kaleokahu's Profile

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turning out Tarte Tatin

Hi, Teep:

If you want it to turn out in one piece, IME you have to turn it out within 10-15 minutes of it coming off the heat. Otherwise you might just as well hand out plastic spoons and everyone can belly up to the trough.

You could TRY turning out, then *back* into an identical pan lined with nonstick parchment, taking the crust separately to your event, and then *carefully* peeling back the sheet after the tart's safely perched on the crust.

Unfortunately, without such heroics, TT isn't a night-before prep if you expect flakey-crisp crust.

Aloha,
Kaleo

34 minutes ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking
1

Bittman on French Food in France

Hi, sandiasingh:

To add insult to injury, the French court system has effectively made it impossible to post a negative review of any restaurant. Apparently, if any restaurant can show a magistrate that its business suffered as the result of a review (even a completely accurate review BTW, or even a bare opinion!), the reviewer can be liable to pay damages and all court costs. See, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/982778 and the links cited therein.

No wonder Bittman can only bat 0.333 even with expert guidance.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 3 hours ago
kaleokahu in Food Media & News

Help me build a great cookware set!

...except with saucing in ECI, the fat runs through the jus.

about 3 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Chicken Stock - Pressing Pause?

Hi, sunshine: "...you'll re-attain the temperatures necessary to kill whatever could possibly have managed to start to populate the stock..."

I consider this good, practical advice, but it is technically false; I would not try to convince a savvy health inspector of such. The reason it is false is that some spoilage organisms (e.g., Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Clostridium botulinum, etc.) generate spores and non-living toxins which the reheating will not kill. Proper reheating will kill the live organisms (and boiling for >10 minutes will destroy most spores), but the toxins remain.

I confess to taking these risks, but the risks are real.

See, this NYT treatment of Chef Michael Ruhlman's risk-taking. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/24/din...

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 7 hours ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Jam won't set up!

Hi, thewaz:

I've pretty much given up on adding pectin for the same reason that nags you--very unpredictable results with setting. IMO, there are too many variables (specific fruit, mixed fruit, sugar, boil time, timing the addition, timing after addition, etc.), and the added complication isn't worth it to me.

For the past 3 summers, I've just gone without adding any pectin. If I know a fruit is very low in it naturally, I'll add some lemon juice or boil a bag of citrus pith with the rest. I just boil and skim until the boiling jam hits 220--222F, and I'm done.

This seems to pass all the "cold spoon/saucer" tests, and I haven't had any fail to set. What I *have* had are instances where it took over a week for some (e.g., blackberry) to set--I even labeled some "syrup", thinking I'd failed, only to find 2 weeks later that the jars are indeed set.

I also find it really nice that, if you go the European route and dispense with pectin, you needn't add as much sugar. I like sweet, but not cloyingly sweet like I was getting with some pectin-added recipes. IMO, lower sugar lets the fruit flavor dominate over sweetness.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 8 hours ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Induction burner warning.

Hi, mikie:

Excellent points, all.

"...the odds are better if you spend more."

Pretty much, when every penny (or yuan) shaved in the cost of production makes some unaccountable someone rich. With more expensive goods, at least there is *some* incentive to make things durable and robust, and stand behind them.

Still, the odds of electronics failing in a luxury appliance completely sans electronics is zero. Likewise, the chances of an electronic failure being a CATO failure is naught.

I feel the same way about most things that are battery-powered, too, so color me a Luddite.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 20 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Why did my Pyrex baking dish explode?

You're lucky the bomb went off in a containment device.

about 20 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

You gotta be careful with the raker teeth snagging in mince pie. That's how I lost my first toe.

Steel-toe cooking slippahs (oops, "flip flops") and Kevlar surf shorts from now on...

about 20 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware
2

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

Hi, hill food:

I once made a frittata that can best be described as "high density foam rubber", but I think my manual miter saw or plasma cutter could've handled it. ;)

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 21 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware
1

Induction burner warning.

Hi, LMAshton: "Cheap isn't necessarily... more likely to go bellyup."

With electronics it is. It's the closest thing to what philosophers call an a priori synthetic truth.

Glad you're having good luck with yours, though.

Aloha,
Kaleo

about 21 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

De-Electrifying the Kitchen

More Chalcolithic here, but thanks.

I did once own an electric knife...

about 21 hours ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Canning Question...

Hi, coll & mcsheridan:

Thanks for your replies. I know freezer jams are different from canned.

As I wrote in my OP, I have plenty of excess freezer space. What I want to know is whether there is any betterment to storing my *canned* jam in the freezer, such as increased longevity, less discoloration, etc. Do you know?

Thanks,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Canning Question...

This may be a rookie canner question, but I want to know...

So, I'm putting up a lot of jam this week, and I notice a table on the Kerr cardboard flat that purports to indicate which of their glass jars are "Freezer Safe". Lo and behold, what I'm using (1/2 pint regular mouth) are supposedly freezer safe.

Does this mean that jam canned in this size jar can be stored in my freezer?

I have a lot of excess freezer space along with a lot of jam, so is there a benefit in terms of flavor and longevity to store canned preserves in the freezer?

Thanks,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Help me build a great cookware set!

Hi, poochiechow:

You're sorta on the right track, IMO.

1. You picked the best 2 pieces LC makes. I recommend you stop there. Pick a color you won't get sick of when it goes out of fashion.

2. Your plan calls for FOUR frypans. This is too many. If you like your Calphalon, keep it for eggs and fish. Keep your Lodge for searing, roasting and cornbread-type baking. These are all you really need, but if you *must* have a SS-surface frypan for deglazing (see #3 below), just get one. Consider the Demeyere Pro-Line 5 Star.

3. Get the best conventional (i.e., straightwall) saute you can. You can also fry in a saute, and you get a LOT more useable floorspace than in a similar-diameter frypan. Frankly, I'd get TWO of the best sautes you can find, and forego any more frypans. If your guests can afford it, shoot the moon and ask for a Falk saute.

4. Forget the Essential and Simmer. These are trendy hybrid pans that are, IMO, only worth buying if you never plan on buying the traditional shapes they're intended to let you get along without.

5. For saucepans, I'd go with a 1.5Q and a 3Q instead of 2 and 4. Your 5.5Q and 7Q LCs will cover the larger end of your range (think batches of chili, soups, etc.)

6. Sauciers are fine, they give you more "span" between sizes than do straightwall saucepans. But beware--their capacity is usually 40% less for the same diameter.

7. I would add a wok and a large (like 14-16Q) stockpot. Both of these can be uber cheap, like $20, and still work really well. Better yet, make your stockpot a canner.

8. Get a pressure cooker. I recommend stovetop over electric, and if you pick the right size, it can also serve as a small stockpot or oven (it takes people years to realize PCs can be used just like a regular pot, too).

9. Consider getting 2-3 oval gratins in different sizes. These are great for roasting and also make good serving pieces.

10. When you're starting out, it's hard not to sucker for sets. But in the final analysis, no one cares whether all your pans look alike.

11. Re: All-Clad... It's good quality, but overpriced IMO. I do not believe the theory behind d5, either--I think the regular A-C triply is every bit as good, and less expensive. The Copper Core is not worth the premium because there's very little copper in it.

Hope this helps,
Aloha,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Cookware
2

Induction burner warning.

Hi, Candy:

I'm sorry to hear that. I would have thought Fagor would have better build quality (as compared with others like Nu-Wave, Max Burton, etc.).

If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay for the unit, and how long was it in service?

Your story is a good argument for spending a little more for a Vollrath or CookTek commercial-grade unit. These seem to have bigger (read cooler) cases, fewer useless frills, and simple controls.

I'll spare you my rant about electronics, which by now you should know by heart. But I'm still sorry for you.

Aloha,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Review of my new Falk Saucier Pan

Hi, Bubblenuet:

Fantastic, glad it worked out for you.

Now cook in it like you stole it!

Aloha,
Kaleo

1 day ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Which Varieties Make the Best Apple Butter?

Thanks, Caitlin & Jeri:

I have a neighbor who has 200 acres of Gravensteins. Thanks!

Aloha,
Kaleo

2 days ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Which Varieties Make the Best Apple Butter?

Anyone, especially orchardists, want to weigh in?

Thanks,
Kaleo

2 days ago
kaleokahu in Home Cooking

Bringing My Own Knife to Restaurants from now on. -_-

Hi, tangoking:

What restaurants serve picnics?

But seriously... I share your peeve, but mine is the *generally* dismal state of flat and tablewares in even better restaurants. Forks that have been rendered virtually flat bug me more than dull, crappy knives, but the knives irk, too.

Why serious restaurants skimp on these things mystifies me, because the cost savings can't be that much, spread over the life of the place.

I always carry a pocketknife anyway, so it's been NBD when house knives won't cut it. I get some funny looks when I wipe it on the cloth napkins, but hey...

Aloha,
Kaleo

2 days ago
kaleokahu in Cookware

Cleaning carbon steel chinese clever

Hi, Puffin:

I've been making knives a long time, and you can piddle around with chemicals, but you need abrasives to do the job right. If you have access to a bench buffer, a sewn muslin wheel charged with white chrome rouge should walk right through those stains. If you don't have access, I'd do a progression of automotive sandpaper; it's a laborious process, but you can get a mirror finish by hand this way.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 21, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware
1

Pots and pans for Induction cooking

How 'bout a big 'ol 12" skillet to start?

Jul 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Le Creuset dutch oven - high temperature over induction?

Hi, Artur:

Yes, you should be cautious--it is possible to ruin the enamel lining if you get the pan too hot. This typically only happens (and Wahine actually ruined a 9Q LC oven this way) when you boil a pot dry, but pre-heating would do the same thing.

How cautious you need to be depends, IMO on your induction hob. As I have posted here many times, the control settings can be deceiving, and are NOT the same, brand to brand and model to model. Say you have the typical 1-10 numerical settings. Many people find that Settings 1-3 are too low for most of what they cook, and yet Settings 7-10 are all 'way too high for things other than boiling water. If you are one of these people, you effectively have 3 useful settings. You're left with an ad hoc determination that requires experimentation, but until you KNOW, I'd be very careful with anything over 6 and an empty pan.

Now, having said that, you can fry without worry in your oven. The enamels are not *that* fragile, and if you fry separately, you are surrendering one of the pleasures of these ovens--one-pot meals. Just don't get the pan screaming hot for searing like is possible with barenaked CI.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Frozen ice on the OUTSIDE bottom of my freezer: how did it happen?

Hi, gfr:

It's like that commercial about "If you don't have DirecTV...your dad gets punched in the gut over a can of soup."

OPTION A: You have a vapor/air leak somewhere. When you have a vapor leak, ambient air (read: warmer, moisture-laden air from produce and the environment) is going to condense inside the box. When it condenses, it's going to be drawn to the coldest spot, the freezer coils. When it freezes on the coils, it's still freezing. When it's still freezing, it builds up. When it builds up, it can cause the OUTSIDE of the freezer (under and IN the reefer) to resemble Antarctica. When your kitchen resembles Antarctica, your self-closing doors won't work. Don't let your fridge resemble Antarctica. Get DirecTV (and check all the door seals and any body penetration seals).

OPTION B: You have had a refrigerant leak. If the system loses refrigerant, it works too long and hard. When it works too hard, the coils also ice up. When the coils ice up, cooling inside goes down. When cooling inside goes down, the thermostat gets fooled. When the thermostat gets fooled, the compressor runs all the time. When the compressor runs all the time, your fridge resembles Antarctica. Etc., etc.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 20, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Serious Pie and Biscuits - Serious Questions

Hi, Jay:

You're welcome, glad you enjoyed it. Bambino's usually does really well in the beer department, too.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Greater Seattle

Almost half of the world prefers instant coffee

Hi, grampart:

I submit "highest ideals" doesn't mean much when choosing coffee.

Choice *does* sound in independence, however, which is a central tenet for Zoroastrians. Included in the ideal of independence is autonomy: not being beholden to anyone, not being a slave to any dogma (read: coffee snobbery), and having the sovereignty to make free and independent decisions - all within the self-elected bounds of ethical values, goodness, and not causing harm to others.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Food Media & News

Almost half of the world prefers instant coffee

Hi, grampart:

No judgment--again it's what you're used to and expectation. Would I prefer a great hand-pulled espresso from freshly-roasted beans, just off-gassed, etc., etc over the best instant? Sure, but sometimes I'm just not motivated to make the former happen.

I have fellow winemaker friends who will not (knowingly) drink plonk, whereas--within limits--I'll drink anything sound that's poured for me. It's not that I don't prefer premium-quality wine, I guess it's just that my appreciation limits are more elastic than my friends'.

There's a Zen aspect to doing coffee the best possible way, every time. My approach is more Zoroastrian, I guess.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Food Media & News

Is it true that deep frying in bare cast iron is bad?

Hi, Duffy:

No, a wok doesn't work as well for me for deep-frying small batches. The volume of oil required to attain a depth of 4+ inches in a small wok may be smaller than a similarly-sized saucepan, but IMO it's still nonetheless large and wasteful. And a flat-bottomed fry basket won't work in them without a lot MORE oil.

Here's a photo of the model I have; I take it out of the stand, obviously. I have a small fry basket that fits very closely for loose morsels, and skewers can be put in just as the fondue forks are shown in the photo--so you just grasp them to remove when done. With a sufficiently powerful rechaud (think induction hotplate), you can do tabletop fondue-style deep frying, a la Chinese hotpot, Vietnamese fondue, Czech cislk, Merican fried Snickers bars, Twinkies, etc.

IMO, it's the height-to-diameter of this that recommends, so a Russian saucepan or French milk pan would also be good. Again, the fondue is just what I had laying around.

For larger batch frying (investment quantities of oil), I agree with you that a wok is a good thing. For me, the tippiness of a wok is the only major worry I have deep-frying large batches this way. I won't do it with a ring over an open gas grate--the woodstove with a cover removed is rock solid though, and less of a fire hazard.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 19, 2014
kaleokahu in Cookware

Almost half of the world prefers instant coffee

Hi, grampart:

Pleased to meet you. I'm Kaleo and I sometimes drink (and always enjoy) instant coffee. These days I buy the Italian brand Medaglia D'Oro instant espresso, but I recall that Yuban is also drinkable.

IMO, coffee is (as is wine), to a large degree, a matter of what you're used to and what you expect. Frankly, I'm not surprised--but still a little dismayed--that instant covers almost half the market.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 18, 2014
kaleokahu in Food Media & News

Role of Critics

Hi, Hal:

+1. No shortage of douches amongst TC casts. That's a lot of what they were cast for.

Thankfully, the Justin Biebers and Miley Cyruses of cuisine have ways of flaming out, helped along by the Invisible Hand.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 18, 2014
kaleokahu in Food Media & News
1

Just When You Thought the French Had Most Things Figured Out...

Hi, sunshine:

We/They: I had no idea you spoke for everyone in Europe or on Chowhound.

But you're right. I don't suffer foolishness gladly, even from French jurists.

The only further thought I have to offer is that inanity is made no less so by being commonplace. This ruling is possibly evidence that the opposite is true.

Aloha,
Kaleo

Jul 18, 2014
kaleokahu in Food Media & News