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  1. That's interesting. We find exactly the opposite. I assume it's because the fries aren't coated with anything. The batter we use (as Dave the Cook explains above) stays crisp for quite a while, so we do anything coated with it before the fries.
  2. Not exactly answering your question, but I have found a way to cut sandwiches with a soft filling on toasted or dense bread (like egg salad on toast or chicken salad on a roll). Take the top piece of bread off, and cut the sandwich without it. Then put the top piece of bread back on and flip it over so the uncut piece of bread is on the bottom. Then you can use the cut as a guide and slice through the bottom piece of bread. The filling doesn't squish out, and the bread doesn't break or tear.
  3. This book -- The Essential Sous Vide Cookbook -- starts with a couple of chapters of background and theory. It also contains comparison charts on various sous vide devices, and contains charts at the back with cooking times for various foods. You can read some of the introductory chapters on Amazon. (Disclaimer: I copy edited this book but didn't try any of the recipes. My task was editing for grammar and style.)
  4. I make a red table salsa with canned "roasted" tomatoes and roasted red bell peppers. Obviously it's a very different style from pico de gallo or other salsas that use fresh tomatoes, but it's very good (I once had a student ask if he could buy some) and really easy.
  5. I've heard this theory before, but I have not found it to be true, either with my stovetop PC or Cuisinart electric pressure cooker or Instant Pot. I did side-by-side comparisons with pork tenderloin and chicken breast while I was researching my latest cookbook (which is for the Instant Pot specifically). In each case, I cooked half with a short cook time and some natural release time, and half with a slightly longer time and quick release of pressure. The internal temps were virtually identical (around 145F for the pork and 150F for the chicken), the amount of liquid seemed similar, and my dinner guests couldn't tell any difference between them. I've also cooked pot roast both ways -- with a quick release and with a natural release -- and didn't notice any difference in how moist the meat was.
  6. Smoked Salmon

    In my experience, salmon that is cured but not smoked (gravlax or lox) is often erroneously labeled "smoked salmon" -- is that what you got? If you're used to smoked salmon from Seattle, most salmon there is hot-smoked, which is an entirely different product. If you can't return what you bought, you might look for recipes that call for lox and see if you can use it in those.
  7. Do you mix the topping ingredients and then pour them on the base uncooked? When I make lemon bars, I cook the shortbread base separately, then make a curd separately (lemon juice and zest, sugar, egg yolks and a little butter), then pour the curd on the base and cook it for another ten minutes or so. After chilling, the curd sets up completely solid and sliceable. Perhaps if you cooked the lemon, sugar and eggs in a saucepan until thick, then stirred in the coconut, the topping would hold together better.
  8. Hard Boiled Egg 101

    Ever since I first read Kenji's original article, I've been a convert to steamed eggs, but I disagree with his assertion that chilling the eggs for 15 minutes results in "no air space indentation on their fat end." My experience is just the opposite. I just steamed a dozen eggs, and to test his hypothesis, I divided them into two groups after steaming. I placed them all in ice water, then immediately moved half to a bowl of cool tap water and immediately started peeling them. I left the other six eggs in the ice water bath for 15 minutes, then peeled. While none of the eggs had huge indentations, the chilled ones had larger indentations than the ones I took out immediately. Granted, a dozen eggs isn't a huge sample, but this fits in my previous experience. I haven't tested steamed eggs that never touch ice water at all, but I guess that's my next step.
  9. Hard Boiled Egg 101

    I've never had consistent results pressure cooking eggs. I really wanted it to work, since I wrote a book on pressure cooking, but I found that although Laura's times and pressure levels were better than other pressure cooking books, they were still unreliable. I reverted to regular steaming (no pressure) and never looked back.
  10. 'Bar Mops' at Amazon

    We got the ones in the middle and have been pretty pleased with them. They're durable; we're very hard on kitchen towels. They're not terribly absorbent, though, so if that's your first criterion, you'd probably do better with another choice.
  11. In my experience, the times in Scarbrough and Weinstein's book are not very reliable. When I was researching my book, I found very few instances where the pressure difference between stovetop and electric cookers required different cooking times. In some cases (very short cooking times) I found that the extra time required for my electric cooker to come up to pressure actually meant that a shorter cooking time was required than for my stovetop model. For stocks, I found the pressure level made a small difference; I cook stocks a bit longer in the electric cooker than in my stovetop mode. In the one case where I wanted caramelization (my only example is onions), the electric cooker took 55 as opposed to 45 minutes, and I still didn't get quite as much browning. I should note that I don't have an Instant Pot; my electric cooker is by Cuisinart.
  12. I like mashed sweet potatoes with finely minced fresh rosemary and parmigiano cheese, or with a pinch each of allspice and cayenne.
  13. How about a Presbyterian? Depending on the source, it's a highball with either Scotch or rye, topped with half ginger ale and half club soda. I first came across it made with rye, but from a quick search, it seems that Scotch is more traditional.
  14. Oreo Cookies

    I used to love Mystic Mints, so I like this Oreo version. They have to be frozen, though.
  15. Pressure cooker meatloaf?

    Having recently pressure-cooked a meatloaf in the course of research for a pressure cooking book, I can answer some of your questions. If what you're looking for is a loaf-shaped meatloaf, you can come pretty close by shaping the meat in a loaf pan, removing it and then placing it on a piece of oiled aluminum foil to move it into and out of the pressure cooker. It'll be small because of the size of the cooker, and it will spread a little, but it will be loaf-shaped. If what you're looking for is a browned exterior, your only choices are to sear it before or after pressure cooking. I wouldn't bother covering the meatloaf with bacon, because in the steamy interior of the pressure cooker the bacon will get soggy. Glazes tend to work better if you wait until after the food is pressure cooked, then add the glaze and run the food under the broiler, or sear it with a torch.