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  1. LRunkle

    Water/rice ratios

    Bear in mind that a rice cooker will stay on cook temperature until all the water is gone and there is only steam. It measures the temperature and as long as liquid water is present the temp will not excede 212 deg. F. When all the water is gone, the temperature of the steam will begin to excede 212 and the a thermostat switch will be triggered switching over to the keep-warm mode. Thus, you would theoretically never have soupy rice in a rice cooker as the excess water would be boiled away before the cooker changed to keep-warm mode. That said, it could be ones taste prefers an al dente feel to the rice. I tend to use about a 1:1.5 or thereabouts ratio myself.
  2. I am disgusted with the reactions of theoretically sophisticated forum members to the term "pink slime". If you have been consuming ground beef from a source and found it acceptable or even tasty and have now found out it contains "pink slime" and changed your mind you remind me of someone who eats a dish and likes it until they are informed it contains anchovies or liver. If the "pink slime" additive is healthy for you what difference should it make? Would this subject be hot topic if some PR activist had not thought up the term "pink slime". I am reminded of the campaign against farmed Atlantic salmon hybrids using the name "Frankenfish". Instead of an intelligent discussion of the pros and cons, we have a visceral reaction stirred up deliberately by negative marketing term. Those who accept the concept of eating the cow from nose to tail(now trendy) should welcome the conaervation of beef parts which would otherwise have gone to waste.
  3. Another analogy to Julia would be Alfred Hitchcock. I will never forget the the impact Pscho had on me as teenager in the 60's since I had never seen anything remotely like it(because there had never been anything like ever made before). The creativity of Hitchcock has been so copied that one forgets how brilliant the original idea was. I will never forget learning from Julia Child that you could briefly boil green beans for a few minutes, toss them with garlic butter and have an entirely new vegetable from the boiled-for-hours-with-bacon,gray/green dreadful fare served in the school cafeteria.
  4. LRunkle


    It is an economically losing proposition to take out a large fishing boat and not load it up with catch due to fuel costs. Since this usually involves several days of fishing the catch must be frozen to preserve it. Unless you are buying fish from small mom and pop boats that fish just the local waters, your catch will always have been frozen. Many species of fish only live in the open ocean many miles from shore (albacore tuna, cod). To the best of my knowledge squid are a pelagic catch and not coastal. In any event, I find frozen squid to be excellent.
  5. Every year I grow a big pot of epazote. It is terrific in cheese sauces, inside chicken enchiladas, with some tomato salsas. Not all epazote is equally strong. It seems to get stronger in the hot sun. My advice is to taste the leaves before you decide how much to use and titrate the addition to your taste. It does self seed in my pot and around it in the gravel walkway. When it self seeds and comes up crowded the plants will not grow as big as the one in your picture. Mine goes to seed too early for me, one of the earliest things to go to seed of my herbs, so use it fast.
  6. LRunkle

    The Egg Sandwich

    My onetime Swedish girlfriend inroduced me to the egg and anchovy sandwich which is lightly toasted good white bread slathered with mayo and lined with anchovies. A broken yolk fried egg is used.
  7. I have noticed that most of the cooking shows with chefs I respect seem to have 5-Star cooktops. The two features that impress me is the ability to grill steaks, chicken etc on the center placed grill and the fact that the burner basins are black and don't show the grease charring that seems to inevitably occur on my current stainless steel Dacor. I have a grill with my 46" Dacor and it is pretty much worthless. The specs show a 11,000 BTU burner beneath the grill and it it just too underpowered to do much more than melt ice. As far as heating a wok is concerned, you cannot get enough BTU's legally inside a residential kitchen to do the job that is needed. Take your wok outside and use a turkey fryer to heat it.
  8. Thanks a lot for the replies. The link to http://www.sourdo.com/ was particularly interesting. I will try my hand soon.
  9. Am considering trying sourdough bread and was going to send off to King Arthur's for some of their starter. Will I be able to freeze backup starter or do I have to keep it going actively or at least reefrigerated?
  10. LRunkle

    Cooking with Lasers?

    I am a surgeon with a lot of experience with using a CO2 laser. I have no idea how much flexibility your laser has (btw how did you come by it?) but with surgical lasers you can finely focus or defocus the laser spot. The browning you speak of may be because the beam is somewhat defocused. I hope you are aware of the dangers of the laser beam which can bounce off some surfaces and ricochet around burning where you might not expect it to hit. In surgery we use this property to burn on the back side of structures we cannot easily move out of the way by placing small mirrors behind the structure and reflecting the beam off them. Perhaps you have laser experience and I am preaching to the choir but it is well to remember that lasers are dangerous as well as useful.
  11. I have newly started making bread using no knead artisanal recipes from the Judith Fertig book which is similar to the Zoie Francois method as far as I can tell. The yeast specified is bread machine yeast. Is rapid rise yeast equivalent? If not can you compensate with longer rise times?
  12. Thanks for the replies. I had considered using a metal loaf pan and sliding it onto a preheated stone. I think I will try that first and report back on the results.
  13. I recently purchased "200 Fast and Easy Artisan Breads:No knead, one bowl" by Judith Fertig. I have never baked much before but have been pleased with the results of the author's basic dough recipe. I have made small boules and regular sized boules but I would like to create a loaf so I can have some uniform slices for sandwiches,etc. Can I just plop this dough into a suitable sized loaf pan and put it in the oven and monitor thhe bread temperature. Do I put the loaf pan on a baking stone or is the really necessary? My previous baking experience is limited to cornbread and Bisquick.
  14. I am hesitant to post such a politically incorrect thought, but since I have never seen this point of view voiced, I thought I would offer it for discussion. I am from Oklahoma and have family that raises cattle, and am familiar with the land practices associated with grass fed cattle in this state. In order to provide the most efficient weight gain when cattle are grazed on grass in this area, prairie, with its ecologically diverse grasses, shrubs and small flowering plants is plowed under and seeded with a monoculture of Bermuda grass which is hign in protein, relished by cattle and very drought resistant. It does not support meadow larks, mice, rabbits, quail, etc., etc. Cattle can be brought to market weight on Bermuda grass but it takes a good deal more time as opposed to the rapid weight gain attainable in feedlots. If all beef were grass fed, it would require much more acreage devoted to cattle, less acreage supporting wildlife. The same argument could be made for poultry. Imagine if all the chickens in an industrial chicken production facility were turned loose to range free. How much additional unsullied land would be needed for them. How hard would it be to keep the droppings from the chickens from contaminating the groundwater(already a major problem with confined chicken farms)? I find it ironic that the most highly prized beef of all, Kobe, has a diet far from grass fed. Same general argument applies to farmed fish vs wild stock. There are not going to be larger stocks of wild salmon ever, so what there is left must not be squandered. Therefore, I don't turn up my nose at farmed salmon(yes, I am aware there are some ecologic problems with salmon farms in many areas). The problem at its heart is too many people, so we have to accept some forms of mass produced food, and grin and bear it.
  15. LRunkle

    Avocado Recipes

    I commonly buy avocados at Sam's in sacks of 5 or 6. Put them in the frig right away and they will not ripen for weeks(2-3). Remove what you want to eat a couple of days ahead of time and leave on the countertop to complete ripening.
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