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Everything posted by Mikels

  1. Mikels

    I love my crockpot(s)

    How big is the largest crock pot and who makes it? I have used a roaster for sous vide with a PID controller, a rice cooker is just too small. For smaller items I have used a "manual" crockpot, one that has three settings without any fancy electronics. Based upon my experience with a large ceockpot, I think a very large one would be better than the roaster.
  2. Try mushroom barley with mushrooms other than white ones. I prefer Shiitake. There are many recipes, most take almost no time, but are great. If you put in enough vegetables (carrot, celery, onion as well as other root vegetables) and bits of meat, it is a meal in its own right.
  3. I keep kosher, which limits what foods and dishes I can eat. Many is the time, I would like to have had some dishes, but they are off the list. In many cases, I can find alternates to some ingredients, but wonder how close these dishes are to the original. Usually, however, cooking within the limits defined by kashrut is not all that difficult.
  4. Mikels

    Buying a half cow

    All is not lost in getting the front quarter. If you do and plan to use sous vide, those tougher cuts with longer SV cooking come out great. The first time I did a brisket SV, my son asked me what kind of steak I cooked. I have cooked many of the front cuts using SV and they emerge quite tender. By the way, the brisket was cooked for 48 hours at 132F. For more discussions on SV, check out the SV thread, all 128 pages.
  5. Mikels

    I love my crockpot(s)

    I make a number of soups in the crockpot, split pea and chicken come to mind.. Clear chicken soup is almost a no brainer. Since you don't want to boil the soup, it is a way to control the temperature. Just put the chicken and vegetables in it and when you come back hours later, there is the clear (or close to clear) soup. Stews and bean dishes are a natural. Just set it in the morning and the food is ready when you come home. I have done couscous with it, but the bottom sometimes gets hard. Alton Brown, in one of his shows, used it to make oatmeal. I have one crock pot, no longer made, that allow you to adjust the temperature. I used it for my first few times I tried SV (now I have a PID controller and roaster); the temperature control was a pain to set. I may try it for small SV items, but there is usuallt not enough room for stuff I make. Since I don't cook on Saturday, there are times I may have three or four crockpots going in the winter. One hint - with the exception of soup, I always spray Pam on the pot; it makes cleaning a whole lot easier.
  6. I would refrigerate what you have at this point. Tomorrow, I would either reheat what you have and continue. I would probably make the roux separately,then add water until you have a thin sauce, then add it with today's work to the bigger pot. When you asked if you could leave it in the pot for a few hours, I assume you mean at room temperature. I would try to refrigerate it as soon as is possible, no longer than four hours. By the way, I have never put flour in this soup. It usually comes out thick enough, sometimes too thick. Good luck.
  7. Low, medium and high are all relative. First, it applies to the maximum heat provided by the range. But, to some extent, it also applies to that being cooked. The setting of “medium” for a 1L pot will be different than medium for a 10L one. So, if you work with a commercial range with large quantities, your “medium” may be a “high” on a home range. If we can define an absolute heat for each setting, which is possible,some ranges may never have a “high” and some will find a “low” difficult to maintain. I guess you will know the setting when you see it.
  8. The not eating of Lamb only applies to European Jews. The usual explanation given is that lamb was used at the time of the Temple. However, that cant be the whole truth, since Jews from the Middle East eat it. I heard a lecture given by Danny Lasker who traces it back to the middle ages in Europe. The lamb has specific religious significance in the Christian religion. Eating lamb was tied to blood libels and therefore not permitted since it could have led to pogroms.
  9. Just a few quick notes. The active ingredients of baking powder are baking soda and monocalcium phosphate, both permitted on Passover. Most non Passover powders contain corn starch, which may or may noy be allowed based upon your custom. Replace the corn starch with potato starch and it is permitted. Lior - you should find oat matza made in the UK supervised by Rabbi Kentenbaum, whom I know. It is valid for Pesach since it is one of the five grains.
  10. Mikels

    Making gravlax

    Has anyone tried to make gravlox with stealhead trout? If you did what did you call it?
  11. Sorry to hear about your hand. I ran into the same trouble when I tore my wrist. Have no feel, there are web sites that have gizzmos to help those with one hand. I can't remember the name of the sire, it was too long ago. I think the site was www.activeforever.com. If not Google handicapped tools.
  12. I am trying to make sugarless chocolate nut clusters starting with melted baking chocolate and adding Splenda. It has turned out grainy. Am I trying to do t5he impossible? Any suggestions?
  13. I haven't done goose fat, I do chicken fat, although using a microwave. When you rendered the fat pads and skin, you may have heated the fat too high. In any case, to "clean" the fat I suggest you put the into a pan with water and heat it till almost boiling. You should see the water turn a brown color and the fat clear. Then, cool it until the fat becomes solid. Remove the fat, discarding the water, and either put it in a pan over low heat or in the oven at 300-350F. The idea is to remove the water at a low heat.
  14. Mikels

    Removing Salt

    I don't think you made a mistake. You used specific gravity (m/V) to measure the concentration of salt in the water. Bringing the water to the original weight (volume) allowed you to compare the final concentration to the original. Had you added enough to compensate for the salt would have diluted the final reading since you would have a greater volume.
  15. Mikels

    Roasted Cauliflower

    Just a crazy idea. Try roasting the florets alone in foil for a short time, enough to break down the cell walls. Then roast them as normal.
  16. I'll second David's suggestion - do it yourself. For years I have made my own corned beef using brisket (I think it a better cut for this purpose). Unlike David, I have used a brine, keeping it in a cool room or basement. It takes longer and I like the end product better. In either case, the end result is better than most corned beefs since you have full control from choosing the meat to controlling the spices. All you need is a bit of patience.
  17. A quick way to crisp the skin is to use a torch. You can cook the chicken anyway you wish. Then cut it up and store. On the day of the event, just torch the skin. The use of a torch is common when cooking sous vide.
  18. I agree with what Robert said. I usually use a brisket with most of the fat trimmed off. Since it doesn't melt, it adds little to the taste. Brining, for me, has had little effect as well as the initial quality of the beef. Cooking it at 131-132F for 48 hours produces meat that is as tender as a roast or even a steak. In fact, many times that I have served brisket, people have asked what kind of steak it was. You can cut it thicker than would be normal with a braised brisket. A good spicing before with helps. Since the meat will be sitting in its own juices, a dry rub has worked well for me. If you use wine, don't forget to cook it before adding it. I keep 1T frozen wine cubes, reduced by half, in my freezer just for this purpose If you will be serving it sliced, the browned surface area will be quite small. However, since the meat looks somewhat boiled when done, I would brown it after it has cooled, limiting the additional cooking if it will be carved at the table. I prefer a blowtorch for that. As to reheating, the meat cools down quickly, so holding it at 110F will result is a cold dish. Take Robert's advice and aim for 130F with heated plates.
  19. It has been a while since I made lunches for a five year old. Fish (tuna, salmon etc) salad based sandwiches always were a hit. There are a lot of parve salads that are good. Tastes of kids can be odd; stuff we might not want to eat, such cold pizza or mac and cheese, were hits. Don't forget stuff like cookies that can either be eaten or traded. If I remember correctly, stuff that is too messy may not be appreciated by the teachers.
  20. For those who follow the kosher laws, you can't have meat and milk in the same meal. In buying prepared food, look for kosher products that are not labled dairy. They might be labled parve. I agree that kosher cookbooks are a good place to look. You might want to look at those that feature Middle Eastern dishes.
  21. For years, I used LN2 in the lab. It was kept in large thermos bottles. Yes, the stuff is dangerous if not handled correctly. Protective eyewear is necessary as mentioned above. You don't wear flipflops or go barefooted – that is asking for trouble. The chances of t going into a shoe are small and it provides sufficient protection. As for playing around with it.... You keep your hands away, only using non conductors such as gloves when putting things in, taking them out or manipulating them. I have seen chefs spinning things in LN2 without gloves. That is asking for trouble. The stuff boils at -196C (-321F). In less than a second your fingers will freeze solid.
  22. Mikels

    Smoked sushi rice

    Well, you might be able to smoke the salt with the kind of wood you wish to use. I have never smoked salt, so I couldn't give you any guidance in doing it.
  23. I have used an urn with a PID controller and it works ok. BUT watch out for the heater at the bottom - it gets quite hot. I put a folding steamer platform on the bottom so it would not melt the bags.
  24. Will paper towels work instead of cheese cloth? Any other possible substitute? I have cheese cloth garni bags - but not too many potatoes will fit in those . And I don't want to send my husband out to Williams Sonoma at 10 tomorrow morning to pick up a square yard of cheese cloth (I need him to help me peel potatoes!). Robyn P.S. Coarse or fine shredder blade? ← I use the fine blade. You can put the shredded potatoes in cold water with a bit of lemon juice to remove the surface starch and keep them white, then squeeze them out by hand.
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