PeterZ from Tennessee's Profile

Display Name: PeterZ from Tennessee
Member Since: 10/27/11

Latest Comments...

Nonna, the wide mouthed green bottle was a brand called Mickey Big Mouth, and it was not the finest expression of the brewer's art. Rolling Rock is actually not bad, but for me the ultimate regularly available is Pilsner Uruquell.

Sara Kate, I'll have to try this this weekend. In truth, though, I am more of a wine drinker. Are there any recipes for "wine bread"?

Recipe: Cheddar & Chive Guinness BreadRecipes from The Kitchn
3/15/12 06:11 PM

I have been a fan since the early years of Cooks Illustrated. I finally broke down and bought the entire boxed set of their magazines. I get a new book every year, and buy a new index about every 5 years. When I want to try something new, that's where I start.

I don't always agree with them, and my wife doesn't agree with them even more (southern girl - they don't do southern comfort food very well).

A Tour of America's Test Kitchen Professional Kitchen Tour
3/6/12 08:24 PM

Microwaves, gamma radiation, visible light, ultraviolet light, and radio waves are all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. Our use of that spectrum ranges from the extremely high frequencies - gamma rays - on down through X-rays, on to UV, visible light, infrared and down to ultra-low frequencies that can pass through the earth.

Some of these portions of the electromagnetic spectrum are dangerous, but danger is a relative thing. A single chest X-ray is not particularly dangerous, but a daily dose of high X-ray treatment for 30 days, common in breast cancer treatment, can actually fuse tissue inside the body. 30 minutes on a bright sunny day outside without sunblock can feel great, but 6 hours can result in a severe sunburn.

We are constantly exposed to low levels of microwaves. Not only does the sun emit them, but they are now commonly used in communication tower relays. Driving past one of those towers won't hurt you, nor will living near one, but if you climb the tower and stand right in front of the transmitter you will be cooked. That's why you cannot turn your microwave on with the door open. The units are shielded to prevent the escape of high intensity microwaves.

The important thing to understand is that electromagnetic radiation, be it gamma rays or microwaves, leaves no residual. Once the source is turned off the object of the source emits nothing it didn't emit before the exposure. Microwaving food, or exposing it to gamma rays (which is how they sterilize "Meals Ready to Eat" (MRE's) for the military) does not make it radioactive. It kills anything living while it is being exposed, but otherwise doesn't change it from a nuclear standpoint.

How to Make Potato Chips in the Microwave
2/28/12 07:30 PM

I, too, use the Cooks Illustrated method. I usually use strip steak 1-1/2 - 2 inches thick, with the side fat and the line of gristle trimmed. I salt it heavily (the equivalent of brining for chicken, pork, and turkey) while it comes up to an internal temp of about 60, and then brush most of the salt off and pat the meat dry. Into the oven at 250 on a baking sheet with a wire rack until the internal temp is 95 degrees. I will say that I always use a remote-probe thermometer, rather than time, to judge things.

After that it's into a very hot skillet (I use top of the line stainless clad aluminum cookware, but well-seasoned cast iron would also work) to sear the top, bottom, and sides. I use grapeseed oil in the pan, because it is neutral in flavor and has a very high smoke point. When I plan to do this I rubberband a plastic bag around the smoke detector nearest the kitchen, as the sound of the smoke detector terrifies one of my yorkies.

What I see in the first picture of the results above is a nice external sear, followed by 1/8 inch of well done meat, and an inside that is actually rare. When I do it the way I have described I see a nice sear, with a 1/16 inch layer of well done meat, and a uniform medium rare pink all the way through.

I don't cook fancy meals that often, but when I d I want them to be absolutely perfect.

How To Cook a Steak in the Oven
2/13/12 08:40 PM

Back in the days when Pullman railcars were the preferred mode of transportation in the country all Pullman porters were named George after George Pullman. Pullman cars were not sold to the railroads, but leased, and the porters were employees of the Pullman Railcar Company. George Pullman wanted the porters to be familiar to the riders, so all responded to the name George.

A young salesman of baking goods asked "George" how they could get the breakfast biscuits ready so fast and was told that the company supplied all the dry ingredients pre-blended. That salesman commercialized Bisquick.

As a child, every Saturday morning my dad made Bisquick hotcakes using 50% more milk than the recipe on the box called for. Every Saturday I did the same for my kids. They are grown now, and one day they will do the same for their kids.

The best pancake recipe is the one we grew up with. It may not be yours, but it is mine.

Breakfast Recipe: The BEST Pancakes Ever!
2/8/12 07:25 PM

I make a shrimp and asparagus risotto, where the shrimp and asparagus are both poached in the simmering chicken stock, adding their favor to the stock, then removed with a slotted spoon and reserved and stirred in at the end. I always deglaze with white wine, and normally use shallots instead of onions.

Weekend Cooking: How to Make a Good Risotto
2/8/12 06:57 PM

NANKIE, dried bay leaves keep forever. just keep them sealed up airtight. Personally, I go through them by the hundreds - they add a distinct flavor to so many dishes. You don't taste the bay itself so much, but if it is not there you know something is missing. I buy 1/2 oz at a time from a top online spice merchant.

Recipe to Feed a Crowd: Slow Cooker Barbacoa Beef
2/3/12 06:57 PM

I don't bake all that much - that is She Who Must Be Obeyed's (my wife) territory. The tradition in our house is that the birthday celebrant picks the menu and I cook it. That also applies to my birthday. Chilean sea bass with soy beurre blanc and tenderloin with spicy shrimp cream sauce tend to be very popular. Anything to cut into dad's retirement account. ;-)

Birthday Cake Recipe: Double Chocolate Sour Cream Cake
1/11/12 06:22 PM

As a wedding present (33+ years ago) we received 3 Sabatier carbon steel chef's knives, six, eight and ten inch. I used them for years, but after repeated sharpening the part of the blade near the tang has become concave and no longer touches the cutting board. They remain, however, incredibly sharp.

Perhaps I should take them out to the woodshop in the garage and use my bench grinder to grind the tang down so the concave area can be honed out. The 6" especially, would be great for mincing shallots and garlic. I currently use a 3 1/2" Wustof paring knife for that purpose, but it doesn't have the heft and sharpness for fast work.

I'm also considering buffing off the patina. The surface is very rough, due to irregular corrosion over the years, creating a drag as they cut. I could buff them smooth and then treat them with a liquid called gunsmith's cold bluing.

I have lots of kitchen knives, but this post has inspired me to bring back some of my old, retired tools.

Dana's Favorite Knife: My Super Sexy Carbon Steel Knife
12/22/11 06:28 PM

Looks like fun. I'll probably make up a double or triple batch when my son and his GF get here Saturday night.

I suggest not only having everything cold, but also putting the blender jar (mine is heavy glass) in the freezer for an hour prior to preparation.

I'm not particularly concerned about the Salmonella sp. issue. Adding the alcohol directly to the egg before adding the milk should be sufficient to kill anything bacterial in nature. I'll probably double the liquor anyway, and add it first after whipping the eggs.

Pasteurized egg products advertizing reduced cholesterol are not whole eggs, they are artificially flavored and colored egg whites. I'm not sure the effect would be the same.

Recipe Review: Homemade Eggnog
Straight Up Cocktails and Spirits

12/21/11 07:06 PM