Demeyere performs a bit like cast iron -- retaining heat longer, even when removed from the cooktop -- and I predict it will not be responsive on the induction hob either. Thanks in advance! Barb (Does anyone have some old Induc'Inox they want to sell me?)
  12. This. Exactly this. I've been gluten free for seven or eight years now (and I can't eat potatoes, and the spouse can't have unfermented soy), and I don't crave the foods I can't have. I crave being able to go out to lunch or dinner on the spur of the moment. I crave not having to explain my diagnosis or my eating habits to people I barely know. I crave being able to trust people (who I know have the best intentions, and make the best efforts) to serve me food that doesn't make me sick. It doesn't matter what your allergies are, mine is MSG, restaurants -- and even well-meaning friends houses -- are dangerous because they use so many pre-prepared products where no one has any idea what's in them. How do you tell your friends that their cooking makes you sick? My MIL used to be a wonderful cook but now she cuts corners by buying stuff from Costco and I get a migraine every time we eat there. I love her (she's not your typical MIL) and we enjoy spending time with them, but I dread the meals.
  13. Can you eat tomatillos? They make a wonderful salsa.
  14. Have you tried storing them in a glass container or metal tin? In an effort to reduce our exposure to plastic and aluminum I now store everything in glass containers. Ours have a plastic lid (Pyrex makes some with a glass lid but I don't like the shape) so I place a sheet of natural wax paper between it and the food. I've noticed that our food stays fresh much longer now -- I've kept a head of butter lettuce for a month and it looked as fresh as the day I bought it* -- so it might work with your muffins. *I bought it for hamburgers and then forgot it at the back of the fridge and was amazed that it was still edible.
  15. Wow! Thank you! How did you find them so quickly? Yes, the are expensive...I guess I'll get one of each and see if they're worth it. QuarksBarB
  16. We host a party every year where we serve 30+ cocktails which we have devised ourselves for the occasion (so the recipes are not ingrained in our brains from years of mixing). During the rest of the year we refine the recipes for the drinks we will be serving. So, we are home bartenders, but we mix a lot of drinks and, once a year, we are very concerned with speed and accuracy in a low-light environment. My husband, the bartender, loves those jiggers for both the above-mentioned reasons but I HATE the mess they make! For the past two years I have been looking for a replacement that meets his requirements and mine. (All our bottles have speed-pour tops as they prevent messy counters even when we're not entertaining.) None of those mini measuring cups are marked in a way that is easy to read -- they are SO CLUTTERED with markings that it takes you forever to find the mark you need and then you have to remember where it is while you're trying to pour what might be a full bottle of booze into that tiny cup while either holding it at eye level or squatting down to counter level. The only one we have that is easy to read has every amount outlined with a solid white box but I don't know where I got it and have never seen another one for sale. Of course, there are no identifying marks anywhere on it. Here is a photo. I just bought one of the OXO mini measures and will see how that works but I doubt the markings are strong enough to be seen in the low-light of the party environment. One thing I did find that DH is willing to use are the plastic graduates used in photography darkrooms. I bought two sizes, 5 oz and 1.5oz. The only thing I don't like about them is that they're plastic but no one sells a glass one. The glass graduated cylinders used in science labs are only marked in ML which is useless to us. If anyone knows where I can get a glass graduate marked in ounces, please let me know! We would also be interested in a smaller one, one ounce perhaps, as the tall thin cylinder makes it easy to measure tiny amounts. If you're interested in pix of the party(s), they are here. (p.s. I love eGullet -- no matter what I need, there is a thread addressing it....) QuarksBarb
  17. I cancelled all my magazine subscriptions because I was not able to purchase the content digitally, on a CD or DVD for instance, so that I could organize and manage my recipes online, something that I STILL wish I could do, and with my cookbooks as well. If I could access *my* online database to flag recipes I want to try, create menues, find recipes using unique combinations of ingredients, or look up book/equipment reviews, I would have kept them all. But in the absence of any sort of multi-issue index (not even a yearly one, much less a multi-year one, was ever available) I was spending too much time looking through hundreds of issues and found my cookbooks to be a more accessible source for recipes. Last year, a friend gave me a free subscription to the new Bon Appetit and I can honestly say that I couldn't wait for it to expire. I hate the format so much -- the ads look like copy, the copy looks like ads, and there aren't enough photos -- that after thumbing through the first few issues I stopped reading them. I cracked open the last issue before replying to this thread and was dismayed to find several recipes that I might actually use this fall. "Dismayed" because I dislike the format so much I didn't want to find anything positive in the content! That same friend introduced me to Epicurious.com and to Gourmet's online presence (when DH was pressuring me to throw out my old copies that were gathering dust in his garage) so I researched the extent of their online database and discovered that it only goes back to 1985 or so, not all the photos were uploaded, and, since they refused to sell me a downloadable version, I decided to keep the old mags. What I liked BEST about the old Gourmet was their photos. They had the most amazing food stylist. I have always had trouble with presentation and their photos gave me ideas that I still use today. While I used the recipes in all the magazines I subscribed to, Gourmet's inspiration was what set my table apart. Eating, after all, is not only about food -- it's about service and ambiance and context. Even though I may never cook a steak the way an Argentinean gaucho would I still want to know how he did it and when I'm serving an Argentinean dinner I will tell that story to my tablemates while they're eating "my version". Although I was not a current subscriber, I was saddened by the news. I do use Epicuriuos.com both for recipes and for the feedback comments (I like the fact that you can print the recipes with selected comments only) and hope that doesn't bite the dust as well.
  18. barbhealy


    MarketHallFoods has both the mullet and the tuna for sale. I just gave the mullet to my FIL for father's day and wanted to thank everyone here for providing ideas on how to use it. You guys are GREAT and have saved my butt more times than I can count!
  19. I think this is a great idea! It's actually how we live most of the time, ever since Katrina. No, we aren't in New Orleans, we're in Illinois, but it scared me so much that we immediately instituted a disaster readiness plan whereby I cleaned out out all our cabinets (of the 5-year old soups and specialty jams I collected but never used) and restocked them with things I DO use -- dried and canned beans, san marzano tomato products, piquillo peppers, pulpo, latini pasta, etc... -- most of which I order by the case because organic versions aren't available locally. Even our coffee beans are purchased by the case. I filled one of the freezers downstairs with nuts, grains, and flours and the other with meats, veggies, fruits, and breads plus a few prepared things like meatballs and turkey burgers for those days when I don't feel like cooking. We always have at least 2 dozen gallons of bottled water in the house which we use for coffee, rice and pasta, about 10 varieties of cheese, 2-3 dozen eggs, and, even though there are only the two of us, I have a backup of all our refrigerated products so that when we finish the current carton of, say, milk, we open the backup and "milk" goes on the shopping list. We rarely run out of anything and could probably live 2-3 months without shopping as long as we had electricity (if for instance, we were snowed in, or quarantined ourselves in the face of an avian flu pandemic). We hope we never have to, but it's nice to know that we could. If the electricity does go out, we keep 4-5 bags of charcoal in the garage, have a small camp stove, and a small generator to power the fridge and freezer. So, I generally go grocery shopping (costco, whole foods, trader joes, and dominicks) every 2-3 weeks for fresh produce and to restock the 'staples' we've used. If you buy your lettuce with the roots attached, it keeps quite a long time. In fact, the last time I went to the store was February 5th, 2 days before we threw a large party. When we entertain, I always have enough food for 3 times the number of guests and we have been eating 'leftovers' for weeks! I have made 2 runs to the Dominicks for fruit, even though we still have oranges and quince in the fridge, because DH prefers bananas and apples and they don't keep as long. Did I cheat? Of course, starting with 2-weeks worth of leftovers could be considered cheating but they went into the freezer and we could have eaten something else, we just choose not to. One thing I've noticed, as a result of this last party, is that produce kept in the fridge downstairs, which is rarely opened, keeps a long time -- the leeks and yellow bell peppers I bought for the party are STILL good a month later! I know we don't eat as many fresh veggies as we should. We do have veggies with every meal but most of them are frozen. It's hard to miss them when we can prepare (frozen) brussles sprouts mixed with (frozen) caramelized onions, (frozen) demi-glace, and some latini pasta accompanied by (organic, frozen) sausages from Continental Sausage ; or, (frozen) chicken breasts sauteed with (jarred) piquillo peppers, (frozen organic) bell pepper strips, onions and a bit of olive oil. It's amazing how so few ingredients can be so tasty. Another favorite is (frozen) pork tenderloin slathered with minced garlic and (jarred) wild fennel puree and then roasted while the rest of the jar is mixed with cream and reduced to a sauce. When we entertain, I'll "cook" in the gourmet sense with recipes and a purpose-built shoppig list, but our normal fare is described above. (Here are pix of our last party, if anyone is interested: Quark's Qantina (you'll have to scroll down about half-way for pix of the food)) We are now out of juice, though, and down to the last dozen eggs, so I'll have to go 'shopping' tomorrow. At any rate, I think it's important for people to learn to live like this because they might have to one day! And, by not shopping for a whole month, I've saved a LOT more than $400!
  20. When we bought our house 5 years ago it still had the JennAire cooktop which had been installed when it was built in 1987 with a center downdraft. I hated that thing -- you could actually SEE the smoke going UP into the room rather than down the draftvent so when 2 burners gave up the ghost (on xmas eve, of course) we immediately replaced it. We WANT a gas cooktop but aren't planning to install a gas line until we redo the kitchen (next year?) so we put in a GE Profile glass/ceramic cooktop, again with a center downdraft, that we paid around 1k for at the end of 2007. (Unfortunately, I didn't do enough research because I HATE GLASS COOKTOPS! They are so sensitive to scraching and discoloration that the only cookware you can use is something with a very smooth flat bottom like All Clad. So, ours is scratched and dirty after only one year.) The GE downdraft works better than the old JennAire's but we STILL have grease spatters on the fridge, which is about 4 feet from the cooktop, whenever we fry anything, and both the grill and the filter need to be washed afterwards or the whole kitchen smells of what ever was last cooked. The installation people told us we needed to start the downdraft about 10 minutes before turning on the burner but 1) I rarely remember to do that and 2) when I do, it doesn't seem to make a difference. The center downdraft does prevent me from using a 14" pan on those burners but so do the center control knobs in the front. I think a rear mounted downdraft would be just as bad. The bottom line FOR ME is that the downdrafts just don't work. Our last house had a Viking range and hood and although the hood was filthy, the house never smelled and all the grease was on the hood, not the stove or the rest of the kitchen. I will never agree to a downdraft again, ever. Why don't you look into those new-fangled hoods made of glass? There are some really innovative designs available that you might be able to use in front of a window. Does anyone make one that's retractable -- you pull it down when you need it? ANYTHING to avoid a downdraft....
  21. First of all, THANK YOU for this thread! I was struggling with a beef dish for a party we're having in February and this has solved my dilemma! One of my favorite braised brisket recipes is the Mexican Pot Roast from John Ash’s From the Earth to the Table book. Basically, you puree the seasonings with the liquids, scatter sliced onions in a large casserole, top with the raw beef, add more onions and the puree and then cover and bake at 350 for 4 hours. Serve it shredded on tortillas with cilantro, avocado and lime. Easy and delicious! I don’t know if John is a member here and can give me permission to post the recipe. If not, the book is in its second printing and available on Amazon for $16.49: http://www.amazon.com/Earth-Table-John-Cou...27382925&sr=8-1
  22. Good point! The wider one is made in Italy, too, which I like. Thank you!
  23. Did you see the one with the interchangeable screens? That would be a good choice, though also an expensive one! (Though not so expensive if you consider how much it would cost if you got individual ones.) ← Yes, I did see that one, but it's 14-inches wide, which is very big, and the finest screen is only 0.5mm, which is approx 1/32", so I'm thinking I might be better off with the 10-inch 1/64" stainless and the 1/16" wooden. Perhaps I should start with the 1/64" and see whether I need a larger mesh one at all....
  24. Here is an article in the Chicago Tribune on tamis that describes what it's good for. They say, "...a tamis can do what neither a conventional strainer nor a chinois (a china cap, or conical strainer) can easily achieve: It can strain quickly and very finely." The link andiesenji posted has over a dozen tamis in varying degrees of fineness. I'm tryng to decide how many I need....
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