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Everything posted by technophile50

  1. I've got an old SEB that looks a lot like this one, and one of these. The SEB has a weight with three holes, that lets you choose low, medium, and high pressures; when it starts venting, I just turn down the heat until it just quits venting. I check it by touching the weight; if its almost at pressure, the lightest touch will cause it to vent. It would be easy to mount a replacement gage for the All-American to any pressure cooker. Drill & tap a hole for the gage, and seal it with teflon pipe tape. If the lid is too thin to seal well, put a backing nut sealed with silicone rubber aquarium cement(its non toxic - anything leaching out would kill the fish) on the stem. You could then adjust the heat to achieve any ventless pressure you wanted below the venting pressure, and the weight vent would act as a safety relief.
  2. I scrub carrots with a stainless steel pot scrubber. It acts like a micrograter, and you can remove as much as necessary. I bet a stainless wire brush would work too. I bet I could make an attachment for a Kitchenaid with wire wheels that would act like a centerless grinder for carrots. See http://www.efunda.com/processes/machining/grind_centerless.cfm - replace the grinding wheel with a wire brush wheel, and the regulating wheel with a sponge backed green scrubber to allow irregular diameters - viola! a $150 replacement for a $5 pot scrubber.
  3. "And if somebody watching decides to try to cook something they see them make, as plebian and pathetic as some seem to think it is, instead of going to McDonalds, they have done some good." I agree. I just watched Rachel Ray on Craig Ferguson hawking her latest cookbook, which is openly aimed at people who think they can't cook. She called it something like a cookbook that shows you step-by-step pictures of preparing the recipe, akin to paint-by-numbers. There are also companion online videos of "simple, easy" meals done realtime, no cuts where the prepped food magically appears in a glass bowl on the counter, and no commercial breaks so there's no distractions. (I don't mean to be a salesman for Ms Ray, and I doubt that many of the readers of this blog need a cookbook aimed at inexperienced cooks - but if you are lurking here and it might get you started in preparing better food for yourself and your family, next time you're at the mall, check some cookbooks out at the bookstore before heading to the food court.) There was an article last fall in Newsweek about the cultural divide between foodies and the majority of Americans, and how the economic ability to shop at Wellspring/Whole Foods/Weaver Street market for some was more about status than healthy eating. Jamie Oliver's cooking show (and I use the term loosely) about changing the food culture in Charleston, WV was a good idea. There's a much larger difference between a fast food "beef" product[1], and an inexpensive cut of meat plus fresh (or frozen) veggie sides a la Rachel Ray, than there is between her recipe and hand massaged Waygu beef sou vide with white truffle sauce and exotic purple potatoes flown in from the Andes.[2] I suspect that if you did two videos of identical meals being prepared by Eric Ripert and Rachel Ray, and showed them to groups of inexperienced cooks, they would be more likely to say "I could make that" after watching her than him. Because he has a French accent, and his set and tools look "professional" and "gourmet", beginners would be intimidated. Jamie Oliver, Rachel Ray, Christopher Kimball, even Martha Stewart cooking shows are helping start people on the path to good cooking. [1] E.g., 35% meat and 65% filler, with a sauce that's high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated vegetable & saturated palm oil, plus synthetic flavorings. [2] Sounds yummy, but it's still meat & potatoes.
  4. I've found that the most dangerous thing is a change in the sharpness of the knife. If I let my knife get really dull before sharpening it, or dull it by doing something like cutting up cardboard, the unexpected feel of an abrupt change in sharpness either way makes it more likely I'll cut myself. Of course, a (newly) razor sharp knife gives a cleaner, deeper, cut.
  5. I made a frittata a few weeks ago with a whole 1 lb bag of spinach. I sauteed onions, mushrooms, and the spinach, added some flour & masa to make a roux, mixed in the yolks, then folded in the whipped whites and cooked it in a skillet over low heat. It turned out emerald green, but tasted great - I wish I had taken some pics. Green eggs and ham, anyone? (I actually had some turkey sausage with it.)
  6. I sometimes add a litte bit of hungarian wax pepper to pesto to give it some zip. You want to aim towards subtle, not fiery.
  7. Has anybody heard of seasoning tin lined copper cookware? I just got a ten piece set of cheap Portugese copper pots from craigslist, and the tin is wearing off. I have enough experience brazing/welding/soldering that I can retin them myself - and they aren't worth paying more than I've got in them to have it done professionally. After reading Sheryl Canter's blog, I'm thinking about acid etching the tin lining to provide some "tooth" to anchor a flaxseed oil nonstick seasoning. I did find one online reference that indicated Mauviel tinned copper would build up a "seasoned" layer through use. Plus, a shiny black interior would contrast nicely with the copper exterior! I may just grab some flaxseed oil at my local Weaver Street Market and try it.
  8. qrn Whats the problem with the Spring cookware? I've never heard of them.
  9. technophile50

    Oyster Stew

    "In shellfish poisoning, the poisonous ingredients are toxins made by algae-like organisms called dinoflagellates, which build up in some types of seafood. There are many different types of shellfish poisoning. The most well known types are paralytic shellfish poisoning, neurotoxic shellfish poisoning, and amnestic shellfish poisoning." "Like Ciguatera poisoning, most shellfish poisonings occur in warmer waters. However, poisonings have occurred as far north as Alaska and frequently in New England. In addition, most shellfish poisonings occur during the summer months. You may have heard the saying “Never eat seafood in months that don’t have the letter R." This includes May through August. The number of poisonings also increases when there is a "red tide." Shellfish poisoning occurs in seafood with two shells such as clams, oysters, mussels, and sometimes scallops." http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002851.htm Warmer water in summer months is more likely to support dinoflagellate blooms("red tides") which can lead to toxins in shellfish. Plus, lack of refrigeration and warmer temperatures contribute to other kinds of food poisoning.
  10. Wow, I must have a cast iron palate. I don't like steamed chitlins, or boiled okra - too slimy, so I probably wouldn't like natto either - but fried they're OK. I wouldn't buy them, or choose them, but I wouldn't not eat them if offered; I might sample them at a potluck - maybe someone has a better recipe, and you won't know til you try. It took me a while to get over finding half a larva in some cooked greens when I was about ten - I still remember it, but it no longer bothers me, and I like turnip greens, cooked and raw cabbage, spinach, and so on. There's a lot of industrial "food" that isn't worth the cardboard it's printed on, but it's not inedible or toxic(in small enough doses). I like the artificial flavor of McDonalds "vanilla shakes" (Skimmed milk, concentrated skimmed milk*1 , cream, sugar, skimmed milk solids*2 , glucose syrup. Stabilisers: guar gum, sodium polyphosphate, carrageenan and carboxymethylcellulose. Vanilla Flavour Milkshake Syrup - Sugar, water, flavouring. Acid: citric acid. Preservative: sodium benzoate. Colour: caramel. I think it used to have soy protein powder in the early days). Goat cheese - yay! Liederkranz too. Oysters, raw, steamed, sauteed, broiled, or fried - yum! Chicken sashimi - if it was irradiated, or seriously marinated with acidic juice/vinegar. The only thing I can't eat is mangoes - I'm seriously, projectile vomiting after one bite, allergic.
  11. I got interested in home sausage production and found these on the net - http://www.fao.org/docrep/003/x6556e/X6556E05.htm#ch5 http://www.rdoapp.psu.ac.th/html/sjst/journal/29-4/0125-3395-29-4-1145-1152.pdf I haven't made any of my own yet, but you guys success is inspiring me.
  12. I have received some of their stuff as gifts - they're selling more sizzle than steak.
  13. I'm a maybe. I have family in Springfield, OH and will be driving, and probably camping nearby.
  14. Waiter - "sir, would you like shaved truffles on that?" You - "I thought the chef(or if you're really feeling snarky, 'cook') left something out of this dish too, but I don't think it's truffles - could you bring me a bottle of ketchup, and some yellow mustard?" I worked a couple of summers in high school in a seafood restaurant as the shrimp guy, and would peel and devein ~3000 shrimp each night. The last shell segment is much harder to peel - no legs to start the separation - and we always left it on. http://www.shrimp-scampi-recipes.com/images/Shrimp-picture.jpg A lot of people assume that tailless shrimp are preprocessed/packaged, and that the tail shell indicates "fresh". The Reefer truck would bring in fresh shrimp on ice twice a week from Wilbur, where the shrimp boats landed, about 20 miles south of the restaurant on the beach.and we would freeze the extra in big plastic tubs. Our shrimp was never more than 3 days old, but was unfrozen only on Wednesday & Friday. I had a pretty impressive callous on my right thumb.
  15. The only toaster that gets high user ratings on consumerrrports.org is the Breville BTA820XL cast aluminum - 4.5 stars. Most everything else gets 2 stars or less; a common comment is "Best Use - doorstop". Another common theme is that the consumer reports lab test ratings are bogus - "while CR rates this toaster high, I would have to agree with all the other reviews... uh... while it lasted." I've got a Rowenta TO-812 2-Slice Toaster (not CR reviewed) which has worked well since I got it as about the 4th replacement for the 40 year old Sunbeam that finally wore out the pivots on the toast lift mechanism. One of the Faston electrical connectors in the Rowenta failed because it wasn't plugged on to its tab properly & overheated - This was about 6 months after I got it. it may have been bad QC from the factory, or vibrated loose in shipping(stuff happens), but I fixed it myself and the toaster has worked fine ever since, about 6 years. It has bagel & defrost settings that I never use, and looks weird and has hazardous exposed wiring since I never bothered to put all the covers back on.
  16. I'll take a SWAG at it(SWAG = scientific wild a$$ guess) - salt cured wild purple mangosteen pulp http://www.clovegarden.com/ingred/cl_mangost.html "Kokum Phool - [Wild Mangosteen (English); Amsool, Aamsul, Bindin, Biran, Bhirand, Bhinda, Bhrinda, Brinda, Kokum, Kokam, Katambi, Panarpuli, Kudam Puli, Ratamba (India); Goraka (Sri Lanka); Garcinia indica] Split dried fruit Kokum is purple fruit used as a souring agent, usually in dried form, though a soft salt preserved form is common in India. It is common along the western coast of India where the tree is native, and takes the place tamarind fills elsewhere. It is used in other regions as well, particularly Sri Lanka and Malaysia where it is used in fish curries and is said to slow spoilage. In general, whole pieces of the dried fruit rind are added to curries and similar dishes. It is also used, often in syrup form, to flavor summer beverages. The photo specimens, obtained from an Indian market in Los Angeles, were up to 1-1/8 inches in diameter. Oil from the seeds remains solid at room temperature and is used for confectionery, cosmetics and medicinals. Various parts of the fruit and plant are used medicinally."
  17. Cholesterol bombs - I have some rings to cook eggs the same diameter as english muffins. I fry some turkey sausage in a skillet, then put the rings in and add butter and dice onion to the bottom. When the onion starts to brown, I break an egg into each ring over the onions, and when the white starts to congeal, I break the yolk and scramble lightly. When the yolk gets custardy, I put the egg/onion on a toasted muffin, top with sliced cheese(today its Camembert - Kroger had a bunch of 8 oz boxes on sale for $1.99, marked down from $5.99; they considered them outdated, I consider them aged), the sausage patty, and tomato. I need to recharge the battery in my camera, and figure out how to upload pics.(Hmm, maybe the "insert image" button in the editor bar?)
  18. I usually tip extra in cash for above mediocre service. I figure that since a tip on the credit card leaves a paper trail, it is likely pooled and apportioned (maybe even to the benefit of owners and management not directly involved in "service"). If servers pocket the cash as unreported imcome, which has the effect of shifting income taxes from low paid food servers to higher income investors, that's between them and the IRS - I'm not the tax collector &;>) I also will give wait staff tips explicitly for the kitchen when they have met special requests - my wife had celiac disease(gluten allergy), and couldn't eat wheat. Once, when she asked a waiter about which dishes were wheat free, he said he would have to ask chef. The chef came to our table and spent about 5 minutes determining what kind of dishes my (mostly vegetarian) wife liked; he then said "I could make you a meal that would have this and this, like these dishes on the menu, but with risotto con funghi instead of pasta, and we have some of this(cappesante, vongole, gamberetti? I can't remember) not on the menu that I could include - does that sound like something you would enjoy?" It was excellent; the price on the bill was average for the menu, and we tipped handsomely.
  19. For the "ready roast" turkey, I'd be inclined to finish it by removing the stuffing and microwaving it in a shallow layer in a pyrex baking pan to 160+, then restuffing and browning the skin in a 450 preheated oven. It would probably be quicker, and less likely to overcook the meat while bringing the stuffing to temperature - plus you get to use 3 pieces of equipment - sous vide, microwave, and oven &;>). It's interesting that the Kroger website recommends - "Can I stuff the turkey the night before? To be safe, stuffing a turkey is not recommended. For more even cooking and to prevent the spread of bacteria, it’s best to cook stuffing in a casserole dish according to the package or recipe directions." FWIW, I often split a turkey in half, smoke over charcoal and green applewood cuttings while preparing nuked stuffing, then reassemble the bird plus hot stuffing and finish in the microwave. The steamy stuffing cooks a moist bird from the inside, while the brown/smoked skin stays crisp, and juice/fat renders into the microwave dish for making gravy.
  20. I found a dicer at a goodwill store that I couldn't resist - just 2 blades? how about six mini pizza slicers on a common shaft, spaced about 1/4 inch apart? Its just robust enough to dice parsley or cilantro, but it won't quite handle a 1/8 inch thick slice of onion. Plus you would have to use something else to slice the onion first - your Hobart commercial slicer perhaps? The plastic from the handle does fit closely around the blades, so stuff that gets stuck between them gets ejected as they are rolled forward and backwards. It only cost 50 cents, so that was a plus.
  21. The 12 volt battery in my 24 foot sailboat died. When I pulled it out of its compartment in the sole of the locker under the cockpit, I found six large cans of peaches carefully duct taped together and hidden away behind the battery. As near as I could decipher the date code, they were from 1986 - the boat was made in 1983, so it's possible that the original owner put them there. I didn't eat them.
  22. Regarding induction heating, and the requirement for magnetic steel cookware; there are industrial induction furnaces that will melt any conductive material (metal, not silicon carbide or graphite), magnetic or not. The presence of a magnetic metal makes the coupling stronger, which makes it more efficient and the circuitry less expensive, plus the circuitry can easily detect the presence/absence of a magnetic pan, to safely shut down the power when a pan is not present - consider the safety hazard if a stove that could drive non magnetic pans were accidentally turned on while you were cleaning the top while wearing a ring. The magnetic requirement also will limit the maximum temperature of cookware to below the Curie temperature, the point where the material loses its magnetic properties. If you put an empty pan on an induction stove on high, it can't melt - when the pan reaches the Curie point, the top shuts off; even if that shutoff mechanism failed, the reduced efficiency would limit the power to the pan, so you won't get molten metal running off the stove onto the floor. An induction stove could be designed to use its circuitry like a computerized metal detector; with (expensive, industrial strength) variable frequency drive, it could detect, tell the composition of, and heat any metal pot. Making it smart enough to warm a Le Crueset Dutch oven fast enough to be practical, but not set a thin aluminum pie plate on fire would be a little tricky, and corporate liability attorneys hate tricky. BTW, this is a great thread - 7 years, and full of useful information. My thanks to everyone who has contributed.
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