DuffyH's Profile

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london broil cut of beef

Hamster's right, it's not really a cut, and both flank and round are commonly used. With either of those cuts, we normally freeze it, slice it very thin (almost shaved) against the grain with our meat slicer, and use it for stir fry. Marinated for 30 minutes, it's pretty tender. Not as tender as Prime Sirloin from Costco, but it works well.

We don't bother to roast or grill it because it's just too chewy for our preference. You could try using a lot of lime juice or other acid in your marinade to increase tenderness. I wouldn't marinate it longer than 6-8 hours or it may begin to break down.

1 day ago
DuffyH in Home Cooking

sourdough flavoring?!?

Although I don't use KAF Instant Sourdough to make sourdough bread, I do use it in every loaf of white sandwich bread I make. We used to hate (well, dislike) white bread for it's bland, nothing-there flavor, but this stuff elevates it to a true old-fashioned 'Grandma's bread' flavor that makes it very attractive to this 12-grain loving couple. I make it in my Zo bread machine.

From what I gather from the online reviews, most bakers have reported that it doesn't really make bread taste like true sourdough, but it does impart the sense of sourdough, if that makes sense.

Anyway, I'm hooked. And it goes a long way, too. I use 1 tablespoon to 3 cups flour. BTW, it's awful in wheat bread. Just saying.

1 day ago
DuffyH in Home Cooking

What are the treasured items in your kitchen?

Easy one. Mom's vintage Ecko slotted turner, still going strong after about 50 years, and grandma's rolling pin circa 1930, relegated to a display piece on a kitchen wall since someone (my dude) soaked it in water and it's inner wooden dowel warped, making it useless for rolling things.

Also, the set of 3 blue nesting Hall bowls that Mom bought for her Grandma when she was 11 yrs old. She put them on layaway at the local hardware store and used her 5 cent weekly allowance to pay them off over 6 months. That makes these bowls about 70 yrs old.

1 day ago
DuffyH in Cookware

Final day tomorrow. Need to decide pots and pans

I would absolutely follow Alexrander's advice about the Zwilling Sensation set + saucier and steamer, then add 2 more items:

A cookie sheet/jelly roll pan, and wire grid that fits inside it. These are great for baking, roasting, holding breaded items, holding already cooked items warm in the oven, and the rack by itself is great for a cooling rack/trivet for cookies, cakes, brownies, anything that needs to cool on the counters. These two are of sturdy construction and will serve you well for many years:

http://smile.amazon.com/Vollrath-Wear...

http://smile.amazon.com/CIA-23304-Mas...

Also nice to round things out, a few baking dishes, like a square baker and a lasagna pan.

http://www.amazon.com/HIC-Porcelain-L...

http://www.amazon.com/Bakers-Advantag...

1 day ago
DuffyH in Cookware

the trivialities of pan seasoning!

No, after the first pass I only bring it to smoke point.

On the first pass, I don't let the pan cool, I turn down the heat under it once it's super hot. The pan hasn't had time to cool. Not sure of the purpose, but IIRC it was in the old instructions, so it's what I did.

2 days ago
DuffyH in Cookware

the trivialities of pan seasoning!

No. For my dB pans, I get the bare, stripped pan really hot (it will change color), then turn the heat down to med-high and add a thin layer of oil. Once it smokes, I'll take it off the heat and let it cool, wiping off oil all the while. When it's cool and feels completely dry, I start over.

For the second and third coats, on med-high, as soon as the pan smokes, I add fresh oil (again, just a little) and repeat. They come out ugly, more golden with a few dark brown areas than dark brown all over, but they're functional and pretty slippery.

It's a pretty fast seasoning method. Because it's carbon steel, it won't be bullet-proof, but in time, with normal cooking, it continues to improve. I've stripped some of it off in cooking, but it's never flaked off and is easily restored. The only pan that gets used with great frequency is my Force Blue crepe pan for eggs, and because it never sees anything but eggs and butter over med-low heat, it still looks half-seasoned. It's almost 2 years old.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your second half 2015 cookware and kitchen deals and finds here.

<It's Sierra Trading Post.>

I'd never guess that one, not in a million years.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Porcelain/stoneware or ECI for casserole dishes? And best 2nd size?

<*BKF & Bon Ami will make your pyro ceramic sparkle. Marks left by metal utensils are not damage to the pan, but rather a traces of the utensil left behind!>

Too true. I was surprised at how easy it was to restore it to brand new condition. No one can tell it was rescued from thrift store oblivion.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

More Surprisingly Useful Stuff

I would say that's a pretty useful item in most kitchens. I get a lot of use from my Cuisinart Mini-Prep, my blender and my stick blender. If I didn't already own a stick blender when my old Mini-Prep died, I'd absolutely have looked for an all-in-one type thing. No question. I counted myself lucky to find it's replacement for $5 at the Salvation Army store.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

Yes, agreed. We're not fans, either, feeling the taste is just not up to what we make ourselves. But a can of vegetable soup for a buck and a couple of sandwiches with homemade bread, that's pretty cheap and fairly nutritious. Cost is about $1-2 for the entire meal. Lots of sodium in the soup, true. But for the occasional meal, it's fine.

Other nights, a simple tossed green salad with some beans or diced leftover chicken is good. Simple things like tuna salad in romaine leaves are easy and healthy summer meals that give me a break from cooking.

the trivialities of pan seasoning!

I disagree about most steel woks not being thin, GH. My deBuyer Force Blue pan is 2mm thick, and the spun steel woks I see are much thinner, maybe 1mm. I doubt if most of them are 1.5mm. I do agree with you, based on my own experience, that a flat-bottomed one is pretty likely to warp at high heat.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Demeyere Industry 5 Opinions?

Are you referring to a replacement policy where you can pretty much choose your pan if your damaged pan is discontinued?

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Your Waffle Iron--Use It!

Sounds like the same waffle iron Mom and Dad used when I was kid. The few times I was allowed to use it, I marveled at how well the top plate floated, making waffles that rose easily.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

More Surprisingly Useful Stuff

Not so lazy, really. I far prefer my rice cooker to using the stovetop for rice. It's much easier to get consistently good results. In all the years I've been cooking rice, it's performance far exceeds my abilities.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Post your second half 2015 cookware and kitchen deals and finds here.

Do I look like I change my own oil? Don't think so. ;-)

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

the trivialities of pan seasoning!

I used the deBuyer method on my dB Force Blue (somewhat thin) crepe pan, but gave it 3 coats, IIRC. It hasn't been subjected to high(ish) heat since, and it's doing fine. I was able to cook an egg with excellent results right from the start. I used the same method on my Carbone skillets/crepe pan, also with very good results, although I don't worry about high heat with those pans. The Carbone pans never got uniformly dark but they're pretty nonstick so I don't care how awful they look.

I used the nuclear wok method on a thin carbon steel stir fry pan (5" floor) and it warped real good. So that was a success. I wouldn't try this on a La Lyonnaise pan if you want your eggs to stay where you put them.

If you want to try the oven method, you can always use your grill. We seasoned a couple of cast iron pans (2 coats) on our gas grill with good results. They've never been as slippery as my deBuyer pans and were relegated to the camping gear for the dude to use.

My thick carbon steel wok was seasoned (2-3 coats, nuclear) on our Weber kettle using Weber's special grill grate and it worked pretty well. I'm sure the neighbors appreciated the billowing smoke. My dude felt very manly while he was doing it.

We used peanut oil for all of it.

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

I would add that it's not enough to just eliminate the 2 restaurant meals, but keep the meals at home those nights as simple as you can, even something as simple as canned soup and a sandwich. There are those nights when I've just had it with the kitchen, when I mutiny and tell my dude if he wants hot food he's cooking it. And he'd better not blow up my kitchen while he's doing it or he knows he's cleaning it up himself. :-)

Post your second half 2015 cookware and kitchen deals and finds here.

STP?

Jul 26, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

Cooks in transition: how are you changing?

I didn't learn to cook when I was young, either. The only family recipes we had were for baked goods at the holidays. I've never had much interest in baking, mostly because we're not big dessert eaters. We do enjoy them now and then, but not enough to make it worth my while to learn to make them myself. I'll sometimes bring home a slice of chocolate cake from a restaurant and take 3 days to eat it. Ghirardelli has some very nice brownie mixes, BC Supermoist cakes have never let me down, and Winn-Dixie now has $4 pies in the bakery that have a surprisingly good crust. Not a lot of incentive there to make my own.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Home Cooking

Cooks in transition: how are you changing?

Hi sue,

I'm experiencing almost exactly what you describe, also triggered by retirement and health. Shorter cook times, about 3-4oz protein with steamed or sautéed veg, maybe some rice or quick pasta. Lots of salads, especially with grilled chicken or pork tenderloin.

A surprising taste for me is simple grilled chicken, bone-in breasts with S&P, nothing else. They used to be very 'meh' to me, now I love them. Maybe because my dude has pretty much mastered grilling, like yours.

We make a lot of quick stir-fries, mostly very simple, eschewing noodles, going for veggies and a little sliced steak, chicken or pork.

I'm a huge fan of sautéed cutlets with a simple pan sauce, whether it be gravy or something like last night's chicken marsala with a small side of buttered garlicky pasta and a caesar salad.

We're eating more quick Mexican foods, too, anything where we can shred/dice a little meat and build a meal on some kind of tortilla. Six-inch, thin flatbread pizzas are fun for us, and again, they're quick.

Since we've begun eating 'small', I've found that it no longer takes a Big Mac sized meal to fill me up. I'm more of a cheeseburger and let me share your fries girl now.

And yes, I cook WAY more than before, partly for monetary reasons, partly because as my cooking has improved, I'm not so easily pleased by restaurant food as I used to be. One big reward is that Mom told me a few years ago that I'm now a much better cook than she ever was. That was high praise.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Home Cooking
1

Newbie here: Collective wisdom re ceramic cooktops

<I guess after five years on Chowhound I have become a cool kid.>

Chowhound seems a place to me where the dorks, geeks and science freaks can all be cool. Plus I love that while I'm munching a pizza roll I can read about the neat things people are cooking.

Full disclosure - I did that today but only because the dude used what was left of last night's chicken marsala in a wicked good grilled sandwich.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Need help with my new Zojirushi rice cooker

Although I haven't made it in my rice cooker, I'd suggest you give cheesecake a shot. In the pressure cooker (also moist environment) it bakes surprisingly well, with zero cracking. In fact, it was perfect. Essentially, your Zo should act like a bain marie would in an oven, probably better.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

More Surprisingly Useful Stuff

I've used my silicone trivets the same way. Surprisingly effective

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Your Waffle Iron--Use It!

ChefSteps has a hilarious video in which two of the guys waffle everything in the kitchen, including a co-worker's lunch. It inspired us to waffle a few things while the kids are here, using their flip-type double iron.

Results so far - pie crust is good, but breaks apart. Quesadillas are wonderful, and we like them better than those from a skillet. Beef hash got mixed reviews. Dude loved it because it got super crispy, me not so much because I don't want it ALL crispy. It's also a PITA to clean, leaving little crispy bits everywhere. We do plan to waffle a lot more things before summer ends. Burgers could be interesting, would likely want to start with a well-chilled patty. I might waffle some cornbread batter to go with tonight's chili.

http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/b...

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Newbie here: Collective wisdom re ceramic cooktops

Of course, as I mentioned: "If you've used an electric coil range before, you'll likely be quite comfortable and enjoy the easy cleaning." and "Many people do learn to cook well on them, and love them for their easy cleaning. I hope you're soon among them."

Cool kids was a joke, right? Again, I thought I made that clear. Are jokes no longer permitted here?

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware

Why did my Pyrex baking dish explode?

Once was all it took for me. Given the ready availability of stuff like HIC stoneware and vintage Corningware it doesn't even need to cost a lot to replace. Although I have a few pieces of EH and LC stoneware, they're not the only other options.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

Post your second half 2015 cookware and kitchen deals and finds here.

Chef's Catalog is offering 15% off sitewide today (with exclusions, of course) and free shipping on every order with promo code GW2EM7010.

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Cookware
1

Cooking from Electric Pressure Cooker Cookbooks

Hi wetvet,

Have you seen Lorna Sass' vegetarian cookbook? It will have many recipes that clearly aren't what you're looking for, but her books are almost more reference book than recipe book. She should have a lot of the information you're seeking.

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Vegetaria...

Duffy

Jul 25, 2015
DuffyH in Home Cooking

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

A lot of the savings from buying in bulk comes from having the freezer space to store it. If you're like me and lack a stand-alone freezer you can still save time and money by following hotoymoodle's advice about buying what's on sale and batch cooking for the week ahead. It makes life very simple and requires little advance planning. As a soon-to-be very busy Mom, a weekly meal makes so much sense. One trip to the grocery store gets you everything you need. When you have a few minutes, prep the veggies that will need slicing, chopping or shredding.

Some club-size convenience items can make meals easier if you keep them on hand. Frozen meatballs are an example. A huge bag is dirt cheap and will make a lot of meals for about $11. Re-package them into whatever size you'd normally cook for one meal, which makes for easier storage in a small freezer. Serve them with teriyaki sauce over rice, creamy beef gravy over noodles for sort-of Swedish meatballs, add mushrooms and sour cream for a stroganoff-inspired meal. Use your homemade Italian tomato sauce with them over pasta, or simply pour some BBQ sauce on them and serve with rolls or potatoes and a salad. Having these in the freezer means I'm never more than 30 minutes from an easy meal with no advance planning. Yes, I can make my own, but I feel this is one convenience food that makes sense, price-wise.

Jul 24, 2015
DuffyH in Home Cooking

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

I'm officially jealous. I'll just keep using my mandoline. *sigh*

Jul 24, 2015
DuffyH in Home Cooking