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Everything posted by memesuze

  1. memesuze

    Grilling Fish

    rainbow trout stuffed with a mix of goat cheese and mint
  2. I've made my own pepper vodka, using relatively cheap vodka with two cut-open habaneros per liter, infused for a couple of weeks. I'd remove the peppers then and store it in the freezer. I never compared it side-by-side with the commercial varieties, but in my etched shot glass also stored in the freezer, it was sufficient to light my fires.... memesuze
  3. If all goes well, I'll join you gals.... memesuze
  4. My mother always made her coffee in a Pyrex percolator directly on the flame on her Chambers range. memesuze
  5. I succumbed to the Spyderco last year and have been relatively pleased with it - I don't sharpen up my knives every week, as recommended by those on rec.food.equipment [they subscribe to the steel every time you use a knife, and get the edge back every week with a few strokes on the Spyderco], but my cooking partner has had a few grumbles about the fact that the knives are sharper than in past years! And you're correct that the angle is doubled - generally, I think that one uses a 20/40 degree angle for most kitchen knives on their system. memesuze
  6. Jim, thanks for the info: I was wondering about the chicken because it just didn't seem that big when I saw it at Fry's but pictures on the DeLonghi site show a chicken roasting on the top shelf and a tray of something, perhaps bread slices on the bottom shelf. I'm referencing the Airstream model, not the one with the rotisserie. What about the heat dissipation/escaping from the back or sides? After thinking about the inability to roast a chicken, I'm still leaning toward one of the commercial brands, even though they are quite a bit more money. My only concern now is the heat dissipation issue: I can see that a commercial or professional kitchen would not be too concrned that it was adding heat to the overall level of heat in the kitchen. But I don't want to add a lot of heat to my Texas kitchen if I can help it and wouldn't want to damage anything nearby. The Taunton article on countertop convections mentioned they vent directly into the kitchen, and, therefore, in addition to smells, I can see that heat would be coming out. Can anyone advise me further? memesuze
  7. Just picked up the Sunbeam postal scale ON SALE at Office Max for $26. Go for it.... memesuze
  8. I live in an older home [circa 1940’s] and have a circa 1940’s Chambers range as my chief cooking appliance. Since I am loathe to use the Chambers, especially in the hot Texas summer, for cooking something in the oven that will only require 15 or 30 minutes of cooking time [it takes up to an hour to heat to 450 and then takes a long time to cool down after it’s turned off], I am looking to add a stand-alone convection oven in the form of a countertop or small commercial model. The only available sites in the house are back in the pantry in the same area as the microwave or out in my workroom – a fur piece from the kitchen. I am not considering a combination microwave/convection, because my microwave works just fine thankyou and the ones I’ve seen are wider than the space that is available. Desiring to get the most bang for my buck, I am leaning toward one of the commercial models because their interior is larger than for the countertop models. For example, the interior for DeLonghi countertop is only about .5 cu ft, handling only two cookie sheets for $160-200 and only gets up to 450, while the Cadco commercial is .8 cu ft, handles 3 one-quarter sheet pans for $400 and gets up to 500, and the Farberware commercial is 1.135 cu ft for $469. I mean, if I’m getting a substitute oven for use during the summer months, or for when I don’t want to take all that long to heat up the oven or to get rid of its residual heat, I’m starting to think BIG. But, the Taunton site on countertop convections warns: “Be sure you have enough counter space: these ovens get fairly hot and need a few inches of breathing room around them.” Does anyone have any experience with these commercial convections in the home environment? Or have any words of wisdom to help me pick? The space I have for it is next to the refrigerator, under a shelf that holds the microwave, and possibly sitting on top of my 24-bottle wine cellar that I could move in to hold the convection oven. [i don’t think I can hang another appliance off that wall.] Does anyone have experience with the DeLonghi? How big a chicken or roast could you cook in it successfully? TIA, memesuze
  9. I just made the HerbFarm Vinaigrette from Jerry Traunfeld. After using a handheld blender to emulsify the non-oil ingredients and then drizzling in the olive oil whilst blending, I followed his comments: if you're not using it within a few hours to store it tightly covered in the refrigerator, keeping for several weeks. Even with a tablespoon of shallots, I think this won't last a few weeks only because I'll be using it every night on the greens.... memesuze
  10. memesuze

    Teabag Brewing

    Even though it's bagged, I'd brew the green the same as looseleaf: no more than 6 ounces of water at 160 degrees F for one to one & a half minutes - any longer and it will likely be too astringent or get that lick-an-ashtray taste, depending on the type of green. If that doesn't give you enough of the experience you want, then increase the number of bags with a smaller increase of water. Usually, I brew greens with a porportion of 3 grams of tea to 6 ounces of water. So you could use two bags in 8 ounces of water. memesuze
  11. memesuze

    flower teas

    I've made a tisane from peppermint leaves and hibiscus, probably about 5 or 6 to one, since the hibiscus is so strong in color and pucker. Total of a couple of teaspoons steeped in boiling water for 5-10 minutes. I'm not a fan of jasmine, so I'll pass. And the rose hips, IIRC, is similar in color and strength of pucker to the hibiscus, all that Vit C, I suppose. I'm more of a black, yunnan, oolong and green tea fanatic - not so much on the tisanes. memesuze
  12. memesuze

    Canned corned beef

    When I was young, one of my favorite sandwich spreads was made from a can of "corned beef" ground in a hand-crank meat grinder, and mixed with sweet pickle relish, mustard, and a bit of mayo, IIRC. If the bread was toasted, even better. My mother was probably glad I deigned to eat something besides my desired five-days-a-week tuna salad! Not sure if I would still delight in it....maybe I ought to give it a try - or then maybe one of you guys should do it and report....
  13. Encouraged by this thread and by Mark Bittman's article, I pulled out the trusty crockpot yeaterday and massaged a recipe from one of Bittman's books, The Minimalist Cooks Dinner. Easy to slap together and tasted fine after coming in from seeing About Schmidt. The recipe was Asian Pot Roast, calling for a 3-4 pound brisket or boneless chuck and turnips or rutabagas. Since I could get giant strips of boneless chuck for 75 cents a pound cheaper than for a chuck roast, I went with that. Browned them five minutes on the top and bottom, and put them in the crockpot with a mixture of 2 cups water, 1/2 cup soy, four star anise, and five nickle-sized chips of ginger that had been brought to a simmer. Cooked on high for five hours until we returned from the movie. Then I strained the liquid and used it to simmer a couple of cups of thickly-sliced parsnips and carrots. Back into the pot with the meat for a bit to mesh, and served with sliced scallions as a garnish. I could have cooked it for longer on low, but it was fine on high - tender and tasty. Would have gone well over rice or noodles, and could have added other vegetables such as potatoes and celery. memesuze
  14. Sara's not the only one to say this on Foodtv and on PBS - I have heard it echoed by probably at least five other chefs. They don't use lots of oil, just a bit. And I have one of those reversible grill on one side, griddle on the other, each with nonstick surfaces. I do think I'll spring for a one-sided grill pan, anyway. I can see the advantage to keeping the griddle for quantities of pancakes. I never have gotten the hand of cooking pancakes on the top of my Chambers broiler lid, as my father did many Sunday mornings. memesuze
  15. Considering all the admonitions and warnings about not heating up a nonstick-surfaced pan unless there is at least a bit of oil in it, can anyone explain why I shouldn't be concerned that the underside of my nonstick grill/griddle pan is being heated up sans oil? I've never heard an explanation of the science behind the admonition - merely assumed that it had something to do with poisonous fumes. But what about the underside? Or should I just throw it away and spring for that cast iron one I can injure myself with? memesuze
  16. Check out "Science and Peeps-Related Links: http://www.learnlink.emory.edu/peep/links.html And peeps aren't just for Easter, they're available at many major holidays, with appropriate coloring and decorative effect. My fellow Teamailers have been indulging for years.... memesuze
  17. memesuze


    I just got a batch of SuperBowl Sunday carnitas simmering, using about 2.5 pounds of Boston Butt/shoulder roast cut into 1-1.5 inch chunks, chicken stock, fresh orange juice from a CaraCara orange, orange zest, cumin, s/p, bay leaf, crushed juniper berries [since I didn't have any gin or tequila in the house], New Mexico chili powder, garlic, and onion, sorghum molasses, and brown sugar - even had some encouragement by phone from Jaymes - so good to have eGulleteers in town. This is my first attempt at this, but I don't think one can go too far wrong. Will be serving the pico de gallo along with some fresh corn tortillas - not homemade, but from Fiesta.... The eGullet encouragement and threads also led me to try cioppino Friday after work - thanks y'all.... memesuze
  18. memesuze

    Your spice cabinet

    Bushey, I noted that the watchmaker cases had clear tops - do you have any concern about light? Or are yours all packed away in a closed cabinet? My jars are brown glass bottles scavenged from several years of vitamins and supplements - since I keep them in a rack above my stainless steel workstation, I might have to make some sort of opaque cover to keep the light out....I've also used small [about 1.5 inch high, 1 inch square] metal containers that I've received tea samples in. memesuze
  19. memesuze

    Pulled Pork

    I'm always on the lookout for downed trees and such being discarded by my neighbors - a constant source of pecan in my neck of the woods: Austin, Texas. You want a hardwood like pecan or hickory or mesquite - no pine or cedar....apple and other fruits can be used. Just remember to let them age a season and soak them a bit to keep them from burning up too fast. Now this is in addition to the bags of lump hardwood charcoal that I get at my local market - about $8 for 10 pounds. That's the base of the fire in my smoker, which I top with lengths of pecan. Unless you're into the large-chambered smokers, with the separate fire pit, lump + wood should do you. memesuze
  20. memesuze

    Dinner! 2003

    a dinner party: mixed greens salad with toasted walnuts, dried cranberries, a round of goat cheese, vinagrette caponata roasted butternut squash with shallots and fresh thyme wild mushroom risotto with truffle oil with crusty Italian bread and homemade flan brought by some of the guests
  21. I wish that I had more of my heritage available to me for my cooking - I am half-Czechoslovakian on my father's side. My paternal grandparents both came over from the old country as teenagers around the turn of the century and met in Poughkeepsie, New York. They came from that part of Hungary that became Czechoslovakia - and there are rumors of horse thieves in the bloodline - but then, there are probably those sorts of rumors floating around about all of us. I never met my paternal grandparent, and only met my grandmother once when I was about seven. She had very little English - and I wasn't into cooking then. My father tells the tale of their being so old-country-ish that one year he actually got coal and switches in his stocking. Guess that could have been more of a cautionary fable for me and my sibs.
  22. I heartily second the recommendation for L'Osteria del Forno - one of the highlights of my trips to San Francisco always include part of day wandering around down there, and including a stop at Stella Bakery right down the street for the best cannoli in town. memesuze
  23. memesuze


    I agree with Kikujiro regarding the reboil. As I noted previously, I'm a happy owner of a ZoPot, that is brought to a boil only once per day, for approximately 5 seconds. The temperature than drops and keeps stable at 205 degrees. And furthermore, the pot is sealed so that steam is contained, and drips back down into the pot. Therefore, there is probably little concentration of minerals to affect the taste.
  24. memesuze


    Actually, I have another suggestion that goes in a bit of a different direction. I'm a tea drinker, of all types, from blacks through oolongs to greens. For my work brewing, I use a ZoPot, by Zojirushi, to heat up my water and keep it at temperature all day if need be. You can get them in oriental grocery stores, in 2 and 3 liter sizes for about $90-120. The nice thing about these is that they have two settings, 205 degrees and 140 degrees. When mine is filled up (a 3-liter model), it takes about seven minutes to come to a full boil and then stays at 205 for as long as I wish. I've not found any problem with leaving the water in for all week - a long-time owner of a ZoPot said that he had noticed no degradation in his water. The water actually boils only briefly, each time the machine is turned on. I think the problem with "flat" water has more often come from water being overboiled - not taken off the boil as soon as the boil was reached. And if any of you know tea fanatics, you know how important the water quality is. We even talk about how water brought to a boil and then cooled down to the proper temperature for brewing greens, 145-165 degrees, produces better tea than water that is never boiled and is merely brought up to the 145-165 degree temperature. Something about "breaking the crust" of the oxygen.... The only drawback is that, in the beginning, for about two or three weeks, the water tastes of the plastic that is used to line the ZoPot. But after that, all is fine. Before you purchase one of these, be sure that it is the type that actually comes to a boil, and has a reboil button. IIRC, some of the Zojirushi [and other brands such as National] models aren't true reboilers. And Zojirushi may have a model that has three temp levels, 205, 195, 175. I didn't order online, but bought locally for less money....Susan
  25. A year ago in December I made my first foray into mole-making, and started with Mole Negro, what can be considered the King of moles.... I used the recipes in Zarela Martinez's two cookbooks: Food from my Heart and The Food and Life of Oaxaca. They were essentially the same, just ingredients and processes moved around. The whole process took about eight hours of prep work, cooking, and attention. I intend to repeat it this year and end up with another huge pot of mole which I can freeze in small batches for giving as holiday presents and for topping home meals with. Having done it once in one day's work, I will break it up. It takes a long time to toast and clean two pounds of dried chiles - that will be one day's events. The only step I left out was the toasting of the seeds, which leads to mucho smoke in the house and I don't have a ventilating hood - just open the windows and blow! I have given some thought to toasting them outside, but am not sure that I need to get that authentic. I tried to find the Chihuacle Negroes that her recipe, and all other authentic Oaxacan Mole Negro recipes, calls for. But was unable to locate any in Austin or Houston. I talked to Susanna Trilling later and asked her about the Chilhuacles. She said that they are difficult to obtain even in Oaxaca, and quite costly. She recommended substituting Mulatos and Guajillos [i think, I'll have to go look at my home cookbooks]. This spring, Central Market here in Austin had some chiles they labled Chilhuacle Negroes, and, since they looked like the pictures I had in my chile books, I picked up a pound for my freezer. I'll see if they have survived and use them this year. I encourage all of you who love moles to give the Mole Negro a shot - it does take time, but the reward is worth it. Such nuances of flavor from all the dried fruit, nuts, roasted tomatoes/onions/garlic, sherry [iIRC], chocolate, canela, and chiles. I'd post the recipe, but it and the complete instructions and other information take up four or five pages in her book [i actually used Food and Life of Oaxaca [more recent], with glances into Food from My Heart to see if I was missing anything.] I guess I could scan it into a PDF to send out if anyone's interested. Susan
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