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Everything posted by PassionateAmateur

  1. My latest Astor order just arrived -- chemistry experiments on Sunday! Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur - (750) St. George Pear Brandy - (750) Russell Henry Hawaiian White Ginger Gin - (750) Evan Williams 1783 KY Straight Bourbon - (750) Appleton Estate Rare Blend 12 Yr. Rum - (750) La Favorite Rhum Agricole Blanc - (LTR) Marca Negra Espadin Mezcal - (750) Singani 63 Brandy - (750) Nonino Amaro - (750) Plantation Stiggins' Fancy Pineapple Rum - (750)
  2. Most absurdly creamy polenta recipe I ever came across was from the Scarpetta Cookbook (Scott Conant, 2013), and looking at the formula, I assume the difference is the HUGE increase in liquid vbolume and simmering time, compared to "normal" polenta recipes. This is not a typo: two quarts dairy per one cup of polenta. It is bad-ass crazy good. 1 cup coarse polenta 4 cups heavy cream 4 cups whole milk 1 TBSP kosher salt 4 TBSP unsalted butter 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (paraphrased instructions for sake of brevity) : Use a 5 or 6 quart pot. Over med-high heat, warm cream and milk, whisk in salt until very frothy and hot, keep whisking while slowly raining the polenta into mixture. Continue whisking about 8 minutes until granules swell, switch to wooden spoon to stir about 5 more minutes. Turn down to medium until begins to bubble evenly. Reduce to low, cover tightly, stir every 10-15 minutes until cooked through and liquid reduced, about 1.5 hours. Just before serving stir in butter and cheese
  3. Heartbroken to report that The Nomad book does NOT include a recipe for their Chicken Burger with foie gras and truffle mayo, which is beyond a doubt the best sandwich I've ever eaten in my life.
  4. I still have the paring knife I bought in a drug store for $1.99 when I moved into my freshman dorm in 1988 -- I'd throw it out, but it's just so handy for prying the shaker tops off spice jars and cutting off a length of kitchen twine. I can't call it a treasure, but there must be a reason it's still lingering 27 years later. Also this no-name bread knife I got for a buck at a swap meeting 20-odd years ago - waaayyy better on crusty loaves than my Wustoff.
  5. I've fallen in love with all sorts of dumplings lately. Ravioli freezes perfectly. Pot-stickers too. Make a big batch, freeze spread out on parchment until hard, toss in a big ziplock and store in the freeze. I made the duck and foie gras ravioli out of the Scarpetta cookbook a few weeks ago (by the way, I'm completely in love with that book. If I could just get a damn reservation, I'd be in the restaurant in a flash). Froze them, and also the marsala sauce (in icecube trays). So I come home from work, boil and salt a pot of water, toss in the ravioli. Nuke the sauce. Grate a little parm on top. 3 minutes of effort for a huge payoff at the end of a long crappy work day.
  6. 16 guests this year. And just realized this will be my 25th year cooking T-Day (aka my High Holy Day) dinner! - Hot spiced apple cider (with bourbon or rum, at each guest's discretion) and the sweet/spicy mixed nuts recipe from Gramercy Tavern to keep people busy while dinner is at least an hour later than I'd planned. - pumpkin bread - corn muffins - parker house rolls - Turkey (brined, spatchcocked, thyme, sage) - Gravy (homemade turkey stock, the usual aromatics, roux, white wine, drippings) - Stuffing (pecan, granny smith apple & wild boar sausage) - Mashed taters (butter, cream & a little creme fraiche for pow) - Honey & chipotle-glazed roasted sweet potatoes - roasted brussels sprouts with garlic & parmesan - sauteed green beans with shallots, almonds & lemon - pasta with roast parsnips, pancetta, leeks & cream sauce - glazed carrots with dill - maybe mushroom/herb spaetzle - depends on my energy level - cranberry sauce (both fresh AND a can of Ocean Spray, a childhood fave of mine) - lots and LOTS of wine - apple pie - carrot cake - pumpkin pie - tawny port Happy eating!
  7. A perpetual nightmare! I separate into very rough categories depending on how I think of each book, and then sort within the categories: - General purpose books (Joy, the Best Recipe, How to Cook Everything, etc) - Region/ethnicity books (Mastering the Art of French, Thai Food, etc) - Food groups/techniques (charcuterie, pastry, bbq, etc) - Specific chefs/restaurants (Keller, Jean-George, Daniel, etc) - Miscellany (for all the oddities)
  8. I have made several dishes from the GT cookbook -- and I live in NY and have not only eaten there at least 30 or 40 times (headed there for lunch this afternoon, as a matter of fact!), but I also did my culinary school internship there in the pastry kitchen under Chef Nancy (who is much missed). Everything I've made from the book tastes damn close to what I'd expect having tried the exact dishes in the restaurant. The chicken liver mousse is absolutely insanely good. And the mushroom lasagna is killer. Can't recommend this highly enough.
  9. I just grab my scale and use 5oz for every cup of flour any recipe calls for (I put my usual method of measuring by volume through 10 attempts, and averaged the weights I got each time). I call that close enough -- that way I'm always consistent, and if a dish turns out dry or wet I can adjust the recipe in a consistent way to fix it next time.
  10. I got this one about 6 months ago -- no complaints so far! Weighs in 1/10 gram increments up to 1 kg. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002SC3LLS/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i03?ie=UTF8&psc=1
  11. I've been using a cheapo 18 qt styrofoam beer cooler -- I cut out a hole in the lid to just fit the SideKic so I've only got about 1/8" of air space around it. I use stock pot on the stove to get bathwater pretty close to temp (cooler's bigger than the recommended size for the SK, so I figure I should not overburden it with trying to bring my hot tap water up 50 degrees), pour into the cooler, drop in the food, lodge the SK in its spot, close cover, put a bit of plastic wrap over the hole. I did an 12 hour spare rib bath at 175 a couple of weeks ago and lost virtually no water to evap. I have to assume heat loss was well minimized too, since my cat (a total heat slut) did NOT elect to nap on top of the contraption.
  12. Thanks guys -- their website and user's manual are remarkably silent on this!
  13. Does anyone know if I can safely remove the burner assembly (the "star" and its attached aluminum pipe) and soak it to clean out the gunk from boiled over milk that is clogging about half the little holes through which my beautiful flame is supposed to be shooting?
  14. Think in terms of what pans you'll be wanting to wash in it. The more rounded the corners/bottom of bowl, the more you limit your ability to fit a half-sheet pan or roaster in there, which I would argue is a bigger long-term hassle than keeping the corners shiny clean.
  15. I ordered sight-unseen from amazon a used copy of 'Cordials from Your Kitchen: Easy, Elegant Liqueurs You Can Make and Give' -- it arrived and I discovered that in about 1/2 the recipes the major flavoring ingredient is a spoonful of "flavoring extract". Are you kidding me? I want my 3 dollars back! Anyone have similar disappointments putting their knickers in a twist?
  16. I'm not sure the chefs are so well known. I've never heard of any of the chefs on the front page, and the ones buried inside have minimal contributions - usually just self promotion rather than anything useful. But I've seen a few of the 'how to' videos, mainly those on how to butcher this or fillet that. (The Guardian has been running a selection of them.) I have no idea who the woman presenting them is, but her knife skills make me shudder. She doesn't even hold the knife correctly and is a big fan of resting her finger along the back of the blade - a total no no, as far as I am concerned. It gives you less control over the blade, not more. This one on duck butchery is awful. Some of the sauce recipes don't give quantities for the ingredients but make sure the sponsor's products are well featured. I'm not impressed. I was totally waiting for her to slice off a finger.
  17. I'd done my homework (reading all 13,000,000 eG pages on home sous vide) before I bought the thing and was super careful to not turn heat on outside of the bath, etc -- I think mine was just a dud. But I'll be even more hyper-vigilant going forward. Replacement arrived yesterday....
  18. Sent a note to Duncan Weaver of ICAKitchen, the manufacturer (who is on eG in early threads about his doo-hickey). He promptly asked where he should mail a replacement - no fuss, no bs. The machine may not be terrifically sturdy, but you can't beat the customer service.
  19. Don't give up on the used copy search -- just nabbed one off amazon for US$35 -- totally within reach of mere mortals!
  20. fortunately, it crapped out on me while I was initially bringing the bath up to temp. Bagged ribs went into the freezer until I can sort out the problem!
  21. Power wiring and electrical work are waaaaayyyy outside my area of expertise. I can go as far as swapping out whole parts.... beyond that, color me chicken
  22. Thanks, Mary -- I'll give that a shot. Dcarch - given the price of the whole setup, I wouldn't expect a ton of durability, so I'm ok with a little minor tinkering to keep it alive. Cheers!
  23. Has anyone else had a SideKic die on them? Circulator seems fine, but heat element appears to be kaput - and this is after only 3 or 4 uses! Any suggestions for an easy home fix? Or just chase down the manufacturer?
  24. I've found some odd sized pastry boxes on Amazon over the years -- quantities of a dozen or half dozen, if I recall. But always from a non-Amazon seller, meaning you are taking your chances with how reliable the delivery will be. Good luck!
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