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paulraphael

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. That's definitely how you clean it. The challenge is scraping it out beforehand, so as much food as possible makes it into your belly rather than into a detergent smoothie.
  2. This Isi spatula is especially good at getting goo out of the bottom of a Vitamix. It's great for other things too. I don't use the Vitamix as often as our friends who think smoothies are a lifestyle, but I depend on it for quite a few things. In no particular order: -Nut butters (people say you can't get them perfectly smooth in a blender, but I find it makes them as smooth as anything from the store. Just make sure the nuts are oily enough ... 60% plus) -Ice cream -Soups -Some sauces (anything you want velvety smooth, and don't want to have to strain; anything you need to disperse hydrocolloids into but have more more than your stick blender can handle) -Vegetable purees (almost anything besides potatoes) -Things that will be foamed in a whipping siphon -Frozen drinks -Hummus
  3. Ha. I'm not a milk drink guy, but I wouldn't go quite that far. While milk can make terrible coffee tolerable (have you heard of this place called Starbucks?) it doesn't have to completely obliterate the underlying flavors. I think the better roasters, by popular demand, are going for flavors that can stand up to the milk. And ones do so without clashing with some of the other flavors people like to add. After many attempts, I've figured out how to preserve coffee origin flavors in coffee ice cream. I now almost always make it with very fruity, natural process single origins. If the flavors can hold up to that, they'll hold up to a cappuccino.
  4. In Portland you can get great espressos much more reliably. I should go back to Abraço. Been many years. Is it still standing room only? One problem here is that even the places that know what they're doing tend to cater to milk drink-drinkers. Even at the best espresso bars, very few customers order espresso. So the priority is roasts and shots that stand up to milk, and that don't clash with the almond/oat/coconut milks that people like. So really distinct, fruity, single origin shots with a lot of character are hard to come by.
  5. Did you ever make it in? They're still my favorite coffee shop in the city. Buck's been doing more blends lately, while my favorites are the single origins. He does blends because most of his customers buy milk drinks, and he can get a better balance for those with a blend. The blends still make a pretty great espresso. Usually he does just two coffees ... a Central American and and East African. He has personal relationships with most of the farmers. These coffees have really spoiled me. In the last year I've had decent espressos at Café Grumpy and 3rd Rail, but everywhere else in Manhattan has ranged from passable to disaster. Edited to add: if you're buying beans, he sells them all as single origins.
  6. paulraphael

    Chuck eye steak

    Chuck eye is the ideal cut if you're making steaks for a crowd, on a budget. And you have time. I wrote this article a few years ago exploring the possibilities. The basic idea is that this cut has excellent flavor (much nicer than sirloin), and with prolonged sous-vide cooking will tenderize to the point where it could be mistaken for rib eye that costs three times as much. You can go farther if you have a great butcher—buy a big chunk of the sub-primal and have it dry aged for you. There are additional techniques for amplifying the flavors while cooking. None of this is practical if you're just cooking for a couple of people, but if you have occasion to cook 5 lbs or more, and have plenty of notice, it works great. You can either wow your guests with the science, or keep quiet and let them think they're eating an expensive meal.
  7. What you describe will still make better coffee than what most people drink most of the time. The first hurdle is making coffee that doesn't taste bad. Most coffee tastes bad. It's low quality to begin with, then it's roasted to death. The only way to enjoy it is to smother it in milk and sugar, or to become desensitized to bad coffee (most people choose both). Peet's is going to be decent coffee, even if it's a few days farther past the roast date than what's ideal. That just means you'll lose some aroma and some fruit flavors, but it won't actively make it taste bad—like typical burnt Starbucks coffee. Then it sounds like you've figured out how to brew it in a way that you like. Done. Nothing to complain about. You're making the equivalent of the table wine at a nice French café ... completely satisfying, completely inoffensive. It won't blow your mind, but it's not expected to. And if you're used to the kinds of wine you'd get served at a beer bar in Brooklyn, it will taste like heaven. p.s. ... brewing it a bit on the strong side and then diluting it afterwards for anyone who prefers it that way is exactly the right way to do it. Will give better results than using too low a coffee / water ratio during the extraction.
  8. Interesting about the ratio. I forget how I arrived at mine, but most of the sources online use much less oil, which I'd welcome. At 3:2, is it completely liquid at room temperature? Re: cognac ... any booze should be similar.
  9. You might be interested in Hervé This's books.
  10. I need to make something for a party and don't have time to experiment. I'm wondering adding some cognac to homemade magic shell will cause it to seize. My recipe: 125g dark chocolate 100g refined coconut oil 33g trimoline There's a little water in the trimoline, which doesn't seem to cause any problems. Any sense of how much cognac could reasonably be emulsified into this? I probably wouldn't want to go past 5%.
  11. paulraphael

    Ice Cream!

    Peaches are pretty close to strawberries in terms of sugars and solids, so if you have a strawberry recipe you like you can probably adapt for peaches without too much rejiggering.
  12. Same experience here. As far as which is the best form of yeast, if you're interested in predictable and repeatable results, instant yeast is by far the best. It has the highest percentage of live yeast organisms, and is quite stable if stored well. Fresh yeast has the lowest percentage of live organisms and is the least stable; active dry is somewhere in the middle. They're all the exact same yeast strain. The strong yeast aroma from fresh yeast is partly from it being already hydrated and active, and partly because you have to use so much more of it (most of the critters are dead). Yeast flavor in bread is traditionally regarded as a flaw, but if you like it (I know some bakers who do) you could more reliably achieve it by using instant yeast for leavening and then adding brewer's yeast (inactive) for flavor. The last few years I've gone in the opposite direction, to sourdough. I like the flavor enough that I'm willing to wrestle with the unknowns, and the unknown unknowns.
  13. I've never gone to an air-b-n-b expecting to cook much, but often have this problem when cooking at friends' and relatives' houses. The problem is that what people will have—and not have—can strain the imagination. Someone will have a digital smoker, convection steam oven, Vita-Prep, deep fryer, and rice cooker, but they won't have a strainer. That kind of thing. You'd never anticipate it. If I'm cooking a meal in a strange kitchen, I ask a lot of question, even if they sound ridiculous ("that's so cool that you have an anti-griddle. Do you have a whisk?"). So my cooking go-bag and knife roll get customized for each meal. It will always include a chef's knife ... either my nice gyuto or a heavy German one, depending on the meal and the chances of someone getting their hands on it. I also usually bring a small assortment of potions, like xanthan gum, arrowroot, and maybe some other hydrocolloids that can come in handy and that no one has. Other likely candidates: -long tongs -silicone spatula -very small whisk -fish spat -bamboo spatula (I love these and have replaced all wooden spoons with them) -thermocouple -remote probe thermometer -microplane -kuhn-rikon peeler -small fine chinois -another relevant knife or 2
  14. Every consumer appliance company I've seen fudges their numbers. Even Vita-Mix's horsepower math doesn't add up. The more honest companies (like Hobart) measure output horsepower. This is one reason a 5qt Hobart rated at 1/5 horsepower could whip any of these higher-rated consumer mixers into light, greasy mousse. Ignoring the dumb numbers, the newer 7qt KA models use a much heavier motor than previous generations, and a heavier transmission with planetary gears. These run quiet and should be better at bread than any previous versions. My older style Pro 600 has made a lot of bread and pasta and other abusive things. It's pretty loud, though, and I'm careful with it. I know what a straining motor sounds / feels / smells like, and I'm never far from the on-off switch. Using the new model should be more casual.
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