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About paulraphael

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. Lodge Carbon Steel skillet

    Smoke point has more to do with the level of refinement than the kind of oil. I usually used a refined safflower oil, marketed as "high heat." It's what I use anyhow for sauteeing, it's not expensive, and it's very high in unsaturated fats, so seasoning things goes quickly. I don't actually know how big a difference smoke point makes. To properly season a pan you have to go beyond the smoke point. If you're not carbonizing some of the oil, the finish will be sticky.
  2. Seasoning Carbon Steel Pans

    Drying oils are also the ones responsible for the dangerous reputation of oily rags. As the oils oxidize and harden, they give off heat. In a cabinetmaking shop, where a messy worker might throw used rags soaked with linseed oil into a pile, that pile can offer enough insulation for heat to build up and cause spontaneous combustion. Maybe not so likely in the kitchen.
  3. Lodge Carbon Steel skillet

    I'd probably go with Matfer, just because they've been doing this a long time and I've never heard of anyone having problems. In general I'd prefer to shop for these pans in person at a restaurant store. Carbon steel pans come in a range of weights/thicknesses, and can be hard to know what's what based on descriptions. Generally, if you have a more powerful your range, you can benefit from a thinner pan (more responsive). If you have a weaker consumer range, you need more thermal mass. Preseasoning will save a few minutes of your time on a product that will last a hundred years. I wouldn't consider it a serious benefit. I've never heard of a restaurant seasoning these things; they just throw them on the fire and start cooking.
  4. Cardamom and Chocolate

    Huh. I make a dessert with pears, cherry, cognac, goat cheese, and cardamom. I think the flavors are great together.
  5. I'm having a hard time getting a sense of those textures from the pictures. The top looks maybe firmer and shorter, the bottom softer and more elastic. Can you describe what you're looking for vs. what you're getting? Also, what emulsifier are you using?
  6. Cardamom and Chocolate

    I'm not sure I've ever met a flavor that didn't go with cardamom. It's one of my not-very-secret weapons. Putting cardamom on it around here is like putting a bird on it in Portland.
  7. I think the real advantage of the mortar and pestle is that it allows a consistently coarse texture that's hard to get with a blender. Blenders usually go all the way to smooth, or else fail on consistency. It's a matter of preference if you want the traditional rustic texture or not, but if you do, the old gizmo's the best way to get it.
  8. I should add that the trickiest part of this operation might be finding a snap-ring plier that's the right size. Most of the ones online are made for cars and bigger appliances; they're too big for the KA. The people at the parts sites might be able to point you in the right direction.
  9. That can be repaired. You need to replace the planetary assembly. This happens when there's a defect in the press-fit between axle and the cast part of the assembly (the part that fell off). Usually that connection lasts forever, but occasionally it fails. I think the whole assembly costs around $30 on Amazon or on the various appliance parts sites. Just make sure you get the one for your mixer (and in your color!) Are you reasonably handy with tools? There are videos online that will walk you through this. You'll also need some degreaser, some new grease (don't get the horrible KA grease; get a nice synthetic like superlube), and a new gasket for the gear cover. If your mixer is an old model with a plastic gear cover, it's a good time to replace with the magnesium one. And see if any gears are badly worn. Most of the parts cost $10 to $20. The only special tool you need is a snap-ring plier. I think these machines are pretty fun to take apart and work on. If you make these repairs the mixer will be better than new.
  10. Ingredients via Internet

    I'll swap sherry vinegar for maple syrup. As long as the shipping doesn't make it crazy.
  11. If the budget is $50 I'd go with Jo's advice and get a mortar and pestle. A bit more work, but will give a nice rustic texture that's great for this kind of thing. Just mince ingredients to a fairly small size first. Some coarse salt can work as an abrasive and help the pestle dig in. I'd be afraid that a super cheap food processor or blender would disappoint. In my early days buying kitchen stuff, I got a cheap blender at k-mart; it died the first or second time I used it (frozen cocktails). I returned it and got another one. It died just as quickly. After the fourth one broke, I gave up and got my money back. Eventually I picked up a used commercial blender at a restaurant store ... it lasted 15 years, but it cost more than $50.
  12. Anova bluetooth version

    I'm ok with the remote stuff (which isn't to say I have a use for it; but I'm ok with the company experimenting. You never know what feature will seem indispensable tomorrow even thought it's laughable today). BUT—I'll be extremely cranky if the fluff features get in the way of day-to-day usability. No touch screen on my cast iron skillet, please.
  13. I'll use whatever's handy, but since a pie is usually in a glass or metal pan, I won't use a sharp knife (like a chef or slicing knife). I don't ever use that kind of cutlery on plates or hard surfaces. Probably my favorite thing for pie is a palette knife ... not even a real knife. But super thin, and it can then be used as a spatula to serve the slice. They're useful for a million other things; I always keep a straight one and an offset one around. And they cost around $5 . image by Ateco USA
  14. Anova bluetooth version

    I haven't used this model, but the wheel sounded like a good idea. Do you hate the wheel in principle or just in its implementation? I remember the Anova rep who used to hang out here talking about the tradeoffs with the touchpad. One was durability. I haven't heard of specific problems with it, but Anova's warranty on v.1 doesn't include the touch screen if the circulator is used commercially. Generally I'm ok with the touch screen, but would much rather have a keypad version that doesn't force you to cycle through all the digits. Reminds me of a digital watch, circa 1980. Or the infamous clock on the VCR.
  15. I'm going to take the position that aircraft engineering takes, which is that every pound of weight takes energy both to take off from earth and to maintain airspeed. Even if the road you were on were perfectly flat you still have to expend energy to combat air drag. Add in even minor changes in elevation as you travel and that adds to fuel consumption. It does add to the fuel costs to carry extra weight in vehicles. This isn't an accurate analogy, because it takes a ton of energy to keep mass in the air in an airplane. But the efficiency of a refrigerator's insulation (and the energy losses) have basically nothing to do with the mass of the contents. It does take significant energy to cool the contents in the beginning, for sure. But the mass just stops being an important factor after that. You open the door and cold air flows out and warm air flows in. If I have just one bottle of water in the fridge the temperature change from the warm air would be more than one bottle of water can absorb. This is still presuming that the amount of energy that goes into cooling the warm air that's come in is significant. It's in fact hardly anything compared with the heat absorbed through the insulation on all sides that has to be pumped out. If you opened the fridge door every 5 minutes in perpetuity, it would only make a small difference in energy used, regardless of the fridge being full or empty. But the bottom line may be that it really doesn't make much of a difference either way. This.