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Everything posted by Dakki

  1. These were made as per my prev. posts. I used pintos here (that's what I had on hand) and moritas ("chipotles"). Huevos divorciados (divorced eggs). Fried eggs over fried tortillas, separated by refried beans that are topped with chorizo, each egg bathed in a different salsa. Taquitos de chicharron en salsa verde y refritos. With chorizo again, and a simple tomato and red serrano salsa.
  2. I have a Chinese-Canadian friend on another forum. She claims her mother does a whole comedy skit every time she sees a kitchen knife set in the store. "What do you need so many knives for? One for peeling the onion, one for chopping the onion? God forbid you cut an onion with the CARROT knife!" She also says Canadian knives are not as good as the ones she used to get in Taiwan. I offered to get her one of these, but apparently gifting knives is a no-no in Chinese culture. Ah well.
  3. It occurs to me we don't know how/what the OP cooks. I interpret the first post as saying they already have a functional if maybe lackluster kitchen from Target/Wal-Mart; that being the case, they could spend the money on some really nice things that apply directly to their interest. For example, if the were doing a lot of Mexican they'd want a nice heavy griddle, molcajete, tortilla press, a skillet or two, etc. And so on.
  4. What dcarch said. Also: Kitchen "sets" in general are only a good buy if you get a fantastic price (talking woot, not BB&B, prices) where you're basically paying for one or two pieces that are exactly what you want and getting the rest for free. If you're going for "best," you're going to have to mix and match cast iron, enameled CI, aluminum, stainless, carbon steel, copper, etc. No one material (or brand) does everything right. I'm not enamored of Global knives. There are (much) better choices out there for the price. And, a dollar store knife + whetstone are going to be much better in the long run than the world's fanciest knife and no way to sharpen it. Don't despair, I think $1K is a very generous starter budget if you're willing to do some legwork. Cast iron for example is pretty cheap new and practically free for the taking if you're willing to fix up a rusty, grungy old skillet or dutch oven. Of course, it's not going to cover you for 20 years, particularly if you include appliances or acquire a taste for status brands.
  5. Dakki

    Max Use Of Watermelon

    So I have an excess of watermelon rind. I'd heard about pickling the stuff but when I searched for recipes, all I got was some kind of cinnamon syrup thing, which, no. Any savory watermelon rind pickles out there? If not, I think I'll just make a batch of pickled chiles and add the watermelon rind.
  6. How'd I miss this thread? I agree with some of the posters above - it's a novelty knife, like many others Shun/Kershaw produces. The recurve design is similar to some of the Kershaw "tactical" knives, in fact. Sharpening would require a round or triangular rod; the Sharpmaker would be about ideal for this application. bishop - welcome to the forums. In what context did you work on the Shuns? Have you also noticed edge chipping on the knives? This has been a problem on some (not all) of mine.
  7. I live in the beef capital of Mexico (Monterrey, also capital of industry and other things) and my impression is that aged beef is not a "thing" around here. We've gone mad over Black Angus, though, and the top high-end butcher chain owns and operates its own ranches and feedlots... in Texas. So maybe it's just a matter of time. Other Mexico beef facts: at least until recently, most beef was grass-fed Zebu and crosses, which as a breed is indeed tasty but not tender. Also, most Mexicans prefer their beef well done and 2 cm (about .75") is regarded as a thick cut. My friendly neighborhood butcher (an employee of the chain mentioned before) has asked me what exactly I intended to do with that ribeye primal cut into 7 cm steaks I'd just requested. So, yeah, beef culture in Mexico: very different from USA.
  8. I have to ask: Why does this bother you, specifically? I am very curious. For the record, national (Mexican) farmed shrimp do it for me.
  9. Thanks for the answers. Unfortunately the recipes I have are more like ingredient lists. Could you suggest a good set of plates to start with?
  10. I guess the maintenance ate my edit. From what I read in the other grinder threads, larger neck sizes seemingly produce more definition (and less heat?); if so, what would be the minimum size to achieve good definition? Are plates/blades standard (interchangeable between machines of the same size number)? If so, what are the most common sizes? For stuffing sausage casings, is a grinder with tubes adequate or is the purpose-built piston device preferred? Would you say the "reverse" setting is a convenience on a higher-powered grinder or is it strictly for underpowered machines? What would you regard as the cutoff point? How do grinding blade grades (coarse, medium, etc) relate to the finished product? In other words, what grade produces typical mince, which would you use for a fine-grained sausage, etc? Questions, questions.
  11. Kitchener 3/4 HP. I have no intention of grinding bone-in chicken (or pigs' feet, as in the old thread), just charcuterie and the occasional mincemeat. 5.8x just seems like a huge jump in price for 50% more power, so I wonder if it has some other added value.
  12. Many pork sausages as well as hams etc. are aged. I've never heard anything about aging unprocessed pork though.
  13. Thinking of upgrading from the KitchenAid attachment, basically for the same purposes you use yours for. The one you linked looks like a fantastic buy at 100 bucks. Is there any reason why it's so much less expensive than say the 3/4 HP model that goes for over five times as much?
  14. As one of those people who don't really know as much I'll reserve my opinion on Ms. Waters, but reading gfweb's post I thought The Alice would make a fantastic nickname for her.
  15. Dakki

    Max Use Of Watermelon

    Fantastic photos as usual, dcarch. Not a fan of fruits in my salad but those crisps look interesting. Coincidentally, I got a terrible watermelon today. Have to brush up on my fruit selection. Anyway, blended and strained the pulp, added lime juice and syrup. If life gives you bad watermelons you make agua de sandia, I guess.
  16. SPAM for the Mall Ninja set: Tactical Bacon. Only $16.95 for a 9 oz can!
  17. Wow. Even the hotel buffet looks fantastic. http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8020/7412597464_3db414cc55_z.jpg You have to find out what they do to that chicken, because I think I can taste it just by looking at the pic. A recipe (or at least the Viet name) for that winning honey-grilled chili squid would be nice too. I see big squid steaks for seriously cheap all the time, and come on, SQUID, but I have no idea what to do with them.
  18. What a derail. The fat-absorbing-flavors mechanism makes sense to me, but certainly requires testing (if this hasn't already been done) before we start bandying it about as The Truth. Texture changes (which I think actually are documented? Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) are also IIRC associated with extended resting. Supposing these two things are true, that still doesn't mean everyone's going to experience an improvement, simply because other people may have a completely different idea of what a good stew should taste and feel like. No sciencetalk here, just pointing out "quality" is a pretty ambiguous concept.
  19. But he wasn't. Obviously "I think that" or "based on my experience" or "the Bible says" or "my sainted Nanna taught me" obviate the need but if I just up and baldly say "most serial killers prefer the Beatles over the Rolling Stones" you'd be right to ask for my sources. Call me anti-elitist but I'm prejudiced like that.
  20. That's my experience with stews too, and, hey, the stuff about fat absorbing flavor makes sense to me. And I think demanding an explanation of why something is true before accepting that it's true is getting it completely backwards. But I think he's saying that if you're going to make a categorical statement you should be able to back it up with something peer-reviewed, which seems fair enough.
  21. I swore off Sony before they even emasculated the PS3. /hipster Regarding the P300's low-light capabilities: This photo was taken in an extremely dark living room. Most of the light was coming from a rather dimly lit kitchen (you can see the fluorescent tubes reflected in the window) or from a single weak bulb outside (you can see it illuminating the leaves, I think). Anyway, look at the child's face; that's illuminated by the smartphone her daddy is holding. This thing practically has night vision. Colors are pretty wacky but in this light, I'm not complaining too loudly. Nothing you can't fix in 2 minutes of photo editing, right? Edited to add: Yeah this isn't the world's best pic but I'm just trying to illustrate a point, etc.
  22. Coincidentally I researched cameras with almost the exact same requirements in December of last year. Ended up with the Nikon Coolpix P300. Not a camera guy so proceed with caution. This camera was initially suggested to me as a lower-cost alternative to the Canon Powershot S100, which was my first choice, based on the advice of people who -are- camera guys. The S100 is supposed to offer serious photographers the same quality and control they get from a DSLR, in a pocket-sized package. Having played around with an S100 since then, I feel the P300 not in the same category: -P300 does not save RAW images, S100 does. -P300 has smaller sensor compared to S100, resulting in less control over depth of field. -P300 has less control immediately available to the operator, compared to S100. On the other hand, it does offer a lot more control than other comparably-priced pocket cameras and low-light performance is IMO better than the S100. In fact I don't think I've seen a camera that takes better photos in iffy light. The case that came with the P300 was a disappointment. I think it must be "generic Nikon pocket-sized" rather than made for this model. However, 15 minutes at a Best Buy netted me a perfectly good case for under $10 USD. Other than that, the accessories are pretty much what you'd expect. Another feature I wanted was a short lens; one of the shortcomings of my old camera was that I often couldn't get everything I wanted into a frame with landscape-type photos. On close-up photos, however, the short lens gives you somewhat disconcerting results at first. This is easily avoided by using a bit of zoom. It's also fun to faff around with for artsy shots. The P300 uses a proprietary battery rather than AA or AAA. You can get a spare (I did!) but recharging is done in the camera body, so you'll be out of luck if you forgot to recharge the batteries at the hotel and run out of juice right when you could get a fantastic shot of the Nepalese Royal Guard on parade. Overall I think it's a very good camera for taking quick snaps in situations where you might not have the greatest control over light, but you might miss the fine control and RAW capabilities if you're used to a DSLR.
  23. I feel the same way about the T-bone and similar cuts. One of the things that struck me when I started making my own chorizos and such is how different the various muscles in a pork front leg (this is what I've been using) look and feel. You'd imagine they would all have their own ways of cooking, but you only see them either cooked as a whole roast or ground up together. From memory, Mastering the Art mentions the "French" way of cutting meat is to divide the primal into the individual muscles. This makes a lot of sense to me. I don't know enough about Continental-style butchery to contribute more than that, though.
  24. I believe dcarch could take great photos with a shoebox, a pewter plate and some bitumen.
  25. QFT. I can't say why but flavors and texture are both better the next day, and by a pretty wide margin. (Don't know if these are technically stews, talking about meats cooked in various sauces here).
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