nokitchen's Profile

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Should the preseasoning layer of cast iron be removed?

FYI, what your correspondent describes as "gick" is vegetable oil, primarily soy. http://www.lodgemfg.com/FAQRetrieve.a...

2 days ago
nokitchen in Cookware

They're good for your heart...

Wow. Now I feel even better about the price, presuming they cook up nicely. Thanks for that link.

Apr 01, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

They're good for your heart...

Yes, it's another beans thread.

Based on recommendations from this very forum (thanks, Manhattan board!) I went to the International Grocery on Ninth Avenue (http://internationalgrocerynyc.com/) and bought some dried beans in a quest to lose weight, increase general healthiness, cook new things and save some cash. I was happy with the prices and the look of the beans; I'll review their quality as I start eating them.

I've now got black, pinto, kidney, canellini and garbanzo beans, two pounds each, waiting for preparation.

Already planned or at least contemplated are Mexican black beans, spiced pintos, a couple of turkey or chicken or vegetarian chiles, refried, Boston and sofrito beans. For those, is there a general rule for X pounds of dry beans turning into Y pounds of the canned cooked Goya equivalent? Or is it a bean by bean thing? In which case is there a table somewhere or do I just gotta cook too many beans when converting recipes until I get good at it?

Also, is there a "must-have" bean that bean fans should really try? Lentils will be in my next batch.

Finally, of course, I'm looking for recipes. I'm mindful of and appreciate the veritable cookbook posted a few years ago in this forum (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809032#6842216). There are a lot of good ideas there. But unlike the OP of that thread, I love the heat, I love spices. Mexican, South American, Indian, Middle Eastern, I love them all. Bring 'em!

As partial compensation here's a not-spicy black bean and mango salad recipe that I found on the Food Network. Easy and great for summer! And of course you can dress it up from that basic form as much as you'd like. http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/pa...

Apr 01, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

honey

Outstanding idea! A quick google shows that one of Huy Fong's larger (maybe largest) supplier farms is called Underwood Farms (http://underwoodranches.com/Home_Page...). Just for fun I sent them an email asking how they pollinate and whether there's jalapeno flower honey in existence. Perhaps I'll track down a farmer in the Hatch valley, too. If there is such a thing I bet those Hatch guys get a pretty penny for it. They've done a hell of a job marketing their product.

Mar 28, 2014
nokitchen in General Topics

honey

You know what I suddenly decided I want? Chile honey. Home growers self-pollinate to prevent cross-pollination, of course, but is this a worry in a mono-crop situation? Is there a jalapeno farm large and homogenous enough that a hive could be plopped in it without worrying about changing the resulting crop? And if so, has someone done that? And if that, what does the honey taste like?

Mar 28, 2014
nokitchen in General Topics

honey

Heh. Speaking of that, a few years back some of the "localvore" honey here in NYC mysteriously started turning bright red. Turns out the bees found a bunch of HFCS dyed with Red Dye #40 for the production of those low-end maraschino cherries. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/nyr...

Mar 26, 2014
nokitchen in General Topics

Infusing liquors other than vodka

I don't have an answer for you but I can share what I'd do if I had the same question. I'd call these guys and ask them what they used: http://www.reunionbar.com/menu
(212) 582-3200.

Those guys have been infusing almost everything into rum for a lot of years and they find a way to deliver it for $5/shot while paying midtown NYC rents so they must have found a good, cheap mixing rum.

I will say that their actual infusions run hot and cold for me. In fairness though, they're pretty open about the fact that it's one big experiment. Someone (bartender, customer, restaurant inspector, crazy homeless guy on the corner) comes up with an idea and they'll infuse it in rum for a bit. Whatever mixing rum they use is pretty good.

Mar 26, 2014
nokitchen in Food Quests

Glut of strawberries

Last year I made a strawberry pepper sauce for desserts and pancakes. I found it from a farm's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...
3 T. Brown sugar
1 1/2 t. balsamic vinegar
1/8 t. freshly ground pepper
6 oz fresh or frozen strawberries
1 T. cornstarch
1 T. water

Combine everything but the cornstarch and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Separately dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to the sauce and boil for another minute.

It was insanely simple and really good, but I think it would improve with a teaspoon or two of lime juice to brighten it up and maybe a sprinkle of cayenne. I'll try it that way as soon as the strawberries arrive here this year.

Mar 22, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Chicken stock newbie. A few questions....

"...Matfer exoglass chinois"

Prior to this post I was unaware of the existence of a $70 strainer. But a quick Google search shows that people who own them love them to death and wonder how they ever made food without them.

I came around to finally buying a $90 thermometer and the praise singers were right. So I think this device goes on the Christmas wish list. Thanks for the recommendation. :-)

Mar 20, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Chicken stock newbie. A few questions....

Another addition that I've found really ups the gel factor is wing tips. We don't eat a lot of chicken feet in this house despite making a fair amount of Chinese food so I'd have to buy them. But needing wing tips is a great excuse to buy whole chicken wings! The tips don't have much meat on 'em so I just clip them off and throw them uncooked right into the bone bag for stock.

Mar 20, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Splitting milk in tomatoes in bolognese

You're not kidding about quadrupling it. I almost cried when my four and a half hours of stove-tending disappeared in a single (very happy) meal.

Mar 10, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Political Ads

Correct on all points. Non-candidates and non-federal candidates are not covered by the rules and can be accepted or not at will. But those guys pay rack rate. Television stations earn a lot more money during a highly-contested race than they do otherwise.

Mar 08, 2014
nokitchen in Site Talk

Splitting milk in tomatoes in bolognese

Thanks. As if on cue, the apparent evaporation speeded up significantly right after I posted (I imagine the actual rate didn't speed up much, but seemed faster once the milk got below the level of the meat). It came out to 40 minutes for the milk and 15-20 for the wine.

So far the dish seems much more promising than my first try, when I'm certain I underevaporated both the milk and the wine.

Also, just for fun and after reading the thread, I subbed paste for some of the puree. I'll add water as necessary over the next few hours.

Mar 08, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Splitting milk in tomatoes in bolognese

I'm making it at this very second. How long does it take to cook down all that milk? And then the wine? It seems like I've had this thing on the stove forever at a higher heat than the "gentle simmer" described and it's only now starting to evaporate/steam off.

Mar 08, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Himalayan red honey?

Someone else schlepped out to the Himilayas to take pictures of the Gurung honey hunters. I like these pictures even better: http://www.andrewnewey.com/portfolio/...

Mar 07, 2014
nokitchen in General Topics

Political Ads

Heh. Just for the sakes of getting facts correct, Chow and most other entities can of course refuse to run political ads and can even decide to take ads for one candidate and not another or in favor of one position and not another.

However, broadcast stations, TV and radio, are required by law to run ads for federal political candidates, and they're even required to provide discounts that they only usually provide to very heavy advertisers. They may not censor those ads; things that a TV station would normally never ever run they are required to run if they happen to be in an ad paid for by the campaign of a candidate for federal office.

Mar 05, 2014
nokitchen in Site Talk
2

40 Something overweight couple looking for nice lounge or quiet place to have drinks and some food after a show...

Yep, just backing you up.

Also, GretchN, while you're in the area if it's early enough there might be another couple of places to try. Right across the street is Bell, Book and Candle. Also discount craft cocktails, dollar oysters during happy hour and a friendly staff. On the downside, the stools can get a little uncomfortable after a while if one is putting a little extra weight on them like I am and it gets louder earlier. At the end of the block and up Greenwich Ave a block or two is Yerba Buena. Same description as Bell Book and Candle, but I like their cocktails better -- I think they have the best in the city. Finally, there's Empellon, which is a block in the other direction, across 7th Ave. Their food is outstanding, their cocktails first rate and their staff friendly. No happy hour so it gets a little spendy and it starts getting loud and crowded on the earlier side.

Feb 28, 2014
nokitchen in Manhattan

40 Something overweight couple looking for nice lounge or quiet place to have drinks and some food after a show...

I absolutely endorse Louro for great cocktails, an ability to hold a conversation before it gets too crowded and (from personal experience) friendliness to people who might be a little older and carrying an extra pound or dozen and who otherwise don't "look like" the stereotypical cocktail crowd.

GretchN, go to this place during happy hour, from 5:30 to 7:30 on a weekday. The place is quiet (almost too quiet at 5:30!), the outstanding and original cocktails are reduced to $8 and they bring out a free sample or two of their small plate dishes. Which, as soon as you try them, you'll probably want to order some because the food here is also very original and delicious. In addition to all that, the staff will treat you like you own the place. Probably better -- they probably razz Santos at every opportunity. :-)

Feb 28, 2014
nokitchen in Manhattan
1

Ground Beef recipes anyone?

Doh! No, I did not see that. Thank you.

Happily, it appears that Coconutgoddess checks in once a month or so, so perhaps the new comments will still be helpful.

Feb 28, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Ground Beef recipes anyone?

You specified no red spaghetti sauce which I take to include most meaty red sauces but I thought I'd mention that Bolognese sauce it more about the meat than the red. Simple and accessible enough for the kids to enjoy but as complex as you want it for the adults. Also, it makes the house smell great while it cooks.

Feb 28, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Bon Appetit "rotisserie style" roast chicken - 300 degrees for 3 hours?!?

You should be the scientist! This spring maybe, when having a ton of excess cooked chicken around is good for chicken salads. Make two chickens simultaneously using that method. Pull both birds out and let them rest. Crank up the oven to 450 and put one back in. Serve the winner for dinner and shred the loser for chicken salad sandwiches.

Feb 27, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Garam Masala

This may be better suited for a separate thread on a more general Chow board, but what the heck?

From a science perspective, why do we toast spices before grinding them?

I totally get it when using whole or large-chunk spices, or even ground spices if they are going straight into a recipe. Get those essential oils all molecularly excited and eager to exit the spice into the dish.

But if you're toasting the spices and then throwing them in a jar, wouldn't you want those volatile chemicals trapped as much as possible? Everything you can smell when you open the spice jar is something that doesn't end up in the cooking fat when you add the ground spices to the recipe.

Feb 25, 2014
nokitchen in Recipes

Bad Experiences With Caviar Delivery

"The delivery fee is $9.99 but they also charge 15% service charge."

Mandatory? Then their target market is "idiots." No offense.

On the other hand, that rotisserie chicken looks pretty good. I think I'll try to make it (roasted, though -- my nokitchen has norotisserie).

Feb 25, 2014
nokitchen in Manhattan

Bad Experiences With Caviar Delivery

"Their selection isn't very upscale."

No, but their delivery area is huge. I don't know what the site owners are hoping to do for ten bucks that delivery.com does mostly for free, but if I were them I'd be targeting law firms, investment banks, dot-coms and other places that have highly-paid (or highly-optioned) professionals working insane hours who want to offer those professionals something other than bad pizza and Chinese for dinner. That ten bucks gets pretty small when you're ordering for a dozen or two dozen people.

Feb 25, 2014
nokitchen in Manhattan

Roasting a Chicken - am I doing too much?

"(1) make sure you don't overcook it - meat thermometers are your friend: stop 5 or 10 degrees short of your target temperature and the chicken during resting will rise up the remainder even while resting outside the oven."

A couple of people have mentioned this but it's worth emphasizing again. Americans massively overcook their chickens and that's why so many people don't like it as much as they would if it were cooked properly. It gets dry and stringy, just as you've described.

The whole thought behind very high heat for roasting is to cook the outside of the chicken (the skin) quickly and well without the insides getting too hot.

Chickens have a ton of water in them. You want to get rid of that on the outside, which is why you don't cover it and why you pat it down with paper towels and why you dry-brine it and why you cook at a high temperature. The water inside will take care of itself as long as you don't leave it too long.

Feb 21, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking
1

EXPLODING baked potatoes??

Am I then reading that the nail (or rod, or whatever) inhibits the skin from crisping? Or is it just that the potato cooks so quickly that the outside doesn't crisp up? Or what? I'd love for the interior of my potatoes to get fluffier quicker but I'd hate to give up that crispy skin.

Feb 19, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Grating Nutmeg?

The nutmeg is a seed. The "outside" of the seed is stripped and removed. The coating outside of *that* is sold separately -- it's mace and very similar to nutmeg. I only now learned that people also use the fruit, but I think it travels poorly and I've never seen it in the US. Now I'm on a mission.

Feb 18, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Powerful blender with a GLASS jar?

I don't know if most people characterize it with the "powerhouse" blenders but my Breville 600XL has a glass jar and there's yet to be a blending task it isn't up to, including chopping ice and frozen fruit and making nut pastes. It advertises at 750 W and once completely destroyed a stainless steel spoon I left in there (not recommended -- I did have to replace the glass, though the motor was unmolested). Just be careful what you order because similarly labeled models like the 605XL are polycarbonate or other plastic. I got mine reconditioned; I don't know if that model is still available new.

http://www.amazon.com/Breville-BBL600...

Feb 18, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware
1

CHOW Reviews: SodaStream Source Soda Maker

Heh. That's just great. Here we have a product which people like where the main complaint is that they're pricing on the razor/razorblade model and along comes the competition with the printer/printer ink model.

Feb 12, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Freezing chicken bones

I use all bones that haven't hit a plate and the most of the larger of the ones that have. If there's sauce all over a bone I don't bother to rinse it off; those are the ones that get thrown out.

As mentioned above, wings are a particularly good source of collagen, which breaks down during the stock-making to become gelatin and which vastly increases the mouthfeel of the stock and whatever you make from it.

So if you ever find yourself making chicken wings, be sure to separate them into three pieces, not two. The flats and drumettes are what get eaten, the tips go right into the bag for stock. If you don't like Buffalo-style wings there are a lot of recipes around the web for other preparations, including some pretty gourmet stuff.

Also as above, roasted and unroasted bones produce stocks of different character. I don't bother to separate them and just go with the luck of the draw (or roast the raw ones), but you may want to store roasted and unroasted bones in separate bags.

Feb 06, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking