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Everything posted by jedovaty

  1. Thank you all very much for your feedback, this has been very educational!! I wonder what would happen if mint were steeped in oil, whether cold or fried like a chili oil or sage in butter. But after experiencing the ripe aroma of mint simmering in coconut milk, not sure I'm going to take this any further. Maybe. Maybe not. 👨‍🔬
  2. Hi! For future reference, does anyone have tips on how best to use fresh mint in baking? In theory this sounded great: add bunch of finely chopped mint to a basic shortbread cookie dough. Dip in a mint-chocolate glaze based on coconut milk. The result tasted like an experiment gone wrong. The shortbread cookies were actually okay, except that we used earthbalance sticks instead of butter (dairy allergy in family). The mint flavor wasn't overly strong while eating the cookie, and instead had a generic herbal-leaf flavor to it. As consumption concludes, there's a bit of mint in the background. I'm not sure using more would have been helpful. The glaze was made by simmering a lot of hand-crushed mint in coconut milk, then pouring this through a strainer over dark chocolate, and as it melted, add a half-plop of corn syrup for added gloss. The aroma of mint simmering in coconut milk is surprisingly awful. Hmmm. Thanks for any ideas
  3. jedovaty

    Brewing Ginger Beer

    After experimenting with several batches, narrowed down to three possible culprits: either my star-san spray is too concentrated, using too much citrus juice, or my ice is somehow contaminated and creating issues (I pour the syrup concentrate over ice). Most likely it is the star-san, I'm not even sure it is necessary for ginger beer that's fermented over a few days? I shouldn't have changed three variables at once in the last batch! Oh, well, I'm happy, finally have my beverage
  4. Duuuhhhh *face palm* I knew I was overthinking this. Thanks. I bet the cheap aluminum roasting pans would fit perfectly, have to get measurements.
  5. You must give into the messiness for now, and as you get the techniques, process, and habits down, it'll clean up. The folks here suggested pouring and scraping over parchment/wax paper, rather than directly into the bowl. This helps catch the chocolate and makes it easier to re-use; you'll just have to heat it up and/or retemper, which is not too much a big deal if you are doing small quantities. That, or get a bigger bowl.
  6. Hi there: Given the specifics of my situation below, how would you accomplish a final proof without damaging a delicate dough such as croissants, high hydration demi-baguettes, etc? I got my hands on a used, small wine fridge last year, which has worked well as a temperature controlled chamber for fermentation of anykind such as pickles, sauerkraut, sourdough, yeasted breads, etc. Depending on outside ambient temps, I use either the fridge on its own, or, a heating pad with an inkbird temp/humidity controller. This is fantastic for things easy to cover - the lacto-ferments are in jars, most breads are in bannetons which I can stick into a plastic bag. The covers prevent the product from drying out. Unfortunately, this doesn't work well with things like croissants or high hydration demi baguettes. If I put any plastic over these, it sticks to the dough and is a real pain to get it off. I have tried putting things like jars to raise plastic wrap, but this in itself is an exercise of frustrating futility that ultimately leads to at least a couple casualties - omg plastic wrap is arrrrrghhhhh and the jars start shifting around uuuggghhh! I found some sheet pans that come with covers - however, these are half-sheet size which don't fit into this fridge; maximum size appears to be jelly roll (16" max width and length), and jelly roll size pans don't come with covers that I could find. Therefore, I looked into controlling humidity. Based on some research, to prevent dough from drying out, you want RH inside the fridge to be around 80-85%. Anymore, and it condensates on the dough with fluctuations in temperature, any less, and dough can dry out. Controlling humidity has turned out to be rather difficult. The inkbird I have has an option to control humidity, so I purchased a small humidifier. It... didn't work as expected. Hard to describe, but either the doughs end up sogged or dried out. RH is incredibly complex - if temperature drops, the RH increases, and may precipitate out, and then the fridge's compressor sucks out the moisture. If temperature increases, RH drops unless you add moisture to the air. It turns into something like a PID balance nightmare. I've tried other options, such as rice/semolina flour and a tea towel. This is "okay" for the baguettes, but that won't work if I'm proofing with eggwash, or making neapolitan pizza dough (the rice flour and semolina burned at the high temps) Maybe the better questions are, a) can anyone help me figure out how to control humidity in a small chamber, and b) should I maybe consider a 3D printed cover instead? Figuring out how to control RH would actually be fantastic, because I can then potentially use the fridge to cure meats later on. I'm fairly certain I'm overthinking this somehow. There's got to be an easier way... Thanks for reading.
  7. jedovaty

    Brewing Ginger Beer

    Hello: I used to make ginger beer with a bug successfully, and I'm going to give it a go again this year, but before I do I'm hoping someone might be able to help identify trouble spots in my process since it has failed the last three years. Here's my process: Bug - 1T shredded organic ginger (with peel), a cup of water, and 1T sugar dissolved. Then every 24 hours add about 1t each shredded ginger and sugar, and after several days top up with a bit of water - measurements here are all estimated, I found measuring for the bug is a waste of time, this part of the process is very forgiving. After a week this would become super fizzy, smells wonderful. I continue anywhere between 1-5 days days, depending on time for the actual brew. For the brew, my syrup ratio is 10:1 water:sugar. I start with a ginger tea by bringing lots of ginger (I like the burn) and half my water amount to a light simmer then steep for 20-30 minutes, dissolve the sugar, then strain out the ginger over rest rest of water-weighted ice (e.g. 500g water, 500g ice, and 100g sugar). I usually squeeze 1-2 lemons or limes at this point, check to make sure temp is below 90F, then add 1/4-1/2c ginger bug. Pour this into flip-top jars (sanitized with star-san) and check for bubbles daily (more like 3-5 times daily hahaha are we there yet?). Used to take about 5 days when ambient temps were in the upper 70F range. My typical batch size is about 2L. The last 3 years it's been a failure each time.. I get the fizzy ginger bug, but after adding to the ginger syrup, it never starts up again. I also tried a "bulk" ferment by leaving the bug (tried the entire bug batch) and syrup in a big container one time, but it never "took". Anything I should change or tweak before I try the process again? This seems pretty standard so I've no idea what's going on but clearly I'm somehow killing the bug.
  8. That doesn't work as well for me as blanching in baking-soda water, you get much much cleaner results, although, it takes forever. I know ultimately it doesn't make much of a difference, but I like all the skin removed. All the skin off. Must remove every last bit. All off. *crazy eyes*
  9. Gesundheit? That is one long name for a dessert. How did you peel the almonds? I've only tried once when I made some marzipan, I remember it was even more difficult than hazelnuts. Those I blanch about a pound with some baking soda then take about 20 minutes to "pop" individual nuts. Very tedious.
  10. Thanks for the help here, all Inside joke a success!
  11. I.. I shouldn't be surprised this exists.
  12. I'm at 50% success rate: last year, the apple pie stuck, it was in a large diameter glass pie plate. This year the blueberry pie stuck, it was in the smaller W&S branded usa pan silicon non stick. I ended up scratching the non-stick plate in several places from the blueberry pie trying to get at it That's the reason I want to use the parchment or foil, since this is going to be a super tiny itsy bitsy smol pie - 2" diameter. That's a great idea! Calling them pretties hahaha yes! But as far as focusing on their taste I dunno.. the two I had a couple weeks earlier were bitter and tart, like one of my ex gfs 🙊 The internet told me to keep the plants from flowering their first year, so I did, but missed a few. I do regret listening to the all-knowing internet sometimes.
  13. Hi! I harvested a massive bumper crop of four blueberries. As an inside joke, I'd like to make pie with them. I have left over pie dough and a small ceramic dish used for salt or oil. I think I can bake in it. I've got almost no pie making experience having baked a whopping total of 4 pies my entire life (apple and cherry last year which were mediocre, and cherry and blueberry (from costco) this year which were pretty good). Should I line the dish with foil/parchment to make it easier to remove/eat the pie-lette? Would it be best to bake the base separate from the filling or can I bake them together? Better off with a lower temp like 350F, or go to something more customary, ~400F? Thank you for your help in sustaining this inside joke 😁
  14. Now that's a fascinating idea. Please share if you do it. I'm curious whether it'd be necessary to make a "starter" like they do for mochi donuts (basically you take small portion of the rice flour and gelatinize it with the liquid by nuking in microwave or just heating it on the stove, and mix that into the dough, similar to tang zhong for bread).
  15. I call shenanigans, I didn't get any 😑
  16. jedovaty

    Dinner 2020

    Haven't heard of them, assuming it's a seafood vendor?
  17. jedovaty

    Dinner 2020

    Hmm.. I'll give those a cautious try. I'm a bit spoiled with fresh seafood having a Santa Monica Seafood outlet nearby, and also there's a grocery store near my work that carries some amazing fresh scallops sometimes (6-8 per pound they are HUGE!). 😛
  18. I made these last year.. and after reading a bunch of recipes, and trying twice, these techniques made scallion pancakes to my tastes: - use hot water - do make the oil roux (it's not really a paste/roux like with water as you found out) - knead, knead, knead (I started in food processor, switched to hand), and make sure to knead some more - roll at least the first time as thin as you can; I don't know your KA roller setting, but a 4 on my marcato machine is thick. I rolled by hand, to nearly transparent, but not quite filo dough thinness. I think I used either central milling 00 flour or KABF, I don't recall. I also did a "bou-gie" thing and added flaked salt into the last roll up at the end.
  19. jedovaty

    Dinner 2020

    I bought frozen farmed salmon filets from my costco last month and.. they are... surprisingly good. Individually vacuum sealed, too.
  20. Hi: Are there other sources of cacao beans, butter, etc, besides chocolate alchemy for the home chocolate maker in the US? Or just being able to source no more than a couple pounds with variety. Clearly a much smaller market than green coffee Thank you for your time!
  21. Hi, I tried from-cold fry with potatoes, confirmed, worked well, so far the crispiest fries I've been able to make, including the double and triple-cooked methods, freezing, etc. Super easy for a single portion! 😁
  22. Hmm okay thank you all, I will give it a go next time I get potatoes. I'd actually like to try this with wings (I prefer them without batter/breading/coating). And curiosity leads me to wonder whether battered goods would work, too, probably not.
  23. Last week while perusing the dinner thread for both inspiration, appetite building, and awe (you all are so friggin' awesome), I learned about the thrice-cooked fries at chefsteps through this post by @btbyrd. I have yet to be successful making fries (heck, I'm terrible with fried foods for some reason, just don't "get it"!). Researching the chefsteps recipe made me hopeful I could finally overcome the frying hurdle. End result? Disappointing. The fries tasted great - note that I don't like potatoes - but they were not crispy. They retained a hard shell initially, but after a few minutes they were soft everywhere... except along the edges! My process was nearly identical to what they did, except I used corn syrup for glucose (same thing, right?) and I vacuum sealed in mason jars instead of bags. Fried at lower temp, then freezer for 18 hours. Pictures attached. I'm not looking to troubleshoot what went wrong right now, but rather, I'd like to hear your opinion on this other method I learned yesterday, where you start with the potatoes in cold oil, and bring them up to temperature. There's no blanching, freezing, double/triple cooking, etc. I am curious to try it, given the simplicity, however, I'm concerned they'll be very oily, with the assumption that foods in oil temps below 350F absorb the oil... If it works, then it seems like a great method for the occasional single serving of fries. Thoughts on this one-step method? Thanks for your time
  24. @jimb0 sorry for not being clear, I did not like the flavor imparted by the dried parm into the red sauce at all - just not my thing
  25. Facial scrub with sugar, olive and castor oils? Umami-cleansed pores are the future.
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