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Posts posted by bearbones11

  1. I think I go through phases - for a while I was in absolute love with the Shun Kaji Santoku and was using it for everything I use a chef's knife for...now I don't know how long it's been in its lovely presentation box while I grab for my 10" Wusthof chef's knife for anything but peeling an apple. Ditto Mag-na-Lite.... off and on indespensible, but sometimes years between uses.

  2. Ginger cut into disks mashes nicely with side of heavy knife or bottom of pan, although it can fly terrific distances if hit at the wrong angle...

    I'm generally of the smash (w/knife) and grab garlic school, but the favorable take on peeled garlic makes me think it might be worth it, if just to avoid the "I just swept the floor!"/"How do you expect me to cook without making a mess!" argument that always seems to arise when the fragments of garlic skin go everywhere....

  3. Thanks once again to all of you--plenty to dig around at the library/bookstore and see what plays nicely with how I think/cook.  Very much appreciated.

    I mostly cook anything "fancy" on the weekends and do soups/salads/leftovers over the weekdays.  The reason I mention Bouchon was based on peoples notes that it had a lot of side commentary and insight into why certain things were done certain ways.  Flipping through some more threads, it looks like "Think like a chef" is up my alley, as is the aforementioned James Beard book and Les Halles.

    Bistro might not be the best word to describe--I'm more looking for a book that would be the equivalent of going to a culinary school over the course of several years (minus, of course all the restaurant managment parts). 

    For example, I learned to grill intuitively during my adolescence (us kids did the grilling) quite well based off screwing up enough times, and trying different techniques.  I got a feel for it, although my family had to suffer through the failures  :rolleyes: .  Something that accelerates my learning curve inside the kitchen is what I'm looking for.

    Recipes, by and large, would be a starting point to expand however I want--mostly I try and look at them and go, "oh, I see what they're doing" or are very basic. 

    Having read some examples off amazon--I think I'll start with "think like a chef"



    I think you're heading in the right direction with Think Like a Chef . It's a good introduction to techniques and the recipes are mostly there to show you ways to build on basic techniques and ingredients. I've had a lot of fun taking some of the basics and riffing on them.

  4. Just have to add - while Pappas' Bros. is my favorite splurge, I get a serious craving for the stuffed barbecued ribeye from the Crazy Cajun in Seabrook (aka the Happy Cajun in Deer Park). Grilled over a charcoal pit and stuffed with crawfish stuffing - yum!

    One of my old standbys is Sullivan's - pretty good steaks, only moderately pricey, fun, clubby atmosphere.

  5. Online, Woot.com, while usually featuring tech stuff, occasionally has some good kitchen bargains - I think they handle WS closeouts - got the Shun Kaji Fusion 3-pc set for $249, Breville Ikon espresso machine for $99 (I know not a top-line machine, but for 1/3 the price of retail, it paid for itself in a month). And they have a wine site, as well, featuring small producers. That's put a dent in my wallet a few times, too.

    I'm not picky about having matched sets of stuff, so I heartily second the discount store route - you can, over time, put together one hell of a kitchen for a fraction of the price.

    Also, if you're luck enough to have a Sears outlet nearby, you can find appliances for 1/2 of retail. We bought a house last year with a single, 24" oven. Does NOT work for us. Hadn't replaced it because, well, we just bought a house, then had our second kid. Then, while still on a pretty tight budget, found a double 30" Kenmore self-clean oven for $649. Not the dream Gaggenau, but, again, new house, new kid....

  6. 99% of all supermarket "Jewish-style" rye bread resemble nothing seen in a kosher bakery. What makes it "Jewish?" Caraway seeds? Oh, and "Cajun-style" roast beef. I can't, having spent plenty of tres bon temps on the the bayou, recall having been served roast beef. Or much beef at all, for that matter. Of course, a pet peeve of mine is the interchangeable usage of Cajun and Creole.

  7. Slightly OT, but why is it that while we bake all sorts of tasty, creative, labor of love confections, our brownie orders outnumber everything else combined, by about 3 to 1? Just the aforementioned Betty Crocker recipe, too. :blink:

  8. Having lurked for a while, this thread has made me feel right at home. I think I've made most of the usual mistakes, more than once - the universal take the pan out of the oven (using mitt), place on stove, grab handle of pan (no mitt). The stock/pasta, etc. down the drain.

    A couple of more me-specific ones - separate 6 eggs for challah and throw out the yolks (in my defense, I make a LOT of egg wash).

    Lean over the skillet of reducing red wine - and get a REALLY close look as it spits right in my eye. Then get lectured by the wife on use of foul language in front of the kid. Real sympathetic, my wife.

    Leave a non-stick skillet for a couple of days at my grandmother's house. Why, when she uses a wooden spoon for everything else, does she use metal this time? I made it a gift to her.

    Oh, and I remember someone posting about cranberry covered UGG boots - I will never again wear suede John Lobb boots while smoking ribs. Thank g-d they were dark - but soy sauce and pork fat will permanently alter the nap.

    I'm sure I've got plenty more, but this is enough self-abasement for a first post.

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