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Everything posted by palo

  1. I believe I would prefer a Manhattan without ice, but without dragging this discussion into a totally irrelevant tangent, how would you mix your Manhattan? p
  2. Hear, hear! I've even suggested to a significant other that if they want it, they should get their own!
  3. First off let me clarify that there are two groups of people, those that we describe as intimate, and not necessarily in the biblical sense and those that we see as just good friends or aquainticies. Double-dipping may not be seen as the best of good manners but in my mind acceptable with intimates. Plate-sharing however takes the process to whole different level. I have read in these forums a blatant dislike to people who decline or do not choose to plate-share. First off if people decide afore-hand to share their menu choices, then it becomes a non-issue. However if no such agreement is in place, then the expectation is unwarranted and indeed intrusive. The same goes for the expectation that diners never order the same entire, unless again the expectation has been agreed upon. Personally, I have no problems with plate-sharing with an intimate, however I do with "friends". I don't consider myself overly concerned about germs or contamination (double-dipping does not in itself induce vomit reactions rather than just poor manners) I just react to the "expectation" and incumbent societal political correctness. I get quite angry reading posts that deride and criticize fellow diners who do not subscribe to this philosophy. Your reactions/comments. p
  4. Aside from the annoyance and extra burden to the wait staff, I prefer this choice. First it eliminates the bickering regarding who had what, it allows individuals to tip as they see fit and it also delineates the "I only had one beer and you had three" inequalities. If two people out for dinner had basically same order splitting the tab in half is not an issue, but if one diner opts for a "value" menu choice and the other, a high-priced entre, with additional add-ons and wine pairings, the 50/50 split is no longer equalible. Additionally the tipping issue raises its head. Some people have a fairly in-grained philosophy regarding appropriate tipping levels and separate checks allows the freedom of expression of this philosophy without conflict. How often does this choice become your choice because of the scenarios mentioned above or do your thoughts revolve around how your choice is perceived by your dinner companions? p
  5. palo

    Dinner 2015 (Part 2)

    Dinner last night was more like what you might find in a diner as a side dish as opposed to some of the fine restaurant dishes described and pictured here. As well, presentation was not worthy of a photo, ie a big soup bowl. Fried Rice: I started with chopped pork loin marinated in oyster sauce, then dredged in corn starch. I sauted for a few minutes until browned and removed to rest. Added green peppers and onions, sauted until just beginning to caramelized. Finally added the day-old white rice, frozen green peas and the previously cooked pork loin. Seasoned with some additional oyster sauce and a sprinkling of MSG, "stir-fried" the mess until rice had heated and peas had cooked. Dumped into afore-mentioned soup bowl and ate. As it was a table for one, critiques are limited. I enjoyed it, it was tasty, I've had better fried rice. Oyster sauce is not by itself an ideal marinade/stir-fry ingredient. Needed an additional side of veg or salad to counter-balance the main. That being said, meals for me are generally a trade-off between taste and effort. Full disclosure: bachelor cooking for no-one's pleasure but his own. p
  6. ^^Safer than a mandoline. p
  7. palo

    Egg life

    I have an unusual problem in that I am allergic to eggs. That being said I do buy eggs to use as a binder, wash or as part of a breading process, seems I can tolerate them in those instances. I end up using 2 eggs out of a dozen and tossing the rest due to expiration issues. I don't have a reliable "nose" to use as an evaluation discriminater. I would appreciate a definitive process to help me. p
  8. Some people would read that quote out of context and conclude you were a snob, however as you further elaborated, there are legitimate reasons for your point of view. Is it really worth the savings to buy something that does not live up to expectations or is unusable? I would hate to buy some yeast with the specific intention of making pizza that evening with the hope that it MIGHT work. Personally when I buy something that is reduced for quick sale, I am under no illusions that it's quality will necessarily be the same as something within the use by date at a higher price. That being said, there do exist snobs who refuse or are unable to make an evaluative decision based on value vs prejudice. p
  9. Reading a number of threads regarding inadequate service in restaurants and decisions by diners to find their own missing silverware, find the coffee station etc. Has anyone ever had the gall to cook their own food? Obviously we are referring to a decidedly down-scale eatery, with an extremely informal standard. Due to health and legal regulations this would probably never happen in N. America. p
  10. What I like about restaurants is the re-visitation of my early childhood, where I sat in my high-chair and had to do nothing but open my mouth and swallow. Of course the downside of that was I never had much say in what was offered or how it was prepared. The same could be said of the meals I've had in some restaurants with a "vision". p
  11. Still unsure of uses/advantages of smooth vs serrated blades other than for bread. After all, a bread knife is serrated so as to be able to cut through a hard crust and not destroy the soft interior. Not sure how that applies to meat and cheeses. p
  12. Great story and well told! If you missed it, it deserves a "bump" The actual story is found at the top of the thread p
  13. ^^Let's suppose your supplier is offering you an ingredient @ 20% off their regular price. This is a one-off. Would you go to the trouble of re-printing your menus, just for the week or would you just add a "Special" page to your menu? Additionally if a customer sees a menu item for $20 (because you adjusted your cost) and then comes back with some friends a week later and sees the same item for $30 (because your supplier is now charging his regular price), his first thought will probably be "Boy, did they ever raise their prices" Regarding my use of "compromising values", I'm not sure where that phrase came from in reference to your post. I probably had a thought which is no longer with me nor relavent. I retract and apologize. p
  14. ^^oooooops!!! They say the devil is in the details. I should have read radtek's post more carefully, although I did think "that's a hell of a lot of dishes from breakfast" p
  15. FYI: the broiler/baking pan and rack from the Breville 650XL Smart Oven fit perfectly in the CSO. I ordered a set (about $17 CDN) and they arrived today. I usually use the rack for chicken drums and thighs to keep them out of the grease, but the bottoms tend to steam. I'm hoping the rack will allow the grease to drain but the narrow slits will prevent steaming. They are listed under parts on the Breville site, I chose "see all" so there's a lot of scrolling. p
  16. I found a two man J.A. Henckels in my local thrift store for a buck! It's not very attractive. The blade is full tang and probably non-stainless carbon steel. The handle is affixed with 5 thin rivets and is either made of a non-descript wood or rather weather beaten. I've made no effort to clean either blade or handle, but I do wash and dry immediately after using it. The only markings on it are "J.A. Henckels Twinworks", the two man logo and the numbers 62-6". Yes it is a 6" blade of a general utility shape. I'd be very interested if anyone has any info on it, age etc. p
  17. Are you asking about my wife??? Seriously though, I'm not married But I can feel the comment coming: "And we know why" Back to dishwashers, mechanical that is not human, I have a cheap no-name from Home Depot that has lasted over 10 years, but that being said, it has been used infrequently. If, as mentioned upthread you're using it 2 - 3 times a day, then the wise choice would be to purchase a premium model. Aside from expected durability, the new ones are so quiet. When I run mine, I have to turn up the TV volume just to hear it, mind you there is no actual wall beteen the kitchen and the TV room, just a peninsula which holds the dishwasher and sink. p
  18. I started with department store slicers. The first I bought was plastic, used once then sent off to the thrift store as it really didn't do a good job, I ended up up next with a Waring Pro, better but not great. After much thought and research I found what I needed was a commercial model. I found this one: http://www.amazon.com/Presto-Anodized-Aluminum-Slicer-Transmission/dp/B004HOTRHM It is no where near a Hobart, but then neither was the price. Regarding a serrated blade, the ones I've seen in businesses do not use a serrated blade, must be a reason for that. The only use I could see would be to slice bread. The Presto will cut thin enough to call the result "shaved" rather than sliced. On the other hand I just sliced a whole pork loin (on sale) into chops almost 1 inch thick. It's suggested that softer meats, such as that loin, be tossed in the freezer for a bit to firm them up. The manual specifically mentions not using it for cheese as it tears rather than cuts. My inet research has not confirmed that. One last comment, unless you're slicing a firm meat such as cooked ham or salami etc, cleanup is a bitch. After doing that loin it took about 15 minutes to de-gunk it. It is an expensive piece of equipment (how many pork loins would it take to break even?) but it does what it does, well. From my personal experience, buy a good one or don't buy one at all. I mean how often will you have the opportunity to drop the phrase "my meat slicer" into a conversation? p
  19. @Deryn, sorry my over sensitivity, and my doctor says Wednesdays are my good days I couldn't agree with you more regarding your preference for induction over an electric stove/cooktop. @radtek, make sure you check out the burner plug you are considering before you wire up a socket. My burner's plug is nothing like a dryer nor like a stove plug. My induction burner requires a 3 prong socket whereas dryers and stoves require a 4 prong socket and I believe even those are different from each other. I'm sure you know what you're doing or will find out before you start, just another thing to consider is that if you are bringing 220 to one area and then splitting off for your stove and and burner make sure you add up the total watts/amps and use the appropiate wire and fusing, you'd be surprised at what code requires. Sorry to get off on a technical tangent, but safety is really important. Remember the forum title, "Kitchen Consumer", does not refer to an electrical fire in a kitchen wall. p
  20. @Deryn: Are you mad at me? My use of the word "portable" was to set it apart from a "cooktop". However, as its size is about the same as one using standard household current, it actually is portable as you can use it wherever you have access to the appropiate power. I have a GE Profile 4 burner gas cooktop. Using the smaller induction burners, I found that I preferred induction cooking to cooking with gas. The big problem was power, those small units @1800 watts could not compete with gas in terms of heating power. I decided to look at alternatives. Induction cooktops were over $1500, I looked at getting the best I could as cheaply as possible. There was also the problem of the existing gas cooktop as I was loathe to permanently replace. I'm not suggesting this route is for everyone, but after evaluating different scenarios, this worked for me. p
  21. Actually I'm not sure what I'm referring to. It's more spspecific than white/red, sweet/dry etc, more towards the pinot origin, merlot etc. I'm referring to the past practice of referring to wines in terms of region predominantly, such as Burgandy, Bordeaux etc. p
  22. To clarify, I'm referring to those that require 220 volts as opposed to regular household current and are single burner in style. I have a Max Burton 6530 ($450 @ Amazon.ca) and a couple of standard household current portables (~$75). My impressions are that comparing the two types is similar to comparing a domestic gas range to a commercial restaurant stove in terms of performance and I would add that a commercial induction burner is closer to a restaurant gas stove than it is to a domestic gas stove. Is it worth the extra cost? Again, IMO, I feel I'm getting the best single burner performance without getting into a commercial gas stove. Boiling water for pasta, stir-frying, sauteing and pre-heating a grill pan are all performed faster and better. I use the two smaller standard ones for dishes that don't require that degree of heat. Speaking of extra cost, which may make the whole choice untenable is the necessity of getting 220 volts to your burner. I was fortunate in having sufficient electrical skills and general "handiness" to accomplish this for less than $50 in materials. If you are unsure of your abilities DO NOT attempt this!!! And of course have your work inspected before making final connections. If you will be having an electrician perform this work for you might find it costing as much or more than the actual appliance depending on the complexity of the job. So, is anyone else using a 220 volt portable induction burner in a domestic setting? How's it working for you? Would you it again? Is anyone else contemplating this decision? p
  23. I'm not sure if this is happening all over, but it seems to be here in Ontario. Wines are being classified by "style" instead of geographic origin. Is this being done to make wine more "accessible" or as a marketing tool? Is this being done elsewhere? p
  24. Sometimes advantages or disadvantages can become somewhat ethereal in terms of day to day life. My decisions often are based on does it work for me and how much better does it work. If I can't perceive a difference without paying close attention or actually measuring, then it probably is a non-issue. Personally I use stainless for all the usual reasons. p
  25. ^^I understand what you're saying about specials - "everything on my menu is special", but at the same time if the restaurant managed to get a special deal on first rate steaks at say 50% off their regular cost, could they not offer these to their customers as a "special" at a lesser price than normal. Would you see doing this compromising your values? p
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