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Trader Joe's Truffle Oil

Truffle Honey (made from white truffles) is a delicious condiment that gives a nice truffle flavor. I use it mostly in dips and sauces but then I'm vegetarian. I can imagine it imparting a proper flavor to meat, etc. It is extremely intensely flavored and a creamy thick type of honey, so much easier to measure and add, and I never add more than maybe 1/4 teaspoon of it if cooking a dish for two. It doesn't add too much sweetness because very little is needed. You can balance that of course with a splash of acidic wine. I plan to use some tonight for valentines dinner: seitan steaks in a truffle, mushroom sauce.

I have also tried a mushroom and olive tapenade. I was given it as a gift and enjoyed it but for $20+ for an amount similar to the honey which costs only $12 or so, it is clear which is the best deal. Also, the tapenade does taste fairly olive-y and loses it's flavors when cooked.

I no longer use butter but when I did I found truffle butter to be very inconsistent. Sometimes it is very strong but sometimes it is so mild that the extremely caramelized taste of aged butter overpowers the truffle.

For adding flavor to a dish that really envelops it, try the honey. In Toronto they sell it at Ararat, in North York area, a food emporium worth visiting for their many delights and the best hummus in Toronto (slathered onto a sandwich with falafel or vine leaves).

Also just wanted to point out that I am only partially familiar with the flavor of fresh truffles: after all who eats these any more outside of special occasions. I've had fresh truffles once at a luxurious dinner and found that their flavour did absolutely nothing for the dish, just kind of sitting on top of it. I prefer the ability to blend the flavors into the sauce rather than just a slice of truffle, which seems to me like a nostalgic garnish, calling back to the days of truffled birds (with the truffle under the skin to steam in the flavour). Putting a slice of truffle on top of a dish is out dated!

Feb 14, 2012
Godbaum in Chains

How long can I safely KEEP WARM on rice cooker and crockpot?

This is one of the better chowhound posts I've ever seen. I just had two things to add.

First, when cooking meat for mutiple days you should really employ sous vide for health and safety. Assuming you already have a thermometer, a good large rice cooker and ziploc bags you can start small things but there are now very cheap hand powered vacuum sealers on the market so it's within reach of everyone. In order to control the temperature I have a controller with a built in thermometer, but it can all be controlled manually by adding more hot water. Pulling out all the oxygen lowers the boiling point of water and it means that you can pasteurize meats at a lot lower temperature. At the same time it is dreadfully important that any meat cooked in sous vide must either be served immediately out of the bag or, more ideally, chilled immediately in ice and salt slush and then in a fridge in the ice. Simply putting meat in the fridge in a bag will not chill it quickly enough and you will really risk bacteria. That and it is unecessary to cook for more than 30 hours. The key is constant temperature, not extreme lengths of time. Flank steaks can cook sous vide in only a few hours. After you chill it the juices in the bag will thicken and can be used in a sauce and seperated from fats, which can be used to baste when grilling/frying the meat on the surface (first you heat it in the water bath again).

Also, rice is very bad to mess with, especially the aforementioned fried rice syndrome. I have learned the hard way that brown rice especially can not be left out for any length of time at all at room temp. I learned the hard way after eating rice that had only been sitting out for one hour or two tops, coming from heat down to room temperature. Within a few hours I felt like a giant bell was ringing in my gut. Hope everyone stays healthy.

PS if you dont ever want to get food poisoned than stop eating meat and just eat something grown by someone you know.

Jun 12, 2011
Godbaum in Home Cooking

Deep frying with Canola Oil

Coconut is by far the most under-rated and under used cooking oil. I'll put it this way: everything about coconut oil being unhealthy was total bunk, and all that coconut milk being poured into curries is actually the really bad stuff (just look at the ingredients).
Coconut oil is versatile. In frying it foams more than most oils, rapidly browning what you cook. It works amazingly well for seasoning pans instead of lard. I used to use hemp oil for this but depending on the quality it too can have a fishy taste. Coconut oil makes everything taste ridiculously delicious and better than butter, ESPECIALLY POPCORN. You don't even need much salt at all as long as there is a ton of coconut butter.

Jan 11, 2011
Godbaum in General Topics

Lillet - what the *censored* ?

The large LCBO at Dundas West and Bloor has Lillet Blanc in the aged wine section with several other apertifs including many more impressive ones. I will drink a modified (bison grass vodka) Vesper Martini in celebration!


Bob is chef now at The Senator.

The house has been taken over and made into Zin, a nouveau Chinese place.

I wish them the best of luck (and hope they appreciate having such a beautiful space: especially the back-yard!)

Caplanskys on College St - impressions?

Ok, here's how curing 50 briskets is different: when you're doing literally tons of meat you have to go through different meat suppliers. You end up getting inconsistencies in the meat (and yes they have people whose job it is to inspect the meat but the volume means you get lots of different size pieces which then require longer curing). That was one issue.


There were no health issues or anything else motivating it, but as has been said Bob and Barbera had restaurants for the better part of 2 decades and wanted to retire while they were still at the top of their game. Part of this was factoring in the slowing economy and an overall decline they've seen in business in the last decade.