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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 2)

Modernist Cookbook

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#31 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 25 February 2013 - 05:19 PM

Part of my disappointment is that I don't have the tools for many of the recipes.  I'd love to make the caramelized carrot soup (pp 178-179), but I don't have a blender or a (working) pressure cooker -- part of my love/hate relationship with Cuisinart who don't sell replacement parts.  Can the soup be made without the pressure cooking step?

 

I also don't have a digital scale, pacojet, blowtorch, combi oven, microplane, microwave, nor sous vide setup.

 

You have to have the pressure cooker to achieve a higher temperature for the caramelization.  The PC is a worthwhile purchase.

 

Digital scales are cheap, but you can use cups/tbsp/etc.

 

I wing the SV setup at this point by using digital probes.  Pacojets aren't for the home cook.

 

I really would like to have a pressure cooker again.  Maybe if there is enough left over from my tax refund.

 

While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale.  It's just not very good for micrograms.  The smallest division is 5 grams.  To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon.  Fortunately the recipe worked.  I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams.  Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

 

I mentioned not having a pacoject only because MC@H devotes a full page to it!  Not sure why I never got a microplane.  Perhaps because they come in so many shapes and sizes.



#32 Ozcook

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 01:52 AM

While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale.  It's just not very good for micrograms.  The smallest division is 5 grams.  To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon.  Fortunately the recipe worked.  I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams.  Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

I use this one (http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B002SC3LLS)



#33 Charcuterer

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 05:33 AM

I have the same one, for less than $9US it is excellent.



#34 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:39 AM

While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale.  It's just not very good for micrograms.  The smallest division is 5 grams.  To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon.  Fortunately the recipe worked.  I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams.  Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

I use this one (http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B002SC3LLS)

 

I don't believe that scale would have the precision for MC@H gelato though.  I ended up spending several hours last night looking at scales.  I found one that would measure 0.01 gram up to a kg.  It was about $200 however.  And for that I could get a pressure cooker.  But it would let me use one scale for all my kitchen needs.  I gave up on the idea of mg scales as they are too expensive.



#35 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 10:47 AM

I don't believe that scale would have the precision for MC@H gelato though.

On what basis do you think that? Drug dealers depend on these scales, I don't see why we shouldn't. I've used one of these for a while now and it seems very accurate, and I don't see why it isn't good for +- 0.02 mg or so.

If you want to cook the modernist items that use mg, you need to spend $9. You do not need to spend $200.

That scale and a cheap one for heavier weighs will get you in easily under $50. They are not too expensive. If you want to go ahead and make your whole process easier, more precise and with less dirtied measuring equipment, you can spend another couple of tens of dollars for an additional scale that handles heavier stuff.

#36 Mjx

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

 

While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale.  It's just not very good for micrograms.  The smallest division is 5 grams.  To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon.  Fortunately the recipe worked.  I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams.  Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

I use this one (http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B002SC3LLS)

 

I don't believe that scale would have the precision for MC@H gelato though.  I ended up spending several hours last night looking at scales.  I found one that would measure 0.01 gram up to a kg.  It was about $200 however.  And for that I could get a pressure cooker.  But it would let me use one scale for all my kitchen needs.  I gave up on the idea of mg scales as they are too expensive.

 

I'm looking to get my hands on one of the Jenning models, which are priced very comfortably; definitely not $200! I have one of their models, and it's extremely accurate (I just need another with greater precision, for really small amounts).


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#37 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:38 AM

I have the exact same scale, I use it mostly for measuring meat cure. It works great.

The scale can be calibrated.

Buy a couple 50g or one 100g calibration weight when you buy the scale.

 

Here's a $21+ mg scale that I'm considering.

http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B0012TDNAM

 

~Martin


Edited by DiggingDogFarm, 26 February 2013 - 11:42 AM.

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#38 mkayahara

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 12:15 PM

Scales with that kind of range and resolution are always more expensive. I don't find it a problem to use one scale that measures in milligrams up to 100g for the additives and a separate scale for measuring in 1-gram increments up to 2kg. But then, I don't live in a tiny New York City apartment or anything, so I've got lots of space to store two different scales.
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#39 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:32 PM

Here's a $21+ mg scale that I'm considering.

http://www.amazon.co...m/dp/B0012TDNAM

 

The problem you might find with that one is that the upper 20g limit can be a problem for tare on the holding vessel. Even a very small metal bowl tends to weigh 30-40g. Sure you can use the little plastic ones, but for stuff like (say) liquid soy lecithin, they become disposable since that suff is too hard to get off of plastic. I like to pour in some fat (from the recipe) to help it from sticking. I think a 100g limit makes it much more useful.



#40 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 07:53 PM

I believe that scale comes with a measuring vessel as part of the set-up.

I'll check to make sure.

 

There are plastic anti-static weighing vessels available to counter the sticking problem often encountered with some materials.

 

 

~Martin


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#41 Virbonus

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 09:51 PM

MCaH gives a table (page 192) that properly indicates medium rare target core 55°C. But then on pg. 198 in the recipe for Steak in a Cooler it talks about cooking the steaks to a medium rare temperature of 52°C, Can anyone explain this discrepancy?



#42 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:00 PM

I don't believe that scale would have the precision for MC@H gelato though.

On what basis do you think that? Drug dealers depend on these scales, I don't see why we shouldn't. I've used one of these for a while now and it seems very accurate, and I don't see why it isn't good for +- 0.02 mg or so.

If you want to cook the modernist items that use mg, you need to spend $9. You do not need to spend $200.

That scale and a cheap one for heavier weighs will get you in easily under $50. They are not too expensive. If you want to go ahead and make your whole process easier, more precise and with less dirtied measuring equipment, you can spend another couple of tens of dollars for an additional scale that handles heavier stuff.

 

I base my opinion on the manufacturer's literature that the scale has a Linearity of +or- 2d, Repeatability of +or- 2d, and a calibration tolerance of +or- 0.2g.

 

http://www.awscales....al-pocket-scale

 

...as well as on the many Amazon reviewers who say the scale is inaccurate for small weights.

 

The MC@H gelato recipe calls for 0.3g xanthan gum.

 

I have never been a chef or a drug dealer but I used to be a scientist.



#43 PedroG

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Posted 26 February 2013 - 11:13 PM

There are as many definitions of "medium rare" as there are authors, and it may also depend on the kind of meat, e.g. I cook beef tenderloin or pork to 52°C and racks of lamb to 55°C.
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#44 Ozcook

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:00 AM

I haven't read the Amazon reviews of the AWS, but I am guessing it is still more accurate than eyeballing a fraction of a teaspoon.

#45 DiggingDogFarm

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:04 AM

Ooops!!!!! After closer look, that is NOT the AWS scale that I have.

The one that I have is 100g x .01g!

 

http://www.amazon.co...760_cs_sce_dp_3

 

 

~Martin


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#46 lame username

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:34 AM

I believe that scale comes with a measuring vessel as part of the set-up.

I'll check to make sure.

 

There are plastic anti-static weighing vessels available to counter the sticking problem often encountered with some materials.

 

 

~Martin

I save the plastic scoops from my husband's protein powder jars. They seem to be anti-static and are small enough not to use up the weight capacity.


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#47 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:39 AM

I base my opinion on the manufacturer's literature that the scale has a Linearity of +or- 2d, Repeatability of +or- 2d, and a calibration tolerance of +or- 0.2g.
 
http://www.awscales....al-pocket-scale
 
...as well as on the many Amazon reviewers who say the scale is inaccurate for small weights.
 
The MC@H gelato recipe calls for 0.3g xanthan gum.
 
I have never been a chef or a drug dealer but I used to be a scientist.

Perhaps, but unfortunately you were pointed at the wrong scale, which looks identical. Try

http://www.awscales....al-pocket-scale

Which can be had at amazon for all of $10

http://www.amazon.co...l/dp/B0012LOQUQ

I use this one almost every day, and it works great. It certainly isn't perfect; the buttons and display are crap, it could be faster reading, it turns off too quickly, etc. But it is very functional.

Just plunk down the $10 and save yourself a lot of trouble.

#48 Virbonus

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 03:27 PM

This was dealing with the same steak - a NY Strip. I agree there are many definitions of medium rare but 3° C is a fairly large difference. The Steak in a Cooler was offered as an alternative way to skin the same cat and I suspect there is a typo so I'm hoping someone from the MC team will look at it.



#49 nickrey

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 04:29 PM

A number of us had a discussion about this issue before Douglas Baldwin published his book.

 

The convention that was agreed upon by that particular discussion group was:

 

50C/125F rare

55C/130F medium-rare

60C/140F medium

70C/160F and above well-done.

 

This is what Douglas later used in his excellent paper "Sous vide cooking: A review" that was published in the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science (2012), Volume 1, pages 15-30.

 

The article is available on-line here.

 

As for other temperatures being used to define levels of doneness, I'd agree with PedroG that everyone has a different definition and 3C is not unusual in terms of differences. The best thing is to work out what you like and use that.


Edited by nickrey, 27 February 2013 - 04:30 PM.

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#50 JoNorvelleWalker

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 08:41 PM

That one seems better for the purpose.  Even so I'd rather have just one scale out on the counter, with that one scale being able to weigh anything I'd reasonably use for cooking.  I don't live in a New York apartment but I do live in an apartment, with flour in the bedroom and glassware under the bed.



#51 Robert Jueneman

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Posted 01 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

There are as many definitions of "medium rare" as there are authors, and it may also depend on the kind of meat, e.g. I cook beef tenderloin or pork to 52°C and racks of lamb to 55°C.

I've never discussed that with Pedro, but I came to exactly the same conclusions.  I cook my rib eye steaks at 52C, then post sear them.  For a chuck steak, 55C for 24 hours, for food safety reasons. For brisket, again 55C, for 72 hours.



#52 paulpegg

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:06 AM

I use 52C for almost all cuts of steak. Tender cuts get 3 hours and tougher cuts like flank steak up to 8 hours. I found that 55C on strip or flatiron steaks was too done for my taste. I always post sear on a smoking hot cast iron skillet for 1 minute on each side. This is all personal preference stuff. The best way to find your ideal temperature is to experiment until you find it. All of Jason Logsdon's books have time/temperature suggestions that are great places to start from as is Douglas' paper..


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#53 rotuts

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 09:54 AM

Paulpegg

 

I find your steak time and temps interesting.  I do sirloin steak tips, long thick pieces  not the cut up bits, 130 x 6.  I season with 

 

Sauer's Prime Rib Rub.  I used to do chuck but gave up as most of the time the 'roasts' have different muscle groups in them  

 

and require different times.  if I left the meat whole, sometimes Id get the dreaded 'mealyness'

 

I also usually to large batches at one time so Ive kept to 130.

 

youve inspired me to try 52/125!

 

then of course there is that French Steak 'Bleu'.  I think it's still moving when you eat it.



#54 nickrey

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 04:40 PM

I use 52C for almost all cuts of steak. Tender cuts get 3 hours and tougher cuts like flank steak up to 8 hours. I found that 55C on strip or flatiron steaks was too done for my taste. I always post sear on a smoking hot cast iron skillet for 1 minute on each side. This is all personal preference stuff. The best way to find your ideal temperature is to experiment until you find it. All of Jason Logsdon's books have time/temperature suggestions that are great places to start from as is Douglas' paper..

 

Eight hours at 52C is risky from a food safety perspective. To quote Douglas: "the common food pathogen Clostridium perfringens can grow at up to 126.1°F (52.3°C)."

 

Add in temperature error from your sous vide rig and you are potentially adding other pathogens to the mix.

 

To make sure that sous vide is deemed acceptable as a cooking process, let's work to keep it safe.

 

The rule of thumb most of us work to is if you want to cook something over four hours, use 55C or above.


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#55 pbear

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Posted 02 March 2013 - 08:49 PM

MCaH gives a table (page 192) that properly indicates medium rare target core 55°C. But then on pg. 198 in the recipe for Steak in a Cooler it talks about cooking the steaks to a medium rare temperature of 52°C, Can anyone explain this discrepancy?


As this hasn't drawn a response from the MC team, I will hazard a guess.  Which would be that they presume folks doing a tailgate party will instinctively give the meat more of a finish than they (the MC team) consider optimal.  So, they undershot the sous vide temp to compensate.  Notice the regular sous vide steak recipe (p.194) doesn't do this, but there they indicate a very specific finishing technique (deep frying at high temp for 30 seconds).  As I said, that's a guess.  If someone from the MC team shows up with a different explanation, I will cheerfully defer.

 

FWIW, I'm not a fan of sous vide steak.  (Though I love sous vide in other applications, e.g., roasts).  Just trying to answer the question.


Edited by pbear, 02 March 2013 - 09:29 PM.


#56 Ozcook

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 01:59 PM

Pork Belly Adobo
I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water.  :sad:


Edited by Ozcook, 05 March 2013 - 02:39 PM.


#57 rob1234

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

Pork Belly Adobo
I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water.  :sad:

I had the same issue. Was wondering if my brand of soy sauce (Kikkoman I think) is saltier than others.



#58 Okanagancook

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:15 PM

I am about to make the Aroborio Rice with Caramelized Squash and Saffron on page 154 of KM. The amount of Parmesan Cheese seems like it will be way, way too much: 90 grams for 150 grams of rice. Anyone made this and can comment on the cheese? Thanks

#59 Chris Hennes

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 04:44 PM

It's very cheesy, but not objectionably so. I posted a picture here.


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#60 Okanagancook

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Posted 07 March 2013 - 05:16 PM

I missed that post of yours, thanks. We'll give a try with all the cheese.





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