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Everything posted by alwang

  1. alwang


    Cha-syu Tsuke-men: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/vS3v_PciVtK...FWpSPZeggXLvRAQ Cha-syu-men: http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/vS3v_PciVtK...Lsiu--v0p0iAZYQ As I helped consume both of these particular bowls of noodles, I can confidently say the first was greasier than the second. -a
  2. alwang


    Raji, as a ramen gourmet, what's your ideal concerning greasiness of the broth? One of the problems I had with the tsuke-men was that it was considerably greasier than the standard broth. -a
  3. I recently noticed that Williams Sonoma is selling small potted meyer lemon trees: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/sk...er&cm%5Fsrc=SCH I believe the claim is that they are hardy enough to grow indoors, even in cold climates (I live in the Northeast). I've also noticed there's a couple of other places that sell them online. I'd love to have an abundant source of Meyer lemons: anyone in cold weather have any experience raising one? How well does it grow, and how's the yield? Thanks, -al
  4. alwang

    Indoor Smoking

    Thanks for the replies! Now I have a better understanding... -al
  5. alwang

    Indoor Smoking

    I'm slowly getting the hang of using one of these, though I have a question: since in most cases you want to smoke slow at a low temperature, wouldn't it make more sense to put the smoker in a 200 degree oven rather than on the stovetop, where the temp will certainly be higher than 200? Over time, the chips should still smolder, I'm thinking? Thanks, -Al
  6. I've been doing a lot of king salmon sous vide lately, and I've decided that searing in the pan is not worth it: you lose so much of the beautiful silky texture. Particularly with a skin-on piece: by the time you're able to crisp the skin, half the fillet is overcooked. I have had better results with just playing a blowtorch over the surface, getting just a little char, but not cooking the meat too deeply. I'm also not a fan of the just-barely cooked salmon cuit sous vide that Roca and others go for. I like a firmer fish, about 48-49C core temp.
  7. So, anyone want to weigh in on how Soho's chicken compares to the New York K-Town joints? Namely, Bon Chon and Baden Baden? -a
  8. alwang


    I've decided I prefer the cha-syu-men to the cha-syu tsuke-men, by a narrow margin. I do prefer the noodles in the tsuke-men, which retain all the bounce and character of the standard thinner noodles. The broth is also definitely porkier, and the tsuke-men seems to have a higher ratio of pork belly to pork loin meat, which is good. However, I find while the broth is deeper in pork flavor, it's overall less complex: there's less of a seafood flavor to me, and the joy of the standard ramen is how well balanced the broth is. The tsuke-men appears to also be missing the hokate scallop oil, the ground dried scallops, and the seaweed, all of which may explain the lesser seafood flavor. Or it could just be because the porkiness and saltiness overwhelms overything else. I also was disappointed not to get some egg, and the dish on a whole makes for a less visually appealing presentation. Don't get me wrong, the tsuke-men is a very good bowl of noodles, and possibly better than any other bowl of ramen in the city. It's worth trying once. However, I find myself craving the balanced composition of the normal ramen.
  9. Not a fruit, but white corn here in central Jersey has thus far been pretty mediocre...
  10. alwang

    Meat Grinder Uses

    So, my girlfriend just got me a Waring Professional meat grinder for my birthday, and I'm eagerly looking forward to making my own sausages and burgers. However, are there any other interesting uses of this thing that I haven't thought of? Any suggestions would be appreciated. -al
  11. I was almost about to post this question in the Too-Embarassed-To-Ask thread, but here goes: what do people use to store their kosher/sea salt for kitchen use? I've seen the little Alton Brown salt cellars: are they actually practical? What I currently do is just pour little handfuls from the box that my Morton's Kosher came in, and then use the other hand to salt. A related question: if you're using one of those salt cellars, is it hygenic to just stick your fingers in there and grab a pinch? If I had to wash my hands everytime I needed some salt, that seems really inconvenient. Or do the anti-bacterial properties of salt make this a moot issue? -al
  12. Hi Chris, My thinking is - keeps em moist, keeps em tender, doesn't dilute flavour like when they are boiled, possibly chance to add flavour in the sous vide stage, not time critical. ← You might want to take a look at this post from IdeasInFood: http://ideasinfood.typepad.com/ideas_in_fo..._hour_ribs.html I don't see any reason not to do it in an immersion circulator versus an oven, if that's available to you. Personally, I'm going to try this and finish cooking in a Cameron stovetop smoker, to get some more flavor.
  13. alwang


    Don't have a superbag, but you can use tomato water for any sort of application that you might use tomato juice- it'll just have a cleaner flavor and mouthfeel. If you don't mind me asking, how much did the superbag cost, and which one did you get (the finer or coarser mesh?)
  14. I'll second Chef's Resource, and also add Kitchen Kapers, which is similar: http://www.kitchenkapers.com/ I find both more reasonably priced than Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table. However, I do still end up buying a lot from Amazon.
  15. alwang

    Indoor Smoking

    Okay, I too was inspired by this thread to get one of these Cameron smokers, and it just came in the mail yesterday. However, I'm wondering if mine might be defective. The lid definitely doesn't look like a tight seal to me: one corner is raised about a 1/4". Not much, but I'd have thought it should fit pretty air tight if it's going to trap smoke in? Should I bother exchanging it, or this just how it's supposed to be? -al
  16. Mark Bittman has a recipe where he braises and then grills lamb shanks: http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/recip...lambshanks.html I tried something similar: I cooked a couple of lamb shanks sous vide with rosemary, garlic, and OO at 175F for 8 hours. Then I grilled it over charcoal till I got a decent char. It was pretty tasty. I find that the sous vide cooking lets the meat get just as tender as a braise, but the SV shank holds together on the bone a little better so it's easier to grill. -a
  17. So, it looks like Shola's doing another guest chef gig, this time at M Restaurant: http://studiokitchen.typepad.com/studiokit...6/m_dinner.html Unfortunately, my girlfriend's not available that night, and I don't know too many foodies in Philly these days. I'll eat alone but I'd prefer not to: anyone interested in meeting up? PM or reply here...
  18. Hmm, just noticed that Shola's started a blog: http://studiokitchen.typepad.com/studiokitchen/
  19. I think the "sweetness" of vanila's flavor works in a similar way to the sweetness of anise flavors: tarragon, fennel, star anise. I'm not saying vanilla is a substitute for those flavors, but I find that savory foods that go well with those anise-y ingredients stand a good chance of working with vanilla as well. So, it's no surprise that lobster works well with vanilla as well as with tarragon. I wouldn't be surprised if vanilla goes well with duck.
  20. I always assumed the reason the braise is improved the next day is that the meat has had a chance to absorb more flavor from the liquid: would this not be prevented if you're refrigerating the two separately?
  21. I should have been more clear: you boil the water, but then you pour that water over the lobsters off the heat, so it's no longer boiling...
  22. Apparently, Thomas Keller now does his lobsters sous vide, rather than butter-poached as described in the FL cookbook. The two methods should give essentially the same result, so you should definitely comb through the bits of "lobster sous vide" information on eG for ideas on butter poaching. Since I coincidentally did lobster sous vide this weekend for the first time, I'll try to share what I've learned from others: - The technique Keller describes for removing the shells (steeping the lobsters briefly in hot but not boiling water) seems to be the recommended way to go, though I had some difficulty. After the prescribed 2 minutes of steeping, my lobsters were still wriggling around in the pot. Since I was not up for ripping a live lobster in half with my bare hands, I let them steep for another 2 minutes till they were motionless. I felt that by that time, the exterior of the lobster tail flesh looked fully cooked. I don't know if this is how it should be. - Nathanm recommends in the eG SV thread to cook lobster at 113F till the core reaches that temp. I was afraid that would be a bit low for my tastes, as my experience with fish is I do not like it quite that rare. - Others recommend anywhere from 130-140F, although I think it's safe to say that those are higher than the desired core temp, so you need to be very precise with how long you are cooking. According to this post, this is what Keller currently does: lobster sous vide at 138F, but only for a few minutes. According to McGee via this post, there are enzymes in crustaceans that turn the meat mushy, and they're activated around 130-140F, so it might be best to avoid getting up to this temperature at all, as by the time the core reaches what you're looking for, the exterior may have those enzymes activated. - Shola from StudioKitchen, in a thread on IdeasInFood, recommends cooking lobster at 125F, and he considers this the "holding temperature", meaning it will not overcook at this temp. Without any better information to go by, that seemed about the right core temp I was looking for. I cryopacked the tails with some butter, star anise, and tarragon, and cooked it at 125F for about 40 minutes. - I was not thrilled with my end result: I found the meat kind of chewy. Again, I'm not sure if it's because I toughened the exterior too much during steeping. Still, if I were to try it again, I might go 120F, and see if it makes a difference.
  23. I think this is pretty close to what you're looking for, and is excellent: Japanese Cooking
  24. alwang

    Flat-Iron Steak

    If it's an option, grilling is by far the best way of preparing skirt steak. There's some great information here: http://www.asadoargentina.com Otherwise, I'd guess that broiling would be the next best thing...
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