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paulraphael

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    under-belly.org

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. The water's very good. It's almost ideal for coffee, if you live in the parts of the city that get all their water from the Catskills reservoirs. Some might like a bit more mineral content, but you can always add some magnesium and calcium. I've tried ... it's interesting but not really worth it IMO. If you're in parts of Manhattan or the Bronx, your water is mix of Catskills and Croton reservoir water. The mix changes all the time. So the water can be a little harder, or a lot harder. Sometimes good for coffee, sometimes less so. The infrastructure that affects the water is the pipes in your building. Lots of old buildings have nasty, corroded galvanized pipes that add rust and silt and who knows what to the water. A filter takes care of this. If you use a carbon filter it also takes care of the chlorine. Edited to add ... regarding infrastructure investment, they've been building a whole new aqueduct, as a backup for the other two. It's been in progress for 40 years and is the biggest capital investment project in the history if NYC. Supposed to be completed this year. It won't change the water quality. It will let them shut down the other tunnels for maintenance for the first time ever.
  2. Picture? I just looked and it's possible that our teacup shelf is also a wine glass rack (which means that your wine glass rack is also a teacup shelf ... everyone wins). At first it seemed that there wasn't enough head room for them on that middle rack, but it's looking like they just barely fit into a cutout.
  3. Because we don't have a good enough range hood. When I cook, smoke and steam go everywhere, and the wine glasses, which don't get used a whole lot, get coated with a film of grime. Which makes us really not want to use them. Hoping for a rescue.
  4. Beware of getting into pissing contests with food scientists. You'll say "I like it this way better than that way," and they'll say, "how do you know? Have you done a blind triangle test?" If you haven't, you'd better be willing to. Otherwise you're likely just passing off cognitive biasses as opinions. Savvy chefs have figured this out. In many circles it's "triangle test or shut up."
  5. I'll be curious to see reviews. I'm not completely clear on how it maintains pressure at the puck while it's extracting. If the extraction is too long, that's a problem; if it's short, then that tiny boiler is going to have to work hard to equalize the pressure. But I'll give the jet engine engineer the benefit of the doubt on this one. As Rotus suggested, you'll need a grinder that costs a few times what this thing costs before good espresso becomes a possibility.
  6. We just joined the Bosch dishwasher club. It rocks. Only complaint is that the racks on ours seem designed to be efficient for very dainty dishes. The slots are a bit too close together. There's a specially contraption for holding teacups but nothing for wine glasses. Just started looking for a solution to this.
  7. In the Can't Leave Well-Enough Alone Dept., Dave Arnold has modified a hand-cranked coffee grinder for pepper. He offers the 3D printer files: https://publish.twitter.com/?query=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2FCookingIssues%2Fstatus%2F1193579570366169089&widget=Tweet It's unclear what problem he's solving, but I'll bet it grinds the hell out of some pepper.
  8. You can now get Wilkin & Sons tawny orange marmalade on Amazon. And it's not crazy expensive. It's bitter, It's dark, it has big chunks of rind, and it makes all things in the world better. There must be other good brands in the UK, but I've never found one over here. Possibly the only other choice is making it yourself. In which case, yeah, seville oranges.
  9. Invert syrup can be used to replace a portion of the sugar in most baked goods, chocolates, icings etc. to improve texture and longevity. I'd recommend it if there's anything you make that tends to dry out or crystalize before you finish eating it, or if you're giving cakes or cookies as a gift and you don't know how long they'll sit around. When I write my own recipes I often just include trimoline as 10-15% of the total sugars, with a note that it's optional most of the time. I do it because I keep some in the fridge, and it can only help. At these levels I haven't noticed anything browning too much. Invert works as a humectant (an ingredient that holds onto water and slows dehydration) and as a sugar crystal suppressor in things like icings and ganaches. It can also increase the creaminess of some things. The only downsides are that you have to have it around, and it's kind of messy and annoying to work with. I would only include it in recipes that use weight measures. There's also the option of simply adding equal measures of powdered dextrose and fructose. This is much easier, but the ingredients are quite a bit more expensive. I do this for ice cream, because of the ease and because it doesn't add any additional water.
  10. I've never worn out a microplane, but my oldest one is definitely slower than newer ones. Probably you should replace if it ever drives you nuts.
  11. Do you have a source for this? I've read that it survives "up to 140F." My inclination would to keep it and eat it myself. Actually I'd share with my girlfriend ... she has that strange genetic marker that makes her immune to norovirus. You shouldn't have to worry about making yourself sick again. You now have immunity to that particular strain.
  12. That's really low. You're at the extreme end of medium-rare steak-like ribs. This is kind of a sous-vide magic trick, and isn't to everyone's tastes. I suspect the reason this is more often done at 60C is to get the fat to melt to a more pleasing texture, but I can't vouch for it. There are many different textures available between what you've done and a traditional braise.
  13. Yes, the point of the steam is not to make the bread wet. It's to create a humid environment in the oven that slows the formation of the crust, so the bread can rise more before being constrained. That's it. You want high humidity for maximum oven spring, then low humidity to dry out the surface and promote browning. I don't think there's a more effective method that Jim Lahey's Dutch oven idea (if you don't have a real steam injection oven). All these schemes of splashing water into the bottom of a regular oven are pretty limited. Ovens have vents, and that humidity never builds very high and it can't stick around long. But I think it's better than nothing. To answer the ancient original post, you can indeed break your oven window. It's easy. I've done it! Used to use a bike water bottle to squirt water into a roasting pan or skillet in the oven bottom. It just took one splash to break the glass. I use a Dutch oven now. The downside is that it's a pain in the ass to handle the dough, especially if it's a really wet dough. And it's much harder to do loaves back-to-back.
  14. At what time / temperature?
  15. You can get whatever texture you want, by varying time and temperature. Steak-like textures are the most famous sous-vide trick, but they're not the only option. Lots of people don't like this. You can get a traditional braised texture as well. Although you could argue that if this is your goal, you might as well just braise. I use s.v. to go for textures that are between those extremes. I also do very little traditional braising these days, because our current oven smells like a gas leak when it runs at low temperatures (the gas company has come over three times and insists we don't have a gas leak ... that the oven just smells like that. Go figure).
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