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Please suggest a wedding gift

Agreed. It really depends on the couple and what they're interested in.

Just thought of another suggestion - a high-end coffee or espresso maker. For my wife's bridal shower, one of the gifts she received was a Nespresso machine, which she absolutely loves. I'm not a coffee/espresso drinker at all, but she says it's the closest thing to what we had in Europe on our honeymoon. It's also very convenient - load the capsule, press one button, and you have espresso in under a minute. We also have the foamer to make the milk froth. She got the CitiZ model (same as shown in the link but in silver).

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B009...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

Please suggest a wedding gift

I think these are all great suggestions. It really depends on the couple and their situation/preferences though. I have a Sous Vide Supreme and love it, but admittedly it is a bit unconventional, so I wouldn't necessarily recommend a sous vide circulator as a gift unless you know the couple is really into the whole modernist cuisine movement (even if they are advanced cooks). A safer, though more boring gift might be a crock pot.

Another suggestion might be a pressure cooker like the Fagor Duo (recommended by America's Test Kitchen). Saves alot of time, very versatile, and is easy on the utilities bill - which is great for any couple, newly married or not.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

Pressure cooker recommendations?

A bit late entering the discussion here and you've already gotten a lot of good information here. I'll still add my two cents.

Although pressure cookers these days are indeed much safer in general, they are not all created equal. You can still purchase ones at Macy's like the Casa Essentials brand, which are the same whistle-top style based on old designs - they are not safe at all in my opinion. I purchased one initially and while it did not explode, it did over-pressurize on two separate occasions and expelled hot liquid in the air and all over the stove. Luckily I was not in front of it at the time.

After those bad experiences, I ended up purchasing a Kuhn Rikon based on recommendations from the Modernist Cuisine cookbook and development team. It is certainly pricey and top-of-the-line, but it is heavy and feels well constructed. The bottom is thick and maintains even heat, which is good for searing meats before closing the lid. It also has 4-5 different pressure safety mechanisms, so I have peace of mind while using it. Cooking should be fun and enjoyable, which it wasn't before with my old pressure cooker. Bottom line, while you don't need to spend as much as I did for the Kuhn Rikon, also don't cheap out here because you could seriously regret it if you have a bad accident. As others have suggested, the Fagor Duo is a more affordable mid-range option and was rated highly by America's Test Kitchen.

Also, one last bit of advice. Make sure you purchase a large enough sized pressure cooker. PCs are not designed to be filled completely with liquid or food contents and you want to make sure you can cook enough food for a meal for the family. Also remember that certain items like grains expand while cooking.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

What to freeze homemade broth in?

Similar to what other people have mentioned, I use large ice cube trays made of silicone. I bought them originally for cocktails but now use them for multiple other purposes, including freezing left over stock. I bought mine through Amazon but you can sometimes find them on sale at TJ Maxx or Marshalls.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

Sweet Cheeks Q... worth the trip to try it?

The bbq here is good but not amazing. Surprisingly, the fried chicken is the best choice in my opinion. Very crunchy and incredibly moist meat inside.

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Greater Boston Area

What's new in your kitchen?

Not necessarily new to my "kitchen" but with Spring now here, I recently purchased a new Weber grill (Genesis s330). I ordered off through amazon prime to save on delivery fees. It was definitely pricey but it works well and you can't beat the convenience of gas. Charcoal grills have superior flavor for sure but adding wood chips via a smoke box or aluminum foil packet comes close for me.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

2nd KA stand mixer, another classic or artisan?

First off, I bought the Artisan series mixer on Amazon and I love it (link below).

My wife uses it sometimes for baking but we use it primarily for cooking purposes. We have both the pasta and meat grinder attachments and use it weekly.

From looking at the specs between the Artisan and the Pro models, the Pro looks like a much more robust machine. Power ratings are higher, and the Pro will knead 12 cups of flour where the Artisan will only do 9. The Pro also has steel gears as opposed to plastic in the Artisan I believe.

If all you do is light work then the Artisan will get you by. However, if cost is not an issue and you already have a small one, then I say why not go for the Pro?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003...

Apr 01, 2014
trillen in Cookware

Just got a Sansaire (sous vide machine)! What should I cook?

Great, thanks for the info. I might pick up an Anova for him as a birthday gift then.

He had also mentioned he was looking at this other wierd brand called Dorkfoods (see link below). It's not an actual stand alone unit but a temp controller you can use to transform a crock pot and maybe a rice cooker (?) into a SV machine. It's only around a hundred bucks, but I was a little leery to purchase a no-known brand (although I guess I've never really heard of these other brands either). Has anyone had any experience using this one?

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008...

Mar 04, 2014
trillen in Home Cooking

Just got a Sansaire (sous vide machine)! What should I cook?

Anyone try the Nomiku circulator? It seems to be another affordable SV alternative. I have the SV Supreme and love it but my cousin wants to experiment and isn't willing to spend as much.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00G...

Mar 04, 2014
trillen in Home Cooking

Favorite restaurants in Chinatown?

Yes, Ho Yuen Ting was the previous Chinese name (may still be?). I'm not sure if the chefs are still the same and would venture to say that they are not. Example - the beef and parsley soup, which was phenomenal, used to be served dark and is now a light broth like at most other Chinese restaurants around Boston. Could just be that particular dish but last time I went, they also didn't have the periwinkles that I ordered there fairly regularly before. Regardless, the food is still pretty good.

I guess it depends on definitions of "good" versus "bad" service, but I think service at most Chinatown restaurants is sub-par. I have no problem saying that - I am Chinese after all. It is what it is. It's a different ethos. But of course you go to Chinatown for the food, not the service.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 25, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Best Pad Thai in Greater Boston?

I live really close to there and stop in to Pad Thai Cafe quite often. I've never had the special version pad thai you're mentioning but the regular pad thai is decent. My favorite dish there is actually the tom yum noodle soup with pork. It's addicting! Be sure to get the noodle soup version which for some reason is completely different than the plain version. So good.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

basics at super 88??

Hmm, not surprised that the product was discontinued. I can't see there being a huge demand for it outside the Chinese community. Have you tried some of the large liquor store chains like Kappy's or Blanchard's? If they don't even carry it, I'm not sure who would.

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

basics at super 88??

Sorry, I'm not sure. To be honest, I didn't know there was much of a difference between the brands. The one I bought has a red label and is listed as 1.5% salt.

If I remember correctly, they have a few different choices and brands.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

basics at super 88??

Go to any Chinese supermarket and you'll be able to find it. I know for sure Ming's Supermarket in the South End carries it. That's where I bought my last bottle.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Favorite Cobia Recipes?

Not necessarily :) welcome to any and all suggestions to make a tasty cobia dish. Thanks for the recommendation.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Home Cooking

Favorite Cobia Recipes?

Got word that the wife secured some cobia today and will be bringing home for dinner tonight. Any favorite recipes or preparations using cobia?

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Home Cooking

Best Dim Sum in Guangzhou?

What are the best dim sum restaurants in Guangzhou? Any recommendations?

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Sukiyabashi Jiro

Apologies if there's already been a thread or discussion on this board about this but I recently watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi and was wondering what people's opinions were of Jiro's restaurant, Sukiyabashi Jiro. Is the sushi that amazing here? Could I go elsewhere in the city for similar sushi quality and preparations but not have to pay the price or worry about finding a reservation opening? I know his son opened a restaurant in Roppongi Hills that is similar.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Japan

basics at super 88??

I always tend to refer to the chinese market in Allston/Brighton near Comm Ave as Super 88, but I think it officially changed names to Hong Kong Supermarket. There is a Super 88 still in Quincy I believe, but I could be wrong. Not sure which one cookfood was referring to originally.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Why Wok?

As chefj allued to, it's about achieving what the Chinese call "wok hei". If you've had any great Chinese food in Chinatown that's been stir fried in a hot wok, you'll know what I'm describing. It's the super high heat from the wok that creates intense maillard reactions on the food.

The problem with wok cooking at home is that most burners are not powerful enough to do the job correctly. Most of the foods we stir-fry release alot of water as they begin to cook, which lowers the temperature of the wok. This means the food stews in the liquid and juices that will inevitably accumulate. The burners in most professional chinese kitchens are really strong and keep the wok temperatures well above boiling point so that moisture never builds up.

That doesn't mean the wok doesn't have other uses and functions in a home kitchen.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Home Cooking

New Pressure Cooker

Carnitas - the stuff you get at most mexican fast casual places - works pretty well pressure cooked. Get some boneless pork shoulder, cover with some water, and pressure cook for anywhere between 20-60 mins depending on the texture you want. The more time it cooks, the flakier the meat will be. There are different variations to the base recipe. I've always added garlic, onions, green peppers, and adobo seasoning based on a recipe my wife got from her maid when she lived in Panama as a kid. But you can also add different chili powders and achiote paste as the Modernist Cuisine cookbook recommends.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Home Cooking

basics at super 88??

I would add fish sauce to the list. Smells awful but tastes great in dishes and is an umami bomb. Think anchovies. It's used alot in south east asian cooking. Almost any thai dish has some fish sauce in it. Something good to have in the pantry.

Another one would be chili sauce like siracha.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 21, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Favorite restaurants in Chinatown?

The Best Little Restaurant is good. My family used to go there all the time when I was growing up as a kid to eat periwinkles in black bean sauce. The ownership has changed but the food is still pretty good there. I like the ginger scallion beef served in a hotpot.

My favorite restaurant is probably New Golden Gate. The service is pretty bad and the waiters are old men who always oogle my wife, but the food is great. Favorite dishes are satay beef udon, salt and pepper calamari, roast beef with green beans, conch stir fried with bean sprouts.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Feb 19, 2013
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Oxtail - Recipe?

I've done oxtail with traditional beef bourgiognon flavors, and it's great.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 17, 2012
trillen in Home Cooking

Best dim sum in chinatown?

I've never been to Windsor Café so I cant comment but Chau Chow City is absolutely horrible for dim sum - I can't even include them in the discussion. As for Green Tea, they microwave their dimsum "to order" - any place that does that, I can't respect.

Dec 16, 2012
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Cross Rib/Shoulder Roast...vs....Chuck Roast/Blade Roast Challenge , Roasted Low and Slow @ 210* With Pictures

Thanks. I'm not a science guru but as far as I understand it, the long length of time is required to soften the collagen present in the connective tissues that make the beef tough. Weight-bearing muscles and muscles that are used frequently contain higher amounts of collagen than muscles that aren't used as much. Collagen is a long, stiff protein and its structure makes it very strong and difficult to break down. However, when cooked slowly and for a long time, the collagen becomes gelatin, thus making the meat tender.

I chose 24 hours based on some other recipes I saw, and I assume this time frame is required to make the meat tender enough. You could probably cook it for less time with satisfactory results but the meat just won't be quite as tender.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 14, 2012
trillen in Home Cooking

Help me use up my pimenton!

One obvious use for pimenton would be paella. I typically make Ruth Reichl's version which is pretty straight forward and easy but very delicious.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 14, 2012
trillen in Home Cooking

Cross Rib/Shoulder Roast...vs....Chuck Roast/Blade Roast Challenge , Roasted Low and Slow @ 210* With Pictures

Most don't have an immersion circulator at home, but my wife purchased one for me a few months ago as an early birthday gift and I recently sous vide a chuck roast for 24 hours at 132 degrees. It came out great - the cheap cut was transformed into a wonderfully tender piece of beef.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 14, 2012
trillen in Home Cooking

Looking for great food outside of Boston

Waban Kitchen in Newton opened recently and actually serves up some pretty good food. The bolognese with housemade pasta and the five-spice roast chicken were both very good. Newton isn't known for good restaurants but I think that's slowly starting to change. I haven't been to Farmstead Table in Newton Center but that's also supposed to be pretty solid.

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 14, 2012
trillen in Greater Boston Area

Best dim sum in chinatown?

Empire Garden is another dim sum spot in Chinatown closer toward the downtown crossing side. Very large open space (a former performance space I believe). My family usually goes there, Hei La Moon or China Pearl - those are the "big 3".

http://modernistfoodie.blogspot.com

Dec 14, 2012
trillen in Greater Boston Area