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  1. DARTO pans

    Of course, if you are happy with the Lodges, that's great, but anybody considering the Darto should understand that they are in a completely different class than the Lodge. The Dartos are seamless pieces of thick carbon steel and practically unique in the market, at any price. They will last forever and will likely be the nicest pan you will ever use. For many people the difference in price between the Dartos and something more conventional, will be very well worth the price. I think anybody on the fence about these won't regret pulling the trigger.
  2. Sorry to return so late to this topic that I started. Unfortunately, since posting this I learned that the SHIC has been integrated with the Sichuan Tourism University, and classes moved from Chengdu to a town about 2.5 hour drive north of Chengdu and that they no longer accept short term students. Instead, we arranged to take private classes at the New Asia Culinary Academy in Western Chengdu, easily reached by Metro from downtown Chengdu, and separately arranged for a translator to translate for us. This is a huge privately run culinary academy, with several hundred mostly young students there for a multi year course. We were the first foreign students to take classes like this, and while they weren't really set up for it, they were very accommodating of our requests. It was a magnificent experience, and I recommend it most highly and intend to go back as soon as I can. I would be happy to share the contact information with anybody interested if you send me a message.
  3. Viking Mixer Whip

    I believe that the Viking mixer was a rebranded Kenwood mixer. I bet you could buy the whip for the equivalent size Kenwood (you might have to buy it from a UK website) and it will fit fine.
  4. Sous Vide for Soft-Boiled Eggs

    But this is no less a problem with conventionally cooked eggs. The unfortunate reality is that egg white, and egg yolk, each denature at different temperatures. Conventional cooking's solution to this (and to cooking many other ingredients made up of different components) is to simply overcook everything -- but that approach has its own problems, even if the textures it produces are more familiar to us. In the end, we are left with compromises and need to make the best choice for our application, preferences, and logistics. Personally, I love sous vide eggs, and think that the compromises that method offers are often worth the trade-offs . . . but not always, which is why we all still have stoves to cook them conventionally too.
  5. Sous Vide for Soft-Boiled Eggs

    I think that an important variable is the quality of the eggs, especially if you are in the United States. Eggs in the USA are generally of very low quality compared to most of the rest of the world. In general in the US, eggs are sold mostly based upon the conditions under which the chickens are kept (i.e., free range, cage-free, commodity, etc.), but in reality all of these are of materially identical quality -- so called "USDA Grade A." The problem is that although A is the first letter of the alphabet, it is a scale borne out of marketing concerns of the agricultural product industry, and Grade A eggs are actually second rate, with the truly premium eggs being classified as "USDA Grade AA". Quite tricky. The US egg industry and their government promotors in the US Dept. of Agriculture try to maintain the fiction that there is little difference between the A and AA grades, but I think that the difference is very obvious. It is a challenge to find Grade AA eggs, especially from large chains (i.e., Whole Foods sells a variety of eggs, including some at very high prices, but they are all second rate Grade A), and in certain parts of the country, but it is well worth the effort, particularly for applications like SV. A commodity Grade AA egg is always of better quality than the most expensive free range Grade A egg. In comparing the two grades, you can easily see that Grade AA eggs have much more cohesiveness between the different parts of the egg white, so that you get almost none of the loose white junk that causes so many problems in poached and SV eggs. I think you will like your results much more with the Grade AA eggs, and unless you have access to non-commercial fresh eggs, these are the best you will find in the USA.
  6. Searzall--After the Honeymoon?

    Brilliant. Will do this. I make Vietnamese style chicken chops marinated and basted in 50/50 fish-sauce/sugar (and garlic and/or lemongrass) and grill them (and serve topped with chopped cilantro/mint/fried shallots/chopped scallion/crushed peanut). The Searzall allows me to caramelize (burn) the sugar in a way that would be impossible to do just with the grill, without drying out the chicken. Really improves the dish.
  7. I had the original first generation Anova until it crapped out a few months ago. I replaced it with the Joule, which is much more nicely built and engineered is much easier to store, and more cool generally. But, while I have no complaints at all about it, I think I'm starting to realize that I don't enjoy using the Joule as much as I enjoyed using my Anova, because of the fiddly-ness of needing to use it through my iPhone. Don't get me wrong, it absolutely works, and I would not dissuade anybody from buying it, but there is something about having to control it that way which I'm not really digging. There are times that I want two simultaneous cooks, and I think I'll buy the new Anova as well, and will probably make that my main unit.
  8. This is like a Thermo-Mix. I wonder if their patent expired. I've never owned one, but this looks a bit nicer. I think that these sorts of things are best for people who enjoy home cooked meals, but have no interest in spending any time cooking (or learning how to cook).
  9. Great hard-to-find condiments

    I have always considered this a high quality product and the one I have seen most commonly in Germany. Curious what you find substandard about it.
  10. Homemade Broth/Stock lasts how long?

    You are mixing up your physical properties. The same amount of air molecules are not still in the pot -- they have been reduced to an amount approaching (but not reaching) zero. Saturation is not at play because we are not forcing the air into the liquid, and the process of expansion is non-linear so that the air can escape before it has an opportunity to be forced into solution. We know this, because if it were not so, we would have bubbles in our stock as the air comes out of solution -- which from all of our observations just doesn't happen. First the atmosphere is reduced, and with the new expansion space, the water can undergo phase transition and occupy the empty pot. Given the nature of water molecules to expand 1600 times its space at room temperature, less than a thimble full will occupy the entirety of what is likely to be less than 5 liters of headspace. Also, we haven't yet discussed that this less than a thimble full of vapor is just that -- gaseous H20 -- and any solid contaminants will not sublimate (so that the temps can render them safe). If you doubt it, you should make two batches of stock, conventionally and in a pressure cooker. I guarantee that the pressure cooker stock will last quite a bit longer.
  11. If you want to try another local neighborhood chocolatier, I suggest my favorite from when I lived nearbyy, Irsi, Rue du Bailli 15, off of Avenue Louise.
  12. As an aside, I think a lot of the Bittman recipes from the New York Times just don't work, or are simplified to the point where the results are no longer worth the effort. That bothers me a lot less than the authoritarian streak. Currently however, I think Anthony Bourdain is giving Bittman a run for his money on the food authoritarian front. His current crusade -- complete with high minded documentary -- seeks to convince us not only that the world is growing too much food (rather a shockingly stupid proposition), but also seeks to tell us how we should be eating and cooking so as to reduce "waste." I think that cheap and plentiful food (and these things are directly related) could be humanity's single greatest achievement, and his arguing that we ought to reduce the supply and thereby make it more expensive is gravely misdirected. But I also don't appreciate his seeking to lecture others and seek to impose his own (rather poorly informed, in my opinion) economic doctrines as well as his aesthetic values and food preferences on others. Bourdain came to fame as a sort of libertine who rightly clucked at self-appointed anti-pleasure puritans (from Vegetarians to the religious right), but he has now devolved into a celebrity spokesperson for preachy austerity. As unseemly a spectacle as he has become, he is simply too powerful (sort of a non-rapey Harvey Weinstein of the food world) for anybody to take on. And don't even get me started on his CNN show.
  13. Homemade Broth/Stock lasts how long?

    It is true, and especially facilitated by the design of the Fissler. As the water temperature rises, a one way valve in the handle mechanism allows the air in the pot to escape. Once the air in the pot escapes, the valve closes. Many users on the Amazon site reviewing the unit are actually alarmed at the escape of this air, and think that they have a bad valve, but this is by design. If one were to press the release at this point, air would "whoosh" back into the valve to fill the vacuum. With the air (or almost all of it) out of the pot, higher temperatures are possible. For illustrative purposes, another device which operates under the same principles is an iSi siphon, which blows the air out of a filled unit (that is half filled with liquid) with the first cartridge, so that the pressure on the second cartridge can be applied to the liquid, and not to the air. gfweb's observation that water vapor is released from the "boiling" of the liquid in the pressure cooker misses that the high pressure prevents a real rolling boil (even at temps which are above the boiling point at sea level), and more importantly that water vapor increases approximately 1600 times its density at sea level (.96 grams/cm2) so only a tiny amount fills the empty head space in a 5 or so liter pot when the unit is at pressure. This is not technically an anti-septic process, but it leaves very much less exposure to atmospheric contaminants than an open pot, leaving less to grow as the stock ages.
  14. The implications of Bittman's writings are quite troubling. He has tremendously authoritarian tendencies, and has little or no respect for people who don't share his values or choices -- and would over rule those choices if he was able. I'm afraid that there is no shortage of these sorts of attitudes in the food world.
  15. Homemade Broth/Stock lasts how long?

    As it creates pressure the cooker first forces all of the air out of the vessel, then those valves close and the unit goes to 15psi. So at full pressure there is no air in the vessel, and the stock is sterilized from the temperature. Unlike an open pot, there is no way for contaminants to find their way into a locked pressure cooker. In my experience, pressure cooked stock lasts much longer than conventionally cooked stock.