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Everything posted by PetersCreek

  1. I mentioned in another thread or two that I recently purchased the book and I've been pleased with the results so far...although I've only made three of the recipes. One of those I've made twice: The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World. I too went to the trouble of buying tapioca starch and tapioca syrup. It could be my imagination but it seems to have improved the consistency slightly.
  2. PetersCreek

    Is my meat safe?

    While I also think the meat in question is fine, I wouldn't be comfortable with this sort of test. The pathogens responsible for spoilage (and its smell) are different than those that cause foodborne illness. The latter can be harmful without creating a detectable odor. [source: "Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing" by Rytek Kutas]
  3. Jaymes, I'm another neophyte ice cream maker and I've been working out of Jeni Britton Bauer's book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home. Although I haven't used them yet, she recommends Askinosie products. I've made her "Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World" a couple of times. The recipe calls first for the making of a syrup, composed of ½-cup each of cocoa powder, sugar, and coffee, brought to a boil. That syrup might be the trick.
  4. I do business with The Sausage Maker pretty regularly and have a couple of their stainless grinder plates that work just fine and dandy. The hub models are nice, too.
  5. Neophyte ice cream maker here, using the Kitchenaid attachment. I recently picked up a copy of Jeni Britton Bauer's book, Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home, after reading an article about her in the latest issue of Saveur magazine. I made my first batch from the book this past weekend: "The Darkest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World". Cocoa powder. Ghirardelli 70%. Coffee. Good. Very good. I-want-some-right-now good. Dammit. At The Wife®'s demand request, I think we'll be trying the salted caramel recipe next.
  6. PetersCreek

    Chewing Gum

    I don't particularly like chewing on gum but I have an odd, unconscious, compulsive habit of chewing on my tongue. So, I chew good ol' Wrigley's Spearmint to spare my tongue the soreness.
  7. Agreed...but common sausage making cuts contain far more connective tissue than can be effectively trimmed and the KA blade is a magnet for it. I was going to mention this and plumb forgot. It works well and has the advantage of taking less time than cutting smaller cubes. I eventually went back to small cubes because it seemed to help the sinew problem (shorter strands)...if only a little. Now, before anyone gets the idea that I'm trashing the KAFGA, I still keep mine in its original box for the occasional small job.
  8. To what others have said, I'll add that for me, the KA grinder attachment is just okay for grinding small quantities of meat, carefully prepared. But it got me started for not a lot of dough. A couple of tips that worked for me: cube the frosty-cold meat on the smallish side; and clear the blade of sinew frequently. Both will help you get a clean grind, instead of meat mush. I found stuffing tubes to be pretty much useless, so I bought modestly priced vertical stuffer. The $125 price tag was worth the frustation saved. That's the book I started with and recommend it highly as a first book. I also have Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing by Rytek Kutas and The Art of Making Fermented Sausages by Stanley and Adam Marianski. The Kutas book is encyclopaedic. In addition to a mountain of recipes, it covers basic-to-advanced sausage making topics, including the commercial/business end of things. If you make sausage 5 pounds at a time like I do, you'll need to scale the recipes down. The Marianski book is also excellent. Charcuterie is a good introduction to fermented sausages and if you like making (and eating) them, The Art of Making Fermented Sausages will guide you farther down that road with detailed information about various bacterial cultures, incubation and curing times, and of course, recipes. I'll never go back to the Charcuterie summer sausage recipe, having tasted the real deal, fermented style. Charcuterie should keep you busy for a while, though.
  9. Because of the way cephalopod chromatophores work, I seriously doubt they would operate after cooking. Their function involves the cell itself as well as surrounding muscle and nerve tissue. I think they're toast, once you denature their proteins by application of heat. In a very fresh raw state, you might get a response but the neural activity involved in a live octopus seems pretty darn complex. A quick scan of some literature turns up studies in which individual nerves and nerve branches were stimulated to elicit chromatophore response but I'm skeptical that a generalized 'brute force' stimulation would work. But you never know until you try. You might find this Wikipedia article interesting, if not helpful. Scroll down to section 6 for information about cehpalopods.
  10. More decorative than functional, my wife bought one similar to this fellow on one of our weekend trips to Homer, Alaska:
  11. Manufacturers for all of the salt-pack casings I've ever used do not recommend freezing.
  12. I wouldn't call myself a tea guy. I'm not particularly knowledgeable about tea but I enjoy it and keep a few varieties on hand, such as: Lapsang Souchong — so smoky, The Wife® calls it "campfire in a cup" Smoky Russian Caravan — a smoky blend that contains the above Irish Breakfast — Just a nice, dark, stout tea Hong Kong Milk Tea — without the traditional evaporated milk, I usually just enjoy it as a rich, strong tea. Earl Grey de la Creme — I enjoy traditional Earl Grey (a lot) but this one is a bit richer and rounder.
  13. I've never understood the myth about ice "sharpening" disposer blades. It would be like putting your chef's knive and steel in a box and shaking vigorously.
  14. I too am unfamiliar with the Franke brand but I do have one of the nicer InSinkErator models. Mine happily chews bones as long as they aren't too heavy. In fact, the manufacturer's literature stated that it is not only okay to do it but beneficial as well. Evidently, they have a cleansing effect. Mine also handles fibrous foods like vegetable peels, brussels sprouts, and such...but...the weak link in the chain is the outlet-drain adapter. Fibrous waste may go through your disposer like *ahem* though a goose but it can back up at the constricted junction of this T-shaped bit of plumbing. Every single back-up I've had was for this reason. We're on a septic system so we try not to put everything down the disposer but since we have it pumped on a regular basis, we're not very strict about it.
  15. I recently tried the Yamazaki but it left no real impression on me. It was certainly drinkable but gave me absolutely no urge to go out and buy a bottle.
  16. We've got a fairly nice Frigidaire 26-ft² side-by-side and the ice maker worked fine...for a while. Then it began spontaneously switching itself from cube to crushed and wouldn't switch back. After a couple of service calls, I finally took the crusher wheel out. Now it has the annoying habit of occasionally trapping a cluster of cubes under the control arm which means it stops making ice because it thinks the bin is full.
  17. I'm an Islay fan, myself. My go-to has to be Lagavulin (when it's on sale), followed by Laphroaig, Talisker, and Oban but I also favor Highland and Speyside malts as well. I rotate and explore a lot so I don't have any one daily dram, for the most part.
  18. I watched an interesting episode of Brew Masters (Discovery Channel) a while back in which Dogfish Head brewery was recreating an ancient Egyptian beer called Ta Henket. As I remember it, they went as far as to capture native Egyptian yeasts using petri dishes filled with agar set out in several spots in some village.
  19. My parents divorced when I was about 10. At first, my brother and I lived with our father who was not an enthusiastic cook. He could grill a decent burger and even got a little experimental by slathering pork chops with mustard and broiling them. Mostly though, he cooked a lot of spaghetti and Hamburger Helper. It was during summer breaks from school that I started messing around in the kitchen while Dad was at work. I learned some of the basics through trial and error, like how to fry an egg to my liking without starting a fire. I also learn to cook the fish I caught and the occasional squirrel, dove, or quail. My mother is a good cook but I can't recall learning a particular dish when I later lived with her. I did learn a technique though. Back in the mid-70s, my mother managed a small chain of medical supply stores. Long before flavor/brine injection was well known, she brought home a serious looking syringe (similar to this one) and we experimented with injecting various flavors into meat, such as lemon juice into chicken.
  20. I've never dry cured using shirred collagen casings (just non-edible flats) but going by the texture alone, I'm guessing it will be similar to sheep casing, perhaps a bit longer. Of course, it's really going to depend on the conditions in your crawl space. Are you going to culture mold or fight it?
  21. PetersCreek

    Sweeter Beers

    I was going to recommend porters in general. They vary in sweetness but on the not-too-sweet side, is one of my favorite off-the-shelf porters: Black Butte Porter from the Deschutes Brewing. It'll give you a modest bite of hops and roasted barley, balanced with some caramel sweetness.
  22. Wood-derived cellulose...(C6H10O5)n...is no longer wood or wood pulp, just like cellulose derived from cotton is no longer cotton. Cellulose gum isn't wood either: Since cellulose is the most plentiful organic compound on the planet, we're going to eat some of it. I don't necessarily want it in everything but I'm not going to sound the alarm over it either unless someone tries to sell me a piece of cardboard while calling it steak.
  23. Cabela's offers the Rocky Top Ripper blades for the exact purpose of turning your recip saw into a meat saw. Pretty cool.
  24. I could have...should have...written this. Until about 8 years ago, I was not at all fond of whisk(e)y. I was bumbling wine fan, though, and I'd heard single malt aficionados use the same or similar terms to describe them. So, while dining at one of the nicer places in Anchorage, I naively asked for a glass of their best single malt. Fortunately (for my palate and and my wallet) they served me a begginer's malt, The Glenlivet 12. I was hooked.
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