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visits member for 4 years, 8 months
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American foodie (non-professional) of mixed italian / sicilian / basque / argentinean / british heritage; family from US northeast, but has lived in US mid-atlantic, US south, and western europe.


Jan
2
comment Smartphone app to guide me with cooking
@Gero : the problem with most food prep is that even the most detailed set of checklists are going to fail without some preparation in advance. If you have to get a refresher in the middle while there's some other time-sensitive task, you're going to fail. Unless you have someone cooking along with you, you really need to see what the complete steps are before you start. (and I admit, my biggest pet peeve of cooking shows is when they replace things out in the middle -- if it's something from the oven, okay, but for anything else you have no idea how much effort they just hid from you)
Jan
2
comment What are the pros/cons of serving the salad dish before/after the main dish?
As a counter to the first claim -- it holds up in general, but when you have more composed salads they're going to be slower to get out than most 'slow food' dishes that would've been prepared in advance (stews, chili, osso buco, etc.) I've been to a lot of restaurants where the salads get bogged down as they only have one person assembling salads with multiple others for hot appetizers & main courses.
Jan
2
comment Smartphone app to guide me with cooking
Take a look at Deep Fried Live -- and let me know if that's the sort of thing you're looking for. I've always thought that cooking show DVDs could be much enhanced w/ a similar treatment where you could hit a 'get more info' button as you went to get details about what they were doing, or an alternate camera angle to show what it looked like from over their shoulder.
Dec
31
answered Smartphone app to guide me with cooking
Dec
31
comment Smartphone app to guide me with cooking
@ElendilTheTall: what's hard about separating two eggs? If you put each one in its own bowl, they won't touch.
Dec
31
comment Why are parsnips sold pre-clipped?
Also quite possibly -- they're using some sort of mechanized washing, and if the tips were left on, they'd get broken off in a less controlled manner.
Dec
31
answered Enhancing garlic and tomatoes on toast
Dec
30
comment Is it worth checking beans for stones?
Not sure if it was a stone, or a really deformed bean in the last bag of black beans I looked over. Over the years, I've seen some things that I'm pretty confident were stones (multiple times; black beans, red beans, etc.) I can't say that I've ever seen a stone in lentils ... but that's mostly anecdotal as I only cook lentils at most twice a year. Either way, a minute or two looking over the beans is way better than a cracked tooth ... had that happen once (partially thawed Snickers bar that I didn't know had been frozen) and I hope to never have it happen again.
Dec
30
comment Are there any recipe ingredients that scale in a non-uniform manner?
Although for most breads, I'd think you were crazy (who in their right mind would make so much they couldn't shape it in time?) ... I made a triple batch of monkey bread last week, and it'd have been much more manageable if I had reduced the yeast -- I had let it proof in two containers; I punched them both down after the first rise, but by the time I got the first batch in the oven, the second container had more than doubled again.
Dec
30
answered How can you keep a stack of Swedish pancakes fresh?
Dec
29
answered What techniques and tips do you have for keeping an organized, clean work area while you cook?
Dec
29
answered How to shape dough
Dec
29
comment What is the difference between crepes and Swedish pancakes?
You make a good point about thickness -- if you watch crepes being made, they spread the batter with a stick, which gets it thinner than would be possible with just letting it free flow, as it done with pancakes (swedish, dutch, or british)
Dec
28
comment Cast Aluminum Vs Cast iron Dutch Oven
@Aaronut: To explain the 'durability' aspect -- Aluminum is one of the stronger metals, in that it'll absorb energy without breaking (ie, it'll dent rather than crack), which is the definition of strength when dealing with materials science. When bikeboy talks about scratching and such, that's related to hardness.
Dec
27
answered How long can I keep a leg of ham in the fridge?
Dec
27
comment Baking without a thermometer?
related : cooking.stackexchange.com/q/12263/67 ; the Leidenfrost effect could help you find the right temp if you put a pan in the oven and preheat it, test, adjust temp, repeat.
Dec
27
comment Baking without a thermometer?
I assume the oven has some sort of scale on it ... unless it's an Aga, in which case I think you just select the correct compartment. If they're in the UK, you need to translate gas mark
Dec
26
comment How long is the life of a shot of espresso?
It's quite possible that you'd be more stringent about these things in a taste comparison so that you don't compare a fresh shot from an older one. They're just trying to minimize variables that might influence the results; it doesn't mean that it's undrinkable after that time period.
Dec
26
comment How can I make my fried potatoes not fall apart?
It wasn't me, but some tips for improvements: (1) in telling your story, you bury the tips (wash the starch off, cook in high heat, add vinegar); after the story, pulling them out as bullet points might help. (2) You weren't specific in how the vinegar was used (when washing? when frying? added afterwards). (3) some of the tips might not be relevant for the preparation they were asking about (the washing and oil temperature are more significant for thinner things and stir fry, and likely won't apply to larger cuts of potatoes like home fries)
Dec
26
comment Making cake icing look professionally smooth
I'm going to assume it's the same trick that I mentioned (although I used waxed paper). You can use paper towels, but not all of them will work. I was told to use the 'shop towels' sold for automotive work, not the kitchen paper towels, but that was almost a decade ago and it's possible that it's changed. And it ends up generally flat-ish, but with a slight texture. It might be better for afixing decorations on the sides of the cake, and it helps to make imperfections less noticable ... but for smoothest, use waxed paper.