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Culinary Modernism

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  2. Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler. Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, I figured I'd find pretty comprehensive instructions for their use on the web - but I can't. I'm not a stranger to food science but nor am I a chemist. I understand that emulsifiers are at least sometimes prepared by pre-mixing them into a (heated?) liquid or fat and then using the resulting solution in the actual recipe, which may explain why a lot of commercial emulsifier mixtures are packages as tubes of gel or paste. I've also checked several industry-level textbooks about emulsifiers and while they are fantastic for in-depth explanations of the chemistry behind each emulsifier, they do not (as you might imagine) provide guidance on how a lowly baker or cook would actually use a powdered form. So does anyone know how to prepare and use a dry powdered form of any of the following in a real recipe? Specifically I am most interested in enhancing baked goods and adding stability to sauces, but would also like to know how to use them for other processes such as sausage-making too. E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E481 Sodium stearoyl lactylate E482 Calcium stearoyl lactylate E472e DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides) Thanks.
  3. I cooked two turkey breasts sous vide. This year had access to the Meater+ thermometer probe which I managed to vacuum seal in the bag without difficulty (it is small). Since it works wirelessly I was able to monitor and it records the internal temperatures at the thickest part of the breast. I thought the results were interesting. I cooked at 60C for 8 hours. I have always used https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-better-way-to-turkey-cook-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever which gives long cooking times at lower temperature. I have found that as according to this page https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sous-vide-turkey-breast-crispy-skin-recipe-thanksgiving.html that 55C gives turkey which is just a little too pink for most tastes. Over the last few years have increased the temperature up to 59/60 and I find it perfect - very moist and tender, but pale not pink. See attached images. I changed my mind a couple of times and started at 58 then 60 then 59 again, so ignore the slight variations. The thing I found interesting was that the thickest part (of a large breast) reached 55C in around 1 hour 40 mins and target of 59 in 2 hours 30 mins. Now I appreciate that sous vide is a combination of temperature and time or duration, but the data make me think that around 4 hours would be sufficient, as per the seriouseats table. I have previously used the chefsteps 55-58 for their much longer advised times, up to 12 hours and the meat is still quite pink at the end, so I dont believe 55 for 12 hours would effectively be the same. From now on I will watching the internal temperatures with interest. This has always been the (relative) unkown for sous vide amateurs.
  4. There are a hundreds comments across dozens of threads about cooking beef short ribs by sous vide. I hope the admins dont mind me starting a thread dedicated to this topic to help consolidate some of the knowledge out there. I just picked up a ChefStep Joule this past week and want to break it in cooking some short ribs that are in the freezer. The times and temperatures I have seen vary wildly. What is the consensus here? Are their any good recipes I should check out? Right now my plan is to follow the information on Modernist cuisine's website and cook the ribs for 72 hours at 62c. I will give it a dry rub before going in the bag https://modernistcuisine.com/recipes/72-hour-braised-short-ribs/. I will then place them on the grill with barbecue sauce for a quick sear. This is subject to change based on new information from the peanut gallery. Thanks!! Dan
  5. Update!! --- the sale is still going on at Amazon as of Sunday (11/24) at 11:15am EST ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Did anyone note the sale price on Modernist Cuisine today (maybe yesterday)? Amazon and Target dropped the set of tomes to $379!!! This price looks like it will change after today...so get it ASAP!!! https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/0982761007?pf_rd_p=183f5289-9dc0-416f-942e-e8f213ef368b&pf_rd_r=SRFCHFB5EFTGAA8AZHJX -or- https://www.target.com/p/modernist-cuisine-by-nathan-myhrvold-chris-young-maxime-bilet-hardcover/-/A-77279948
  6. I think about this subject fairly often, but especially when I am thinking about converting a slow cooker recipe to sous vide. While I love the texture and juiciness I get with sous vide, I find that I often want a sauce. And I have quite a few slow cooker recipes that I know have good sauces, but the meat tends to be a little on the dry side. Thus my ideas about converting. I thought this might be a topic with legs if other folks are having the same questions. I'd like to make this recipe: Cranberry Pork Roast. I found a nice little pork loin roast (2.88 lb.) and have rubbed it with Penzey's Ozark seasoning and sucked it (family lingo for vacuum bagging). My thought is to sous vide it and make the sauce on the side and just serve it with/in/on top of the sauce. Advice? Thoughts? Warnings? Also, if you think that this is more of an IP thing tell me that, too. And, considering that the sauce is sweet, would you do it in steps in the IP? Thanks so much!
  7. I was reminded the other day of the egg-in-plastic-wrap-poach method.
  8. I made the Creme Anglaise recipe from Myhrvold Modernist Cuisine - it did look curdled and lumpy coming out of the zip lock bag as described in the recipe. I used my stick blender to smooth it out as instructed, but I think I blended it for too long, and it went from lumpy to smooth to watery. Did I make a fatal mistake of over blending the custard? The recipe does not say how to blend or when to stop. Hoping one of the gurus can give me guidance before I try this again. Many Thanks Luke
  9. Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart? If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?
  10. Hello. I would like to buy some pectinex ultra sp-l. However I am worried about the temperature during the shipping time. I read that the storage temperature should be between 2 and 8 C. It works best from 15 to 50 C, and if it stays a lot of time in 25 C, it will gradually be deactivated. It needs a week to come here (Greece), then will it affect its abilities? Do you know if I can find a document somewhere that explains the gradual loss of power as a function of time and temperature? Did you have any experience with pectinex not working well due to bad storage? Thanks.
  11. Hello, folks, thanks for reading. My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys? Our story: We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning... we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments… When we almost gave up… the magic happened! I figured out the way to make seasonings that: Stick to popcorn, but not sticky to fingers (or T-shirt , Easy to apply, May be pre cooked in bulk and stored… And popcorn appears crunchy, tasty, thoroughly covered with seasoning. Sounds good, yep? Now, when I want to treat myself - I only need 2 mins to turn tasteless popped popcorn to a real treat. The only moment - it request 1 extra effort: after you toss it over popcorn, you need to microwave it for 1 min, and stir after. So, I was wondering, if you like popcorn like myself - would this seasoning be interesting for you to purchase? Are you ready for a little extra work (microwave & stir) in the goal to flavor popcorn, or it feels too much effort? As I have no experience in manufacturing and retail, your answers would help me to make a very important decision - to dive in or not... Thanks in advance for your answers, it means the world to me.
  12. Is there any recipe from the modernist universe or any other galaxy to make ketogenic (low carb) puff pastry and strudel type doughs? Unusual ingredients OK. There must be a way...
  13. I got to thinking after the disgusting job of separating globs of fat from sous vide short ribs and debating never doing them that way again. If the fat renders out in a braise, but not in the sous vide, what temperature would you need to turn the fat liquid to get rid of it? Is it below well-done or do you really have to cook the shit out of it? Is it just temperature or a time&temperature thing? Along those lines, what happens with marbled, tender cuts? where is the sweet spot between solid fat and something more palatable?
  14. TdeV

    Salt & sous vide

    I'm thinking that one isn't supposed to add salt to meat which is about to be sous-vided. I have no idea from whence the idea came, nor whether it's correct. Also I'm thinking that raw onion is ok in the sous vide bag, but not raw garlic (because it imparts a harsh flavour). Either of these impressions have value?
  15. Last year I had dinner at Belcanto in Lisbon and one of the dishes featured a "tomato water snow" or "tomato water cloud" (translated from the original Portuguese: "Nuvem/neve de agua de tomate") that I'm trying to replicate without success. Imagine a thick and solid foam of tomato water that immediately liquefies when you put in your mouth. The cloud was atop smoked fish and olive oil was drizzled over it. I whipped a mixture of tomato water and albumin powder (2 tsp albumin, 2tbsp tomato water) along with a pinch of cream of tartar, getting to the stiff peaks point after some effort. Trying to dehidrate the foam even as low as 150F didn't work; the foam collapsed. I then tried the savory meringue approach with some sugar and salt. The result was indeed a meringue that tasted like tomato but completely different from what I had at Belcanto. What am I missing? I've attached a photo of the dish so you can see what the cloud looks like. Thanks!
  16. With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy. I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs
  17. I had completely forgotten about our dinner there in December. Anyone who is a serious eater here on eGullet needs to come here soon. Highly recommended. @MetsFan5 - here is one place you might love over Gary Danko. You too @rancho_gordo. I'll let the pix speak for themselves... Horchata - Koshihikari rice, almonds, black cardamom, cinnamon. Scallop chicharrón, scallop ceviche, crème fraîche. Jicama empanada, shiso, pumpkin, salmon roe. Smoked mushroom taco with pickled wild mushrooms. Dungeness crab tostada, sour orange segments, sour orange-habanero salsa, Castelfranco radicchio, tarragon. Pineapple guava sorbet Fuyu persimmon, habanero honey, tarragon Tasmanian trout ceviche, dashi, Granny Smith apple Aguachile, parsnip, red bell pepper Black bean tamales steamed in banana leaves, with salsa on the side Smoked squab broth, pomegranate seeds, cilantro flowers Tres frijoles with sturgeon caviar, shallots and edible gold leaf Black cod, salsa verde, green grapes Wagyu beef, pickled onion Smoked squab breast served with spiced cranberry sauce, quince simmered in cranberry juice, pickled Japanese turnips and charred scallion, and sourdough flour tortillas Yes, it's the same squab from which the broth was made. And now the desserts: Foie gras churro, with foie gras mousse, cinnamon sugar, served with hot milk chocolate infused with cinnamon, Lustau sherry and coffee. By the time I remembered to take a pic, I'd eaten half of the churro. Dunk the churro into the chocolate. Dulce de leche spooned atop pear sorbet with chunks of Asian pear, macadamia nut butter Pecan ice cream, candied pecans, shortbread cookie, apples, clarified butter The cookie was on top of the apples. Break the cookie and spoon everything over. Cherry extract digestif, vermouth, sweet Mexican lime We'll definitely return. I'm an instant fan. Prepaid tix were $230 per person, plus there were additional charges due to wine pairings. It's worth every cent you'll spend. Californios 3115 22nd Street (South Van Ness) Mission District
  18. Hello, I love cooking my pulses and beans and have used a pressure cooker, slow cooker and top stove to do so. However, the results often vary due to my carelessness. I enjoy the results of sous vide and wonder whether cooking beans and pulses sous vide would make them deliciously tender without falling apart and going mushy. I have looked up a few recipes but the temperatures vary enormously. I'm wondering if there's a more scientific approach. Like, at what temperature do the walls of a pulse break down without breaking apart? And does the amount of water the pulses are steeped in matter? I'm gathering that pre-soaking is no longer the necessity it once seemed. So I'd love an understanding of the optimum temperature to get fluffy, unctuous beans without the mush. Any help or opinions greatly received.
  19. I got an e-mail this morning about the Modernist team's next project - pizza! Modernist Pizza is Underway! After taking on the world of bread, we’re thrilled to announce the topic of our next book: pizza. Modernist Pizza will explore the science, history, equipment, technology, and people that have made pizza so beloved. Authors Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, with the Modernist Cuisine team, are currently at work conducting extensive research and testing long-held pizza-making beliefs; this quest for knowledge has already taken them to cities across the United States, Italy, and beyond. The result of their work will be a multivolume cookbook that includes both traditional and innovative recipes for pizzas found around the globe along with techniques that will help you make pizza the way you like it. Modernist Pizza is in its early stages, and although we’ve begun to dig in, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Although we can’t guarantee when it will arrive at your door just yet, we can promise that this book will deliver the complete story of pizza as it’s never been told before. In the meantime, we would love to hear from you as we continue to research pizza from around the world. Contact pizza@modernistcuisine.com to tell us about your favorite pizzerias and their pizza. Connect with us on social media to get all the latest Modernist Pizza updates.
  20. I have been tasked with putting together a team for a new kosher barbecue event in Arizona, happening sometime later this year. The event was supposed to be in mid-April, but the venue decided to cancel. The organizers are busy looking for a new venue, and have assured us that this will happen. Many details for the event are not quite settled yet, so, I am trying to prepare for all sorts of contingencies beyond the usual concerns about putting out good food. What is known is that we will be following the KCBS kosher rules. As far as I can tell, there were 10-12 such events held last year across the US. So, it's a pretty small world. I don't think there's a kosher championship ladder like the other barbecue events have, either. I think it's a good time to get in, get practice and see where it takes me. Now, I've been reading and watching videos online with all sorts of info on smoking/cooking for competitions. I have watched some of the TV shows, and one documentary. It's been kind of a mixed bag in terms of usefulness. No one has posted much about kosher barbecue, so I am making changes to recipes and procedures and running a lot of tests. I currently have access to my home kitchen which is small but adequate, the stove is electric and unremarkable and about 7 years old. It does maintain temperature well, and can be set to run anywhere from 140°F to 550°F. I also have access to an outdoor kitchen at a friend's place, with a relatively large charcoal type grill. At most of the kosher barbecue events the event organizers provide smokers/grills plus meats and many ingredients to ensure that everything is truly kosher. If needed, my team sponsor is prepared to purchase a grill/smoker which I will need to research once I know I will need it. I should note that I am not Jewish and did not grow up around any kosher households, so I am also studying some of the finer points about running a kosher kitchen and learning about kosher ingredients. Modern competition barbecue is an odd mix of modernist techniques and ingredients, right alongside ordinary-folk foods like margarine, and bottled sauces. For reference, the 4 categories for kosher events are: Chicken, Beef Ribs, Turkey, and Beef Brisket -to be served in that order. So far, I have been running smokeless tests on chicken and beef ribs. Mostly learning to trim the chicken thighs (what a nightmare!) and seeing what happens at certain temperatures and times. I know things will be different with real smoking happening, but I want to see some baseline results so that I know what to strive for. I do have a bunch of thermometers, and have got some basic ideas about writing a competition timeline. The chicken perplexes me in several ways. First, some of the competition cooks recommend boning while others recommend bone-in. Second, I see some folks injecting and brining, while others maybe do a quick half hour marinade, and even others are full-on modernist with citric acid under the skin, etc. Third, the braise vs non- braise chicken where some people load up their pan with a pound of butter, margarine or a couple cups of chicken stock while others do not. Fourth, The bite-through skin is driving me insane. Some people swear by transglutaminase to reattach the skin for a better bite. Catch is, only some types are kosher, and I can see having issues explaining it. I have tested an egg white egg wash which seems to attach the skin pretty well without showing. I think I need to go for longer times to get more tender skin. Today I did a pan (with olive oil) of six as follows: one hour at 220°, one hour under foil at 230°, then glazed and 20 minutes on a rack at 350°. It was only partly bite-though and the taste-testers wanted more crispiness. I tried showing them pictures and explained that it wasn't ever going to be crispy, that we're looking to go even softer. I am going to run tests on longer cook periods and see how it goes. I want to ask people about the whole swimming in margarine thing which is in voque right now. people claim it makes the chicken juicy. I know that meat is mostly all about temperatures. I can see how the margarine acts like duck fat in a confit and helps prevent some oven-drying after hours and hours in the oven, but, in the end, isn't it just an insulator? I've been making corned beef and other brisket dishes for over 20 years, so, I think I have a good handle on that. I will practice it in a couple of weeks. I simply don't need as much help on this item. The turkey scares me. On TV, I see people dunking it in butter before serving it. This obviously is not kosher, and I don't want to do it with margarine I don't want to present anything in a competition made with margarine, there has to be something better! -Either cook the bird better or find a better dip, like maybe a flavorful nut oil or a sauce. That said, unlike ribs or brisket, it is not traditional to dunk turkey in a sauce. I went with some friends to a chain place called Dickies to do a little research and their turkey breast was odd and kind of hammy. Not like Virginia ham, more like ham lunchmeat. It was very moist and unlike any turkey I have ever eaten. Ok, I admit to not being very fond of turkey, so my experiences with it have been a bit limited. I am assuming it was brined. Given the limited amount of time we will have (about a day and a half) to cook, I am planning on just cooking the breast. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. The internet has been least informative on the topic of turkey. People's videos and such just show rubbing the whole bird and letting it roast for a few hours. Any tips at all would be appreciated. Whew! Thanks for reading all of this, I look forward to any advice you can give.
  21. I've had the CSO for a number of years now, but have yet to actually bake bread in it. Reading through the Modernist Bread thread on this forum I see many of you are using the CSO to great effect, which is heartening. To that end, I would like to know about your experience baking bread in it – what sort of extra equipment you use (pans, cast iron? etc), what breads work the best, any corrections you find yourself making, or anything you feel might be useful to someone else using the CSO. Thank you!
  22. The space race trickled into kitchens in the 60s and 70s, including one curious tool that's faded away in the years since: the thermal pin, a heat pipe skewer that can halve cooking times for roasts: Heat pipes are thermal superconductors, transferring heat 500-1000 times more effectively than solid copper (some people in the sous vide thread have discussed copper pins). They're hollow tubes with the air evacuated and a small amount of working fluid, often water. The usable temperature range is limited by the triple point and the critical point, with additional constraints near the edges. Water is effective from 20C-280C /70F-530F, which comfortably spans most cooking temperatures. Modernist Bread has an excellent section on how bread bakes, including a diagram of the internal heat pipes that develop, summarized here. (click for a good photo!) Sous-vide solves the overcooking side of the gradient problem, but it's still limited by total heat diffusion time-- doubling the size of a cut quadruples the time needed for the center to reach temperature. Heat pipe pins should make larger cuts practical, or normal cuts cook faster. Here's a graph from "The heat pipe and its potential for enhancing the cooking and cooling of meat joints", showing average temperatures over time for 1kg joints of meat convection baked at 190C/375F for 110 minutes (foil removed for the last 30 minutes): Thermal pins were sold commercially from 1956 to about 1990. They're listed occasionally for about $20 on ebay. They even made potato baking racks with heat pipes-- though now you can easily par-cook a potato in the microwave and finish it in the oven. I don't know why production of thermal pins stopped, or what fundamental problems limited their usage. It seems like pans and commercial griddles would be improved by adding heat pipes to spread heat throughout and avoid hot or cold spots. Perhaps roasts fell out of favor as the culture of entertaining shifted away from monolithic centerpieces to smaller, more precisely cooked portions.
  23. Hey there, i hope to find some help in the wise hands of yours. after some research i am still having some problems concerning glazing: For a party i would like to make some cubes and rounded savoury cakes and foams out of silicone forms that have a ready bottom and a colour glazing. Somehow i just do not manage to find a steady glazing ( one that does not run ) and is for texture reasons preferably hard or crisp that does not include sugar or syrup. can you help me or lead my way in a certain direction? thanks very much!
  24. Having experienced the "Edible Balloon" dessert at Alinea, I have been on a quest to try this at home. Only recently was I able to find purportedly a recipe: https://www.buzzfeed.com/raypajar1/these-edible-helium-balloons-are-dessert-from-the-future?utm_term=.ut6r3PnMk#.acGNVWmd6 the video of which is found below. I tried this and probably no surprise, it failed. The bubble collapsed / popped with only a little distension. I wasn't sure if the problem was that a "secret" ingredient (e.g. some kind of surfactant to stabilise the bubble or using a different kind of sugar) was missing. Or maybe I didn't allow the mix to come to correct temperature etc. Elsewhere I thought I had read that the original recipe was in effect some kind of taffy. Has anyone else had success, or do any candy makers /modernist chefs, have suggestions they are willing to share?
  25. Is there a discussion in the book about the purpose of adding ascorbic acid? I just saw the contest #2 in which the recipe called for it. I'm curious because a woman I know on the internet used to work in a bakery in Vietnam, and said that to get similar results to the banh mi there, you need to add ascorbic acid. Does it act as a gluten relaxer? Traditional banh mi have a very tender and crisp crust, and a very light and tender, relatively closed crumb.
  26. Modernist Bread is out now, but maybe you haven't taken the plunge. Here's your chance to win your own copy, courtesy of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here. For part two, we're featuring another cornerstone recipe from the book: Direct Country-Style Bread. The only leavener here is instant yeast, so production time is considerably shortened. The relative lack of flavor compared to long-proofed doughs is offset by the use of whole grains. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):
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