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Dave the Cook

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Everything posted by Dave the Cook

  1. You might find the discussion that starts here and continues for eight or nine posts to be helpful.
  2. This work quite well, and is the basis for several of the soups we've been making: creamy poblano; leek and potato; garlic with poached eggs, bacon and spinach; curry shrimp and rice; corn with red-pepper puree; carrot with chive oil; and a few others.
  3. Maybe not because it was shorter, but because it was fatter? I would eat this three or four times a week, dental issues or not.
  4. Such helpful responses. Thanks, everyone! As we found out with the quiche, crust is a problem (unless you're the family dog). But we did manage chicken and dumplings the other night, with the chicken chopped very finely and the dumplings having been softened by the sauce. Shredded chicken from a roast chicken, or chicken parts? Our usual method of sous-viding breasts is a non-starter unless we drastically overcook it, and who wants that? Squash-and-onion casserole is a good idea; ground meats, which I thought would be okay, just don't work for her. We have been eating a lot of eggs: poached, scrambled, even gently fried. I suggested tuna salad, but it seems that without celery, it's just no fun. Ooh, risotto! Yeah, that's worked. We might be trying mac and cheese soon (though mac and cheese without a crunchy top is about as much fun as tuna salad without celery). So far, pasta has been iffy. We're going to try some sort of fish with saag aloo tomorrow (potatoes way over cooked and fork-smashed). Thanks again!
  5. I can, and will, eat lentils. However, my partner, who is the one with dental issues, only likes them when prepared with short ribs, a la @Fat Guy. Paneer is tough to come by in our part of the suburbs, but we could make it, or sub queso fresco, or -- my suggestion --- potatoes, as what my partner really digs is the curried spinach, rather than the cheese. If we can get past the lentil issue, then we have to pass the Oatmeal Rubicon (good band name, btw). But I think this is worth a try, actually. Deseeding is smart. We've actually gone back and forth on gazpacho. I don't like it; she does. My problem is that it's not really a meal, even with the avocado. Can I get a dispensation for a few seared (shredded for her) scallops on the side? There was a time when I hated beets, and this would have been a non-starter. But I've come around on them (sorry, @Toliver), so maybe. I think they're pretty close. If we're right, it's an interesting thought for a garnish. Maybe others can do this, but we can't. It's probably nutritious, and might be tasty in a way, but please see above (". . . turning normally chunky soups into smooth purees without allowing them to look like pond scum"). Six years ago, I spent two weeks in the hospital. For the first week, thanks to a "joke" I made that didn't land AT ALL, I was on a puree-only diet. The food was so unappealing that I lost fifteen pounds that week (which of course put everybody into a new tizzy). We're not going to do this, but thanks for the suggestion.
  6. Five weeks into a dental-issue-induced liquid (or at least very-small-solids) diet, we're nearly out of ideas. We've had to up our soup and food-styling games quite a bit, turning normally chunky soups into smooth purees without allowing them to look like pond scum. These are dinner soups, since that's our one shared meal of the day. Consequently, they incorporate a protein (usually an animal protein, as there are no tofu fans in the house), veg and usually a carb Most often, breakfast is yogurt with mashed fruit, and lunch is soup left over from the previous night. Here's what we've had: Creamy poblano soup Shrimp bisque Black bean soup Leek and potato soup Garlic soup with poached eggs, bacon and spinach Curry shrimp and rice soup Avgolemono Corn soup with red-pepper puree White bean soup with tomato and pesto Broccoli-cheese soup Sweet potato soup (kind of a jerk thing) Creamy mushroom soup (using mushroom stock from Modernist Cuisine) Smoked salmon chowder (adapted from Sara Moulton, unless it was Martha Stewart) Mexican corn and rice soup Cheesy onion soup with (the same) red pepper puree Spinach-artichoke soup Pinto bean soup Carrot soup with chive oil Beer cheese soup Three problems have arisen. The first is that the texture of these soups doesn't vary much from one the the other. Given the reason for making the soups in the first place, there's not much to be done about this. The second problem is that making soups (at least of this type) gets boring: simmer ingredients until soft, then blend with prejudice. Maybe stir in cream. Serve. The third is, as you will figure out when you count the recipes, that, even with some stretching, that's not quite three weeks' worth of soups, and we'got at least three more weeks of this diet to go. Any ideas for expanding our repertoire? Soups we haven't tried, or other dishes with really small bits? Last night, for example, we had quiche, with very finely minced ham and long-simmered onions (the dog loved the non-mushable bits of crust). Soups that don't cause the cooks that are making them to fall asleep?
  7. It's hard to tell from a photograph (and it would be hard even in person when you can't see the underside where meat markets/departments like to hide what they think is unsightly fat). But based on the color I perceive, and the mostly uniform, parallel grain, I'd say that's loin.
  8. Probably, but the question was not about the best way to cook pork tenderloin, it was about how to cook it in the Instant Pot. Regardless of whether or not you or I think it's a good idea, people are going to cook pork tenderloin in their pressure cookers. They might as well learn how to do it to obtain the best results.
  9. Regardless of peoples' desires or ability to eat out, the economics of running a restaurant are likely to be in flux for quite some time, and prices will almost certainly have to rise. Supply chains have been disrupted -- about the time suppliers get the present situation sorted out (involving everything from fresh produce to industrially packaged toilet paper), they'll have to change again, to whatever the newest normal is to be. Today's logistical mess shows that that's not likely to be easy. And even if you can source decent endive, and can buy enough paper towels from a bodega, will dining rules change? Imagine that your business model assumes 200 covers a night in the dining room plus a significant profit bump from bar sales. Can you survive, let alone flourish, if post-pandemic regulations require 1) you to space patrons twice as far apart; 2) servers to wear face masks and gloves (and change the gloves every 10 minutes); and 3) tables, chairs and bar counters have to be sanitized between turns?
  10. Though some folks have been here since 2001, perhaps many don't know that eGullet was born in the shadow of another catastrophe, that of the 9/11/2001 attacks on the US. Today, we face another challenge. I won't indulge in the fashionable series of dark superlatives that describe the situation that confronts the world today. Instead, we'd like to start a topic that highlights the efforts of individuals and organizations that propose to support our membership with extraordinary offerings. That membership includes cooks, for both sweet and savory concoctions; chefs, for both sweet and savory productions; the polymathic food-adventurous; and above all, advanced amateur cooks, who have always been the heart of our community. If you or your organization are making such an offer, or if you know of such an offer, please post it here, keeping in mind that eG remains a politics-free zone. We will do what we can, but we cannot guarantee that any particular offer is legitimate, so buyer beware; this is the internet, after all. Our thanks go out to all of you. Oh look! @blue_dolphin has already posted something related:
  11. Congratulations on your rodeo! I agree with your reconsideration of SubZero. The initial cost is steep, and if it breaks (not a lot of "if," really; they seem to be very touchy), its going to be a pain to repair. I have three direct experiences. 1) We have a friend in Raleigh, North Carolina who "inherited" (with the house) a SZ fridge and SZ freezer, both full-sized. He likes them fine until something breaks, and then he has to wait for really expensive and slow-to-arrive parts to be installed by an expensive technician. 2) the kitchen where we used to teach (in an affluent suburb of Atlanta) had two fridges and a freezer. (Now that I think about it, they may have all been counter-depth units.) The fridges, especially, were always in need of adjustment for one thing or another (usually having to do with programming), and really didn't have a lot of space, partly because the layouts were odd and (to me) irritating. For example, the butter compartment was at the top of the door, which is fine, but if you forgot to close the lid to the butter compartment, it would bounce the fridge door back open. 3) My brother and SIL have one in their kitchen. They are people who do not need to worry about the cost of anything, and yet my SIL was appalled at the price tag, especially when she compared it to the French-door Frigidaire in their butler's pantry. The Frigidaire did the same job -- kept things cold. but at a much lower price. And if it breaks, she can buy three or four more before she's spent as much as the SubZero cost. When we remodeled our kitchen, we got the same Frigidaire. Yes, we hooked up the icemaker, and it has performed flawlessly, except for occasionally flinging cubes across the floor when we've left the icemaker on too long (so admittedly, the auto shut-off isn't perfect). Thumbs up for the Bosch d/w. I wasn't sure about this purchase, but it's been great. I'm not dismissing @paulraphael's observation that it seems like the tines, especially on the bottom racks, seem to be too close together, but after a few months of exceptional results, I've given up trying to second-guess the designer, and cram those plates as close together as the racks allow. I have yet to be disappointed. One tip: before placing your order, compare the 800 and 300 series. The latter is about $250 cheaper, so if you don't need the bells and whistles of the 800 (not that the 300 series doesn't have a few of its own), save your money for something else, (like using detergent pods as Bosch recommends. Pods are more expensive, as @weinoo implies, but the difference is less than 10 cents per load, and pods are way more convenient. If you run your dishwasher once a day, the $250 you saved on the 300-series Bosch will let you use six years' worth of pods before you come close to making up the difference.) I once did a lot of research on range hoods, "once" meaning 16 years ago, when I wrote this article for the Daily Gullet. The illustrations were lost in an upgrade, and many of the links are outdated, but --IMO -- it's still worth a read. tl;dr: 1) think (and plan) hard before just slapping in a high-capacity fan; 2) consult an HVAC person, rather than relying on the suspect expertise of a kitchen designer or appliance salesman. You can spend a lot of money for poor (and sometimes dangerous) results. I've used a Thermador cooktop once in my life (at a vacation rental), and I loved it. But I think gas is overrated as a culinary fuel, so we have an electric range.
  12. Sure. Here's a recipe. Of course, just because you can doesn't mean you should. Seems like more trouble than it's worth, but YMMV.
  13. Are you seasoning the beans with anything during the cook? Salt, pepper, cumin, coriander, epazote, chiles?
  14. Sadly, we must report that long-time member (she joined in 2005) and Society donor Lisa Shock has died. A few of us had been wondering about her, not having seen her post since December, 2018. Recently, one of our members came across an announcement regarding her: https://www.alcor.org/blog/2019/01/. (I'll let the notifier out themselves, if they wish; in any case, thank you.) Lisa posted on a wide variety of topics; her curious intellect and eagerness to assist were easily discerned. Her competence, intelligence and integrity were constantly at the fore in the few interactions I personally had with her. I will miss her, as I imagine many here will.
  15. Yeah, but could you do it more efficiently than Lay's? I don't think I could. Phew.
  16. Potatoes themselves have very little fat or sodium, so almost all of those that are in the nutritional info linked to above are coming from the frying and salting. There's an entry in that same database for just "Potato Chips," but no details about how they're made. It might even just be an average of manufactured products. If I had to guess, I'd say that homemade would probably be higher in fat and salt, if for no other reason than manufacturers, for cost reasons, are not going to waste a microgram of any ingredient. I guess you could do your own analysis (weigh the potato, weigh the oil before and after), or send a batch of your own for a lab to do it (have your wallet handy, though they'd give you a breakdown of fat, fiber and vitamin content). I don't think it's worth it, because these days, chips for me are a rare treat, and thus exempted from close scrutiny. I am second to no one in my love of potatoes, but seriously, no salt? What would be the point?
  17. I'm not sure how helpful that distinction is, though. In comparing the nutrition facts for Pringles and Lay's Potato Chips, one finds that, while they aren't identical, they are awfully similar.
  18. We've been steaming since reading Kenji's 2014 article, mostly on the same subject, in Serious Eats. Now that he has a larger group of test subjects available, he has statistics to back up the (to us) persuasive but largely anecdotal assertions he made in 2014. From the NYT article: Then he outlines his testing techniques, which are pretty sound. He follows those with his findings: Steam! On pressure cookers (including the Instant Pot): Age: There's quite a bit more -- enough to make the entire article worth reading -- including his final sentence:
  19. Funny: after trying the handle style for the first time, I disposed of my bowl-style juicers. I've used these in teaching situations, and they are generally very decent, as long as you don't stress them. Those gears are plastic, and when you run into a really stiff, pithy lemon, they collaborate with the plastic body to temporarily deform and fail. I'll put it another way: the additional leverage that the added length and gearing provide make the squeezer (in some cases) too strong for its own good.
  20. Until Royal Dock became scarce around here, we employed it in a Martini made 2:1 with Lillet Blanc, garnished with an orange twist, a ratio we picked up from a bartender at Holeman & Finch. If citrus in a Martini puts you off, maybe there's too much orange, but we like it. These days, we pour Plymouth Navy Strength as a substitute. It's not the same, but it packs the punch, proof-wise, that the ratio requires. We also put the Plymouth to work in gimlets, where it's perfectly at home. Gin is supposed to be juniper-forward isn't it? Having said that, we found Junipero took that a little too seriously. It's decently-made, but doesn't seem to play well with others. Also, it's on the expensive side. the same was true of several small northwest US offerings: lots of pine. I don't remember the names of any of them. We quite liked Citadelle, until it priced itself out of our range. It is, or was, made by the same company that makes Landy cognac. I met the MD of Landy a few years back, and he told me that they started making gin just to employ their stills in the months when, by law, they weren't allowed to make cognac. Aviation is another that's well-made but not to our taste. Too much -- coriander, IIRC. Ford's is a good gin, and having been concocted by bartenders, is good for mixing. I'm looking forward to trying the higher-proof version, if it makes it here. When money is tight, Gordon's is surprisingly good. We tried Seagram's, but it got a big no, even in the higher-proof version.
  21. I was disappointed in the first episode, on chicken parm (I haven't watched the second yet). I have a pretty high tolerance for AB's schtick, but that San Marzano/gangster bit was a waste of time, along with the explanation of DOP certification -- as if the certification alone makes them better. Are they? We don't know, because he didn't spend any time on that. Brown is a clever guy, as @rotuts has observed. Surely he could have come up with an entertaining presentation. Likewise, the sketch with W begged the question about mortar and pestles -- why use one of those instead of a food processor? Not to mention Mister No-Unitaskers has twelve mortar and pestles? Given that there were visible fragments in the browning phase, I'm not buying his lower-pH justification for including the salt-and-vinegar chips. Need more crunch? I'm with @ElsieD, panko is the way to go. And if you want a hit of acid, squeeze a little lemon juice at the table, or over the cheese prior to baking (which might have mitigated the stringy cheese issue). He just wanted to include something different -- a seemingly irresistible impulse he's unfortunately brought forward from the earlier version of the show. I did like the take-down of the chicken breast half (though he was inconsistent with his terminology, sometimes using "half," and other times not). It's nice to see the fridge- and oven-cams still in use, and I still like the informative interstitials, even if the calcium chloride warning was probably confusing to many (if you're buying real San Marzanos, do you need to worry about it?) I also like that he's gone to mostly weight measurements where appropriate (though inconsistently accompanied by volume equivalents). Personally, I can get past most of these nits, but if you're trying to teach people cooking basics, you can't afford to be blasé about small things.
  22. We have both hemostats and forceps; both are handy. A tip we give our students (because it's both true and fun) is that you can save a few bucks by heading to your local pet store and buying "feeding tongs," rather than something called "forceps."
  23. Here's another take on the challenge of roasting a chicken: from the Daily Gullet ( and Best Food Writing 2010), @JAZ's "All That Glitters."
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