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cooked chicken left out

I've worked in public health, including food safety, for over 30 years. The comment below that you should be more concerned about pre-cooking than post-cooking handling is off the mark. Both can be a problem. The scenario you described is a perfect setup for bacterial growth in the chicken no matter what the red stuff is. The fact that you cook only to 140 degrees, instead of a higher temp like the recommended 165, increases the possibility of a problem.

It's funny how people think about risk. Of course you may be fine, but it's like crossing the street without looking very carefully. You'll get away with it sometimes but that doesn't make it smart -- especially since it's other people's wellbeing involved in this case, not just your own. Or like seatbelts for your kids -- most of the time you don't get into an accident. But someone who thinks they're not a good idea over the course of a driving career just isn't thinking. Same with this.

May 19, 2014
bkling in General Topics
8

What are you baking these days? May, 2014 edition, part two! [Through May 31, 2014]

These days I'm baking bread on my gas grill. The bread isn't unusual, but my oven is out and using the grill as a substitute bread oven is new for me. It's been working out surprisingly well. When my new oven comes I may still use the grill during the heat of the summer.

I use a pizza stone on the grate, and a 9" by 13" pan upright (not upside down) on top of the pizza stone. I put the bread dough on a cookie sheet and, after the grill is partly preheated, put the cookie sheet on top of the pan and close the grill. The pan provides some insulation so that the hot stone doesn't burn the bottom of the loaf. Baking time is about 50 min for a peasant loaf made from ~6.5 cups flour. I cook it until the internal temp of the loaf is about 200F, monitoring the temp and adjusting as needed to stay below about 425F. The crust is good even though I don't spray it with water or take other measures to humidify during baking.

May 19, 2014
bkling in Home Cooking
2

Can you identify this rolling pin's purpose in Life?

Reminds me of a roller I have for putting lots of little indentations in pizza dough to reduce formation of big bubbles in the pizza as it cooks.

Jan 03, 2013
bkling in Cookware

Long Pasta Rolling Pins

For a long time I never understood why Italians used such long (~ 3-4 foot) rolling pins for pasta. I looked online for videos and saw chefs using shorter pins and leaning hard on them as they rolled out the dough. So I also wondered how the little old Italian ladies I had seen in pictures, holding rolling pins nearly as tall as they were, could muster the strength to roll out thin pasta dough. Then I finally saw a video -- it happened to be on the Vermont Rolling Pins site -- showing the real thing:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfGzuA...

To give credit where due, the link came from:

http://vermontrollingpins.com/shop/pa...

This method involves little downward pressure and the gradual stretching of the dough horizontally along the pin as it is rolled and unrolled -- thus the need for a longer pin. It's easy once you've done it a few times. Sometimes a little supplemental rolling with pressure is needed at the end, but not much.

Once I saw this I went to Home Depot and got a 3' length of 1.25" dowel to try it out. Worked fine but then of course I wanted a really nice pin and ended up getting the cherry wood pin from Vermont. Very very nice, and about 1.75" in diameter, which helps. But the main point is, this revolutionized my pasta making (yes, I know, big news...) It's much quicker than doing the same amount with a pasta rolling machine, and you don't have to clean/store a machine when you're done. The pasta has a slightly rougher texture and holds sauce a bit better, too. Finally, because I was used to the output of a pasta machine I used to trim the hand rolled dough into rectagles, wasting some. Then I realized it does no harm to just fold up the circular dough (or half of it, if it's a large piece) and slice it up. Little or no waste.

Anyhow, I wonder how many others are avoiding hand-rolling of pasta because they are as misinformed as I was about how it's really done.

Dec 24, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Why won't my bread rise?

I bake bread regularly, too, and once in a while have a yeast failure. I have found if that happens I can knead some rapid-rising yeast into the dough, and it will then rise normally and things will be fine. Takes a bit longer, but you can save the batch that way.

Are you using rapid-rising yeast or active dry yeast? Only the former works reliably when mixed in with the dry ingredients before the water is added. Active dry yeast must be hydrated first in warm (not hot) water. Also, either kind can be killed if the water is too hot. You don't want it warmer than body temp. But cold water definitely will not hurt the yeast. Some very excellent recipes actually use ice water to no ill effect.

In past decades (makes me sound old...) when I thought packaged yeast was less reliable I'd always proof it with a little warm (not hot) water and enough of the flour to make a batter. Then I'd wait a few minutes until I saw some bubbles, and throw it in with the rest of the ingredients. Once you see that the yeast is alive, you'll be fine.

None of the ingredients mentioned in other posts, when used in edible concentrations, will kill yeast. Salt can slow it down but you'd have to put in way too much salt to actually kill it. The only caveat with salt is to be sure you don't happen to put the yeast right next to the salt in the bowl, exposing the yeast to very high salt concentrations when water is first added. Mix the salt into the flour before adding the yeast to avoid that.

Dec 24, 2012
bkling in Home Cooking

Turkey Left Out Overnight or Longer - Would YOU Eat It?

I run a local health department and am up to date on food safety issues, and agree that home kitchens need not do everything required of commercial ones. At the same time, some of the posts here are based on ignorance. Once cooked anything is exposed to bacteria in the environment. A turkey that has been served has also been exposed to all those who touched or sneezed on it -- some common nasty GI diseases are very readily spread in this way, and your guests may be contagious but not yet sick. None of these are going to get you every time, or even half the time. But if you do this every year you just need to ask yourself if you want to be remembered in your family as the one who made everyone so sick.Those who feel immune are kidding themselves.

In commercial settings they are (at least in this state) allowed to keep adequately cooked meats (for poultry, cooked to internal temp of 165F or higher) at room temp for up to 4 hours but then must discard it. That's not a bad guideline for home, though you could stretch it a bit. 48 hours is asking for trouble.

One other point. I agree that life cannot be risk free. In fact, some of my best experiences have involved interesting risks. But the risk was balanced by some benefit like a good experience. Letting food sit out for hours is not interesting, just lazy. Put it in the fridge, or out in the garage if it's cold and your fridge is full. Or cut the meat off the carcass and bag it -- any fridge has room for that. It's one think to savor risky but valuable experiences. It's another thing to get sick from laziness or ignorance.

Dec 24, 2012
bkling in General Topics

Tiny baguette pan (as seen in Spanish tapas)?

It's not a pan, but you can use the same technique for the final rise that many use for regular baguettes. You shape the loaves (however small) about 2/3 the size of the final product, and lay them out in a line about 3" from the edge of a well floured cloth, parallel to the edge. (The cloth can be muslin, but stiffer linen is the classic. Don't use a terry cloth kitchen towel, it will stick to the dough.) Sprinkle the top of the loaves with flour. Flip that 3" edge over the top of the loaves. Then, on the other side of the line of loaves, pull up a fold in the cloth (parallel to the loaves) about 3" to 4" high. Put the next line of little loaves along the unused side of the fold. Continue doing that until you're near the other edge of the cloth, and flip the last few inches over the top of the last line of loaves. Cover the whole thing with another well floured cloth. Let it rise until ready for baking (typically about 50% bigger). Then gently transfer the loaves to a peel or piece of parchment paper (you can roll them off the cloth if necessary) and they're ready to slice the tops and go in the oven.

Dec 18, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Is it worth it to buy nice knives?

Lots of good advice already but here's a simple thought. If you don't use a steel on your knives regularly maybe the performance you describe isn't really bad. So if you don't already have one, get a good steel (not a ceramic or diamond rod), and look on line for one of the several videos on how to use it. Steeling a knife takes just a minute or two and can restore the edge. On knives like yours, you lose the edge mainly because the very thinnest part rolls over from use. Steeling straightens it out and makes it sharper again. Of course you have to resharpen eventually, but it's amazing how long you can go based only on steeling. On my knives of that kind (that is, european style knives rather than the harder japanese style knives) I steel them every time or two they get used, and it makes a big difference.

Dec 10, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Choosing a pasta machine

This isn't exactly what you asked, but I can't resist...I've had good luck with an Imperia but also decided to try making pasta the old way, by rolling it out. It's easy, and no, it doesn't take a lot of effort or muscle. So just to broaden the discussion...take a look at these links and you'll see what I mean. What you do is basically stretch the dough along horizontally along the length of your long rolling pin as you roll the dough onto the wooden rod. After a few times you'll get the hang of it. Sometimes you'll end up with one or two areas a little thicker than you like, and you can spread out the sheet of dough and roll over those a few times to thin them further. But none of it is hard work. The quality is much better than the ooze you get out of those kitchenaid things, and in one way it's actually a bit better than the product of the Italian machines because hand rolled pasta has a slightly rougher surface (and holds the sauce better as a result) than the pasta made by those stainless steel rollers. Finally, you don't have to get an expensive Italian rolling pin, a 1 1/4" dowell about 3' long from home depot or lowe's will work fine, and cost just a few dollars.

So here are two links showing use of the rolling pin:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YfGzuA...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IuOMAu...

And here's a link showing at the end how to easily cut up the pasta, whether you want it wide or narrow. Notice that you do this by rolling up the whole round sheet of dough -- no trimming needed, and it's very quick.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHVYuI...

When you consider the hassle of setting up the machine, the slow process of feeding dough through the rollers repeatedly, the process of carefully putting aside the rolled sheets prior to cutting, the need to clean the machine afterward...doing it by hand is actually quicker for me, now that I've had some practice.

Not saying it's the only good way, just wanted to give you something to think about. Maybe someone will want to try it some time even if you usually use a machine -- the only cost is the dowel rod.

Nov 19, 2012
bkling in Cookware
1

Bread knives for very crusty loaves

I have the Tojiro bread knife shown here:

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/toitkbr...

I make very crusty bread and it works very well. Thin blade, minimal crumbs. People sometimes say you can't sharpen these knives but I use a very fine black ceramic rod, moving the blade from base to tip then from tip to base, doing that on each side a few times, and it keeps the knife very sharp. It's the best bread knife I've ever had including a 10" Dexter, 10" Wusthof, etc. Slices most things in one stroke where other knives took multiples.

Oct 03, 2012
bkling in Cookware

what's a winning Appetizer and drink combination?

This one may seem a bit odd but the combination is excellent. Slice really good baguettes at an angle about 1/4" thick. Mix some chopped basil into cream cheese and spread some on each slice. Top with smoked trout or other smoked fish -- preferably not the dry wood-smoked salmon you often see, but a moister smoked fish. Even white fish would work. Then serve it with white Lillet with a twist of orange in each glass.

Aug 27, 2012
bkling in Home Cooking

good bread book for all kinds of breads: starters and not using starters

Try this one: Peter Reinhart's Artisan Bread Every Day -- the link below takes you to the amazon.com page for the book. I've also been baking bread for many years, used many books, but his are the most consistently reliable. And they're just as good for beginners as for old hands because they take nothing for granted in terms of experience.

http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Reinharts...

Aug 24, 2012
bkling in Home Cooking

Are you using a bread machine?

I think you didn't read my comment very carefully.

Aug 15, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Are you using a bread machine?

If the mixer gave poor results then you might go back to the spoon. You like analogies but this is a poor one. There are people who use bottled alfredo sauce because they think it's good enough. And so easy -- just open the can. It's all about whether you care about the results. I have no problem with someone who just wants it to be easy and can accept the results, but your attempt to suggest that it's backward to use simple methods (like no-knead bread) to get excellent results is misguided. And I notice that your lack of information on no-knead is no obstacle to having an opinion on it. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but some are much more useful than others.

Aug 14, 2012
bkling in Cookware

PEPPER GRINDERS

I got one of these recently and it's awesome. They still seem to make these like they used to. All metal (in nice looking bronze or copper) and not subject to breaking after a year like so many of the plastic ones. Puts out a steady stream of evenly ground pepper with very little effort. Not cheap but you only have to buy it once.

Aug 02, 2012
bkling in Cookware

self cleaning ovens and pizza stones

My pizza stone has survived the self-clean cycle three times.

Jul 26, 2012
bkling in Cookware

steel knives - can i season them like a wok?

Fascinating pics. I'm no expert but their shapes seem to show a middle eastern/persian influence, as you'd expect from a Uigur region.

May 23, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Nakiri question.

I have the Tojiro DP nakiri but also this carbon steel nakiri:

http://www.epicureanedge.com/shopexd....

The carbon steel version is a really wonderful knife -- takes a very very sharp edge and holds it well. Costs about $100. But when I get the Tojiro nice and sharp I can't really tell much difference in practice. Maybe the carbon steel one is a bit sharper but at a certain point it hardly matters as far as I'm concerned.

May 23, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Store Japanese Water Stones in Water?

Yesterday I emailed my question to Chef Knives To Go and got this response:

Hi Barry,

As a general rule I discourage perma soaking stones. No stones improve by soaking them all the time and the amount of soaking you need to do on most stones is only 5-10 minutes so it's not a big deal.

That said, I seem to remember reading about some of my customers soaking the kings for long periods without any trouble.

Kind Regards,
Mark Richmond
ChefKnivesToGo.com

May 23, 2012
bkling in Cookware

steel knives - can i season them like a wok?

I'd love to see photos of these knives if you're able to post any.

May 22, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Store Japanese Water Stones in Water?

Thanks for the responses! I'll probably try it and report the results for Kings.

May 22, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Store Japanese Water Stones in Water?

Thanks, Chem. But I was hoping to hear from someone who is actually doing this -- rather than seeing if my stones turn to mush. Judging from the lack of response maybe it's a boring question but I'll send this post once more in the hope that someone notices...

May 21, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Store Japanese Water Stones in Water?

I've been using Japanese water stones for a long time on knives and wood-plane blades and always let them air dry between uses. Recently, after using splash-and-play Naniwa stones for a while, I went back to some older stones (King brand) and wondered if I could store them in a container of water so they're always ready to use. Does anyone do that? Do you have to use a weak chlorine solution to keep it from being smelly after a while? Does it hurt the stones?

May 15, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Confusing Information on using and caring for pizza stones.

Really gives a person faith in manufacturers' instructions. For what it's worth, here's my experience...

I've had a few rectangular flat pizza stones. One cracked spontaneously, apparently while cooling down. The others have lasted a long time (one died when I dropped it) and I don't baby them. The only concession I make is that if a stone is wet after being washed off (something I do rarely) and I'm going to use it the same day, I preheat it at about 200 degrees for a while before turning it up higher. Otherwise, I cook whatever I want on them and just scrape off any residue. I use them on my gas grill to make pizza (where they must get well over 500 degrees) and in my oven to make bread at 425 to 500 degrees, depending on type of bread. When I run my oven through its self-cleaning cycle I leave the stone in the oven and it does fine, producing the same fine ash on the surface as seen elsewhere in the oven. These are unglazed stones about 3/8" thick.

May 09, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Looking for suggestions for a knife as a weding present for vegetarians

If you use your knife for half an hour a day, and you really like it the whole time, it would be pretty dumb to give it up because it wouldn't work out when used for six hours straight.

Apr 30, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Okay to leave quiche out tonight?

Bacteria love to grow in custard. Very bad idea to leave it out all night, from a food safety point of view.

Apr 30, 2012
bkling in Home Cooking

Chips in Japanese Knives

No, I used Naniwa stones throughout. I think this is just a very chippy knife and I plan to use it in the future only to learn the cutting techniques for which it is designed. Other Usubas are probably not quite as delicate.

Apr 30, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Chips in Japanese Knives

"No offense to the OP, but his usuba is extra fragile because he is sharpening the primary bevel all the way to the edge without including a more obtuse edge bevel."

I'm the OP, no offense taken. But although I sharpened the Usuba as you described recently to remove chips (no secondary bevel), in the past I sharpened it with a more obtuse secondary bevel and have since restored that. Still it was incredibly easy to chip. Maybe this knife is just extra delicate, though it is said to be a good one. After working hard recently to reform my cutting style, and finding that my other knives (including a very hard carbon nakiri and some V-10s) no longer chip, the Usuba chips with the slightest use. It is very delicate. This is the only Usuba I've used so I can't generalize but this one is very far from being a slightly delicate nakiri.

Apr 30, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Chips in Japanese Knives

Right, I bought it thinking it was the one-sided equivalent of a nakiri.

But I have been able to get it incredibly sharp just by sharpening the primary bevel and the flat back. Used a 400 grit to remove chips, then 1000, 5000 and 8000. Sharper than anything else I have. No doubt additional bevel would make it a bit tougher. Some day I'll learn how to use it...

Apr 23, 2012
bkling in Cookware

Chips in Japanese Knives

Update -- several weeks later...

After this helpful discussion I decided to improve my cutting technique and see if that would fix the problem. I resharpened the chipped knives to remove the chips. I also got an end-grain cherry wood cutting board (tho I still sometimes use my bamboo boards because they're a convenient size). When cutting I've focused on a lighter touch and on strokes that lift the knife prior to any lateral movement. No new chips so far, with one minor exception.

The exception is my Usuba hocho, which is ground to such a slght angle that I can push on the side of the edge with a fingernail and see the edge deform slightly. I made the mistake of cutting through the not-very-hard stem of a green pepper with this knife and it chipped slightly. But this is (I'm told) a very specialized knife and it seems to be meant only for thinly slicing soft vegetables. All my other knives are fine and I'm happy to be enjoying their incredible sharpness.

Thanks to all of you who helped!

Apr 23, 2012
bkling in Cookware