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Is it pointless to buy an expensive knife if I sharpen/hone with a electric Chef's Choice 120?

I sharpen about twice a year, but feel every three months would be ideal for my knives and the amount of use they get. When I sharpened once a year, they were so dull that it took FOREVER to get them sharp again (took a very long time to create a burr on a 1K stone.) A lot of my knives now are Japanese with higher HRC so I don't hone them on a traditional sharpening steel (they do see a leather strop coated with chromium oxide compound but I'm probably not doing that often enough either). But for a Western, softer knife, yes, honing should be happening before every use.

Aug 18, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

Is it pointless to buy an expensive knife if I sharpen/hone with a electric Chef's Choice 120?

The Victorinox is a great knife and I see nothing wrong with using a Chef's Choice. Your Chef's Choice is best used for a Western knife over a Japanese one (the Japanese knives are sharpened at a lower angle than what the Chef's Choice is capable of.) The only thing I would personally recommend against is a knife with a bolster. The bolster gets in the way of sharpening. Other than that, you are good to go! The MOST important part of keeping kitchen knives is KEEPING THEM SHARP. Even if you're keeping the cheapest of knives sharp on your Chef's Choice, that's much much better than buying an expensive knife and not keeping it sharp either because you don't want to sharpen by hand on stones or because you don't feel like sending it off to a professional. The additional value you might get from a more expensive knife is that it might keep that sharp edge longer than cheaper/softer knives.

Aug 16, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

Do you post your purchasing decisions based on Rep Knowledge

The Vitamix representative I spoke with helped me out a lot when I was choosing between models (she actually convinced me I didn't need bells and whistles which was very good of her.) So, yes, I was definitely swayed by her opinions which both saved me money and led me to the right product.

Aug 11, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

Nosey Cookware Question

That's a great deal! I've been eyeing that thing. Please let us know how you like it.

Aug 11, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

recommendations for mortar and pestle, which material?

Yes, there are other threads on this topic. And just to add to jljohn, Amazon has exactly this one, which I also highly recommend. It's simply a matter of preference if you want to order directly from them or from Amazon (although when I had a question, it was easier to get in touch with them directly than through Amazon.)

http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Granite-M...

Aug 11, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

Lol, I suppose it would be nicer to be invited, watch her prepare all that produce, and then eat whatever she creates from it. All while sitting at the kitchen table sipping on some wine and going through cookware catalogues.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

I can stare at them longingly all day.

Aug 06, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

Her pictures are outrageous. Check out her blog:

https://racheleats.wordpress.com/

And, her full name is rachel alice roddy on that app that everyone uses to upload pictures.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

What's the heat source under your pot? Are you making it in a non-stick pot? Start the pot on medium heat. Once you see that the sides of the pot have heated up and steam is beginning to rise, lower the heat. You may want to use a flame tamer to even things out. A good tahdig takes time, don't rush it, but do make sure it "sets" before you turn down the heat.

Aug 04, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking

Salad too watery...

I agree with the other posters that it's the natural juices from the tomatoes. My guess is that the sodium from the tinned chickpeas is only helping to draw out the moisture from the vegetables. If possible, keep your ingredients as dry and separate as possible then mix right before serving.

Aug 02, 2015
sherrib in General Topics
1

What dish from which restaurant do you crave most often? What's the runner-up?

Oven Baked Black Sea Bass with Syrah Sauce at Daniel.

Dover Sole at Il Mulino.

I like fish.

Aug 02, 2015
sherrib in Manhattan

NYC Summer Restaurant Week 2015

"Seriously though, the price of a RW meal has barely inched upwards for the last ten years. Hard for restaurants to participate when the prices don't keep pace with the times."

Completely agree.

Aug 01, 2015
sherrib in Manhattan

NYC Summer Restaurant Week 2015

Had a great brunch at Kellari. An alcoholic drink (we were given a choice of a few) and coffee were included. Portions were generous. My husband got the baklava for dessert and couldn't finish it. We were very happy with the service.

Went to Perry Street for dinner. House made burrata was outrageous. We received strawberry gazpacho as compliments from the chef. I'm gluten free and they brought out delicious gluten free rice crackers for me (my husband preferred my rice crackers to his own real bread - that's how good they were.)

Funny about the Salmon Week comment - I ordered salmon at both places. I love salmon and I love Restaurant Week.

Aug 01, 2015
sherrib in Manhattan
1

What's for Dinner #378 - The Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition [through August 3, 2015]

Thank you so much cayjohan! I had to go check as I don't participate in DOTM and am shocked to see terrine nominated. From top to bottom, my terrine has summer squash, herbed goat cheese, red pepper, spinach, more goat cheese and mushrooms. I love this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opo9S...

What's for Dinner #378 - The Hot! Hot! Hot! Edition [through August 3, 2015]

Sooooo, I've been obsessed with making a terrine recently. I finally went for it! I must say, it's perfect hot and humid weather food.

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

Thank you! I've been eager to make my own for a while now and think this recipe will be "the one".

Jul 24, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking

What is worth making from scratch to save money?

I had the *most* time for cooking when I had babies at home. I couldn't be out with them the whole day anyway and we would be home for nap times and overall rest time. Now that they're older and need to be driven around all the time, it's much more difficult for me to get a meal together (everything has to be quickly prepared/cooked between carpools.) Relax and enjoy the time with your baby. Once he/she has a napping schedule, a lot of recipes won't seem so overwhelming and you will have time to experiment.

Going out to eat is the most expensive option. Then there's those frozen prepared meals in the supermarket that I find to be rather expensive for what they are. Even boxed cereal, to me, is expensive (compare the cereal to making rice pudding at home - you can even add some fresh fruit to it and it will still be cheaper than the boxed stuff.) The more you can rely on making your own food, the better off you are. And, of course, wherever possible, stock up when there's a sale.

Oh, and don't forget the coffee. Near me, I can't get a cup of coffee for under $1.25. But if I buy a one pound bag of the very best beans, it will cost me $10 and will easily last me a month. It adds up.

Jul 24, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking
1

Your Waffle Iron--Use It!

I don't own a waffle iron. But now I'm thinking I **need** one.

Jul 24, 2015
sherrib in Cookware
1

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 1-4

I made so much of it, I STILL have leftovers. It's perfectly fine two weeks later. Maybe even a touch smokier (which is a good thing.) Taste and texture are both still top notch.

Jul 24, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking

Whole turmeric

Yup, Bangkok Center Grocery on Mosco St. In the fridge. They also have the best canned coconut milk as well as the cheapest dried whole chiles (a big bag of it was a couple of dollars.)

Jul 21, 2015
sherrib in Manhattan

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

I envy the non-pasteurized dairy you're able to get too.

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

Ooops, I'm a little slow! Didn't realize VOTING is already taking place for August COTM! (ok so I'm very slow...)

Jul 19, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 1-4

So incredibly glad to hear you like it BC! It's definitely one of those things you wouldn't think to make at home. But wow oh wow is this ever superior to anything found pre-packaged in a fridge somewhere. One reason I reviewed it again was because the recipe was tripled with ease and was still amazing. Also, I'm very new to COTM and am so inspired by all of the beautiful presentations that I've vowed to work on (1) my presentation and (2) my photo taking skills. Beautiful Baba Ghanoush presentation and photo BC, and I already know it's delicious!

Jul 19, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking
1

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

Hmmmmm, a grilling book such as this might be a great COTM for beating the heat of the kitchen in August, no?

Jul 19, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

The problem wasn't using the corer (or a sharp paring or utility knife for that matter.) The problem is that the recipe calls for coring the small eggplants to "within 1/4 inch of the end." I suppose you could simply core them all the way through, but you stand the chance of the filling spilling out all over the place. In any case, the dish will still turn out delicious, no matter how you decide to core the eggplants.

Jul 18, 2015
sherrib in Home Cooking
1

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 5-8

STUFFED EGGPLANT WITH TOMATO-POMEGRANATE SAUCE, p. 216

We loved loved loved this dish. So much so that I held myself back from eating the leftovers for breakfast this morning.

Small eggplants are cored by either using a vegetable reamer (never heard of this and am curious to know how it compares to a lemon reamer) or an apple corer and demitasse spoon. I ended up simply cutting the eggplants in half and coring them using a small melon baller. The cored eggplants are soaked in saltwater while onions are sautéed but not browned. Ground lamb is added to the onions and cooked for a bit (I used more than double the amount of lamb the recipe called for.) Spices are mixed in. Incidentally, Wolfert has the recipe for Syrian Mixed Spices on her website here: http://www.paula-wolfert.com/recipes/...) The heat is turned off and pine nuts are added in.

The eggplants are dried and stuffed with the meat mixture. Then the stuffed whole eggplants are fried on all sides. Obviously, since I halved the eggplants, I couldn't fry them as they would have completely fallen apart with the filling inside. Also, the only reason I was able to put the eggplants back together after soaking was that in order to get the little produce stickers off the eggplants, I had to cut them off, so I had a little piece of the outside skinned. I cut the eggplants across that bit of skinned eggplant, so I simply put the two halves back together like a piece of a puzzle.

Water, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses and lemon juice are boiled together to make the sauce that goes on top. I do wish the final dish had just a bit more sauce as the acidity complemented the lamb and pine nuts very very nicely and a bit more of it would have been nice (although the final dish is spectacular as is.) I probably needed a bit more sauce not only because I used more lamb than the recipe called for but also because the ground lamb I used had a high fat content (Wolfert's recipe suggests using lean lamb.

)

Green pepper slices go between the stuffed eggplants and once the sauce goes on top, the dish is to be simmered stovetop. I put it in the oven instead. Really, truly delicious. We ate it last night and my husband and I can't wait to eat the leftovers today. He proclaimed it one of the best dishes ever (and I can't disagree.) And I'm still wondering what a vegetable reamer is as the apple corer did not work for me.

July 2015 COTM: The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean, Chapters 1-4

So I made this recipe again but tripled it because we had guests and we wanted to have plenty of leftovers. It was amazing once again!

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

I'm so glad I clicked on the link! I keep a kosher and gluten free home and never knew this book existed. It's on my wish list now. Thank you bundtlust! And I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article on EYB as well as your blog.

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

Korin is offering a 15% discount until July 31st on all of their knives.

http://korin.com/site/home.html

Jul 15, 2015
sherrib in Cookware

What cookbooks have you bought lately, or are you lusting after? Roll out those lazy crazy days of summer, July 2015 edition! [old]

So, I had a very stressful weekend. Got off the phone with the husband who directed me to go do something nice for myself (he's a keeper.) I walked into a cookware store and wasn't particularly inspired (very unusual for me!) Then I walked into a used book store and asked if they had a cookbook section. He told me to walk to the back until I couldn't walk any further and they would be on my right. I did. Didn't find anything interesting but there was a stool there so I sat down and just kept looking (it was quiet back there.) There were some books on the floor so I looked through those too. I found a copy of the current COTM, The Cooking of the Eastern Mediterranean by Paula Wolfert. I already own it but, out of curiosity, I looked inside to check the price. It was ten dollars. And, lo and behold, there was a signature! Hope it's really hers, I'm not sure if it really is, but for ten bucks, I bought it anyway. The copy is in pretty good condition and I figured I could always give away my other copy and keep this one. Also on the floor was a pristine copy of The Foods & Wines of Spain which I took as well. I feel better now.