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Dave the Cook

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Everything posted by Dave the Cook

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Dave the Cook

    THE BEST: Can Opener

    Safety or traditional?
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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?
  10. This is a sort-of fun ranking of the fries available at various fast-food outlets. It would be odd if I agreed with the entire list, but it does have some integrity. I also note that, in general, it aligns with my understanding of what eG members think about fast-food fries: I've read many times that while Five Guys' burgers are on the high range of acceptability, their fries are outstanding; I've also read that In 'n' Out's burgers are great, but the fries kind of suck. In the course of the article, I did find out a few things, like there's a chain called "Wienerschitzel" that doesn't serve wienerschnitzel. There's a chain called "Jollibee," with a dish called "Chickenjoy." Also, Del Taco serves fries -- and they're pretty good.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Dave the Cook

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

    I realize that this is all over the internet, but that doesn't make it correct. Most of it seems to be the result of one person copying another copying another copying another -- the web version of a game of Telephone. The chuck-eye steak is fabricated from the chuck-eye roll (NAMP 116D), which is fabricated from the chuck roll (NAMP 116A), which is fabricated from the shoulder clod (NAMP 114), which is fabricated from the square-cut chuck (NAMP 113) (These are North American designations.) There are two square-cut chucks per steer, hence two clods, etc. Each of the two rolls on a steer can be cut into several steaks. Fabrication instructions can be found here.
  14. Dave the Cook

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

    I'm not sure if this is what you meant to say, but there are more than two chuck-eye steaks per steer. Depending on how thick you cut them, you can get at least three out of a chuck-eye roll. With two chucks (shoulders) on a steer, that's a minimum of six steaks each. There's an excellent photo of the chuck roll here (scroll down a little).
  15. Dave the Cook

    Fast-food fries, according to the LA Times

    Three "yea" votes: I will order tots over fries almost every time they're offered. It's hard to screw up a tot. Likewise, i prefer Arby's potato cakes (do they still make them?) over their curly fries. But alas, a tot is not a fry. I figured Wienerschnitzel and Jollibee for California, or at least west-coast, chains, as I'd never heard of them. Del Taco is mostly west-coast, too, is it not? Though for a while in the (maybe 70s), there was a store in Atlanta. And because the LA Times didn't make it out here, they missed Krystal, the southern version of White Castle. They do a decent fry, served in a truncated drink cup, which does a decent job of avoiding the steaming effect caused by jamming a lot of hot fried potatoes into a waxy bag.
  16. Dave the Cook

    NYC steakhouses 2019–

    I knew I could smoke out a native, if I used the right bait.
  17. Dave the Cook

    NYC steakhouses 2019–

    I haven't been to NYC in a while, but I noticed recently that Sparks still gets really good notices. Bonus: just a straight shot up 3rd Avenue from Union Square.
  18. Dave the Cook

    Camping, Princess Style

    Almost any Hispanic or Asian market will have it. It's less reliably found in mainstream US grocery stores, either in the "International"/"Asian"/"Mexican" sections, or wedged in the baking aisle along with other gluten-free flours (which, come to think of it, might be used as substitutes for rice flour in this application).
  19. Dave the Cook

    Is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" fake?

    Thanks, Heidi. I'm just guessing about how it's put together, mind you. The show is what it is, and I don't really care that its genesis might be less than forthright. I learned a couple of things (but then I usually learn a couple of things from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, if it happens to be on when I'm in the room). I don't feel like the time I spent watching the show was wasted, though it's not a show I would normally choose.
  20. Dave the Cook

    Is "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" fake?

    This seems like a newish twist on the offers I used to receive (back in my corporate days) for our company to "sponsor" a video production based on our company. They would write the script, interview a few people, and handle the editing. They would also promise that the video would appear on TV (though they were coy about when and on which channel). All we had to do was cough up a few bucks. In the early 90s, the fee was about $10k; by the early 00s, it was up to about $40K, and the promise to get it on air had disappeared. (In the early days, cable channels were starved for content; fast forward a decade, and someone had invented ad-revenue sharing, flooding broadcast schedules with all kinds of already-produced material with at-least marginally profitable results and practically no risk.) Back then, I assumed that the production company pored over a business directory to find leads worth developing, based on the industry and company size/history/perceived budget. The twist here, I suspect, is that: Leads are developed after a chef mentions a restaurant on a show (one of the episodes I saw showed Alton Brown waxing rhapsodic over the fried chicken at some hole-in-the-wall place in maybe Alabama or Arkansas that probably got a previous highlight in his show Feasting on Asphalt) and a Cooking Channel producer follows up; In addition to some sort of remuneration for reading a script, chefs are paid a finder's fee if they provide a successful lead to the Cooking Channel; Cold-calling has been enriched with a "pick your chef-representative" option, and maybe a choice of upgrades, including an in-restaurant appearance. This would explain why most, but not all, of the on-site material comes from NYC restaurants -- it's cheaper to get Alex Guarnaschelli across town for an afternoon than to send Ted Allen on a two-day trip to San Francisco.
  21. Thus showcasing the weakness of a wiki -- in some cases, an obscure source (onegreenplanet.org?) carries as much weight as one of recognized authority (Mrs. Beeton!) "Shepherd" is not gendered in the first place, so calling someone a "shepherdess" is like calling someone a "teacheress." That's not just sexist, it's awkward (and kind of dumb sounding). I suggest "gardener's pie," or "farmer's pie," if it's necessary to have a unique name for it. I'm not convinced it is.
  22. Dave the Cook

    A Yukon Gold Potato Question

    Potatoes labeled just "white" (or "all-purpose," though you don't see this label in consumer locations much anymore) work pretty much the same as gold potatoes -- they're medium in starch, and have pretty thin skins. (Unless you're armed with a double-blind study, please don't tell me that gold potatoes have a buttery taste.)
  23. Dave the Cook

    Good Eats: Reloaded

    Over the years, I've watched reruns of Good Eats, partly because I find that I still enjoy the show, and partly because I often picked up something that I missed the first (or second or third) time around, even after I realized that Brown was often just simplifying techniques and information from sources that were less accessible to the typical TV viewer. Almost as often, I'd notice that the show would misstate something, or that its source material had been superseded by more recent findings or technology. So I was actually looking forward to seeing this show, with its promise of corrected and/or updated material, even if it seems to be mostly a promotion for the new show, due out next year. Unfortunately, although some of that happens (along with, yes, several wardrobe/hair/technology snippets), a lot of shortcomings were missed, and a few new errors were introduced: The implication that the flatiron steak was "invented." I suppose that's technically true, but it's not like cattle breeders engineered steers to create a new cut of meat. It was always there. As rancher Coleman says near the beginning of the episode, "There are good steaks all over the cow." Maybe this is nitpicking on my part, but the use of "invented" struck me as peculiar. More time could have been taken to explain cast iron, though the new instructions for seasoning are refreshingly sensible. Still, the implication that cast iron heats evenly is simply wrong. And while I know that a lot of people swear by using nothing but salt and a paper towel to "clean" cast iron, Brown's embrace of the technique runs contrary to his "work clean" ethos. That is to say, if you aren't washing your pans, they remain dirty. He should -- probably does -- know this. He stops the replay to "correct" himself on the definition of "prime rib." This leads to an explanation of grading, which leads to a bit about the cast members who played the "inspectors" in the original episodes. The latter was mildly amusing (as were the inspectors, no matter who played them), but "prime" rib is not called that because of grading. It's called "prime" because of the cut. It was disappointing to have Brown bypass a chance to clarify this point (which confuses many people), just for the sake of entertainment trivia. Brown missed a chance to explain why meat changes color, leaving in place the implication that it has something to do with how the meat is cut, rather than discuss oxidation. The steak Brown cuts into at the end of the episode was obviously cold. What the heck, man. People on eG. for the most part, probably wouldn't benefit from these clarifications, but years of teaching people how to cook has convinced me that many folks would. Alton Brown made his reputation by making food science accessible -- even popular -- and I for one am grateful for that. I'll probably continue to watch the "reloaded" episodes, but I won't be able to completely suppress the notion that I'm a (mostly willing) participant in a cynical exercise.
  24. Dave the Cook

    Gluten -free meatloaf

    I haven't personally tested the option, but the recipe in CI's The Best Recipe suggests bread crumbs, crushed saltines (my choice), or oatmeal. Oats are a little bit controversial as a gluten-free food, but the Celiac Disease Foundation says they're okay in reasonable amounts, as long as you're careful about processing-related cross-contamination.
  25. Dave the Cook

    NYT pay to play recipes

    The New York Times doesn't need me to defend them, and I have an all-access subscription, so Cooking isn't costing me anything extra. However -- If all you want is a recipe for a grilled cheese sandwich or a wedge salad, an NYT cooking subscription is probably not a smart investment. Just post a question here in the Cooking forum, if you really can't figure it out. @Anna N asked a similar question yesterday about macaroni and cheese, and in a matter of minutes, she had at least three-and-a-half intelligent answers. On the other hand, if you're looking for a recipe, and all you can remember is it was by Pierre Franey, using chicken breasts, about five seconds in the NYT recipe archives will yield more than 60 possibilities. Among major US newspapers, very few don't charge you for archive searches these days. Rather than carping about what the Times has done, maybe we should be a tiny bit grateful that they've split off their recipes, so you don't have to pay to be able to search parts of the paper you don't care about. Last I checked, a subscription to Cooking cost $40/year. It's not cheap, but aside from the bargains @Toliver tempts us with regularly, it's not much more than the regular price of a cookbook. Having said all that, I think the subscription model is a bad one in this case. I think they'd make more money by instituting a per-recipe fee. You sign up once, give them a credit card number, and agree to pay 50 cents or a buck (or whatever) per recipe, following a reasonable preview. After that, the micropayment could be automatic, or confirmed with a checkbox at each instance.
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