Capitalism: It works, bitches

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JasonL
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by JasonL »

I think the first order of business is to settle whether you are dealing with a smash type flat burger or a thick pub type burger. I would tend to agree that the smashed burger is best done very simply with american cheese, salt and pepper, one topping like pickles and maybe a condiment if you must. Minimal toppings, high moisture low melting point simple cheeses, well done / mid well if you draw that distinction, soft bread like potato buns.

The thick burger is more of a canvas and I think all manner of things are fine there - blue cheeses, blends, swiss and mushrooms, bacon, carmelized onions, kimchi, and on and on. The burger is medium temperature, bread a bit crusty to hold juices (I like ciabatta / telera relatives), and go to town.

Neither of these is a wrong concept except I think piling stronger flavors on a thinner patty violates DARs perfectly reasonable don't let toppings crush protein admonition.

I also think lots of cheeses are okay, but I am somewhat baffled by people liking cheddar for melting because it tends to separate into an oily mess when young and old doesn't melt at all.

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Warren
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 14:07
I think the first order of business is to settle whether you are dealing with a smash type flat burger or a thick pub type burger. I would tend to agree that the smashed burger is best done very simply with american cheese, salt and pepper, one topping like pickles and maybe a condiment if you must. Minimal toppings, high moisture low melting point simple cheeses, well done / mid well if you draw that distinction, soft bread like potato buns.
I mean. When was the last time you ate that?

This thing about A-cheese melts better. Yeah no. I mean okay, if you're melting it on macaroni then sure. But for a burger? Well if you want to pull it straight from the fridge and put it on the patty after it's done cooking when you put the onions and pickles on then sure. But if you take it out of the fridge when you take out the ground beef, and you put it on the beef the last time you flip it on the grill or skillet, and give it a minute on the heat, then HELL NO. Swiss, Jack, etc. is always going to give you a better melt doing it that way because it's going to be melted cheese and not a yellow oil spill.
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Jadagul
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Jadagul »

American is the _least_ likely cheese to be an oil spill; that's kind of the whole point. The sodium citrate et c. made it melt more smoothly rather than breaking into an oily puddle if you overheat it.

(As you say, this is way more important in mac and cheese, which is much easier to break. I've seen recipes that call for adding like two slices of American cheese to the mac-n-cheese to bring some of the melting salts in.)

American cheese mostly doesn't have a ton of flavor. Which is, in this context, a selling point, because it's a burger, not a grilled cheese with meat. If what you actually want is a grilled cheese with meat, there's nothing wrong with that, but it's a very different approach.

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D.A. Ridgely
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 14:07
I think the first order of business is to settle whether you are dealing with a smash type flat burger or a thick pub type burger. I would tend to agree that the smashed burger is best done very simply with american cheese, salt and pepper, one topping like pickles and maybe a condiment if you must. Minimal toppings, high moisture low melting point simple cheeses, well done / mid well if you draw that distinction, soft bread like potato buns.

The thick burger is more of a canvas and I think all manner of things are fine there - blue cheeses, blends, swiss and mushrooms, bacon, carmelized onions, kimchi, and on and on. The burger is medium temperature, bread a bit crusty to hold juices (I like ciabatta / telera relatives), and go to town.

Neither of these is a wrong concept except I think piling stronger flavors on a thinner patty violates DARs perfectly reasonable don't let toppings crush protein admonition.

I also think lots of cheeses are okay, but I am somewhat baffled by people liking cheddar for melting because it tends to separate into an oily mess when young and old doesn't melt at all.
I'm mostly okay with this analysis, my suspicions that Jason never eats a burger except when washed down with an expensive Cabernet aside, and I agree that cheddar is tricky. You want the cheddar slice limp and warm, not melted.

Also, once we've moved into the gourmet burger category, if only to piss Warren off some more, I often prefer, yes, provolone, in which case I also prefer mayonnaise instead of ketchup as a primary condiment. (Timothy's gone, right? Fuck him. Mayonnaise is a perfectly cromulent condiment.)

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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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We appear to have a new controversy right up there with the oxford comma.
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 14:07
I also think lots of cheeses are okay, but I am somewhat baffled by people liking cheddar for melting because it tends to separate into an oily mess when young and old doesn't melt at all.
Have you experimented with New York Style Cheddar?
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dead_elvis
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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Jennifer wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 13:09
Speaking of processed cheese,
Speaking of processed cheese, the americans winning at euro-cheese made me wonder why there isn't such a thing as blue cheez whiz.

At a gig a long time ago where we took turns providing food backstage during intermissions, I put out a couple of the spray cans of cheez whiz thinking it would be a funny joke because this was a crowd that could be pretty snobby about food. Cans were totally empty in 15 minutes. Revealed preference ftw.
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Warren »

dead_elvis wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 14:33
why there isn't such a thing as blue cheez whiz.
Well there's already Blue Cheese Salad Dressing. Perhaps one abomination is enough.
dead_elvis wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 14:33
I put out a couple of the spray cans of cheez whiz thinking it would be a funny joke because this was a crowd that could be pretty snobby about food. Cans were totally empty in 15 minutes. Revealed preference ftw.
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Mo
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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Team Jada-DAR on American cheese belongs on a burger.
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JasonL
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by JasonL »

French bistro burgers are really gud. They usually go emmental or gouda. Usually some kind of a dressed green like frisee. Sometimes sauteed onions. Mustard or aioli.

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Jadagul
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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So to be clear, I've had a lot of great burgers that _don't_ use American cheese. But there is definitely a place for American cheese in burgers, especially the smash-style burgers that Kenji is describing that are "held together with hope and melted cheese."

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if some really nice restaurants add a bit of sodium citrate to the cheeses they're melting on the burgers so they melt better.

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JasonL
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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Jadagul wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 16:53
So to be clear, I've had a lot of great burgers that _don't_ use American cheese. But there is definitely a place for American cheese in burgers, especially the smash-style burgers that Kenji is describing that are "held together with hope and melted cheese."

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if some really nice restaurants add a bit of sodium citrate to the cheeses they're melting on the burgers so they melt better.
That goes a bit far. I'm a Kenji guy but the twin chemistry abuses of "add sodium citrate to creat meltier versions of good cheeses" and "add gelatin to substitute for extracted collagen in stocks" are kinda lame. The gelatin thing I've tried and it doesn't actually create a thing like real chicken stock - more like an uncanny valley with a bit more collagen than the flavor would suggest should be present. I much prefer enhancing boxed stock with 30 mins of simmering chicken wings.

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Jadagul
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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I mean, the gelatin thing isn't to be as good; it's a quick fix for having shitty stock. If you have time to make a stock there's no reason to do the dumb hack.

I always have _too much_ homemade stock, so this isn't an issue for me. (I keep a bag of scraps in the freezer and throw them in the instant pot when it gets full.) But I imagine the gelatin trick adds body that would be missing from storebought stock, while still not being as good as actual stock.

What's the issue with the melty-cheese thing? I haven't tried it yet but I keep meaning to.

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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Warren »

JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 17:04
Jadagul wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 16:53
So to be clear, I've had a lot of great burgers that _don't_ use American cheese. But there is definitely a place for American cheese in burgers, especially the smash-style burgers that Kenji is describing that are "held together with hope and melted cheese."

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if some really nice restaurants add a bit of sodium citrate to the cheeses they're melting on the burgers so they melt better.
That goes a bit far. I'm a Kenji guy but the twin chemistry abuses of "add sodium citrate to creat meltier versions of good cheeses" and "add gelatin to substitute for extracted collagen in stocks" are kinda lame. The gelatin thing I've tried and it doesn't actually create a thing like real chicken stock - more like an uncanny valley with a bit more collagen than the flavor would suggest should be present. I much prefer enhancing boxed stock with 30 mins of simmering chicken wings.
I haven't done that exactly, but probably would have been my first thought. If I needed to substitute broth for stock and didn't have wings, thighs, or time, my first thought wouldn't be gelatin, it'd be MSG aka Accent.
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Jennifer
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Jennifer »

I stared buying Havarti cheese slices for some of my toaster-over cold-cut sandwiches, and last time Jeff made cheeseburgers I used it for that too. I thought it tasted pretty good, but I've always been willing to experiment with cheese varieties on burgers.
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JasonL
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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Jadagul wrote:I mean, the gelatin thing isn't to be as good; it's a quick fix for having shitty stock. If you have time to make a stock there's no reason to do the dumb hack.

I always have _too much_ homemade stock, so this isn't an issue for me. (I keep a bag of scraps in the freezer and throw them in the instant pot when it gets full.) But I imagine the gelatin trick adds body that would be missing from storebought stock, while still not being as good as actual stock.

What's the issue with the melty-cheese thing? I haven't tried it yet but I keep meaning to.
I haven’t done it but it has the over engineered thing where he’s acts like altering the texture of a cheese doesn’t fundamentally alter what that cheese is. Cheese makers spend a lot of time on texture at a given age. The approach is under appreciative of co dependent variables in aesthetic matters. An analogy might be adding vodka to a wine to make it fuller bodied. Just use full bodied wine.

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Jadagul
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 19:16
Jadagul wrote:I mean, the gelatin thing isn't to be as good; it's a quick fix for having shitty stock. If you have time to make a stock there's no reason to do the dumb hack.

I always have _too much_ homemade stock, so this isn't an issue for me. (I keep a bag of scraps in the freezer and throw them in the instant pot when it gets full.) But I imagine the gelatin trick adds body that would be missing from storebought stock, while still not being as good as actual stock.

What's the issue with the melty-cheese thing? I haven't tried it yet but I keep meaning to.
I haven’t done it but it has the over engineered thing where he’s acts like altering the texture of a cheese doesn’t fundamentally alter what that cheese is. Cheese makers spend a lot of time on texture at a given age. The approach is under appreciative of co dependent variables in aesthetic matters. An analogy might be adding vodka to a wine to make it fuller bodied. Just use full bodied wine.
I guess I feel like cooking is _about_ fundamentally altering what your ingredients are.

There's a variable of trust-in-the-maker; if I have a wine I like I want to taste that wine, not something else. But if I have a wine I don't like I'll totally change it! With cheap champagne I add berries and make kir royals and bellinis. With cheap wine I'll mull it or something.

Similarly at a really nice restaurant I won't ask them to change things about the dish, because I want to experience the chef's taste. But when I'm cooking, I'm the chef! I want to experience my taste. And sometimes my taste might be that the cheese should be meltier, and if I can make that happen I will.

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JasonL
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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You believe in the power of models and the isolatability of variables in complex systems. You believe in the engineering mindset and specified outcomes. This is true in your preferences for wonkish interference in the economy and in your aesthetic pursuits I’ve seen you discuss.

I do not hold those views to nearly the same degree. The complexity of emergent systems and the number of variables and co dependencies we don’t understand are things to take seriously. The map is not the terrain.

Is a liquid aged Gouda a good thing? Maybe, but the texture and crystals and density emerged together. Other things better suit the need for smooth liquid states and they are cheaper.

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Jadagul
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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JasonL wrote:
04 Nov 2019, 20:59
You believe in the power of models and the isolatability of variables in complex systems. You believe in the engineering mindset and specified outcomes. This is true in your preferences for wonkish interference in the economy and in your aesthetic pursuits I’ve seen you discuss.

I do not hold those views to nearly the same degree. The complexity of emergent systems and the number of variables and co dependencies we don’t understand are things to take seriously. The map is not the terrain.

Is a liquid aged Gouda a good thing? Maybe, but the texture and crystals and density emerged together. Other things better suit the need for smooth liquid states and they are cheaper.

Like, in this case I don't even need to believe in specified outcomes. Experimenting with social systems is expensive, but experimenting with cooking is cheap. You say complex variables are hard to isolate, and that's true, but "did I add sodium citrate" isn't a complex variable. You try it a few times, and if it sucks, you stop. I don't know if it would be better, and I haven't gotten around to trying yet, but I'm up for it.

(My new experimental toy is MSG powder. Which so far is good 1/1 times.)

But I didn't even claim I thought it would be good. I said it seemed like probably somebody was doing it. Which is true whether it's wise or not.

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Capitalism: It works, bitches

Post by Mo »

JasonL wrote:An analogy might be adding vodka to a wine to make it fuller bodied. Just use full bodied wine.
And thus the cocktail was born.
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Re: Capitalism: It works, bitches

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I have always been very skeptical of advertising claims and dismissed them as meaningless puffery.

Until recently, I have always used the 'house brand' cheapest detergent for my clothes, although friends have repeatedly praised and recommended a certain highly-advertised brand.*

Last time I was shopping for detergent, the house brand was sold out, so I bought the recommended brand. Somewhat to my surprise, it made a noticeable difference to how clean my clothes appear. I've now done three loads with the recommended brand and have confirmed to my satisfaction the difference is real.

Logically, I can see how the 'house brand' might use less effective cleaning agents to make it cheaper, so there is a plausible cause of the difference, but I am now a convert to the heavily advertised & recommended brand.

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