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Gayle28607

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  1. Yes, wow. You would think it might be good. And much like you, I don't like to pay full price retail. I don't remember what I paid for that, but given the time I know I bought it, I had to have gotten it for well under $100, still new, in box. No matter how long I preheat it on the two burners, the heat is still not even. I usually go for just below medium, with a (largely useless) 10 minute preheat period. I may try it with a more extended warm up period at a lower temp soon, and see if that helps. I'm really liking making homemade tortillas with masa from Masienda. But up to now, I use the Le Creuset griddle for the tortillas knowing there is a huge cool spot between the burners no matter how long it is on, and I just live with it because there is so much room on it. But anything else (the pancakes and french toast I wanted it for) gets cooked in many batches, and I make them less and less these days anyway, as the kid is nearly grown. It's probably time to change my profile picture on eGullet! But I thought the underlying issue for the uneven heating of the griddle, literally, might well be that I use a Kenmore Elite glass cooktop that came with the house, and those burners are a pain no matter how I'm cooking. One burner has a great simmer though, and another will heat a pot of water for pasta very nicely. So that's something! I'm glad to know @CentralMA, that your Lodge or Lodge-like griddle might be a better product. Why this one is not will remain a mystery for now.
  2. I have had this Le Creuset griddle for at least a couple decades, always thinking that if I had my much desired gas stove that it would heat evenly - which it never has on the two cooktops it’s been used with up to now. I wonder if this one is in your collection, @CentralMA, and if so, how it works on your Blue Star? I can’t bring myself to get rid of the darn thing, but I do get tired of how unevenly it cooks homemade tortillas. And, at this point I’ve don’t even think of it when cooking up a big pancake batch or french toast because those have never been anything but a mess on it - parts burned and parts underdone. I’ve always assumed it was my stove tops. But maybe it’s the griddle!
  3. Thanks! And for this go round with the pasta e fagioli I decided to toss in a few ounces of smoked pork shoulder I had in the freezer. As I have a couple remaining dry cured hocks I can try it sans smokey flavor going forward. Though @btbyrd may be suggesting I have an inferior product, period. As I have nothing to compare it with at the moment, I wouldn’t know. I only know it isn’t the ham hocks I was accustomed to.
  4. Where are you, if you don’t mind me asking, and who is your preferred purveyor of unsmoked country ham? Broadbents, Edwards - which apparently shared facilities at Goodnight Bros. here in Boone at one point following their fire - and several others in this thread are mixed up for me at the moment.
  5. Thank you, Kim. That means a lot.
  6. When I put this dish together I'll take photos. The progress today was slow, as I let the cooked country ham hock sit overnight to gel so I could easily remove the skin and bones. Once I did that, I realized I needed to add the stock today to the pot of Marcella cannellinis at the point I would have added salt to the pot of beans. The stock is sufficiently salty that I didn't want to risk having salted the beans and their broth early on only to add the country ham stock later and find I had made everything too salty. The stock itself is not too salty. Just very richly and dryly hammy, if that makes any sense. The flavor is so different than a smoked "city" ham hock. Tomorrow I may put the rest of it together. Either that, or the next day. It depends on whether tomorrow turns out to be the day I buy a used car with my 19 year old. She can't work without a car to drive in our semi-rural area, and she blew the head gasket on her intrepid, old, but increasing untrusty Honda CR-V. So, cooking the pasta e fagioli may have to take second place. But I am inspired, @weinoo, that apparently I'm not in entirely uncharted waters here.
  7. Oh wow. Thank you @weinoo! That looks delicious - both versions - and is inspiring!
  8. This is about country ham, just not necessarily mail order, as the place I've gotten it from is just down the road. This is Goodnight Brothers ham in Boone, NC. http://goodnightbrothers.com I'm in this thread because I'm learning about country ham. When I first moved here, I did not like it. People served it on terrible biscuits, and as I'm a biscuit snob, and generally prefer to eat only my own biscuits, it was easy for me to say no to what others seemed to think was a delicacy. During COVID I've had a hard time getting smoked ham hocks for beans and soups. That got me started thinking about the ham place in Boone. Wouldn't they be making ham hocks? Well, they do. But the ham hock is unsmoked. It took me awhile to figure that out though. Lot's of interesting hammy smells, but no smoke. And now, thanks to this thread, I know that the smoked bits from other companies have "Smoked" in their name on the package. This place doesn't smoke anything. They just dry cure it. I didn't know what that was, for sure, until I started investigating with the help of this thread. The ham hock they produce has skin, is generally sliced in half, with little meat, and what's there is quite dry. Lots of collagenous tissue though, and some nice bone. I have several in the freezer and one slowly cooking on the stove, the same way I'd cook a smoked ham hock the day before I'd make a pot of split pea soup. I'm going to make my own variation on pasta e fagioli tomorrow or Monday, using my remaining pound of Rancho Gordo Marcella cannellinis. But I'm realizing I'm making something rather different than I thought I was, as this is country ham, not the kind I grew up with, and not what I thought I was using when I started it on a slow boil on the stove. There is a lot of flavor already in the broth from the hock, which is still cooking. Should I think of this like cooking with a bit of prosciutto on the bone? Is that a thing?
  9. Okay - I'll soak them and then plan for plenty of time on the stop top. If it's 2-3 hours, that's more time with lovely cooking smells, as our temps haven't climbed here yet. Thanks, Weinoo!
  10. When you cooked them on the stovetop without pressure do you remember about how long it took to cook them? I've been shifting back to long simmered stove top beans after many years of largely using my Kuhn Rikon stovetop pressure cooker.
  11. I don't have much drawer space, but devoted one to the knives on a somewhat similar block that fits in the drawer - I can't find it now on Amazon, which is where I thought I got it. No steak knives here, either. I thought I might not keep the knives in there - you know, opening and closing a drawer to get a knife while cooking and with somewhat messy hands - so I thought the countertop knife block might be much better. But I'm a convert now, and have happily given up the drawer to the knives. It's been almost 10 years now! Something about my height, the drawer glides, being able to leave the drawer open at times and then just bump it with a hip to close it. It just works in a way that the counter knife block never did for me. These posts made me think about my experiment, and the eventual exit of the countertop knife block. Though with a beauty like @AlaMoi created, who knows?
  12. I'm glad to know about your positive experience with the oven, too. I've been thinking about getting one of these - also 30 inch because of existing cabinetry. I think hearing both the good AND the bad is useful, at least for me. I'm in no rush as I have a Kenmore Elite glass cooktop that is serviceable. But when the electricity goes out, which happens often enough, I find myself longing for the days when I had a gas stove. I'll have to get the gas line routed to the kitchen and so on, much like you, so I've book marked this as it has been illuminating regarding the various things to think about.
  13. So sorry to hear you continue to have problems.
  14. @CentralMA How are you liking your Blue Star? I’d love an update when you have time. This has been a very informative thread.
  15. Yes, this pandemic has made me hugely grateful for the bean club! As others, apparently, were sweeping bags of less-than-optimal bags of beans into their carts in March, I was thinking, "Oh! More time to be home to cook those bean club beans." Cooking things like the Rancho Gordo beans, and then having lovely beans reappear like magic, has been one of the positive pandemic experiences.
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