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Posts posted by Junkbot

  1. the body receives more energy (translating into pounds) from 100 calories of processed food than from 100 calories of whole food.

    Unless the author is talking about carbs inducing more of a fat storage hormone mechanism compared to protein/fats, this doesn't make any sense. 100 calories is the same amount of energy, no matter the source. If they're talking about how whole foods generally have more fiber (and thus their calorie calculation is a bit high), then they should have just said fiber rather than having a processed vs whole food comment.

    I think the advent of processed and fast food has made us fat. Even though corn syrup is considered low glycemic in very small amounts it happens to be in a lot of processed foods. Terrible for a person. I don't think the home food processor has much to do with the obesity problem but easily available high calorie foods certainly does.

    We didn't seem to have an obesity problem in the US until the mid 80's when high fructose corn syrup became the commercial sweetener of choice.

    There's a lot of research on the role of sucrose and fructose on the body, You're absolutely correct in that fructose is pretty terrible for you.

  2. Has anyone made a vacuum or pressure filtration system to use in their kitchen? Or found some way to filter fine particles out of solution in a timely manner? I remember back in my lab days, we used setups like these to quickly filter precipitates out of solution.

    When I was making tomatoe vodka, trying to filter it through coffee strainers was a mess as the filters would constantly get plugged up, and the whole process would take forever. I figure using a vacuum/pressure system would speed up the whole process, as well as enable one to filter out much smaller particles than with just gravity.

    One idea I had was to reappropriate an Aeropress... it would take a while since it's fairly small, but it would filter out very fine particles much more efficiently than trying to use coffee filters.

  3. A couple things.

    1. Does this happen when you use a santoku/chinese clever?

    2. Does the lip form on the opposite side when you pull-cut?

    What I'm wondering is if the belly of the knife is not making good contact with the cutting board with your strokes. It looks like you're essentially pushing the top portion of the food with the belly of the knife rather than cutting it by wedging the knife against the board. If this still happens with a belly-less knife (a flatter santoku/clever), or with pull-cuts (removes the belly factor), then I'm out of ideas.

  4. The key to keeping food cold in a cooler is the ice that is used. You will want to find a local ice company that can sell you a block that is frozen to a very low temperature. This will melt much slower and last longer. The ice in ice manchines is fine for drinks and quick trips, but it has too much surface area and is usually melting by the time it comes out of the machine.

    The initial temperature of the ice actually does very little in terms of cooling. The cooling power of ice comes from the heat of enthalpy, or when ice turns to water.

    I agree. If you have freezer space, you can freeze your own blocks in plastic containers. In my cooler, freezing a container designed to hold cereal (tall) works really well.

    The benefit of freezing large blocks of ice at home is that you lower the surface area of the ice block, so that it melts slower. This means that the cooler won't be as cool, but it'll only be a few degress warmer, and the trade off of the ice lasting a lot longer is a much greater benefit.

  5. I've got a new setup for my SideKIC that has basically eliminated all evaporation problems for me: I just completed a 72h 144°F cook (short rib pastrami from Modernist Cuisine) and did not have to add any additional water during the cook. This works because the SideKIC is basically a rectangular cross-section: I simply took a regular Cambro lid (I used one that fits my 6 and 7.5 liter tubs) and cut a relatively tight-fitting hole in it for the SideKIC to poke through. When the lid is snapped tight a) you can fill the container higher than normal because there is no risk of overtopping it and b) there is only a little bit of gap around the unit, so very little evaporation occurs. It works like a charm.

    Could you take a picture of this setup? I'm having a hard time visuallizing the lid/SideKIC arrangement.

  6. As expected, you'll find me on the side of "make sure the product IS what you call it."

    There are a dozen restaurants in Las Vegas that STILL call their meat "Kobe beef." They charge a premium for these items. And they seem to rely on an ignorant customer base. That's like selling "Cuban-seed Dominican cigars" as "Cuban cigars." Both items are banned in the US. But the cigar people know enough about cigars to avoid being ripped off.

    So how would you deal with a restaurant that's selling Kobe? If I went to a tobacco shop, and they tried to sell me 'Cuban' cigars, I'd immediately call them out on that. But for some reason, I'd have reservations on doing that in a restaurant selling 'Kobe' beef.

  7. I've been thinking about batching a Ramos in a cream whipper. Seems like it should work.

    Oh man, please give an update when you do this. I thought a blender was going overboard, but the nitrous charge would make the thickest foam...

  8. My New Orleans father used to say that you can't over-shake a Ramos!

    A contributor to the Drinkboy forum offered the following suggestion. (Haven't tried it, so can't vouch for it.)

    "Flash-blend all ingredients (except for seltzer) — without ice — for 30 seconds. Transfer blended mixture to a shaker, and shake — with ice — for another 10-15 seconds. Strain into glass, and top with seltzer."

    It's a break from tradition, but if it works, it might come in handy when making fizzes for half a dozen or more brunch guests. If anyone has the opportunity to try it, please let us know how it turns out!

    Can anyone comment on the blender method? Given that the more shaking the better, wouldn't a blender be the ultimate method to create froth? I was also thinking about using an immersion blender for slightly less cleanup.

  9. I was really disappointed because it was not how I remembered - does the "extra crispy" actually taste different than the regular recipe (aside from the crunch, of course)? Maybe it's been too long and I had some nostalgic memory of it being better, but in the end I didn't even eat the skin/coating and just went for the meat and sides instead.

    A fond memory I have is KFC Sundays as a kid, and how ridiculously delicious a bucket smelled when my parents brought it into the car. I haven't had KFC for many many years, and reading your comment reaffirms that I shouldn't have KFC again lest I destroy that nostalgia.

  10. Couldn't you simply take the sphere and toss it back into the freezer? You'd have to do this ahead of time, but I'm assuming that if you go to the trouble of building an ice-sphere carver, you'll be willing to make some ice in advance?

    I think I'd do this just so that I had ice spheres on hand. It looks like the press takes around 30-60sec to melt the ice which might get annoying when you have multiple drinks to prepare. But the tradeoff would be that I'd have to wait for the ice to come up in temperature a bit before I could use them in a drink. See my reply to dcarch at the bottom about using straight from freezer ice.

    I wondered about this too, though I think re-freezing after shaping would be the answer. However, there are plenty of spherical molds; the result may not look as nice as the ones using the press, but the ice should be pretty dry, since the shape is spherical to start with (and the molds are pretty cheap to boot).

    I'm experimenting with spherical molds right now. The issue with them is that it's difficult to get clear ice with molds (due to outside-in freezing). One thing I'm trying though, is to place the molds in a water filled cooler to see if directional freezing can help.

    Not really. The pressure from the weight heats and melts the ice. The moment the pressure is removed the ice re-freezes. That's whole reason/physics why you can skate on ice. Remember Physisc 101? The wire goes thru the block of ice without breaking the ice? dcarch

    Although there is some pressure involved, most of the melting is due to the fact that the mold is a giant heat sink for the ice. A few of the molds have instructions that say to keep the mold in warm water before use, emphasizing the ice melting abilities of the mold. This is why the mold is made from aluminum or copper since they're great at conducting heat. Also, if you're talking about changing ice to liquid through pressure, that's not the explanation used for ice skating anymore. Also, the wire going through a block of ice is known as regelation, which can only occur with great pressure (not practical), and very cold ice (not desireable).

    The reason you don't want straight-out-of-the-freezer ice for the mold is because the ice will crack due to the extreme change in temperature. If you took ice straight from the freezer and stuck it in this mold, it would have massive internal cracking (due to the melt water), which would ruin the whole purpose of clear ice balls. You have to let ice come up in temperature a bit so that contact with the mold doesn't shock the ice. This is the same reason why if you premake/order the ice balls, you should not pour liquid over them straight out of the freezer; you'll end up shocking them, causing massive internal cracks.

  11. Very nice post. Thanks for the experiment. It's interesting for me that the copper plate concentrated the heat to the center, judging by the second picture.

    I think I'm going to stop by the junkyard and pick up a slab of aluminum. Not quite as good as copper, but much cheaper.

  12. They're labeling that as a trivet. Do you need a flame-tamer or a diffuser? Because cast iron would make a horrible diffuser since it doesn't conduct heat very evenly.

    Cast Iron doesn't conduct heat evenly? News to me... trivet or not, it provides a buffer from the flame than allows my pots to actually simmer over the burner whereas they just boil without it.

    If you just want to tone down the heat, I supposed putting anything between the burner and the pot would be good, including cast iron. But cast iron is notorious for conducting heat unevenly. That's why I was looking into getting a flame diffuser made of aluminum (copper plates are a bit too pricey at the moment).

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