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Unpopular Poet

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  1. So here is a question to the TM owners on the thread here - I have been reading about it for sometime and there are some people in reviews/comments elsewhere that claim that the TM makes food just fine, but not as well as if it was made from scratch, on a stove, etc. I am not sure I totally understand this - is it because there are temperature discrepancies, etc. that make the TM uneven and unreliable? I am in the process of moving out of my kitchen I spent years planning and building - it is a good thing - we are moving by choice to another state but I was wondering if the owners have experienced the same "not as good as" end result as some of the reviews. I don't get it, but maybe there is something I am missing. I am going to be living in a space that I cannot improve for the next year or 2 and think that the TM might be a good fit - thoughts? Thanks!
  2. Pacman Ghost Breakfast Pizza - so ugly but so delicious.
  3. 2 Americanos. The breakfast of champions.
  4. This was Christmas Day - I bought a Prime Rib Roast at Publican Quality Meats in Chicago - 65 day aged. Fantastic. The carving on the finished product was the result of too much red wine....and people getting aggresive about eating.....it was fabulous but almost too rich - I hate to say it, but I preferred the Chuck Roast....Also cooked via ChefSteps sous vide recipe.
  5. Breakfast pizza is a wonderful way to start the day. This one didn't last long. The leftovers are particularly good when they sit out and come to room temp...no leftovers this time around.
  6. So it has been way too long since I have been on the boards - I have missed everybody! We are starting to try and put the pieces back together after a spur of the moment move to Iowa from the Chicagoland area. Going to sell our house we just finished a year ago so this is our last Christmas there. Made a wonderful chuck roast courtesy of the awesome people at ChefSteps. It was absolutely fantastic. Definitely my favorite of the chuck roasts I have had. I added an extra step and glued the roast back together before tying it and it held together well out of the bath. In some ways the french dip sandwiches I made the next day were better....
  7. It is my second Bluestar and I couldn't be happier. Made my first steaks on the salamander last night...I bought some beautiful ny strips that were on sale and they turned out amazing. 7 minute total cooking time, the fat was crispy and the inside was a perfect medium rare all the way through.
  8. Here is the latest!!! I tested it out and in less that 15 seconds some bread was well....toast!
  9. For some reason these won't attach correctly....ugh! More to come as to get finished!
  10. My contractor promised a working kitchen by Thanksgiving and he delivered! There are still a ton of things to do, but I cooked in the new kitchen for the first time last night and it treated us well! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
  11. We are making progress! The floors are in and the cabinets have been put in place. On Friday, they set the sink and measured for the rest of the countertops. We have about 2 weeks of other stuff before the countertops go in, and then tile and appliances....looking forward to Thanksgiving (hopefully!!)
  12. I have to say that I recently purchased a whole Berkshire head, belly and shoulder. The difference was significant - especially in the belly and shoulder - here's a pic of the shoulder brining....it was fattier in all the right places and absolutely more flavorful. I wish I had a pic of the belly!
  13. We are almost through the drywall phase. I added some low voltage lighting for under the cabinets and a coat closet where the fridge was originally going to be pushed all the way back. We needed some spec for the HVAC cold air returns so everyone won! Hardwood starts next week, then cabinets, then measuring for countertops and so on. Looking forward to a nice celebratory meal in about 1.5 months....
  14. Technically, there is no ability to take a photo from the same vantage point, since the old vantage point no longer exists in some aspect. This rendering is "kind of accurate" but not really since there will be a pot rack (which comes from my Grandfather's restaurant) and a few other thing, but you get the point....The salamander is missing and what not, but otherwise, this is the rough layout. Today's dilemma was HVAC..tomorrow it will be something else. My contractor is awesome though -- zero complaints when it comes to both his work and attentiveness -- 1st class all the way.
  15. You can't put pipes on an outside wall, that would be folly. The pipes that connect to my sink come through the floor and cabinet - plenty of space from the pipes to the outdoors! Our HVAC guy is handling makeup air. The 220 would be nice but I already have one going in for the steam oven, so that would eat up 40 of 200 amps on 2 appliances....I love wood floors and don't care who knows it
  16. Not much to add this week..they are finalizing HVAC, electrical and plumbing. I think the cabinets are getting delivered soon, hopefully not too soon, because we really don't need them for a bit and I have absolutely nowhere to put them! The fridge and hood are ordered, the steam oven and salamander are in the garage....once the drywall starts I will post more pics -- that should be next week!
  17. It is the ear cartilage - it is kind of crunchy - not sure how I felt about that, it wasn't bad but had no added flavor. I think if it was sliced on a slicer it would perhaps be more appealing. For the next one I make I am going to most certainly brine the head and then tie it with cheese cloth to hang it for a couple days after cooking. Definitely didn't need any meat glue to hold it together, it was compact and dense, after I pressed it down for 24+ hours.
  18. Thinly sliced it turned out very nice. Served on a crusty baguette with kewpie, spicy slaw, tomato chutney and spinach was a big win.
  19. I am thinking I will slice it myself - I have a small slicer that should work OK -- not the best, but definitely serviceable. I wish I could slice it really thin but that would take a real slicer, not the one I have....
  20. It turned out well so far -- I did it at 160 for 20 hours and then ice bathed it for 2 hours. I cut into more manageable pieces and re-wrapped tightly in saran wrap and weighted it down in the fridge. Flavor was great -- the ears had a bit of a crunch to them, everything else was fatty and delicious. I am looking forward to serving it cold, thinly sliced on some crusty bread with chamber pickles, kewpie, stone ground mustard and some spinach.
  21. We have a ton of outlets, which is good -- we are definitely set on the hardwood -- no way around it since there is no transition between the floors in the kitchen and the family room. I have been happy with my hardwood and never had problems in the past -- We are not using a designer other than ourselves - it wasn't too big of a space and we already knew what we wanted and didn't want. As far as a hood, we are mounting a 60" Wolf hood above the 48" bluestar and salamander -- offsetting by 6 inches on each side to accommodate more capture area there will be an external 1500 CFM blower. Should be much better than my previous one which couldn't accomplish anything but noise interruption.
  22. I need to have it ready by this weekend, so I ended up going with 160 -- we will see how it turns out -- could be a bust, but will still be delicious most like, even if it doesn't slice up nicely. My main concern is the off smell due to the scorched off hair -- I think that will be more of a problem than anything else, if it is. Adventures in Offal coming soon to a block party near you....
  23. Smithy - we are doing gray cabinets with soapstone countertops, with large (4X11) white subway tiles. I am not doing any of the work this time around -- I was the laboring oar on my last 3 kitchens and this time the professionals are coming in -- too many variables on this one. Flooring will be oak flooring that spans all the way into the family room -- one big room, kitchen & family room. The only choice we have left to make are the 2 kitchen faucets...which IMHO are a huge deal...
  24. I had thought about head cheese, but ultimately decided to try a "porchetta" style roll, as I had seen in a couple recipes online. The problem is that the time and temp vary drastically -- from one chef saying that they bring it to 190, to another cooking it at 165, etc. etc. Mortadella was a bad example now that you point it out. I was thinking more of just the overall texture, not the makeup. I think maybe 160 for 18 hours?
  25. Chris -- I think perhaps I would like to achieve a texture that would allow easy slicing on a meat slicer, without it falling apart. Does that make sense? Perhaps the consistency of the Chef's Steps Pork Steaks... Edit: I thought of a comparison -- a mortadella type consistency, if that is even possible
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