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donbert

eG Foodblog: donbert - Roll Your Own...

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When I'm at work I usually grab lunch near my office in midtown. Today I went to the Hallo Berlin "Juicy Food Stand" on 53rd St and 5th Ave.

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German soul food...what a concept!

And I see the lettering is red, black and green. Was the owner channeling Angela Davis or something?

Anyway, belated greetings and have a couple for me, 'cause I'm watching how much alcohol I consume.

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The dough from this morning is in the oven and I'm going to be making a very simple dinner for myself tonight.

On my way home from Pegu I went through 3 grocery stores and 6 bodegas to amass the following:

gallery_28661_3975_38022.jpg

8 different kinds of sweetened condensed milk and 2 quarts of goats milk. Who knew there were so many different brands of scm?

With three cans of each brand I'll randomly number the cans and boil each brand for 4, 12, and 24 hours with the label removed. Then later this week I'll have someone else open and label the cans with letters for a double blind tasting. Any suggestions for what to taste the dulce de leche on?

This is what happens when you go shopping after pegu.

A man with a mission.

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

My thoughts exactly!!

Great to see you blogging Donbert! I'm excited to see the cocktail experiments (both your own and the various trained professionals you visit) as well as the SCM Project and the other fun places you're eating.

Blog on brother...

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Looks good. How much did that cost?

I walked past the street sign in your first post today, on my way to Skyway after work. I had some Ipoh Bean Sprouts (lame today -- not enough soy sauce or pepper, and the sprouts were a little old) and Curry Mee with Yong Tau Fu (very good, and fans of hot pepper should try the long hot green pepper stuffed with fish -- that stuff is really hot!).

When you're not going for a liquid meal or cooking at home (do you do that much?), where have you been eating out in your hood lately?

Only $7. The picture makes it look huge but it's only 2 sausages cut up under the kraut.

I blame my enabler, who shall go unnamed, for the liquid meals. :wink:

Overall I eat out more often than I cook since I almost never bring food to work. For dinners it's a 50/50 split at the moment. In this neighborhood I go to Skyway most often. Congee Village and Great NY Noodletown are my standbys for late night meals. On weekends I usually end up at either New Yeah Shanghai Deluxe for soup dumplings or Dim Sum Go Go. The couple of times I've been to Little Giant or Freeman's I haven't been disappointed but I don't go to either regularly. My favorite $1 dumpling place is the one on Essex just north of Hester, they have the thinnest dumpling skins. The best coffee I've found so far is Brown. Their sister store next door Orange is a little over priced but the only option in the area for the kinds of foods they carry. The various Banh Mi places in chinatown also deserve mention.

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[...]

I discovered cocktails through the bars Pegu Club and Milk and Honey. I was instantly hooked. I needed to know why I never had a drink that good before and how I could make them myself. After drinking too many Manhattan variations with eGullet lurker TheManInWhite we decided that to truly learn all the classics and experiment new recipes we needed to spread out the liver damage and invite some victims... I mean friends... over to try some real cocktails. What started out as 3 whiskeys, 2 vermouths, and 3 kinds of bitters has snowballed to over 200 bottles of alcohol and a bi-weekly underground cocktail party at my place.

[...]

Don,

Aside from the quality of cocktails at Pegu Club and Milk and Honey, what do you think it was about cocktails or cocktail culture that hooked you enough to become so enthusiastic a devotee?

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Hi! Sorry I'm late. Especially when you're posting photos like this:

Swoon. Soul food indeed.

And then this extravaganza:

Righteous. Rage on, dude.

As to what to test all that dulce de leche on: I don't know what's traditional, but how about a really nice pound cake?

Or, yeah, you could just provide spoons. :smile:

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Dulce de Leche must be tested on small warmed bites of plain buttery croissant... :wub:

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gallery_28661_3975_38022.jpg

Any suggestions for what to taste the dulce de leche on?

Oh! You got my attention. Very cool experiment.

I think you should offer a variety of small bites for your lucky guests to dip and taste, and maybe a simple ballot form so they can keep track of which they like best. (Might be a good idea also because I suspect the alcohol will be a flowin'...just a hunch.)

The "bites" should be relatively neutral in flavour...the vanilla ice-cream is a good idea, but you would need a ton of small bowls. Maybe a big plate of cubed pound cake could work, with toothpicks. Or pretzel rods...the salt would be a great with dulce de leche. (Bonus--less clean-up for you.) Maybe fruit, your no-knead bread, or cocktails as palate cleansers between bites.

I hope your goat milk is nice and strong. I made goat milk caramel in Canada, but accidentally bought the ultra-pasteurized stuff in Seattle and the caramel I made with it wasn't very goaty at all.


Edited by Ling (log)

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The dough from this morning is in the oven and I'm going to be making a very simple dinner for myself tonight.

On my way home from Pegu I went through 3 grocery stores and 6 bodegas to amass the following:

[...]

Any suggestions for what to taste the dulce de leche on?

I would think that dinner before Pegu would be wiser!

When I meet Don at Pegu we usually go right after work around 6 before it gets too crowded. Sometimes we have self control and leave after 2-3 drinks, sometimes we don't.

If I know I am going to Pegu that night, I will try to have lunch later in the afternoon, ~3pm so I have something in my stomach to absorb all the tasty liquid nutrients they provide us with.

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Breakfast this morning was a toasted bialy with butter and a cup of coffee.

gallery_28661_3975_26198.jpg

Everyone knows of the bagels in New York but for some reason the the bialy doesn't seem to get as much attention. :hmmm: They're like a cross between a bagel and an english muffin.

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GREATEST NYT CORRECTION OF ALL TIME:

"Correction: November 29, 2006, Wednesday An article last Wednesday . . . misstated the number of continents on which the food writer Mimi Sheraton has searched for bialys. It is five, not two."


Edited by Sneakeater (log)

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GREATEST NYT CORRECTION OF ALL TIME:

"Correction: November 29, 2006, Wednesday An article last Wednesday . . . misstated the number of continents on which the food writer Mimi Sheraton has searched for bialys. It is five, not two."

That's awesome SE! What was the article being corrected? And did Mimi Sheraton find bialys on other continents?

edit: Woah! She wrote a whole book about it: The Bialy Eaters: The Story of a Bread and a Lost World (ISBN: 0767905024)


Edited by donbert (log)

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donbert, i'm not sure i'd go as long as 12 and 24 hours on the ddl experiment. keep it at a low simmer and do something like 4,6 and 8 or 6, 8 and 10...wouldn't go much longer. you'll still see differences in color/texture.

awesome experiment and i can't wait to see the results of the cajeta (real goat's milk ddl).

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Don,

Aside from the quality of cocktails at Pegu Club and Milk and Honey, what do you think it was about cocktails or cocktail culture that hooked you enough to become so enthusiastic a devotee?

Erik,

I would say that it was a combination of my personality (INTP Myers-Briggs type) and the accessibility of other cocktail enthusiasts that got me so deep into cocktails. I naturally take a very logical and systematic approach to solving problems and figuring things out. I also have a tendency to get interested in tangential topics from reading and conversation (like SCM), which I then apply what others might consider an obsessive level of investigation that usually starts with reading as much as I can about it then trying it myself.

Getting into cocktails provided me with a great deal of reading/research that I could immediately reproduce yielding a tasty end product. I love being able to read about a recipe, try making it, then make several variation of it very quickly all in one evening. Cocktails to me were the culinary equivalent of fruit flies for genetics and evolution researchers.

As far as cocktail culture is concerned, the community is very open and accessible to anyone who is interested. I've never met a bartender or fellow cocktail geek that wasn't willing to share recipes and techniques. Even without bars like Pegu, between the eG cocktails forum, the Drink Boy forums, and cocktailDB there is a wealth of information already online and growing every day. And as you know it isn't just home enthusiasts like you and me. Practically all the cocktail gurus of today are regular contributors; Gary Regan, Dave Wondrich, Audrey Saunders, Robert Hess, Ted Haigh, etc... Who knows what it will be like in the future with this so called "cocktail revolution" going on now but right now the international cocktail scene is a great community to be a part of.

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The dough from this morning is in the oven and I'm going to be making a very simple dinner for myself tonight.

On my way home from Pegu I went through 3 grocery stores and 6 bodegas to amass the following:

gallery_28661_3975_38022.jpg

8 different kinds of sweetened condensed milk and 2 quarts of goats milk. Who knew there were so many different brands of scm?

With three cans of each brand I'll randomly number the cans and boil each brand for 4, 12, and 24 hours with the label removed. Then later this week I'll have someone else open and label the cans with letters for a double blind tasting. Any suggestions for what to taste the dulce de leche on?

You just made me laugh out loud with joy! Oh very much Thank You!

I was checking just-one-more-post, before heading to the kitchen to put a pot of water on the boil, with a can of the Borden's Magnolia brand scm in it. What a glorious experiment. I am so sorry to be too far away to help judge the results, but I await them eagerly.

I bought Magnolia for the first time the other day and its much thinner than Borden's Eagle Brand. Black and White is almost as thick as Eagle. Magnolia also has cheap looking can seals with small rust spots visible, which is a bit frightening.

Taste:

how caramelly rich is it? How sweet?

Any nasty flavors / undertones? (these would probably come from the tin)

How easy is it in the mouth ? (too thick which makes it hard to swallow like pnut butter, too thin to use as a spread, etc)

As for what to taste on, spoons. The first time I was served it, it was a glop in a bowl.

Oh, what a glop!

Thanks for the total-coverage info. Will now go add a kettle to the stove to keep the top-up water handy.


Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

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Had a craving for some spicy Thai food to combat the cold weather so I went to Won Dee Siam for lunch.

gallery_28661_3975_13912.jpg

The Lunch Special for $6.50 are a steal. Today I went with the Green Curry with pork.

gallery_28661_3975_14551.jpg

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You know you have a problem when you see this walking the down the street...

gallery_28661_3975_16208.jpg

...and the first thing you think of is "if I could steal this I could bet I could make some really cold cocktails!"

followed by "I bet the guys on the adventures with sodium alginate thread could do something cool with this..."

I'm guessing it isn't food grade though. :hmmm:

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donbert, i'm not sure i'd go as long as 12 and 24 hours on the ddl experiment.  keep it at a low simmer and do something like 4,6 and 8 or 6, 8 and 10...wouldn't go much longer.  you'll still see differences in color/texture.

awesome experiment and i can't wait to see the results of the cajeta (real goat's milk ddl).

Hmmm... I know that after 4 hours or so works so I figured I'd take it to the illogical extreme of 24 hours. Do you think that after 10 hours it would go bad?

Maybe what I should have done was just get one of each brand to boil for 4 hours to find which is the best then get 24 cans of the best brand to see what the difference is at 1 hour intervals for 24 hours... Looks like there might have to be a follow up experiment. :laugh:

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You've probably explained the process upthread, but please to be repeating for us slow learners:

You boil the scm in the can without opening it? Or do you poke a small hole in it to allow the vapor to escape? If the latter, how big a hole?

And in the process of reduction, the stuff caramelizes too?

Awaiting your test results....

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You've probably explained the process upthread, but please to be repeating for us slow learners:

You boil the scm in the can without opening it?  Or do you poke a small hole in it to allow the vapor to escape? If the latter, how big a hole?

And in the process of reduction, the stuff caramelizes too?

Awaiting your test results....

You simmer a whole unopened/unpunctured can of scm in a large pot of water making sure that it is completely submerged in water for about 4 hours. Common sense suggests that you should let the can cool down a bit before you open it.

During that time the scm will caramelize into dulce de leche.

I'll probably start boiling the cans tonight or tomorrow but I think I'm going to hold off opening them till friday when folks will be over for cocktails.

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Hmmm... I know that after 4 hours or so works so I figured I'd take it to the illogical extreme of 24 hours. Do you think that after 10 hours it would go bad?

Maybe what I should have done was just get one of each brand to boil for 4 hours to find which is the best then get 24 cans of the best brand to see what the difference is at 1 hour intervals for 24 hours... Looks like there might have to be a follow up experiment. :laugh:

More happy laughter. :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin: I think you are doing well to start with a factorial experiement, simultaneously testing two variables. Perhaps one brand is better at 4 hours, but by 8 hours a different brand comes out the winner.

And in the process of reduction, the stuff caramelizes too?

I didnt read the cajeta recipe, so I dont know the reduction/concentration process for the goats milk (at a guess, slow cooking). The scm is from cow's milk and comes from the can already concentrated and sweetened. The additional cooking is for caramelization. If this stuff comes out like that I;ve been served in restaurants, it will undergo a slight texture change too. Not sure how/why that happens.

Im also curious if the closed system will result in thickening or keeping the Magnolia brand from thickening (90 min down, 150 to go). It will be very interesting to see what is spooned / poured out of each can of Donbert's on Friday.

Isnt there a fairly new thread about making dulce de leche cocktails?


Edited by Kouign Aman (log)

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Isnt there a fairly new thread about making dulce de leche cocktails?

Yup, right here. That's actually why I made dulce de leche last week. I wanted to play with it in egg nogs this friday. The last time I made dulce de leche was probably 4 years ago and I hadn't thought of it since that thread.

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Anybody know how long this will keep in the fridge?

I'm not sure of any exact length of time it will keep for but I've definitely left it in the fridge for a couple weeks without any problems.

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...

The additional cooking is for caramelization. If this stuff comes out like that I;ve been served in restaurants, it will undergo a slight texture change too. Not sure how/why that happens.

Im also curious if the closed system will result in thickening or keeping the Magnolia brand from thickening (90 min down, 150 to go). It will be very interesting to see what is spooned / poured out of each can of Donbert's on Friday.

...

After 4 hours it definitely isn't pourable. When it's hot it's less viscous and easier to get out of the can but even then it's not exactly fluid. Closest thing I can think of off the top of my head that has a similar consistency would be hair gel.

I think the thickening is a result of the milk proteins being cooked. If milk proteins are globular like the albumin in eggs, heating them would cause them to unravel and knit themselves into latices which would account for the change in texture.

edit: punctuation


Edited by donbert (log)

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Remembering longingly my year in Argentina as a foreign exchange student and my host mom and I testing every brand of Dulce de Leche in the supermarket over that year, I recommend testing on thinly sliced baguette, toasted in the oven.

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