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    Buffalo, NY

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  1. I am going out to dinner with friends in about an hour and a half and I am very sad that nothing like this is on the menu at our chosen restaurant. It looks DELICIOUS.
  2. I have been using the paragon for a few weeks now and while I don't think I would use it for anything requiring real temperature precision like caramel, it has become my go-to for things like grilled sandwiches (rapid precise, 350 F, up to 5 minutes per side) and scrambled eggs (220 F), both of which turn out pretty close to my platonic ideal. I have also caramelized large batches of onions a couple of times - 275 F for as long as it takes to cook them down - maybe a couple hours?, stirring every now and then. It seems to hold a relatively consistent temperature over a long period of time - something that I did not trust my old Burton induction hob to do. I also use it for making things that need to simmer a while - I really appreciate being able to dial in a temperature and know that it will bubble away in a relatively narrow temperature range rather than the burner cycling on and off like my smoothtop range does. It was so much less expensive than the hob I bought years ago, and cooks so much more evenly, that I am perfectly OK with not depending on it for things where precision makes or breaks a recipe. EDITED TO ADD: I do not find the app particularly useful. I can set a timer to remind me to flip my grilled cheese sandwich - I don't need my phone to tell me when to do it. If the app had a larger library of recommended temperatures I might find it more useful, but it is not a resource to which I turn at this point.
  3. Heading out shortly to a small gathering at a friend’s house with a few goodies. Rob’s Wedding Tartlets (caramelized red onion and Stilton), idea courtesy of @Kerry Beal; macarons filled with raspberry Prosecco white chocolate ganache; and volcano chocolates filled with salted caramel ganache and dusted with silver and gold interference powders. Looking at them I think they look more alien eyeball than shimmering delight, but what can you do. Happy New Year to all - may 2020 bring each of you more of what you cherish most!
  4. patris

    Meat Grinder

    Yippee and Merry Christmas! I think I understand what you are saying, but forgive me if I am telling you to do something you have already tried. There is a little button on the right hand side of the sensor - facing away from you if you have the mat on and the sensor on your right. Press that in for a second; the bluetooth icon will flash three times on the face of the sensor and the display on the unit will flash "Sync". From there you should be able to select your cooking mode and get started.
  5. These look wonderful! I love that pastry dough - it’s my go-to for tartlets. Mine always rise/bubble up in the center while they are baking, despite a good docking. Yours look like they didn’t - do you have a trick, or do my eyes deceive me? One other question: I have never in my life made a custard tart so I don’t know what a good ratio of eggs to cream would be. Can you point me to a reliable recipe? I’d love to make these for Christmas.
  6. patris

    Lunch 2019

    When @Kerry Beal was here a couple of weeks ago I fully intended to make charred broccoli reubens for us, but time and other activities got in the way. I finally got around to making one for myself today. Broccoli florets lightly steamed and then charred under the broiler; Swiss cheese; a sauce of mayo, ketchup, and horseradish (I added a bit of Dijon and next time will also add a dash of Worcestershire sauce); and sauerkraut, grilled on good rye bread on the Paragon. Eaten with some veggie chips and washed down with a glass of V8, a tasty and comforting way to start my holiday vacation. There’s quite a bit more broccoli in there than it looks - it’s not all cheese, I promise!
  7. No doubt I should have more closely RTFM. I will play around with it some more, but keep the caramels on the range for now.
  8. I took the plunge and bought one a few weeks ago - I could not resist the price. It has taken the place of my old Burton unit and I have not looked back. So far I have used it primarily for eggs (specifically that wonderful fried pita and scrambled egg dish that @Anna N found) and grilled cheese sandwiches, which are so foolproof it’s dangerous. Tonight I wanted to put the probe through its paces so I decided to make a batch of @Kerry Beal’s EGCI caramel. Typically when I make it on the stovetop, the sugar/glucose hardly colors at all during the first cook (to 145c/293f), and the final product is a light-to-medium caramel color. Using the Paragon on Rapid Precise, it developed quite a bit of color in the first phase of cooking - distinctly amber with a definite toasted sugar fragrance - and was quite deep in color by the end of the second stage (121c/250f). I ended up sticking my usual probe thermometer in the pot as it cooked, and when the paragon finally reached 250 my trusty probe read 273! The final product is quite dark - several shades darker than normal. I kept a little bit outside the frame to check flavor and texture. It has quite a dark caramel flavor, not bitter but getting close. I was pleasantly surprised by the texture, which is chewy and not too stretchy and dissolves quite quickly without getting stuck in the teeth overmuch. I figured it was possible my probe was affected by the induction, so I put some water in another pan and set it to 212 on Rapid Precise, with both my probe and the Paragon probe. When the water was at a full boil my thermometer read 212, but the Paragon didn’t get above 210 even after several minutes. Not sure if that’s an acceptable variation, but I think I will stick to my stovetop for my next batch of caramel.
  9. I am loving the Paragon (though my go-to spatula is purple) - makes the best damn grilled cheese sandwich.
  10. Good point! I used 4500 g of dark chocolate and 3750 g of white in the peppermint bark, and 2200 g of milk chocolate for peanut butter meltaways.
  11. The first year was the only year we did molds, and the overall logistics were quite different. I didn’t keep any record of how much chocolate we used, as far as I can tell. It does change a bit from year to year, and this year we had 3 new faces as 3 of the regulars couldn’t attend, so I don’t really have an apples to apples comparison. It does all really depend on what people want to make and how much of it - I had some folks who used less than a kilo altogether and some who used 2 or 3. If you limit people’s options - say, have everyone do one mold, barks or clusters with x pounds of chocolate, and maybe allot x pounds of chocolate per person for dipped items - that might be a good way to think about it. Presenting it as a class rather than the friends and family free-for-all like I do it gives you the structure to set limits like that.
  12. These trees were my first attempt and I will work on them when the studio opens back up in January (it is closed from Thanksgiving until New Year’s). My technique needs loads of work if I am ever to feel good about selling, but If you’re serious about wanting them I will check back in with you when I get a better handle on them!
  13. I don’t have exact numbers, but we used probably 5 kilos of dark, maybe 3 of milk, and between 1 and 2 kilos of caramelized white. It was Belcolade - it’s really lovely to work with.
  14. That might be for the best - it’s Giant White Beans in Tomato Sauce from Trader Joe’s.
  15. That is indeed the recipe I used. The corn syrup wasn’t too much work - it’s really just making some corn broth and then making that into a syrup - and it made quite a bit of it. I made 2 batches of marshmallows and will probably be able to get another 3, maybe 4, out of the syrup I have left. As for the rest of the process it’s pretty straightforward, except for the part where you boil the water with oats, strain them out, then use the water to make the syrup. The marshmallows are cut so small that one pan goes a very long way, so for me it ends up being worth the effort.
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