Tuesday, January 22, 2013

This is why I'm fat...
I have been taking some night classes at the San Francisco Cooking School to ready myself for the full time program starting in May.  After making food we get to eat it.  So much food.  Yum-O.

We sit and eat like a family.  I'm the drunk uncle.


French Onion Soup

Baked Salmon over veggie slaw

olive tapenade 

Mediterranean salad

shrimp fritters

apple crisp

sauteed mushroom app

shrimp with couscous

some nice veggies

 chicken breast

flank steak with romesco

pork pork pork

roasted chicken

veggie enchiladas

roasted potatos

pork loin with milk sauce

roasted veggies with brown butter 

cod on potatoes

pear tart 

and I get to do some fun shit.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


So a while back I bought some carbon steel knives from Japan.  They are cheap knives by Japans standards but they offer a great value at around $50 to $75 bucks each.
Here they are after a good cleaning.

 Not the prettiest blades but they are wicked sharp.  They are carbon steel so they require a lot of attention when being used.  They will rust up super quickly so you have to constantly wipe them off after chopping anything.  After a while they take on a natural patina from the acids in the stuff you cut.  Only problem is I keep letting my knives get a touch rusty because Im not that attentive so I end up having to scour the rust and patina off.  Sooo what do you do...

 Force a patina onto the knives!  I found this method on youtube.  1.  Mustard

2.  Bubble wrap

3. dab some mustard. 

4. dab your knives

dab dab dab

both sides.   Okay this is actually TOO much mustard.  You want a really light coating.
5.  let it sit for half an hour.

6.  Wash off mustard with a soft sponge.  Look at that!  

The vinegar in the mustard etches the blade.  Depending on how you apply the mustard you can have different patterns.   My big knife.

My Santoku

next time Im gonna try doing perfectly round polka dots or zebra stripes.  How fun is that!?  

and I bought a ton of ball jars to store crap in the pantry.  We found one bag of expensive Bomba rice infested with flour bugs.  We are really careful about ziplocking everything we have in the pantry and nothing else is infested... makes me think the bomba rice came with bugs already in it.  Anyhow to be safe I am using jars. 

and for ultimate freshness I am vacuum sealing all these goddamn jars.  Take that bugs!!!

Monday, January 14, 2013

food filled weekend.  I ordered this thing because I wanted a stove that was powerful enough for wok cooking.  Our Wolf range only puts out about 25,000 btus with the wok ring.  This outdoor high pressure propane burner puts out 65,000 btus.  They say a lot of chinese restaurants use between 100k- 200k btus but theres no way I would ever need that kind of power with the home cooking Im doing.  I can barely put this thing past halfway before the oil instantly combusts inside the wok. 

first things first cut off the grating where the red line is so the round wok bottom has a place to sit and doesnt wobble around. Also puts the wok bottom about an inch closer to the burner flame.  Much better design.

Weee!!!!  I love power tools.  Using my angle grinder to cut through the metal like butter.

and  I forgot to take a picture of the wok sitting on the grate but it fits perfectly.  This is a picture with it just resting on the grate from the night before.  That wok is HUUGE.  The fire is perfect.  I love this thing.   I also ordered exension legs which should be here in a day or two so I dont have to do the FOB squat when cooking.  Not that theres anything wrong with that =P  work out them quads.  

I was able to throw in 1.5lbs of beef and the sear was instant.  There wasnt any crowding and everything was cooked the way it should have been without too much steam/moisture ruining the cooking process. 

And then I was going to make this... Alton Browns DIY smoker.  Its two flower pots...

Inside you rig up one of these hot plates

Put a pie tin full of smoking chips on top of the burner and plug it in.  Alton also made a previous version out of a garbage can.  

 Anyhow I bought this and took that crap apart into a bunch of pieces.

 and went to home depot to buy the pots.  Wait a minute the pots are sorta pricey and doing the math I realized it was cheaper for me to just buy this thing...  a charcoal smoker.  But this thing gets terrible ratings.  Mainly the temperature is hard to keep in the ideal range and a lot of people end up modifying them to get them to work.  So I said screw it and did this...

 Took the bottom pan out.   This is whats supposed to hold the charcoal
 drilled 4 holes

and mounted my hot plate.

ran the wiring

tada fires right up!

and mounted the bottom plate back into the smoker.  

put the bowl on top to catch drippings and prevent flare ups!

and bam I now have an 1100 watt electric smoker that can do 220degrees all day long.  Also nice is I can fill the bowl with ice and do a cold smoke for salmon and cheese and stuff.

so now Im ready to WOK AND ROLL!!!  What should we make?!