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Everything posted by Stagiaire

  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.
  16. This is awesome stuff, Nathan! I was just wondering though....on your column for "rest time" which you define as the time the core temperature stops rising and begins to fall, how far does the core temperature rise? Did you note what the max core temp achieved was? Or am I understanding your table wrong? Did you work with bone in cuts? Does the presence of the bone, like in a prime rib for example, have a great effect on cooking times? Or do we just measure the thickness of the meat disregarding the thickness of the bone (i.e. measure meat thickness only)? Btw, it would be important to note, for those that are just casually browsing, that these tables represent minimum cooking times to achieve a target core temp, and does not take into account the time it takes for collagen to break down for tougher cuts of meat such as short ribs, etc. Is there, per chance, a project in the works to tabulate this? I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that you've just garnered superhero status in these parts of cyberspace!
  17. You might want to check with David Bouley/Bouley/Danube. Bouley was in a demo with Miguel Sanchez Romera sometime last year at FCI. Bouley seemed to be pretty involved with the distribution or marketing of micri somehow in the US, iirc.
  18. Hey, banana ketchup is the ONLY way to go with that dish! It's also great with roast chicken stuffed with tanglad (lemongrass)....
  19. My mom makes this Mango Walnut Pie. Basically it's a meringue and walnut crust, topped with whipped cream and mango slices arranged on top, served very, very cold. And the best mangoes by far are the Philippine Carabao mangoes. I read a press release a few years back that these mangoes are now allowed to be imported into the US. Just not sure where to get them here.... If you come across it though by chance, be sure to try a few. It won't disappoint....
  20. Do you grill your eggplant first? If you ever end up with extra grilled eggplants, they're awesome with a bit of chopped onions, tomatoes, a few slivers of ginger and coconut cream (unsweetened) vinaigrette! ...which in turn goes great with inihaw na liempo (grilled pork belly which are first marinated in calamansi, vinegar, garlic, pepper, salt and bay leaves)....
  21. Stagiaire

    Poached Salmon

    A nice trick is to reduce the cream separately so in case you over reduce it, you don't have to throw the sauce away. After reducing the cream, mix it in with your reduced sauce....
  22. That's probably what I was referring to. Sorry for the confusion. Not disputing you but this is a recipe for rellenong manok. As you can see, it demonstrates part of the wonder that is Filipino cuisine. See this also: I forget what asado is. ← What I meant to say was, I think what you were trying to say was Adobong Manok instead of Adobong Relleno. As you initially posted it, it seems you have mistaken Manok (i.e. Chicken) with Relleno (i.e. stuffing). As I read it, you were trying to explain that there were two types of Adobo, e.g. Pork Adobo and Chicken Adobo. Rellenong manok is another thing altogether and does exist. The rellenos I have had is normally served with gravy. Oh, and the cold version of it is called Galantina. Though a slightly different dish, it is normally used as a euphemism for leftover relleno...hahaha Asado is a somewhat similar dish to adobo but with a markedly sweeter sauce, with little to no vinegar. Seems to be more derived from chinese cookery where adobo is decidedly more spanish in derivation.
  23. Sorry, I wasn't meaning to contradict or argue, but rather add to and explain further. What I should have added is that migrant workers tend to be from the fields of nursing, IT, and the sciences. People working in the food industry by default and not by choice normally do not have the means to migrate thus supporting your theory....
  24. I'm sorry, I never meant to imply that the "haves" do not eat Filipino food. They do, of course. And quite often Filipino food is what's served in most homes on a daily basis. The cooking part though is another thing altogether. Most if not all of them have household help, including cooks. The thinking, I guess, is why reinvent the wheel when your cook could probably cook the stuff better than you ever can. I've been trying to do my share in promoting Philippine cuisine myself. In restaurants I've worked in, I've always brought ingredients which I think the chefs would appreciate if only they were familiar with it. I noticed that chefs both in the sweet and savory sides tend to like Philippine ingredients, even if just for the sheer uniqueness of it. The hits usually are ube/purple yam, calamansi, dalandan, tamarind leaves, and crab butter (taba ng talangka). All of these ingredients were used at Per Se sometime last year while I was there. I just noticed thought that the Pastry Chefs were more eager to incorporate the ingredients into their repertoir although the crab fat was used for several lobster dishes at some point. JB even asked me to prepare staff meal for the entire PM shift one sunday. He specifically asked for adobo. The funny thing was, due to the ingredients I had to work with, that was the one of the most awesome Filipino meals I've ever had. The pork was marinated overnight and was cooked in the combi. It was later fried just to give it an exterior crunch. As I was given carte blanche (for the most part) in terms of raiding the larder, well, let me tell you that adobo made with Pe Se veal stock and pork cuisson (instead of water) to go with the vinegar and soy sauce makes for an out of this world adobo. Instead of using small shrimp as is commonly done in Manila for this shrimp and garlic dish called Gambas (actually a Spanish adaptation) we had to use lobster claws as we don't normally have shrimp at Per Se. On and on it went...lentils for mung beans (monggo), and salmon and cod as well as pedigreed vegetables (you know, Tokyo turnips, King James Leeks, etc.) for the sinigang...I tell you, it doesn't get much better than that! --- edited for spelling
  25. I really don't think it's that simple. With the current pay scales in the Philippines, place, harldy anyone can get ahead working in the food industry. Working your way up in that industry is simply unheard of. Of course there are exceptions to that rule, but for the most part, that's the reality. The only way of making money in food is owning the restaurant/business. So those migrating for financial reasons would not be coming from that subset of society who are in the food profession (as they wouldn't have the finances to migrate). Those of means who choose the profession would normally either hire cooks to man their kitchen and just go on and manage the business, or those who want to be a bit more involved go to the US and France to get their culinary degrees, stage or work a year or two or three, but then go back home and open their restaurants. So there aren't too many that migrate to open restaurants, especially those that are in pursuit of gastronomy as against getting into the food business a basic form of livelihood. An example of this is that while I was doing my stage at Per Se, there was only one other Filipino in the kitchen who was born and raised in the Philippines. The chefs would always kid around that we were there doing due diligence in preparatation to actually buying Per Se at some point. They would always point to our knife rolls filled with Masamotos and Misono UX-10s and to the fact that we were the only two people in the kitchen who didn't think twice about wearing Rolexes in the kitchen (no they were clearly not of the bling bling variety). I would like to think that the initial fear of Filipino spoiled brats running amock in the kitchen gave way to acceptance mainly because they realised that we weren't there for the benefit of our resumes or for financial gain (we weren't paid) but simply because we were motivated by nothing other than passion for food. But I digress. A lot. Also, much like other third world countries, the social structure is best depicted by a very steep triangle where the top 10% represents the number of people controlling the 90% of the country's wealth while the bottom 90% would have to make do with sharing the balance of 10% of the country's wealth. This then leads to a society which is the farthest thing from egalitarian. It's almost as though that society has accepted this and the mantra seems to be "No, not everybody is created equal." Sad, really. Anyway, against that backdrop, historically there simply aren't that many "haves" who would considering toiling in a kitchen to make food for others. Owning it, sure, but working in the kitchen, hardly. On the other hand, the "have nots" who are in the kitchens have no need to refine the cuisine. What for? It tastes good. That's all you want food to be. Besides they have other problems to worry about other than making something, which will be consumed in 10 minutes anyway, look pretty. I know this sounds harsh but if you've been to Manila in the past decade, you would know that to be true. But then again, things are changing. With more Filipinos travelling, some migrants coming back home, the internet, TV and all that (Food Network is now shown in Manila too!), the acceptance of food as a professional pursuit has been gaining acceptance. As a matter of fact, in the past 5 years or so, at least two culinary schools have been set up in Manila. If you go back to Manila these days, you will sense a sort of revolution in Philippine cuisine. The Filipinos who have gone to culinary school in the past 8 or so years have now reached the point where they have matured as chefs and earned the discipline to run a proper kitchen (juxtaposed to the first wave of these "new" Filipino restaurants basically run by kids fresh out of CIA without much kitchen experience....needless to say, being there wasn't much of a dining experience and most of them were boarded up in no time). The process of refinement I was referring to earlier is well its way. Although there isn't anything near fine dining yet in the true sense of the word, I think it's on the right path....it will only be a matter of time... Sorry for the long stream of consciousness post...just had to throw it out there....
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