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  1. I've got two expensive but identically defective Breville Ovens - the start/stop buttons stopped working reliably, sometimes leaving the oven on when you think you've turned it off (potentially dangerous) and vice versa (annoying to pre-heat to later realize its off and cold) - so I am not charitably disposed to them even beyond the Studio-Pass ripoff.
  2. I did, but I have no doubts that subbing for same weights of malt extract syrup, honey, or maltose, would also work fine in a pinch.
  3. Just a word to the wise for those here trying the Roscioli recipe, to save them some grief. Don't try to make the recipe with North American consumer flours -- I did and it didn't remotely work - soup. I tried again with the Caputo 00 and the recipe ratio worked precisely as written in the book and the dough was perfectly hydrated and workable. I thought the finished results were good and worth the effort. I think people make a mistake by lumping all Roman styles into a single Roman Style. As one would expect, there are many sub-styles. Those who prefer an airy style will enjoy th
  4. I have the Blue Star Platinum Range, and while I've never had any operational issues with my oven, I have noticed that the moisture produced when the oven is turned on is much higher than what I've experienced with other ovens. The moisture fogs up the glass . . . and then dissipates as it heats up. Not in and of itself a problem for me, but something I have found unusual.
  5. And maybe that's first of the many reasons why I find it so offensive - asking me to pay to see their commercially driven material.
  6. ChefSteps is a total loss as far as I'm concerned, and I say this as somebody who was once one of their biggest fans. I was an early adopter and paid for Premium usage ($75 or so) that I was told would get me access to everything forever - and it didn't bother me that they later gave away the full Premium membership with Joules. But "forever" didn't last nearly as long as I had expected. First the site sat idle for ages without content or support, and then when it was bought by Breville they renamed the highest level of access to "Studio Pass" that cost $75 a year or so to get the new "Premi

    New Kitchen

    What awful advice. Putting to one side that an ice shock allows a cook to much more precisely control the cooking of vegetables by stopping the cooking process than to hope to coast into perfect doneness (good luck doing that with any consistency) the ice shock also helps to trap chlorophyll within the skin by closing pores opened by heat, keeping vegetables green.
  8. I've got a Blue Star range and went with a Faber hood from Italy. It was less expensive than the Vent-A-Hood (which is by all accounts a good product) and I'm happy with its functionality, but its loud . . . very loud. Wouldn't hesitate to buy another Blue Star -- other than Capital I'm probably spoiled now for other cooktops -- but if doing this over I might have spent a few more bucks to get a quieter hood.
  9. I own two of these Smart Ovens, and both developed the identical problem in that the Power Button has become semi-functional, and doesn't always turn the machine off reliably. The button will beep as if its off, but it stays on. Anybody else have this? Has me concerned about safety that it remains on even after I've turned it off.
  10. Haven't posted anything in a good long while, so figured I would say how much I like my Fissler Vitaquick. I still see lots of well known cooking personalities reflexively recommend the Kuhn Rikon, which I think is based upon its extensive use and endorsement in the Modernist Cuisine books -- which are now decade old information. I think though that if you compare the construction and functionality of the current KR to the current Fissler, it's not a hard choice between the two, and the Fissler is very obviously superior. I certainly enjoy using Fissler more than the KR, which seems flimsy
  11. You will love this book, and you won't regret having ordered it. Although its a bit rough around the edges it is easily the best book on the subject of Sichuan Cooking available in English and my copy stays in select company on my kitchen counter rather than in my bookshelf, as its constantly referred to. Procuring my own copy is also a bit of a story. I was in Chengdu for classes at culinary school with a cooking friend, and near the end of the course we set about looking for this book in bookshops and couldn't find it anywhere. We wanted the book so desperately that instead of
  12. I don't know. It struck a chord in me because I also hate passing potatoes through a tamis. Its messy and tedious, and its easy to burn your hands, and then a pain to clean the tamis. I find myself too often just chucking the potatoes in a Kitchen Aid -- I have a Vitamix too but that makes them terribly gummy -- but the loss of quality is very noticeable (even to my kids) and I think I'd make mashed potatoes much more frequently if I could automate the process. I figure it would be good for hummous too, which I also make a lot of. I've had a series of $30-$50 immersion blenders
  13. Dave Arnold mentioned on his show how he hates to make mashed potatoes in a tamis because it's such tedious work, and that he used the ricer/food-mill attachment on a Dynamic immersion blender and liked it. I'm looking to buy one, but have a bit of sticker shock to overcome. The basic blender is about $160 (which doesn't seem too out of whack for the quality) but the Ricer/Food Mill attachment, which has no motor of its own, is around $150 (and full list is much higher). As is often my trick for European products, I checked out Amazon.fr and Amazon.co.uk which often lead to half price Euro
  14. FYI, before anybody runs to buy the Breville, there is a new precision induction cooker on the imminent horizon. I think I saw it on Chefsteps packaged with a Joule, (but can't find it at the moment, so maybe it was someplace else. I think it's roughly $500. I love the aesthetic and functional design of Breville stuff, but I feel very burned with my two malfunctioning SmartOvens with the identical start button defect and would think carefully before spending so much money on another one of their products.
  15. I highly recommend the pow single handled woks from the Wok Shop. I have many woks, most of them schlepped back from China and much more expensive, but I return time and again to my Wok Shop wok as my favorite to use day to day. They are incredible bargains. Incidentally, the single handled wok is more of a northern style (and also frequently used in Taiwan), and the short dual handled woks more from the south and east and Sichuan. I have both, but the single handled wok is much easier to use, particularly on a western burner. Chinese professional burners do a much better job o
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