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Everything posted by slkinsey

  1. You could re-pasteurize but it would not be shelf-stable or safe for long term storage at room temperature (I'd hesitate to store it long term anywhere but the freezer).
  2. Stock making is supposed to be an extractive process, which is to say that you want to transfer as much flavor (etc.) out of the ingredients into the liquid as possible. If there is a lot of flavor left in the meat, I would respectfully suggest that you're not doing it right. Or at the very least, your process isn't very efficient. I typically pressure cook at 15 PSI for around 2 hours. Then I strain, re-wet, and pressure cook again to make a remouillage. After that, there is no flavor left in the meat whatsoever. My cat won't even eat it, and she eats cardboard boxes. Edited to add: A process like the ones Jaymes describes can be a great way to get the best of both worlds. But you do have to remove the meat you actually want to eat while it still has decent flavor and texture.
  3. I think this depends a little on the kind of pressure cooker, how the pressure cooker is used, and what happens with the contents afterwards. For example, I use a very large pressure canner to make large volumes of stock. Since it is a pressure canner, it has a jiggle-top pressure regulator. But, since non-venting pressure cookers have been held to make better stocks, I don't actually want the canner to vent while I am using it for stock. So what I have been doing is putting a small weight (something around the size/weight of 4 quarters) on top of the regulator weight, which means that the pressure can go above 15 PSI before it will start venting. I just keep my eye on the pressure gauge and regulate the heat source so that the PSI ends up at 15 PSI. After I turn off the heat the extra weights stay on top of the regulator weight, and as the temperature comes down the decrease in internal pressure sucks the regulator weight onto the nipple and seals the pressure canner to such an extent that a small amount of force is required to remove the regulator weight. Considering that it takes practically all night for this amount of product to come down to temperature, after which I strain, reboil and pressure can it, this has seemed safe to me. As others have pointed out, spring-regulated locking pressure cookers unock and vent once they come down to atmospheric pressure, so that's a different story.
  4. One other thing in favor of stainless steel with a thick disk bottom: You can spray a thick layer of oven cleaner onto the cooked-on food, put a lid on the pot and let it stand for several hours (or, better yet, overnight). Try that with anodized aluminum and you'll end up with a raw aluminum pot.
  5. An anodized aluminum cooking surface is, in my experience, more sticky and more difficult to clean and maintain compared to a stainless steel cooking surface. But the material used for the cooking surface is only one component of "stickyness." A cheap thin stainless steel pan will always be more sticky and prone to scorching and burning compared to an anodized aluminum pan, because the latter has much better thermal properties. A pan with an aluminum or copper thermal layer and a stainless steel interior, on the other hand, will usually be easier to maintain than the anodized aluminum equivalent. If your SS stockpots don't have a thick aluminum bottom, you are most certainly going to get plenty of sticking. There will still probably be some sticking no matter what given your friend's technique, but it would be a lot less with a good thermal layer on the bottom of the pan.
  6. There are still plenty of places that will by default serve all "mixed drinks" over ice in a tumbler. This is, I would imagine, a holdover from the many years when alcoholic drinks effectively consisted of "booze + mixer over ice." I have found it especially prevalent in restaurants. Personally, although the idea of a Martini on the rocks is a bit mystifying to me, I have been known to enjoy the occasional Manhattan-formula cocktail over ice. Mitch gets it right. Even though it may now be common local bars for a Manhattan to be served up, in a restaurant it doesn't hurt to say something like, "I'd like a [brand] Manhattan, stirred, up with a twist. Bitters if you've got 'em."
  7. It sounds to me like the Glendalough product is a kind of "interpretation of Irish moonshine" in the same way that some of the "moonshine" products are interpretations of the American version. In the case of Glendalough, they are sticking with the pot-still, but using latter-day fermentables and adding some wood aging that doesn't sound like it would have happened with the real thing.
  8. It seems to me that we're talking about white dog here, not moonshine. White dog is, effectively, unaged commercial distillate of some spirit that would ordinarily be aged. Moonshine, on the other hand, is illegally distilled spirit that may or may not be aged (but usually isn't). Teeling's Poitin hardly seems like "moonshine" to me, considering that it's made from double-distilled malt spirit blended with triple-distilled corn spirit. There are plenty of other companies out there selling various versions of white dog. Heaven Hill, for example, has (or had) the "Trybox" series of unaged distillate that would have become Rittenhouse Rye or Evan Williams Bourbon. Buffalo Trace sells a bourbon white dog. Tuthilltown sells and unaged corn whiskey. Dutch's Spirits even sells something they call Sugar Wash Moonshine, although I can't quite tell what the difference is between that product and an unaged potstilled rum. There are also products like Cat Daddy Carolina Moonshine, that is an unaged triple-distilled corn spirit that is infused with spices and sweetened. None of these is really what you'd call "moonshine." To my palate, most of the whiskey white dogs aren't all that interesting and most have some unpleasant flavors. The most interesting use of whiskey white dog I've found is in the Dry Rye Gins from St. George Spirits. These are gins with a very traditional, juniper-forward botanical profile, but founded on a base of rye white dog rather than neutral grain spirits. There is an unaged version and also an extremely interesting aged bottling.
  9. So you're saying that the small cap is stuck to the strainer? What I would do is hold it sideways and place side of the cap part against the counter. Then give it a decent "karate chop" with your hand. This should be enough to loosen things up. Another thing you could do is put the end of a broad standard screwdriver (wrap it in a paper towel if you're worried about scratches) against the side of the strainer "nipple" underneath the cap and rotate it to force the cap up.
  10. The best sear I have ever got on scallops was using the Ideas in Food "twice cooked scallops" technique. I imagine this may be too complicated for many people, but for those with the available tools it yields great results. Effectively what it means is brining them in a 5% solution for 10 minutes, then stacking them together and rolling them into a log shape using plastic wrap which then gets dropped into a 50C water bath for 30 minutes and chilled. At this point, you can leave them in the refrigerator for a day or so with no loss of quality. When it comes time to sear them, the pre-treatment makes the unseared product just a bit firmer and easier to handle, and for reasons I don't understand, it is a lot easier to get a really nice brown sear on the presentation side while the rest of it remains "just barely done" and tender. This is now my standard procedure for sea scallops.
  11. I'm not sure I agree that the use of nitrates produces a "corned" flavor in this context. In my experience salt is mostly what is responsible for that flavor.
  12. I'm not sure what you mean. In the discussion to the article, Robv asks, "Are you all using nitrate to keep the meat the color in the video?" and Chris Young replies, "Yes, the nitrate enhances the meaty flavor and also keeps the myoglobin a bright red color."
  13. I have all of Martin's apps, and highly recommend them both for content and form.
  14. My experiments with SV burgers has turned out some of the most flavorful and beefy burgers I've ever had, but I still haven't been able to quitethe texture I want. Ironically, the best tasting SV burger I've made is the one that suffered from a sausage-like texture, most likely due to holding it too long after salting (although it was within MCAH parameters). I've done plenty of things to make the whole process easier and more convenient. For example, by forming the burgers, freezing them on a tray and then individually sealing them with beef fat so I have a stash of SV-ready burgers in the chest freezer. But the deep-frying step, which I think is really the only way to get the 100% necessary crispy Maillardized crust, is a big pain in the butt. I will continue to experiment with SV burgers, but I still don't think I've had one as good as a double-stacked smashed-style burger.
  15. slkinsey


    The issue with "hominy" is that there are apparently two meanings of this word. One meaning refers to corn treated with an alkali solution (aka nixtamalization). The other meaning refers to corn that has been ground into coarse grains. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, "in American English, corn-based grits and hominy were used interchangeably in Colonial times. Later, hominy meant whole kernels that had been skinned but not ground, but in the U.S. South, hominy meant skinned kernels that could be ground coarsely to make grits. In New Orleans, whole kernels are big hominy and ground kernels little hominy." It is odd that there are places in America where the seemingly redundant term "hominy grits" is used, but it doesn't appear to have ever referred to nixtamalized corn ground into coarse grains. I once took some dry posole, ground it into coarse grains and cooked it, and can attest that it tasted nothing like grits. It's unclear when "hominy" came to refer to nixtamalized corn, but might be interesting to find out.
  16. slkinsey


    I used to think this was the case, largely due to the fact that in certain parts of the South grits are sometimes called "hominy grits." But it turns out to be incorrect. Grits are not made from nixtamalized corn. According to Anson Mills, the most important thing that differentiates grits from polenta is that the former is produced through single-pass milling whereas the latter is produced by multiple-pass reduction milling. Traditionally, they say, grits is dent corn and polenta is flint corn.
  17. Anodized aluminum, in my experience, is quite sticky.
  18. If you want something that offers the same stick-resistance as PTFE you're going to need to use, well, PTFE. Most places just buy cheap and replace them as the coating wears out.
  19. Adding a little oil to the bag helps to ensure that you have completely filled up any potential voids or irregularities in the food that might create air pockets or otherwise reduce the efficiency of thermal transfer. It also makes it easier when you want to slip the food out of the bag, which is especially important for delicate food items like fish.
  20. I've had it that way & it can be very good. Lately I've been drinking this gemnaicha from In Pursuit of Tea. It's made with sencha rather than bancha, and I steep at a typical green tea temperature to balance the infusion in favor of the tea (it's plenty toasty already). With a product of this quality, the addition of a small amount of matcha is really not needed.
  21. slkinsey

    Thanksgiving 2014

    For what it's worth, I have found sous vide treatment to be FAR more valuable with turkey white meat than dark meat. It is much more difficult to nail "perfectly done" with turkey white meat compared to dark. More to the point, after having cooked plenty of turkey dark meat using sous vide techniques in my day, I am not convinced that it offers many advantages over conventional techniques. This is to say that a dark meat roulade cooked in the oven is likely to be just as good, if not actually better than one cooked sous vide. If you really want to use SV techniques for the dark meat, I would encourage you to do cook-chill with the dark meat roulade, then re-therm it in the same water bath you are using for the white meat (or in the oven to dry out and crisp the skin, or whatever). Also, I have also found it nearly impossible to truly crisp the skin on poultry cooked sous vide. There is just too much moisture in there. So, I guess what I'm suggesting is that if you plan to use the oven for one kind of turkey meat and sous vide for the other, I would suggest that you switch your strategy to do the dark meat in the oven and the white meat sous vide. That's my two cents anyway.
  22. slkinsey

    Thanksgiving 2014

    I'm going to be doing courses per usual. I'm still deciding on some details, but this is what I have thus far: 1. Amuse bouche: cold salmon loin mi cuit with watercress puree, horseradish cream and pickled onions (from ChefSteps) 2. Starter: seared sea scallop (using the twice-cooked technique from Ideas in Food) with French lentils and cauliflower foam 3. Soup: puree of sunchoke soup with arugula pudding (from Thomas Keller's Under Pressure) 4. Main 1: turkey breast cooked sous vide with sous vide root vegetables, butter poached Brussels sprouts petals and black truffle vinaigrette 5. Main 2: shredded turkey thigh confit with cornbread dressing waffle points (inspired by Serious Eats), modernist potato cakes (from the Modernist Cuisine Cooking Lab via Saveur), hen of the woods mushrooms and jus gras (from Modernist Cuisine at Home) 6. Dessert: Bread pudding with Luxardo cherries and Calbeaut dark chocolate chips
  23. I have been drinking ridiculous amounts of genmaicha lately, just reinfusing all day.
  24. Hard to believe that this article is over a decade old! It's certainly due an update if I can ever get around to it. What's your source for the type of iron alloy typically used in cast iron cookware, and what are its materials properties?
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