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Dave the Cook

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About Dave the Cook

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  1. Dave the Cook

    Kitchen Remodeling

    Gimmick. We had one of these faucets installed during our recent remodeling (yes, I owe the membership the story of our travails), and had forgotten about this feature; luckily, it's not why we selected it. The problem is that in order to get that sexy balloon shape they show, you have to run the faucet at maximum pressure, and even then, only that center squirt does any appreciable work. At lesser pressure, the "balloon" doesn't form well, and it's almost as prone to splatter as the spray (and not as powerful; the center squirt is pretty wimpy). However, the spray function is excellent, and as Toliver says, only an amateur would make such a mess (ducks head in shame). ShieldSpray might be good for cleaning deep-bowl wine glasses that have sat around all night and have dried deposits in the bottom, but we haven't fully tested that theory, because the remodeling also included a terrific dishwasher. It's a great faucet, but don't buy it for this.
  2. This is probably not news to anyone here, but dealing with excess avocado (I know, I know, what's that?) is a common topic in our cooking classes. The best way we've found for keeping unused halves from browning is to brush a little citrus juice on the cut edge, vacuum seal them with a Food Saver, then stick them in the fridge, where they'll be good for at least several days. (It's more effective if you leave the seed in and seal that side.)
  3. Dave the Cook

    The "steak" cut of fish

    When we buy salmon, we usually get an unskinned filet that's slightly less than a pound. I skin it (one of us doesn't care for the skin, but I don't mind the exercise in order to save $1.50 a pound) and portion it. Then I make a light cut about an inch up on the belly end (the actual measurement depends on the shape of the filet). This creates a flap of belly, which I can fold under to even out the thickness. I sprinkle a little transglutaminase into the fold and weight it down for about 30 minutes. That's usually enough to create a uniformly (more or less) shaped filet. I've never done it, but I don't see why, if you liked the skin , you couldn't meat-glue it back on.
  4. Nothing particularly new here, though our recipe for avocado crema differs a bit from @David Ross's. Fried fish tacos with avocado crema and jalapeno-ish slaw:
  5. Dave the Cook

    Buying a house: most important kitchen features?

    It sounds like you already have a pretty good idea of what you want: That's a good start. Other members have hinted at some of the following, but having recently remodeled our kitchen, my experience is still fresh. If you have a lot of cookware and serving pieces, but don't use everything every day, those items are candidates for what I call "off-site" storage. It's not really off-site, but a Metro-style rack in my office that holds (for example) the ice-cream maker, the 3rd (and 4th) pressure cooker, the waffle iron, a few copper pans, over-sized china and rarely used stoneware. It's a 14" x 48" four-shelf rack. It holds a lot (though we still have some odd bakeware pieces in our bedroom nightstands. Sigh). Ventilation to the outside is really important to a serious cook. It's not necessarily non-negotiable (see below), but it's a big deal. As long as you're checking the ventilation, make sure you're not overdoing it. An exceptionally powerful fan can create more trouble than it solves -- it can raise your energy bills, create uncomfortable drafts, in extreme cases even kill you very quietly. If you really want gas, but the existing range/cooktop is electric, make sure that switching over won't cost a fortune -- and vice-versa, since an electric range (whether it's conventional coils, smoothtop, or induction) will almost certainly require a service upgrade. (Some folks can get worked up over gas cooktops. I can't, and I'm perfectly happy with an electric smoothtop. Read here to see my reasoning.) Clearance and capacity can trip you up. Before you assume that upgraded appliances are just a matter of ordering what you want and taking delivery, or that adding a circuit just means a call to the local electrician, make sure your electrical panel and gas service will support your plan. Have an electrician check out the panel; you may be maxxed out on amperage, and upgrading might not be a simple matter. Likewise, make sure that there's width available for that future larger fridge or range. Also measure the doorways it will have to go through to be installed (and that its predecessor will need to negotiate for removal). @heidih is correct -- nothing is non-negotiable, as long as you have money. Remove a door (even temporarily), replace a wall, run a gas line, cut a path for ventilation -- all these things can be done, if you have budgeted for it.
  6. Dave the Cook

    THE BEST: Can Opener

    Just to be clear, I don't own one, and thus can't personally endorse it; I was just trying to be helpful. The brand we have in our drawer is marked "Core Kitchen." It works fine for the eight or ten times a year we use it. In my experience, Oxo does a pretty good job with utensils and even some small cookware.
  7. Dave the Cook

    Instant Pot Bought Up by Corelle

    I don't think it's a Kickstarter baby. According to this NYTimes article, it was funded almost entirely by the company's CEO and founder. There doesn't seem to be any lack of enthusiasm for expanding the Instant Pot brand within the original company, and the CEO is staying on, and staying in Ottawa. It seems more likely to me that IP gets access to Corelle's international markets and distribution channels, and Corelle gets another famous line, probably significant additional cash flow, and yes, @gfweb, something new on which to imprint flowers. Disclosure: my partner, @JAZ , has written Instant Pot-authorized cookbooks, but I did not consult her before posting this.
  8. Dave the Cook

    THE BEST: Can Opener

    We use a safety opener, the aforementioned (but no longer made) Rösle, but have a traditional opener that we (have to) use on only two things: Cougar Gold (a cheddar-like cheese from Washington State that's well-worth its own can opener) and some brand of coconut milk. Swing-A-Way was sold -- at least a couple of times -- a while back. I think they still make the old stand-by. But for some reason, the company that used to make parts for the pre-sale version of Swing-A-Way has gone into business for itself, manufacturing the EZ-Duz-It. Silly name, but it gets high marks from respectable folks like Serious Eats and Wirecutter.
  9. Dave the Cook

    THE BEST: Can Opener

    Safety or traditional?
  10. Dave the Cook

    Can I Substitute???

    If your yogurt is full-fat, I'd try it without changing the recipe. The fat, along with the flour that's already in the recipe, should keep the filling stable. You might also consider baking at a lower temperature for a longer time, if this doesn't affect your crust adversely. If your yogurt is low- or no-fat, I wouldn't try it. I imagine that you'd have to add so much flour to stabilize it that flavor release would be affected. Of course, I could be wrong. There's one way to find out. One other possibility: maybe you could make your own sour cream from the local crema.
  11. Dave the Cook

    What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    This is excellent advice; however, in my markets, it's harder to find a seven-bone than a chuck-eye! Sometime back, I showed how to fabricate a chuck-eye by cutting up an underblade chuck roast. It's here: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/117531-the-chronicles-of-chuck/?do=findComment&comment=1589141.
  12. Dave the Cook

    What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    I've never heard of a "chuck filet," and what you've got there doesn't resemble any (culinary) filet I've ever seen. But when you get down to individually-sized chunks of meat, especially beef, people can apply whatever name they wish, it seems (see, e.g., "Delmonico" steak, "club" steak, sometimes even "rib-eye" steak). Having complained thus, those look a lot like chuck-eyes. They're definitely chuck, anyway, and they appear to be cross-cut, which is correct. So I'd treat 'em as if they were chuck-eyes. @Anna N's advice of 56°C/24 hours is a good starting point, though I prefer them closer to medium, say 59.5°C.
  13. Dave the Cook

    What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    Good idea. I'd pound the crap out of it and make chicken-fried steak. But really, is there any more hopeless cut of beef than an eye-of-round steak?
  14. Ahem. From the Department of Self-Aggrandizement: the following appeared in the Daily Gullet in March, 2003. A few of the references are dated, and I haven't reviewed it for recent historic revelation or scientific understanding (though I can vouch for the results of the experiments in a current-day microwave, and I do have a pretty good idea of why the grape thing works). The photos, unfortunately, were lost in a site upgrade.
  15. Dave the Cook

    Chicago Cocktail Hit List

    These are probably already on your list, but just in case: The Aviary and The Violet Hour are two of the most outstanding cocktail establishments in the country.