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Everything posted by DaveFaris

  1. Hey Awbrig -- regarding balsamic vinegar... I don't pretend to know how it compares to $50 a bottle versions, but Cooks Illustrated did a side-by-side comparison of balsamic vinegar, and the one they came up with as the best was $3.50 a bottle and can be bought at whole foods. pfft. I guess it pays to read the rest of the messages in the thread before I butt in...
  2. DaveFaris

    Hard Boiled Eggs

    Ok. now that we've solved that hard-boiled mystery... what do you do with em once you have them that way? Aside from coloring them?
  3. DaveFaris

    Garlic Presses

    I'm guessing that I'm probably the only person here who buys the jars of pre-chopped garlic, aren't I?
  4. Occasionally, my grocery store puts really cheap bacon on sale ... 3 packages for $5. Something like that. I'll fry it all up, just to render it just for the bacon fat. And although it seems sinful, I'll sometimes toss the bacon away. (I'm probably not telling you guys anything, but the phrase "scraping the bottom of the barrel" had to do with cooking and bacon fat. In days of old, if you were dipping into your bacon drippings barrel, and hitting the bottom of it, then times were pretty bleak for you, or so I've been told.) For honest-to-goodness bacon, awbrig is right. The stuff they sell at the butcher counter at Whole Foods can't be beat.
  5. I kinda like the coffee ones. It's not cappucino or anything, but I think it's pretty good for colored lard and all.
  6. mine, too... and, no. I don't use it any more.
  7. DaveFaris

    Pasta Machines

    Yeah, baking your own bread is the way to go if you live in the [explitive deleted] 16th century. Now-a-days, we have this thing called a grocery store. There are plenty of reasons why old techniques are just as valid today as they were 500 years ago. Your friend sounds to me like a bore.
  8. can we hear from people who have these products? Well, as I said, I bought one of the Ronco Rotisseries. I've only had it for a week, but I've been pretty satisfied with it. I've made a couple of chickens, a roast beef, and a couple pounds of italian and german sausages for a bunch of my friends yesterday. I even tried roasting asparagus in it, which turned out pretty well, once I overcame the problem of the asparagus falling out of the roasting basket. One thing they don't accentuate, with good reason, in the infomercial is how much noise the thing makes. It's not unbearable, but it's also not ignorable. The other thing about it is that it's hard to "set it and forget it" because there's something vaguely hypnotising watching the food spinning. And it's much, much more difficult to make any gravy, which is a downside. And my oven didn't come with one of those warming trays that supposed to sit atop, and I can't see spending $30 more for a plastic tray.
  9. Area Man Constantly Mentioning He Doesn't Own a Television
  10. I don't know whether to laugh or bite the veins out of my wrists. I confess, I said it only to get a wee rise out of you.
  11. A thing I do with a butterflyed leg is to get the oven pre-heated to 450. I sear the spread leg briefly on the griddle, then put it right on the oven rack with some vegetables to be roasted in a pan underneath. I saw Jamie Oliver do this on one of his shows last year, and tried it myself with great success.... (aside from dirtying up the oven rack.) I find that unless I remove every single ounce of fat on lamb, the meat tastes too gamey to enjoy.
  12. Consumer Reports rates the Krups 239 ($40) as a good buy. It has a power-boost feature; the controls are easy to read; and it's quieter than other models tested. The Braun MX2050 ($50) has a unique, uncluttered control panel that makes it easier to clean than other models.
  13. I've pretty much refused to cook tuna steaks for my wife anymore. Last time I tried, she sent me back out to the grill to cook them more because they were still red on the inside. "But they're supposed to be," I said. "Then I won't eat it," she said. So I ended up cooking the thing until it was cooked through, this $30 piece of sushi quality tuna. It was dry, and had little flavor, but it was cooked all the way through. So now my wife asks me why I won't cook her tuna any more. So I guess it comes down to, how hard to you stick with the recipe? If a diner prefers his filet to be cooked to a char, as a cook, who are you to stop him?
  14. Tonight, I'm going to try a roast beef. Fwiw, it was delicious.
  15. So I finally sprung for one of those Ronco Rotisseries, since I lost my backyard (and grill) when I moved into this highrise apartment. Probably too soon to give a full review, but I did roast a chicken last night... 1 hour and 10 minutes and the bird came out evenly cooked and juicy, and the skin turned out crisp and tasty. Next time, I think I'll try brining the bird for even more flavor. Tonight, I'm going to try a roast beef.
  16. So I tried my hand at homemade pasta for lasagna last night. 3 cups of a.p. flour, and 4 eggs, mixed on the counter, and then kneaded and rolled out with a pasta machine. The pasta had the right consistency, and looked good. According to several resources on the web, I didn't need to parboil the pasta before making the lasagna. This was a mistake. The layers of pasta on the bottom and the top ended up stiff and cardboardy... the inner layers were fine though. Still, it wasn't as good, I thought, as previous lasagnas with storebought lasagna noodles. What can I do to make the noodles taste like they were worth the extra effort of making them from scratch?
  17. Well, for what it's worth, I did everything right, except I was supposed to broil them, instead of just returning them to the oven, as I did. But based on the comments above, I'm not sure that would have helped.
  18. caul fat? I wonder where I could get that? I don't think they sell it at Shopper's Food Warehouse. But it's a good idea, especially since it melts away. I'm trying to think if Jacques removed the skin from the thigh. I'm pretty sure he didn't. And I'm pretty sure he didn't add any liquid, either. I will re-watch the episode this weekend, and take careful notes.
  19. Did Jacques really do that? Well, I certainly didn't make that part up. I tried looking up the recipe online, but it wasn't available. He calls it "Chicken Jean-Claude [...cooked two ways - the thighs roasted with almond stuffing, and the breasts sauteed with shallots]." (For what it's worth, at least locally, the episode where he makes it is set to re-air this weekend. Not sure about your local PBS station.) I'll try tying it and sauteeing it first, though I'm afraid all the cheese might tend to all ooze out.
  20. The other day, I decided not to make my standard roasted chicken for dinner, but because I got a great deal on whole chicken legs (4 big legs for $2.12), I decided to try a recipe I saw on a cooking show, boned & stuffed chicken legs. The cooking show (Jacque Pepin Celebrates) recipe has you make a stuffing out of, among other things, mushrooms. Due to an unfortunate food allergy in my house, mushrooms are off limits. But the stuffing I came up with was pretty good, I thought -- bacon & drippings, shallots, diced ham, diced stale sourdough bread, a little broccoli, and a mix of Swiss and cheddar cheese. I would imagine almost any combination of good stuff would turn out great -- I was thinking of maybe a wild rice and chopped pecans next time. The stuffing was not where my problems were. I pretty much followed the technique of deboning the chicken legs, and then flattening them a little, adding the stuffing, and then wrapping them into egg roll shapes in tin foil. Where I screwed up was the cooking time and maybe temperature. I couldn't remember what they said, so I figured a 350 degree oven, and I cooked them in the foil for about 30 minutes, and then removed them from the foil, and cooked them another 15 to brown. But they didn't brown. The chicken was moist, and cooked, but the skin was unappetizing, and the layer of fat underneath it made cutting them on the plate a little oogy. As it was, two of my guests left the skin on their plate. I guess, ideally, what I'd want is something crisp, like the skin on a roasted duck. As it was, even Jacque didn't seem to achieve that level of crispness. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
  21. For that matter, does anyone know of a good kitchen supply place in the DC area? My budget can't afford William Sonoma, and Bed, Bath & BlahBlahBlah just never seems to have what I'm looking for. Ideally, I'd be interested to know of a restaurant supply place that is open to the public.
  22. I must tell you all how grateful I am for the cast-iron advice I've received here on eGullet. While I still am wrangling with the seasoning on the dutch oven I recently bought, the seasoning on my cast iron frying pans has never been better. Thanks!
  23. Danny, have you had any issues introducing proper barbecue to New Yorkers? Isn't barbecue country food? Is there a real market for bbq in the city, or is it just a faddish thing, like cajun blackened everything? What have been your experiences explaining proper barbecue to a population that thinks barbecue is baked, gooey, sweet stuff and might perceive real barbecue as dry or harsh? And, for that matter, have you run into visiting southerners who scoff at you serving anything but beer with your bbq?
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