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

Modernist Cookbook

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173 replies to this topic

#61 Okanagancook

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Posted 08 March 2013 - 11:00 AM

The rice was nice and cheesy. We didn't put quite all of the cheese in. We served it with the slow roast chicken. It was a free range 4 lb bird which was very juicy and tender but the skin was disappointing. Not evenly browned and not all the skin got crispy. I think next time I would spatchcock it for better skin. I microwaved eggplant and then brushed it with olive oil/herbs then grilled it. It is a great way to cook eggplant....3 minutes in the mircrowave. This time I peeled it because the skin tends to get very tough when mircrowaved.

#62 pep.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 07:20 AM

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.



#63 fvandrog

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:23 AM

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.

If your fridge keeps 4 °C, or close to it, most of the time your beet root puree should still be fine. If your fridge is more than two degrees or more warmer for a significant amount of the time it might not hurt to be careful.



#64 pep.

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Posted 17 March 2013 - 10:32 AM

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.

If your fridge keeps 4 °C, or close to it, most of the time your beet root puree should still be fine. If your fridge is more than two degrees or more warmer for a significant amount of the time it might not hurt to be careful.

 

It has been in the coldest part of the fridge, so the temp should not have strayed to far from 4 °C, but I guess I'll just throw it out. It was a side product of a beet root sorbet I made, so I'm not too invested in it. Besides, while it tastes nice, it does not look so great. Apparently, the betalains are completely destroyed by the pressure cooking process.



#65 Steve Irby

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:08 PM

I have made espuma hollandaise (well, bearnaise actually), although not prepared sous vide.  While good, I don't feel that using a siphon adds anything to the presentation of the sauce.  I cook my hollandaise and bearnaise in a copper pot over direct heat.

 

The pictures of the procedure on page 107 show the sauce being added to what looks an awfully lot like a Thermo Whip, with instructions to use a water bath -- something iSi says not to do.

 

Tonight however I made my first real recipe from MC@H:  peanut butter gelato (pp 370-371).  I had set off to make pistachio gelato but was unable to find the ingredients locally.  The result astounded me.  Other than the salt being a little much, the gelato was perfect, and wow, did it taste like peanuts.  I had three scoops.  Then I compared it to a bowl of my twenty something percent butterfat custard vanilla ice cream.  Texture, mouthfeel, and meltdown were remarkably similar.  I had two more scoops.

 

Would the MC version of the recipe be any better?

 

 

MC@H is a beautiful book, but I have to say I am a little disappointed.  I was hoping for something like On Food and Cooking, but with pretty pictures.  I realize now that was not the intention of the book.

 

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.

 

I did a couple of experiments last night and you can definitely make the carrot soup in a saute pan using the quantities from MCaH.  I cooked 340 grams of cored carrots with three variations:  from MCaH; sauteed with butter and 2.5 grams soda; and butter only.  Pretty dramatic results flavor wise in the first two versus the last.  My wife thought the flavor was to strong with the butter and soda method but it was also more concentrated versus the MCaH.  Check out the yield from the different methods. 

 

After 20 minutes.  Pressure cooked carrots on left.  Carrots with baking soda at bottom

P1000594(1).JPG

 

Five more minutes with high heat for sauteed carrots.  

P1000602(1).JPG

 

Pureed carrots with the addtion of 2.5 cups carrot juice

 

P1000607(1).JPG

 

Final product after straining.

P1000610(1).JPG



#66 pbear

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

I did a similar experiment a couple months ago, except I used a countertop convection oven rather than a saute and didn't bother with the soda.  IMHO, to make the comparison accurate, you have to add back the water lost by cooking conventionally.  Doing that, I thought the conventionally-roasted version was slightly better than the pressure-cooked one, and a heck of a lot easier.  It did take a little longer, though.



#67 Paul Kierstead

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Posted 18 March 2013 - 08:46 PM

It is Modernist cooking. One would expect a few post-stove cooking implements to be used.

#68 bhsimon

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 05:34 AM

On the discussion of scales, and this is most likely the wrong topic, but I thought this might be helpful for those considering buying scales for cooking with Modernist Cuisine at Home. The biggest problem I've found with most scales is the auto-off ‘feature’. On many scales this cannot be disabled, and this can be a real problem when cooking. This seems to be even more of a problem with the cheaper low capacity precision scales, such as the 100 g / 0.01 g versions. They turn off very quickly, and some of them have a fixed off period, rather than turning off after a period of inactivity. Even if they do turn off after inactivity, the duration is often very low—too low. In my experience this can be very frustrating.

 

The best scales will allow you to turn this feature off. My preference is the Ohaus Scout Pro SP2101. There’s no doubt that it’s expensive, but as far as kitchen scales go, this is a good one. It satisfies the desire to have one scale which covers most kitchen needs. It’s ‘only’ accurate to 0.1 g, with a 2 kg limit, but this more than good enough for 99% of tasks.

 

One other thing to consider with scales is calibration. Heavy calibration masses are expensive. The 500 g ones are cheap, though, and four of them will do the job for a scale such as the SP2101. Scales with larger capacity may not have the tray space to support a bunch of 500 g masses, so you are forced to get the more expensive 1 kg or 2 kg masses.

 

I previously used two different scales in the kitchen. One was accurate to 1 g up to 3 kg, which turned off after 3 minutes of inactivity, which was okay. The other was one of those small, inexpensive 500 g / 0.01 g scales which turned off too quickly. I got quite tired of pulling out two different scales, especially when I needed to weigh lots of spices and other light ingredients in the middle of a recipe. This made me take the leap to research a suitable replacement, which is how I discovered the SP2101.

 

I hope this helps.



#69 Syzygies

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Posted 20 March 2013 - 10:55 AM

I really would like to have a pressure cooker again.

 

The Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker, 8.5qt (top rated by Cooks Illustrated) is back in stock various places, such as Amazon (http://www.amazon.co...duct/B00873AOIU). I ordered one; the last straw was dealing with the bones and trimmings from short ribs for a Daube Provencal, and picturing the quick stock I should be making in a pressure cooker. I've read elsewhere (here?) that buzz is only increasing for pressure cookers in general, and Fissler in particular, so stock may be erratic for some time to come.

 

MC@home got to me, but also Heston Blumenthal at Home (http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/1608197018). Eight pages of pressure cooker stocks, with a confident authority and calm to the layout and typography, these recipes enough reason alone to master this tool.

 

In comparison, I was having the strongest sense of deja vu reading MC@Home. I simply couldn't place it. It wasn't early Wired magazine. A new kind of cookbook? Then I realized, I have all these home repair tomes from Home Depot and similar sources, a category where I really need the help, and the layout and presentation is spot on identical to MC@Home. Not that that's a bad thing (I love these books) but that's a comparison one can't unsee.


Per la strada incontro un passero che disse "Fratello cane, perche sei cosi triste?"
Ripose il cane: "Ho fame e non ho nulla da mangiare."

#70 Ttogull

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Posted 27 March 2013 - 06:57 PM

I have been working quite a bit with the "Fat Free" Mac and cheese. Does anyone know how fat free it really is? I know the cheese water does not become solid after refrigeration.

I want to make the more famous version, but this one is so good that, when I want Mac and cheese, I gotta have the FF version..

Tonight I made a Parmesan version and discovered a really nice new fold-in for the mouthfeel: puréed flageolet beans. I'll have to try it again, but I might prefer that to the cauliflower in the original recipe. The beans are richer, earthier, while the cauliflower somehow seems brighter. Tough to explain. But It's amazing how the bean or cauliflower taste simply vanishes in the final dish.

I've even used the general idea of the FF method (with cauliflower and cheese water) to remake tuna casserole. It was better than the original, but I need to make some adjustments.

Has anybody done other fold-ins? I guess the cauliflower one is well-known because I hav found similar applications in several other books.

The only other post I found on this mentions that he cheese crumbles made from the leftover fat solids had no taste. I have done this now a dozen or so times, and I have found the same except for one type of cheese: sharp cheddar. The others are just bland. Tried he Parmesan today, and nada. The sharp cheddar crumbles by themselves don't taste all that great ( little bitter) but on top of the Mac and cheese they taste great and have a nice texture clash. The sharp cheddar crumbles are also great on eggs, guacamole, beans, and probably a lot more.

#71 Corymoto

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 10:54 AM

Regarding the FF Mac & Cheese fat content, I can't actually quantify it, but I bet it's pretty low... Both of the times that I've made the cheese water, I have refrigerated it overnight and was left with a solid-ish removable layer of cheese fat/oil on top. 

 

Which, by the way, after you cook off whatever trace amount of water was present, behaves just like any other oil. I slow-cooked some 'torn croutons' (a riff on the technique in Ad Hoc at Home) in the aged cheddar oil and they were fan-friggin-tastic. I'm sure there are other uses as well.

 

I agree that the flavor (or lack thereof) for the crumbles is pretty cheese-dependent. The aged cheddar crumbles that I made were good. Gruyère crumbles weren't that tasty.


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#72 Sam Fahey-Burke

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Posted 02 April 2013 - 04:32 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.

 

We use Higashimaru-brand soy sauce.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Sam



#73 Judy Wilson

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 12:45 PM

I have been working quite a bit with the "Fat Free" Mac and cheese. Does anyone know how fat free it really is? I know the cheese water does not become solid after refrigeration.

I want to make the more famous version, but this one is so good that, when I want Mac and cheese, I gotta have the FF version..

Tonight I made a Parmesan version and discovered a really nice new fold-in for the mouthfeel: puréed flageolet beans. I'll have to try it again, but I might prefer that to the cauliflower in the original recipe. The beans are richer, earthier, while the cauliflower somehow seems brighter. Tough to explain. But It's amazing how the bean or cauliflower taste simply vanishes in the final dish.

I've even used the general idea of the FF method (with cauliflower and cheese water) to remake tuna casserole. It was better than the original, but I need to make some adjustments.

Has anybody done other fold-ins? I guess the cauliflower one is well-known because I hav found similar applications in several other books.

The only other post I found on this mentions that he cheese crumbles made from the leftover fat solids had no taste. I have done this now a dozen or so times, and I have found the same except for one type of cheese: sharp cheddar. The others are just bland. Tried he Parmesan today, and nada. The sharp cheddar crumbles by themselves don't taste all that great ( little bitter) but on top of the Mac and cheese they taste great and have a nice texture clash. The sharp cheddar crumbles are also great on eggs, guacamole, beans, and probably a lot more.

 

Hi Ttogull,

 

I asked Anjana Shanker, the Research and Development Chef who worked on this recipe what she thought, and here's what she said:

 

"In my opinion, it is fat free. We make the cheese water and skim off the fat. We also use cauliflower water to cook the pasta."

 

Does that answer your question?

 

Judy


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#74 rob1234

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 01:03 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.

 

We use Higashimaru-brand soy sauce.

 

Hope that helps!

 

Sam

Thanks. According to the nutritional info for Higashimaru (from amazon uk product pictures) it has even more sodium than kikkoman per serving.



#75 Ttogull

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 02:45 PM

Hi Ttogull,
 
I asked Anjana Shanker, the Research and Development Chef who worked on this recipe what she thought, and here's what she said:
 
"In my opinion, it is fat free. We make the cheese water and skim off the fat. We also use cauliflower water to cook the pasta."
 
Does that answer your question?
 
Judy

Yes, thank you. Although it is so good, it's hard to believe!

#76 Baselerd

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Posted 04 April 2013 - 09:47 PM

I made the fruit minestrone with some cucumber sorbet. It turned out delicious, especially the beans.

 

tumblr_mkrmilNbdr1rvhqcjo1_500.jpg


Edited by Baselerd, 04 April 2013 - 09:50 PM.


#77 patmatrix

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:25 AM

I made the modernist mayonnaise, being that it is a lot for two people my question is how long can it last in the fridge or can I freeze some?

 

Thank you.


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#78 Ttogull

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:08 AM

Most of the MCAH recipes have "Storage Notes" at the top. It seems the mayo will last 3 days refrigerated.

#79 patmatrix

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 12:59 PM

My Bad, did not notice it. Thank you!


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#80 Ttogull

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Posted 17 April 2013 - 08:32 PM

I have been working quite a bit with the "Fat Free" Mac and cheese.

Has anybody done other fold-ins?


Just In case someone is interested, I made an amazing version of this tonight but it is not fat free anymore. Instead of cauliflower, I used Kubota squash. I caramelized the Kubotaby using the first few steps of the recipe for caramelized carrot soup (instead of carrots) and thinned it a bit with no-fat evaporated milk and carrot juice. (The soup recipe calls for butter, which I used.) What I got was a thick purée of essentially caramelized kubota. I used this in place of the cauliflower purée in the M&C recipe. I loved it as did my taste testers, but unfortunately they are tiring of my "guess the secret ingredient" game. I just happened to have Kubota around; butternut would work well too I think.

#81 patmatrix

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 08:01 AM

Hi all,

 

I recently purchase frozen yellow fin tuna and wanted to know if I can use them for the Tuna confit?

 

Thank you


Patrick Provencal
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#82 eternal

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:55 PM

I bought a nice piece of fresh, King Salmon on Saturday and sous vide it 30 minutes at 113 as recommended by MC@H. It was really off-putting for a number of people, myself included. It needs a sear  to firm it up. It's just weird. I'd rather eat it raw then at this temp. Personal preference I realize but the more I sous-vide, the less I like it. 



#83 Keith_W

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:44 PM

I definitely do NOT recommend searing the fish after the SV step, because the fish is incredibly tender and fragile at this point. What your fish needs is a crust of some kind. Here are a couple of mine: 

 

original.jpg

 

SV ocean trout with a crust made from crushed Nori and Wakame (inspired by Tetsuya Wakuda). 

 

original.jpg

 

SV salmon. This time I couldn't find Wakame, so I improvised. The soft salmon needs a contrast in texture otherwise you feel as if you are eating a fish mousse. That's what the fried lotus root, Tobiko and salmon caviar are there for. 


There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw

#84 Ozcook

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 04:05 AM

I bought a nice piece of fresh, King Salmon on Saturday and sous vide it 30 minutes at 113 as recommended by MC@H. It was really off-putting for a number of people, myself included. It needs a sear  to firm it up. It's just weird. I'd rather eat it raw then at this temp. Personal preference I realize but the more I sous-vide, the less I like it. 

 

The temp is a personal preference. I don't like salmon at 113F. I prefer 120-122F. At that temp it will be fragile but it's doable to put it in a frypan to quickly sear either one side or both.



#85 seabream

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Posted 27 May 2013 - 12:43 PM

Has anyone had success with the fried herbs? I tried making them with Glad Cling Wrap and the plastic started melting almost right away. The instructions in the recipe say to choose a plastic wrap that is microwave safe and that does not contain PVC. The Glad Cling Wrap package says the product is microwave safe, and their online FAQ (http://www.glad.com/faq/) says they don't use PVC in any of their products.

 

An earlier comment from the MC team in part 1 of this topic says they use Reynolds plastic wrap in the lab. My understanding is that Reynolds no longer makes plastic wrap - at least it's no longer showcased in the "Products" section of their site (http://www.reynoldsk...s.com/products/). Amazon still sells Reynolds plastic wrap, but it says specifically that it's made with PVC (http://www.amazon.co...s plastic wrap). I don't understand why MC@H advises against PVC wraps when it's using PVC wraps in the lab. Unless Reynolds used to make non-PVC based plastic wrap?

 

So, has anyone found a wrap brand, technique or other tool that works to make fried herbs in the microwave? 



#86 Bojana

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 12:56 AM

I have fired several herbs successfully (mint, sage, basil) using a microwave safe foil (locally bought brand in the Netherlands)and I fully missed the PVC part. Worked well, although better with basil and mint than with sage - sage burns more easily in my setup

#87 Ozcook

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 02:53 PM

You could try this: http://www.amazon.co...r/dp/B004Z762VA

 

I use it for making vegetable chips.



#88 rotuts

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 04:01 PM

wow  thats a good tip.  I personally can not stand the taste of cooked parsnips.  it has a very odd taste to me.

 

that being said, Trade Joes has a TerraChip clone, with lower salt in a mylar bag.  it has parsnips in there, a med thick cut,   and crispy. I love those.

 

would this work for beets, other root veg, planed on my japanese planer?

 

how long do you micro them?  seasoning first?


Edited by rotuts, 28 May 2013 - 04:02 PM.


#89 seabream

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 02:36 PM

Thanks for the replies. The microwave safe foil idea is interesting, but I couldn't find it on Amazon US and I don't recall seeing it in stores here. I'll pay more attention next time I go to the supermarket.

The chip maker is also cool - if not for herbs, to make chips at home. I am wondering if the herbs would wilt into the holes. Have you tried making fried herbs with it? Is it as good as it sounds to make veggie chips?

 

In the meantime, I've had decent results with an inverted pyrex plate. I'd like to keep experimenting as new ideas come up though, so please do keep the ideas coming...



#90 Baselerd

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Posted 30 May 2013 - 03:16 PM

I've had plenty luck frying the herbs in the microwave on a flat plate - never found a plastic wrap that worked though.







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