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  1. btbyrd

    Black Garlic

    There doesn't appear to be any pH tweaking going on in the Hunter-method, at least as it was described in episode 256 of Cooking Issues. Here's the quick and dirty summary of the method as described at the end of the show: "Take the garlic (unpeeled, either single cloves or full heads) and wrap it in foil, then put a damp towel at the bottom of a crock pot and then another damp towel on top [with the garlic in the middle]. Then put the lid on the crock pot and wrap the whole thing in cellophane to keep everything sealed and put the crock pot on high (around 180F) and go for at least 24hrs, and maybe more.... you can test it periodically."
  2. btbyrd

    Lawry's Seasoned Salt

    FWIW, celery salt also contains no MSG.
  3. +1 for wanting it to fit a quarter sheet pan and be able to toast.
  4. He's the man! I'm partial to his chicken galantine demos.
  5. I believe that rotuts answered that question. You don't really need a circulator; cold water will do just fine. Warm water even better.
  6. Ha! Nope. I freeze leftover stock, soup, or chili in bags and then retherm them with Joule. A super-fast way to get dinner on the table. You can also just defrost using lower temp settings, but most of the time I crank the temp and serve straight from the bag.
  7. With a circulator.
  8. Or not. It's no different than using a burner on a gas range indoors, and nobody freaks out about that (with the exception of high end ranges that need makeup ventilation). I use both of my Iwatani burners indoors all the time and have yet to die. They're essentially built to be used indoors, despite the paperwork boilerplate warning. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Japanese and Korean cooks use as their primary indoor burners. I wouldn't use one in a tiny airtight space, but in the context of a normal American home, it's not really an issue. Of course, you're in NYC... so the admonition to open a window is wise.
  9. Conventionally raised layer hens are typically fed a diet that contains supplemental calcium, which yields a more shelly shell. Hens raised on pasture often do not get as much calcium in their diet, and their shells can be flimsier with less crackability -- at least in my experience. But I don't buy eggs for the shell.
  10. I use turned wooden cups to keep my cooking/tasting/straining spoons on the counter. Also chopsticks . I can also vouch for andiesenji’s use of the metal mesh pen cups from Staples, though as she notes, they’re a little on the light side and prone to tipping over. My wooden cups were an upgrade to those... got them on Etsy.
  11. After many years of using a plain white ceramic bain marie, I purchased a beautiful utensil crock from Alewine Pottery. They're located in the Smokey Mountains, and we always enjoy visiting their store/studio whenever we're in the area. It sits on a bamboo turntable I purchased on Amazon.
  12. If you want control, the Vollrath Mirage Pro is the way to go. It has 100 power levels that you can quickly scroll through with a knob. It responds basically like a gas stove, though it's not as powerful as 240V. I will say from experience that having only 15 levels of power control is far from ideal -- especially on a 3200 watt unit. Those are good for high-heat applications like boiling water, searing, or stir-frying but they're awful if you want to dial in the perfect simmer or keep your pressure cooker pressurized at a constant level. Most units also tend not to have a lot of control at the low end of the temperature spectrum, but the Mirage Pro was specifically designed to go as low as 80 degrees for tempering chocolate, and has a lot of range both at the hot and cool ends of the temperature spectrum. Also, as a general rule I don't trust induction hobs that pretend to hold a specific temperature unless they have a probe (e.g, Control Freak or Hestan Cue). The claim that induction burners can warm up to specific temperatures are mostly marketing nonsense. Even if the hobs have temperature sensors built into the cooktop, the readings there depend on the cookware you're using. Lightweight pans are liable to be much hotter than the intended temperature because the sensors don't register them as well as heavier weight pans. At any rate, I'm a big fan of the Vollrath and a major critic of low-end units with few power settings and membrane switches. I also like the fact that it will run on normal power, so I can take it with me if I'm going to be cooking somewhere with questionable cooktops. The only thing that I don't like about it is a lack of consumer warranty; Vollrath only honors the warranty for commercial use. I can't say exactly why they do this, but I suspect that idiot customers have something to do with it. Also, I know it's not induction but I'm also a big fan of the Iwatani 35FW portable butane stove. It is extremely powerful and supremely portable -- no electricity required! The downside is that it runs on butane cartridges and those only last about an hour (and the power falls off as the cartridge approaches empty). Iwatani gas burners aren't likely to be permanent (or only) burner in your batterie, but I find them useful in all kinds of situations. The 35FW is more powerful than the burners on the two crappy gas ranges I used for years in past rental homes. My current house has a GE electric range with a glass top, so I picked up the Iwatani burner to use with clay cookware that requires a flame. But I also find it useful for searing outside (so I don't smoke out my kitchen) and for going car camping. They're cheap and fun and provide the real "cooking with gas" experience.
  13. btbyrd

    Ice Cream!

    I've been using liquid nitrogen to make ice cream and sorbet in my Kitchenaid stand mixer. Haven't tried using dry ice yet, but that is supposed to work just as well (and it's much easier to source and store). My first attempt was this strawberry-Angostura sorbet recipe from ChefSteps. The flavor and texture were incredible. I should have made a double batch! I'm going to start experimenting with flavoring agents sourced from Mandy Aftel. I added a spritz of violet extract - alpha ionone - to that strawberry sorbet, and it only further added to the delicious berriness of it all. I have some vanilla ice cream base in the fridge that's demanding that I add some black pepper essential oil before churning (following a recipe by Mandy and chef Daniel Patterson). And I've got some peach isolate that is just crying to be made into a frozen dessert. It smells so good!
  14. He has graced the forum before, but not in that uncommonly shaggy state. 😊
  15. Who has two thumbs and just bought all the Ortiz anchovies available at his local World Market? This guy. Great deal! I was just bemoaning the low quantities of anchovies in my pantry. They shall sit nicely aside my bounty of Ortiz tinned tuna I picked up on some insane World Market promotion late last year.
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