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  1. How should I cook this expensive steak?

    I've given up on sous vide steak. It has a "lifeless" taste, and granular texture for lack of a better description. My favorite steak currently, is a bone in prime rib eye, that I butcher myself out of a whole rack (Costco sells these at holidays, I highly recommend) My last (and final effort) with sous vide for these 2-3 inch thick cowboy steaks, was to pre-sear (in butter, heavy skillet), sous vide, then season, and re-sear under broiler (They looked fantastic, but did not have the depth of flavor i was used to) Reverted to my standard technique for cooking normal thickness steaks, season, sear (in butter, heavy skillet) then finish in oven (350 degrees 10 minutes) ..OUTSTANDING. Do not be afraid of a 2-3 inch steak. Teach it who's boss.
  2. Its possible to make instant gravy using multi-stock and wondra flour. add salt, pepper, little squeeze of lemon, sliver of garlic, dash of cream, pat of butter. hit the mixture with a blitz stick, microwave until desired thickness. best gravy ever in under 60 seconds.
  3. my sister coined this phrase about triple stock: "too precious to use" that;s the one drawback to making it, you become convinced it must only be used for an extra-special occasion. throughly brown the bones and bits before tossing in the Kuhn Rikon for 30 minutes on high. Repeat 3-4 times...oohhhh myyyy....too precious. made lamb risotto using multi-stock that was insanely good.
  4. Sous Viding homemade pastrami... dry cured some Painted HIlls brisket and some boneless short rib for 14 days. soaked 3 hours in water (changed three times) coated with pepper and coriander smoked at 150 degrees for 7 hours (applewood) final step sous vide at 150 degrees for 48 hours. i tried 12, 24, and 48 hours. 48 hours was winner. once i have my cure perfected, i will post it. so far, great pastrami...aiming for absolute best!
  5. i bought a commercial grade slicer when i started making bacon. In retrospect, i wish i had never bought it. CONS: clean up is a complete PITA. COMPLETE PITA. you have to disassemble the slicer with hand tools. the blade is like a giant, heavy, circular razor blade. If you drop it, it will likely remove your foot (i ended up buying kevlar gloves) once apart, it has lots of nooks and crannies..plan on spending some quality time cleaning... you have to reassemble the slicer with hand tools. PROS: bragging rights to owning a commercial slicer ability to select the exact thickness of the slice when you use the slicer, expect tiny bits of food to get shot out of the slicer all over the place...it is a spinning disc after all.. now you have to clean the room/walls/floor. given the time it takes to hand clean the slicer (and the room) your only going to end up using it when you slice enormous amounts of food... there's a reason it's called a commercial slicer, its just not practical for home use. i slice my bacon by hand now, and i don;'t dread doing it...
  6. What's going wrong with my bread?

    I'm sorry, but " sprinkle the yeast and salt over top of the resulting dough and squish it all together " sounds like a technique guaranteed to result uneven distribution of yeast and salt throughout the dough. You can even end up with pockets of yeast (or malt in my case). I am a proponent of mixing the yeast, salt and any additives (such as malt) with the water first (i even use a blitz stick to make sure everything is dissolved). Flour is added last, mixing all the while
  7. Laminate flooring in kitchen?

    laminate should work great! As long as you never drop anything on it. Oh ya, don't ever spill a bunch of liquid on it either. Problem with laminates is they will swell and deform if they get soaked (big spill of liquid), and their surface cracks/breaks when struck by a heavy object. Hardwood, you can always refinish it, or live with the "patina" it develops. Laminate just looks broken.
  8. Sous vide for a newbie?

    YOU can sous vide chicken without removing it from the packaging, if you buy chicken from Costco. I buy bone in thighs from Costco that are vacuum sealed in a "six-pack" , each pack contains 3-4 chicken thighs. A friend that manufactures product (bagging materials) for Foodsaver, indicated to me that the bags have to meet a certain safety standard that falls well within sous vide temps. I cook these bagged chicken thighs at 150 degrees overnite when i go to bed. In the morning, i pop them into the fridge. When de-bagged, they are covered in gelatin/juice hence called jus). I reserve this, peel off the skin, and pat the thighs dry. I season like usual (salt, pepper, "secret rub"), set aside. I render the chicken fat from the skin, and make cracklings out of the skin. I then sear/brown the chicken thighs in the chicken fat. Put the chicken jus in deep container, add the crackling, salt, pepper, pat of butter, sliver of garlic, squeeze of lemon, dash of heavy cream, and WONDRA flour. Hit the mixture with a blitz stick to blend, stick in microwave until it thickens....GRAVY in under 60 seconds that is fabulous. advantages Buy bulk chicken, no need to portion and vacuum bag (already done for you!) cook over nite (multi-tasking! sleeping and cooking) every single piece of the chicken (except the bones) gets used up. killer gravy moist, fall off the bone chicken. Alternatives, use jus in cooking rice, cracklings are good straight up. I've also just tossed the season chicken thighs on the barbecue grill for quick perfectly cooked grilled chicken. pick the chicken off the bones (easy after cooking) season and turn into chicken salad
  9. Screaming Toddlers in Restaurants

    When we had our first child, we took her on a trip to Napa around the age of 1 year, and had several memorable meals . At Auberge du Soleil, our daughter started getting fussy. The wife ate her meal while I walked around outside with our child, then I ate my meal while she walked around with her. It never would have occurred to either of us to sit there and subject the other diners to her fussing. At some other restaurants she did great. Funny thing was about 25 years later, she went and had dinner at Auberge du Soleil, without knowing it was her second time there! I also don;t understand a parent that could sit at a table (or eat or talk for that matter) with a child screaming for 40 minutes, and not try to remedy the situation. As i recall, non-stop crying meant either a poopy diaper, and empty tummy, or a sleepy head.
  10. Cooking with Duck Fat: The Topic

    replace some (or all!) of the butter in your favorite mashed potato recipe with duck fat...sublime! confit your thanksgiving day turkey (thighs/legs) sous vide in duck fat..you'll never go back
  11. Real Wasabi

    my local Japanese superstore sells local (Oregon) fresh wasabi root. a 1-2 inch chunk (about the thickness of a carrot) runs $15-18. Of course you still have to buy a sharkskin grater to make the wasabi paste
  12. Onion overload

    Ditto on the caramelized onion idea. i make a batch of vadouvan once a year, and freeze the product in 1/4 cup pucks that i vac pak and freeze. the main ingredient of this happens to be onions. I go through a 10 pound sack like it's nothing. this isn't the vadouvan recipe, but you can process the onions in the same manner. basically, rough chop the peeled onions, saute in batches in canola oil until just starting to brown (this reduced the volume significantly). next, take the sauteed onions and spread them out over a sheet pan (it takes three sheet pans loaded about 1/2 inch thick to hold 10 pounds of onion i use a silpat in each pan). roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 1-3 hours until dark dark brown. scrape up the brown goo, package and freeze. you will have reduced the volume of the onions 10 fold by now. . the little brown pucks of caramelized onions can be added to soups, stews, sprinkled on pizzas, added to sauces for an intense flavor boost.
  13. Need ideas for making a light corn chowder

    something to experiment with - highly recommended make your chowder using grilled corn on the cob (strip the husks off, and put the unadorned corn directly on the grill until it is well toasted (speckled char all over). cut the corn off the cob, and make corn stock out of the cobs! corn cob stock is amazing. use some in your corn chowder recipe of choice. many possibilities for corn stock. it is tremendously sweet and flavorful.
  14. Pressure Cookers – what's cooking?

    update on gigantes beans recipe beans have aged (i bought a lot) soak 12 hours in salted solution (1 tsp/pound beans) 30 minutes at high pressure. completely let the cooker depressurize on its own. season as desired. i had been in a hurry to depressurize the pot before. it appears that mush is unlikely as the cooking time increases (at least within the limits of 18 minutes to 30 minutes) if gentle decompression is employed. decompression is a powerful tool that can be used in different ways apparently.
  15. Pressure Cookers – what's cooking?

    i roasted some turkey wings until brown in the oven, added it to a cooker within which i have sauteed some celery, carrots, onion, garlic. Added some thyme, bay leave, peppercorns, covered with chicken stock. 30 minutes at high pressure killer turkey stock. to precious to use (some of you know what i mean). later, browned some turkey thighs in the cooker, added some celery, carrots, onion, garlic peppercorns, turkey stock, cooked on high pressure for 15 minutes. cooled off, opened the pot added cup of rice, lid back on cooked for 10 more minutes. outstanding turkey &rice soup.