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Electrolux 30" dual-fuel freestanding range - big thumbs up!

Aha, thanks for letting me know. Bought mine around the same time you got yours, so I guess I'll call my appliance shop and have them order the replacement (or did you have good luck calling Electrolux directly?)

Jun 19, 2010
razkolnikov in Cookware

Electrolux 30" dual-fuel freestanding range - big thumbs up!

I have the same "issue" with the high/low burner: takes a while to ignite, but then starts up with a big flame/miniature explosion. Glad I'm not the only one (and it's really not a big deal), but when you called Electrolux, did they confirm that it's the way it's supposed to turn on?

Jun 17, 2010
razkolnikov in Cookware

mushroom stems

If the dish needs broth or stock (like a basic mushroom sauce), cut off the stems, simmer them in stock and reduce by about half for a tasty mushroom broth. Remove stems, and freeze them for stock-making.

Mar 05, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking

Am I the only one who finds Al Clad difficult to clean?

Well, the reason I asked is because if it's not food, I probably wouldn't bother. I have those blue/brown spots on mine (presumably from overheating), but just leave them be. Once in a while when I have some BKF out for something else, I clean the pan. But it gets those spots soon again.

Maybe I should dial down the heat ...

Feb 23, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Am I the only one who finds Al Clad difficult to clean?

Is it stuff that sticks from the food you have trouble with, or general discoloration (blue/brown spots)?

Feb 23, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Mortar and Pestle: Wood, ceramic, or cast iron?

Thanks. I found some of those very expensive ones on a first google, and that didn't look right for a kitchen item. Glad to see there are more reasonable options out there. And the only way my cooking "cures" malaria is by burning food -- the smoke drives away the mosquitos.

Feb 23, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Tell me about sherry...

Read this, and try the first Manzanilla the author recommends. Fantastic (love to sip it ice-cold while cooking)

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/din...

Feb 22, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking

Mortar and Pestle: Wood, ceramic, or cast iron?

Where does one buy pharmaceutical mortar & pestles?

Feb 22, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

best 12" stainless skillet for under $100?

I like All-Clad's 11'' French skillet. It's under $100, and the actual cooking surface is probably close to what the 12'' one is, if not the same. It's got tall enough sides for basic (though certainly not authentic) stir frying, and if you have a cheap universal lid (or a small cookie sheet ...) it doubles as a saute pan in a pinch.

Feb 19, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

all clad 7.5 inch french skillet?

I have the 11'' version and love it (made only better by the fact that it was "free" with a WS gift certificate). It's like a hybrid between a regular skillet and a saute pan, and I use it for both purposes ... very versatile pan.

The sharply angled walls make the usable surface bigger than it would be with a "regular" skillet of its size - my guess is the 7.5 probably has as much cooking surface as other 8 or 8.5'' skillets.

Feb 16, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Still Hungry ... Late Night ... How about an Fried Egg Sandwich?

I like them with some form of raw onion-y taste: either thinly sliced red onion, or chopped raw scallions. Nice crunch to balance the egg's texture, and nice clean counterpoint to the greasy, salty goodness of the egg.

Hungry now. Wish my office had a hot plate and an egg in the fridge...

Feb 16, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking

Where can I find reviews of espresso machines?

Feb 12, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

what's your go to pan...

Calphalon Tri-Ply Collector's Edition 3-Quart Chef's Pan. It's a fantastically versatile shape/size.

Feb 06, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

What's the point of a garlic holder?

At my local supermarket, they keep the garlic on the refrigerated produce shelf (where it's cold and moist). Even if I put them in a dry place at home, they start sprouting within a week.

Does anyone else's supermarket do that? Why....?

Feb 02, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Your "pro-style" range: Would you spend the money again?

Some pro-style ranges (Bluestar comes to mind) actually have far FEWER bells and whistles (built-in timers, thermometers, pre-programmed stuff, electronic controls, etc.) than less expensive "home" ranges. In other words, there's less expensive electronics to break.

You get very high temps, very low temps, often improved heat/flame distribution from the burners, unsealed/open burners (on some ranges ... though some people would see that as a minus), and continuous grates (cast-iron, usually). Whether that's worth the high premium is a separate question.

Feb 01, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

help me troubleshoot my cast iron experience

Nah, read the whole post, but maybe it's just semantics. IMHO, letting oil warm up in the pan at low temperatures serves to HEAT the oil and pan to a temperature that minimizes sticking a bit, not to give the oil time to steep INTO the pan. Maybe I just misread you as saying that the oil somehow penetrates into the stainless steel. No harm done.

Jan 29, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Fry pan vs dutch oven vs saucier etc

Second that. This one ( http://www.amazon.com/Calphalon-Tri-P... ) was one of my first pieces of "good" cookware (and it's a dirt-cheap price, compared to what similar pans in the same product line cost). It's been my go-to pan since.

Jan 29, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

help me troubleshoot my cast iron experience

"Polymerized oil can stick to stainless steel, this is often the case after using my saute pan at higher temperatures."

Oh, no doubt -- we've all had to scrub (and scrub ... and scrub ...) that off our pans once in a while. It's just that it's not something that anyone strives for to "season" the pan.

"Many people also season aluminum dutch ovens it just takes quite a bit longer for an appreciable layer to build up."

Interesting -- didn't know that. Guess I've only ever encountered SS (with aluminum layers inside) and cast iron dutch ovens.

Jan 28, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

help me troubleshoot my cast iron experience

"As far as iron being porous---I use the same treatment on my stainless steel cooking surface/ aluminum clad pans. It doesn't work quite as well as on iron so I have to assume that iron is somehow more porous."

Uh ... I might be misreading you here, but stainless steel can't be seasoned. Is that what you mean by "same treatment"?

Jan 28, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Salt

Salt initially draws out the juices, but then it gets inside the meat, and now the salty inside soaks up the liquid outside. It's why brining a chicken in a salty solution makes it juicier than brining in non-salted liquid.

Jan 23, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking

Where can I buy a smooth honing rod?

It's not glass, but HandAmerican's Butcher Steel has two smooth sides and two sides with micro-fine grooves (maybe for a cheap softer steel 'backup' knife you might use for some tasks). I don't own it and can't personally attest to its quality, but I've seen many good mentions of this particular model.

http://www.japaneseknifesharpening.co...

Jan 22, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

What inexpensive piece of cookware do you love?

Sounds interesting, but I have no idea what this could be .... can you link to an example?

Jan 15, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

I use mine too, even though a knife could do the job just as well. There's just something satisfyingly medieval in guillotining a bagel with the slicer that you can't get from a knife.

That said, I wish I could think of another use for it to rescue it from its unitasker existence.

Jan 13, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Losing faith in cast iron cookware

They're taking the safe route: better to say not to use soap at all if it keeps someone from putting the pan into a dishwasher or soaking it overnight. But as far as a quick rinse with some soap (followed by drying and applying a thin layer of fat/oil/shortening to the hot pan) goes, I just don't see (chemically) how it can do anything to a good seasoning layer.

But I guess it comes down to doing what works best for the individual. I find that a bit of soap that's quickly rinsed off does nothing to the seasoning; others feel more comfortable without soap. If it keeps cooking well, it's all good.

Jan 12, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Losing faith in cast iron cookware

Wrong link.

re: analogy - neither. What I'm saying is that the cast iron seasoning is similar in chemical structure/process as the fat baked into an oven that's so hard to remove (I'm not 100% on the chemistry here, but it makes intuitive sense, given how CI is seasoned). If you can't get the oven clean with a bit of soap, a bit of soap also won't hurt the CI seasoning.

Jan 11, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Losing faith in cast iron cookware

I don't get this aversion against a bit of soap for cleaning cast iron.

The way I see it is, did you ever try to clean an oven with a bit of dishwashing soap? There's a reason you need extremely high heat or noxious lye(!)-based cleaners to clean the grease that's burned into an oven -- it doesn't simply release when it contacts soap. Cast iron seasoning is similar: it's fat that's polymerized into the surface at around the same temperature as grease gets baked onto the oven walls. No quick contact with soap will get that stuff of.

I don't soak mine in sudsy water, but I use the same soapy nylon scrub I use for most dishes. Never had any problems.

Jan 11, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Lemon squeezer or best tool

I don't use lemons all that often, so I just use my general-purpose tongs (these - http://www.amazon.com/Oxo-Grips-12-In... - or a smaller pair, depending on the size of the lemon/lime).

They're not the "best" way for extracting juice, but they're surprisingly efficient if you just have to squeeze a couple of lemons.

Jan 11, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

$100 W-S giftcard. What would you do?

I have the same "predicament" -- and most things at W-S are so overpriced that I have difficulty considering them even if I'm just using a gift card!

I'm leaning toward the All-Clad 11'' French skillet (I've been looking for a nice skillet for a while now, but haven't been willing to spend that kind of money on one) and a nice bottle of balsamic vinegar I'd think twice about buying otherwise.

Jan 09, 2009
razkolnikov in Cookware

Bittman's In/Out Pantry List for the New Year

As far as I know, it breaks down the "walls" that separate cells inside the herb and helps release the aromatics. Sort of similar to what heat can do. Though I hope a chemist can correct me if that's an oversimplification/misconception.

Jan 09, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking

Bittman's In/Out Pantry List for the New Year

Haha, no, not at all. It's just that I can't BELIEVE I didn't get it! I guess I always thought of her more as a pawnbroker than landlady, though I know she's both.

Jan 08, 2009
razkolnikov in Home Cooking