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mr drinkie

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  1. mr drinkie

    Rice pudding

    My family (of Norwegian descent) always has risengrynsgrøt (rice pudding) during the holidays. For a shamefully long time I thought that all families had this dish during the holidays. That obviously wasn't so. Anyhow...my grandmother passed away and there was a break from that tradition, and my mother tried to make the pudding but never got it down right. But several years ago I found this recipe from Food & Wine for a Moroccan rice pudding. http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/moroccan-rice-pudding-with-toasted-almonds I cut back the sugar and don't add the flower water or almonds. Instead I use real Ceylon cinnamon (a milder flavor) to top it off while cold. It isn't the same as my grandmother's, but I must say that the double boiling process similar and the arborio rice gave it a richness that was much better than long grain rice she used to use. I also think it would be very possible to eliminate the sugar and make this more of a savory dish -- but I have yet to try that. I'm not a huge fan of really sweet rice pudding. I've served this during the holidays several times now and my family thinks it is just as good as the old country dish (just a little bit different) -- the main difference is that it is not served hot, but the cold version also keeps longer and better in the fridge. It's a new tradition that tastes very similar, but just as good. During the summer I also have added fresh berries to rice pudding.
  2. mr drinkie

    Making Butter!

    I make my butter in a pretty old-school weird way. I don't have a mixer, so I just shake it in a jar and I let the cream sour on its own. It takes more muscle and longer to culture the cream, but I kind of like the cream 'experiment' in the fridge. After I get the butter to form, I rinse it several times and paddle with a wooden spoon for 5 minutes or so. Then I add salt and paddle some more, making sure all the liquid is gone. I also bought a vintage wooden butter mold off of eBay so I make it into fancy rounds, wrap in parchment and freeze it for later use. With regards to which type of cream works best, in my experience better cream (not ultra-pasteurized) does give a better flavor, but getting a good culture is more important. I have gotten some wonderful flavors out of UP cream too; it is just harder to get a tasty culture going. I've left some UP pints on the counter for 4-5 days and it didn't go sour. OK, this process may sound a bit gross, but it works for me and I have gotten a really good feel for cream and when it goes sour. What I do is buy different types of cream (to see which I like best), leave them in the fridge until they are about a week or two past the expiration date, then I open the container in the fridge and let them sit for another week. I'll then taste the souring cream every now and then until I feel it has a good sourness. It is actually surprising how many creams still taste good at this point. By opening the container, evaporation also starts of the liquid (but I admit that I do worry a bit about absorbing fridge odors). Oh well... Usually around the time when there is a good cream film on top and it has started to evaporate and separate by itself, I take the cream out and taste it. Sometimes I shake/make it right then and other times I will leave it out over night to sour some more. Basically, I am constantly dipping my finger in the cream to monitor sourness and smelling it. I personally like my butter right before the point where I would consider tossing it. I would be afraid to use the buttermilk at this point, but the butter has a really nice tang to it. Sometimes if too much of the liquid has evaporated or it is too warm, the butter beads will have a tough time forming. I shake it until it looks like a clotted cream and simply add in some cold water or even an ice cube. The butter usually beads up shortly afterwards. I don't do this if I am saving the buttermilk though. For the holidays, I often make my own bread by hand and shake the butter right in front of the guests. They are really impressed, and it tastes sooo good.
  3. Well, I am resurrecting this thread as I have (finally) purchased my molds. A trip to France resolved that. I got two of the silicone Mostrad ones (500g) with cover and the press. I thought breaking them up into two small molds would be nice instead of one big one and this way the terrine press works with the size. I also got a tin collapsable one. I don't know the size off hand (maybe 750g). I also saw the Emile Henry Colors mold there made out of some Ceradon material. It was much cheaper than the cast iron one and I thought about getting it, but it would have been difficult to get back in my bags. Has anyone tried this material out? These items are much cheaper than the cast iron. Anyhow, I want to start making terrines soon and I was wondering about thermometers. The Mostrad molds have a hole in the lid to insert a thermometer. I've been reading threads on those remote thermometers but it seems as if most of them get mixed reviews. I do have a thermapen. Is that the best option or is there a good remote thermometers out there? Thanks.
  4. I just read the article in Food Arts. It was really fascinating, and I am still laughing at the fact Chris Young now thinks at least two centrifuges are essential in the kitchen. You and your team did a great job, and I can't wait for the book to come out in March.
  5. I know it might be a fairly expensive knife and there are certainly other options for portable cutlery, but when it comes to knives, a lot of us don't always reason correctly. Why am I looking to pick up my third Gyuto? Why did I get one custom rehandled? And why did my friend pick up that super expensive custom hunting knife? There are always practical and cheaper knives that will perform well, but when knives become a hobby a lot of us seem to take it a step further -- and may even buy a Damascus VG-10 folding santoku. The other night I almost bought a WWII bayonet off of eBay just to sharpen it up and use as an outdoor hacking tool. Now with that said, here is another (fun) option. http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product.asp?s=JapanWoodworker&pf_id=10.093.10&dept_id=13408 This harvest knife from Japanwoodworker is almost like a nakiri and comes with a scabbard that you can hook to your belt. Take that to the next picnic. k.
  6. Thanks for the pictures. Now you got me wanting one. k.
  7. I can't wait to hear your review. I must admit, I would have gone for the nakiri style as my first choice, but the santoku is probably more versatile. Pics? k.
  8. If you hear back, let me know how much they cost. Good luck. k.
  9. I've had my eye out for these too and in all of my searches, these two from Maruyoshi MFG out of Japan are the best I've seen. Folding Kitchen Knives Now with that said, I don't know where to buy them but there is an e-mail address at the bottom of the document. It might take a bit of work to find them. k.
  10. I don't have a deba and don't know if I will ever get one until my fish duties increase, but I must say that I love watching this Japanese guy's videos where he breaks down fish with one. The music is bad, but there is something fascinating about seeing a deba in action. Deba Skills k.
  11. In Minnesota, Byerly's carries frozen rabbit but it is very expensive. I miss the days when I lived in Washington, DC and could get cheap fresh rabbit at Eastern Market whenever I wanted it. It was something like $2 a pound in DC if I remember correctly. By the way, here is a great recipe for rabbit that I tried several months back. It is from David Tanis at Chez Panisse. Good stuff. Rabbit in Mustard Sauce
  12. When I lived in France, the good market sellers for cantaloupe would often search for the ripest ones to sell me by gently pushing the opposite end of the the stem with both thumbs. It should not be squishy, but it also shouldn't be rock hard. Squishy ones were discounted, but just a little soft 'give' was perfect. Also look for yellow colored cantaloupes and ones that smell sweet. If you have all three in line, it will be good. If they are all firm at then end and you can't smell them, go for the yellow ones. k.
  13. Here is my list: 2+ Half baking sheets (one junker for under pizza, one non-stick, and one normal) 2+ Cooking tongs (at least one for non-stick) 2+ 240mm gyuto chef knives just because if you have one you absolutely will have to have many more to satisfy your addiction 3+ Mixing/prep bowls 2 Tablespoon measures "...invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." -- Willy Wonka k.
  14. Jgm is absolutely correct. These are wonderful. They are also great for breaking apart roast chickens. k.
  15. This may not count, but with the amount of times I cook with wine and drink it while cooking, a waiter's corkscrew is essential. Other than that, those lemon/lime squeezers are great. They are cheap and make juicing much more effective (no waste). I use it much more than I thought I would.
  16. For me it is a bit more general. Any recipe that has a lot of liquid or bulk (sauces, stews, hearty pastas, and soups for instance) that say add 1/4 teaspoon of any spice, I ignore. I usually double it (at least). Also that one bay leaf thing has never made sense to me.
  17. Really, I never buy salted butter. For bread and things I want to taste the butter on, I use my own. I make my own salted butter and freeze it. Then I get to control exactly how much salt is in it.
  18. Sure they do. Often they will bring an extra glass to the table and pour it with you and have a taste, but it depends upon how busy it is, how you get along, and if the person is 'into' wine. It also depends upon the wine (you should always bring a good bottle if bringing a wine to a restaurant) and also where you are sitting. When I am at the bar, tasting is more common it seems. If the conditions aren't right, I might not offer a taste at all, but will give a better tip. About 40% of the time when I give the sommelier/bartender/server/cook a taste, the corkage fee seems to disappear. You should also call ahead if bringing a bottle and never bring a bottle that is on their wine list. k.
  19. I read a lot about Urban Belly and it was worth it for the price and BYOB, but I did find the food underwhelming. Just my 2 cents. The menu sounds great though and maybe they were off that night, but some of my dishes were way too salty. If you do go that route though, when I come from out of town, I order wine (lately from Flickinger) and have it delivered to my hotel upon arrival. I have even brought wine to Avec for a corkage fee. If you are alone, a great bottle of Chateauneuf is a fine companion, but make sure it is something special and I usually leave the last glass in the bottle for the server/staff. k.
  20. I must say that I think you will be much more pleased with Beluga than Russian Standard. I conducted a blind tasting with a bartender once with palate cleansers and rye bread between tastes, and the three top were Stoli Elite, Hanger One, and Beluga Gold Line. Other standouts were Effen, Tito's, and in the lower end flight even Smirnoff did well. But the lower end vodkas often add citric acid and glycerides to make them smoother. Russian Jewel, Stolichnaya, and Russian Standard were in the middle of the pack and some such as Russian Jewel performed poorly. There are some better lines of Russian Standard that you can get abroad, so if you go that route I would choose one of those as the regular Russian Standard is pretty common in the US, so it would be nice to bring back a top-notch bottle that is hard to find here. Another good brand that is super smooth is Kaufmann. They have several bottles (Hard, Soft, and Special) and all of them are good but you will pay more too. And then they have their vintage vodka that is way, way spendy. If you can find a good deal on a .7 l Kaufmann, you will not be disappointed. I think the Soft bottle is the easiest to drink. They also have one bottle that is called Jewish Standard, and even though I have the bottle at home, I have yet to try it. If you want something interesting to bring back, you might be able to find Georgian Cha Cha. Russians/Ukrainians sometimes call it grape vodka. It is made from the pomace of grapes that go into Georgian wine, so it is more like grappa, but it is definitely an interesting drink. I often bring that back to the US and give as gifts, but beware that Russian-Georgian tensions have been higher since their conflict, so it might be harder to find. Lastly, a good vodka is best served chilled, and don't waste it on mixed drinks. I actually sip my best vodkas and don't shoot them. I shoot bad vodka and sip good vodka. Good luck, and happy drinking. k.
  21. I like Avec, but whenever I go there it seems crazy crowded. I just sit at the bar, which is fine. Since Blackbird is right next to it, you could use that as your back-up plan. Just a thought. I love the Publican. Good choice. Too bad about Alinea. If you want a nice selection of Italian Grappa, Spaggia is a great. There is no dress code at the bar (or the cafe). k.
  22. I can't say that I know what is available in Sakhalin, but I frequently go to Kyiv and one of the Russian vodkas of choice there is Beluga (if you want to pay a bit more). If you get the gold line it will cost you a lot more, but the regular Beluga is relatively cheap and it comes in .5, .75, and 1l bottles. I am sure there is a larger variety in Russia though. You are starting to see Beluga in some places in the US, but the stock is minimal and you might not be able to have it shipped.
  23. I agree fully with your assessment of Mark from CKTG, and I cannot wait until those Devin Thomas knives get in. He also has started carrying the HandAmerican glass honing rods, which is nice . Chef Knives to Go is quickly becoming the 'candy store' for knife nuts.
  24. I also recommend Chefknivestogo. Mark is very active on knifeforums and is very responsive in terms of customer service. Also, if you are a member of knifeforums, there is a 5% discount for members. japanesechefsknife.com is also good.
  25. Alinea at Home has a hydrocolloid shopping list link on the site. A lot of the URLs don't work in the spreadsheet, but it will still give a list of suppliers for various products with price comparisons. That might be a useful place to research suppliers. k.
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