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Everything posted by IEATRIO

  1. Is this a recipe you've carried over from the churning world, or if you've designed it with the Creami in mind? If the later, wondering about the cremodan. Have you found that the stabilizer makes any difference? I have been removing stabilizers and hydrocolloids I would normally use in ice cream to preserve texture as unnecessary given the way that the machine works. We don't need to worry about the texture as it ages because we can just reprocess it and make the texture perfect again. Or have you noticed a difference in the final product? Thanks.
  2. I bought this on release and have been playing around with it for a week or so. I can say that I'm very happy with it. I've been using Pacojet recipes reduced to 0.7x and I've been surprised how well they come out . . . but generally only after a spin and a re-spin (some less dense custard recipes have required only one spin). Texture has ranged from perfect to very good and there is no need for hydrocolloid stabilizers in your base . . . eat what you want, refreeze the rest solid, and spin it again brand new when you want to eat the rest. The only downside I can see is the need to wait 24 hours for the base to freeze, but the rest is win-win. This is the miracle that home ice cream cooks who have long lusted over an unobtainable and/or impractical Pacojet have been waiting decades for.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.

    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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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 and clunky in comparison, for about the same price.
  20. 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 giving up, we figured we would go to the publisher's office and ask where to buy a copy. We googled the address of the publisher, went over to their office building, and explained to the doorman (in very bad Chinese, hand signals, etc.) which company we were looking for. Somehow he understood and explained to us that they just moved and gave us their new address. We went to the new address but were unable to figure out which floor the publisher was on (or if they were actually in that building) and got on the elevator and headed up to a publishing firm, in a building filled with publishing firms. We were on the wrong floor, but the kind people took pity on the poor illiterate foreigners and found somebody to speak English with us. This woman knew exactly which publishing firm we wanted and took us down to that floor, and introduced us to the people there. We explained that we were culinary students and were desperate to purchase the book. They couldn't believe it, and were completely tickled at our interest. So much so that they fetched the Editor of the book and introduced us and we had a nice conversation about how the book is a cult classic amongst Sichuan cooking enthusiasts in the West and that the book is impossible to procure (at that time it was literally impossible and used copies were going for hundreds of dollars) and that we would love to know how to buy a copy. He went to a bookshelf, pulled out two copies for the two of us, and gave it to us as gifts, and wouldn't hear of accepting a kuai for it. We took pictures together and it is one of my best memories -- of many great memories -- of Chengdu. Enjoy your book and use it well.
  21. 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 and now that my latest Cuisinart -- which is a horrible machine with a misplaced "safety" button that requires the use of two hands -- is failing, thought I would invest in something nicer to use and that will last.
  22. 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 cooking gear for North Americans, but no joy . . . worse prices than in the USA. Anyway, before I buy it I thought I would ask for the experiences of others who have tried it. I'm also curious about the differences between the standard Mini-Pro and the Dynashake model, which looks nearly identical but comes with a slightly longer barrel and a shake cup which looks perfect for making mayonnaise which I'll be using this for often. Thanks.
  23. 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.
  24. 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 of aiming the heat at the bottom of the wok, but the western burners have much more distributed heat, and will heat your handles to the point at which they can't be handled with a dishtowel and require serious heat protection for your hands.
  25. 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 the meat only to the extent necessary to make it kosher, but no more than that. I suspect that much of the quality of the meat could be preserved if the soaking and salting were done with more care, and without overkill.
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