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rustwood

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  1. rustwood

    Ramps: The Topic

    Have you tried it yet? I made it yesterday. It smells good, but I tried it on my eggs this morning and I can't say I could taste it. Perhaps I need to be a little more heavy handed with it, or I could still be blown out from the smell that filled the house yesterday. BTW, I ate some sauteed ramps with my eggs yesterday morning, set the ramp salt to dry in the toaster oven, then after a while went out to run an errand. When I got back into my car, it smelled like a bag of everything bagels but I think it was just my lingering odor (or perhaps my clothes). I guess the smell coming off of me at least helped with social distancing. Of course now I want to pick up some poppy or egg bagels and try mixing ramp salt in with the cream cheese.
  2. This is true, although I am sure I am conflating the saltiness and the overall flavor to some extent. That's especially hard to avoid with country ham since the salt is such a big component. Breakfast is over now (yum!), but I should try adding some next time. It seems so obvious now that you've said it, but this is the first time I've had the slightest temptation to add salt to country ham. Thanks.
  3. When I saw this, I wondered if she was the cookbook editor that Dave, and perhaps others, were raving about on a show just couple of months or so ago. I am a little behind on my episodes, but I guess I will find out soon. Then again, it sounds like they had quite an episode this week so I may have to listen out of order.
  4. It varied. I'd say for me, the outside 20% or so of the cut edges weren't salty enough. The inner parts were good though. Of course it is all relative. I am at this moment eating some of the outer edge and while it isn't quite as flavorful what I expect for country ham, it is still a tasty side for my eggs and toast.
  5. Coincidentally, hours before yesterday's posts, I had started soaking a good-sized chunk of country ham (dry cured, not smoked - the hard, super salty ham). It was too late to start cooking it by the time I got back to it, so it stayed in the fridge overnight. This morning I drained it, put it in a bag, set the bag inside my mostly empty SV bath, filled the bag with water, finished filling the bath, then cooked it at 150 degrees for 8 hours. I've had good results cooking city-ham in cryovac packaging, so I thought I'd try a variation of it with country ham. It came out with a very nice texture - much better than another piece of the same ham that I cooked via a more traditional boil/simmer method a while back. The extra long soak might have also helped though. The meat along the cut edges was quite bland, but perhaps no more so than when I had simmered it. I am definitely going to try it with SV again, but with a much shorter (or no) pre-soak. Hopefully the cut edges will retain more flavor and/or the texture will be just as good.
  6. I think it would give some useful perspective if you could share more info on what sizes/types of smokers and grills you already have. I have a standard 18" Vision (similar to the classic Kamado Joe and BGE) and although I've often thought it might be nice to add a smaller kamado, I haven't done it because I just don't see the point. If I am going to do a long smoke, I want plenty of room. If I am just grilling, if anything I tend to wish I had more room - especially with veggies. Most of my grilling is l for just two of us. I start a half chimney of charcoal while I am prepping the food and my only concern is getting back out to it before it gets too hot. As soon as I am done I close the vents and the fire goes out - little to no wasted charcoal. I used to think my gas grill was convenient for quick grills, but I gave it up long ago and I don't miss it. I think it is very easy to clean out the ash even though I don't have an ash drawer. It isn't necessary to get out every last bit of ash. Unless there is a lot of ash built up, I usually don't clean it out for a short grilling session. I have stainless steel grates that are easy enough to clean, but I always use GrillGrates when I grill - flat side up.
  7. They look great. After I asked about the sequence, I saw your post about them in the sous vide thread. So there was no finishing other than the pre-sear?
  8. Like cheese dip or a dipping sauce for ham? Details/recipe please!
  9. Thanks Rotus and Kayb for the feedback. I suspected that was the way to go, but I wasn't sure and didn't want to ruin any of it - nor get sick. Point taken on the meal-sized packages. I may cut it in smaller portions than I initially had in mind.
  10. I recently I found myself within range of Hemp's Meats in Jefferson Maryland. In a moment of unbridled enthusiasm, I bought an 18 lb unsmoked country ham. It is definitely a dry cured country ham, just a very big one. The cut edge is hard and dry as one would expect. In their shop the hams are just hanging on hooks on the wall - no paper, no cloth, no netting. There isn't any packaging or labeling either. It was just put in an open plastic bag for transport. I have it (mostly) wrapped in a tea towel and a paper bag right now. I've never been there before, but I had read at least one enthusiastic recommendation somewhere. While I will be sharing this ham with other family members, that is still a lot of ham so I am not inclined to cook it whole. I've read a lot about country ham here on EG and elsewhere on the internet, but I haven't found much on how to break down a whole ham and store pieces of it. Family members have told me they used to just cut off what they needed, re-wrap the rest and hang it up again. Of course people used to do a lot of things that are no longer recommended. I listen to Cooking Issues and am well aware of Dave Arnold's view that one should just slice it thin and eat it raw. In this case I am reluctant to do that. It is tempting and would probably be safe, but this seems like a worse than usual time to possibly end up very ill (for future reference, due to increasing COVID-19 cases). I have a saw, so I'd like to cut in half, take a few slices/steaks, then use the 2 halves as roasts - or maybe cut one in half again so I can try cooking it various ways (traditional, smoker, and maybe sous vide - possibly before a short spell on the smoker). From a storage perspective, cutting before soaking the whole ham seems best, but I am wondering if soaking pieces with a large cut surface would be problematic in any way. If I cut it up without soaking it, I guess I should still scrub and dry it first? Should I freeze the pieces I won't be using for a while or can/should I just keep them in a refrigerator? I have more room to refrigerate than to freeze. Is there any reason not to vacuum seal them in either case? I've read that you can cover the cuts with lard/shortening and they will be shelf stable, but I am reluctant to do that. Any thoughts or comments would be appreciated.
  11. Do you mean the iSi slim silicone? If so I totally agree, but I think it may have been discontinued. I've wanted to get another one for a year or so now. It wasn't on their website when I checked a while back.
  12. We finally finished (mostly) our long delayed kitchen renovation at the end of June and had a suite of Bosch appliances installed. Now that we've had them for a few months, I thought I'd post my impressions of them so far. Slide in induction range (HII8056U) - we had long planned to have a gas line run for our range, but we opted for an induction range instead and we have no regrets. It does make some noise in our usually very quiet kitchen, but most of the time it isn't very loud. It is quite loud when using the speed boost setting though, in part because a fan blower sometimes also comes on. Fortunately speed boost will boil a 2-quart kettle of water very quickly and we've gotten used to it. In fact, I am even glad that it hums a little on low because it reminds me that it is on. The markings that denote the locations of the induction hobs could be improved. They are rather subtle, so I often find myself turning on more lights and looking closely to ensure that I have the cookware in the right location. While shopping for appliances I thought the led "flames" on the Samsung induction ranges were a gimmick, but I now understand that they would be helpful. I suspect the markings were a design concession because it wouldn't look as sleek if they were more prominent. Sadly, we haven't used the oven enough to comment on it in any detail. We haven't encountered any shortcomings thus far though. It does have an internal fan that makes some noise when you cook at high temperatures (not the convection fan). I have only used the warming tray to proof bread a few times, but I do frequently pop it open when my foot bumps into it. It is a minor annoyance, but it seems like there is some room for improvement there. Over the range microwave (HMV5053U) - as a microwave, it is great. As with many such devices, the exhaust fan is less than ideal. We knew that would be the case, but we couldn't find a better place to put the microwave. The exhaust fan is annoyingly loud on the higher speed settings and it barely seems to move air unless it is on high. I am going to check the vent cover on the roof to ensure that there isn't an issue with a flap or something, but I think that is unlikely. Another issue is that the LED lighting is not as bright as it should be. I had read this in reviews, but I didn't expect it would bother me as much as it does. There is more expensive model which reportedly has much better lighting. I believe the fan specs on that model are the same, but I wonder if it would be any quieter. Dishwasher (SHP865ZD5N) - given all the praise heaped on Bosch dishwashers, it is not surprising that we love ours. It is super quiet and works great. This is our first dishwasher with a 3rd rack for cutlery. It took a few runs to get the hang of quickly arranging utensils in the rack, but now we really like using it. 36" counter depth refrigerator/freezer (B36CT80SNS) - this has been another winner. I've been using a lot of ice this summer and it keeps cranking it out without issue. I've never been one to carefully close doors, so it is a good thing that there is a warning beep when you haven't completely closed the refrigerator door. You can open either door first, but you must firmly close the last door that is open to seal it. FWIW, our previous refrigerator was built in Sub-Zero that came with our house and our new Bosch hasn't left us wanting in any way so far. I have one additional note on the refrigerator and designing the kitchen. Because the refrigerator is counter depth, it is a bit taller than many. We made the mistake of ordering our cabinets before picking out our exact appliances and it ended up being a much tighter fit than we expected. We considered switching out the 18" cabinet over the refrigerator for a 15" cabinet, but we thought it would fit with enough room to spare - until the cabinet was installed and the ceiling height turned out to be surprisingly uneven in that area. Our carpenter was able to make adjustments though and we are happy to have the extra space in the 18" cabinet. Also note that like other such units, only the main body of the refrigerator is actually counter depth. The doors stick out about 6" - not including the handles. We expected that when we did the initial design, although we had hoped we would find one that wouldn't stick out quite so much. When we started working on the design for our kitchen remodel, I read that you should start by picking out the exact appliances and actually buy them. That seemed a little extreme at the time, but I now think it was good advice. It would be even more important if you were picking out something special that isn't a standard size. At the very least, we could have picked out specific models that were relatively new and thus very likely to be available 3-6 months later. I hope this is of some use to someone in the future. Of course, I would be happy to answer any questions anyone might have.
  13. Glenn, I imagine you have bought something by now but I have an update on our kettle. We have noticed that if we aren't careful to ensure that the lid is firmly in place, steam will escape around the lid and the handle will get hot to the touch. At this point I don't know if we have been a little more careless with the lid or if it is getting harder to make it seal tightly.
  14. It has a rather loud/shrill whistle so I always pick it up as quickly as I possibly can, before I even turn off the burner - so no delay at all. Maybe if you let it go on whistling for a while the handle might start to get warm. It also could depend on how full the pot is. It is plenty big for my needs so I rarely fill it more than 2/3 full.
  15. Glen, I have no idea what the bit about the 30-60 second wait on the handle is about - was that from a review? It whistles, I pick it up bare handed and I've never even noticed it was warm. Yes, the infusers are for loose tea. They don't look bad so I threw them in a drawer instead of the trash.
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