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Everything posted by MPruett

  1. I'm looking to make a batch of orgeat, and am wondering if the 6 or so year old bottle of Cortas orange blossom water that's been in my refrigerator the whole time is still good. I only used it a handful of times when I bought it for making Ramos gin fizzes, and it's been stored in the fridge the entire time. I opened the bottle, and it still has that super-intense perfumey smell that I recall- almost soapy. Does it go bad? I think I can probably get another bottle from the international aisle of my local grocery (I assume they still carry it) but I don't want to fool with it if the bottle I have is still fine.
  2. I wouldn't say that a selection of mass market stuff like silly flavored vodkas and premixed liquor drinks means that a store isn't serious about cocktails. It just means that they're not exclusively aiming at the cocktail crowd. Spec's in downtown Houston is a good example of a great liquor store that has all that vodka crap, but also has a great selection of hardcore cocktail ingredients of all types. For any old liquor store, I'd say that the Haus Alpenz and Luxardo lines (not just their maraschino) are a good sign that they're serious, as are a variety of cocktail-specific type spirits- stuff like Old Tom gin, overproof rum (not Bacardi 151) and other uncommon base spirits. Things like real pomegranate grenadine, falernum, and a wide selection of bitters are also a good sign.
  3. They're not remodeling it themselves; they have a gang of contractors. We'd have them over, but they don't live all that close, and our house is a wreck due to our 2 year old and his tornado-like ways.
  4. I bet they have a cooler, or a sack of ice in the freezer or something like that. I have citric acid on hand; I wonder if there's some way to use that along with lime zest?
  5. Ok... so a couple that my wife and I are friends with are having their entire house renovated, and it's causing them a bunch of stress. We were thinking that we'd make them a "mojito kit" with some rum, simple syrup, limes, mint and a bottle of club soda, until it occurred to us that they may be lacking most of the stuff that makes a bar or kitchen. So I got to wondering about how I could make some sort of mojito mix out of the same stuff that you'd make a normal mojito from, except not require any knives, cutting boards or muddlers. I got to wondering about infusing the simple syrup or lime juice with mint, or maybe mixing everything but the club soda together, in hopes that the rum will keep it all from spoiling for a while. Any experience with this kind of thing? Any ideas?
  6. FYI... Pampered Chef (not that I'm endorsing them) makes a 2 oz mini measuring cup with a great slope to it for top reading, and is graduated in oz, tablespoons and teaspoons, with a 1 1/2 tablespoon (or 3/4 oz) mark. My wife has a friend who's one of their sales people, and got me one of these cups, and being a home bartender, I only go for the jiggers when I can't find the little cup. It has anything from 1/4 up to a full 2 oz measurement; the only place I have measurement uncertainty anymore is in "dashes" and "drops", which aren't really measurable anyway.
  7. Kent, Go by Spec's now... you should see it, at least at the big Downtown Houston one. It's available here in Dallas at Goody-Goody, and I think at Sigel's too.
  8. I recently saw a review on Cooks Illustrated about the Olvida nickel-plated cast iron cookware. Does anyone know anything about it? It's pretty pricey, and yet I'm intrigued enough by the purported ease of cleaning (dishwashable, can use steel wool(!), won't rust, etc...) to consider buying one. I just want to try and cut through any of the marketing BS and see what the real story is, so if anyone has some of this cookware, or knows anything about it, I'm very interested. Thanks, Mark
  9. MPruett

    Dove recipes?

    I'm going dove hunting this coming weekend (9/11 - 9/13), and with any luck, I'll get a few. I don't know how to cook a dove, nor do I really have an idea of what sorts of recipes would work! Any suggestions are welcome- I've never had dove before, so this will be a first. Thanks, Mark
  10. I have two: 1. I'll never leave the 2 liter bottle that I'd used to hold the old, rancid deep frying oil on the kitchen counter overnight before throwing it away again. The following morning, I stumbled into the kitchen without turning the lights on, and thought my wife had left the Coke on the counter, so I decided to sneak a gulp before I put it back in the fridge. Surprise! A gulp (yes, i swallowed before I had a chance to spit it out) of vaguely fishy, nasty, rancid oil is not the way to start the day, let me tell you. I could taste it until about lunchtime. 2. When in a hurry, don't have the thought "Well, the Cuisinart is kind of like a hand mixer... I bet if I'm careful, I can whip the mashed potatoes in it." My wife and I had been married about 2-3 weeks, and had both sets of parents up for Christmas dinner, and we were in a hurry to get dinner served, so I came up with my brilliant idea for speeding up the potatoes. Let's just say that they tasted great, but their consistency was somewhere near wood glue, only more viscous and adhesive. They literally would stick to your teeth and the roof of your mouth when you ate them. I still hear about that every time we have a big dinner on either side of the family.
  11. Just a thought... but is it possible that possibly when you froze the meat, it froze slowly enough such that ice crystals may have caused tiny (microscopic, even) punctures through the Food Saver bag? I seem to remember reading a review of vacuum bags somewhere, and this was the reason that was given for the differences in quality; thicker bags meant less ice crystal penetration.
  12. It's kind of similar to vacuum distillation- water will boil at a lower temperature under a vacuum, so you don't need as much heat as you would for regular old frying to get that crispy texture. There's probably just as much oil used, but the oil probably doesn't break down nearly so much at low temps like 130 C.
  13. This one seemed kind of obvious to me, but I haven't heard of anything exactly like it... I call it the Grogirinha. 1 lime, cut into eigths (cut in half, then quarter each half) 1 tsp simple syrup 1.5 oz rum (I use Mt. Gay Sugar Cane Brandy myself, but any white or gold works fine) Ginger ale. Ice Assembly: Muddle your lime and your syrup in your shaker similar to a caipirinha. Add the rum and ice and shake well. Dump entire shaken drink into an 8-10 oz glass. Top off with 4-5 oz of ginger ale. Stir gently. You'll probably want to adjust the simple syrup to your tastes, but it's a good summery drink that is somewhere between grog, a caipirinha, and a dark & stormy I suppose.
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