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Everything posted by pstock

  1. my mills are classic old-style wooden jobs with stainless steel mechanisms, the "Peugeot" kind that normally are good for decades.
  2. My ground pepper out of two of my pepper mills (both tall classic wooden ones) smells bad -- I can't be more precisely than that. It's sort of like pepper but unpleasant smelling - and I can't figure it out. but it's ruining dishes. Anyone else had the same issue? In the name of science, maybe a few of you would sniff the business end of your pepper mill and describe the scent for me/us. We've now emptied both mills but before reloading, how would one disinfect/sanitize/deoderize a pepper mill?
  3. I am pretty much 100% converted to cast iron these days for all the well-known reasons. I know (I think) that I am supposed "clean" cast iron as little as possible to help it keep its seasoning. Problem is, I seem to always have the lingering essence of my last use in whatever I am cooking. Last time it was a fish odor, today my apples for tarte tatin have the mysterious aroma of Cumin from a recent chile dish. Short of having one skillet for each type of food -- fish, other savoury, sweet -- are there any tips on rendering my skillet neutral smelling without scrubbing it ruthlessly?
  4. Thanks both. In the end I half-cooked the brown rice in a rice cooker with excess water and tried working backwards from the end point, as suggested. Finally result was a hit, but I noticed the cooking liquid (zuchinni juice + milk) didn't seem to be absorbed quite as thoroughly as it was in the white rice version. That might have been a function of some characteristic of brown rice or I might have screwed up my timing and measures. I will have to try it again another time when I am less harried and pay closer attention. thanks though. Peter
  5. One of my favourite dishes from Master the Art is from Vol2, p 271, Tian de Courgettes au Riz. I would like however to use brown rice instead of the white it calls for. the original calls for 1 cup of white rice boiled in a large quantity of water for exactly 5 minutes and then drained. it is then cooked along with other stuff with 2.5C of hot liquid. So, how to convert this? First how long to parboil? if 5 minutes is a little less than 1/3 the standard 18 minutes cooking time for white rice would I parboil the brown rice for 1/3 the standard 45 minutes for brown (so, 15minutes?) or would you parboil until ... 13 minutes (18-5) from it being fully cooked, so 45-13 = 32min? Second, how much liquid to use in the final cooking process (along with 2C zuchinni, minced onions, ) instead of 2.5 cups,More? thanks any quick suggestions would be appreciated as this is for this evening. Peter
  6. Oh goodness, don't get me started: Slap-Chop - got one for Christmas as a joke (I am a knife man) and it was a joke. The opening is too small to handle more than a one person's amount of anything. chunks get stuck in the blades, clogging the works.... The Alessi Philippe Starck lemon juicer, the one that looks like a giant tall spider. Neat looking but it never comes off the design shelf. I use a cheap red plastic one every day however. Microwave ovens. Period. is there anything that can't be reheated almost as fast either using steam, oven, toaster oven or stovetop? (they should design a mini-one about an 8" cube that would heat milk for Bechamel but that is about it.) I have a bad habit of scouring the local trash looking for discarded kitchen implements. and this one astounded me. a Braun electric crepe maker? do we really need this? I could go on. But I'll spare you.
  7. for the past 2 years I've been hoarding a Braun meat grinder attachment and a slicing attachment. Even though when I found them I had no particular use for them, they were made such a classic Braun fashion (quality plastic, the telltale green tops and the cast aluminum bodies) that I figured the matching base might show up someday. And finally, finally at the Sally Anne on Monday Bingo! the Holy Grail! A clean, functioning M32 Multiprocessor base with bowl, whisks and dough hook. So, now that I have an almost complete set, I need to press harder for the few missing bits. Does anyone have any of the above banging around in the kitchen drawer? 1) I have only one slicing insert. (the medium grater) 2) there is supposed to be a tray with plunger that fits into the meat grinder feedtube. I can improvise but it would be nice to have the complete set. those are the main bits, (a friend's mother is donating her pasta making attachment from her own 70s set) though I could eventually use the blender attachment. any ideas on sources? many thanks Peter
  8. got it. it appears to be an attachment for a Braun MX32 blender which in turn appears to be scarce as hens teeth and might never have been released in North America.
  9. is anyone familiar with this attachment? it evidently fits into some kind of blender/motorized base but nothing that I am familiar with. I am trying to figure out what make and model of appliance that this would have fit. It's beautifully made - and looks kind of like a Braun style. any clues?? http://picasaweb.google.com/TOcycles/Grinder# sorry for the link to photos. I can't figure out how I post photos here. can anyone advise?
  10. I am a fairly experienced bread baker but I still have trouble sometime with my shaped loaves sticking to the slider board (is there a technical term for this? is this the "peel" or is that what I use to pull the finished loaves out with?) I use a thin piece of smooth wooden board. maybe my loaves are too moist (and maybe someone can advise on how to determine the optimum moisture before baking.) I typically leave them for about 60-120 minutes to final rise lying on a floured tea towel. anticipating sticking problems, I also usually dust the board with fine cornmeal (as per a pizza) or coarse whole wheat flour. but even today, by time I flipped a loaf onto the board, reached for my blade to slash them... when I went to slide them onto the tiles, the middle half had stuck to the board making sliding impossible and a holy mess of that shaped loaf. any suggestions as to moisture content, or choice of sliding gizmo?? Peter
  11. I've accumulated a batch of Canadian Crown preserving jars and need a little advice before I fill them. I expect there is something similar in the US. These are glass jars with round glass tops that are held in place by a screw-down metal rim (different from Mason jars that have a metal cap with a rubberized underside.) None of these about 2 dozen Crown jars came with rubber seals. But I would have thought that glass-on-glass would not give an airtight seal. Maybe I'm wrong. But I don't want to waste the time and materials doing a batch of preserves that won't keep because I didn't chase down the rubber seals I need. does anyone have any experience with these glass-on-glass jars? Peter
  12. one of these links should show bread shots http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/emailPhoto?...335321702985153 http://picasaweb.google.com/pjstock/Bread?...CO3zv8D7l_imUg# peter
  13. hand kneading. though not overly long. I will have to read up on what kneading time contributes to the bread's character. hmmm, good point. I"ve not been using high gluten flour usually. not easy to find here in Toronto (at least on normal supermarket shelves.) and have not been double steaming. thanks for the suggestions. peter
  14. sorry about the non-photos. for some reason I remember being able to attach photos to posts here but this time around, I can't seem to find the way to do that. am baking at about 400-425 aiming at an internal temp of 200 before taking them out.
  15. I"ve been working on my baquette technique for the last 6 months. They are looking as good as anything available commerically. But, I remain disappointed that the crust and crumb are not quite what they should be (I was especially reminded of this when comparing to local bakery product during a recent trip to France.) My crust usually lacks thickness and crunch. My crumb lacks denseness (density?) and chewiness. It always seems a bit fluffy. I understand there will always be limitations to home baking. I am using unglazed terracotta tiles in the oven and do the water toss to try to generate some steam I also try to give the dough long slow cool rises. Can anyone offer any suggestions on how I might take my product up a notch or two? Peter (PS. the attached photos seem short because they came from a narrow width oven.)
  16. did the prep this weekend and the breasts turned out to be fabulously huge. about a pound each. gorgeous things. we'll have one tonight roasted and I am going to try the other one cured a la chefsimon.org thanks for all the suggestions. Peter
  17. A neighbour asked me to show him how to make duck confit. We are going at it this weekend. As a starting point, I bought two Mennonite-raised (so they should be pretty natural and pretty tasty) ducks. They are currently frozen so I don't yet have a good idea of their proportions (except their weight, 4 and 4.5 lbs.) We are planning to confit of the 4 legs this weekend (and maybe the wings too? depends on their size I guess.) Question is this. These natural ducks were pretty expensive ($6 a lb?) and so I am loath to waste anything. In my experience (in France), the breasts are saved, boned, for magret that measure about 6"x3"x1". Here though I've found that duck breasts are pathetic little things unsuitable for much. (Maybe French magret ducks are specially raised?) If these breasts seem substantial enough, we'll go the magret route. But it they are skimpy, what suggestions does anyone have for making the most of two legless, wingless, breast-still-on duck carcasses? roast? other? thanks Peter
  18. How Cool is that? thank you thank you thank you. (and to think I was just arguing with someone about the value of the INternet.) peter!
  19. I would like to make (this evening, that is to say in about 2 hours here in the UK) the lemon tart in Patricia Well's Bistro Cooking book, but I am travelling, don't have my copy and can't remember a few details. Does anyone have one handy and could check some details for me? 1. it's either 5 eggs and 4 lemons or the other way around. 2. how much sugar does she call for? 3. is there any cream involved? Or is it just "whisk the eggs and sugar into the lemon juice and then pour it into the half-baked pie shell"? thanks Peter
  20. Yeah,what is the difference? Years ago, I used to make a brown off the ground beef, add sweated onion, add tomatoes sauce[ actually, my mom used tomato sauce I used chopped tomatoes],... Then I split the load and froze. The bases are the same, part to either. The other part TO EITHER . Did I use this base for Chili or pasta sauce? How about both. Spice/Herb the thawded portion and you have... Then the parts were some sort of pasta sauce , spiced and herbed this way and other wise spiced and herbed that way. I find it so cool that we find that so many things have the same base. ← I'm interested because for as long as I've travelled, eaten, and cooked I've sensed a battle between French and Italian cooking (in my view it was: French = over-manipulation of mundane ingredients, e.g. pate; Italian = minimal preparation of perfect raw materials). And here I see them basically walking the same path.
  21. does the pump sound like it is grinding away? Hmmm, vinegar and water?? I've inherited my mother's long abandoned 80s Baby Gaggia and disassembled much of it from the "coffee holder" (porta filter??) back and have found mucho crud up there several layers up. but never anything so severe as to prevent water flow completely. I think a good machine will be easy to disassemble... to a point. (various fastners needed just screw drivers and allen keys.) I also poked the coffee basket clear with a stiff bristled dish washing/veg scrubbing brush. (though most home machines do NOT (i learned) need or allow back washing where you block the coffee filter and force the hot water back through the system to wash it.) But my first step as to take it to a reputable Gaggia dealer (you can tell because their show rooms are filled with these MONSTROUS industrial models that make you feel woefully inadequate when you arrive with your precious but dinky home model....) and have them overhaul it. Cost me sixty bucks and (assuming the thing is worth $400 new) I thought it was a pretty good investment. or at least provided a certain peace of mind that I hadn't screwed anything up completely on my own. Peter
  22. so, on one side of the cooker tonight I was sweating onions, then adding some chopped garlic before adding chick peas and roasted red peppers. and on the other side I was... sweating onions, adding chopped garlic before adding roasted cubed butternut squash. One was destined (in my mini-mind) for a pasta sauce; the other was intended as the base for a quick soup. To one I would add cream (maybe to both) and chicken stock or milk.... to the other... not much. Parmesan? oil? and then I started wondering "what really is the difference?" how far is either of these concoctions from being a soup OR a pasta sauce. What keeps a tomato-based pasta sauce from becoming tomato soup? Is it really just a question of thickness/thinness? or am I just missing something fundamental? (and for what it is worth, I think I know how to cook. I just don't think about it too hard.) Just wondering. I'll be curious to hear any thoughts. Peter
  23. well, in hindsight I realize that.. I didn't. the fruit did float. But then I can deal with sloppy toast. live and learn. ←
  24. I'd suggest you either work faster building your pizza or get a new peel setup. I've never heard of a splatter screen with parchment paper. My best DIY peels are: a) a used pizza delivery box with the top removed and one edge cut out. (so a three sided open top pizza box.) b) a piece of thin plywood, like an eighth of an inch thick. good luck.
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