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Dave the Cook

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About Dave the Cook

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    Executive Director

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  1. We've done a little fiddling with the Member Agreement. More specifically, we've tightened up a few things in the section dealing with avatars, signatures and member bios. Here's the old version: and here's the revision: If the changes seem minor, it's because they are, and they're entirely in keeping with the spirit of the Member Agreement, and won't affect the overwhelming majority of our members. We've combined the first two bulleted sections, and made the rules for avatars, signatures and personal photos identical. We've tweaked the language in that section and the section on bios to clarify what is and isn't allowed in these areas. Especially, please note that we allow references to culinarily-related activist entities and issues, but not to other activist causes. It's also worth noting that non-compliance with this rule is also likely to trigger an instance of confrontation (the previous rule), though that's not to say that the two are inextricably linked. If you're logging in from Facebook, or using Gravatar, you are not relieved of the responsibility to comply with these rules. We don't edit the Member Agreement lightly. We've done this in the interest of keeping the forums as free of non-food politics as possible.
  2. How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    There must be something wrong here that's not accounted for in the usual differences between US prices and Canadian. At Amazon.com, it's US $23.44.
  3. How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    Without disagreeing with @cdh, I always thought that this comparison was about whether you use stock or just water.
  4. Ideas for Cornish hens

    Yeah, money isn't really an issue, especially since whatever we do will sub for an ounce of lump crab, half of a beef filet steak, and three or four large scallops. We hadn't considered duck, but breast is an especially good idea (if it's not on our student's lengthy list of Things I Will Not Eat), since it can S-V at the same time/temp as the steaks. This is a really great idea, but I'm sure the dude is not gonna eat bacon. It's also pretty expensive in terms of time. We can probably add a small lesson to the agenda, but to do what you're suggesting would require us to rethink the entire schedule -- not something we can afford to do. Having said all that, we might steal this idea for a class TBD. Sounds delicious, but sausage is a no-no. The last time we taught this group, we jiggered our lasagna recipe (which includes sausage) to accommodate this requirement. This is a maybe. Nice that it would allow us to talk a bit about MSG, and why you shouldn't be skeered of it. Hmm. There is a steam oven at the venue, maybe even a CSO in the scullery. I like this, but like @Lisa Shock's idea, it's probably not going to work with our timing. Getting the bones out of a baby chicken isn't all that time consuming, but we're already on a pretty tight schedule. I suspect you're right about people's experiences, and the weight thing is kind of fun, too. Definite possibility, especially if the duck thing doesn't work out. These are all great ideas -- thanks, and keep them coming! To be clear, we're not looking to replace their entire menu, or serve this poultry-based exception to everyone. We just want to give this one guy something good to eat, and if we can sneak in some education along with it, that's a bonus.
  5. Just to really overthink this: what if they've chosen cheeses, and, knowing that you're wine peeps, are actually expecting you to bring wine?
  6. Ideas for Cornish hens

    We're teaching a private class in a couple of weeks. This is our third go-round with these folks. They're a lot of fun, and eager to learn (as long as it doesn't interfere too much with socializing). For past classes, they've simply chosen lessons from our public classes, but this time they've asked for a custom menu comprising dishes taken from a few different classes. I mention this because we don't have much freedom to change things up, with one exception, which I'll get to in a minute. Here's the menu: Crab Louis Pan-roasted Scallops with Chive Oil and Scallop Jus Filet Mignon with Sauce Béarnaise Wild-rice Stuffed Tomato Gratinée Brownie "Cheesecake" Sundaes with Raspberry Coulis Bellini So, sort of a surf-n-turf thing going on, and it's pretty much set in stone (though we talked them out of crab/shrimp mousse sliders as a first course). But here's the problem: one of their party doesn't eat fish, shellfish or any red meat. They offered to disinvite this guy, but honestly, he's the life of the party, and no one (us included) really wanted to do that. So we're left with chicken, or he twiddles his thumbs and throws bread at everybody while they scarf down their entree(s). We could just roast a chicken thigh or breast, then sauce it with Bearnaise or chive oil, but it seemed to us that maybe we could do something more fun and educational with a whole game hen, either intact or spatchcocked. Here's the setup: We'll have two SV setups going, set at 136°F for the filets. We'll also have two deep fryers at ~400°F to put some crust on the filets. Lots of oven space, since the ovens are only needed to bake the brownies (at the start of class) and roast the tomatoes (requires two ovens, but we have four at our disposal) Open burner if we want to finish (or start) the bird in a pan We want to give this guy a nice dish, without creating huge excursions in the teaching plan, and also without having everybody saying "Ooh, I want some of that, too!" This seems like a problem for the eG crowd to help us solve. Any ideas?
  7. The Frog Commissary CookBook

    We do have the book -- three copies, as a matter of fact. Sorry, I can't help you with the lentils, as I've never made either of the lentil recipes in Frog/Commissary. Lentils do cook more quickly than other dried legumes, but not that fast! I will note that in his blog, Steven Poses has a recipe that include puy lentils, which he cooks for 20 minutes -- more in line with my experience (Bob's Red Mill, for example, says 15 minutes for red lentils). Sorry I can't be more specifically helpful.
  8. The Frog Commissary CookBook

    I don't know about "ahead of its time," but it was ahead of mine. I haven't really looked at it in a while, and all I remembered were the three stir-fry sauces that I made again and again throughout the late 80s. But now, having leafed back through it, I realize that this is where I first learned of Szechuan peppercorns, sun-dried tomatoes, Chinese sausages, curry pastes and sriracha. I also now recall that, instead of just those three sauces, I've made many of the recipes in the book , and can't remember a single failure (that wasn't my fault). The lists of suggested combinations that end most of the sections (I've used a lot of those, too), the variations appended to many recipes, and abundant, informative marginalia are priceless. Well, not priceless -- looks like it's $15 to $17 for a copy (less in Kindle), and that's a bargain.
  9. What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    I will either butterfly it, or just be lazy and buy a boned leg, then maybe untie it and roll it out for the grill finish. I still can't figure out what's behind the timing differences, though. Kenji says the 24-hour version was mushy, whether the lamb was fresh or had been frozen. On the other hand, ChefSteps is usually on the mark.
  10. What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    There's not a lot of talk about leg of lamb in these topics. We plan on cooking it sous vide, with a quick finish over charcoal (I like lamb with a little smoke and char). Here's the thing, though. Everyone seems to agree on the temp (around 133°F/56°C for upper-medium rare), but times range from 6 hours (Kenji Lopez-Alt, who says "I don't recommend cooking leg of lamb sous vide for any longer than six hours.") to 24 (ChefSteps, using bone-in leg, but I can't see how that makes a difference with cooking time). Anyone have any guidance?
  11. Non-stick pan suggestions

    I've been cooking for 55+ years, and teaching home cooks for the last ten, and I've never heard anyone express a desire for anything as ridiculous as this. What I tell students is that if you treat cast-iron like non-stick, you'll be fine (it's a simplistic rule, but it stays in their heads.) Then I tell them that if that doesn't get their pans clean, or if it strips off the seasoning, then they haven't seasoned properly. Yes. + + + By all means, if you're near a restaurant supply store or an Ikea, avail yourself. Otherwise, we've found places like Tuesday Morning or HomeGoods to be decent sources for non-stick cookware.
  12. Interesting. Fellow modernist Wylie Dufresne is also making the donuts.
  13. What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    Chefsteps says between 149°F and 158°F, but a vacuum-insulated container (like a Thermos jug, but even a good travel mug works) will keep it for quite a while.
  14. Yes, it would be helpful to introduce some rigor to this discussion. Can we agree on dimensions for "french fry," "steak fry" and "shoestring"? (For that matter, I've seen different sizes in moules frites, so I'd have to call that mussel a red herring.)
  15. St.Patrick , AKA CornedBeef 2018

    Assuming it will fit in the IP, I think you're looking at a longer cook. My source ( @JAZ ) recommends 1:45; ATK says about the same. You could probably shave some time off that by cutting it in two.