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  1. dave-o

    Length for a Chef's and Petty?

    Hi everyone, After much research and deliberation I have decided to purchase my first (or at least first decent) Japanese knives. I'm going with a Fujiwara FKM chef's and petty. Right now I am more of a hobby cook than aspiring professional like I used to be so I think the Fujiwara offers the...
  2. dave-o

    Chicago - Where to eat?

    Hey Pierre, I'm from Chicago (well the near suburbs) and one place I always hear about but have never tried is Hot Doug's. It's kinda like a gourmet hot dog place where you can get exotic hot dogs and sausages (venison, elk, various wild game). I've heard it's a lot of fun and the food is great...
  3. dave-o

    Learn to sharpen myself, or have a pro do it

    Again guys, thanks. Some good points here. BDL, you mentioned the Edge Pro? I did a quick google search and on the website I found (edgeproinc.com) the cheapest ones were 300 something. I don't mind investing a little more money if it'll mean a lifetime of better and easier sharpening. But I...
  4. dave-o

    Learn to sharpen myself, or have a pro do it

    Thanks everyone for the feedback. PrairieChef, I agree with you completely that being a chef, cook, caterer, aka tradesman, I should learn to excel in all aspects of my craft, including maintaining my tools. I will shortly be upgrading my Chef's knife (still not sure what to get, I may start...
  5. dave-o

    Learn to sharpen myself, or have a pro do it

    Well, I suppose the first place to start would be where do I go to get knives sharpened? I'm in the Chicago area (Northwest burbs to be exact) so I'm sure there are plenty of good places to go to, but where exactly and how much does it cost? I love the idea of sharpening my knifes at home (we...
  6. dave-o

    Your cooking and food prep secrets ....

    Here is my tip for slicing button mushrooms: Use an hard-cooked egg slicer. You know those things with the thin, evenly spaced wires? Just throw the mushroom in there, push down, and you have quick, even slices of mushroom. Hard-cooked egg slicers might not be around very much in restaurant...
  7. dave-o

    stabilized whipped cream without gelatin?

    While I have only read about agar and never actually used it, to my knowledge it should hold up. Aside from culinary uses agar is used in petri dishes to grow bacteria so I'm guessing once set it is pretty stable. The only problems with agar you might run into is that I have heard it has a high...
  8. dave-o

    Hmmm that was interesting

    LuvPie - Well, thanks for your response anyway. Haha. The title to my thread was fairly obscure and I don't think many people work with tapioca starch too much so I wasn't surprised I didn't get many replies Deltadude - very interesting info. I did know that high acidity and prolonged heat...
  9. dave-o

    Hmmm that was interesting

    So about a week ago I made a frozen lemon souffle; I thought it could use a sauce and decided to make one with some frozen blueberries I had laying in the freezer. I decided to thicken the sauce with Tapioca Flour (I used Tapioca because I heard it gels clear when cooled). I combined the...
  10. dave-o

    Help! Need a knife for a gift.

    Thank you for quick feedback ChefRay. I agree the 8" chefs is the way to go. I haven't used Santokus that much but in my limited experience I prefer chefs and I think she will too. :thumb:
  11. dave-o

    Help! Need a knife for a gift.

    I'm getting my sister a knife for Christmas (yeah the clock is ticking) but I'm unsure of what brand to get. She's just an at home hobby cook who needs a decent all around knife. I don't think she'll need anything longer than 6" or 7" and I'm looking to spend about $40. Does anyone know of good...
  12. dave-o

    Epic pie crust failure

    Hmmm thanks for the feedback BDL, I did scale the dough into disks and rested it in the fridge for about 2 hours before rolling and baking. I agree you are right in that I think my flour was the fault here, and the alcohol probably didn't help :smiles:. My goal with the Calvados was to...
  13. dave-o

    Epic pie crust failure

    Sorry this may be a little long.....a little backround first, I've made pies in school (about a year ago though) and successful pate brisee, and this Thanksgiving I figured I would try out an apple pie. I tried to make a flaky crust. Attempt 1: I made a test pie by using the formula in...
  14. dave-o

    Philadelphia Style Ice Cream?

    I was wondering if anyone has a formula for Philadelphia (aka a no egg, non-custard) style ice cream? I have a lot of experience with French Style custard ice cream, but I am looking for something a little lighter and not as rich. That being said what is the taste and mouth feel differences...
  15. dave-o

    Chocoate Popcorn-using UNsweetened chocolate, ideas?

    well you can get non dairy chocolate that isn't unsweetened (unsweeted chocolate is some strong juju, you usually need to cut it with some sugar and/or cream). Lower quality chocolates have part of their cocoa butter removed and replaced with milkfat or something dairy. But if you look for high...
  16. dave-o

    Baking Cookies

    You can also swap out some of the regular sugar for brown sugar. Brown sugar is more hygroscopic (attracts moisture) and holds more moisture in the cookie, thus making it chewier. Also, cooking at a higher temp reduces the spread of cookies, which can help make them denser and chewier. Hope...
  17. dave-o

    Ice Cream Flavoring? Help

    I use regular extracts available at any store for my ice creams. Or if you're making vanilla ice cream, you can use a vanilla bean or two. Just add the scraped bean to the liquid when you scald it. For chocolate use cocoa powder. For something like peppermint ice cream I use about 1 tsp of...
  18. dave-o

    Just saying hello...

    Mezzaluna, I agree, Chicago is a great location for anything food related, very diverse. I have always been interested in food and cooking but it hasn't been until about 5 or 6 years ago I started taking it seriously as a career. It was actually my sister who first suggested I go to culinary...
  19. dave-o

    Needing some help for major decision

    Hey searclaw, I'm currently going to culinary school at a community college. I agree that the attitude is much more focused on production rather than actual cooking. But I will say this: befriend your chef instructors!!! I got to know my one chefs pretty well and he has helped me a great deal...
  20. dave-o

    New and saying hello

    Chris, I also completely agree with your philosophy. To quote Alton Brown: "What I am interested in is making food make sense. I want to understand what makes food tick and how to control the process known as cooking. In that regard I'm more a mechanic than I am a cook" That's the reason I...
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