nokitchen's Profile

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CHOW Reviews: SodaStream Source Soda Maker

I just picked up what I think is a first-generation machine at a yard sale for ten bucks. It's a little clunky; you control the amount of carbonation by pushing the button until the thing buzzes (and it's a natural buzz from being overfilled). But man, it makes some bubbly seltzer. I'm glad I got my first one this way, though I've no doubt the more recent versions are more refined. After lots and lots of seltzer and maybe a few homemade ades, colas and cocktails I'll decide whether I want an upgraded Sodastream or if a DIY approach is better for me.

Sep 06, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Raw Milk Yogurt??

Does it taste any better? I use unhomogenized grass-fed stuff but I don't bother with raw because the first thing I do is heat the milk to 180F, pasteurizing it. I'm curious to know if a second pasteurization changes the flavor.

Aug 03, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Pros and Cons of Thermapen?

benjamin831, definitely note this post. If you really intend to go up against Thermoworks (and I think at their price point they might be vulnerable), the three most important things you can insist on in your product are build quality, build quality, and build quality. I'd like a lot of the functions people are talking about here like a backlight, a freeze function (heh), left-handedness and so on but what makes me love my Thermapen are its accuracy (which is easy to duplicate) and its build quality (which is apparently not). It feels solid, it will take a drop without breaking, everything fits together extremely well, the probe is thick enough not to bend out of true, it's got enough heft to make it feel like a real instrument without being too heavy for its function.

Aug 01, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware
1

Bastile Day what are you cooking?

Heh. Each Cinco de Mayo we have French food either in or out, to avoid the juvenile crowds that go to Mexican places that day and we toast the losers of the battle it commemorates. The Mexicans have nothing to do with Bastille Day but we have Mexican food to even out the balance. :-)

I made Rick Bayless' Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style: http://www.rickbayless.com/recipe/enc... A little extra spinach and some cilantro in the sauce along with some cumin and cayenne to punch it up.

Jul 14, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking
1

Cast iron pan -- starting from scratch

Seasonsing by cooking is also less resource-intensive. The absolute amount of energy you'll use is fairly low (and the cost of it almost non-existent), but it's not non-zero and if you're a recycler or other form of environmentalist you might want to consder that.

Even apart from the resource usage, who wants to heat the kitchen up and not even get any food out of it during the summer?

Jun 29, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Cast iron pan -- starting from scratch

I realize I'm in the minority here but I promise that my seasoning method has led to my Lodge 12-inch pan being glass-smooth. Almost too smooth to make fond on.

My method to season a cast iron pan is to cook food on it. Cook some bacon. Save as much of the grease as pours out for later. Wipe out any brown bits which stuck to the pan and then wipe the remaining grease around the pan. Heat the pan for a while, until it starts to smoke a bit. Next day, make more bacon (this is better on the weekends unless you're a big bacon person). Repeat the process. Then deep fry or semi-deep fry something. Nothing that's going to leave too much pan residue just yet, so probably not fried chicken. French fries or matzo balls or something, preferable in animal fat. Afterwards, do the same thing you did after making bacon. Reserve the vast majority of the oil, wipe out anything stuck to the pan, wipe around the remaining oil and heat the pan till it smokes. Keep making bacon and fried things until your pan is seasoned.

Flaxseed oil is fine -- in fact it's great. If you've got a batch around go ahead and use some. If nothing else, it will shorten the process by making your animal fats adhere more easily. But I wouldn't go out and buy flaxseed oil specifically for seasoning unless I had a ton of seasoning to do.

Jun 29, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Non-dried couscous? (groceries, not restaurants)

I think I would like to try my hand at steaming couscous from the original, as opposed to the dried couscous I've previously found. I've tried the International Market on 9th -- they have some fun couscouses there but as best I could tell all are dried instant. Does the other kind even exist in NYC? Where would one buy such a thing. Also, it occurs to me that I've never seen it. How can one tell if a couscous is not instant? Is it larger, moist, or what?

Thanks.

Jun 29, 2014
nokitchen in Manhattan

Lehman's Pressure Canners

Ah, never mind. The answer was in the reviews. the smaller models apparently cool off too quickly for smoked fish.

Jun 17, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Lehman's Pressure Canners

Huh. That size and the 10-quart one say they're not recommended for fish but the larger ones don't have that caveat I wonder why that is?

Jun 17, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Will Raw Milk Make You Sick?

"Will raw milk make you sick?" is a legitimate question for a food publication of course, and I'd like to see a more in depth treatment than a quick "he said she said" as a blog entry to cut through the manic claims of the FDA and through the, yes, woo of way too many raw-milk enthusiasts.

However from a public policy perspective "will it make you sick?" is secondary to the question of "Even if raw milk can make you sick is the government justified in banning it or restricting it so much that it effectively bans it?" There the answer is unquestionably "no." There may - may - have been some justification in the first half of the last century when pasteurized milk was a a cost disadvantage, when refrigeration was still penetrating homes and when knowledge about food-borne pathogens was both less in amount and more difficult for consumers to obtain. Any such justification is long gone. Raw milk is a luxury niche product that sells for a significant premium to bulk-pasteurized milk, refrigerator penetration is effectively at 100% in the United States and knowledge about food-borne pathogens is trivially easy to obtain for almost all Americans. People who want to choose unpasteurized milk, whether the reason is taste, real or perceived health benefits, or any other reason should be allowed to make that choice and producers should be left alone to provide products to those consumers.

How to Make Crispy Fried Avocados for Tacos

I've made 'em. The frying keeps them moist and also prevents them from turning ugly they way they do if you try to bake 'em. They're actually pretty neat. Two tips:

First, the avocados should not be guacamole ripe or they'll fall apart while you're making them. Late stage 3 to stage 4 is good if you can get that info from your grocer, one to two days before you'd use it for guac otherwise.

Second, the picture shows the avocados being fairly large and each avocado half sliced into four. That's the right size and right number of slices. They'll look big but any smaller and again you'll have issues with the whole pieces not making it through the breading and frying.

Jun 10, 2014
nokitchen in Features

Two cuts of meat I'm not sure what to do with

I third the idea of braising the boneless short ribs. They're perfect for that! There's a million recipes on the web to fit any taste profile you desire. Most recently I braised them substituted for veal in an osso buco.

May 25, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Timer app for Adroid with Overshoot

Oh, and once you've got one running you can name it so you can keep track if you're running a bunch of them.

May 25, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Timer app for Adroid with Overshoot

The default timer app does that. Hit the little microphone icon and say, "Set a timer for (however much time)." it'll set the time and ask you to confirm. You can confirm by pressing an icon or by voice. It counts down and then starts counting up in red.

May 25, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

Camping Meals/Recipes?

For me, one of the best things about camping is that camping areas are usually close to family farms. Look for (or Google in advance for) farm stores and roadside stands and get the ingredients for the meals in this thread from there. Fresh corn on the cob of course, but also peppers, onions, tomatoes and zucchini for shish kebobs, fruits to grill, eggs for breakfast, etc.

May 17, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

adding roasted honey barley to homemade bread

Making that much bread and having a beer-brewing nephew have you ever made a bread with spent grain? It's basically that same grain, crushed, with most of the sugar having been leached out of it. You can find recipes all over the internet and of course you'll want to customize the recipe depending on the kinds of grains you get.

May 06, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

New Anova Circulator ($170)

I think it's lot nicer. For one thing, they say that they've improved the firmware such that the 800W heater works almost as well at the old 1000W. I don't know about that, but having a variable-height clip allows you to use smaller vessels and less water for small cooking jobs, which will decrease the heating time substantially even with a smaller heater. The interface looks a lot simpler and more easy to read and putting the pre-programming stuff on a wireless app makes a lot of sense. I probably would have pre-ordered one when they were available at $99 on their Kickstarter but now the cheapest available price is $145. For the $24 savings off the eventual price I think I'll wait until they're out and leave to others the risk of delays, potential problems with construction and announcements of even better product updates.

May 06, 2014
nokitchen in Cookware

why not the whole egg in Caesar dressing?

I don't really have an opinion on putting the white in a Caesar salad but I will point out that egg whites freeze nicely. Use 'em for a bunch of desserts or for Pisco sours.

May 04, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking
1

Great liquor store - help me take advantage

Here's an article on that precise subject from a couple of days ago on SeriousEats: http://drinks.seriouseats.com/2014/04...

From that list and looking at your current setup, I'd recommend, in order, a good mezcal, another, more vegetal tequila (I like Fortalleza Resposado) and a more rustic dark rum than your current selections -- maybe a Dominican one. Tell the guy what you like and don't about your Barbancourt and he can probably recommend another one.

May 03, 2014
nokitchen in Spirits

Cooking advice for make ahead meals

I second the specific recommendation of white-bean chicken chili if you're looking to get more chicken in his diet. It's ridiculously healthy, and even more healthy than *that* if you go with boneless, skinless, chicken breasts which I've found you can do with some additional seasoning. It reheats very nicely multiple times and tastes better after some time in the fridge than it does on the day it's made.

Apr 30, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

Making Dijon mustard

Thanks for the replies, all. I've got a batch in the fridge that reduced the liquid further so we'll see how that does. After that I'll go with some honey. But I think people's instincts are correct -- I need seeds.

Apr 28, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

DEEELICIOUS Greek yogurt made with grass fed milk [moved from Los Angeles board]

I love my grass-fed yogurt. I don't know what you paid for yours but let me suggest making your own. I get grass-fed milk at my local store. Two quarts of milk will make a little more than one quart of Greek-style yogurt and a bunch of whey you can use for baking or as a partial substitute for stock in soups. Chow's recipe (http://www.chow.com/food-news/54959/m...) is fine, but I prefer to store it at 120F for a shorter time. 6 hours makes a middle-of-the-road yogurt, 12 makes a sour yogurt I prefer. To turn the regular yogurt to Greek, line a strainer with a couple of layers of cheesecloth. Put the yogurt over the cheesecloth and strain it over a big bowl in the fridge for a few hours.

That said, you also have to make your own flavorings, of course, and I wouldn't have a clue how to make a black cherry and port wine sauce that would survive well in the yogurt.

Apr 26, 2014
nokitchen in General Topics

I have been making your "Basic Chicken Fajitas Recipe" Love It.

Hi. Doesn't look like they'll get back to you.

I'm assuming you mean this recipe: http://www.chow.com/recipes/29564-bas...

There are a variety of nutrition calculators on the web. Most of them require you to sign up, though sign-up is often free. One of the ones that doesn't require registration is here: http://caloriecount.about.com/cc/reci... It's accurate as far as it goes, but it's balky about recognizing a lot of ingredients and can thus be a pain to use.

I entered the recipe into the calorie counter I use at myfitnesspal.com. Here are the results (per fajita, of which the recipe makes 8).

Calories 182

% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7 g 11 %
Saturated Fat 1 g 7 %
Monounsaturated Fat 4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 28 g 9 %
Sodium 240 mg 10 %
Potassium 71 mg 2 %
Total Carbohydrate 14 g 5 %
Dietary Fiber 1 g 4 %
Sugars 1 g
Protein 15 g 30 %
Vitamin A 0 %
Vitamin C 60 %
Calcium 0 %
Iron 35 %

Some caveats: That assumes you use all of the olive oil, when of course at least some of the oil from the marinade will be discarded. 60 of those 182 calories are attributable to the tortilla (I assumed flour), and there can be large variations depending on the size, makeup and even brand of tortilla you use, so you should probably subtract 60 calories from this calculation and add in the calories of the tortillas you use. I assumed 1/2 tsp of salt; more would obviously increase the sodium. Finally, that calculation has no provision for the sour cream, guac, salsa, cheese or other fixins you add.

Hope that helps! Welcome to chow.

Apr 26, 2014
nokitchen in Site Talk

Food Quests Board

I think people are doing exactly what you're describing and that those people should be identified by the mods and dealt with.

That said, I don't think that would be enough to save this failed experiment. I think the board, or at least its format, should be discontinued. If the site owners are really dead set on having a "just the facts, no discussion" kind of board they should set up a board with the normal format and post more stringent rules and enforce moderation more robustly. I think the posters here are mature enough to deal with that and I *know* the mods are up to the task.

Apr 26, 2014
nokitchen in Site Talk

Making Dijon mustard

Because of a communication mixup I ended up with something like three pounds of white mustard powder. I've been experimenting with making Dijon mustard, which is kind of fun. I've got a recipe that involves white wine, champagne vinegar, onions, garlic, a little EVOO and salt. It's not bad, but kind of pedestrian. I've experimented with shallots, with mixing up the proportions of the ingredients, with longer and shorter and hotter and shorter cooks but I can't get mine to show the complexity of a Maille or Grey Poupon. Maille has a similarly short ingredient list, whereas Grey Poupon has tartaric acid and "spices."

Do any of you make Dijon mustard at home? Is my powder the limiting factor here? Is there something that I can do to power up my Dijon into the territory of these big boys?

Apr 24, 2014
nokitchen in Home Cooking

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...

Apr 16, 2014
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/8090...). 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