David A. Goldfarb's Profile

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lots of leftover rice - suggestions?

fried rice
rice omelet (with vegetables and other ingredients)

Feb 22, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Polishing tin lining of copper pan?

I don't polish the tin. Just keep it clean. Keeping food from sticking is mainly about using enough butter or oil and managing the heat properly. With a thinner copper pan like Ruffoni, you need to keep it moving a bit more to prevent hotspots that can cause sticking or burning. In general tin is slicker than stainless.

Feb 15, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Need help identifying hammered copper pots with brass rooster finial and turned molded cast iron handles

I've seen those rooster knobs on Ruffoni copperware.

Some copper fish poachers made in Germany and Switzerland have a fish knob.

Your pots with the Dehillerin hallmark were made by Mauviel, who for most of their history did not mark their own brand name on their cookware, but did mark the names of shops that sold significant quantities of their cookware like Dehillerin, Zabar's, Bridge Kitchenware, Williams-Sonoma, and various others. It's something of a mystery, but Mauviel copperware with the Dehillerin mark commands a higher price than the exact same pieces that were sold in other shops.

Feb 15, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

questions about copper cookware

I'm not giving them my credit card number. What did they hate about it?

Feb 13, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

How to give beef stew more punch?

I'll second that recommendation.

Feb 10, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

King Arthur Flour worth the $?

Looks like a great pastry blender, but check out the KA markup--

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/pastry-blender

vs. a baking supply house--

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id=8004&manufacid=0&keyword=pastry%20blender

And this one looks like it's even better at the same price--

http://www.bakedeco.com/detail.asp?id...

Feb 09, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

What's your best yard sale or thrift store cookware find?

In another thread I've mentioned the two 9.5" Mauviel 2.5mm copper stainless lined splayed saucepans that I picked up in the clearance section at Bed, Bath and Beyond for $19.98 each.

Around 10 years ago I bought a block of seven Sabatier 4-star Elephant carbon steel knives plus a steel at a stoop sale in Brooklyn for $40. The knives were probably a wedding gift, were hardly used, and were caked in vegetable oil, which I stripped off. After a few years, I decided the 10" chef's knife didn't feel right to me and sold it for $80 on eBay.

Maybe 11 or 12 years ago, they were renovating an apartment in the brownstone where I lived, and I noticed the contractors discarding a 25x25x1.5" side-grain maple butcher block, and I've been using it as my cutting board ever since.

Feb 09, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

bar keeper's friend on le creuset exterior

It's not as dramatic as it sounds. It won't hurt enamel, and it takes off the stuff that's really been baked on for ages and doesn't come off easily. It's not necessary for daily use, but maybe once or twice a year. I wouldn't use any kind of cleanser on enamel. Green Scotch Brite pads, which have also been mentioned are also highly abrasive--more so than steel wool. Blue Scotch Brite pads are safe.

Feb 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Upgrading chef's knife, where to start?

These knives have a great history and are somewhat under the radar lately, so I think they're a real bargain right now. I have quite a few of them, and the Sabatier carbon knives take a fantastic edge, if one doesn't mind the additional maintenance. They must be kept clean and dry when not in active use (meaning, if you set it down for five minutes after chopping something wet), and they can interact with some foods, so I also have stainless knives (a combination of Henckels, Wusthof, and F. Dick).

I find I like a wider German style knife for tasks where I'm rocking the knife or using the knife point as the fulcrum for chopping, but I reach for the Sabatier 8" Nogent-style, which is thinner and lighter and has less belly for tasks where my elbow is the fulcrum, like cutting French fries or dicing a large onion.

I have a 12" "Professional Sabatier" German-style chef's knife which is a bit thinner and lighter than comparable Henckels or Wusthof knives, which is a nice attraction in a 12" knife, though I also had a 10" Nogent-style for a while and found it too light for my taste. The German-style Sabatier knives are sometimes called "massif" or "Canadian," because a large cache of these blades--many forged before WWII--were bought up by Lee Valley Tools, handled, sharpened, and sold in Canada some years ago.

There are a lot of knives with the Sabatier brand, and it can be quite confusing. Knives from Thiers-Issard with the 4-star Elephant logo are among the good ones. The "Professional Sabatier" brand on my 12" chef's knife dates to 1969, but the knife looks like one of the older German-style "Canadian" knives, so I suspect it is considerably older than that, like the ones listed in Tim Irvine's link above.

Feb 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

bar keeper's friend on le creuset exterior

For baked on black polymerized fat try an oven cleaner like Easy-Off Heavy Duty, which is essentially foaming lye in a spray can. You can also use lye, if you can obtain it easily in your location (its use in meth labs has led to restrictions on its sale in many places). Spray, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and that black stuff that's been building up for 25 years will come right off with a damp sponge.

Abrasives can dull the enamel and make it progressively more difficult to clean, like using cleanser in a porcelain bathtub.

Feb 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Storing home made ice cream

An old thread, but I've found the best to be rectangular shallow flat containers for perfect scoops that curl just like they should every time, and they use freezer space more efficiently than round containers.

Feb 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Most complicated and impossible recipe you know

This is precisely how one gets to the classical sauce that involves three kinds of stock. You don't realize it at first, since the recipe is only four lines, but then it turns out that all the cross-referenced components might involve days of preparation. Since it's not unusual for me to have five kinds of stock in the freezer, I sometimes make these sorts of sauces, just for the sake of seeing what these lost and forgotten flavors were like, and you can see how restaurants must have had several stockpots going all the time with stocks and then mother sauces, and before Escoffier there were essences, and they combined them in different ways to create different sauces.

Feb 06, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Most complicated and impossible recipe you know

Whatever it is should involve a pastry crust, a live lobster, truffles, foie gras, and a classical sauce that looks simple until you realize that it requires three kinds of stock. Extra points for stuffing at least one whole animal into another whole animal, procedures requiring a larding needle, and aspic or chaud-froid.

Feb 02, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

copper. baumalu. retinning?

Generally when you see enough copper showing through to amount to about a square inch, it's time to re-tin.

Feb 02, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

questions about copper cookware

I have several tin-lined hammered Mauviel pieces, and I'm very happy with them. Some of them are 3-4mm thick, which is heavier than the stainless lined cookware from Mauviel, Bourgeat and Falk. Ruffoni is beautiful, but isn't as heavy.

Jan 31, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Sauciers Instead Of Saucepans?

The rounded bottom makes it easier to get a whisk or a spoon into the corners, so if you're trying to make a smooth sauce or custard, you won't have overcooked bits forming in the corners making your sauce lumpy.

Jan 31, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Tarte tatin - crust won't brown?

I forget where I read this recently, but Keller has mentioned that some things that he has in his books may not translate exactly to a home oven. It could just be the oven.

Jan 31, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Tarte tatin - crust won't brown?

I usually have the crust pretty much flush with the top of the pan or maybe slightly lower, but I don't think that's the issue.

I agree with the recommendation to try a higher shelf in the oven. You might also just try a higher temperature. I bake the crust about 20-25 minutes at 425F.

Jan 31, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

2.5 lb fully trimmed kosher brisket-ideas?

No need to add liquid unless there is some particular flavor you want that comes in liquid form (tomatoes, sherry, etc.). It will put out lots of its own liquid. Season, sear, add onions if you like, and braise low and slow in the oven in a covered pan like a dutch oven.

Here's how my grandmother did it--

http://familyoffood.blogspot.com/2008...

Jan 31, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

what is the most useless gadget in your kitchen

You can press gently to crack the peel, and it usually comes off fairly easily without smashing the garlic.

Jan 29, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

length of chef's knife desired

I think of the 8" chef's knife as the basic western-style kitchen knife, if you've only got one. My father loved to cook and used one his whole life, and that's always been my main knife.

Larger chef's knives are handy, though, if you've got a lot of cutting to do and the board space to use that extra length. I also have 10" and 12" chef's knives, and I'm likely to reach for them for splitting carrots, cutting a melon, cutting a pizza, chopping a whole bag of spinach quickly and efficiently, or any time I have a lot of chopping to do, and if you prefer the head-splitting method of dispatching a lobster, you'll want a longer heavier knife.

As to which knife is best, I recommend going into a shop and trying things to see what feels right in your hand and suits the way you cut. If you tend to chop with your elbow as the fulcrum, you may like a lighter knife, and if you favor the point of the knife as the fulcrum, you may prefer a heavier knife. A brand or style of knife that feels too light at a shorter length might be just perfect at a longer length and vice versa.

Jan 28, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Reducing stock (and I'm not talking economics)

Yes, certainly, it is common practice to reduce stock to concentrate the flavor and so it doesn't take so much freezer space. I usually reduce stock on a slow simmer by about half (this may take all day for a large pot, but it doesn't require much attention) after straining chilling, and removing the fat. The result should be thick and gelatinous when chilled. Then if you like, you can clarify it with egg whites.

I used to boil stock down more vigorously, but found that when I did it slowly over a longer period of time, the flavors were richer, so I don't boil stock anymore to reduce it.

If you reduce stock to one tenth the original volume, you have glace de viande, which is highly concentrated and can be used to add flavor to sauces and soups or quickly glaze sauteed meats or vegetables or as a rich sauce itself to drizzle over meat.

If a reduced fish or vegetable stock is bitter, it usually needs salt, but don't salt until after reducing, or it will become too salty when reduced.

Jan 27, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Stovetop grill pan - what's best?

This reminds me of another thought. I was visiting my parents and we had a lot of guests for an impromptu lunch not long ago, and they had two double-burner reversible grill/griddles, which turned out to be a great panini press. I heated one on one pair of burners and another on another pair, put the sandwiches on the bottom griddle and the second griddle on top of the sandwiches, and we were cranking 'em out. It's too much stuff to wash for just two people, but to make panini for a dozen people so they can all eat at about the same time, it worked perfectly.

Jan 22, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

King Arthur Flour worth the $?

This is what they call "European Style Artisan Flour"--

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/king-arthur-european-style-artisan-bread-flour-3-lb

Do they have a "Sir Galahad" flour? They have a "Sir Lancelot" flour, which is a very high-protein bread flour, great for bagels--

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

Jan 22, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Knife suitable for Children

At four, I'd stick with a table knife. In a few years, there's this--

http://korin.com/Childs-Mini-Knife_2?...

I've seen this knife in the shop, and I suspect it would be suitable for a child of around seven or so.

Jan 19, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Should I own an Electric Knife?

Don't bother. I remember relatives who had them growing up. We always thought of them as meat shredders.

I sharp slicing knife and a little investment of time into learning how to sharpen it or at least how to hone it with a steel between professional sharpening is much more useful.

Jan 19, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Cooking without worry: care of tin in copper cookware

All-Clad copper core has a very thin copper layer. It's not really worth it.

If you want stainless with a heavy 2.5mm copper bottom, look at Sitram Catering line. It's very solid cookware, and you can find it at J. B. Prince and Dvorson's. Bridge Cookware used to carry it, but it doesn't seem to stock it regularly lately. They've also recently renamed all their lines, but the U.S. outlets still seem to be using the familiar names (Catering for the copper disk bottoms, Profiserie for aluminum disk bottoms).

Jan 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

Cooking without worry: care of tin in copper cookware

You've got the basics--no metal utensils, no coarse abrasive cleaners, no high heat.

Heavy tin lined copper (2.5mm+ for saute pans, rondeaux and saucepans; 2mm+ for frypans; soup pots and stockpots can be thinner) is great for saute and frypans because it reacts so quickly to changes in the heat. This may be difficult to appreciate with an electric range, because the coil does not react quickly to changes in the heat setting, but on gas, if you like that kind of sensitivity, it's an attraction. It also distributes heat very evenly, so if you have, say, a heavy saute pan filled with onions, you can set it on medium and walk away from it for five minutes and your onions should be cooking evenly without burning. Of course you shouldn't walk away from the pan for five minutes, but if you did, you wouldn't find a disaster waiting for you.

Note that this is not the case with thinner pans, and I don't know how thick the Baumalu pans really are, so you should experiment. My impression is that they are not as thick as Mauviel's professional lines, Bourgeat, or Falk. A heavy 2 quart saucepan should weigh around 5 lbs.

As for how high you can set the heat, it depends on how much heat the burner puts out, the size and weight of the pan, and how much food you have in the pan and how much water there is to keep the overall temperature down. Don't try to deep fry in tin lined copperware--you'll likely go over the limit. Boiling water you can do on high, but on a gas stove one should adjust the flame to the size of the pot and use a larger pot if more heat is desired. I wouldn't recommend roasting vegetables in tin lined copper unless you plan to toss them frequently.

If you do get some tin melting, it's not the end of the world. A little puddling is okay, as long as the copper is still covered. You'll just need to retin sooner, and for good copperware, the cost isn't unreasonable.

If you have lighter copperware, you can cook in it. You just have to watch it more carefully or use it for things that don't require high heat and be aware that there's a functional difference between lighter copperware and the heavy stuff, so if you were paying full retail, the cost is going more toward appearance than practical usefulness in the kitchen. A 2 quart and a 5 quart pot aren't a bad deal for $60, even for lightweight copperware.

Jan 07, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware

King Arthur Flour worth the $?

The European-Style Artisan flour is not organic.

This is the Organic equivalent of the All Purpose flour--

http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/i...

Jan 04, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Home Cooking

Which Copper Pots are REALLY Worth the Additional Cost?

While there is some potential cancer risk to workers from manufacturing PTFE under unsafe conditions, and PTFE can be hazardous when heated to temperatures over 650F, there does not seem to be any significant danger to ingesting PTFE, which is used in surgical implants, surgical instruments, and sutures.

Jan 04, 2010
David A. Goldfarb in Cookware