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IEATRIO

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  1. You won't have any problems finding Chinese pickle jars over the bridge in Manhattan Chinatown. You will find housewares and ceramics stores by walking anywhere, but there is one in particular on the south side of East Broadway between the Manhattan Bridge (Market St.) and Allen St. There is another place on the east side of Bowery just north of Canal St., and several on west side of Bowery between Grand St. and Doyers St.
  2. Thanks for the input. I'm a bit torn. Still trying to set up a visit to Cornelissen and if that works out my decision will be easy. Otherwise, I'm not so sure . . . although you are making it sound as if the fish market alone is worth the effort. Thanks again.
  3. Thanks. Will certainly be looking for this. Given our very short amount of time I was considering focussing only on Palermo. It sounds like you found Catania worthwhile for a food focussed traveler? Thanks again.
  4. Need to be in Genoa briefly (might have a free dinner if you have a suggestion) but using the opportunity to spend 5 days in Sicily, into Catania (trying to visit the Cornelissen winery), and out of Palermo. Would appreciate any good suggestions for traditional local Sicilian specialties. Trying to avoid touristy and Michelin (not interested in modern or international styles) type places.
  5. I've been cooking on my Bluestar Platinum for about 5 years now, and about 90% of my cooking is in a wok. I have woks from 12" to 18" but I do 90% of my cooking on either a 13" or 14" wok. It won't be a problem to keep a 16" wok very hot, but you will have interference issues with other burners which you won't be able to use. I use the 18" mostly for steaming or boiling and only rarely for frying but again the limiting factor will interference with other burners - the Capitol wok burner is set off by itself to avoid this problem. I enjoy cooking on my Bluestar, which has been a game changer over my old Viking, but it's not perfect. The issue for me isn't so much power - its sufficient - as the way the wok fits in the burner, and to a lesser extent the dispersed shape of the flame. The burner basically engulfs the wok, which sits deep inside the burner, making it very, very difficult to move or toss the wok while you're cooking. If you look at a more traditional chinese kitchen setup, the wok sits much more shallowly atop a thinner rim, so that there is much less friction between the wok and the stove, allowing you to toss much more easily - almost impossible on the Bluestar. So the Bluestar can cook almost anything, but you won't be able to use traditional Chinese technique, and you'll have to toss the food by scooping it with a spatula, rather than using a ladle/spoon to help toss it with wok action. This isn't the end of the world, but if Bluestar understood how people cook, this could be easily fixed by changing the design of the grate so that it could cradle the wok rather than allow it to sit inside. Given Bluestar's lack of interest in improving the product, I've thought about trying to get a better grate forged myself, but haven't been able to put that together yet. A smaller problem with the burner, and one more difficult to fix, is that it would be better if all the heat were concentrated in the center of the wok, rather than dispersed in the star pattern. It's pretty clear that the ability to cook in a wok on the Bluestar is just a happy coincidence, and they don't seem very interested in trying to understand Chinese cooking technique - they could sell a lot more of these to Chinese-Americans if they understood how people cook, but their marketing is much more oriented towards Food TV type celebrities, and the only Chinese cooking videos I've ever seen on their site are by people who don't really seem to know how to cook Chinese food. Don't get me wrong, the Bluestar is still a very good choice for a Chinese cook, and will allow you to cook very good food in your home that the rest of the world can only eat in restaurants, but it could be much, much better with just a little effort if Bluestar cared to deal with these issues. The Bluestar griddle is another example of this tone-deafness, and clearly designed by people who never used the product to cook actual food. It's total crap, and has long been in storage and maybe tossed out at some point without me missing it. It just doesn't work, and increases the risk of grease fire markedly since it doesn't have a proper grease trap. Instead I use the largest De Buyer oval pan, which gives me an acceptable flat surface area, with less risk of fire, but still no grease trap so it needs to be drained manually (with spoon or by tipping) during cooking. Not really ideal.
  6. That's true, but these boards are only rated for max of 195F. Dishwashers don't usually get quite that hot, and probably top out at 180F or so unless its in some sort of sterilization mode, but can't imagine that repeated dishwashing can be good for the board. My old Asahi is now parabolic, and the material is basically the same (though without the ridgid balsa core). If your board stands up, maybe I'll try it.
  7. The Hasegawa is the best cutting board I've ever used, but it is definitely not dishwasher safe. My kids put my last Asahi hi-soft board in the dishwasher and it warped like crazy. It's worth the hassle, and I've got no doubt that you'll enjoy it. The Hasagawa is especially nice by the way, because its substantial, but the balsa core makes it very light.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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 the Roscioli recipe. I love Roscioli - though very much don't like Pizzarium/Bonci that is a similar style dough (though not remotely similar with the stuff he piles on top - but I prefer thinner "shorter" styles that I think are more typical outside of the tourist zones. These are often sheeted to get them so thin and crisp and made even crisper with a well oiled pan or even fat in the dough, which makes them ideal for simple sauceless toppings. Unfortunately, these are the most difficult to make at home without the proper equipment (or skill) to make them so thin.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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 "Premium" content. I paid the first year as soon as it was offered but quickly came to realize that I was hoodwinked as the new videos are more commercials for mediocre Breville equipment than they are interesting recipe ideas - which means that the equipment used in the recipes is no longer pro or even cutting edge (Breville Blender instead of Vitaprep, Breville Mixer instead of Hobart or even KitchenAid, etc.) - and there was precious little of interest. It was an easy decision when they tried to bill me again the next year, as I had barely been using the site I had paid for at all, and as I write this haven't even looked at Chefsteps for several months. It's a pity, as ChefSteps really engaged me and encouraged a new level of enthusiasm for cooking and cooking technology. But fortunately there is more than enough good free content on YouTube such that I don't miss it much at all. The new ChefSteps is just something entirely different from what it was.
  14. IEATRIO

    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.
  15. 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.
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