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Why does my bread turn out dense?

My recollection is that wetter dough has an airier crumb - like Ciabatta. Try more water. Also, is your yeast old? May be on its last legs.

Jul 23, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
1

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

I do have rice flour and use it for deep fry breading on some things. This recipe calls for moistening the coating to create "pebbles" of varying sizes for crunch. I was hesitating to use rice flour because I presumed the slurry mix in was designed to develop some gluten - which I wouldn't get with rice flour.

Jul 22, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
1

HELP!!!! Does anyone know where I can get great TEX-MEX? [Long Island]

Wow that looks good.

Jul 22, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

What's for Dinner #314 - Lazing on a Sunny Afternoon Edition [Through July 26, 2014]

Made Orange Chicken from Kenji's Serious Eats recipe. I thought the sauce needed more bite, so added more vinegar, a chile de arbol and some szechuan peppercorns.

Excellent sauce recipe, and the chicken technique creates a really crunchy nugget. Half flour, half cornstarch, a bit of baking powder, and mix in some reserved marinade to create a coarse, pebbly coating mix.

Jul 22, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
6

Pie Crust Help

Please cite the source for water effecting gluten being a myth. Yes, overworking the dough is the culprit, but my understanding based on food scientists' articles is that it is overworking a dough that has water in it that causes gluten formation.

Jul 22, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Pie Crust Help

As others said, dough too cold. I used to have this problem all the time. I also switched to Kenji's vodka crust recipe and his later butter flour paste then flour recipe (though I use some vodka in that one too). Both of these are "looser." (In fact, the straight recipe for the vodka dough is a bit too loose - sometimes I can't transfer it to the pan without it falling apart.

Jul 21, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Princeton Area; Casual Dinner or Take Out

Nice, thanks.

Jul 18, 2014
sbp in New Jersey

Princeton Area; Casual Dinner or Take Out

Weekend at my daughter's softball tournament; looking for a good non-chain spot for Saturday night. Staying at Residence Inn Princeton/South Brunswick. Not looking for fine dining, but pretty wide open after that. Good Asian, Barbecue, Burgers, etc...

Jul 18, 2014
sbp in New Jersey

What are you baking these days? July 2014 Edition, Part 1! [old]

And I've been making those cookies, and they are GOOD.

Jul 15, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Best Birthday Chocolate Cake [near Plainview, Long Island]

Which bakery in Plainview?

Jul 11, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

What are you baking these days? July 2014 Edition, Part 1! [old]

Tasty. I'm going to bake at a lower temp or with a water bath next time. The bars by the edge are fairly firm, while the center is very pudding like. Trying for a consistent just-a-bit-firmer-than-curd texture.

Passionfruit puree courtesy of Hispanic supermarkets. Frozen, fresh tasting, and inexpensive.

Jul 07, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
1

What are you baking these days? July 2014 Edition, Part 1! [old]

Passionfruit bar with coconut/almond cookie base.

Jul 07, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
4

4th of July weekend, North Fork

Which little stand? I'm trying to coax the family out for a farm stand road trip.

THanks.

Jul 02, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

Has anyone tried the chocolate chip cookie recipe posted on Serious Eats?

I made it this weekend, it's resting now and will bake tonight, and damned if I didn't do EXACTLY the same thing. Fortunately, I was right by the sink so I got cold water on my hand before skin grafting became an issue.

Jun 23, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Fresh Cherry Hot Sauce Is Spicy-Sweet and Smoky

With all the vinegar, shouldn't it keep pretty much indefinitely in the fridge like other hot sauces?

Jun 22, 2014
sbp in Features

Strawberries are here, North Fork LI

Thanks, couldn't make it out today anyway. I live in Huntington - I do SO wish local supermarkets (especially the really local ones like North Shore Farms) would carry local berries. I'd certainly pay extra for these than the gigantic California Driscolls. (Though the California strawberries have had more berry flavor lately - must be better engineering).

Jun 22, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

Strawberries are here, North Fork LI

From where?

Jun 21, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

Why do people like sea urchin?

To me, it tastes like lobster tomalley (which I love), but more subtle. Like foie gras compared to chopped liver.

Jun 21, 2014
sbp in General Topics

Classic Strawberry Shortcake

Take 1/4 of the strawberries, place in a bowl, and puree with a stick blender. Add back to strawberries. You'll create a slightly thicker sauce with a more intense strawberry flavor.

Jun 16, 2014
sbp in Recipes
1

Best Birthday Chocolate Cake [near Plainview, Long Island]

Second that. Fiorello Dolce is pretty reliably excellent across the board.

Jun 11, 2014
sbp in New York State (exc. NYC)

I AM NEVER ATTEMPTING PIE CRUST AGAIN!!!!!! (unless you help me)

Macerate the sliced peaches in sugar in a ziploc for several hours. Then drain the syrup into a saucepan. Cook peaches in the microwave for a few minutes and drain off any additional juice to the saucepan. Boil till reduced to a fairly thick syrup. Add back to peaches, add remaining ingredients (lemon juice, thickener - I use tapioca) and fill pie.

Jun 09, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

What are you baking these days? June 2014 edition, part 1! [through June 14, 2014]

Cakes with an oil base keep longer and stay moister than butter based. Carrot cake comes to mind, though without cream cheese frosting if no refrigeration for a long time. You could Bundt it and dust with powdered sugar.

Jun 02, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
2

Vacuum Sealing

I make my own pastrami, portion it, vacuum and freeze. Works great. I don't worry about parchment between slices, once defrosted it comes apart. If I put a lot in each bag that would be a good idea.

May 21, 2014
sbp in Cookware

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

Yeah, I'm one who wants his cake and eat it too. I want bark and moist. So it's always a struggle. I figure another 20 years of tweaking and I'll have it right.

May 17, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

Glad it worked out. Since you reported a stall at much lower than typical temp, I'd guess your non-digital thermometer just isn't very accurate.

May 17, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking
1

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

Yeah, you can foil it and put it in a cooler and it holds for a very long time. Also reheats well, so no reason to do it same day as the party unless you have to.

I try to do overnight cooks, prep in the morning, then refrigerate and reheat.

May 16, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

No. Not at 170. It's done when it's done. You really just have to plan for a very long cook and hope you get done sooner.

May 16, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

Yes, you can do that. I just find it softens the bark.

May 16, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

From the pictures, definitely looks undercooked. I would keep the coals on the side; you want low indirect heat. If you have a probe thermometer, use it.

How long it will take is always a crapshoot. Was the pig a body builder or a couch potato? Who knows. But it would effect cooking time. Be prepared for a very long cook, but flexibility to take it off "when it's done."

I use a Weber Smoky Mountain; the key to it's ability to maintain a long cook time at even temps is having lots of vents to control air flow. You want flow out of the top, but ability to choke off incoming air supply with bottom vents. If you have bottom vents, I just crack them open a bit.

Expect a long "stall" at anywhere fro 170-185 (in my experience) - that's where energy is melting the the collagen and not raising the temp. Once it's past that point, you are getting to pullable stage. I shoot for just over 200. You certainly don't want to boil the internal juices.

Some people wrap in foil after stall to finish the cooking (saying it aids in moisture), but I like the crispy thick bark.

After that, a long rest and you should be good to pull.

May 16, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking

Slow cooked pork shoulder not so tender

Difference is probably the weight. I smoke whole shoulders that weigh around 12 lbs. It almost always takes more than 10 hours. And as you noted, 180 isn't really "pull" stage. I usually get a very long stall somewhere between 170 and 185. For pulling, I look for final temp of 200.

May 15, 2014
sbp in Home Cooking