Dave the Cook

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About Dave the Cook

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  1. They say it's in honor of St. Patrick's Day (or maybe they're just overstocked in this particular color): ThermoWorks has green versions of their ThermoPop, TimeStick Trio, ChefAlarm and Dot on sale until -- I'm guessing here -- St.Pat's Day. They don't actually say. They have a few other things on sale, too: here.
  2. Nice piece, Fred. Thanks for the link.
  3. Maintaining crisp/crunch of fried items?

    According to the USDA, cauliflower is 92 - 94% water, depending on how it's prepared. That's a little misleading, because most food is mostly water; however, 92% is comparatively high. Snap beans, for example, are 89% and corn is about 70%; potatoes about 75%. We only buy vodka for cooking, so we don't care about flavor (or any other) nuances. I amuse myself by stepping up to the sales counter and saying, as loudly as my nerve will permit, "A pint of your cheapest vodka, my good man!" Last time, I ended up with McCormick. Works fine.
  4. Maintaining crisp/crunch of fried items?

    One thing that can help with batters is to remove some of the water from the batter by substituting alcohol. We usually employ 80-proof vodka because of its neutral flavor, but you can use whatever spirits you like, as long as the alcohol content is substantial. While it's just as good a solvent as water at room temperature, at frying temps the alcohol evaporates more readily, leaving the cooked batter drier; it also (along with gluten-free rice flour) restricts gluten formation somewhat, which might (I don't know for sure) prevent the cooked batter from retaining moisture. More information in McGee's article and recipe in the NY Times. (Note that while McGee uses beer, you can substitute any carbonated liquid; we often just use club soda.)
  5. Ripening an Avocado

    This totally works, pit or no pit. A half an avocado would never last two weeks around here, but we've gotten five days, easily.
  6. Budget cocktails for a crowd

    Seems like a good occasion for punch.
  7. Books on Cooking Sous Vide

    Instant Pot
  8. You can call Husk traditionalist, but that doesn't necessarily mean Brock is. His recipes show up throughout Modernist Cuisine, and before many of us had even heard of sous vide, he was known among the vanguard of modernist chefs (Dufresne, Blais, et al) as "the methocel guy."
  9. Most likely, it's a combination of applicability and cost. To quote Modernist Cuisine: Egg whites might work, but then you have to deal with the additional moisture. Most tot recipes for home use employ corn starch, which is okay, but if you could swap that out for something that, say, increased crunchiness (or fiber, or pick a characteristic or characteristics), you'd probably consider a modified starch. In fact, you'd probably be foolish not to.
  10. Cuisinart Recall

    We got an identical message this morning. The weird thing is, we got our replacement blade weeks ago -- between Christmas and New Year's Day.
  11. Who else? -- Tupperware! -- has volumes all figured out, and has put it in chart form. You can ignore their product recommendations if you want, and just look for the volume of the container for say, five pounds of flour (about 20 cups)..
  12. For Christmas this year, we made Milk Punch from Paul Clarke's excellent recipe. With the optional pimento dram, it was very Christmassy, and an excellent replacement for cloying, overrated egg nog.
  13. The cookbooks of fall 2016

    I haven't seen a mention of Ali Bouzari's Ingredient. It has the pedigree and content that seems perfect for many advanced amateur cooks. Anyone have experience with it?
  14. We ran into a related issue a while back, when deciding to s-v some loin lamb chops. I noticed that they were vacuum sealed, and dropped them in the bath, marveling at my own cleverness and well-developed sense of thrift. The sealing survived, but all the paper labeling on the outside (price tags and such) disintegrated. It wasn't bad enough to choke up the circulator, but it wasn't pretty. paulraphael's outer-bag method would have prevented quite a mess (and a bit of embarrassment).
  15. Bad me; I didn't take notes. But I recall that we weren't particularly formal about it. We probably let it swim at around 8 p.m. and took it out about 3 p.m. the next day. So . . . 17 hours or so? I think ChefSteps said "overnight," and that was overnight for us during that pair of days.