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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. @sartoric Interesting. In my local spice shop, they have saffron from several different regions - they also note that the Kashmiri saffron is the highest quality, and it is more expensive - interestingly enough though, it is less expensive than the saffron from Spain. Also interesting that you mentioned saffron rice cooked by dum - when I was in Singapore, we went to what was supposedly the best "dum biryani" restaurant. In SG, they use the term dum biryani even though it is redundant because there are quite a few vendors who make biryani but take the shortcut by not doing it in the dum method, so the places that do do it the traditional way have to differentiate themselves.
  2. I have seen saffron in recipes for some Indian curries, but I don't know how authentic those recipes were...
  3. KennethT

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    @BonVivant Your photos are making Taiwan jump a lot closer to the top of my list!
  4. KennethT

    time clock recommendations

    Just did a quick check- Pyramid also makes a fingerprint based punch clock that you can export the data to Paychex et al. MSRP is $599 but I wouldn't be surprised if you could get it for much less online somewhere.
  5. KennethT

    time clock recommendations

    It's not a restaurant, but I have a Pyramid 4000 time clock. It uses punch cards, but automatically adds up the weekly hours. We just have a camera in the ceiling facing the time clock to keep buddy punching at bay.
  6. So I don't know if this is technically a curry, but it's cuttlefish stir fried with curry leaves, chili, and a homemade sambal. The sambal is a combination of a lot of garlic, shallots, chilies, shrimp paste, dried shrimp and tamarind. I believe that you could put that sambal on practically anything and it would taste good! Served with jasmine rice and stir fried Taiwan Bok Choi with garlic (not pictured).
  7. KennethT

    Cook-Off 62: Squid, Calamari and Octopus

    I scored and cut into pcs about 1-1/2 x 2 or so. For some reason, at the last moment, I decided to toss in some flour prior to stir frying. This was a mistake. As the cuttlefish curled up, the flour on the inside of the curl just turned kind of gummy and never browned (which in hindsight would have been obvious). With all the sambal on top, it was surely edible - actually still tasty - but I wouldn't do it again - the flouring that is!
  8. KennethT

    Cook-Off 62: Squid, Calamari and Octopus

    That's why I was thinking of the starch dredge and fry - maybe the coating would adhere better?
  9. KennethT

    Cook-Off 62: Squid, Calamari and Octopus

    Yes, I was planning the cross-hatch then cut into roughly 1" squares. I figured the sambal would cling well to the raised edges, but didn't know if it would be better to give a light dusting with starch first. I've been debating whether to re-fry the sambal (to get it reheated) and then add the cuttlefish, or to re-fry the sambal, remove from the pan, then fry the cuttlefish by itself and then add back the sambal to incorporate.
  10. @JAZ I have neither an electric pressure cooker or an air fryer, which is exactly why this item seemed good as it's a 2 for 1. I have a large pc that I use for making large quantities of stock, but barely use it otherwise as it is so big, and I only cook for 2 people, myself included. Can you use this item to make spring rolls? Do they come out similar to being fried? Also, when in use, does the device exhaust a lot of hot air? I live in a small apt. with an even smaller kitchen!
  11. KennethT

    Dinner 2018 (Part 1)

    @Shelby Where do you get the frogs legs? Do you or Ronnie catch the frogs, then skin and butcher, or do you buy them? If you buy them, where do you get them?
  12. KennethT

    Cook-Off 62: Squid, Calamari and Octopus

    I have a lot of squid/cuttlefish eating experience, but very little cooking experience. I'm planning on making a stir fried cuttlefish dish with sambal similar to a sambal fish dish I loved in Singapore (I'll try to post pics on the curry cook off) but had a question. When stir frying, is it necessary or preferable to coat the raw cuttlefish with starch prior to stir frying? I know that it is supposed to be cooked in as short a time as possible, so do I want as high heat as I can get? Once the squid is cooked, I'm going to toss it with the fried sambal to coat. When this is done with fish, the fish is coated in starch then deep fried, and then the sambal is slathered on top - coating with starch keeps the fish crispy.
  13. I'm not a chocolatier, but as a business person, I think your question is more complicated than just costs + margin = price. What is your market? Are you making very high end chocolates? If so, price many times has nothing to do with costs, as sometimes the more expensive it is, the more popular it could be. People, in general, do not want inexpensive luxury goods - they will inherently think something is wrong with it if it costs less than their perceived value. Then again, if that's your angle, you also need to deliver on the experience to make the perceived value as high as possible. If you're making a mid to low market item, then it becomes a commodity and it needs to be price competitive with all of its peers. With that in mind, also, you need to broaden your idea of costs... it's not just raw material + packaging + direct labor... many times, the most expensive cost is overhead, including rent, electricity, insurance, marketing, etc. These overall monthly or yearly costs must be amortized over the quantity you expect to make that month/year... how you amortize that is up to you... some businesses amortize overhead as a multiple of direct labor, some as a multiple of material costs, and others do it based on a per piece basis, but that is hard when some items in your line are more expensive than others because of either size or ingredient content - it depends on the nature of your business and what makes more sense to you.
  14. @OkanagancookI'm sorry about that - it's so frustrating when you put so much work into something, only to have something like that happen at the very end. The rest of the service looks fantastic though. Did you make the shrimp chips? They look very much like ones I've had in Indonesia and Malaysian places in Singapore.
  15. KennethT

    Waffle Varieties

    There are also different structural differences to waffles - the standard US waffle is maybe 1/2 inch thick and has 1/4" indents, while a "Belgian waffle" (not sure if it actually comes from Belgium, but that's what it's called) is maybe about an inch thick and has 3/4 - 1 inch indents. Some waffles can be quite dense, while some can be super light and crispy - Modernist Cuisine dispenses the batter from a nitrous oxide canister which makes the result extremely light and crispy. @Chris Hennes, if I remember correctly, did a whole thing on waffles, including the modernist version - maybe you can do a search for that?
  16. KennethT

    Chinese Hams

    Fascinating... As you said, I had never heard of such high quality Chinese hams, though I really shouldn't be all that surprised.
  17. OK, I know this is a "cook-off", but we ordered Thai food from one of my favorite Thai restaurants in NY - their green curry is the closest I've tasted to what I've had in Thailand... in addition to their green curry paste, there are kaffir lime leaves, thai apple eggplants (my favorite eggplant aubergine), and something I've never seen anywhere else outside of Thailand, slivers of krachai, aka lesser ginger. Not pictured, and technically not a curry, we got some nam prik ong - which is a relish made with pork, shrimp paste and tomato served with crudite and pork rinds for dipping, and one of my favorite vegetables, pak boong aka morning glory aka kangkung aka ong choy.
  18. How is the Elbow Beach hotel? For a while, they were advertising quite a bit on the business news radio station I listen to...
  19. KennethT

    Chocolate Panning Attachments

    I haven't tried it personally, but have used dry ice quite a bit. I think if you use just a small amount of pieces about 10-15mm in diameter, it will keep the nuts cool, but not too cold. While dry ice itself is very cold, it doesn't have the best heat transfer properties, especially as it would be constantly tumbling with the nuts so not in direct contact with any one area for very long.
  20. Last night, we had the last portion of the Singapore style curry with roti prata, recipe here: I think I've gotten much better at cooking the prata - while it looked the same as in previous posts, it was flakier.
  21. Most meatballs I have seen in SE Asian curries have either been fish ball, or pork, and both are the bouncy kind, not the typical western meatball texture.
  22. @Okanagancook Looks great! Where do you get the salam leaves?
  23. KennethT

    Haidilao , Hot-Pot chain

    I went to Hai Di Lao in Beijing and wrote about it in my Beijing foodblog... we enjoyed it very much, and was told that it is a popular after-work spot with many of the young people who worked at our hotel. I had read that they are planning on a location in NYC soon...
  24. My teacher in Chiang Mai begs to differ with Kenji.. it does use a yellow curry paste, as well as a curry powder called "Hung Lay" powder. I've made it using her recipe using a red curry paste (I didn't have yellow at the time) and it tasted very similar to what I had in Chiang Mai.