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Everything posted by brianl

  1. I live in Toronto, Ontario and have no idea what you're referring to. Sure, there are burgers that have seasoning, but you can get just plain beef burgers as well. No idea about the ground turkey. I regularly see Maple Leaf ground turkey in the grocery stores, haven't tried it, but I use their ground chicken, and it isn't seasoned at all. Not saying you don't see seasoned ground meat, but it's hardly the norm. Thanks Brian
  2. I have a portable induction burner. It works reasonably well, I would put it's power on par with a 9000 btu gas burner, give or take. The one thing I hate about it is the lack of analog control. For most things, it really isn't a huge issue, but I can't use my pressure cooker on it as there is no setting that is exactly right - I'm either over pressure and it's venting, or under. This is on a relatively cheap unit, I believe I pad around $100 Canadian a few years ago, I would assume better units would have better control. It is a godsend in the summer if I am going to have something simmering on the stove for sometime, far less waste heat. Hope that helps, Thanks Brian
  3. Maybe try soaking it in cold water? It's worked for me in the past when cured meats turned out too salty. You may lose a few bits, but it shouldn't be too bad. Hope that helps, Thanks, Brian
  4. I've found even breathing on the sensitive scales can alter their readings, and you have a very sensitive one. In addition to calibration weights, I use coins to check my scales. It's easy to find the exact weight of a coin for a given year (I cut a bit of slack due to wear and/or accumulated crud). Thanks Brian
  5. Hi Okanagancook I purchased mine from Cedarlane Culinary. http://www.cedarlaneculinary.ca I'm in Toronto though. I originally had an order in with Halford Hides, (http://www.halfordsmailorder.com), who are in Edmonton. They had a better price on the VP112, but didn't have stock. I waited a bit, but got impatient and got it from Cedarlane. Halford advertises free shipping on orders over $350, up to a maximum of 10% of the order. I inquired and at the time they thought that should cover the shipping to Toronto. They've left me a message in the past week indicated that they are back in stock. Worth a look if you're in the market. Hope that helps, Thanks Brian
  6. I purchased a VP112 over the holidays. The VP210 and VP215 both dropped in price quite a bit recently (from moving production to China, I believe), but up here in Canada the cheapest VP215 I could find was still over $1200, which was 50% more than the VP112. I waffled, but ultimately went with the VP112. I reasoned that I could probably sell it for a decent price if I ever wanted to upgrade. I'm happy with the VP112 overall. I've done some compression with it, but I don't have anything to compare to. I've done watermelon and cucumber, both definitely compress some and change colour. Infusions work very well. Liquids aren't quite the panacea I thought they'd be, and can still be a bit of a pain due to the boiling issue (but that's not an issue with just this particular unit). So far I'm happy. If you're trying to decide between the 210 and 215, it's a no-brainer, as far as I am concerned. Between the 112 and 215, well you know how I went. Although the 112 is 53lbs vs 84lbs for the 215, the 112 is no peach to move around, it's long, and the weight is all at the rear of the unit. Incidentally, people sure knock the Foodsavers for reliability. I've had my Professional II for 10 years and it's still going strong. I guess I got lucky... Hope that helps, Thanks Brian
  7. Thanks I ended up putting it in without frying. Turned out nicely, I thought, with a subtle smoky bacon flavour. I have read your account of the recipe, as well as Chris Henne's. I got the impression from your posting (did you blog about it elsewhere as well?) that you weren't sure either. Chris didn't specify, but his mise en place shows two slices of uncooked bacon, which for me, worked out to be just under 90g. Curious, did you measure out 90g of raw bacon, then crisp, or weigh out the crisped bacon? I had some crisped bacon on hand, and about 7 slices worth still came under 90g. Thanks again, Brian
  8. OK, potentially stupid question. I'm about to embark on Spaghetti Carbonara, and got stuck rather early. Do you cook the bacon before sealing it with the cream? Thanks, Brian
  9. Just found out about this place: http://www.powdertothepeople.ca/ This was apparently started by chef Marc Lepine of the Ottawa restaurant Atelier. They do have some items that the other Canadian resellers do not carry. Thanks Brian
  10. I'm going to assume you are looking for modernist ingredients. Here are a few http://www.dcduby.com/elements/ - I've purchased from them before, they carry a good selection of ingredients. http://www.otbfoods.com/otbfoods/ - _Really_ rough website (sorry Hector, but...), they carry some of the Texturas line. You'll need to create an account to see pricing. http://www.gourmetwarehouse.ca/ - Haven't ordered from them, just aware of their existence (sorry, just realized someone posted this one already) http://www.molecule-r.com/ - Again, haven't ordered Ultimately though, if you're looking for the more specialized ingredients, you're stuck ordering from the US. On a recent order from Modernist Pantry I paid $39 shipping then another $40 at the door in duty/brokerage/taxes, on a $230/2kg order. When you look at it that way, it is expensive, but we don't have a lot of options. I also tend to try to make my orders from the US larger, as some of the costs are fixed (brokerage, shipping to point). I would avoid UPS for international shipping, their brokerage fees can be a bit high (I'm being nice). Hope that helps, Thanks, Brian
  11. Just got back from Humber Nurseries - no poblanos. They had jalapeno, serrano, an orange and red habanero, scotch bonnet, various cayenne peppers but no poblanos. This is rather unfortunate. I guess on the upside, poblanos are actually becoming regularly available around here. Brian
  12. Sorry if you already knew that, but I'm really surprised that you aren't able to find it. I would generally expect it to be in most grocery stores, even in the smaller towns. I shop fairly regularly in two grocery stores in Orillia, Ontario (not suggesting you go to Orillia to get cilantro, it's just fairly small, population about 30,000), and I can't remember any occasion they didn't have it. Hope that helps, Brian
  13. Cilantro is often called Coriander in these parts...
  14. I guess it depends on your definition of Toronto. It's in the north-west corner of the 'GTA' (Greater Toronto Area for those not familiar). Humber Nurseries Ltd. 8386 Hwy. 50, Brampton, Ontario L6T 0A5 Not sure about posting links here, so Google 'Humber Nurseries' and you should be good. If you're not averse to using the 407 (toll highway, again, for those not familiar), it would be about 2 hours from Peterborough, so long as you avoid peak times. I'll try and get there before the weekend and report back. Brian
  15. Darienne In the past, I have purchased my pepper plants at Richters, Humber Nurseries and a small place called Giardinos. Giardinos was near Richters, and carried a very large variety of heirloom tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables. Unfortunately, they will not be selling plants this year, so they are out. Humber Nurseries will probably be my go-to this year. Their varieties of peppers seems to vary from year-to-year, but I have purchased jalapeno, serrano, tomatillo, cayenne, and poblano plants (as well as some ornamentals) in the past. N.B. - in 2009 they did not have poblanos, which sent me to Richters and then we stumbled on Giardinos. I didn't even bother looking at Humber in 2010, but will end up turning to them again this year. I'll hopefully be up before the weekend and will report back with what I find, if it interests you. Hope this helps, Brian
  16. Darienne Richters does carry Poblano seeds, and usually has the plants as well (in season). They're (mis)labelled as Ancho. I have a feeling I'm going to have alot of epazote in my backyard this summer. I planted some last year in a planter. There were a few small terra cotta pots nearby that I brought in for the winter. I noticed one day something sprouting, and the pot had dozens of seedlings growing. I put them next to my fish tank, and they've survived quite well. Hope that helps, Thanks, Brian
  17. I'm sure others more knowledgeable than I will chime in, but here's my $.02. What ratio of masa harina to water did you use? I find that they puff best when I put as much water as possible without it being sticky. Rick Bayless' books call for 1 3/4c of masa harina to 1c + 2Tbsp water. I've found that to be too dry and add several more tbsp of water. What temp is your pan at? I use a comal on a 14,200 BTU gas burner set between 7 and 8 (and about 9 on our old 9,000 BTU burners). There's no reason a cast iron pan won't work, but that kind of temperature tends to destroy any seasoning on the pan. As far as timing, I do 30 seconds (or so), flip, about a minute, flip again, and another 30 seconds. It should puff on the last flip, sometimes I press down lightly on any ragged edges that are evidently venting steam, and sometimes I press the center as well. Anyways, that is what works for me. To be honest, I had been making (trying?) corn tortillas for some time before I realized they were supposed to puff. It wasn't until I stumbled on this forum quite a few years ago (yes, I've been lurking that long) that I learned otherwise. Almost all the advice given above was learned here. Hope that helps, Thanks, Brian
  18. Hi Darienne From the sounds of it you were at Perolas or the Latin American Emporium in Kensington Market. Either way, right across the street is Segovia Meats. They sell various meats, but the main attraction is the rather large variety of chorizo. They usually have a chorizo verde that I quite enjoy. I would highly recommend trying epazote with black beans. I usually find it at Perolas during the off season. If you haven't smelled it before, don't be thrown by the odour. As noted above, it's not for everyone, but I do recommend trying it. You mentioned you could by corn tortillas in Peterborough - I'm guessing you aren't making your own corn tortillas. If not, I highly recommend giving it a shot, there's a few threads on this forum that helped me immensely. Tortilla presses can be had at Perolas, and masa harina as well, but you shouldn't have any issues finding that in Peterborough. Hope that helps, Brian
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