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  1. Hey, it's been a long couple of years 🤣
  2. I'm always amazed when someone manages to mess up dumplings — they're so easy to get right! But so many supermarket ones are terrible. In the grand eGullet tradition of enabling, I am obligated to point out that Mala Market sells that same (excellent) doubanjiang and a lot of other high quality versions of Sichuan ingredients. I have been using their 10 year Baoning vinegar as a sort of finishing vinegar for a lot of Chinese dishes or dipping sauces lately and have been very impressed. (Expensive, but it's quite a big bottle.) Their Sichuan peppercorns are notably better than the ones I've gotten from supermarkets as well — and it's the only place in the US I have ever seen caiziyou (unrefined rapeseed oil, traditionally used a lot in Sichuan). A few things they sell are a bit ridiculously priced (like the zhacai and yacai) — I don't begrudge a small business the markup, but I can get those easily elsewhere. All of this is making me want to cook more Sichuan food — think it will be on the menu this week! Might be time to finally set up the outdoor wok burner...
  3. Oh, totally. A while back I used up a bunch of odds and ends to make an "allium oil" that I double strained and kept in the fridge — useful for all sorts of things. A jar of the Vietnamese pre-crisped shallots and garlic would be a good mix in on lazy nights.
  4. Pricing for "upscale" chili crisps seems to be all over the map. We have been buying a local one from someone who does Malaysian food pop-ups — his 8oz jars are $12. But I saw another from a local restaurant for $24! 😳 I make my own chili oil but am always terrified of anything homemade involving garlic in oil. I know it is probably completely safe if the garlic is shaved and fried (and if store-bought peeled garlic is used, as it's acidulated), but I tend towards the paranoid sometimes 😅 Yours looks amazing, though — might convince me to take the plunge.
  5. I'm getting big Juicero vibes from this. I can't imagine buying a $350 machine dependent on some unknown company's proprietary pods. Doesn't much matter how good they are if you can't buy them. As an aside, it looks like the Frolic is more similar to the Pacojet in two (relatively unimportant) ways — the "bayonet" mount for the pod holder, and the way the blade mounts to the motor shaft. The Chris Young video upthread noted that those were two areas where the Creami changed the Pacojet design to make it a bit more consumer friendly. I'm curious to know if that means the Frolic is basically a carbon copy of the Pacojet from the (now expired) patent.
  6. @Maison Rustique — my experience has been that Misfits does better than Imperfect on anything that needs to stay frozen. Much better packaging. I think because it has to endure FedEx they have to put in more effort. Imperfect is still usually fine but every few boxes I end up with an insulated pack they've left half open and have to pitch a few things. They always refund, but it's annoying. Have mostly stopped ordering raw meat from them so I don't have to worry about it.
  7. Did you use instant coffee, and if so, what brand? I am always wanting to buy some for dessert use but never know how to pick a good one.
  8. That's odd — I've not had any issues with the knobs on the Le Creuset I have, despite using them in the oven quite a bit. I did proactively replace the knob on one pan with their newer stainless one ($10 then — they've gone way up!) when I started using it for bread baking, but the other pan is going on 20 years old and the phenolic knob is in great shape. They now say the plastic knobs are rated at 500°F but I swear it used to be lower. I did manage to somehow ruin the finish on one of the dutch ovens after someone burned tomato sauce onto it really badly. I tried just about everything to get that stuff off; it worked in the end but the interior finish is dull and now everything sticks to it. Fortunately that pan is just the right size for bread baking so I have just used it for that of late. One of these days I'll get around to making a warranty claim.
  9. Ah! This one would have been ideal, but alas, I didn't see it yesterday and it's out of stock today. That said, I suspect I might actually be happier with the Le Creuset for this particular shape of pan, thanks to the light interior. It would get a lot of use with things where seeing the food's color clearly would help.
  10. Wirecutter reviewed it very positively though they balked at the price. The $99 Camp Chef looks like an intriguing alternative — it doesn't have the nice helper handles, but for a 60% discount it might be fine. Plus I suspect I could find a non-bread use for a 12 quart cast iron pan (and large oval skillet) at some point. (Edited to add — though you might need to factor in the cost of a pair of welding gloves to get the lid off.)
  11. Appears to be available elsewhere at that price (W-S, Saks, Amazon, etc) in case it's more convenient — it's the best price it's ever been on Amazon, though it has been on sale for that price a few times recently. Weirdly the lowest price appears to be $84.99 at King Arthur Baking. Shipping brings it up to the same price as everywhere else, though. Now if only they'd have a similar sale on the glass-lidded braiser...
  12. I think at this point, the higher end 2-man lines are all branded "Zwilling" and the lower-end 1-man lines are all branded "Henckels."
  13. The mango of disappointment! I suspect we're hitting the end of mango season from some country or other right now. It's generally been a good year for them, though. Apparently mango imports from India are back for the first time since 2019. I always have wanted to find a case at a local Indian market but never get the timing right.
  14. I don't think the air hole idea would work; I think it would just pull in air around the motor shaft at the top of the container. Chamber vac might work — or even putting the pint in a FoodSaver canister after processing.
  15. Definitely jealous of all that you can get in and near NYC — I have heard legends about some of the markets! Do you mind me asking the name of that first place? It sounds like it might be worth a stop if we're passing through the area. That being said, we are still better off here in Boston than many many other places — and have way more options than we had ten or twenty years ago. There is not too much I can't find in terms of essential ingredients for most any cuisine I'm trying to make. On the flip side, the delivery services keep me from spending the entire afternoon browsing the aisles — the last time I went to the local Chinese market it took me about 90 minutes to get through the store!
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