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Whipped egg whites to clarify consomme?


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#1 Chef BV

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:41 PM

I was watching Iron Chef America and saw Morimoto use a mixture of mirepoix batonettes and whipped egg whites to clarify a kompachi stock. Can anyone clarify this and if it's correct, the reasoning behind using that technique? I would assume that it would be used to clarify a stock quickly since they are limited on time, but also maybe since using ground meat other than that of kompachi would skew the flavor profile. Using kompachi meat to enrich the stock would just be a waste of meat, right? Any technical insight would be great. Thanks!

#2 Blamo

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:22 AM

I've been watching Iron Chef since it was available in the US. Morimoto has always been one of my favorites to watch. It's amazing that he just gets better. I believe that was one of the best ICAs I've ever seen. He missed a perfect score by 1 point. The challenger scored like 50-52 pts which usually is enough to win. In the age of the celebrity chef, Morimoto truly deserves recognition.

#3 tino27

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

The use of egg whites / ground meat / etc. to clarify stock is a common practice. I believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong), as the raft cooks, the proteins unravel and form a "net" of sorts. Then, as the liquid circulates in the pot, the tiny particles (the undesirables) get caught up in this net. To help promote circulation, often times the pot is partially moved off the heat so that only one side is hot enough to encourage movement of the liquid inside the pot. It's imperative not to boil the stock at this point as that would result in a cloudy stock.

One the raft has done it's job, you carefully remove a small part of it with a ladle and then carefully ladle out the clarified stock and strain it through a double layer of cheesecloth into some type of receiving vessel (pan, container, etc.).

The ground meat used to clarify is not there to add flavor (or re-inforce flavor).
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#4 Qwerty

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 12:06 PM

The use of egg whites / ground meat / etc. to clarify stock is a common practice. I believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong), as the raft cooks, the proteins unravel and form a "net" of sorts. Then, as the liquid circulates in the pot, the tiny particles (the undesirables) get caught up in this net. To help promote circulation, often times the pot is partially moved off the heat so that only one side is hot enough to encourage movement of the liquid inside the pot. It's imperative not to boil the stock at this point as that would result in a cloudy stock.

One the raft has done it's job, you carefully remove a small part of it with a ladle and then carefully ladle out the clarified stock and strain it through a double layer of cheesecloth into some type of receiving vessel (pan, container, etc.).

The ground meat used to clarify is not there to add flavor (or re-inforce flavor).

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I don't think the use of egg whites to clarify a stock was in question, it was the use of WHIPPED egg whites to clarify that was unusual.

Personally I've never seen it done before the show, and I don't know what the benefits might be versus traditional raft.

#5 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 02:41 PM

I was watching Iron Chef America and saw Morimoto use a mixture of mirepoix batonettes and whipped egg whites to clarify a kompachi stock. Can anyone clarify this and if it's correct, the reasoning behind using that technique? I would assume that it would be used to clarify a stock quickly since they are limited on time, but also maybe since using ground meat other than that of kompachi would skew the flavor profile. Using kompachi meat to enrich the stock would just be a waste of meat, right? Any technical insight would be great. Thanks!

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Why he used whipped egg whites is anyone's guess. In my own recent consomme experiment (see below). I recall Peterson said you had to whip the egg whites into the broth so they were well integrated into the liquid. Reading between the lines, that tells me you can't just dump them in and expect the raft to work its magic properly. Morimoto may have gotten a head start on the egg whites by whipping them, thus breaking their surface tension, BEFORE they were added to the broth to promote more efficient coagulation (???)

Coincidentally, I just made a consomme a couple weekends ago. It was used for a game meat broth that was mostly venison hindquarter with some goose meat/carcass thrown in (as well as the usual assortment of aromatics). If you'll allow me to bore you with a few details...

I consulted James Peterson's "Glorious French Food," before proceeding. He recommended a couple of different options, including the addtion of ground meat -- which, he stated, lent addtional flavor to the consomme. In addtion, he recommended including the egg shell with the egg whites -- especially if you were making the consomme with egg whites alone.

Frankly, the game broth was so flavorful, I saw no need to add more meat. In addition, I couldn't bring myself to throw out nearly 1/2 a dozen egg yolks, so I opted to go with a 100% pure eggwhite product from Egg Beaters.

After an inital strain, chilling and defating, I restrained the broth into a stock pot, rewarmed it, and whisked in the whole carton of egg white product for 1-2 minutes (per Peterson). Once the broth came to a soft boil, I adjusted the heat to a brisk simmer and moved the pot to one side of the flame. After about 10 minutes, the raft began to coagulate and the impurities began to attach to the egg proteins. At the 20 minute mark, I carefully pushed the raft aside and carefully stirred the pot to dislodge any coagulated egg from the sides (again, per Peterson) after 40-45 minutes total, I removed the raft and strained the broth. (In retrospect, I should have let it simmer a bit longer). My final straining involved pouring the broth through a coffee filter (one I do NOT use for coffee, BTW).

The final consomme was strikingly clear, almost like coffee or dark tea, and the flavor was fabulous. I was going to use this for stews, gravies, etc., but it's so darned good, I froze it and will use it between courses for my next dinner party.

Overall, a very neat culinary experiment!

Edited by Vicious Wadd, 30 January 2008 - 12:23 PM.


#6 cathrynapple

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 04:22 PM

Even Alton mentioned that he'd never seen whipped whites used before. I don't think it would make much of a difference. Maybe it's a bit faster?

#7 TheSwede

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 04:49 PM

The ground meat used to clarify is not there to add flavor (or re-inforce flavor).

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I do belive the meat is there to re-add flavour, since the clarifying process removes a lot of flavourful particles. Or rather, I've seen that reason given in a number of sources. That might just be a kitchen myth and the real reason is because it helps the clarifying process?

#8 Tonyy13

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Posted 29 January 2008 - 07:14 PM

Hey guys, I teach the process of consomme all the time to my students. Here is what I tell them....

Cold stock- you want as much gelatin in the stock as possible. you also want it cold, because if you put your raft ingredients into it while it is warm, you are going to end up with funky egg drop soup. Not nice.

The Raft- consists of cold lean ground protein, egg whites, acid (usully tomato paste), chopped or food-processed raw vegetables, and sesoning/herbs

Protein- You want this stuff LEAN! NO fat... not good for the clarity, and it will make a grease slick on the top. The protein does does contribute to the clarification process, but IS NOT NECESSARY, as it's primary function is FLAVOR RENEWAL.

Egg White- Are the work horse of the clarification process. When added to the cold stock, they will form a coagulated net in which the stock will filter through, creating a Brita-like effect. I whip my egg whites just like Morimoto did, and was surprised that no one had ever seen this. The reason I do it is so that I don' t have to stand and stir the pot as it comes up to heat because the trapped air makes it float. The raft has a tendancey to sink and burn when you don't whip it, so it is important to sit and stir it making sure that you don't burn. Egg whites are VITAL to the consomme process.

Acid- Usually in the form of tomato paste, they make the proteins more efficient at coagulation. Also adds color and some flavor. It is NOT NECESSARY to make consomme.

Vegetables- cut very small, they are used to provide structure to the fragile egg whites once they have coagulated. If I had all day, I would prefer thin juliennes, but since I don't, I usually just throw it in the robot coupe and go till they are quite small. Most chefs consider this blasphame, but I don't care. They veg's main job is flavor renewal, and they ARE NOT NECESSARY to the consomme process. They can also add color if you are talkign about carrots.

Herbs and Seasonings- Only there for flavor. We used to do a mussel dish with a "pho" consomme, and used to put fish sauce, kaffir lime, and thai basil in with the raft to flavor the broth. Most chefs will use cheesecloth, which turns it into like a floating diaper if you ask me, so I don't use any (not to mention cheesecloth is quite expensive). I mean, it is gonna get caught up in the raft anyway, who cares? Salt can be added after the straining process (always through a coffee filter lined chinoise), but I prefer to add pepper flavor in teh form of whole peppercorns in the raft. Otherwise, I have had some back luck with clouding when added post strain.


Hope this helps!

TA
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#9 slkinsey

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 07:33 AM

Frankly, the game broth was so flavorful, I saw no need to add more meat.  In addition, I couldn't bring myself to throw out nearly 1/2 a dozen egg yolks, so I opted to go with a 100% pure eggwhite product from Egg Beaters.

Egg yolks freeze quite well, and I use the yolks leftover from stock clarification and other egg white uses (cocktails, etc.) in fresh pasta.
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#10 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 07:47 AM

Frankly, the game broth was so flavorful, I saw no need to add more meat.  In addition, I couldn't bring myself to throw out nearly 1/2 a dozen egg yolks, so I opted to go with a 100% pure eggwhite product from Egg Beaters.

Egg yolks freeze quite well, and I use the yolks leftover from stock clarification and other egg white uses (cocktails, etc.) in fresh pasta.

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Good to know. Thanks for the tip!

#11 jackal10

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 07:48 AM

I posted an illustrated recipe earlier: http://forums.egulle...showtopic=26540

Escoffier thunders:“It will be seen that I do not refer to any vegetable for the clarification. If the [stock] is well carried out, it should be possible to dispense with all supplementary flavouring, and, the customary error of cooks being rather to overdo the quantity of vegetables – even to the extent of disguising the natural aroma of the consommé- I prefer to entirely abandon the idea of vegetable garnishes in clarifications, and thus avoid a common stumbling block”.

Nowadays many prefer to use the freezing route. Esure your stock contains (or add) 0.1% gelatine; freeze and then let the blobk melt slowly over double cheesecloth or a coffee filter. This gives a much clearer taset, since the stock is not boiled, and can be used for non-traditional stocks and essences Harold McGee explains http://www.nytimes.c...gin&oref=slogin

Personally I like egg white clarification for meat stocks. I find it more reliable

Edited by jackal10, 30 January 2008 - 07:53 AM.


#12 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:37 AM

Tony: Thanks for the info on this, it was very helpful. I do have one question though:

Cold stock- you want as much gelatin in the stock as possible. 

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I was under the impression the base was typically a meat broth, not a bone-based stock, per se. I would fear a stock with a high gelatin content be a bit too viscous/unctuous as a consomme -- sort of like hyper-clarified demi glace.

#13 paulraphael

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 08:53 AM

I was under the impression the base was typically a meat broth, not a bone-based stock, per se.  I would fear a stock with a high gelatin content be a bit too viscous/unctuous as a consomme -- sort of like hyper-clarified demi glace.

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The conversation makes me wonder if anyone uses egg whites to clarify stocks used for glaces or concentrated jus.

My stocks tend to get a bit clouded during the straining process All the stuff that accumulates at the bottom of the stockpot roars through the coarse chinois, and in a heartbeat clouds up the stock. I suppose if ladeled the liquid stock off of the sediment the problem would be avoided, but there's so much of it down there, and it harbors so much stock, that I hate to throw it out.

So I've wondered about clarifying with egg whites/other protein after defating. I've never made a consomme, so I don't know how much flavor is lost and if it would be worth it.

#14 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:54 AM

I was under the impression the base was typically a meat broth, not a bone-based stock, per se.  I would fear a stock with a high gelatin content be a bit too viscous/unctuous as a consomme -- sort of like hyper-clarified demi glace.

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The conversation makes me wonder if anyone uses egg whites to clarify stocks used for glaces or concentrated jus.

My stocks tend to get a bit clouded during the straining process All the stuff that accumulates at the bottom of the stockpot roars through the coarse chinois, and in a heartbeat clouds up the stock. I suppose if ladeled the liquid stock off of the sediment the problem would be avoided, but there's so much of it down there, and it harbors so much stock, that I hate to throw it out.

So I've wondered about clarifying with egg whites/other protein after defating. I've never made a consomme, so I don't know how much flavor is lost and if it would be worth it.

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Personally, I wouldn't consomme-ify (how's that for butchering French?) a bone stock. Considering I usually reduce part of a batch of stock into demi glace -- and sometimes glace de viande, my main concern is defatting. Therefore, a little cloudiness is okay, since I'm using the end product for sauces, soups, gravies, etc.

#15 wallchef

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 11:55 AM

I've always whipped my egg whites to make a consomme. It promotes the necessary coagulation of protiens to clarify the broth.

#16 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 12:26 PM

I've always whipped my egg whites to make a consomme. It promotes the necessary coagulation of protiens to clarify the broth.

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Yet another confirmation of the Morimoto method! Next time, I will be sure to try this.

wallchef: Did you add the whipped egg whites to the broth while it was cold, or did you warm it first?

#17 Chef BV

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Posted 30 January 2008 - 01:06 PM

Wow, this question stirred up some good conversation. Thanks for all the info. I'm familiar with the reasoning and method of traditional clarifying of consomme. I had just never seen whipped whites used and now I have my answer. Thanks everyone.

Also, let me get this straight: Whipped egg whites are added to the stock while cold and stirred with the other garnishes and as the stock heats, the whites will float up to the top with the rest of the stuff to form the raft, correct?

#18 wallchef

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 12:38 AM

Correct, I whip the egg whites until you can pull the whisk from the whites and have a continuous 'string' of egg whites out of the bowl. Then I add my lean protein, acid, and vegetables into the bowl, then into a pot with cold broth.

Edited by wallchef, 31 January 2008 - 12:40 AM.


#19 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 07:29 AM

ChefBV: So will you be offering some new consommes at Nobles? :biggrin:

Edited by Vicious Wadd, 31 January 2008 - 07:29 AM.


#20 Chef BV

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 08:06 AM

Vicious Wadd: Well, quite possibly, but you'd have to come in to find out wouldn't you? Do you guys do some sweet whipped egg white clarified consommes up at Staunton Grocery?

#21 Vicious Wadd

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 12:25 PM

Vicious Wadd: Well, quite possibly, but you'd have to come in to find out wouldn't you? Do you guys do some sweet whipped egg white clarified consommes up at Staunton Grocery?

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Hey, next time I'm in Charlotte, I'll be sure to do that! I'm not with Staunton Grocery, but the mention of the name piqued my interest. I just googled them and their menu looks pretty good!

Based on experiences with my game consomme, and a duck consomme I had at Inn at Little Washington last year, it would seem any type of game could work well as consomme. At Inn at LW, they served the duck consomme between courses in a demitasse / espresso-sized mug and it was one of the most memorable parts of the meal. It was one of those really cold March evenings we get in Virginia, and when you tasted the hot consomme, it just fired on all cylinders. I told my wife it would be the perfect comfort food after shoveling snow or skiing.

Looking at your menu, a game/duck consomme could work as an au jus with the grilled leg of lamb or Long Island duck.

You could also do some sort of creative twist on the whole coffee cup thing I mentioned earlier: "Coffee and Donuts," which would consist of a small mug of game/duck consomme with a gougere (or 2) on the side. Maybe even pipe something in the gougere. That would make an interesting appetizer. Heck, I may do that myself!

Best,

- VW

Edited by Vicious Wadd, 31 January 2008 - 12:27 PM.


#22 mhberk

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 07:07 AM

Is there an "ideal" amount of consomme to make at one time? In Jack's course, he uses 1 Qt. of stock. But what if I have 6 Qts? Would the consomme turn out better in smaller batches or would it not make a difference if I were to make the whole 6 Qts?
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#23 begpie

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 09:50 AM

this is the future http://www.cookingco...G/clarimax.html