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Leftover Pumpkin Purée

My wife asked me get a can of pumpkin puree to make Pumpkin Chai Latte:
http://www.foodiewithfamily.com/2013/...

about 6 hours ago
zackly in Home Cooking

Any Peeler Experts?

about 7 hours ago
zackly in Cookware

Sick from Undercooked Crockpot Pork

Undercooked meat is not generally the cause of food borne illnesses. Cross contamination of raw foods is, like chicken juice in the lettuce from the cutting board or knife. If the pork turned white (or even pink)I would have no fear of food borne pathogens. Also, bacteria is killed by heat. The minimum "safe" temperatures you read are for a very short exposure @ that temperature. The safe temperature drops a lot if the meat is exposed to lower temperatures for a longer period of time. That's why protein cooked sous vide is safe to eat @ much lower temperatures. It's a combination of time and temperature.

about 7 hours ago
zackly in General Topics
1

All-Clad Cast-Aluminum Nonstick Dutch Oven, 6½ qt.

This is All-Clad in name only. it looks like a thin guage, cheaply made piece of Chinese crapola that should cost a quarter of this asking price. As others have mentioned you don't want a non-stick coating on a Dutch oven. If you really want this pan look elsewhere. Shopping @ Sur La Table is like buying your wardrobe at the gift shop @ The Four Seasons Hotel in NYC. You're going to overpay. I would look for a fully clad Dutch oven like this one from Calphalon:
http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/ca...
Pity it doesn't come in a larger size though.
Do you not want an enameled cast iron Dutch oven which is the most common material for serious cooks, although not me?
http://www.amazon.com/Lodge-EC6D43-En...

about 7 hours ago
zackly in Cookware

Anchovy Paste: advise, please

I use it as a flavor enhancer in hearty dishes. Salad dressings, seafood soups and stews, braised meats etc. Here's an old thread on the subject:

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/761644

Mae Ploy Panang Curry Paste and/or Coconut Milk?

There's always Amazon but it's more expensive. I pay about four dollars for the fourteen ounce containers @ my local Asian market.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_...

1 day ago
zackly in Philadelphia

What's your favourite or most useful, kitchen item?

I have a GE Advantium Oven over my stovetop. It is a combination microwave, convection oven (that I never use) and a Speedcook setting:
"The Advantium has 4 heating elements: a microwave magnetron, a convection oven element, an overhead halogen heating element, and a underneath ceramic heating element. This allows it to be used 4 ways: a regular microwave, a convection microwave, a regular convection oven, and what GE calls a speed oven. With the speed oven setting, you can set different combinations of the 4 heating elements to get the right degree of cooking heat with browning through the halogen element. When you are using the speed oven mode, you use a metal tray instead of a glass one for microwaving. This allows the ceramic element underneath the tray to contribute to additional heating and cooking which cuts down on cooking time."
Microwave ovens have myriad functions, cooking defrosting, re-heating etc. but I especially like the Speedcook function for grilling & top browning. I cook a lot of fish & shellfish using this mode.

1 day ago
zackly in Cookware

When do you send back a steak for being under/over cooked?

Do you find restaurants that accommodate your request for X-rare?The problem with your request is that prime rib, unlike individual steaks, is a slow cooked, big hunk of meat that yields 14 or so large dinner portions. Most restaurants roast a whole rib to rare then they adjust the individual portions, when ordered, by giving them more heat in an oven or broiler. Obviously, you cannot make rare prime rib extra rare. When I ran restaurant kitchens that swerved roast prime rib I'd keep a couple of rib steaks available for people who wanted it very rare. Now I'm a huge roast prime rib fan and a rib steak is very different that a roasted prime rib although they are the same piece of meat. I much prefer the roast.

Sep 29, 2014
zackly in General Topics
1

Has anyone else had decreased smell and taste?

Yes, my sense of taste has diminished quite a bit, especially since I hit 60. I'm now 64. I too have sinus issues which doesn't help. I now need to season my food heavier with salt & pepper to "taste" it. My sense of smell is still sharp though. I think it comes with the turf.

Sep 29, 2014
zackly in General Topics

what do you cook your pancakes on?

A well cared for Teflon griddle will easily last 10 years or more. I paid less than $25.00 for mine. True, it does not improve the quality of the finished product but it also does not produce a lesser quality pancake either. It's a draw. With thermostat control it's simply much easier way to cook pancakes, French toast, grilled cheese, quesadilla etc.

Sep 29, 2014
zackly in Cookware
1

what do you cook your pancakes on?

I've had one of these electric griddles most of my (cooking) life. I have a cast iron griddle insert that fits over he oval center burner on my gas stove that I never use. The biggest plus is you don't have to worry about regulating temperature. Also, because it's on legs you can flip even the most delicate pancakes easier. Non-stick, it cleans up in the sink with a soapy sponge. Cast iron was great for pancakes in the nineteenth century but here's the evolved tool.

Sep 28, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Leftover Pumpkin Purée

It's very good for dogs or pumpkin soup

Sep 28, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

what do you cook your pancakes on?

Sep 28, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Help - low-carb LOW BUDGET diabetic-friendly meals?

Agree, commodity pork loins are so lean & white now they vary little from chicken breast. They can easily be overcooked & lack much flavor. That's why white tablecloth chefs are seeking out heritage pork raised more traditionally, not at factory farms but you pay a lot more for it.

Sep 27, 2014
zackly in Special Diets

ISO, Excellent, Sweet Unsmoked Spanish Paprika

Thanks, I'm going to order some of their sun dried sweet and bittersweet paprika.

Sep 27, 2014
zackly in General Topics

ISO, Excellent, Sweet Unsmoked Spanish Paprika

Do they make an un-smoked variety? I only see sweet and hot smoked paprika on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&...

Sep 27, 2014
zackly in General Topics

ISO, Excellent, Sweet Unsmoked Spanish Paprika

I have bought this paprika from La Tienda or Amazon. It is very good but quite expensive. I have found sources for good domestically produced smoked paprika but I would like to find sweet, unsmoked (not dried over a wood fire) Spanish style paprika that I can buy in 1-2# quantities online at a reasonable price and comparable in quality to the Spanish DOP stuff. Does such an animal exist? Thanks!

http://www.amazon.com/Pimenton-Vera-S...

Sep 27, 2014
zackly in General Topics

Boneless beef short ribs from Costco

Yes, it is from the shoulder (chuck).I don't think it has a NAMP number because it's a cut specifically made for Costco.
This is from Costco corporate:

Bnls Chuck Flat
Short Rib
________________________________________

Boneless Chuck Flat is the remaining lip extension of the 1" Chuck Eye Roll. The product is rectangular in shape and must be a minimum width of 2 1/2" to a maximum of 4" in width. It is harvested from the "large" BCSR when making the 1" Chuck.

Specification:
• The surface fat is trimmed to the blue tissue leaving flakes of fat not to exceed 1/8".
• All edges measure a minimum of 1/8" of lean in thickness across the entire width.
• The Chuck flat must measure a minimum of 2 1/2" in width to a maximum of 4" in width

Raw Material:
Chuck Short Rib
USDA Choice

Product Code

Shipping Carton:
Distributed Fresh

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I love White Castle burgers! They are a separate species from a "gourmet" hamburger made with freshly ground 80/20 chuck but they taste great, which is my bottom line.

Long cooked, but disappointing soup stocks

The number one reason stocks taste "flat" is lack of salt. The problem with adding salt to stocks is if you eventually reduce them a lot, they can become too salty. Add the salt after cooking. MSG, if you use it, also works wonders in stock. There is no benefit to cooking stocks as long as you are doing. After a certain point, a couple hours for chicken stock, maybe 5-6 hours for beef & veal stocks you've gotten all the flavor extraction you are going to get. After that you are just running up your fuel bill.

Sep 26, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

Garden Tomatoes, Easiest/Quickest Way to Preserve?

I ended up seeding & chopping them. Now I'm cooking them down in a large Dutch oven with some garlic, olive oil, onions and herbs. I'll take Sparrowgrass' advice and hit them with an immersion blender instead of passing through a food mill.

Sep 26, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

Garden Tomatoes, Easiest/Quickest Way to Preserve?

Do you roast the tomatoes whole or cut up? Do you squeeze the seeds and pulp out first? Thank you!

Sep 26, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

Garden Tomatoes, Easiest/Quickest Way to Preserve?

I have about 10 pounds of freshly harvested round tomatoes that I need to do something with with, quick, before I lose them. I was thinking of cutting them in half, juicing & seeding them then cooking down, cooling, passing through a food mill then freezing. I would like not to peel them beforehand. Does this sound like a good plan? Should I make more of a sauce with onions, garlic and dried herbs? If you have any alternate ideas please let me know........Thanks!

Sep 26, 2014
zackly in Home Cooking

What Is America's Worst Restaurant Chain?

I don’t like pretentious chains that claim to offer upscale, well prepared food but serve crap. Appleby’s, Chili’s & Olive Garden immediately come to mind but there are too many to mention. They are the ones with the huge marketing budgets that advertise extensively in the media. Call a spade a spade like McDonalds, KFC, and Nathan’s do. They are comfortable being fast food joints.

Sep 26, 2014
zackly in Features

Opinions on the Char-Griller Akorn steel kamado-style grill?

I’m very pleased with my new Kamado grill the Akorn Kamado Kooker model# 16620 made by King- Griller. This is a Chinese knockoff of the Big Green Egg albeit without the ceramic lining. I’ve always been intrigued by the BGE but its price tag (near $1,000.00) put me off. Seeing I already had a new Weber Genesis and two smokers a propane cabinet and an original electric Bradley I never pulled the trigger. My propane smoker stopped working mid-summer and I was reluctant to buy a $40.00+ dollar regulator for a smoker that cost $160.00, so I procrastinated using my Weber to smoke indirectly. When I saw this Kamado online for $250.00 Shipping & tax incl. from Target I did a little research and pulled the trigger when I saw that “Meathead” Goldwyn from Amazing Ribs, a website I refer to frequently, gave it a good review. I’ve never cooked on a BGE so I can’t offer a definitive comparison but I’ve done four cooks in the last week or so and all came out great. I first did a rack of St Louis Ribs at around 250. They were falling off the bone tender, which I don’t generally like, but still very moist with an amazing thick bark. Next I grilled some beef kabobs at 700 degrees. Monday I did a pork butt low and slow and it got rave reviews from the Monday Night Football crew. Tuesday I did a smoke roasted whole chicken @ 350-400 which also turned out great. After I pulled the chicken off, I roasted corn on the cob and broccoli in some leftover chicken fat. Now there is a learning curb regarding temperature control. If you get it too hot it is slow to cool and I bounced around between 200-275 during my first rib cook until it stabilized. The temperature is controlled by opening and closing upper & lower vents.
I highly recommend this grill especially @ this price point. It is sturdy and heavy and seemingly well constructed. I like the idea and taste of cooking over charcoal vs propane and it really is a good smoker. The volume of smoke generated with just a few wood chunks defies logic. So if you’re like me and are intrigued by Kamado cooking but don’t want to spend a grand you might want to consider this one.
http://amazingribs.com/bbq_equipment_...

Sep 25, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Large tins of olive oil

I agree with you that CI is always trying to re-invent the wheel. It's like the restaurant critic who calls a great restaurant mediocre. They will get noticed. That being said, I disagree with Marcella Hazan. She probably has never cooked with cheap (but well made) red wine or supermarket EVO. I would not use a vintage red wine or a boutique EVO in hot food preparation. For my palate anyway, cooking causes wine and oil to lose the nuances.

Sep 24, 2014
zackly in General Topics
1

Large tins of olive oil

"Buy the best that you can afford"

A high price does not necessarily indicate better quality. If you buy expensive EVO make sure it's a trusted brand.

Sep 22, 2014
zackly in General Topics

Large tins of olive oil

I don't know where you live but 20$ for 3 liters of Pure grade olive oil seems quite expensive. I think I pay about half that when on sale @ my local supermarkets here in CT. I also use Costco's brand Kirkland. I think I last paid $21.00 for a twin pack (see photo). As far as extra virgin I generally buy what's on sale. If it is truly an honest pack all are pretty good but there is a lot of fraud in the EVO industry. True EVO is mechanically extracted only with low acidity. They do vary in taste, like wine does so it's a matter of personal preference.

Olive oil's flavor diminishes greatly once heated so extra virgin should be reserved for cold dressings and drizzling on finished dishes. Pure grade is fine for cooking but not much different than cheaper vegetable oils.

From Cook's Illustrated:

we recently tested the flavor of olive oil when heated to 300 F, and found that there was no difference between olive oil and vegetable oil once it was heated. Even extra-virgin olive oil loses most of its flavor nuances once heated. Therefore, you can use olive oil if that is your preference, but we no longer specifically recommend using regular olive oil for cooking, since it is usually more expensive than vegetable oil.

Sep 22, 2014
zackly in General Topics
2

Stand mixer - worth having?

This one:
http://www.webstaurantstore.com/avant...

I haven't used it much recently but if you're looking for a large capacity 120 volt fryer this one is pretty good. I would buy it again. The recovery time is better than I expected.

Sep 21, 2014
zackly in Cookware

Stand mixer - worth having?

I've always thought there is a market for a larger home tabletop mixer than 5-6 quart Kitchen Aid. I always had a Hobart 20quart in my kitchens when I was cheffing. Those babies are powerful workhorses but too big for most home applications but when I was baking more bread I considered looking for a used one at a failed restaurant auction to keep on my butcher block table in my basement.. I saw this 10quart mixer that is not much more expensive than the higher end Kitchen Aids.I know nothing about this brand except I do have one of their large, home deep fryers and it seems well made.
http://www.webstaurantstore.com/avant...

Sep 21, 2014
zackly in Cookware