Jump to content


participating member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by cpl55

  1. Hi, all- I've gotten really into Omakase lately, and I love learning more about all aspects of sushi and its ingredients. Can you recommend a resource for learning more about high-end sushi, fish, grading of things like tuna, etc? Thanks very much! Christina
  2. Hi, huiray - Oh no, I'm not looking for California cuisine/experience in the least. Just don't need a full formal Southern meal every night. (Also going to Charleston this trip, and have that type of dining covered). Trying to mix it up a little, and I always enjoy low-key neighborhood-type places as well as formal ones. (Plus, the big production/staid sorts of places tend to have plenty of press, and I find they often - not always - are tired and rest on their laurels, resulting in food quality that is less than stellar. Just my experience.) I'm asking for recommendations for the "finds; places that are perhaps lesser-known, maybe not the ones that will come up on all the websites because they're not necessarily the oldest or most touristy, but have good food and that the locals enjoy. The place that your friend in town tells you about vs. all the touristy websites. That's what I'm hoping for. Thanks!
  3. Hello, all - I'm going to be in Savannah in September, and I'm looking for some recommendations... I've booked Local 11Ten, plan to eat downstairs at the bar area of Olde Pink House (I heard that was better/more fun than booking a table). I have one more night there and I'm looking for ideas. Considered Elizabeth on 37th, and it looks good, but honestly I'd like to find something maybe a little less formal. (Price isn't really an issue, but being a Californian, I like the slightly more casual, "find" type of places: the ones with amazing food, whether simple or fancy, the places locals love, the up and coming chefs, etc.) Also looked at Alligator Soul, but I've read both really good and not-so-good things. I greatly appreciate any recommendations you might have... Thanks much, Christina
  4. Hi, all- In NYC, looking for a low-key, neighborhood sort of Italian place with great homemade pasta... Any recommendations? Thanks so much, Christina
  5. Thanks so much for the insights, Patrick. Good to hear your praise of il Buco. Diner sounds great (though I'm hoping to make reservations for most places if at all possible, and they don't take 'em). Also, as of the last hour, looking at Craft, Lincoln and Fatty Cue, any experiences with those? thanks to all, Christina
  6. Hello, all - I'm visiting NYC in mid-February, and looking for suggestions. So far I have booked the chef's tasting menu at Torrisi, and am contemplating il Buco. Also read with great interest the review here of the new Acme. Basically, for the balance of the lunches and dinners, I'm looking for good food, probably on the more casual side (flexible on that, but probably not looking for Per Se, EMP or similar). What are some of your "finds", for a nice meal/nice space, but relatively simple? For lunch so far we're planning on Grimaldi's (touristy, I know, but I love their pizza), Momofuku (I understand there is more than one, which do you recommend?) I greatly appreciate any thoughts! Best, Christina
  7. cpl55

    Meat Slicers

    Sounds good, Chris... thanks for the information! Christina
  8. cpl55

    Meat Slicers

    Hello, Chrises and any other Hobart owners/restorers. I have just acquired a vintage Hobart slicer myself, a 410. I am trying to clean it up a bit, and it has the typical "crud" in the recesses. In particular, the thickness index numbers and marks, which are recessed. I would like to clean them out, and then repaint with black enamel. Can you recommend the best way to do this? (Trying to scrape them out isn't working too well.) Is there a product that will clean out the crud without damaging the burnished aluminum? I appreciate any suggestions... thanks! Christina www.sleepleessfoodie.com
  9. Excellent point, guys. I did discover that (the difficulty in weighing out 2 g on my kitchen scale.) Ended up doing sort of what Dougal is suggesting... measured out what the book said for 3 lbs (and its t measurement) and eyeballed it. I just ordered a digital pocket scale from Amazon. Great suggestion, thank you! (And only $6.15; cheapest piece of equipment yet!) thanks again, c
  10. Hello, all - Well, I have my humidity situation under control in my curing chamber now, thanks to all of your helpful advice. My question today is regarding DQ/Instacure/Prague Powder #2, and how much to use as a minimum. I'm making another bresaola, and I know the amount for a 3-lb eye of round is 4 grams (per Polcyn/Ruhlman. However, I have a small piece of meat, only 1.5 lbs. So is it as simple as cutting the cure #2 in half, to 2 grams? (Wanted to double check as I know too much or too little can have big consequences and I'm very new at this nitrite/nitrate stuff!) Thanks again for being such a wealth of information... Christina
  11. Ah, thanks, Dougal. I actually had the same concern with putting the dehumidifier controller (along with all the electrical connections) inside the fridge. What I have done (and it seems to be working pretty well so far) is place the dehumidifier controller outside the fridge, and set it relative to the humidity in the room it's in... so that proportionately it manages to regulate the humidity INSIDE the fridge at the rate I desire. (Yah, made my head hurt trying to figure that out at first!) So far, so good... but it's good to know that the steady 60% isn't too much of a concern. (Would you worry at all with a bigger item like a bresaola, that the outside might dry out too quickly, or will 60% be enough to prevent that? (I have it in a collagen casing, incidentally.) thanks! Christina
  12. Ah, thanks for the quick responses, Chris and Vice. So, just to confirm I've got this straight; I'll want to get this: http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/DAYTON-Dehumidifier-Control-1UHG2?Pid=search and plug my dehumidifier into it, right? thanks! c
  13. Hi again, everyone- Okay, so now I have my VT-28TEDS, with 4.5 pounds of Bresaola hanging in it. I mentioned earlier in the thread that I was having trouble with high humidity (steady in the mid-80s, mostly.) As Dougal suggested, I got the dehumidifier from ACE. That dropped it down promptly. Only trouble is, it drops the humidity a little too much, to the low 60s. If I turn it off, the humidity jumps to 85% within minutes, when I turn it on, back to the low 60s. Sooooo... anything I can do to help stabilize this? (Through all of this, the bresaola seems to be hanging tough; it's forming nice white, smooth mold so far.) Thanks so much for your help! Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  14. Thanks, Dougal and Chris, for all of your helpful information, I really appreciate it! My 12-bottle wine cooler was not large enough (thanks, Dougal, for pointing out the size of chamber-to-meat issue, which hadn't occurred to me). As a result, because I am completely hooked on charcuterie, I picked up a Vinotemp VT-28TEDS. The humidity dropped rapidly once I put the salami in there, and everything about it is much better than trying to work with the much smaller 12-bottle model. Chris, about how many pounds of meat are you able to put in there at one time without exceeding the space-to-meat "ratio" for acceptable humidity? Christina
  15. Dougal, thank you for your input, that is very helpful info. I put in salt with a bit of water, and the humidity is now down to 86. And I know that mold has been an oft-discussed topic, and I'm not going to panic about it after reading Chris and Chris' Pork Store discoveries... but I am starting to see some spots of white, slightly-fuzzy spots appear on the surface of my salami. Should I wipe them down with vinegar, or let it ride? Thank you for your thoughts!
  16. Hello, all - I am curing my first bresaola (I've applied the remaining half of the spice cure, and it's in the fridge for its second 7 day stint before going to the curing chamber). I am using the recipe from Charcuterie. My question is this; while Ruhlman & Polcyn do not specify a casing in their recipe, I notice that many others do. What are the differences in outcomes between cased (in collagen) and uncased? What do most of you do? Thanks!
  17. Hi, Chris - Thank you so much for your response, I really appreciate it. It's very good to know that the higher humidity does not pose undue risk. I'll keep you posted on how it turns out! Cheers, Christina
  18. Hi, Chris - I have recently been bitten by the charcuterie bug, and have really enjoyed this thread for information. Another humidity question for you: I made a batch of Tuscan salami from Ruhlman/Polcyn's book on Sunday, and when I put the meeat in, the humidity spiked to the high 80s. (I am using a Vinotemp wine fridge like yours, only smaller.) IT has stayed in the high 80s (This is teh third day the salami has been in the chamber.) Before I put the meat in, a pan of water with some salt was holding a steady 70% humidity. So, what would you recommend to try to drop the humidity? I greatly appreciate any suggestions... thank you! Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  19. Hello, all - I'm headed to the Napa Valley next week for a little food, wine and photography-based vacation. I live in the Bay Area, and have been to Napa numerous times, so I'm really looking for the "off-the-beaten-path" wineries... anything good and obscure/up-and-coming that I should be sure not to miss? In terms of food, I have several not-so-obscure places on my list for dinner - Bottega, Fish Story, Morimoto and Oenotri - but are there any good lunch places or interesting food-related businesses I should check out? I very much appreciate any tips! Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  20. Carolyn - I was glad to read your post on 54 Mint, because I too found the food completely underwhelming. I SO wanted to like it, as the service and atmosphere were great, and the rustic/homey feel was so evocative of some of the best places I've eaten in Italy. But alas, I found the food lacking. The ingredients seemed fresh and of good quality, but nothing really "popped," it was all sort of unremarkable, uninspired, even bland. I was surprised, given all the favorable reviews I have been reading. Glad to see I'm not the only one who was less than enamored... Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  21. John, thank you so much for the recommendation. I went with John Besh's "Drew's Chicken and Sausage Gumbo" recipe, and it was fabulous! It was met with rave reviews by all co-workers, and the one who had doubted my ability to make a decent gumbo in the first place conceded that it was as good as what she grew up with, and that I nailed it. It really was a fabulous gumbo, I recommend it to anyone looking for a good starting point! Thanks again, Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  22. Hi, Fay - This method has long intrigued me, but used to require a significant investment of time/research and money to either modify an existing appliance or purchase an immersion circulator. In November, a counter-top appliance (the Sous Vide Supreme) was launched to simplify the whole process. I've had one for over a month now, and I have to say that I am really enjoying experimenting with it. I've had fabulous outcomes - the textures and flavors that are possible with sous vide are often notably different (and better, I think) than with other techniques. By typically cooking the item for a longer-than-normal period in a water bath that is the temperature you want the inside to ultimately reach, it is possible to achieve a wonderful uniformity of temperature throughout the meat from edge to edge. It is also much harder to overcook something, obviously, when the temp of the water bath is only as hot as the intended "done" temperature (all meats will, however, eventually start to break down, so you have to be mindful that the cooking time is not infinite. This threshold varies depending on what you're cooking, but typically leaves you a generous window.) And long cook times (sometimes days) can yield incredibly tender results from tougher cuts like flank steak. The greatest deficit of sous vide cooking, in my opinion and my experience so far, has been the lack of caramelization that you typically get when searing, roasting or grilling meat. This can be addressed by running a kitchen torch over the meat after removing it from the water bath and unbagging it, or by searing it for 30-45 seconds in a smoking-hot skillet (basically as quickly as possible in order to sear it but not cook it much more.) For most things I prefer the skillet approach, but with delicate items like fish, or thinner cuts of meat, the torch is preferable because there's less chance of further cooking the inside of the item. I have a fledgling blog with some of my sous vide experiments here: www.sleeplessfoodie.com Cheers, Christina
  23. Hello, all - I have been wading through the extensive gumbo threads here, and they are fabulous and informative, but have left me a little overwhelmed and would love some input from those of you who tried some of them. You see, I have this co-worker whose family is from Louisiana, and she has basically asserted that no one without such roots can make a decent gumbo. (A challenge if ever I've heard one!) So, needless to say, I want to make the best, most authentic (must be New Orleans-style) gumbo anyone has ever tasted. My culinary honor is at stake... I have used various recipes over the years, but this hasn't been an area of focus or expertise for me. If anyone can recommend a recipe, I would be forever grateful! Cheers, Christina www.sleeplessfoodie.com
  24. Thank you all. Now I have many more reasons to head back up to SF very soon! (I live in the South Bay, so it's not very difficult.) I actually ended up managing to snag a table in the bar at RN74. Had a lot of first courses, and everything was quite good. I also visited Pizzeria Delfina for lunch, and highly recommend that! Thanks again for the insights, Christina
  • Create New...