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Everything posted by MattJohnson

  1. I agree with jneu. I was at Bacchus last night and had a wonderful time. The new cocktail menu is inventive and the drinks I had were very well made and delicious. Ira and Nick are doing a great job and I will definitely be going back. Best cocktails in Milwaukee.
  2. I got a set of three Japanese knives from epicurian edge: http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopexd.asp?id=568 Looking forward to learning to sharpen them
  3. You mean it's no longer "Seven Summers Old"? That is ominous. Last year I had someone bring me back a bottle Pikesville Rye from Maryland (I know it's not made there, but I figured that they should be able to easily find it there), and it's my understanding that it used to be aged 4 years, but this bottle is clearly marked "This whiskey is 3 years old." I don't think I like this trend. I hope distillers aren't rushing to get product onto the shelves and cutting time off the aging process. Yeah, I looked at my bottle and it sported the label "7 summers old." Maybe thats ominous, however, whether 6 or 7 years old, I enjoyed my glass of it - so kudos to them if the got it out a year early. If you can't tell the difference, then why the difference?
  4. The downside of a 5% brine is you have to be diligent about timing. Put it in too long and it will be too salty, not long enough and it will taste bland. With a 3% brine, you can leave it in for a week and then cook it and it will turn out perfectly seasoned. Sure. I guess I got in the habit of making the brine in the evening, chilling over night, put chicken in, go to work, take chicken out and let dry in fridge until the next night. Is 3% the magic number of perfectly seasoned? Is that why you can leave it for much longer? Abra - my brines end up pretty "chunky" I put a decent amount of stuff in there.
  5. Ah, thats definitely a possibility. I think I'll adopt your outlook and just tell people that if they ask.
  6. I've only made it with 100 proof, but after steeping for a couple weeks, I add another bottle of vodka, then the syrup. I think I used a 1:1 syrup. Maybe you want to do less water in the syrup since you're using 80 proof. It won't taste bad, whatever you do. I have a different question. I followed the recipe as well and it tastes fine, but I noticed after being in the freezer for a couple weeks, I have a bit of a waxy sludge at the top of the bottles. I did blanch my lemons and scrub them to try to get rid of any wax on the lemons - could this be residual wax? Anything else it could be? I think I'm going to try and strain it out, but I'm curious because last time I made it, I didn't get this.
  7. I'd email her and ask her what her favorite dishes are and riff off of that. That list is a bit ridiculous.
  8. The percentage means exactly that: amount of salt in the water. I generally follow Michael Ruhlman's brine recipe which is about 5%. I usually marinate a 4 lbs chicken for about 8 hours, then air dry for 12 or so before roasting. If you cut the chicken into pieces, I think you can brine for less time. Really the best way to go about it is by weight. So per liter of H20 (google says that its 1000g (I really should convert to metric for everything its so much easier)), use 50g salt. Put the amount of brine plus the flavorings you want on the stove to help dissolve the salt. I usually use a lemon, half head of garlic, thyme, cracked pepper, bay leaf. Cool the brine, then add the chicken/turkey and soak in the fridge for the amount of time you need.
  9. Just tried some Old Weller Antique 107. It was like 21 at the local store and I wanted to try something different. I was worried that the overproof-ness would be too much, but I had it neat and it was quite good. Great for the price. Anyone else a fan?
  10. Just got around to this topic. I have to agree with you! My grandparents live in New Ulm and growing up we often were passing through. I'd always angle for the beef sticks. The summer sausage is fantastic. The place is synonymous with grandma, grandpa in my mind. I wish I could get there more often.
  11. Thanks for posting that. I've been trying to find a way to try these out without having to buy more appliances.
  12. Just an FYI for anyone in the Milwaukee area: Discount liquor on Oklahoma has Plymouth gin on sale for 17/liter. Get it while it lasts. Cheers.
  13. porchetta di testa? http://www.gourmet.com/food/video/2008/09/cosentino_pigshead Anyone who wants to stop eating pork belly because its passe can hand their plate over and fall in a well.
  14. So I was at the local farmers market and came across these lincoln pears. They looked good, so I picked them up. They are quite small and very hard - in fact the texture is like a crisp apple. They are also VERY tart. I'm wondering if these are just unripe or if this is the way they are. If so, what do I do with them. Honestly, they aren't that enjoyable to eat out of hand.
  15. Yeah, thats my go-to dry vermouth. I just like to try new ones and have only heard good things about Dolin.
  16. Its a great drink. Wish I could find Dolin around here. I'd really like to try it.
  17. I also dial back the pernod. Perhaps I'm just sensitive to the anise flavor, but I like it to hang back, barely perceptible. When I hit that balance, its awesome.
  18. I had a few limes that were getting old so I made a margarita, and afterward wondered what it'd be like to swap out the tequila with gin. And since I like angostura with gin I threw that in too. 2 oz gin 1.25 oz Cointreau .75 oz lime Angostura I gave that one to my wife. I've been finding that while I don't like anise flavored stuff that much, when added in small quantities it can add a bit of complexity without setting off a "yuck." So I made another and added a splash of Pernod, maybe 1/8 oz or so for the hell of it. It wasn't bad. I'm sure none of this is new, but it was fun to play around.
  19. Look up bentos. I'm sure there is an egullet thread, but if you want, here's a site I reference. http://justbento.com/
  20. I do enjoy the whooshing drops. I don't think mine have ever stayed as nice little dots.
  21. Something I'd appreciate if I were just getting into cocktails would be a handout with the basic content. On the back of that, I'd like a list of examples of good value brands for all the base spirits (bonus if you know all the brands listed are available locally). That way, when novices leave, they have the ammo to go to the store and practice without breaking the bank. Also, if you are requesting the students bring any of their own equipment, I'd give very specific recommendations so they don't go out and buy some goofy crap that costs a fortune and doesn't work right. p.s. love the magnetic fields reference.
  22. I'll second the recommendation for restaurant supply stores. You'll be shocked how cheap some of the things are. If you're interested in enamel cast iron, look at lodge brand. Quite cheap - I use mine all the time. Don't forget a decent cutting board.
  23. I'm not in the catering business or anything, but if I did my math right, 260 oz is about 10 bottles of wine in terms of volume (and sangria is wine mixed with fruit juices, correct?). If you think of it in that way, would 10 bottles of wine be enough for your 20 people? I certainly can drink .5 bottles of wine over the course of a meal without becoming drunk (not that this is the goal). If some will be drinking other things, I'm guessing it will be enough. Not sure if this helps, but trying to visualize 260 oz is a bit difficult.
  24. Cooking issues is a great blog, I'm sure some around here read it. However they did some experiments on cocktail making and I thought people around here would like it. Basically, they determine that the type of ice doesn't really matter in terms of final temperature or dilution of a cocktail - although they don't make any claims about texture of a drink Here ya go: How does the science of shaking work? http://cookingissues.wordpress.com/2009/07...nce-of-shaking/ Does the type of ice matter (in terms of final temp and dilution of the drink) http://cookingissues.wordpress.com/2009/07...-of-shaking-ii/ Does this surprise anyone? I know there have been heated debates about ice.
  25. a quicky that I read about somwhere a while back: Hollow out some orange halves (eat the orange) Fill the halves with muffin mix - I usually get the just add water kind (heresy, I know...) and mix it in the bag. Fill in the orange peels, wrap in foil, toss in some coals. Works reasonably well. They don't exactly turn out pretty, but its camping.
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