Thread Rating:
  • 2 Vote(s) - 3 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Ask A Chef Anything
(03-28-2017, 08:12 AM)silverado_mick Wrote: My buddy and I are slowly putting together a forge in my back yard/shop. One of the first things I'm going to attempt making will be a proper chefs knife and a medium sized paring knife, out of good, high carbon steel. Talk to me a little about the features of a "good" kitchen knife, if you don't mind?

Note, not a bladesmith, and I would STRONGLY suggest talking to an actual smith about the metallurgy parts. My notes here are primarily "things to think about", more than "must have".

Size and Balance

How big do you intend your chef's knife to be? Most adults tend to be comfortable with an eight or nine inch blade (I personally usually go with eight and a half to ten...on the bigger side for a woman, about average for a man), but if you have unusually big or small hands you may need to adjust accordingly. If it's a knife that both you and your wife will use, it needs to be a size that's appropriate for both of you - are her hands much smaller than yours?

We have several sets of knives at our place, partly because I'm outrageously protective of my work tools (I'm more likely to let someone touch my boobs than touch my knives) but mostly because "my" Mick has very big hands!

Most of the balance for the blade's weight will be in the handle. I'd advise a full tang (not a rat-tail tang) to give it strength, and POSSIBLY consider weighting the butt of the handgrip?

The Handle Itself

You need to have space on the grip for your fingers to rest easily. You have knives you use now...are they comfortable to hold? Have a good look at how the grip on the knife you use now is made - the length, the shape. If you don't like the knife you use now (for all I know, that's why you're making one!) go to the nearest kitchen supply store, experiment until you find a knife with a handle design you DO like and use that as a model. If it's not good to hold, it's not a good knife.

Think about materials too. What were you planning to make the grip out of? If it's antler, bone or timber, you may want to look into treatments to protect it from warping or cracking when it gets wet; kitchen knives naturally live in an environment that can get hot and steamy, so they take a beating in that department surprisingly often, far more so than hunting knives! If you were planning to use steel, how would you make it non-slip? A rubber or polymer grip (like Micarta) might be a good choice, but you'd have to make sure it was firmly attached, and attached in a way that wouldn't deteriorate under extended exposure to water or heat. Rivets, rivets everywhere.

Blade Shape and Profile

Can you show me a picture of the kind of knife you want to make? Do you know what you want to make? There are a lot of possible shapes for a chef's knife, and each one is slightly different in how you would use it (the cutting technique that comes most easily) and look after it (the angle you sharpen it at and how frequently you do it). If you don't know, look at the shape of the knife you use now.

Most Western chef's knives have an even double grind (a flat grind, a compound bevel...something like that). Many Japanese style or hybrid chef's knives have asymmetrical single grinds, so they're specifically right or left-handed rather than being ambidextrous - some of my knives are things my left-handed husband simply can't use even if he wants to. He can't hold them right.

Show me what you have in mind?
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
[Image: IMG_3463_zps8evngx5g.jpg]
These are my three most commonly used kitchen knives.  Rada cutlery makes them, and they are by no means expensive, but they are functional and take a decent edge.  The "stainless" they use isn't very stainless however, and the edge retention sucks.  I find myself sharpening way too often.  The small and medium peeling knives are great for general use, and the chef's knife is awesome for processing veggies and stuff.  I'd like to make something similar to the top two, and also a larger, thicker (from belly to spine) version of the top one.  I'[m definitely open to any input you've got from the users standpoint.  The metallurgical side I've got covered.
[Image: military_signature-1.png]
Reply
(03-30-2017, 09:10 AM)silverado_mick Wrote: [Image: IMG_3463_zps8evngx5g.jpg]
These are my three most commonly used kitchen knives.  Rada cutlery makes them, and they are by no means expensive, but they are functional and take a decent edge.  The "stainless" they use isn't very stainless however, and the edge retention sucks.  I find myself sharpening way too often.  The small and medium peeling knives are great for general use, and the chef's knife is awesome for processing veggies and stuff.  I'd like to make something similar to the top two, and also a larger, thicker (from belly to spine) version of the top one.  I'[m definitely open to any input you've got from the users standpoint.  The metallurgical side I've got covered.

That big knife is a type called a "santoku". It's not strictly speaking a chef's knife (they tend to be at least an inch or two smaller in blade length [six or seven rather than eight or nine] and the chopping motion is much more straight-up-and-down compared to what you'd see French or German knives do) but it fills a very similar generalist role in Japanese kitchens, so for your purposes it will do.

If I was looking for a santoku, I'd have a few choices to make. In Japan they're often made with a single bevel, on a very tight (ten to fifteen degrees is common) angle. In the West, double bevels sometimes appear; people wanting the toughness of a thicker blade will prefer this, and it would be something like fifteen degrees on each side, even potentially twenty for really heavy duty. The first blade will be thinner, lighter, slightly sharper and more nimble, but also more fragile and prone to chipping - brilliant with softer vegetables and fish, not so good at boning meat or breaking down a pumpkin. The second blade will be a much more general purpose knife, but less suited for really fine tasks. You can still do them, but the knife doesn't help you as much.


Double

[Image: AngleF2-15edge1-221x300.jpg]

Single

[Image: AngleF5-Asian-300x289.jpg]

See the difference in shape? Which do you think suits your needs better, and which does your metallurgy buddy say your steel is better for?


The parer I think will be much simpler. 3.5 inch blade with a nice simple double bevel, 15 degrees on each side. Were you planning to have that collar at the base of the blade that the knives in the photo had? It's good for strength and control (it keeps your fingers from slipping onto the blade) but can make sharpening harder.

You HAVE to get the grip right on the parer. Such a small knife, doing such fine work...you'll notice very quickly if it doesn't sit quite right in your hand.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
Hey chef, what's you're primary fat to cook with?

Do you go French and finish everything with butter?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Saru mo ki kara  ochiru
Reply
(04-08-2017, 06:38 PM)hussaf Wrote: Hey chef, what's you're primary fat to cook with?

Do you go French and finish everything with butter?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

It depends what I'm doing. Butter is fantastic as a cooking fat, and I do use it a lot, but it does add a flavour of its own, and there are times when something more neutral is a better fit.

When I roast vegetables, it's duck fat. Delicious, delicious duck fat.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
For future reference.




A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
Looking to modify a cheesecake recipe I've been using for a while.

It's a Bailey's cheesecake with a Guinness dark chocolate ganache, so I want to go full retard and try to bind the crust with a whiskey butter sauce instead of just butter. Now, the recipes I'm finding for the whiskey butter sauce are pretty simple- whiskey, butter, brown sugar, but apparently they're looking to caramelize the sugar. 

Can I get away with just melting the butter into the whiskey and mixing from there?

What sort of ratio should I go with?
To further complicate this, the recipe calls for 2Tbsp butter but it leaves the crust rather crumbly so I'm considering adding more butter. Would a good starting point be 3Tbsp/1.5oz whiskey? 9" springform pan, so it's not like it's a small cake.
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
(07-19-2017, 05:01 AM)Yossarian Wrote: Looking to modify a cheesecake recipe I've been using for a while.

It's a Bailey's cheesecake with a Guinness dark chocolate ganache, so I want to go full retard and try to bind the crust with a whiskey butter sauce instead of just butter. Now, the recipes I'm finding for the whiskey butter sauce are pretty simple- whiskey, butter, brown sugar, but apparently they're looking to caramelize the sugar. 

Can I get away with just melting the butter into the whiskey and mixing from there?

What sort of ratio should I go with?
To further complicate this, the recipe calls for 2Tbsp butter but it leaves the crust rather crumbly so I'm considering adding more butter. Would a good starting point be 3Tbsp/1.5oz whiskey? 9" springform pan, so it's not like it's a small cake.

I'd actually put the whiskey in the filling. With the Baileys.

You could also try making the Baileys cake and then a whiskey-caramel sauce to drizzle over the top.

Can I see the full recipe, please?
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
Not mixing baileys and whiskey in the cake, that just seems like too much.

Next option would be the sauce, and incorporate guinness into the crust. Probably by baking it in while the cheesecake batter was being prepped.
http://seakettle.com/?p=6985

Whiskey butter sauce in question
http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2009/01/25/cheesecake-with-whiskey-butter-sauce-yes-really/
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
Is there anything you can advise in regards to an avocado crema?

Right now my recipe is,

about 2/3 to 3/5 avocado to sour cream
cilantro, a lot
lime, a little
salt, to taste
[Image: dpo8auk.gif]

(05-06-2016, 02:33 PM)NSFgirl Wrote: You're a terrible person, wongtastic.
Reply
That's easy. Get rid of the avocado.
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
How does cook time get affected by increasing the amount of stuff? Like if I baked two cheesecakes simultaneously, both in 9" springform pans. Both call for 350 degrees and one hour. It's not like I'm changing the surface area like cupcakes vs cake, but idk how it works.
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
(07-19-2017, 12:57 PM)Yossarian Wrote: Not mixing baileys and whiskey in the cake, that just seems like too much.

Next option would be the sauce, and incorporate guinness into the crust. Probably by baking it in while the cheesecake batter was being prepped.
http://seakettle.com/?p=6985

Whiskey butter sauce in question
http://www.bunsinmyoven.com/2009/01/25/cheesecake-with-whiskey-butter-sauce-yes-really/

It wouldn't be too much. Bailey's is very much a whiskey-based drink anyway - it's an emulsion of whiskey, cream and whatever other crap they add.

Something like this would work, and then you make your Guinness ganache instead of the chocolate curls.

http://boulderlocavore.com/irish-whiskey-and-baileys-cheesecake/

(07-19-2017, 05:52 PM)Wongtastic Wrote: Is there anything you can advise in regards to an avocado crema?

Right now my recipe is,

about 2/3 to 3/5 avocado to sour cream
cilantro, a lot
lime, a little
salt, to taste

There isn't much you can really do to crema. It's a fairly simple concept! I would experiment with the ratios a little - perhaps a touch more lime? - or consider adding black pepper.

(07-20-2017, 02:34 PM)Yossarian Wrote: How does cook time get affected by increasing the amount of stuff? Like if I baked two cheesecakes simultaneously, both in 9" springform pans. Both call for 350 degrees and one hour. It's not like I'm changing the surface area like cupcakes vs cake, but idk how it works.

Everything you put in an oven is a heat sink. The transfer of heat from oven to dish is never an instantaneous process. If there are two of them...think.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
So, 700 degrees for a half hour. Got it.
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
(07-20-2017, 05:16 PM)Yossarian Wrote: So, 700 degrees for a half hour. Got it.

Uh...I know you're not great at maths...

It's usually about a 10-15% increase in cooking time, to compensate for the extra heat sink and the way that crowding the oven more has changed the air flow. You might also want to switch the positions of the two cakes halfway through; especially if you've gone for one on the top rack and one on the bottom, the temperature may not be the same for both.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
[Image: tumblr_osj6ewPrQK1rsus6so1_1280.jpg]

Plz
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a lot of bitching.<br /><br />- The Tao of Wombat
Reply
(08-13-2017, 03:40 AM)CombatWombat Wrote: [Image: tumblr_osj6ewPrQK1rsus6so1_1280.jpg]

Plz

No.

Apropos of nothing, I am LOVING being back at work.
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
I have incentive to make a reduced carb version of my cheesecakes. I'm hearing good things about almond flour, and erythritol is being suggested as a sugar substitute but I'm a little iffy on the thermal properties. Also, I can't find low carb graham crackers anywhere!

What are my options here?
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
(11-10-2017, 07:01 PM)Yossarian Wrote: I have incentive to make a reduced carb version of my cheesecakes. I'm hearing good things about almond flour, and erythritol is being suggested as a sugar substitute but I'm a little iffy on the thermal properties. Also, I can't find low carb graham crackers anywhere!

What are my options here?

An almond-based crust works great. In some cases (depending on the other flavours...it works beautifully with cherry) almond crusts are my first pick even when the cake is for someone who CAN have a cracker crust. Substitute the crust as you like, you’ll be fine Smile

In terms of sweeteners, you have a few options. I personally haven’t used erythritol in baking very much, so take any comment with a grain of salt. Stevia is a common choice that I know works well, but is a LOT sweeter than the sugar you’d normally use. Possibly xylitol?
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply
(11-12-2017, 04:43 PM)Wombitch Wrote:
(11-10-2017, 07:01 PM)Yossarian Wrote: I have incentive to make a reduced carb version of my cheesecakes. I'm hearing good things about almond flour, and erythritol is being suggested as a sugar substitute but I'm a little iffy on the thermal properties. Also, I can't find low carb graham crackers anywhere!

What are my options here?

An almond-based crust works great. In some cases (depending on the other flavours...it works beautifully with cherry) almond crusts are my first pick even when the cake is for someone who CAN have a cracker crust. Substitute the crust as you like, you’ll be fine Smile

In terms of sweeteners, you have a few options. I personally haven’t used erythritol in baking very much, so take any comment with a grain of salt. Stevia is a common choice that I know works well, but is a LOT sweeter than the sugar you’d normally use. Possibly xylitol?

The almond flour would replace the regular flour in the cake proper, not constitute the crust.
Stevia's excessive sweetness typically means it needs to be diluted with something else, so I'd like to avoid that if I can.
A friend on a keto diet for seizures swears by the erythritol, says no issue with endothermic properties. But I guess for a cheesecake a cooling effect would help keep it from cracking.
They come with fire,they come with axes...Destroyers&usurpers,curse them. GALL:I hope you get run over by a dumptruck full of babydicks CORVUS:yoss hates&knows everything BAN724:I like how buttmad ppl get about Yoss except if you lie still&listen he is trying to make us all better debaters
Reply
(11-12-2017, 05:14 PM)Yossarian Wrote:
(11-12-2017, 04:43 PM)Wombitch Wrote:
(11-10-2017, 07:01 PM)Yossarian Wrote: I have incentive to make a reduced carb version of my cheesecakes. I'm hearing good things about almond flour, and erythritol is being suggested as a sugar substitute but I'm a little iffy on the thermal properties. Also, I can't find low carb graham crackers anywhere!

What are my options here?

An almond-based crust works great. In some cases (depending on the other flavours...it works beautifully with cherry) almond crusts are my first pick even when the cake is for someone who CAN have a cracker crust. Substitute the crust as you like, you’ll be fine Smile

In terms of sweeteners, you have a few options. I personally haven’t used erythritol in baking very much, so take any comment with a grain of salt. Stevia is a common choice that I know works well, but is a LOT sweeter than the sugar you’d normally use. Possibly xylitol?

The almond flour would replace the regular flour in the cake proper, not constitute the crust.
Stevia's excessive sweetness typically means it needs to be diluted with something else, so I'd like to avoid that if I can.
A friend on a keto diet for seizures swears by the erythritol, says no issue with endothermic properties. But I guess for a cheesecake a cooling effect would help keep it from cracking.

Almond flour should be fine Smile

Could you experiment with the erythritol?
A penis lives a terrible life. His hair is a mess, his family are nuts, his neighbour is an asshole, his best friend is a pussy, someone keeps beating him...

Poor thing.
Reply


Forum Jump:


Users browsing this thread: 2 Guest(s)