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Found 434 results

  1. Chris Hennes

    Curing Chamber Development

    For the past several years I've used a wine fridge as a curing chamber. This had the advantage of being dead simple: I just set the temperature as low as it would go (55°F, 13°C) and left it alone. This worked fine for short cures (a month or so), but the temperature control was poor, and humidity was controlled via the wet salt method, which results in humidity that is a bit too high. Because the cooling was thermoelectric, during the hot summer months here the fridge ran constantly and was still more like 65°F/18°C, which is bit higher than I would like. I also wanted to move the chamber to the garage so it wasn't taking up space in the kitchen, which would be completely untenable in the summer with only thermoelectric cooling. They also proved to be unreliable, repeatedly breaking down over the years (I've replaced both fans and Peltier units in two fridges). SO.... I wanted a new, more reliable, more accurate, more controllable system. I also wanted an excuse to goof around with my fledgling microcontroller skills. Here are the goals of the project: Temperature controlled to any set point between 10°C and 38°C (for fermentation stage). Humidity controlled to any set point between 60%RH and 90%RH. External readout of temp and humidity. Long-term average display of temp and humidity. Looks cool. Is fun to create.Actually, number six was probably the primary driver here, if I'm being honest with myself. The others followed from that! To address temperature control over that range, I needed to use a compressor-driven refrigerator, rather than a thermoelectric unit (basically none of which can reliably get the interior temperature that low when living in the garage). At the other end of the spectrum the plan is to simply use a lamp as a "heater" -- this is unimplemented as of yet, because I don't need a fermentation stage in my current curing projects. For humidity control the plan was to use a humidifier in a box below the fridge that vents into the fridge itself, and to use an exhaust fan at the top of the unit to dehumidify (given the nearly-always-low humidity here in central Oklahoma). I have not implemented the actual humidifier yet because I don't need upward control at the moment, my problem is dehumidification. To control all of this I am using an Arduino Uno development board coupled with a DHT22 temp/humidity sensor, plus four pins used to control the fridge (via an AC relay), lamp (AC relay), humidifier (AC relay), and exhaust fan (transistor). I've also got a 16x2 LCD wired up to display the status and averages. Here is a shot of the breadboarded system (obviously once I'm happy with it I'll ditch the breadboard...): The LCD is set up to display the current conditions on the top line, and a rotating set of averages (hourly, daily, and monthly) on the bottom line: Here's the installed prototype (you can see the chamber for the humidifier below the fridge): A closeup of the electronics: The sensor placement (obviously not permanent, the whole thing is still in the prototype stage): My fancy dehumidifier (there is a hole drilled into the fridge beneath the fan): If you are of a technical bent you can see the control code at GitHub. Once I've finalized the system I'll also publish the schematics there.
  2. rabalias

    Salami - the wrong kind of mold?

    We made some salami a couple of months back using the pork from our berkshire pigs (which we rear on our orchard). We followed Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's advice in the River Cottage Cookbook, using LS25 as a starter and hung the sausages in our verandah, which is well aired and generally in shade except perhaps at sunset. We were going to take them down around about now, but have noticed the mould on them is not quite as it should be. They developed white mould about midway through the process of being hung, but this week we spotted other colours. We are uncertain how long they've been like that - maybe just a few days, potentially a few weeks. They are partially covered in a thin layer of white mould, but also in places grey/green and, more worryingly, with spots of black. The black seems to be a development of the white mould - you have spots of black surrounded by a circle of white. In addition, they have some moisture on them - which looks to me like condensation but appears slightly correlated with the black mould. (There appear to be spots of black where the condensation is - possibly just random coincidence.) I took a couple of pictures, below. Does anyone have any experience they could share on this? I've seen a lot of different opinions, ranging from "anything other than white is potentially deadly" to "you can just wipe it off with vinegar and it should be fine". Obviously I don't want to take risks with our health, but nor do I want to throw away 3 kilos of our produce. So I'm hoping someone will have useful insights! Thanks Josh
  3. hillvalley

    Cooking with and Serving Pancetta

    I have about 1/3 lb. sitting in my fridge. What should I do with it?
  4. Guest

    1hour Onion Confit

    1hour Onion Confit This is a great accompiament and goes with all sorts of grilled meats as well as a simple topping for canapes,bruschetta or pizza. This technique is also alot quicker than the traditional one, a bit more labor intensive though, same amazing flavor though!!! 6 white onions,sliced about 1/2 inch wide 2tbsp butter 2tbsp olive oil pinch of salt 1cup white wine 1/4cup sugar 7cups chicken stock Saute white onions in a large heavy bottom pot, stir occasionly until very dark brown about 15min, don't worry if the bottom is getting dark this is where the rich sweetness comes from. Deglaze with the wine, wait till almost evaporated then add the sugar along with one cup of stock, keep trying to scrape up as much browned bits as possible. Let the stock completely evaporate until onions are just wet. Continue adding stock one cup at a time, waiting till one cup as reduced until adding the next.Test the onions around 5 cups keep adding stock till they dissolve in your mouth. Keywords: Vegetables, Side ( RG976 )
  5. Chris Amirault

    Green Mold on Dry-Cured Sausages?!

    My battles with green mold are well documented here. For example, I present a few sticks of particularly memorable sopressata: Following the advice of basically every book ever published in English on the subject, in which green mold = deadly, horrible failure, I tossed them out. There are a few exceptions out there; members here mention washing it off and rehanging it, but only at the early stages. Shortly after that disappointment, I went to Barcelona, where I had this experience: Still no answers. Fast forward to August 2009. Chris Hennes and I are hitting the outer boroughs in search of good food, and we arrive here. The justly famous Calabria Pork Store, on Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. The place is the holy shrine of cured pork on the east coast, and it smells hog heavenly. Hundreds of sausages, sides of pork, hams, you name it are hanging overhead. However, when you walk a bit closer to the product, you see this: These sausages weren't speckled with green mold; they didn't have a bit here and there. Most of the product in room was coated 40-50% with fuzzy, green to blue mold. Our jaws dropped. We asked the counter person three or four different times what the story was, and he looked at us like we were nuts. We got the sort of reaction you'd get if you tried to ask a crab on the ocean floor why it was so humid around here. Meanwhile, Hennes and I ate about as much of the free sample plate as we could eat without being arrested. The stuff is fantastic: funky, rich, deep flavor that only the best cured pork gets. And we're not dead. Something, clearly, is going on, and I'm hellbent on getting to the bottom of it. Here are my questions: 1. What, exactly, is this "fuzzy green mold"? What distinguishes "fuzzy green mold" from "chalky white mold"? 2. What effects do these molds have? How do you determine which effects are detrimental, beneficial, or both? 3. If, as all the books indicate, this "fuzzy green mold" is so terrible for you, why in the world is a premier salumeria displaying it overhead for all the world to see? For starters, does anyone have any access to actual facts?
  6. Marian Burros -- and I like her even though she's referred to me as a fringe journalist -- wrote something nice about the Applegate Farms nitrite-free cured meat products in the Times recently: http://nytimes.com/2001/12/19/dining/19WELL.html I finally got some of the salami at Fairway. It is, indeed, really good. It totally lacks the artificial taste found in nearly all packaged commercial cold-cuts, even from fancy brands. It could have stronger seasoning, but I can forgive that because the meat taste is so elegant. Definitely worth purchasing.
  7. Does anyone know any mail-order or online delis in the UK that sell a good slab of pancetta. At the moment all I've been able to find is the pancetta type lardons that the supermarkets sell. Thanks Ian
  8. Hi. I'm brand new to this site. I used to be on Chowhound but I see now that that site is a mess. I found this site and it looks pretty cool. The main reason I joined is I’m looking for recommendations for a restaurant to hold my wedding in March 2018. We were hoping maybe in Brooklyn but we are open to anything interesting. There will be 55-60 people and the ceremony will also be at the restaurant. I’m thinking of a brunch/early afternoon affair, most likely on a weekend. Would love to find a funky/old school/unique/charming type of place for my sweetheart. Inexpensive please! Thank you in advance!
  9. Vinotas

    Lardons in NYC?

    I've been dying to get my hands on some lardons like I get when I'm in France. Especially now that cassoulet season is approaching, I'd like to get the real stuff. Thick-cut bacon just doesn't seem to do it. Can anyone recommend any place to get them in NYC? Thanks in advance, Cheers!