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Have you ever worked a coffee grinder before? No? Well, buying a coffee grinder is not enough, you need to learn its mechanics to work it efficiently too. A coffee grinder requires a little more training than working a coffee machine and if you don’t want your coffee to taste bitter then it would be advisable for you to master this skill quickly.

So, how does a coffee grinder even work? Do you just pour in the coffee beans and start it? Let’s start by discussing the different types of coffee grinders and how each of them functions. If you are looking for a good coffee maker, you can check out ninja coffee bar.

Burr Grinder

Whether it is a manual burr grinder or an electric burr grinder, both of the more or less the same mechanics. A burr grinder has two burrs outs of which one burr is attached to the grinder and the other to the motor or the rotating handle. When you turn on your burr grinder, it grinds the coffee beans and then pushes the fine powder through a chute into the door with the help of the rotating paddle.

If you want to adjust your burr grinder, you would need to move the burrs closer or farther away from each other. If you want a coarser grind, then move the burrs away from each other and if you want a finer grind, then move the burrs towards each other. You can make this adjustment by turning the knob on the side of the grinder body. For this adjustment, you will need to first unlock the grinder and then make the desired changes. Make sure that you don’t forget to lock the grinder back once done with the settings to avoid the grind settings from shifting.

Blade Grinder

A blade grinder uses rotating metal blades to chop up the coffee beans into smaller fragments. This type of coffee grinder comes with a plastic top that can easily cover a coffee bean reservoir. The metal blades are seated directly in the middle of the reservoir and the beans are poured into this reservoir. Once that is done, the top is placed back on to avoid any ground coffee spills.

You might need to put some pressure on the top or the button to make the blade spin. Now, with a blade grinder, you won’t get an evenly ground coffee so it would be better to grind your coffee beans in batches instead of dumping the whole thing at once.

So, once you have put an adequate amount of coffee beans in the reservoir, put the lid back on and press the button to start the grinder. If you want a coarser grind, then you can just grind your coffee beans for 8-10 seconds but if you want a finer grind, then you would need to grind your coffee beans for 10-12 seconds multiple times. Since a blade grinder uses metal blades to chop up the beans, they tend to produce a high temperature which can affect the coffee aroma and flavor.

The greatest day of the year for sitting on your couch and stuffing your face with delicious food is almost upon us. Yes, my friends, Super Bowl Sunday, our nation’s most official unofficial holiday is just over one week away. Second only to Thanksgiving, Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of American food consumption. As much as you all know from Top Chef, I’m the biggest football fan ever, let’s go Atlanta Braves! (half-joking). In an effort to help foster some chest-pumping, pigskin-spirit, we thought we’d throw some recipes and party ideas your way throughout this week so you can gear up for the big game come February 6th.

Super Bowl Artichoke and Parmesan Dip

Chef Ryan Scott

Yield: 1 Super Bowl

Ingredients: 1 3-ounce package of Cream Cheese (softened)

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese (grated)

1/4 cup Sour Cream

1/2 cup marinated Artichoke Hearts (drained and coarsely chopped)

1/4 cup sliced Green Olives

2 tablespoons Pepperoncini Peppers (chopped)

1 tablespoon snipped fresh Italian Flat-Leaf Parsley

1 teaspoon Lemon Peel (finely shredded)

20 Crostini (toasted Baquette slices 1/4-inch thick)

Procedure: In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Parmesan cheese and sour cream until smooth. Stir in the artichoke hearts, olives, peppers, parsley and the lemon peel. Spread the mixture on top of the crostini slices, or serve as a dip.

 

San Francisco Crab Cake Sandwich with Lemon Aioli

Chef Ryan Scott

Yield: 6 Sandwiches

Ingredients: 1 pound Lump Crabmeat

1/2 stick Unsalted Butter

1/2 small Onion, chopped

1 teaspoon Coarse Kosher Salt

2 large Eggs

1 ½ teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 teaspoon of Paprika

1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

2 tablespoons Tartar Sauce

2 Sourdough bread slices torn into small pieces

6 Tbsp fresh bread crumbs Lemon Aioli (see recipe below)

6 Sandwich Rolls, split and toasted

Ingredients for Lemon Aioli:

Yield: ¾ cup

½ cup Light Mayonnaise

1 clove Garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped Chives

3 tablespoons Lemon Juice

½ teaspoon Lemon Zest Salt and Pepper, to taste

Procedure: 1. Cook the onion and 1/2 of the teaspoon of salt in 1 tablespoon of butter in a small skillet, over medium high heat, until the onion is softened. Let it cool.

2. Whisk together the eggs, Worcestershire sauce, remaining salt, paprika, pepper, tartar sauce and onion mixture. Gently fold in the crabmeat and torn bread. Note that the mixture will be very wet. Gently form the mixture into six cakes, each about 3 1/2 inches across and 3/4 inches thick. Line a tray with a piece of wax paper just large enough to hold the cakes and sprinkle it with half of the bread crumbs. Set the crab cakes in one layer on the top of the paper and sprinkle with the remaining bread crumbs. Cover the crab cakes loosely with another sheet of wax paper and chill for one hour.

3. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until the foam subsides. Cook the crab cakes until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.

4. Place a crab cake onto the bottom half of a toasted sandwich roll, then top with Lemon Aioli, place top half of roll and serve. Procedure for Lemon Aioli: In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together until well incorporated.

While entertaining some friends this past weekend over at my apartment for a little Sunday morning  brunch, I thought back to an anecdote from my time in culinary school. In an effort to flex my culinary  muscles whenever an opportunity presented itself, I would always pick an over-the-top dish and end  up slaving away over the stove trying to pull it off. In theory, it seemed like a great idea – they’d be  blown away by this sophisticated dish and commend my skills as a chef, right?

Wrong. There was one  time in particular when I emerged from the kitchen caked in flour and various other ingredients  proudly carrying this extravagant soufflé. But as the flour began to settle, I realized that I had rushed  things had burned the soufflé. Looking back on the situation, it’s easy to see that I was young and  eager and wanted to show off my skills, but there was an important culinary lesson to be learned that I  was missing then but now know – don’t let ideas get in the way of actuality. Was it wise of me to pick  an ambitious yet agonizing dish that I could not cook to the best of my ability? Or should I have  picked a dish that better suited the occasion and nailed it?

Having a relatively wide-open Sunday and a gorgeous San Francisco afternoon ahead of me, my equally gorgeous girlfriend Ali and I decided to invite a few friends over and throw together a quick meal with whatever we had in the house. I was short on groceries at the time, the effects a whirlwind weekend, and a quick perusal of the fridge yielded only eggs, cheese, onions, a little butter, potatoes, and some sausage. The obvious connection would have been to make an omelet of some sort, and normally if I was just cooking for myself I probably would have just gone that route. But since I was expecting company today, I decided to take a more “down home done right” approach.

After dispelling a few possibilities, I elected to simply throw together a casserole with what I had and let socializing with my guests act as the focal point of our afternoon. For whatever reason, I was overthinking what to add as a side dish. Initially, I thought it might be a good idea to juxtapose the simple “throw-it-all-in-there” casserole with a side dish that reflected a different end of the culinary spectrum.

As I was thinking whether I wanted to add a little garnish to complement the casserole, Ali suggested that we keep it simple and just make some hash browns for a side dish. Now, the thing about hash browns is that if you have a little extra time, the grating of the potatoes involved is one of those great activities in cooking that fosters community, and that’s what sold the hash browns for me. Both my girlfriend and I had had a busy week of work, and simply sitting around grating potatoes was a great way to shoot the breeze and share a moment.

You know, it’s a funny thing, being a professional chef and then cooking for your friends. I imagine it’s a lot like being a comedian and going to a cocktail party – people are always going to have expectations. Similarly, I’m always expected to pull off some over-the-top dish out of thin air. Ironically enough, on the times when I feel people are impressed with my cooking, I’ve noticed I end up amazing more people not with my extravagant dishes, but rather, through the application of my more traditional dishes.

So brunch was going to be decidedly simple; maybe even too simple for someone with a culinary background such as mine, but I feel that this is one of the main problems in today’s world of entertaining guests – people get too hung up on all these little details and forget the reason why they’re there in the first place.

Don’t be afraid to let the mood or ambiance of a get together dictate what is on the menu or what the nature of the afternoon will consist of. Too often with entertaining guests, I feel that people sometimes try and outdo themselves and ultimately end up falling short of their goals in the kitchen and in turn, of their party.

At its most basic, food should be about friends, family, and conversation. Does the possibility of cooking a gourmet meal greatly outweigh chatting with loved ones? Although it’s fair game to say that the actual food could be a point of centrality at a dinner party, it is the experience itself that is most valued – the coupling of food, ambiance, and company to foster an enjoyable environment. In our busy lives it’s all too easy to get caught up running from one falling star to the other and forgetting which is more meaningful, the constant running, or the things we are running towards? In closing, just remember that life is short, and it only takes 40 minutes to make a casserole.

Recipe

Spanish Chorizo Casserole

Chef Ryan Scott

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs

4 ounces Tillamook cheddar cheese – shredded

1 1/2 cups cooked chorizo – browned and drained

1/2 cup green onions – sliced

1 cup half & half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 can of drained corn

2 tablespoons of cilantro

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 250F and Grease 2-qt casserole pan. In large skillet, melt butter and sauté onions until crisp and tender. In large bowl, beat eggs; stir in half & half and chorizo. Pour egg mixture into skillet with onions; mix well. Cook over medium heat. As mixture begins to set, gently lift cooked portions with spatula so that thin uncooked portions can flow to bottom. Avoid constant stirring. Cook until eggs are thickened throughout. Spoon into prepared casserole dish. Pour soup evenly over top. Bake at 250F for 30 minutes.   Sprinkle with cheese and bake 10-15 minutes longer.