Cookin again

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Last night I had a disastrous time in the kitchen. Poked my thumb with a santoku (not badly), dropped some disposable reusable containers on my head, and melted a cutting board on my island’s glass cooktop…repeating something I did a 20 years ago. Back then, we had to replace the cooktop.

This time, I was having excellent success removing the melted plastic with a mix of baking powder, vinegar, and elbow grease. And then I chipped the glass over the burner, shallowly, but in 4 places.

That’s not fixable.

Making things worse: when we built this house, we opted for a downdraft-style cooktop. When I screwed up the first one, there were only 6 on the market. They grabbed some market share over time, but right now, there’s only 3 that I can find, two of which don’t seem to be available anymore. The third? $2400, $500 more than the models I’d prefer. IF it’s even actually available. And right now, that’s a bigger “IF” than I can display on a screen- the guy we talked to today said his computer told him late March to early April for availability…but he doesn’t trust what he’s seeing based on past experiences.

We may in fact be forced to remodel the kitchen to accommodate a standard lighted hood exhaust & stovetop setup.

Thing is, that’s what I wanted 24 years ago. But if it works out like that, it’s not going to exactly make me happy, you know?
 

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Zardnaar

Legend
Corn beef/potatoe hash.
IMG_20220309_180541.jpg

Sticky date pudding.
IMG_20220309_182750.jpg

Best sticky date we've found. Tried an Irish pub it was almost empty
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
@Dannyalcatraz Two things that might make you feel better.

First, my wife melted an aluminum baking pan on an electric (coil) cooktop. She had to replace the coil and the drip pan and stuff, but things were otherwise fixable.

Second, there was a story in the Washington Post (It's probably behind a paywall, but I can find you a link if you want) about someone melting the middle out of a clad skillet on a radiant cooktop. That seems like something that'd take some effort ...

I sincerely hope y'all can solve this for something less than the cost of renovating your kitchen.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
@Dannyalcatraz Two things that might make you feel better.

First, my wife melted an aluminum baking pan on an electric (coil) cooktop. She had to replace the coil and the drip pan and stuff, but things were otherwise fixable.

Second, there was a story in the Washington Post (It's probably behind a paywall, but I can find you a link if you want) about someone melting the middle out of a clad skillet on a radiant cooktop. That seems like something that'd take some effort ...

I sincerely hope y'all can solve this for something less than the cost of renovating your kitchen.
Nobody who cooks is accident free.

25+ years ago, in a previous house, Mom was having a bad day in the kitchen while trying to make gumbo.

As is traditional, she was doing it in a single large pot, and started with her roux. Well, she burned it, and had to clean the pot and start over. Then she burned her SECOND roux,

The third time? Somehow, a tiny trail of oil drizzled down the side of the pot and hit the burner, igniting. i happened to be looking that way as it happened, and quickly moved to smother the fire before it got serious.

We had pizza instead.

That, BTW, is the day I started doing my gumbo a different way. I make my roux over low heat in a nonstick frying pan and add it to the pot almost last. That lets me brown the meats in the main pot, developing a nice fond before I deglaze. It also means that if I mess up my roux, I don’t have to start over from the first step,
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Kitchen Hack:


I made meatballs using mini muffin-tins. 1lb of ground meat made 18 muffins. Faster than hand rolling or using a scoop.

I used a basting brush to lightly oil each cup, and placed my tins on an edged cookie sheet to catch any grease that might escape. (Some did, but not much.) The tray could have taken another mini tin, but I had used all the meat. The meat muffins came out of the tins pretty easily.

They were baked at 350degF until I saw some nice browning.

My aunt tried it with larger muffin tins after I told her about this, and she was also pleased with the results.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Kitchen Hack:


I made meatballs using mini muffin-tins. 1lb of ground meat made 18 muffins. Faster than hand rolling or using a scoop.

I used a basting brush to lightly oil each cup, and placed my tins on an edged cookie sheet to catch any grease that might escape. (Some did, but not much.) The tray could have taken another mini tin, but I had used all the meat. The meat muffins came out of the tins pretty easily.

They were baked at 350degF until I saw some nice browning.

My aunt tried it with larger muffin tins after I told her about this, and she was also pleased with the results.
I have used some silicone muffin sleeves to break a meatloaf into a dozen smaller meat wads, for something more like small plates. Been a while, though. It does work well.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Fighting words.

NZ vs USA food from American expat. Fighting words. Fight fight fight!!


NZ wins
1. Chocolate
2. Scones
3. Roasts
4. Sweet potato/kumara.
5. Wine.
6. Fruit/produce
7. Eggs
8. Coffee
9. Pies (savory) (USA sweet).
10. Ice cream
11. Indian food.
12. Butter/dairy food.

Good Mexican food is a bit of a mystery here it's like sport that isn't rugby, high culture, sensitive men etc.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
One clear advantage you guys have is, paradoxically, your country’s small size. That translates into shorter supply chains, more of a custom of eating what’s in season. Fresh & in-season can make a HUGE difference.

For example, I’m STILL missing the breads and butters I got on a trip I took to Rome 36 years ago. Our group was staying a week in a monastery, and the bread & butter for the continental breakfast was delivered fresh daily from farms just outside of the eternal city.

Indian food, though…

I’m in one of those areas she mentioned in passing, where the availabil of Indian cuisine is MUCH more available than where she came from. On one major N/S street between my Dad’s original office and where that street terminates a couple miles north of us, we have a HUGE Indian & Pakistani presence, largely due to the businesses hubs & headquarters here. In that stretch, there’s between 11-15 Indian restaurants*, as many as or more than American melting pot staples of Mexican, Italian and Chinese joints. On top of that, there’s a half dozen groceries and even an all-Indian movie theater. And the two streets that parallel that N/S corridor ALSO have a fair number of Indian eateries.

We’re even getting Indian fusion places pop up. I’ve personally been in a couple Indian-Mexican places, and recently spotted a Chinese-Indian place.



* some succeed, some fail.
 
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prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
We have a handful of quite good Indian restaurants around us (and at least one good Thai one) that we know of, and I see other cuisines around in other nearby suburbs.

One of those Indian restaurants is a fusion Indian-Italian place. I much prefer their straight-Indian food to anything else, but that's my preference.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Indians really common here it's one of the main takeaways. If Mexican is everywhere in the US here it's Indian and various Asian and Turkish places.

In my city (small 120k) there's 7-8 Turkish places in a 1km stretch and a similar number of Indian places.

They've trickled down to any town of 10000+ probably has an Indian place. My hometown is 13k or so and has a Turkish kebab place and 1-2 Indian joints.

The reason we eat in season is because of price. 2000+km to Australia anything imported is gonna cost a bomb.

Outside Pajeha, Polynesian the only significant ethnic groups are Chinese/Indian for the most part.

Our one Mexican place has 2-3 Indianand Turkish places within a block.

Said Turkish place the other night.

IMG_20220326_191958.jpg
 




prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
It does a bit, no question.
I'd be curious to know if it worked better with ground beef than sausage meat. Or--possibly--if there's some operational tweak necessary, like the large ice molds that need to have tepid water run on them before you can get the ice out.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I'd be curious to know if it worked better with ground beef than sausage meat. Or--possibly--if there's some operational tweak necessary, like the large ice molds that need to have tepid water run on them before you can get the ice out.
I strongly suspect the texture of the sausage blend vs plain ground meat was a contributing factor. And I may not have pushed the lid down fully/properly.

But the amount of actual sticking along the edges was more minor annoyance level than major issue.

And even with all that, this product does double duty as fridge/freezer storage. Even if the product simply doesn’t work as advertised, the connections between adjacent patties is thin enough that frozen patties should snap apart fairly cleanly.


 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I just found this demo video from the company showing me that operator error was possibly a significant factor in causing my separation issue. First, they recommend using slightly less than 2lbs of meat. I used a smidge over. Second, they advocate opening the meat press upside down to facilitate removal- no deep cup to work around when lifting the patties out.

 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
I just found this demo video from the company showing me that operator error was possibly a significant factor in causing my separation issue. First, they recommend using slightly less than 2lbs of meat. I used a smidge over. Second, they advocate opening the meat press upside down to facilitate removal- no cutting edge to work around when lifting the patties out.

I think your idea of freezing the meat and breaking the patties off while frozen is sound.
 


Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
5 years ago you wouldn't catch me dead eating sweet potatoes and Brussel sprouts. But I did an experiment. Roasted them and coated them in my own spicy umami sauce, paired with the rhubarb wine I made three years ago. Turned out quite good, actually!

1649216404050.png
 

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