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Dave the Cook

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About Dave the Cook

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  1. Keeping bottles stable

    We buy this stuff at our grocery store in 12" x 60" rolls. (Look in the cleaning supplies section.) As Lisa said, it's useful for keeping cutting boards and bowls from slipping. It's not fabric-based (it's some sort of synthetic, soft, rubber-like material). It handles moisture pretty well, but it's not entirely impervious to mildew. (What is? This is better than cardboard by miles, though.)
  2. There are actually two recipes (plus two variations) for pannetone. One is traditional, and the other, a modernist version, employs liquid lecithin and proplene glycol alginate as emulsifying agents for structural strength. This, according to them (I've never made any version of pannetone, so I can't vouch for this), makes it possible to get an excellent finished loaf in hours rather than days.
  3. @ElsieD -- there are no indications of that, but then at this point in the evolution of Modernist Cuisine, there was no indication of such a thing, either.
  4. Cooktop Help: From Great Britain

    Could be gas, could be electric. I've seen it both ways -- but it's just a flat slab of metal on top of a burner. The cookware looks like Sitram.
  5. I've forwarded questions about web content, but their team is on tour right now, so it might be a day or two before we get answers. Meanwhile, I've been working my way through the first volume (History and Fundamentals). I'm obviously not as fast a reader as @Chris Hennes, nor am I as avid a baker. It is true that the tone is less "everything you know is wrong" than Modernist Cuisine was (though that's far from all it was), but there's still a fair amount of text spent on mythbusting, often in defense of the book's existence, i.e. answering the question: what makes such an ancient craft a subject for modernism? Partly, it's because while not everything you know is wrong, at least some of it is. For example:
  6. This is an article recovered from the Daily Gullet archive, originally published in 2003. by Janet A. Zimmerman Thursday, March 27, 2003 FORGET POLITICS and religion. You think the insurmountable divisions are between liberals and conservatives, Palestinians and Israelis, low-fat and low-carbohydrate diets? Nope. The real division, the line in the sand that counts, concerns raisins. The conflict in the Middle East or Northern Ireland is nothing compared to a raisin hater faced with a raisin lover. Actually, the term "raisin lover" is probably a misnomer. People who like raisins never seem to be quite as ardent in their taste for raisins as raisin haters are in their abhorrence. I know. I'm firmly on the side of those who despise the nasty little fruits. To be precise, I have to say that it's mostly the texture of raisins that I detest. I don't dislike the taste of raisins at all, really. Give me a late harvest zinfandel wine or a raisiny port and I'm fine. Perhaps even stranger, I don't particularly loathe plain raisins on any grounds. I don't go out of my way to eat them, but they're not that bad. I would much rather eat raisins than, say, blue cheese or insects. (Blue cheese is the other thing I really hate; once my sister found a recipe for a blue cheese souffle made with a raisin bread crust, and sent it to me. So terribly amusing, my sister is.) But add raisins to food, any food, and all bets are off. Raisins are vile and loathsome in any dish at all, sweet or savory -- tiny desiccated Dr. Jekylls that, when added to innocent cinnamon rolls, turn into plump, slimy, nasty Mr. Hydes. I spent my childhood picking raisins out of spice cookies (my mother finally started making a portion of each batch without them after I fed so many raisins to the dog she became ill), sweet rolls, and cinnamon toast; I know what baking does to them. They should not be baked. They especially should not be soaked in brandy or rum and then baked (the true definition of "alcohol abuse"). Nuts and raisins together in baked goods are particularly evil; it goes without saying that fruitcake should be banned by Geneva Convention. And Raisinets? The spawn of Satan. Raisins should never touch chocolate. End of story. Imagine my dismay when I got a little older and more adventurous and found out that some cooks add raisins to savory dishes. My college roommate loved raisins. Fortunately, she never tried to bake anything. But she put raisins in fruit salad; I picked them out. She added raisins to rice; I picked them out. I thought it was the idiosyncrasy of a bad cook. Little did I know that she was not alone in this barbarism. The only thing worse than regulation raisins are sultanas (the golden variety), because they blend in like undercover agents. You'll be eating a nice saffron imbued rice pilaf, and suddenly -- squish -- there's an albino raisin in your mouth. And picking them out is hard work, as they can hide. (Note to raisin lovers: if you have to use them, stick with the regular kind -- they're much easier to recover and destroy.) And here's what really bothers me about raisins: they always seem to be in dishes that -- except for that blue cheese souffle thing, of course -- I would otherwise really like. I love curries, I love Middle Eastern foods, and I love cinnamon rolls. These things should not contain raisins. You want to add raisins to ambrosia? To Jello? Fine. But please, please don't pollute my couscous. And, whichever chef first added raisins to chicken salad should be forced to spend eternity watching Emeril reruns while sitting next to Rachel Ray. I try to be understanding, generous. I don't think people who put raisins in food are being deliberately malicious. But I'd like to know, honestly, why they do it. Really, think about it. Would you miss those little dried grapes if you didn't add them to the carrot cake, those cookies, or that chicken salad? What can they possibly add, besides a virtually indiscernible touch of flavor and little pockets of squishy stickiness? And yet I know that it's impossible to make a non-hater understand just how repulsive the little things are. People who like raisins look at me as if I'm crazy when I try to describe why I don't. I suppose it's no different with anything else. I have a friend, for instance, who hates celery. This is inexplicable to me. How can you hate celery? It's so, so innocuous. Isn't it? But undoubtedly that's what other people say about raisins. Except that they're wrong. Raisins have one legitimate use, and that is for Amarone wine. Aside from that, keep them away from me Janet A. Zimmerman (JAZ) writes about food and teaches cooking classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently working on a book, Matters of Taste.
  7. New to Back of House - Advice please!!!

    If the first response to a plea for help is, in essence, "find some other line of work," some attitude is justified. But if we're going to help -- and it seems clear that some very qualified people here are willing to do that -- we're going to need more information: What kind of restaurant is it? How is the menu set up -- is it prix fixe or some sort, or a la carte? What is the revenue? Overhead costs? Labor percentage? What's the food cost? The beverage cost? Breakdown between food and beverage? Have you done menu costing or yield testing? Is there someone in charge of the line cooks? Who does the ordering, the requisitioning, and the portioning? Knowing those things will inform the answers of those of us who want to help you. And if you don't know the answers, we can help you figure them out. You're not going to fix everything overnight, but now you're one more night away from that. Getting pissed off rarely creates progress.
  8. Homemade Broth/Stock lasts how long?

    The reason you're not supposed to let stock boil is mainly to keep it clear, although there is some evidence that flavor extraction is better at temperatures slightly less than a boil. Reduction should take place after the stock is finished and strained, so you've already gotten the flavor and gelatin out of your ingredients, and there are no solids left to cloud your stock. At this point, you can boil away. As for how much to reduce it, it's up to you. We sometimes just reduce by half and freeze it in ziplocks like @Captain, so one pouch is reconstituted with an equal amount of water to make it stock-strength. Sometimes we do an 8:1 reduction and, like @cdh, freeze it. We have silicone ice trays that have compartments that are one ounce (or close enough); once it's frozen, we pop it out into ziplocks and use as necessary. We reconstitute it by putting a cube in a one-cup measure and filling the cup with water (this is technically 7:1, but again, close enough). It's also nice to have the ice-cubed concentrate around, as @cdh says, for adding some body and umami to a sauce or soup.
  9. Trying to make scallop noodles...using TG

    Here, I think.
  10. Trying to make scallop noodles...using TG

    Probably not . There's RM and GS (and one or two others), but no RG, as far as I know. Checking out a few recipes, it seems that the usual dose is in the neighborhood of 1 - 1.3%, but most also imply that you need some stock or water along with the pureed protein. You also need to allow for setting time. Maybe this recipe will be useful. ETA: when I've seen it done, the "injection" was done directly into boiling water, with a pastry bag and a tip appropriate for the shape desired..
  11. i can't say that this surprises me: Article here.
  12. The Commercial Posts and Media Solicitation Guidelines section of the Member Agreement has been amended to clarify our policy on affiliate links, e.g., to Amazon (US) merchandise. Previously, the first section read: We've inserted a new third bullet (in bold, below) and moved the subsequent bullets down the list. Nothing else has changed.
  13. I have the Raichlen book. In leafing through it just now, I see that I've made maybe a couple of dozen things from it (which might actually be on the high side for the average cookbook around here). The recipes have all worked, and I found the sauces and salsas especially interesting, at the time. I have no idea how "authentic" it is, claiming to represent the cuisines of Latin America, Cuba and the Caribbean (as well as bits of NY Jewish and southern US cooking). I do recall that it introduced me to a lot of ingredients that I was not familiar with, again at the time. Note that it was published in 1993 (which is when I got it), before Raichlen became the (often irritating, imo) PBS host most of us know him as today (though he had already won a Beard award for a previous book).
  14. Kicking back in Manitoulin

    I can't advise you; I can only say what I'd do. I'd get the whole thing (it's about 1/2 m long), use the thicker part for steaks and cut the thinner parts into strips and make pinwheels (don't need to go too sumptuous on the stuffing, if you use one; it's a rich cut of meat) out of them. I guess it might also depend on if there's a price differential between thin and thick. If the price is the same, you might want to just go for the thick.
  15. Kicking back in Manitoulin

    The rib cap is the spinalis dorsi muscle, which sort of wraps around the ribeye. It's thickest towards the chuck end, and thins out headed toward the short loin. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure it tapers out altogether before reaching the sirloin. Many (including myself) consider it the best cut of meat you can get -- if and when you can get it. Outside of a farmers' market, I've never seen it in retail packaging, until now.