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paulraphael

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    under-belly.org

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. I'll try making a Brooklyn cocktail to see how well it plays with others. If that doesn't work out, maybe I'll see if anyone in NYC wants to do a booze swap!
  2. We just got: -Rittenhouse Rye (starting to learn why people like rye in cocktails) -Ford's Gin (my new favorite for Negronis, which means my new favorite) -Cocchi vermouth di Torino (my BFF) -Campari -Luxardo Maraschino (an impulse buy. I see it in so many cocktails. First impression: really disgusting. Maybe 1/4 ounce of it does nice things?) Edited to add: We also recently got a special bottling of cask-strength single-barrel Knob Creek bourbon. The owner of our favorite pizza restaurant in the neighborhood needed to pay his bills, and realized he was sitting on a goldmine of booze at the bar. So he's been selling it a bottle at a time and delivering it with chicken soup. This is wonderful stuff ... made the best Old Fashioned I've ever had. He only asked $50. I'll miss this when it's gone. (Pizza restaurant is scheduled to open again soon ... great news, but I hope he doesn't ask for his booze back).
  3. I'd be inclined to try flash-chilling by plunging into ice water right after cooking sous-vide. How you reheat for service would depend on how thick the fillets are. I think all your technical challenges will be in the reheating. If the fillets are thin, you could throw right back into a water bath. Or if you're searing them (I'm guessing you're not) the searing itself might be all it takes. But if they're thick, it will be be more time consuming to reheat them by any method, and more challenging to do so without overcooking / drying them out.
  4. I had Uigeadail for the first time over the holidays this winter and absolutely loved it. My dad got two bottles of nice scotch as presents and so we did a very informal blind tasting. I knew one was a special bottling of Lagavulin, and one was the Uigeadail. I liked one of them and was floored by the other. I'd assumed the winner would be the Lagavulin, since I like plain-old Lagavulin more than I like plain-old Ardbeg. But damn if my fave wasn't the Ardbeg. This was especially good news because the special Lagavulin was a really expensive bottle. The Uigeadail is pretty reasonable, and is available every year. I haven't treated myself to a bottle yet. For pandemic season I've been drinking cocktails, not fancy scotch. Maybe in the fall or winter.
  5. If I read that right, you used skim milk powder plus reduction. They're both ways of increasing the solids. I'm suggesting you could make life easier and have quite a bit more control of all the variables if you you used milk solids and skipped the reduction entirely.
  6. Have you tried using skim milk powder instead of reduction? If you get a good brand, it will be low-temperature spray-dried, so basically it will come pre-reduced, but done in a controlled process. You can then choose your cooking time and temperature based just on getting the level of protein denaturing you want. I suspect you'll find the denaturization makes a very small difference—especially in a high-fat, high-solids, high-egg formula. I'm curious to know what benefits you're seeing from the polysorbate when you've got 4 egg yolks in there. FWIW, I don't pay any attention to the different flavor profiles of the dominant sugars (sucrose, fructose, dextrose—besides relative sweetness). It's detectable, but I'd really be surprised if anyone would volunteer that they like the taste of 100% sucrose more than, say, 60/40 sucrose+dextrose, if sweetness levels are well balanced. In a food science study, people are probably being fed unflavored, very sweet ice cream, and then being told to choose. The differences are subtle, especially with something cold. Add flavors, and the differences go away. The ratios of sucrose / dextrose / fructose are all over the place when you compare one kind of fruit to another. I think this is a very minor part of why the fruits taste different. When it comes to choosing sugars, I'm interested in getting the sweetness right (which I think should be lower than just about anyone else who publishes recipes) and getting the hardness right (which varies with preference and your chosen serving temperature).
  7. We have sweet potatoes roasting in the oven right now, and whiskey is the one thing we hoarded for the pandemic. I'm tempted. How were they?
  8. Why don't I see more people doing this? It's delicious and seems kind of obvious.
  9. I hadn't read the OP ... thought this was just another what-cutting-board conversation. What kind of dough are you rolling? I don't find the poly boards to be especially slippery with dough, unless it's very low hydration. They are slippery on countertops though.
  10. I like this Oxo: It's a lot smaller than the picture. I started by shopping for the cool commercial timer they use on Top Chef. I found it and was about to pull the trigger when I read the reviews. Mostly, "this is great, but it's made for loud commercial kitchen, and the alarm will make you jump out of your skin. There's no way to turn it down." Deal breaker. The Oxo isn't as cool, but is good enough—and it's loud enough without being crazy. It has a quite decent UI with real buttons, so I can usually set it without looking, and while doing something with my other hand. For anything beyond 3 timers, or if I need more features (like labelling what each timer is for) I have kitchen timer app on the phone. The oxo handles things most of the time. Only 2 complaints: it's not at all water resistant, so you could wreck it by spilling on it. And it's a little wobbly. You have to hold it down while pressing the keys or it will tip. It could stand to be heavier and to have the little feet closer to the corners.
  11. Bamboo is one material I won't consider for cutting boards. They're all composites, with a high proportion of glue. You'll never know what they use for glue, or how hard that glue is. But the result is that most bamboo boards are extremely hard on knife edges. The whole point of a cutting board is to give you knife-friendly, technique-friendly, sanitation-friendly surface. Most bamboo boards fail at the first point, and there's no way to tell in advance if you've found a board that's an exception. In terms of esthetics, I like end-grain wood boards. These are beautiful, and relatively easy on knife edges. The hype is that they're super gentle on edges, but that's not really my experience. My beloved Boardsmith maple butcher block dulls my knives somewhat more quickly than my crappy ugly poly boards. But I enjoy cutting on it much more. Rubber boards like Sani-Tuff are probably the most edge-friendly. Opinions are mixed on the cutting experience. They are ugly and don't smell good, but can go in the dishwasher. Poly boards are almost as ugly, almost as gentle, equally dishwashable, lighter, cheaper, more slippery, less smelly. There's no perfect board. My personal choice would be my big (22 inch?) maple butcher block, and a couple of sanitufs in small and medium sizes. My girlfriend doesn't like the heavy weight of the STs, so we have poly boards instead. I also have a couple old wood boards that are used for bread, and for carving. I like them because they're pretty, and I've had them around almost forever.
  12. You don't need 22K in a home kitchen. I probably have 900 and it doesn't hold me back. But if I COULD have 22K? Of course I'd love it. Maybe not for an added $1000, but if I could upgrade down the road for a few hundred, yes please. There are some advantages to big-ass BTUs. Boiling pasta water in less time comes to mind. Preheating a pan for searing anything in about a minute. You can also rethink your pans. If you have that kind of horsepower, you really don't need energy storage. So you can exclusively use lightweight, responsive stuff, like thin spun steel or all-clad, or lighter weight commercial aluminum. You'll never have to wait around for a pan to preheat, and everything will be responsive. There are downsides. People not used to the power might freak out, or burn themselves, or destroy your cookware. You'll set your side towels on fire. But I'd take my chances. For what it's worth, I've never cooked on BlueStar, but it's almost certainly what I'd pick if I had the $$$. I don't see anything else that's as serious, with open burners, and no b.s..
  13. How about something that gives everyone terrible breath?
  14. I'm completely unfamiliar with that knife shop and with the SK5 carbon knife. I would be worried about the blade being not straight, and about it need a lot of dressing on coarse stones at that price. I don't have a problem with that steel. It's one of Hitachi's lower-end carbon steels, but my sujihiki in SK5 (by Kikuichi) performs just fine. It's a pleasure to sharpen and takes a seriously fine edge. It just has more impurities in it, and probably worse edge retention than the white and blue steels. You can actually smell the sulphur in it, which I think is kind of cool. I'd see what kind of service you can get from that shop. Will they guarantee a straight knife? One thing I liked about Korin (back when I could afford their cheap knives) is that their knife master would dress any single-beveled blade for you for no extra charge.
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