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    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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. In my opinion, the biggest challenge for kosher cooking -- regardless of cooking style -- is that meat and poultry must be "soaked and salted" prior to cooking in order to be kosher. As a result, proteins in beef are denatured and poultry is waterlogged. I think that this process does much less damage to poultry than it does to meat (which is basically ruined by the koshering process). If I were going to try and make kosher BBQ (or kosher food generally) as good as it could possibly get, I would be trying to find a way to satisfy the minimal kosher requirements, while soaking and salting th
  11. Putting aside the "why" you are going about this the way you are, the Wondra would seem to be your best choice here. Wondra is pre-gelatinized, so there is no need to cook it or bloom it to make it work, as you would need to do with corn starch (or raw flour). Gelatin seems wrong for this, as it will gel when cooled, and fall apart when re-heated.

    Satay from scratch

    A bit late to this topic, but maybe I can help. I make a Javanese Satay, almost always with chicken and sometimes with beef or lamb/goat, but not with shrimp. I suppose no reason it couldn't be made with shrimp, except for the fact that the flavor is likely to be overwhelmed by the cacophony of flavors and the susceptibility to overcooking. Anyway, first step is to marinate the protein, in a mixture of blended shallot (.25kg-.5kg), garlic, and ground coriander seed (2 tblsp, whole), black pepper (1tsp), salt, oil, mixed with "kecap manis," which is a thick soy sauce condiment made
  13. Can you please explain the issue with the thermal fuse? Is that part of the issue with the defective switch? Or is that a separate issue?
  14. Both of them are at least a few years old, but certainly not old enough that I would expect them to both be failing (and potentially dangerous) due to the same faulty part. Nothing lasts forever, but I would expect domestic kitchen products, particularly solid state bits on supposedly premium products that cost several hundreds of percent more than the average toaster oven, to last for a reasonable amount of time. I'm pretty disappointed and my experience has definitely dissuaded me from purchasing other Breville products with the same circular buttons (although I don't know whether they hav
  15. I own two Breville Smart Ovens, and I have generally been happy with them, and find that they have extremely even heating which can be handy for baking (I make toast in a toaster so don't care too much about how it handles toast). I have begun to experience a big problem on both of my SmartOvens though, in that the fancy circular power buttons no longer function reliably. They beep as if they've been activated when pressed, but most of the time the on/off switch has not actually been activated. This is an annoying problem when turning the machines on, as sometimes you think the
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