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Mark Muller

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Everything posted by Mark Muller

  1. I second the motion to go brown. Whatever whiskey you prefer (bourbon, rye, scotch, canadian, etc) plus limoncello plus fresh citrus juice to make a whisky sour of a sort. Brandy would work too - think a side car variation with limoncello subbing for the orange liqueur. If you could get your hands on some sour oranges I would use them for the citrus juice, inverting the usual lemon juice + orange liqueur with sour orange juice + lemon liqueur.
  2. Mark Muller

    Source for raspberry syrup?

    I like the Zergüt brand raspberry syrup - a quick search turns up this online source: http://www.ranisworl...syrup-33-fl-oz/ I can't vouch for this vendor, as I get mine locally at a middle eastern grocery store. If you have a local middle eastern grocery, I would seek them out first, as they are a good source of fruit syrups - both from Zergüt and other brands.
  3. Mark Muller

    Big Green Egg

    I have a primo XL and did St Louis cut spareribs for the the Fourth of July. I did two slabs, with both of them on the extended racks - they just fit on the extanded racks. I could easily have put another two slabs on the main racks. With some type of rack to hold them upright you could probably do more. The extended racks are the upper ones seen in the BeerCan's photo above.
  4. You may have had savory bread pudding before under the names "dressing" or "stuffing", the later often coming out of a turkey at Thanksgiving. Most dressings/stuffings are a bit looser than bread pudding, but not all.
  5. I prefer my peanut butter and jelly on rye bread, with creamy peanut butter. As for jelly, I prefer orange marmalade, and a few drops of Sriracha hot sauce are nice. I also like a sprinkling of raisins instead of the jelly.
  6. Mark Muller

    Frozen yogurt flavors

    I have made Alton Brown's lemon ginger frozen yogurt and very much liked the result. Of course, I have modified his recipe a bit - specifically, I leave out the crystallized ginger, as I don't care for their texture once they are frozen. I also use more fresh ginger than he does, but I juice it to avoid its texture. To juice ginger, I grate it with a box grater (or mince with the food processor if doing a lot), and place a few tablespoons at a time in a cloth and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. This recipe introduced me to straining the yogurt, which I prefer for frozen yogurt. It makes for a richer result that tastes more like yogurt. I suppose it would not be necessary if using greek style yogurt, which is already strained to some degree.
  7. I have found myself in a similar place. Based on a great deal of searching this site, I have settled on a base formula something like: 1 1/2 cups heavy cream 1 1/2 cups whole milk 4 egg yolks 1 gram agar-agar 1 gram xanthan gum sugar as appropriate to the flavor you are making flavorings as appropriate This is based on the recipe of paulraphael and many threads on the subject. I have used the above for a butterscotch ice cream, where the sugar and flavorings was about 3/4 cup of raw sugar cooked with some butter. The addition of the agar-agar and xanthan made a large difference in how scoopable it was. I used agar-agar instead of gelatin for the simple reason that I had it.
  8. Mark Muller

    Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)

    I have played around with the mac and cheese recipe using white wine, red wine, beer, and milk (not at the same time). This is what I have found: 1) White whine is great. think fondue - in fact, this is how I make fondue now... 2) If you like "port wine cheese" type dips and/or spreads, you will like using red wine. The color, however, is not great. 3) Beer is great, but very high bitterness beers (ie, IPAs and the like) don't really work for me. The bitter component is just too much, and not harmonious. I wouldn't limit myself to wheat beers, but just go easy on the bitter. 4) Milk plus carageenan equals one monstrously thick sauce. If using milk, leave the carageenan out. Milk will give a sauce that is more classically "creamy", but will also take the edge off the flavor. Using all milk for the liquid and no carageenan gives a good approximation of "Velveeta and Shells" or "Kraft Deluxe" type mac and cheese, except with more cheese taste. My house mac and cheese is to use all milk (ie milk in place of both the water and the beer), no carageenan, and mostly sharp cheddar cheese. The cheese choice is based on what I have in the refrigerator; we usually have sharp cheddar, but things like aged gouda or gruyere are more rare. This is a dish that I usually make on a whim instead of due to planning. I just make the amount of sauce I need while the pasta is cooking, and mix it with the pasta without cooling it. This results in mac and cheese in about 15 minutes.
  9. So instead of cleaning up my stove when I occasionally overboil, I have to clean the spill stopper every single time I boil something? It doesn't seem like I would could out ahead with that trade. The exception would be when making beer, as wort has a tremendous proclivity for overboiling. Of course, none of their spill stoppers are close to large enough for just about any home brewers brew pot. In fact, it looks like their largest version is only good for a pot 9 inches in diameter or less, which isn't large enough for the stockpot I normally cook pasta in.
  10. Before I had a food processor I used a potato masher with good luck. I used the kind where the business end is a plastic plate with circular holes in it. Not as easy as the food processor, but not that bad.
  11. Mark Muller

    Ideas for using lentil cooking liquid

    Use to cook some more beans. Beans are always better cooked in stock.
  12. Really? A vacuum is at most 1atm/14 psi. It's pretty easy to withstand that, especially in compression, isn't it? I'm sure the polycarbonate of a Nalgene bottle could do it. I think the challenge is to create reliable, low-maintenance pumps and seals. The problem gets more difficult/expensive as the size of the chamber increases. This is because the loads increase with the surface area of the chamber. You also lose the help from making the walls curved as the chamber gets bigger, as the curvature of circular walls is inversely proportional to the radius. One more thing is the direction of the loads is such that it wants to buckle the chamber loads - not a problem with a bottle that is pressurized on the inside. For a natural example, check out the thickness of an ostrich egg shell versus a chicken egg.
  13. Mark Muller

    Creme de Cacao Cocktails

    I have only played with clear creme de cacao, but when I did I came up with: Chocolate Angel 1 part gin 1 part creme de cacao 1 part dry vermouth 1 part lemon juice 1 dash maraschino liqueur Shake all of the above with ice, strain, and serve up in a cocktail glass. The result is not very chocolatey, but the cacao does give a nice bitterness in a way that most other sweet liqueurs do not.
  14. To answer my own question, I asked about El Dorado this past weekend at Spec's in Austin (the central location). The person I spoke with poked about on their computer and found 2 locations in town still have some. Further looking on his part led him to state that the distributer that they were getting it from doesn't carry it anymore, but that a different distributor did, and that he was going to try and get some from said other distributor. He was eager to have it on the shelf, saying that it was a good seller. I live in Austin, and am not desparate for El Dorado, but I like it enough that I will probably get a bottle the next time I see it on a shelf of a conveniently located store. To keep with the thread, when I was at Specs I bought a bottle of Wild Turkey Bourbon, some Armagnac de Montal (VS, with sample bottles of the VSOP and XO in a nice box), and some St-Remy VSOP brandy. The St-Remy is far and away my favorite cheap brandy. In fact, I can't think of any other spirit in its price range (~$12 per 750ml bottle) that I even buy. I greatly prefer it to any cognac under $25/bottle I have tried.
  15. Mark Muller

    Paula Dean

    Is there some requirement that she tell the world of her health status the moment her doctor tells her? I would speculate that she probably delayed her announcement for business reasons, and I believe that doing so is completely her prerogative. She does not owe me nor anyone else in the general public unfettered information about herself, health or otherwise.
  16. What is the deal with El Dorado in Texas? I used to be able to find the 12 y.o. and the 15 y.o. in Austin, but I haven't seen them on the shelves in at least 6 months. I haven't asked anyone at the stores yet, as I have been distracted by being able to buy Lemon Hart...
  17. Sorry Mark I was wondering if you could clarify. Pasta dough that becomes more crumbly the more you knead it does not sound like a good thing. To my mind, crumbly pasta dough won't come together. Perhaps you meant to say the opposite? Not really. The dough was weird. It only came together so much, and then remained the same, still being considerably crumbly. I learned to accept it, and just roll it thinner in spite of it being crumbly, and it worked out great. For my normal pasta dough (flour + eggs + salt), had I let it stay that crumbly before thinning it out, it would have been a disaster. With xantham, it was OK. Weird stuff. I think the issue is that the xantham makes it very non-stick. So the dough want to crumble instead of stick together, in spite of the gluten being well developed. A light hand about excessive folding and rerolling, and it goes well.
  18. It's a texturizing agent that the MC team uses to give fresh pasta an al dente bite like you get with dried. It works great for things like fettucini, I thought it would be entertaining to try in lasagne. How do you all knead your pasta dough? This one is quite stiff, I really struggled with it: it was probably under-kneaded in the end here. I have used xantham gum in pasta once. I didn't used the MC recipe, but merely added 1% xanthan to my normal flour + eggs + salt pasta dough. I found the effect dramatic. Normally I end up kneading my pasta a great deal via the thickest setting on my roller (pass through rollers, fold, pass through again) until it gets to the point that it is elastic and won't stick together. With the xantham added, it was different. As I passed through the rollers repeatedly it just became crumbly. It also didn't need much kneading to not be sticky. I settled on passing through the widest roller setting just enough times to get it full width and somewhat rectangular, and then cranking down the thickness as usual. I really liked the resulting pasta - it had a much improved bite to the mouthfeel. I will continue to use it for all future pasta, whether for fettucine, lasagne, or anything else.
  19. We have a stainless steel compost pail from Lee Valley - see here. It looks ok, and has a lid, and is easy to clean. The downside is that after using for a few years, the inside is showing signs of corrosion - ie, it isn't the most stainless stainless steel in existance. Of course spending most of its life holding wet slimy stuff awaiting the compost pile is a tall order. There are other sources for stainless steel pails/buckets if you look around. It seems to me that a not so desirable stainless steel stock pot or saucepan from a thrift store or yard sale wouldn't be a bad way to go.
  20. Mark Muller

    Grocery Store Garlic Quality

    This matches my experience - the large asian grocery I go to has the nicest garlic in town. While your there, get some greens.
  21. Mark Muller

    One PID to rule them all

    One PID to control them all, One PID to find them, One PID to run them all and in the darkness bind them... As to why, because many of us already have too many gadgets to store or remember where they are stored. So why have a PID for the Sous Vide rig, another for the smoker, and another and another... As to whether this will work, it should work fine, provided you write down or otherwise store the P, I, and D values for each device you control (whether the values come from autotuning or your own experimenting), and set the PID to those values when you connect it to the device.
  22. Mark Muller

    Trout Poached in Vermouth

    I wouldn't. Use dry vermouth, and dilute it with water or court bouillon or appropriate stock. Of course, I wouldn't use white wine straight either. I have found that I tend to prefer using dry vermouth over dry white wine in many cooking applications. Dry vermouth is especially good for steaming mussels.
  23. Mark Muller

    Marks of a bad cook

    For me, the usual kitchen indicator of a not good cook is a lack of evidence of cooking. Ie, their kitchen looks as though it isn't used for much cooking. People who don't cook much are rarely good at it. If the person is a professional cook/chef, obviously the state of the home kitchen is meaningless - they cook at work. For everyone else... Signs that a kitchen isn't used for cooking much include: 1) Way too immaculate - shiny high end cookware with nary a stain, scratch, or nick. Same for appliances, counters, or cabinets, unless they just moved in or redid the kitchen. 2) Not much in the kitchen, either foodwise or toolwise. 3) Nothing out and/or handy. Ie they have things, but far from hand if one was actually cooking. For example, spices and seasonings far away in the pantry, pots and pans not at all close the the stove, bare counters like a model home, etc, etc. Beyond the unused kitchen, there aren't many good visual signs. I know far too many good cooks with crappy and/or dull knives, lousy pots and pans, almost no spices at all, refrigerators full of bottled salad dressings, and what looked to be a years supply of canned soup.
  24. I use solid white cotton bandanas. They are about $1 each at craft stores, less if there is a sale. They are about 20x20 inches, have hemmed edges, and are similar in thickness/weight to bed sheets. Of course, I wash them before use, and wash them with the regular laundry between uses. I store them with the dishtowels, and don't worry about the fact that they don't stay exactly white, due to being stained by whatever has been strained through them.
  25. Mark Muller

    (Stainless vs Carbon) steel pans

    1) Not generally. Most carbon steel pans are thin carbon steel only - no aluminum or copper core. As result, they don't distribute heat very evenly. There may be exceptions, but they won't be dirt cheap like the plan carbon steel pans. 2) More non-stick once seasoned, not much different until then. 3) If you want to keep seasoned, you have to treat it like cast iron - easy on the scouring, etc, etc. If you don't keep it seasoned, it will rust. 4) Probably not, but I would tend to avoid that with any pan.
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