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  1. Stagiaire

    Lemon-caper sauce

    You might want to try this...never failed me yet - reduce chicken stock to sauce consistency - transfer to blender - add lemon juice to taste - add white wine vinegar to taste - add capers - cover - turn on full blast, leave on for a minute - add whole or melted butter - blend until emulsified - season - hold Good luck
  2. Slice extra thin....use as pizza topping! Or you could send it to me!
  3. Stagiaire

    Uses for a cleaver

    For cracking/splitting marrow bones, the back of the cleaver is best...
  4. They have some horn ones at Bridge Kitchenware in NY. Not sure what shipping and taxes will end up costing you...they are US$37.50 a pop. http://bridgekitchenware.com/moreinfo.cfm?Product_ID=2578
  5. Stagiaire

    Using a Pacojet

    Thank you Nathan for the detailed response. <<eGullet undoubtedly has people who collectively know more than enough to write the definitive pacojet cookbook but unlocking that knowledege requires asking specific questions, because nobody seems to have the energy to write the definitive book (c'mon somebody, rise to the challenge!).>> The tremendous effort you put into the sous vide time tables would unfortunately (for you, but fortunately for us) make you the most likely candidate! Will definitely report back with the results of my experimentation in a few weeks or so....
  6. Stagiaire

    Using a Pacojet

    Would it be possible to use liquid nitrogen to fast freeze the contents of a paco beaker? I'll be testing a pacojet pretty soon prior to purchasing and was looking for a way to speed up the testing process (adjusting batch freezer recipes for pacojet use). I just happen to have access to liquid nitrogen and was thinking this would help a lot in terms of instant gratification....
  7. You can always put a smaller pot inside your large pot so that the mason jars are at the right height. Alternatively, you can use those plastic takeout cups they use for soups...just fill them with the same temp water and stack them up until the mason jars are at the right height when you put them on top....
  8. What you could do though is cook the plantain in simple syrup or some sort of sweet poaching liquid with some wine in it. I've seen a few restaurants do it. The reason invariably is that to make sure the fruit is uniformly sweet. A lot of the fruit here in the east coast comes from the west coast. More often than not, that means the fruit has to be picked at a less than optimal time hence the need to adjust sweetness.
  9. Mine is a dinky little delonghi "alfredo" a two knob job. Top knob is a timer bottom knob is for temp. It's perfect for - keeping food warm, while other stuff is still cooking - cooking bacon (wrap pan with foil, lay out six strips bacon, two cycles of max dark for toast with the temp at toast too...took a while to figure that out) comes out real crisp - reheating two slices of pizza
  10. Thanks. It was served pretty warm since I was cooking it on the breaded side and basting it with duck fat as I was warming it through. They were actually a bit more shredded than just picked. I used just enough of the gelatinized cuisson to hold it together and twisted it real tight in the plastic wrap before refrigerating it. It was delicate enough that had i not used a wide spatula and my other hand to transfer and flip them into the puree that they may have disintegrated. Come to think of it, some activa or gellan gum may have helped keeping it all together...but I haven't experimented with them enough to risk testing them that night.
  11. I was cooking for some friends the other night and one of the dishes I served was oxtail cooked sous vide. I first seared the oxtail, then sweat some carrots, onions and leeks. The oxtail went into the bag along with the mirepoix as well as some brown veal stock. I cooked it for 40 hours at 141F using 3 separate thermometers to check my water bath temp (first time to use this particular immersion circulator which was analogue, my other circulators are digital). I normally do it at 170F for 8 hours with excellent results. For some strange reason, after 40 hours, the oxtail still weren't falling off the bone tender. And the veal stock was not gelatinous. The carrots weren't even soft! As I only had 6 hours left before dinner, I decided to take them out of the bag and finish them for an hour or two simmering in a Staub cocotte. Came out excellent at the end of the day (they were picked; mixed with some of the gelatinized stock, some chopped parsley, brunoise of leeks, carrots, turnips and truffles; rolled in plastic wrap and cooled; later on sliced inch thick, dabbed with some mustard on one side and dredged in seasoned panko; heated through in some duckfat, breaded side down and served atop truffled pommes puree) I was just wondering how come the meat was still to tough after 40 hours at 141F? I'm planning to try it again for up to 72 hours (putting them in several smaller bags and test them at 50 hours, 55 hours, 60 hours and 72 hours. I'm trying to figure out whether it was time or temp that was responsible for the lack of collagen breakdown. The great thing I noticed though is that the meat kept that medium rare color even after simmering it for 2 hours chilling and reheating them in a sautee pan. It's as if the color had set. Strange, I know, but a happy discovery nonetheless....
  12. You could compensate for the drop in temperature when placing the bag in the water bath by pouring in some hot water until you achieve target temperature of the water bath...similar to the way you'd lower the temp by putting in ice cubes.
  13. I'm coming in really late into this thread, but I did read all 8 pages of it first. Having said that, here goes.... On the idea that tipping allows one the flexibility of rewarding or punishing the waitstaff for good service....that really doesn't work in places like Per Se that implement a more European style of service where a team is in charge of tables. Even if, for argument's sake, tips weren't pooled, you are tipping the team that served you. You can not penalize a single server or busboy without having to speak to management or resort to tipping each member of your team (captain, maitre d', server, busser, server, sommelier, etc.) individually. Shifting to a service charge system doesn't affect that in this case. On the flip side, it does not prevent you from giving more than 20% if you wanted to for exceptionally good service. With regard to the kitchen staff at Per Se…with the probable exception of the Chef de Cuisine, most of the kitchen staff at restaurants at the 4 star level are not paid much. The reality is that supply (of qualified commis and chefs de partie) far outstrip demand. And they even have a seeming endless supply of people who would work their for free for 3 months (sometimes even 6) just for the privilege and the experience...and not all of them are straight out of culinary school either. Of course a bigger pay check would make them happier but I seriously doubt if they're really there for the money as they've never made it seem like it. Money is not their prime motivator. A lot of them are still in debt from chef school/working in france/accumulated debts etc. but still choose to work in such establishments because of the love of their craft and investing in their future.
  14. Nathan, You might want to try the cheeks at 170F for 8 hours. Prior to cooking sous vide, marinate them first overnight in white wine, mire poix (onions, carrots, leeks cut into fairly large chunks due to the cooking time). Then dry the cheeks, season, dredge in flour, brown them and cool them down. In the vacuum pouch go the cheeks, 1x mire poix, 1x white wine, 3x veal stock. Vacuum seal then into the water bath or combi they go. Good stuff.
  15. Actually, the second your core temp reaches your target temp, the entire piece of meat is AT target temp, assuming your water bath is at target temp. There should be no oxidation as there is no oxygen. The protein is packed in a vacuum bag. Fat shouldn't be breaking down to rancid components as the temp is too low to break down the fat and there *should be* nothing there to turn it rancid assuming you took the necessary precautions during prep. People fry things in animal fat, and that is done at much higher temperatures. As long as you are below the smoke point (which is much much higher than the max temp for sous vide, 212F, then you don't run the risk of breaking down the fat. Meat should not turn into "meat paste" or breaking down and totally denaturing again due to the low temperature that you are cooking it. One of the main reasons why you cook sous vide is to be able to cook at a temperature low enough that the proteins don't seize up and squeeze out all the juicy goodness out of them.
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