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Dave the Cook

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  1. I hope this isn't too late,@Kim Shook, but between my partner and our cooking classes, we've cooked well upwards of 100 beef filets (2-1/4" thick, so a little over 1 lb each). Our experience taught us that 1) 136°F (quite a bit higher than expected) yields a nice filet that is appealingly red on the inside, but pretty homely gray on the outside; 2) the most fun way to get a crusty exterior without overcooking the interior is to deep-fry the filets. (As I said, most fun.) We also found that a grill pan or a really hot cast-iron skillet will work, as will 1/4" to 1/2" of oil (perhaps fortified with buttter. All of these techniques require you to flip every 30 seconds until an appealing crust develops, so as not to overheat the interior.
  2. There's no carryover at all. In the traditional cooking model, carryover happens because the surface temperature of the food is higher than the interior (e.g. a roast that is 125°F at its center, but got there because it was in a 425°F oven). It takes a while for the overall temperature to equalize. During this time the temp at the surface will decline, as the center temp rises. Since the whole point of S-V is attaining and maintaining the same temperature throughout the food -- surface to center -- carryover is a non-event.
  3. Based on the photo, it appears that you smashed more than I do. However, typical gold/yellow potatoes are lower in protein/higher in starch than reds, and that might have helped you avoid hell. Best part:
  4. To start, there is not one damn thing wrong with potatoes, cheese and cream. I believe you have oversmashed. The recipe in Janet's book is based on a dish I invented for a blog back in 2005. The recipe there says to "crush the potatoes slightly" (RecipeGullet version here). They looked like this: Contrast that with yours: I suspect the additional smashing is responsible for the gluiness. It could be starch, as Janet suggests, or protein, which is more abundant in waxy potatoes. (All I know for sure is that it's not gluten, which potatoes don't have.) Although we've never smashed the potatoes as much as you did, we definitely smash them more these days than the original blog photograph shows. So I also think there might be a small case of what I call "Ten Half-Steps to Hell" going on here. We've been making that dish for so long, and possibly smashing the potatoes a little smaller each time (also, Janet usually makes it, and it's kind of become "her" dish. She smashes more than I do. Just sayin'.) Meanwhile, the potatoes were getting more and more gluey, but we got used to it, deciding that this was just the way the dish was. We didn't notice because the change happened a little bit at a time -- by ten half-steps, as it were.
  5. Nope. We often add spinach or other dark, leafy greens to dishes to balance spiciness or boost vegetable content. Just tonight, we added dressed arugula to an Italian sausage sandwich. It turned an okay plate into a winner. Me neither. Maybe that's why I don't remember being subjected to taste-testing this one. The best dedication I've read that was written by someone I know was Steven Shaw's (@Fat Guy)'s dedication from his first book, Turning the Tables (eG-friendly Amazon.com link): to Ellen, who drives me If you spent an afternoon with them in NYC, you'd know how true that was. Back to the topic.
  6. Good answers to the second question. As for the first question, I'm pretty sure it has to do with increasing the aggregated surface area of the target food, so more of the food is exposed to the cooking medium. At the same time, you've decreased the distance from the outer surface to the center of the target food, so heat can reach the center of the food more quickly.
  7. Not any kind of pressure cooker? Because for all intents and purposes, this book treats the IP mostly as a pressure cooker.
  8. You can, because the InstantPot gets hot enough to set the custard (you can do cheesecake, too). But you need to keep in mind that any quiche made in a pressure cooker is going to be crustless. Even if you blind-baked a crust, it's not going to stay crisp.
  9. So close, @rotuts! The mock tender is the supraspinatus muscle, and is on the same side as the blade roast, but on the other side of the flange that creates the "7" in "7-bone." Here's a great illustration from the folks at Texas A&M (and a site I think everyone interested in meat should bookmark, https://meat.tamu.edu/ansc-307/ Beef Chuck 7-Bone Steak Muscles 1. M. triceps brachii 2. M. infraspinatus 3. M. supraspinatus 4. M. subscapularis 5. M. serratus ventralis thoracis 6. M. rhomboideus thoracis 7. M. semispinalis thoracis To understand part of why it's called a mock tender, it helps to think three dimensionally. If you can imagine several 7-bones stacked into a single primal cut, the supraspinatus is revealed as a more-or-less conical chunk of meat about 15 inches long. It runs from the shoulder blade to the front leg; on humans, it comprises part of the rotator cuff.
  10. Totes. Four ounces in the base recipe (p240).
  11. Dull blades was my primary concern. But I only paid $18, so it wasn't a huge risk. To be honest, if not for the recommendation of people here (whose opinions I trust), and a dim positive-feeling recollection of the Mouli name, I would have dismissed it as a useless gadget. That's because--let's be truthful--it has a very gadget-like look to it. Because of that, I'm guessing most of these have spent the better part of their lives unused, hidden in the back of a drawer.
  12. Alas, no. I only remembered that recipe and its context because 1) Nancy provided it; 2) it's shown up on our table a few times since the manuscript was turned in. I suspect that only the author is able to remember which books are which, so I suggest a PM to her. This would also have the advantage of avoiding derailment of this topic.
  13. When we were undergoing testing for Super Easy Instant Pot (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), that chili won the prize for best effort-to-reward ratio. That's saying something, given that the book is nothing but low-effort recipes.
  14. To follow up: I found a Mouli on eBay and snapped it up. I have to admit that it does a bang-up job of grating. And it came in the sprightly orange, which, as everyone knows, has sharper discs than the beige version 😉. It folds up pretty flat and stores comfortably. However, it's unwieldy for a quick shaving of parm, which was what we used the handheld grater for. So the Mouli will actually replace our box grater. To replace the handheld, we first tried the one lots of people (well, ATK and Wirecutter) rave about, the Rosle steel grater with wire handle (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). I didn't pay enough attention to the fact that it's nearly 16 inches long, which is just too damn big. In the end, we followed @lindag's advice and just got another Oxo. She's right, it's much sturdier than its predecessor -- --and comes in a color to match our new Mouli.
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