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visits member for 2 years, 9 months
seen Aug 27 at 2:55

The name refers to my past work experience as a certified chef.


Dec
8
comment How can I grind coffee without a coffee grinder?
Evan seems to have poor precognitive abilities but he's correct about grind-to-serve. While not answering the question about what can be done right now without buying a new gizmo, he has however, given the OP knowledge about inexpensive methods of grinding beans. I can only hope that the OP didn't realize that they could be had for so cheap hence their lack of ownsership. Maybe we should take up a collection and buy the OP a grinder for xmas?! ;-) The poor soul is drinking pre-ground and needs our help desperately...
Sep
14
comment What does al dente really mean?
You cook to al dente when working with FRESH pasta. If working with dry then you need to take it further than the white ring picture showes above. The reasoning is that fresh pasta is soft to begin with and the change from al dente to mush happens very quickly. The majority of the classic Italian recipes I've worked with have assumed the use of fresh pasta, not to say that dried pasta is bad, in fact it is quite good in many cases. Just keep in mind that cooking dried penne takes about 12-15 minutes while cooking fresh penne takes about 3-5 minutes.
Aug
10
comment Melting sugar on creme brulee with blow torch
Never had much luck with those types of torches. Go buy yourself a torch with a flexible hose that attaches to the propane bottle and seperate hand unit-plumbers carry them on their belts. It allows you to keep the bottle upright but the hose lets you twist and turn the flame as you like without hassle. Also, not too much sugar on top. I like to cover the top and pour excess off then add a 1/4 tsp back again. You get a coating of sugar everywhere and the extra bit will melt fast so you can then let it flow around the top to even things up.
Aug
10
comment Are there any scientific advantages to using a cork to stop a wine bottle?
Deep subject and very polarizing too. My experience with synthetic corks/caps/Tetra boxes have shown no real difference in the quality of the wine to my taste buds. That said, those wines were not of extreme high quality but of the low to mid price range. Producers of this range love the new sealing methods because they have much LESS spoilage as when they used natural cork. Lower cost wine means lower cost cork being used so you get more spoilage from defects in the cork. As far as high end wine goes, I don't dare say a word as I couldn't tell you if the cork makes a difference or not.
Aug
10
comment What's this “pucker” style hole on my cheese grater for?
Old trick that works great is to cover that side with cling-film plastic before you zest. When you rub the lemon/lime over it the plastic gets pushed down around the metal bits and rests in the valleys where the zest hides on you. When you are done zesting you pull the plastic off and can easily slide the zest off the plastic without any hassles. No, you don't get any plastic in your zest. Been doing it for years. I prefer microplanes over the box grater any day but if its all you got...
Aug
3
comment What cost-effective things can I do to help my knives stay sharp longer?
+1 for hitting all the good 'points' (hahaha). I can say from experience that Victorinox knives rock. I was given a Chef knife and a pairing knife in 1991 when I was just starting out in the kitchen. Still have them and still use them on a regular basis. Ya, they're not as thick as Trident/Henckels but once sharpened were like a razor. Also, buy yourself a sharpening stone and learn to use it. Saves you lots of money i the long run. PLus its very Zen.
Aug
3
comment Why does my cocoa syrup overflow?
+1 for a good answer. Basicaly though it's poor designing from Ghirardelli. Send off a few well worded letters to your supplier and Ghirardelli directly asking for credit vouchers for all the waste. Point out the actual real world cost of their syrup after loss is factored in. Ask about alternative packaging that allows for portion control. Don't be nasty about it, just give them facts and ask for some sort of credit to make up for the losses. They might not even know about this issue and will welcome your feedback so they can improve the end user experience. They'll be keen to help.
Jul
20
comment Aged steaks cooked as medium but came out looking well done
He was attempting to cover up his mistake and not look like a rookie. Aged meat is just as red in the middle as un-aged meat and while aged meat does get darker on the outside, what he's suggesting happened is that the individual steak was aged and they don't age meat pre-cut. Perhaps he's saying your steak was aged because he had it in the fridge for the past week and it lost all it's juices which does happen but if that's the case I wouldn't be wanting to eat that meat anyways as holding meat to that point usually causes nasty trips to the bathroom the next day.
Apr
24
comment Is extremely young meat indigestible?
I agree with BobMcGee. When raising animals for food you need to have a point at which the investment of time, feed and amount of product pays off. Anything younger than traditional veal age is discouraged because you don't get enough meat to make it pay.
Mar
21
comment How to steam clams?
Glad to hear it.
Mar
20
comment Do the cup cakes bake faster in a 24 hole cup cake tray rather than a 12 hole cup cake tray?
+1 Excellent chart showing the relationship of surface area to cooking time...one recipe of muffin will cook in aprox X minutes depending on how it's divided for serving size.
Mar
20
comment Do the cup cakes bake faster in a 24 hole cup cake tray rather than a 12 hole cup cake tray?
If you have 2 litres of batter in a cake tray it will take longer than 2 litres divided into 24 cupcakes; 2 litres in 24 cakes will take longer than 2 litres divided into 48 cakes. The difference is the surface area exposed to the heat. However, if you have 2 litres divided into 24 cakes then 2 ADDITIONAL litres divided into 24 more cakes, you've DOUBLED the amount of batter to 4 litres and the number of cakes to 48 but the extra 2 litres of batter WILL extend the cooking time.
Mar
11
comment How do I make the panko bread stick to my egg-coated chicken?
Alternatively you could dredge the chicken in flour then dunk it in a light batter, then coat with Panko. It'll give you a much thicker crust but the battering will allow you to add more herbs for flavour. Depends on what the desired end result is.
Mar
6
comment Are the leftovers from making stock good for anything?
Pig food...all the flavour has been sucked out of it and is in the liquid where you want it, I would hope. If you used meats to make your stock they will be tender but flavourless and dry. If you insist on using the meat then you're just going to have to serve it in an intensely flavoured sauce to cover for the lack of taste - then the sauce is the dish and the meat becomes more of a garnish. It's been done to max your food dollar but as chicken tossed in the pot are usually old tough meatless birds that you couldn't serve otherwise, I wouldn't waste prime meat $$ on that.
Mar
6
comment Can you estimate how long it takes to reduce a liquid?
So what I understand you're saying, is that you made a reduction and then finished the sauce once you had the reduction down to the correct consistency. In future, make your reduction ahead of time and store it in the fridge. When you need it, pull it out and finish your sauce from that point. It's what we do in restaurants when we're doing sauces to order.
Feb
29
comment I have difficulty finding “ANGOSTURA” bitters, is there any substitute?
Go to your local Pub and ask the manager if you can buy a bottle or two. At the very least he'll tell you where he gets it from. Typical in BC is the grocery store like you already know about. Usually next to the Lime Cordial and other mixes.
Feb
22
comment What's the difference between broccoli from China and broccoli from Australia?
For non-perishables, yes.
Feb
22
comment What should I cover bread dough with while it's rising?
Towels have given way to plastic wrap for ease of clean-up. Typically we just put the dough into a metal bowl, give it a lite brush with veg oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap so nothing falls in. As it's sealed AND has a coating of oil it doesn't dry out and life is good. When it's done proofing we grab a paper towl and blot off the extra oil before moving on to the next steps.
Feb
21
comment Should I include egg shells in my stock?
Good on you for keeping your scraps and making stock yourself. However as long as you are freezing the items chances are you will always get a cloudier stock than if you had used fresh. The freezing breaks down the cell membranes and will cause smaller particles to float about. Of course you also get more flavour so it's a give take thing. Egg shells are just old school "I refuse to throw anything out!" French thinking. As you could use them in a raft as stated from others, and the stock should only simmer (90-100F) that means salmonella issues from the shells. Salmonella dies at 140F+
Feb
21
comment Why does meat in the crockpot always end up dry?
ANY meat cooked for hours at low temperature will loose all it's juices to the broth around it. The "moist" meats which you have had, are a reflection on the connective tissue content of the meat being cooked. Slow cooking methods allow for it to disolve and be eddible as opposed to tough string like bands of yuk. Get a lamb shank and cook it at 250F for 4 hours and it's great. Get a tenderloin and do the same it "tastes" dry and yuk but it's as tender or more so than the shank. The shank has just so much more connective tissue and it doesn't leach out so makes it taste moister.