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Top Chef -Season 6 - Episode 7 - 10-7-09 (spoiler)

" the judges had no way to know it was Eli who oversalted the gnocchi"

IIR Tom realized that Eli was responsible for the salt and said some thing to the effect of the gnocchi didn't get salty by themselves after Ashely made them. While Ashly made some errors I have no idea WTH either Eli or Ash did for their team.
I'll put Eli, Ash and Robbin in the bottom three.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Food Media & News

Roasting time for a brined turkey

I can't say I ever find it necessary to dry a bird in the fridge more than a few hours irrespective of whether I brine or not. I still rinse the brid, dry well with paper towels and allow to air dry in the fridge.
With dry brining doesn't that require salting 2-4 days in advance?
I really need to try that.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Japanese knives on eBay

While I respect your view my friend IMO Pay Pal won't do much to protect you. If I need to go that route I'll be looking to my own CC company and not Pay Pal.
BTW who owns Pay Pal? ;)

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Japanese knives on eBay

I have sold several items on eBay with positive experiences. Unfortunately on the buying end I have been burned a few times but I've picked up a few good buys as well.
I do think eBay protects it's sellers as that relates to their bottom line but you make some good points.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Japanese knives on eBay

If you leave negative feedback for a seller, the seller can dispute it and send a re-vised feed back request. eBay often removes negative feedback left for sellers. So the whole feedback system is really flawed compared to what it was in the past IMO.
Because of this when you buy now instead of just reading the statistics you really need to take the time to read the comments left under "positive" feed back.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Japanese knives on eBay

"The important thing is to have a good dialog with the seller."

What exactly is a "good" dialog?
Contacting a seller doesn't mean a vendor won't lie or miss-represent a product.
The other concern with buying main stream knives on eBay is that the vast majority of dealers are not factory authorized. That can mean zero warranty if you ever needed it.
It doesn't help any that eBay has pretty much eliminated the ability to leave sellers negative feedback either.
As always price should be a clue. If you see an item for a fraction of the price every one else is selling it for then it's probably a knock off unless it's used.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Gas Stove Smell - advice please

Have you ever had the gas valves in your range replaced? Viking had some issues with the valves from that time frame. I would contact a local Viking repair tech as they can check for gas leaks on your range as well. If you need to replace one valve go ahead and replace them all with the newer generation valves as the cost lies with the service call and labor. The valves are not expensive and it's well worth replacing them all at once on a range that is ten years old.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Fryolators

IMO the mini fryolators at home don't do any thing a pot on the stove won't do as well or better. The lids on many of these units have a pad that is supposed to eliminate odors.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Roasting time for a brined turkey

I don't find any appreciable difference in cooking time when I brine a turkey. A minute per pound could be attributed to many variables.

Oct 08, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Japanese knives on eBay

"I wouldn't buy a knife without holding it in my hand"

That works well with a few mainstream brands but not with traditional Japanese knives. There are only a few dealers in the US. I have bought from Korin (NY), JB prince (NY) and JCK (Seki). All have excellent customer service and easy returns.
Buying from a reputable dealer is a wise choice.
Buying knives on eBay? A good recipe for disapointment.

Oct 07, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Japanese knives on eBay

The Euro Global web site has an entire page of fakes sold on eBay. Quality or value is another matter. Most of the traditional knives I have seen from eBay make me cringe when I think some one paid $100 plus and thought they were getting a "deal".

Oct 07, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Olive Oil Name Your Favourite

The Tuscany estate EVOO at Costco. I've compared it to bottles costing 3x as much and it stands up very well. An incredible bargin.

Oct 07, 2009
Fritter in General Topics

With Gourmet discontinued by Conde Nast, what's your favorite cooking mag?

I won't miss Gourmet or any other magazine at the prices they charge today. Rag prices are just obscene when you can buy a book off Amazon that will last a life time for $25 and get free freight.
If I have to pick one it would be saveur.

Oct 07, 2009
Fritter in Food Media & News

Grinding your own Hamburger [Split from Midwest Board]

No need to have it partially frozen. It is best to keep any meat you are grinding cool. If it were partialy frozen that may make it harder for you to cut it up into grinder size strips.

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Grinding your own Hamburger [Split from Midwest Board]

I'm in the burger snob camp as well. I just find it hard to enjoy meat that I didn't grind. Where's the pleasure in that?

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Magnetic Knife Rack

"(my girlfriend is attracted to my honing steel in a good way, but that's another story.)"

I just spit coffee all over my monitor.........TFF

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Michael Ruhlman: Expert in Residence!

Thanks for taking the time to respond Chef. Is there any projected time frame for "Salumi" to hit the street?
What was your inspiration for "ratio"? It's such a unique book. IMO it rates right up there with Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking for a must read, must have book.
As some one with an interest in photography I have to add the photos in the book and on your blog is exceptional.
I've put the lilac Jelly on my mental list for next spring. I hope to try the same technique with lavender.

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in General Topics

Best American spirit - rye - bourbon??

Blantons Gold
Pappy Van Winkle -20 year
Eagle Rare

Just about any thing produced by Buffalo Trace.

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in Spirits

Grinding your own Hamburger [Split from Midwest Board]

"I don't recomment the grinder attachments that fit onto kitchenaids, as they are not well balanced and the machine can tip forward as you are puching meat down with the wooden pusher"

I've been using my KA this way for many years. The grinder attachment is one of the best things KA ever made. The K/A mixer out grinds a lot of dedicated counter top grinders. I have made loads of venison sausage in mine.
I have never had my machine tip but you can't blame any machine for user error. If you have to push down that hard with a plunger then you didn't cut the flesh into strips small enough for the opening. I rarely even need to use the plunger.
I almost never buy pre-ground meat.
I can run it through the KA and get a better product for less $.
The K/A grinder asttachment gets a thumbs up from me. I can't imagine owning a K/A and not having that tool.

Oct 06, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Michael Ruhlman: Expert in Residence!

Like my fellow Michigander Jan Primus I'm hoping to hear about a Charcuterie follow up. As slow as things have been in the Motor City this year lets hope Chef Polcyn weighs in as well. I hope it's ok if I take a second to wish him well with Cinco Lagos. The financial environment in Detroit has been nothing short of brutal this year.
I'm not sure where to begin as you have been involved with some of my favorite books.
Alinea is my idea of food porn, not that the the FL or Bouchon suck but Alinea for me is on another whole level.
My question is about how your involvement with a book for other Chef's develops. Can you share with us how this takes place? Do you contact the other Chef's or is it just some thing that comes up with friends over a good bottle of wine and some stinky cheese?
Which book did you enjoy working on the most?
If Chef Polcyn weighs in my question for him is this:
When you look back at the past how do you feel working with Milos Cihelka impacted your career?

Oct 05, 2009
Fritter in General Topics

Whetstone use

Thanks. I thought I had looked on their site but I clearly missed those. I'll give them a shot.

Oct 05, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

I need a new range. (DCS, Viking, or Wolf)

"Open burners arguably lose some BTU. They get billed as being "easy" to clean which is pure non-sense. They are simply cheaper to manufacture. Spill something on a sealed burner and have it burn. Then try to clean right next to the burner."

Just to clarify my typo there in the first sentence. I should have said "sealed" burners arguably lose some BTU".
There is however a lot of debate about that.

Oct 04, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Can it get worse? Oxygen Network's new "Naughty Kitchen"

After watching five minutes you have to wonder how she got on TV and how she ever landed a job as the Chef. The show is a like a bad combination of Hells kitchen and The Biggest loser.

Oct 04, 2009
Fritter in Food Media & News

RIP Tribute in Farmington Hills, MI

Takashi Yagihashi left years ago so that must be a fairly dated article. When Takashi was there the place was stellar. We had some incredible meals and events at Tribute when he was the Chef. The good news is TY now has his own place in Chicago and it's well worth a visit.

Oct 03, 2009
Fritter in General Midwest Archive

Whetstone use

I did but he only had a few stones when I looked. I guess I just need to shoot him an email.

Oct 02, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Whetstone use

Speaking of stones does any one have a reliable source for Naniwa Chosera or super stones? I need some new stones and thus far I've only found people stocking one or two.

Oct 02, 2009
Fritter in Cookware

Camping Chowhound Style

Yes that's a great book!
My personal favorite is fresh caught pan fried fish. AB described it perfectly. I can almost hear the pan sizzle. Steak ranks pretty high on my list as well.
I recall back packing Isle Royal with my dad after high school and the latest greatest thing was freeze dried ice cream. It was like sucking on styrofoam peanuts....LOL

Oct 02, 2009
Fritter in General Topics

What do you love and collect?

My wife collects tea pots as well. I've really come to enjoy them. I'm a sucker for a nice soup tureen especially antiques.

Oct 02, 2009
Fritter in Not About Food

Canning time!

"Try 11/2" thick backstrap filets stuffed with Cashel Blue, wrapped in bacon and rolled in crushed pepper, pan seared and finished off in the oven until med-rare and then flashed with Redbreast Irish. OMG!!"

If that's an invitation I'm ON MY WAY over for dinner! :)
Caribou is my favorite venison, at least when I'm eating caribou!
Have you canned any venison?

Oct 02, 2009
Fritter in Home Cooking

Reservations in Orlando, Disney?

Unfortunately Disney reviews are often pretty scattered. A prime example of that is the reviews that the living seas gets. That kitchen is freaking awesome and the food is very good. A lot of vacationers give it thumbs down just based on price. IMO that's rather sad when the menu is posted right out side. Fresh fish is expensive. All ears is a great site to review menus. You can find a lot of information at the DIS forums as well. :)

Oct 01, 2009
Fritter in Florida