I'm not a big gas grill guy, but my Weber Q comes in handy. I prepped and grilled some salted and lightly oiled eggplant slices. I also had a lump o dough in the fridge. Tossed it on and voilá, pita and eggplant sandwich. Bit of Egyptian feta on it and I'd be in heaven. Think I know what's for dinner soon.
TJ Goddess Dressing Recipe
vegetable oil, 30 g
cider vinegar, 10 g
tahini, 10 g
soy sauce, 10 g
lemon juice, 10 g
Shake, yum. A keeper. I think it's even better than the original.
Over the past few days I've purchased about 3 humidifiers (all used, about $11 total) and experienced a bit of frustration. I thought this was the best time of the year to cure sausage because my basement humidity increases during the midwest's rainy season and continues into the upcoming months (ca. 60°F and 60% RH). Now, I realize I was an idiot. After reading Ruhlman's post on sopressata (it's a fermented sausage, but the dry cure part should be the same for saucisson sec), he uses a simple dorm fridge with a salt bath for curing. The salt in the water (sat'd) only serves to bring down the humidity if it gets over 75% (a museum curator's trick).
With my previous set up, I was shooting for more airflow and humidity. Then I learned that evaporative wick-type humidifiers have a tough time breaking 55%. They work well when the humidity is winter-low, but not so well after that. They operate with a type of theoretical humidistat based on the method of water evaporation. I also tried a centrifugal humidifier where the water is sprayed and atomized in front of a fan. This was another cheapie and worked well, but pegged at 62%. After reading Ruhlman's post, I gave up on airflow and went with the near perfect plastic cylinder you see here (it is not a trash can). A dry run, no sausage suspended - just a humidity meter and I'm getting 70+% RH.
In hindsight, I learned a lot, only blew $11, and have an 8 gal humidifier that can probably humidify the entire house next winter (only $7.13, operates for about a dime a day and, it's very quiet). I guess I've had more expensive lessons.
I now have my curing environment worked out, my 2" dia. casings, and only need to order some mold (Andrew, need anything from Butcher-Packer.com?) and I'm ready.
Please see end of post for updates
|Inside the enclosure is my remote humidity sensor.|
24 hours later, after all equilibrated:
Outside the enclosure - 58% RH, Inside - 65% RH, not as good as I'd hoped.
Replaced humidifier with stockpot of 2 gal water at approximately 100°F. I'll wait another 24 hours for equilibration and see how the readings go. I also put a Kill A Watt meter on it to see how much it would cost per day to run a hotplate, they pull a lot of juice.
|Before the collapse|
Rachel commented that maybe I should've cooked 'em longer. The recipe I followed was from Ruhlman's Ratio. In Ratio, the cooking temp/time sequence is 450F/10 minutes, followed by 375F/20-30 min. In Ruhlman's blogpost, the baking instructions are "450 till done."
"If popovers brown too quickly, turn off oven and finish baking in the cooling oven till very firm. A few minutes before removing from oven, prick each popover with a fork to let steam escape."With that much commentary after the baking temperature and time, I gather the recipe has produced a sunken popover or two prior to publication.
My take on this? The initial high temperature is needed for the oven spring and then the rest of the baking is for stengthening the exterior, yet not burning the outside. So, I'm with the more careful version of baking provided by BH&G. Don't know if the pricking with a fork is necessary, but I'll do it. Let you know how it goes.