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benjamin23's Profile

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How Do The Chinese Restaurants Get Their Chicken So Tender???

Yep. This is good advice. The Chinese 'velvet' technique is a form of ad-hoc brining.

Nov 06, 2012
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

Vietnamese Rice Paper for Fried Rolls?

Great tip, thanks! I had some at a restaurant a while back, and have imitated them quite well but mine were a little pale. This is probably why.

May 23, 2012
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

mac and cheese came out grainy. why?

I've made a really excellent cheese sauce merely by melting roughly equal quantities of cheese and evaporated milk together. Just used a supermarket cheese, so this may have already contained stabilisers. Regardless, it's a remarkably good quick fix.

May 23, 2012
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

Carbon knives rust v. patina

I bought a CCK cleaver a while back, and after removing the lacquer I decided to allow it to develop a patina naturally. I was pretty diligent about keeping it dry, but nevertheless it developed some rather ugly red rust. Last night I decided to experiment and soaked a paper towel in regular white vinegar and left it wrapped about the edge of the blade. After an hour or two the rust had disappeared and was replaced with a fairly nice bluish patina. I replaced the vinegar and towel once during the process. I'm quite pleased with it now, so I'm inclined to advocate vinegar for forming patina. Mustard would probably be just as good, as it would sit more uniformly than ordinary vinegar without using a towel.

Dec 29, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

How to use Asian dried anchovies?

Wow! Cat treats - That's exactly what I was thinking! I reckon that my dogs would love them too.

Dec 27, 2011
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

Does a glass cutting board = dull knives

I can't believe that anybody would even have to ask about this. It seems obvious to me that a glass cutting board would make knives dull. It must be about the worst possible surface to cut on.

Dec 21, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

And the award for the worst food at a Christmas party goes to....

Pardon me, but your arrogance is unjustified. 'Meat' is the flesh of a dead animal. Look it up. Implying that people do no understand this issue because they don't agree with your idiosyncratic definition of meat is very concieted. Chicken is a type of meat. So is fish.

Meat = Animal flesh, regardless of what environment that animal inhabits.

Dec 11, 2011
benjamin23 in General Topics

The best potato for French fries?

GREAT tip about dusting with a starch! I can't wait to give that a try.

Oct 05, 2011
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

Bringing your own condiment(s) to a restaurant?

On occasion, some chefs can be funny about that, but only an idiot chef would have a problem with a person adding salt to their food. When I worked as a cook, the problem that I had was when people would salt it without trying it first. Now that is stupid.

Jul 27, 2011
benjamin23 in General Topics

"Baking" without an oven?

That's pretty cool. I makes me think that a person who was so inclined could probably fashion a really nice 'stovetop oven' using a large cast iron casserole with a sturdy lid. I reckon that you could even go so far as to install a thermometer in, via a hole drilled through the lid and bolted in place (or even glued in place if you could get some heat-resistant silicon paste or a grommet).

Jul 15, 2011
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

"Baking" without an oven?

+1 to steamed cakes. I've done this before a few times, and I'd actually aver that the texture of the finished product is often spongier, moister and more even than for one baked in the oven. I'd suggest reducing the total moisture in the mix very slightly to accommodate the lack of evaporative drying that will occur in the steamer, though, and don't forget to cover the cake (or else drips of water are likely to ruin it).

Jul 14, 2011
benjamin23 in Home Cooking

CCK KF1303 Knife Experience Update

Re: single bevel - My bad. You're right, I should have said that it lacked a back bevel.

Jun 26, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

Pressure Cooker Users Unite!

I can't understand how anybody can say that you don't need to brown meat before pressure cooking it. For some recipes maybe that's the case, but has this person never heard of the maillard reaction?

Jun 26, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

CCK KF1303 Knife Experience Update

Funny - I just received my first CCK 1301 about a week ago, and just got around to reprofiling the blade (factory edge was OK for a while, but seemed like it was single bevel, so performance was a bit 'meh'). I gave it a 10/20 degree back/edge profile, and afterwards it was beautifully sharp. Cuts through tomato now like it's not even there. But yes: I have noticed that it bites into the board quite sharply on a forward stroke. Makes me wonder if there's a better technique to use, particularly with the Chinese knives (since they have more metal towards the tip of the blade and therefore more weight) - perhaps Chinese chefs cut more on the pull stroke than Anglo chefs do..?

Jun 26, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

Pressure Cooker Users Unite!

Well, I cook brown rice in my PC all the time. To save on washing up, I put the brown rice in a pyrex serving bowl that fits in the PC, and put this on a trivet above boiling water. I put the brown rice in the bowl with boiling water (proportion: 1 1/2 cups boiling water for every cup of brown rice). Then cover the bowl, and bring to pressure. Keep there for 15-20 minutes, and the rice is done perfectly. :)

Jun 24, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware

Cheap knives

I realise that this is an old thread, but in case anybody arrives here via search or whatever: I've just received a CCK cleaver that I bought from <www.cookwarekitchenware.com>, and I have to report that it is perfect. The service was absolutely excellent, and I received multiple updates via email on the status of my item in transit. Am now thinking about buying from them again...!

Jun 20, 2011
benjamin23 in Cookware