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David Sundstrom

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Everything posted by David Sundstrom

  1. I didn't know who Robert Capon was before you'd posted this. I do now, and I'll know more soon. You've created a new fan, posthumously. Thanks.
  2. Great photos of great looking food. I'm envious!
  3. I have both units. I won't comment on the accuracy as the specs are posted on both sites and I haven't independently verified them. The Sper unit is a little more ergonomic but the probes it comes with are not useful, nor are any of the accessory probes from Sper Direct useful. It is not backlit as the photo suggests. I've been trying to return one and can't get them to respond to my emails. With Thermoworks, you get a much better selection of probes that are suited for cooking and the service has been great. You might just give them a call.
  4. Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at home think so, but after searching around I don't see a lot of uptake on them. There are expensive steam ovens from high end vendors like Viking, Gaggenau, and Meile. A couple of countertop versions from Cuisinart and Electrolux. A few folks here and on gardenweb that have them and mostly talk about baking bread. But not really as much discussion as one would expect for something MC rates so highly. My kitchen remodel will have a 36" gas range. I wanted to compliment that with a smaller electric oven, so this is my chance to own a combi (steam) oven. But if they really aren't all that useful, then I might just get a combo convection microwave instead to free up the space taken by my countertop microwave. And for those that have them, how do the "steam ovens" compare to "steam assist ovens" like those from KitchenAid? tia, David
  5. Over the years I've collected a few probe thermometers. I rely on these, especially for long low n slow cooking. The problem is, they don't agree. I've got three probe thermometers from Thermoworks, all with type K probes. Tie them all together and stick them in my oven, and they will disagree with one another up to 8 degrees Fahrenheit and 15 degrees from the oven thermostat. It seems to be the meters more than the probes. I need a good reference thermometer with a probe that can survive oven environments up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. I'll spend the money to get a good one I can use over the years. Help?
  6. If anyone comes across this thread, I ended up ordering a Millsner from amazon.jp and using tenso.com as a forwarding service. It doubles the price, but I'm happy with the machine. Basically a water tight coffee grinder with different jars for different volumes. Works well, wish they sold it here.
  7. Looks perfect. Now I just need to find a new egullet friend in Japan to ship one to me for a reasonable commission. If anyone has gotten one shipped to the US please send me a message and let me know how you did it!
  8. I know there are topics for blenders, immersion blenders, etc., but my search-fu is failing to answer the specific question I have. I often times want to puree a small amount of herbs or vegetables at home, for example, a parsley or carrot top coulis, for our meal, or maybe just a small amount of vegetables for my infant daughter. I have a good blender, but it takes more then two cups for it to work properly. My immersion just doesn't work when starting with foods in their solid form. The small food processor bowl can get things started, but it still needs more blending to finish. What I am looking for is a good little blender I can throw a bunch of parsley leaves and a little water into and get a puree. Ideally it would be powerful enough to make nut butters as well. I want a solid unit with a good motor, not a little screeching thing. Any suggestions for me?
  9. I've had one for years. The up-front cost is high but the quality of construction and versatility have made it a very happy purchase for me. Just like with cutlery, you can do with less, but it is joy to own something so nice. I've gone 22 hours on a single charcoal load. Burping is only required if you're running hot, especially if you are using the after-market fire grate, since it allows much more air in from below. I have one of the after-market computer controlled air feeders, but honestly, you don't need it. A couple key tricks are to adjust slowly, and don't over-shoot your target temperature because it will take forever to cool back down. You must have a plate setter for so many things, I recommend you just consider it as part of the initial cost. That and a stand are the only extras I've needed. The other things I've bought are fluff. Good luck! There is a huge community out there for the BGE. You'll have fun.
  10. Fun thread. My contribution: You don't need a show kitchen to be a good cook.. I'm always amazed at how many people fit into and how much good food comes out of tiny restaurant kitchens. I've never understood the desire to own an enormous home with a cavernous kitchen. I'm much happier in a more intimate space.
  11. Thanks for the link. After further study, I think the outcome was gelation of the tomato pectins from the enzymes in garlic. Gelation is a problem in the food industry; here is one paper that discusses the problem of using dried onion or garlic powders: http://ucce.ucdavis.edu/files/datastore/234-395.pdf
  12. Tonight was a night to use up some leftovers. I had a few boxes of cherry tomatoes that were going bad so I puréed them in the food processor. I then added a few cloves of garlic. Not garlicky enough to my liking I added more garlic when suddenly my sauce thickened to a paste. What chemistry is going on here? It was like an emulsion but there was no oil. Just the tomatoes, garlic, and some salt. Did I simply entrap air? It was tasty. Mixed with some left over rice and ground venison and onion, and then stuffed into bell peppers and baked. A good weeknight meal.
  13. @thock: Really sorry to hear your loss but glad you are all ok, pets included. I'm interested to hear what you learn on this as you go along. Unless cooking items are charred I can't imagine why most couldn't be saved. They're used for cooking after all, where heat flame and odors are expected. The board, even if were actually somewhat charred, could probably be run through a planer or sanded to resurface it. The electric items may need to be replaced if they were hosed down when they put out the fire, that I could understand. Like @Mjx said, unless there were chemicals used to extinguish the fire that couldn't be safely cleaned off, I'd think you'd be good to go for most of it.
  14. @Bonkboo, I recently purchased the Kuhn Rikon. Other than stock and a botched attempt at polenta I haven't quite warmed to pressure cooking. Like others, pressure cookers are a fixture in a relatives household. I've got plans for it, just need more time to practice and learn. As for the board, if you don't have a good sized wood board already you should get one. I use mine every time I step into the kitchen. All work naturally gravitates to the board, whether it involves cutting or not. I've got a Boos board; 22x18 I think, long grain. It'll just stand up in the sink for washing. It's ever slightly warped, probably my fault for improper drying and not enough oiling. I'd probably splurge for the edge grain board if I did it again. I actually want for a bigger board, but then it wouldn't be so easy to clean. I might miss the cooker. I'd be lost without the board.
  15. An induction cooker would be cool to have around, but not for sous vide. For the same cost you can get the portable solution from http://freshmealssolutions.com/ that includes a Sous Vide Magic controller and a bubbler. You can use this in most any size pot, or a small cooler for higher temperature cooking. I have one and recommend it. A few more wires to manage than other solutions, but very cheap for a system that includes a bubbler or circulator.
  16. Got started late in this game, I suppose, but at now I can stand on the shoulders of those who've come before me. So I humbly ask for some basic advice. Perhaps this thread could become one about basic troubleshooting. I purchased some Activa RM from Modernist Pantry. It sat unopened on the countertop for a couple of weeks before I gave it a try. I had a nice large rectangular flank steak. I cut it in half, patted it dry, and then dusted both sides with the Activa. I thought I had it covered pretty well, not caked on, but covered. I put the two halves together, vacuum sealed, and put it in the fridge between a couple sheet pans with milk jugs on top for weight. When I took it out the next day (>12 hours) I noticed that while the two pieces were stuck, you could clearly see the seam and you could work it loose without a lot of effort and start pulling it apart. I grilled the meat, and then cut it into steaks across the grain. You could see where the two halves pulled apart in places as the meat contracted during cooking. I thought Activa would glue this meat into one consolidated mass. It kept the two pieces together for cooking, but didn't create the illusion of an unnaturally thick flank steak. So what went wrong? Was my Activa bad? Does it degrade that quickly even when unopened? (btw, I vacuum sealed and froze the remainder in the deep freeze). Does flank steak have too coarse a grain? Do I need to dust more aggressively or make a slurry? I'd love to do more with it, but if it is unstable and degrades too quickly (as some people have written) it won't be too practical in a home environment.
  17. I recently bought the following slicer from this vendor: http://www.atlantafixture.com/ItemDetail.aspx?ItemGuid=150413af-6845-4d49-809a-4029abe18a5f&CategoryGuid=ae01258a-c8bc-4c00-b1ac-65289cea49da&Manf=Food+Machinery+of+America&Sku=195S My budget was < $500. This slicer is Chinese made but robustly built. This unit comes with a built-in sharpener. The only issue is the carriage will not accommodate large portions. Neither the carriage itself nor the travel range is very large. For my use this is fine. They have larger units that might interest you more since your budget is twice what mine was. This vendor seems to have good prices. Their shipping is a little slow, but everything I've purchased (a large 8 foot work table and various smaller things) all arrived as advertised in good condition. If you give them a call they can help you with your choice. Good luck!
  18. I smoke a turkey every year. Various brines and rubs. Last year I ventured into mole, specifically Rick Bayless's black mole. This year I will make a mole poblano.. Icing the breasts while the rest of the bird comes to room temp does help keep the breast from overlooking. I've even put an ice pack on the breasts in the smoker. I have boil in the bag vacuum bags, so this will be the approach for this year. Rest of the meal is pretty traditional, including the pumpkin pie.
  19. I've owned falk for at least 15 years. They are wonderful bomb proof indestructible pans that will outlast me and be passed to my daughter. I use them every meal. They work fantastically well and clean up easily (hint is to deglaze your pan with water while hot and also use barkeeper's friend). Now, as MC explains, your cooktop is more important than your pan. You will also want some lighter pans for sauté, the falks are too heavy to "flick". You also should save your money on the stockpot because the copper won't help there. The big oval au gratin pan is the best for sauté and frying and the large saucier pan for everything else. . Add a couple sauce pans and a fry pan and you are set for life.
  20. I've been getting a lot of fresh herbs from the farmers market (basil, arugula, etc). These usually go in the fridge. In a day or two they start to look pretty sad. I was wondering what techniques people use to keep herbs fresh they intend to use during the week (I know growing my own and picking when needed would be best, but sometimes that doesn't happen). Keeping them in a glass of water did nothing. Keeping them out on the counter did nothing. They last longer in the fridge, more if sealed in plastic. Vacuum sealing lightly (as to not crush them) helped too, but I remember the warnings of herbs in anaerobic environments and botulism. (surely there is enough oxygen even in the vacuum sealed bag?). I though of blanching, which is supposed to deactivate the enzymes that cause things like basil to brown. Would it help for storage? I've heard of packing basil in salt, but that seems a bit tedious.... I'm wondering if there are any tips and tricks for keeping your herbs and other weekly greens fresh.
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