Food

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dhex
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Re: Food

Post by dhex » 16 Nov 2019, 07:58

Strain through cheesecloth and decant? Then toss sediment.
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Jennifer
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 16 Nov 2019, 19:20

dhex wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 07:58
Strain through cheesecloth and decant? Then toss sediment.
At an Asian grocery store today, I bought some cheesecloth and also a plastic flat-bottomed fine-mesh strainer. I also looked at the selection of food-safe funnels, hoping maybe to find something like "A funnel big enough to hold a paper filter full of coffee, AND hold the pitcher's worth of water too," but there was nothing remotely big enough. The biggest funnel they have would barely make two doses of cold-brew coffee.

I also remembered "Hey, didn't I talk about my previous cold-brew experiment on the Gryll?" I searched the archives and sho'nuff I did ... except, while the information about the 1:8 versus 1:6 coffee/water ratio will no doubt prove useful, I have no idea what I was talking about regarding the spice ball, reusable filter and mixing bowl. (I mean, I still have these items, but I have no idea what actual setup I used to drain the water through the spice ball. Surely I did not actually hold the pitcher long enough for all that water to drip through? Because I am literally physically incapable of holding my arms up that long anyway.)

Irony of ironies: my post on the Gryll was NOT LONG AND DETAILED enough.
Jennifer wrote:
30 Jun 2017, 20:10
Jennifer wrote:Hmm, my preliminary cold-brew experiment may have ended in failure. I followed the proper coffee-to-water ratio (1:8), let it steep in the fridge for the full 24 hours, but ... eh, the filtered result looks kinda pale, for coffee. Haven't actually drank any yet, because Jeff had alread made regular coffee for the day's caffeine fix, but ... tomorrow will tell, I guess.

Also, the straining-and-filtering part was a gigantic pain in the ass.
Tried making cold brew again, this time with a 1:6 coffee-to-water ratio (but only let it steep for about 20 hours, so it would be ready for Jeff to take to work tonight). Yessss. This actually tastes better to me than hot coffee -- the bitter, acidic undertone is gone. (Granted, some of this flavor improvement might be due to the quality of the whole beans I bought compared to the usual Kroger or Target store-brand ground coffee I usually buy -- but I've made hot coffee from whole beans before, and it always had that acid-bitter tone which I almost didn't notice until just now, when I drank a cup of coffee which did NOT have it.) I actually added too much cream to my cup -- meaning, I used the same amount I'd've added to an equivalent amount of hot coffee. I daresay when I make my second cup tomorrow, using only about half as much cream as in the cup I'm drinking now, it'll taste even better.

For anyone interested in trying to make your own cold brew, here is something I can confirm from two cold-brew experiments: the paper filters you use for hot-brew home coffee makers are NOT suitable for filtering cold brew, because it takes waaaaaaay too long for the liquid coffee to actually drip through those filters. I initially tried using a paper filter, then gave up and instead filtered the cold-brew through a super-fine-mesh spice infuser similar to this one (only mine cost much less money, since I bought it at an Asian supermarket rather than on Amazon). For extra protection, I put the spice ball inside a reusable fine-mesh coffee filter, but I don't think it was actually necessary; hardly anything went through the spice ball into the reusable filter.

So I strained the first pitcher full o'grounds through the spice ball into a large mixing bowl which has a pouring-lip on one side, rinsed out the spice ball, then strained the contents of the bowl through the spice ball into a second, clean pitcher.
ETA: Oh, I get it now: the spice ball was for step two, but for step one I still had a pitcher with several inches of shit-sludge on the bottom. But I would still, if possible, like to get some sort of cold-brew setup similar to a hot-drip coffee maker -- at least in the sense that the coffee grounds are kept in an easy-to-discard paper filter somehow separate from the actual beverage. I wish I were the type of person with a knack for "tinkering" with physical things.
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dhex
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Re: Food

Post by dhex » 16 Nov 2019, 20:02

Two containers - first is your brew container, which you slowly pour through a few layers of cheesecloth. If you need more filtering, empty the brew container and then decant back into that one through more cheesecloth. You can do this in Mason jars if you have them.
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 17 Nov 2019, 14:34

Oh, fuckleducks. Turns out the cheesecloth we bought is not cheesecloth after all, but a package of -- I guess you'd call them open-top envelopes, made of paper like that used in coffee filters.

Behold the perils of illiteracy. I'm SURE Jeff and I would've known better than to buy that, if only we could read Chinese.
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Re: Food

Post by Kwix » 18 Nov 2019, 17:12

Jennifer wrote:
16 Nov 2019, 19:20
ETA: Oh, I get it now: the spice ball was for step two, but for step one I still had a pitcher with several inches of shit-sludge on the bottom. But I would still, if possible, like to get some sort of cold-brew setup similar to a hot-drip coffee maker -- at least in the sense that the coffee grounds are kept in an easy-to-discard paper filter somehow separate from the actual beverage. I wish I were the type of person with a knack for "tinkering" with physical things.
A) Yeah, a french press would help with the bulk grounds and if you don't want the fines do a second filtration via paper.
B) The joy of, ahem, blips in popularity is that it brings out the capitalists.
Long way of saying Amazon's got your back:
Ultra-Fine Mesh Cold Brew Coffee Filter to Use with 2-Quart Mason Jar
Reusable Cold Brew Coffee Filter Bags
Pour Over Coffee Filter - Reusable Drip Coffee Filter
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 18 Nov 2019, 19:41

Ooh, thanks! I don't already have a Mason jar, but turns out there's a lot of cold-brew coffeemaker options out there with filters to take care of the sludge-disposal problem.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 23 Nov 2019, 15:44

I always feel especially "responsibly grownuppy" when I make a recipe specifically to use up ingredients that otherwise were on the verge of going bad. (Those half-dozen eggs that MIGHT have gone bad because neither Jeff nor I have been making omelets or fried eggs lately are now part of an egg-and-sausage casserole cooling on the kitchen countertop even as I speak.)
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 23 Nov 2019, 18:17

Frittata and smoothie are my go-to fridge cleaners.

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Re: Food

Post by JD » 25 Nov 2019, 10:25

Donkey burger, anyone? (It only sounds dirty.)
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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 27 Nov 2019, 15:57

BOOM! What Now!
Pear Tart 2019.jpg
Pear Tart 2019.jpg (1 MiB) Viewed 222 times
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Re: Food

Post by dhex » 28 Nov 2019, 07:26

Nice slice placement there. Good curb appeal.
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 28 Nov 2019, 11:21

Pears are an underrated fruit.

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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 28 Nov 2019, 11:31

We get pears every year from my MIL. We eat them but there are too many pears, so the pear tart is becoming a tradition.
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Re: Food

Post by Highway » 28 Nov 2019, 13:28

I do not like pears. Maybe there are some varieties that don't have that horrible texture, but I haven't had any that don't have that gritty mush texture that is bleh.
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 28 Nov 2019, 14:15

Harrumph. Here I was all set to brag because "THIS Thanksgiving, finally, I remembered to bake the frozen apple pie before anything else (since it requires a two-hour minimum cooldown period before you can eat it)," but Warren's gorgeous homemade pear tart kinda takes the wind out of THOSE sails.

(I did legit remember to bake the pie first this year, though.)
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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 28 Nov 2019, 16:09

Highway wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 13:28
I do not like pears. Maybe there are some varieties that don't have that horrible texture, but I haven't had any that don't have that gritty mush texture that is bleh.
You're eating them too late. Too early and they're hard. There's a brief window depending on the variety.
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 28 Nov 2019, 16:17

Jennifer wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 14:15
Harrumph. Here I was all set to brag because "THIS Thanksgiving, finally, I remembered to bake the frozen apple pie before anything else (since it requires a two-hour minimum cooldown period before you can eat it)," but Warren's gorgeous homemade pear tart kinda takes the wind out of THOSE sails.

(I did legit remember to bake the pie first this year, though.)
Harrumph again. Turns out not to matter; the oven/broiler picked THIS of all days to completely die.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Re: Food

Post by Andrew » 29 Nov 2019, 06:47

Warren wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 16:09
Highway wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 13:28
I do not like pears. Maybe there are some varieties that don't have that horrible texture, but I haven't had any that don't have that gritty mush texture that is bleh.
You're eating them too late. Too early and they're hard. There's a brief window depending on the variety.
Yeah, it's about a 20-minute window.
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 02 Dec 2019, 10:44

Speaking of a 20 minute window - I did a glazed ham this year. Pre cooked ready for glaze from the butcher. Frozen when I got it. I glazed it and it was great on t-day, but there was already graying on t+1 day. That seems really fast.

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Re: Food

Post by Warren » 02 Dec 2019, 10:52

JasonL wrote:
02 Dec 2019, 10:44
Speaking of a 20 minute window - I did a glazed ham this year. Pre cooked ready for glaze from the butcher. Frozen when I got it. I glazed it and it was great on t-day, but there was already graying on t+1 day. That seems really fast.
When we glaze a ham, after the feasting we break it down into 2-3 lb packages. Zip-Loc bags wrapped in freezer paper and put in the freezer to be consumed periodically through the winter into the spring.
So by t+1 it's already sliced and bagged.
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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 02 Dec 2019, 10:57

I'll know that next time. I think my intuition was thrown by previous exposure to preserved or fully cured hams which do not turn quite that quickly.

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Re: Food

Post by JasonL » 02 Dec 2019, 11:07

I was happy with the glaze tho.

1/4c clover honey
1/4c light brown sugar
1/4c squeezed orange juice plus peel from that orange in strips
1/4c madeira
2 star anise
8 cloves
1/2 cinnamon stick
1tsp fennel seeds
2tbsp red wine vinegar

toast spices first dry pan, then add everything else, bring up to simmer low heat and let it reduce. strain spices and peel when 3/4 reduced

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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 02 Dec 2019, 16:37

Jennifer wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 16:17
Jennifer wrote:
28 Nov 2019, 14:15
Harrumph. Here I was all set to brag because "THIS Thanksgiving, finally, I remembered to bake the frozen apple pie before anything else (since it requires a two-hour minimum cooldown period before you can eat it)," but Warren's gorgeous homemade pear tart kinda takes the wind out of THOSE sails.

(I did legit remember to bake the pie first this year, though.)
Harrumph again. Turns out not to matter; the oven/broiler picked THIS of all days to completely die.
Still no oven, one needs to be "ordered," so I'm of the opinion we should take the smoked, seasoned turkey legs Jeff bought and just go ahead, chop 'em up and either nuke 'em or try the toaster oven rather than keep them in the fridge until they go bad (plus our fridge is badly overcluttered, with all the Thanksgiving stuff still in there). Jeff is still holding out.

ETA: In regards to that pie -- a frozen Mrs. Smith's -- in retrospect that was an early sign our oven was in its final moments: by the time I woke up Jeff had already baked the pie and had it sitting on the table, with the turkey legs in the oven. I thought the pie's crust looked a little pale -- barely a couple hints of brown along the outermost edges, with the rest of the top crust practically white/lightest beige -- I actually think it was underbaked/undercooked. It has since been in the fridge covered with clear wrap -- but there too I'm thinking I should either try giving it some additional bake-time in the toaster over (if it fits), or just throw it out.
"Myself, despite what they say about libertarians, I think we're actually allowed to pursue options beyond futility or sucking the dicks of the powerful." -- Eric the .5b

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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 03 Dec 2019, 16:01

Regarding the making of cold-brew coffee: I bought this pitcher (two in fact, one to use while the other's dirty). It turned out to be smaller than I'd pictured (a common problem for me, when trying to visualize relative sizes of things), though otherwise works very well. The small size isn't much of a problem, though, because despite using just regular store-brand ground coffee, at a coffee to water ratio of roughly 1:4, the results after a bit under 24 hours were strong enough to serve as a concentrate rather than to drink straight -- basically, one of these pitchers lets me make an amount of concentrate roughly equal to that bottle of the inexpensive "manager's special" I'd bought which started this whole thing.

Something I learned: dry ground coffee does not have ANY water-wicking ability. The mesh-filter insert has a ring of solid plastic on the top; when you put ground coffee inside and fill it to the top of the mesh part, there's still maybe half an inch or so of space. I filled the insert all the way up to the very top, including that space. The next day, Jeff tried the coffee while I was still asleep; he told me that when he removed and opened the insert to first discard the grounds, the coffee on top was "bone-dry," and he found no moisture until he went down to mesh-level.

So if any of you buy a filter-insert cold-brew coffeemaking kit, heed this warning to avoid needlessly wasting ground coffee. Otherwise, this thing works EXCELLENTLY (though I'd prefer a bigger one).

Bonus: we just got our new oven/stove combo! So we're going to have Thanksgiving tonight.

I just hope the pie and turkey haven't gone bad. I'm giving the pie another 15 minutes of bake-time before we do the turkey legs.
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Re: Food

Post by Jennifer » 03 Dec 2019, 16:55

Yeah, I strongly suspect the pie is fucked. The original instructions, remember, were "Keep frozen, then bake at 400-something degrees for an hour before letting it sit for two." What we ended up doing was "Bake (or at least partially warm) for an hour at some unknown temperature just before the oven's dying heating elements flatlined completely, then keep in the fridge for five days before trying to bake it again."

So today, the first thing we did with the new oven was heat it to 425, then put the pie in -- first for ten minutes, then another ten, then five more, then another minute or two of just eyeballing the thing through the window -- the edges of the crust finally browned, but the center of the top crust looks not just underbaked but downright damp, and when I finally took out the pie, turns out one part of the upper crust burst near the edge just enough for a lot of presumed apple juice to bleed out. Luckily the pie-pan was on a baking tray so the juice didn't dirty our brand-new oven right off the bat, but I still suspect this bodes ominously. At least it wasn't some expensive luxury pie or anything.
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