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Dave the Cook

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  1. 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:
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Not any kind of pressure cooker? Because for all intents and purposes, this book treats the IP mostly as a pressure cooker.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Totes. Four ounces in the base recipe (p240).
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. eG member @dsoneil has done a lot of research into this (he even posted on this very topic back in 2009). He even wrote a fascinating history of soda fountains called Fix the Pumps (eG-friendly Amazon.com link). Highly recommended. He also hosts the website Art of Drink.
  14. I was about to point out that there are lots of Big Green Egg owners, not to mention peeps who have invested in Thermoworks' Smoke apparatus who, are very interested in "monitor(ing) ambient temperature in tightly regulated thermostatically regulated environments . . ." Where I part ways with @Greg Jones is in thinking that there are many people who will buy the Joule oven and Combustion probe(for which we have a topic here) as a solution.
  15. I wouldn't expect it, either. Don't they have probe technology (such as it is) in-house, with the Control Freak?
  16. At this point, I'm not sure who's actually selling this thing: ChefSteps, Joule or Breville. I got an email from ChefSteps (they developed the Joule, right?), but the looks of it are almost 100% Breville (which now owns ChefSteps and Joule, right?) They've added an air-fryer function and two phone apps to the SmartOven Air. If I'm reading correctly, one (the Joule Oven App) can control oven functions, though it doesn't appear to be required to operate the oven. The other app is called Autopilot, and appears to include step-by-step instructions coordinated with oven control. There's also video on one of the apps. At this point, I get confused about what's where. It appears that the apps are free. The Breville Smart Oven Pro (the deluxe version of what's known hereabouts as the BSO) is $230. Right now, you can even get a BSO Air Pro for $350. The JOAFB (to coin an abbreviation) is 500 bucks, Is it worth it for two apps? Am I missing some really cool function of the JOAFB?
  17. Thanks, @ElsieD. All I want if for peeps to think things through like you have. Look around you, even at just eGullet -- none of this happens without effort, money (some of it yours, thankyouverymuch) -- and good will.
  18. It's possible -- probable, even -- that when you first purchased your subscription to Bon Appetit/the NYT/F&W/whatever, they didn't even have recipes on line. In those days, the money from your subscription paid to develop a recipe. The publisher wrote it, tested it, printed it and mailed it to you. That was their end of the deal, and if you wanted to save the recipe in some other form, that was on you. Dogear it, clip it and put it in a scrapbook, photocopy it -- they didn't really care. They got their money, you got your recipe. Done. Then the world wide web came along, and its adoption seemed to create an obligation on the publisher's part to make their content available 24/7, because on the internet, everything ought to always be free. But these things are not free: computers, server space, software licenses, editorial support, people and technology to extract content from its pre-internet format and put it on a pretty web page, indexed, secure, and searchable. At the same time, the web robbed publishers of their unique selling proposition: that they could create recipes more reliable and more beautiful than anyone else. There are two things to be said about this: One, they didn't see this coming, and that might be their fault; Two, now anyone with the time and money (much less time and much less money than publishers needed, because the barriers to entry were simultaneously lowered) could become, at least for a time, a food-and-cooking authority. Meanwhile, readers decide that publishers are no longer holding up their end on the print side, so they let their subscriptions lapse -- the publisher loses the subscription money and the substantial advertising income that print editions command. To put it very, very bluntly: people feel like the recipes that they helped pay to develop should be available in perpetuity and in a form convenient to them, but they don't want to help pay for that upkeep, let alone pay to develop any more content. Publishers' obligations have increased, yet folks decline to cover the costs of what they want -- nay, what they say they deserve.
  19. A few weeks ago, we tried a dish from the NYT called "Fish With Brown Butter, Capers and Nori" from Danielle Alvarez's book Always Add Lemon (eG-friendly Amazon.com link), as adapted by Melissa Clark. It sounds simple enough, but it was surprisingly complicated, and we decided that it wasn't worth the trouble. However, the "nori" part of it was an emulsified oil with which you dressed the cooked fish. The oil was rich and umami-forward and delicious, but we didn't much care for it in context. We agreed that it might be at home somewhere else (we haven't yet figured out where that is). Anyway, maybe you'll give it a try and let us know what to do with it. Nori Oil 1/3 C crumbled nori 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper Put the nori in a blender or mini food processor. With the motor running, slowly add the olive oil. Blend until the oil is black, 1 to 3 minutes, scraping down the sides if needed. You might need to scrape down the bowl between pulses. Stir in a pinch each of salt and pepper. This will keep for at least a few weeks in the refrigerator.
  20. It makes me sad to announce that long-time member and eG Forums host Richard Kilgore has died. I'm almost equally sad that this news is a little more than a year old. His obituary is here. Though he contributed to many topics, especially in the Coffee & Tea forum, he hadn't been around for quite a while. But before that, he'd made his presence known, being a member since early in 2003, posting nearly 7000 times, and helping out the Society as an early head of the Texas forums. For quite some time, he was an unusually enthusiastic member; he once told me about visiting bookstores when he was out and about, finding his way to the cookbook section, and surreptitiously leaving eG business cards inside various tomes as "free" bookmarks -- and of course "free" advertising for us. I've often wondered if we ever picked up a single new member from this amusing antic. Whether we did or not, it was characteristic of his outlook that he both invented the task, and took it on cheerfully. Wherever you are now Richard, you'll be missed here. Have a cup of tea on us.
  21. Both explanations make perfect sense to me -- and thanks. We have our own measurement units: Inches (of tomato paste, or whiskey, or whisky) wodges, blivets, skoshes, etc. Within the group that matters, everyone understands what needs to be understood. It's only when you invite an outsider to metaphorically look over your shoulder that things get confusing.
  22. You measure tomato paste in inches?
  23. Agreed. Or at least it's the book that makes me think the most constructively about food and cooking. But I think it falls short as a reference. For that, The Food Lab (eG-friendly Amazon.com link) is the most helpful book I've read lately. I'm not 100% on the Kenji bandwagon, but he's usually right, and is good at explaining why.
  24. People come to our house and say things like "You make your own sausage/bacon/falernum/Rose's lime/pastrami/bitters? That's hardcore." And now I have to answer, "Nope. I know someone who makes their own damn charcoal. That's hardcore."
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