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eGullet Society staff emeritus
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Everything posted by Chad

  1. 'Round here we rarely have breakfast for breakfast. The kids have cereal & yogurt. I have coffee. Much coffee. We do have Breakfast for Dinner on occassion. Now that's a treat. And a real bitch to clean up. Anyway: pancakes from Alton Brown's recipe (damn good), thick cut bacon cooked in the oven (another Alton trick), tater tots, French style scrambled eggs and biscuits with sawmill gravy. Mmmmmmmm. I also love redeye gravy the way my grandfather used to make it, but I can't convince the family that coffee grounds and the grease from country ham is something to do the happy dance about. Chad
  2. Samhill, I agree that the patina on a carbon knife is generally a good thing. The benign rust of the patina prevents more corrosive rust from taking hold. In this case, however, the patina on the sushi knife was causing problems. I offered a solution. As for talking out of my ass . . . well, I do that quite a bit . But not in this case. Chad
  3. Au contraire . Most kitchen knives can be vastly improved with a little Dremel work, especially rounding the back of the spine. Even just breaking the edges of the spine can make a huge difference in the comfort of the knife. Read my article The Way of the Knife for all the gory details. In Matt's case the patina on his sushi knife was causing it to stick. A polishing bob and some jeweler's rouge would clean that up pretty quickly -- without any loss of metal or useable life of the knife. I agree that I wouldn't use a Dremel on the edge of a knife. There are much better ways to restore an edge. But for quick cleanup, why not? Chad edit: spellig
  4. Howdy Thursday. Welcome to eGullet, if nobody's said it yet. Great name by the way. I just started Well of Lost Plots. I, too, must admit to having been a Frug fan back in the day. Lessee, how many wives ago was that? I was much less into food and cooking than I am now, but I always watched his show. I enjoyed the enthusiasm and the fun he seemed to be having. I still use a couple of recipes I adapted from Cooks with Wine. Looking back through the book now -- in light of increased knowledge and experience -- some of his recipes seem dated and a couple are outright questionable. But I have to admit that the Frugal Gourmet sparked my first real interest in learning more about food and cooking. Chad
  5. Thanks! I appreciate it. I don't have a lot of experience with Messermeisters, but they are highly regarded among knife fans. They're generally as good as if not better than Henckels or Wusthofs. The Elite lines have molybdenum and vanadium for added hardness and edge retention, so they're already a step above the ususal Williams Sonoma fare. If you're thinking about picking one up, I'd say go for it. Don't get a set, though. That applies to all knives, not just the Messermeisters. You'll never use more than the chef's knife and a paring knife. Maybe a bread knife on occassion. All the other stuff will just sit there. It's better just to buy a couple of good knives (and a good steel), even if you pay more per piece. Take care, Chad
  6. I prefer a smooth steel (butcher's steel) from HandAmerica (link in the tutorial) over the Dick honing steels. Even better is a ceramic. Ben Dale at EdgePro sells a couple of very nice ceramic steels. I haven't used anything else since I got mine. Take care, Chad
  7. Richard, I don't know if you've seen it, but Craig Camp did a very nice writeup of Moka pots and the moka process here. A very good read. Scroll down a little ways to the July 23. 2003 post by Craig, a reprint of an article he wrote about moka pots and coffee. Chad
  8. Um, and the problem with that would be? Chad
  9. Ellen, when are you going to to the Food Photography class for eGCI? I'm really looking forward to that. There are only a couple of books on the subject, both of which are woefully inadequate. And there's this video that looks pretty nifty Photographing Food As Art: Inside the Studio-kitchen of Fred Maroon with Master Chef Jean-Louis Palladin. Know anything about it? Chad
  10. Ooooooh, I have serious case of lust for an F2AS. Quite possibly the best body Nikon ever produced. Ya gotta love a camera you can drive nails with. I generally shoot with a battered old FE, but I'm moving up to an F3 to go with my collection of manual focus prime lenses. As for digicams, I usually use my Olympus C-4000Z on full manual. That way I know exactly what's going on rather than letting the metering and focus get all cattywampus (technical term) trying to underexpose white food on a white plate or bringing a black coffee mug up to medium gray. I have had some success, however, using the "Portrait" mode to shoot food. You can't throw the background completely out of focus -- even at f/2.8 -- the way you can with an SLR, but you can get pretty close. If I have time (and patient company) I'll meter off a gray card and use natural light. I haven't figured out how to tone down the fill flash on the Olympus to the point where it doesn't make the food look like it was pasted into the shot. Chad
  11. Here is a link to this camera (currently priced at $359.94) on Amazon: <iframe marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" width="120" height="240" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" src="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?o=1&l=as1&f=ifr&t=egulletcom-20&dev-t=D68HUNXKLHS4J&p=8&asins=B0001DKQXC&IS2=1&lt1=_blank"><MAP NAME="boxmap-p8"><AREA SHAPE="RECT" COORDS="14, 200, 103, 207" HREF="http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm/privacy-policy.html?o=1" ><AREA COORDS="0,0,10000,10000" HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect-home/egulletcom-20" ></MAP><img src="http://rcm-images.amazon.com/images/G/01/rcm/120x240.gif" width="120" height="240" border="0" usemap="#boxmap-p8" alt="Shop at Amazon.com"></iframe> Okay, a camera with a "Cuisine" setting is just plain cool. I have a similar, albeit bulkier, Olympus C-4000Zoom. Nice camera. Four megapixel, macro & super macro modes, 3x optical zoom (never, ever use digital zoom), several program modes and fully manual if you want it to be (I do). It takes exceptional pictures but is a bit large for unobtrusively shooting food in a restaurant. Looks like the Stylus 410 would be about perfect for that. Chad
  12. I have not had a chance to read this in detail yet, but I love this lesson. I'm going to be spending a long time delving into the nuances of table salsas. Y'all done great. I've made my own for a couple of years now and have been very pleased with how they turned out -- especially after I started growing my own chiles. But this is head and shoulders above any reference I have. Thank you! Chad
  13. Y'all could also check out the eGullet Culinary Institute class on Knife Maintenance & Sharpening. Should answer all your questions (and then some ). Chad
  14. Here are my programming suggestions: As mentioned in the Robb Walsh Q&A a show called "You ARE Really Gonna Eat That!" where Robb travels the earth forcing four star chefs to acknowledge the wonders of barbeque. Tony Bourdain's "Fuckin' A!" an offshoot of "A Cook's Tour" where Tony finds great food, drinks too much and sits around saying, "This is so f*ing good" before passing out. A special version of "Top 10" where 10 celebrity chefs each week come on and kick Mark Summers in the groin. Jon Stewart replaces the hosts of "Best Of." My own series, "Chad says 'Put it in your mouth!'" Needless to say, it would have to be shown after 10:00pm . Chad
  15. Pan's advice is dead on . . . .but if you're looking for Durham in the Triangle, you might want to ask on the Southeast board. Varmint & friends won't steer you wrong. Chad
  16. Did anyone think to ask Marian Burros while she was here? Could she provide some inside dirt? Chad
  17. Andy, I just got around to reading this one. Nice work! I really enjoyed the article. As a passionate (yet inept) amateur photographer, I would have loved more technical detail. You know, one of those "Aha!" moments where you can fool yourself into thinking that the pro's work is so much better than yours only because he has a high-speed, synchronized photomic renoberator and you don't . Chad
  18. Hey! That's a cool idea. I'll have to give that a try. Thanks, Irwin! Chad
  19. Robb, if you're gonna be incognito you've got to lose the hat and sunglasses. I caught a History Channel special the other night and there you were. I thought, "Hey! That's Robb Walsh." Actually, my first thought was, "Hey, that's the guy from Blues Traveler!" Then I realized that he was talking 'bout Tex-Mex and figured it had to be you. As for the insistence on anonymity, well, that's a topic that's been beaten to death here on eGullet. My personal take is that it's silly and pointless. In a city like New York or LA, every top-notch restaurant has a picture of the reviewers up in the service area. I've read that some places have a reward for spotting a reviewer. Most restaurants also have an informal network that passes along the false names and credit card numbers that reviewers use. They're not anonymous. And so what? A top-flight kitchen is a top-flight kitchen. The chef might taste the sauce himself or ensure that the salmon is cooked properly before it goes out, but he or his sous chef is probably doing that anyway. The kitchen can't do more than its best. And that's what they do each and every night, which is why they're top tier restaurants in the first place. Personal attention from the chef shouldn't make that big a difference. And in a mid-level place, what are they gonna do, hire a new cook when they spot a reviewer coming in the door? Completely revamp the menu on the fly? Send out a bunch of off-menu items that aren't representative of the restaurant? Nah, bag the anonymity and enjoy the extra attention. Chad
  20. Robb, thanks for being part of this Q&A. So after this kind of peak, where do you go now? Syndication of your column? A Robb Walsh line of hot sauces? Robb Walsh signature hat & sunglasses? "You ARE Really Going to Eat That" -- a Food Network show wherein you travel the globe making famous chefs taste the joys of Texas barbeque? What gives? Chad
  21. Howdy Carolyn. Nice lesson. I enjoyed seeing the not-so-great moments as well as the successes. That makes the class a lot more fun -- and real. I have a question about the chocolate souffles. When in the process do you add the egg yolks? Or do you skip them altogether? Thanks, Chad
  22. In a fascinating turn of events, I'd just prepared a very large, very sloppy chili-cheese omelette when I flipped on the computer to discover that FG had posted the omelette lesson. Ha! I scoff at your weenie omelette! Mine was five eggs of towering doom filled with leftover chili and a double handful of grated colby -- it looked like a mutant yellow football. When I pointed it at the screen, the omelette dragged its oozing body across the plate, stared at your little "fines herbs" sissy creation and laughed a thick, gurgling laugh. Then I ate it. Okay, I was actually kind of jealous. I can never get the wrist flip quite right, which, this morning, resulted in a big blob of cheesy napalm landing on my forearm . So when you do a classic omelette, how much filling are you allowed? I know they're not supposed to be stuffed to the point of bursting, but c'mon, can we overfill a little? And do the rules permit excess leftovers to be used? Chad
  23. Oooh, can you work freelance??? Chad (sometimes less-than-wonderful-writer, frequent horse's ass) edited to fix punctuation error -- two lousy sentences and I screw up the punctuation. See what I mean? CW
  24. This is very cool. I went from "mana-whata?" to wanting one (or six) in the space of 10 paragraphs. Now, to find a sample in Kansas . . . What are the red dots on some of the manapua in the display case and on your lurid manapua-in-action shot? Chad
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