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Everything posted by jsolomon

  1. So, a pretty good friend of mine just bought a house. I'm thinking of getting a Beaujulais nouveau (yeah, so I took Japanese instead of french) to help warm her house. Brands? Prices? Quality? Help?
  2. Whoa... I use 18 grams per 12 ounce cup. No wonder it peels my eyelids back like it does... Tastes good, though
  3. jsolomon

    Coffee Plateau

    Or take over your own Pacific Island and corner the Kopi Luwak market... Edit to add: as usual, I'm way behind the curve on the jokes.
  4. I would guess that something along the lines of halvah is happening. As for how/why? Not sure. I've studied explosives, not foods. Best way to test is to leave out the sesame oil and see what occurs. If sesame oil isn't the culprit, we've got a real poser. It could have something to do with reducing sugars in honey reacting with either mercaptan (but methyl mercaptan isn't going to cross-link a whole lot) or a free radical chain reaction. Where did you come up with this recipe? Did it have any warnings about turning into grout?
  5. jsolomon

    Coffee Storage

    Because I just make coffee for 1, 1 cup at a time, I buy coffee from a local roaster 1 pound at a time, and then, usually in 1/2 pound lots. It lasts me about a week, but by the end of the week, even in the whole beans, I can taste a difference if I leave them at room temperature. So, I pop everything in the freezer and grind the cold beans necessary for a cup straight from the freezer. Within the limits of blade ground coffee, I can't taste a difference from day of purchase to end of bag roughly 1 week later. Also, I use the 1 cup melitta filter holders which make tremendously good coffee, IMO.
  6. Definitely frangelico or grappa. But, they are even better in coffee ice cream in the blazing Nebraska and Texas summers that I continually find myself in!
  7. Anyone frying bacon at 554 F deserves to eat whatever he/she/it prepared. Also, to slkinsey, I agree with what you're saying... but any human living at 554 F is someone I will call "sir" and I will have a very healthy respect for whatever doc was brave enough to put some teflon in him/her. But, you're right. Unsubstituted fluorocarbons are probably more inert than elemental nitrogen in people. However, people are also neglecting to look at another thing: at 554 F, the acrylic polymer used to stick the teflon onto the skillet will crack and outgas all kinds of activated nasty crap, including pieces of cracked PTFE molecules. Radicals, whether they are attached to fluorinated carbon, hydrogenated carbon, nitrogenated carbon, or almost anything I can come up with are not something I would want to breathe, period. That's why I drive my roommate nuts by bitching about how poorly a cast-iron skillet cooks over an electric stove element. Slow-responding heat sources and thick skillets make for an attentive cook.
  8. Jackal10, great lesson! I would add one bit of caution, though. All of the methods that you gave in your lesson use at least 2 of the preservation strategies (tie up water, high acid, heat-killing bacteria). When preserving meat by canning/jarring, one must remember that meat is not inherently acidic. So, those meat is not safely processed by the methods given in the lesson, at least by USDA guidelines. Meat without added salt and/or acid is usually processed at home in a pressure canner for 90-some minutes at 1.5 or 2x atmospheric pressure which significantly raises the temperature.
  9. jsolomon

    Freezing Tomatoes

    Edit: remove gratuitous stupidity.
  10. jsolomon

    Freezing Tomatoes

    I haven't had any trouble with off flavors. What I do usually is score the tomato skins and blanch for 10-20 seconds and plunge into an ice-bath so I can remove the skin. Then toss in a ziploc-type bag and freeze. However, what I find works more to my liking is blanch, peel, run through a food mill, and add 2 teaspoons salt per quart then water bath for 5 minutes.
  11. I agree wholeheartedly with Trillium on respect that Jager deserves. My personal favorite method of drinking Jagermeister is to wait until it snows, then fill cups with it and have Jager-slushies
  12. My mouth waters to the sound of bells. There are many things that start the salivation reflex. It's as much conscious as unconscious, so I don't think it's strictly salt- or acid-based. Smells start people salivating, and bells start some dogs salivating (urinating, too, but that's another thread). Seriously, though, how salt [and salts] react with protein is one of the research problems I worked in classical chemistry and computational chemistry. It's not easy and really depends a lot on the specific protein in question. But, there are also vitamins, sugars, lipids, and bastard-children of all four present in living material. Salt does a lot and it's hard to generalize.
  13. If you're not going to go with the French Press, the Melitta 1 cup drip makers are really quite good, but don't have a heater with them. YOu need to use a tea kettle with them. However, I have been using them with fresh roasted coffee for well-nigh 4 years. Superb coffee. All I need now is a good grinder so my french press can be broken out again.
  14. Actually, no additional heat is involved in salts changing the environment around the proteins and causing changes in the proteins. There is quite enough heat at room temperature for these things to happen (our bodies take a lot of advantage of this!). Why it works for watermelon in different amounts, I would tend to say is more due to salt entering the cells and osmotic pressure rupturing them which releases the cellular contents so they can travel up to our noses. Yes, I do realize that this seems a bit counter-intuitive, but while you've got water leaving the cell on the side the salt is on, you've also got salt entering the cell on that side and water coming in from the other side. Additionally, it could be similar channels in the cell wall opening up in the same manner that slat shocking a cell can get it to take up DNA for genetics research. Unfortunately, this process is not well understand and is generally taught as voo-doo. Unfortunately, salt interacts with so many things, and there are so many components to a cell of generic food, that it is well nigh impossible to say that it is only one thing that salt does, except it makes food better.
  15. From McPherson (2001) in the Protein Science 10, 418-422, a paper comparing abilities of different salts to crystallize proteins, sodium chloride came in in a tie for 8th best crystallization salt. What does this mean? Not a whole lot except: sodium chloride acts in an appreciable manner with proteins in a matrix containing water. So, why does salt act as a flavor enhancer? It chemically changes the proteins and causes them to react to cooking heat in a more aesthetically/gustatorially pleasing fashion. Any better explanation than that, I can't hazard due to the myriad of different protein natures in even a simple cell. EDIT: clarify murkiness
  16. homemade hot chocolate with real whipped cream and hazelnut liqueur. That usually solves mine.
  17. Get a saucer, a crochet hoop, some cheese cloth, and a fairly strong fan. Put the cheese cloth through the crochet hoop so it's like a butterfly net (make sure you have lots of cheese cloth). Put the cheese cloth net on a counter and put the saucer through the hoop so it's just inside your net. Put some of the chile flakes on the saucer and stand up the crochet hoop so it's perpendicular to the counter surface. Put the fan a fair distance away and turn it on. Progressively move the fan closer so it blows off the flakes but not the seeds. Then, shut off the fan and remove the saucer. Finally, shake the "chaff" out of the cheese cloth net. Et voila!
  18. /me approximate =Mark momentarily One of the main reasons I eat hot, spicy foods is that the provide an amazing pick-me-up. Here is something to try some time. Get some thai garlic and chile sauce. It's a little spicy, but it also is a little sweet and has a nice garlic flavor without being overpowering. Take a hamburger and top it like you usually do. Cut it in half, and on one half, add some of the chile sauce. Try to add it so that it is a little challenging to your level of tolerance. It might not take much. Eat the untainted half and take stock of how you feel, especially energetic-wise. Then, eat the "tainted" half. If you are like me, you will notice that you feel really quite rejuvenated, and for several hours afterward, actually. Another thing you could do to test this is something simple like udon (or other oriental noodle). Put a simple non-spicy topping on it and try. Then add some chile paste of some sort and try it. Again, after eating, you will feel quite a lot better, if you are like me. That's why I eat them: they make me feel good. And how!
  19. jsolomon

    Urgent Help Needed!

    Capsaicin being an oil, probably doing the dishes by hand without gloves would be the best bet. Aside from that, mild analgesics such as ibuprofen (if tolerated a 600 mg dose would take care of most of the pain). An aspirin or two, chewed, would provide the fastest relief. Otherwise, you can try something like Solarcaine or anbesol, both of which have benzocaine in them which will provide decent anaeshtesia of the affected part (keep away from eyes). edit: fix italics
  20. jsolomon


    Appetizer: BLT's cut into wedges with spinach instead of lettuce and a good dollop of dijon in the homemade, lemony mayonnaise on a bed of lemon (or grapefruit) roasted asparagus. Roast chicken from this book's recipe, and roasted zucchini with balsamic vinaigrette on roasted acorn squash. Dessert: rhubarb upside down cake with whipped cream and port or Frangelico fortified hot chocolate to finish. Drinks: bubbly rose to start, Spilker Ales' Hopalleuia with the entree, and either really good coffee after the hot chocolate, or decent coffee with Frangelico to end. As for the explanation, in the "Intercourses" cookbook, there is a picture of an asparagus apron/skirt/kilt. I was providing an example of the dance I would do whilst wearing said apron/skirt/kilt, and apparently Barnes and Noble is not the appropriate place to tango. I also think we were disturbing several rows of book-shelves with our chuckles in the black bean section.
  21. jsolomon


    Be careful when browsing that book in a bookstore! It got me kicked out of a Barnes and Noble in Sioux Falls, SD!
  22. jsolomon

    Making it?

    I'm in a problem, currently. My girlfriend told her mother that I had been known to brew beer in the past. Now, I am the proud owner of about 8 pounds of wild plums with the expectation of making wine out of them. While I understand that it is rude for me to look at this as an imposition, I would like to know if anyone has had any experience with this sort of thing. Help?!
  23. jsolomon


    Well, I had the edamame. It was quite good. The bud light that I drank with it wasn't quite the food and beer pairing that the world has occasionally been built on, but it did fine. The Jane's Mixed Up Salt I used on it was really very tasty. The flavor had something that reminded of really good, fresh, 10-minute-from-the-field/garden sweet corn. Is that the proper flavor?
  24. jsolomon


    I looked at that, but there really wasn't any information about blanch and shock and salt. It was sort of low on information for neophytes who just get it thrown in their lap.
  25. Dammit. Now I've triggered another udon craving. I'll have to mix some up and eat it before I cook the edamame
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