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Dave the Cook

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Everything posted by Dave the Cook

  1. Dave the Cook

    Favorite diet soft drinks?

    This is exactly what you should do. Please report back, including price, observations as to color/carbonation level,etc., and of course tasting notes.
  2. Dave the Cook

    Under counter ice makers

    I haven't worked in a restaurant kitchen or bar in many years; however, I've spent a great deal of time in teaching kitchens (adjuncts to kitchen retailers), all of which have had built-in under-counter ice makers. They've all been broken at one time or another, a few times for weeks while waiting for parts. Admittedly, these machines probably get worked harder than they would be in a typical household, but you'd still expect them to have a better track record than that. I would, anyway. You might want to check out an earlier topic here. I don't think much has changed since then.
  3. Dave the Cook

    Hand-held citrus juicers

    I have one of these. Well, not that fancy, but similar. It's fine for oranges, but it's a PITA for limes and smaller lemons, so I want something else. A friend of mine has these. It seems to do a great job with smaller fruits, even expressing some oils into the juice. So, geek that I am, I started exploring variations on the design. In addition to the ones above (which are enameled cast aluminum), you can get them in raw cast aluminum, polished cast aluminum, cast iron, and stainless steel. In addition to the different metals, the sizes (which must relate to leverage and therefore ease of use) are all over the place. Does anyone have experiences to relate about the various materials and sizes? Yes, it's far too much curiosity for a twenty-dollar item, but that's how I am.
  4. Dave the Cook

    Hand-held citrus juicers

    Citrus juicers are pretty small. I think what you want for spinach is a potato ricer.
  5. Dave the Cook

    A Hobbit in New Orleans

    It's not, but it's owned by the same family, and, if I'm remembering correctly, the classic place is right next door.
  6. Even for a simple three-part cocktail, just between the choice of ingredient brands (and proofs), differing ingredient ratios, garnishes (or not), mixing method and even the type of ice involved, you're dealing with a complex concoction. Whether or not it's simpler than a ham- (or cheese-) burger is something we could argue about forever (hence eGForums!), but it's not helpful to the OP. Besides, "quality of rum," if we can define it as "what's the well rum at this place?" or "what the bartender chooses to pour," is exactly the sort of information that might inform someone trying to decide on a bar to frequent. The OP specifically said "non-signature." A Sidecar is a great drink to test a bar out on. Don't ask for anything specific besides the cocktail itself, and, if you watch carefully, you can find out a lot: Do they even know how to make it without consulting another bartender, a book or their phone? How good is the base spirit? Cognac or brandy? What do they use for the orange liqueur? Is it of decent quality, or flavored sugar water? Are they using fresh juices, bottled juices, or sour mix? What ratios (spirit : juice : sweetener) are they using? Is the cocktail balanced to your liking? Too sweet, too tart? Watery? Warm? If any specification is unclear to you, you ought to feel free to ask the bartender, unless the place is crazy busy. Anything other than a straightforward answer is grounds for taking that bar off your list.
  7. We've done a little fiddling with the Member Agreement. More specifically, we've tightened up a few things in the section dealing with avatars, signatures and member bios. Here's the old version: and here's the revision: If the changes seem minor, it's because they are, and they're entirely in keeping with the spirit of the Member Agreement, and won't affect the overwhelming majority of our members. We've combined the first two bulleted sections, and made the rules for avatars, signatures and personal photos identical. We've tweaked the language in that section and the section on bios to clarify what is and isn't allowed in these areas. Especially, please note that we allow references to culinarily-related activist entities and issues, but not to other activist causes. It's also worth noting that non-compliance with this rule is also likely to trigger an instance of confrontation (the previous rule), though that's not to say that the two are inextricably linked. If you're logging in from Facebook, or using Gravatar, you are not relieved of the responsibility to comply with these rules. We don't edit the Member Agreement lightly. We've done this in the interest of keeping the forums as free of non-food politics as possible.
  8. Dave the Cook

    How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    There must be something wrong here that's not accounted for in the usual differences between US prices and Canadian. At Amazon.com, it's US $23.44.
  9. Dave the Cook

    How much of an effect do stocks really have?

    Without disagreeing with @cdh, I always thought that this comparison was about whether you use stock or just water.
  10. Dave the Cook

    Ideas for Cornish hens

    We're teaching a private class in a couple of weeks. This is our third go-round with these folks. They're a lot of fun, and eager to learn (as long as it doesn't interfere too much with socializing). For past classes, they've simply chosen lessons from our public classes, but this time they've asked for a custom menu comprising dishes taken from a few different classes. I mention this because we don't have much freedom to change things up, with one exception, which I'll get to in a minute. Here's the menu: Crab Louis Pan-roasted Scallops with Chive Oil and Scallop Jus Filet Mignon with Sauce Béarnaise Wild-rice Stuffed Tomato Gratinée Brownie "Cheesecake" Sundaes with Raspberry Coulis Bellini So, sort of a surf-n-turf thing going on, and it's pretty much set in stone (though we talked them out of crab/shrimp mousse sliders as a first course). But here's the problem: one of their party doesn't eat fish, shellfish or any red meat. They offered to disinvite this guy, but honestly, he's the life of the party, and no one (us included) really wanted to do that. So we're left with chicken, or he twiddles his thumbs and throws bread at everybody while they scarf down their entree(s). We could just roast a chicken thigh or breast, then sauce it with Bearnaise or chive oil, but it seemed to us that maybe we could do something more fun and educational with a whole game hen, either intact or spatchcocked. Here's the setup: We'll have two SV setups going, set at 136°F for the filets. We'll also have two deep fryers at ~400°F to put some crust on the filets. Lots of oven space, since the ovens are only needed to bake the brownies (at the start of class) and roast the tomatoes (requires two ovens, but we have four at our disposal) Open burner if we want to finish (or start) the bird in a pan We want to give this guy a nice dish, without creating huge excursions in the teaching plan, and also without having everybody saying "Ooh, I want some of that, too!" This seems like a problem for the eG crowd to help us solve. Any ideas?
  11. Dave the Cook

    Ideas for Cornish hens

    Yeah, money isn't really an issue, especially since whatever we do will sub for an ounce of lump crab, half of a beef filet steak, and three or four large scallops. We hadn't considered duck, but breast is an especially good idea (if it's not on our student's lengthy list of Things I Will Not Eat), since it can S-V at the same time/temp as the steaks. This is a really great idea, but I'm sure the dude is not gonna eat bacon. It's also pretty expensive in terms of time. We can probably add a small lesson to the agenda, but to do what you're suggesting would require us to rethink the entire schedule -- not something we can afford to do. Having said all that, we might steal this idea for a class TBD. Sounds delicious, but sausage is a no-no. The last time we taught this group, we jiggered our lasagna recipe (which includes sausage) to accommodate this requirement. This is a maybe. Nice that it would allow us to talk a bit about MSG, and why you shouldn't be skeered of it. Hmm. There is a steam oven at the venue, maybe even a CSO in the scullery. I like this, but like @Lisa Shock's idea, it's probably not going to work with our timing. Getting the bones out of a baby chicken isn't all that time consuming, but we're already on a pretty tight schedule. I suspect you're right about people's experiences, and the weight thing is kind of fun, too. Definite possibility, especially if the duck thing doesn't work out. These are all great ideas -- thanks, and keep them coming! To be clear, we're not looking to replace their entire menu, or serve this poultry-based exception to everyone. We just want to give this one guy something good to eat, and if we can sneak in some education along with it, that's a bonus.
  12. Just to really overthink this: what if they've chosen cheeses, and, knowing that you're wine peeps, are actually expecting you to bring wine?
  13. Dave the Cook

    The Frog Commissary CookBook

    We do have the book -- three copies, as a matter of fact. Sorry, I can't help you with the lentils, as I've never made either of the lentil recipes in Frog/Commissary. Lentils do cook more quickly than other dried legumes, but not that fast! I will note that in his blog, Steven Poses has a recipe that include puy lentils, which he cooks for 20 minutes -- more in line with my experience (Bob's Red Mill, for example, says 15 minutes for red lentils). Sorry I can't be more specifically helpful.
  14. Dave the Cook

    The Frog Commissary CookBook

    I don't know about "ahead of its time," but it was ahead of mine. I haven't really looked at it in a while, and all I remembered were the three stir-fry sauces that I made again and again throughout the late 80s. But now, having leafed back through it, I realize that this is where I first learned of Szechuan peppercorns, sun-dried tomatoes, Chinese sausages, curry pastes and sriracha. I also now recall that, instead of just those three sauces, I've made many of the recipes in the book , and can't remember a single failure (that wasn't my fault). The lists of suggested combinations that end most of the sections (I've used a lot of those, too), the variations appended to many recipes, and abundant, informative marginalia are priceless. Well, not priceless -- looks like it's $15 to $17 for a copy (less in Kindle), and that's a bargain.
  15. Dave the Cook

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

    I will either butterfly it, or just be lazy and buy a boned leg, then maybe untie it and roll it out for the grill finish. I still can't figure out what's behind the timing differences, though. Kenji says the 24-hour version was mushy, whether the lamb was fresh or had been frozen. On the other hand, ChefSteps is usually on the mark.
  16. Dave the Cook

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

    There's not a lot of talk about leg of lamb in these topics. We plan on cooking it sous vide, with a quick finish over charcoal (I like lamb with a little smoke and char). Here's the thing, though. Everyone seems to agree on the temp (around 133°F/56°C for upper-medium rare), but times range from 6 hours (Kenji Lopez-Alt, who says "I don't recommend cooking leg of lamb sous vide for any longer than six hours.") to 24 (ChefSteps, using bone-in leg, but I can't see how that makes a difference with cooking time). Anyone have any guidance?
  17. Dave the Cook

    Non-stick pan suggestions

    I've been cooking for 55+ years, and teaching home cooks for the last ten, and I've never heard anyone express a desire for anything as ridiculous as this. What I tell students is that if you treat cast-iron like non-stick, you'll be fine (it's a simplistic rule, but it stays in their heads.) Then I tell them that if that doesn't get their pans clean, or if it strips off the seasoning, then they haven't seasoned properly. Yes. + + + By all means, if you're near a restaurant supply store or an Ikea, avail yourself. Otherwise, we've found places like Tuesday Morning or HomeGoods to be decent sources for non-stick cookware.
  18. Interesting. Fellow modernist Wylie Dufresne is also making the donuts.
  19. Dave the Cook

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

    Chefsteps says between 149°F and 158°F, but a vacuum-insulated container (like a Thermos jug, but even a good travel mug works) will keep it for quite a while.
  20. Yes, it would be helpful to introduce some rigor to this discussion. Can we agree on dimensions for "french fry," "steak fry" and "shoestring"? (For that matter, I've seen different sizes in moules frites, so I'd have to call that mussel a red herring.)
  21. Dave the Cook

    St.Patrick , AKA CornedBeef 2018

    Assuming it will fit in the IP, I think you're looking at a longer cook. My source ( @JAZ ) recommends 1:45; ATK says about the same. You could probably shave some time off that by cutting it in two.
  22. Dave the Cook

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    To be honest, that's what we do, too. In that form, it's in our regular rotation.
  23. Dave the Cook

    Crazy Good e-Book Bargains

    We have this book, which we got in order to get the recipe for a single dish, Smashed Shrimp with Eggs and Salsa, after one of us had it at the restaurant. We've made it a few times, and it's great, so we feel like we got our money's worth. At $1.99, it's a steal. We've made a few other things, all of which were pretty good -- except their chorizo, which, while authentically flavored, is hot af. We definitely recommend their Blanco Rojo cocktail (basically a Jasmine made with tequila as the base spirit). Be aware that it's what we call a "restaurant" book, which means lots of sub-recipes. This doesn't bother us, but I know a lot of folks get perturbed by all the page flipping and the nagging sense that a full understanding of a cookbook will eventually and necessarily require recreating the entire pantry of the subject restaurant.
  24. @Tropicalsenior, have you seen this cake @Anna N made?
  25. Dave the Cook

    eG Cook-Off 76: Consider the Schnitzel

    One thought: the connective tissue that sheathes a pork loin is almost never trimmed off when chops are fabricated. If this is the case with your chops, the connective tissue will almost certainly shrink faster than the meat it surrounds. Usually this results in what we call the "Fried Bologna Conundrum"* -- cupping and puckering of the meat as the connective tissue forces it out of shape. Maybe pounding the meat mostly ensures a more even shrinkage -- a version of the Ground Chuck Tennis Ball Effect**, where the connective tissues in a nice flat raw beef patty, when cooked, shrink and force the meat into a something resembling a gaming appurtenance. ""Fried Bologna Conundrum" would be a good name for a band (h/t Dave Barry) ** ditto