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    Scottsdale, AZ
  1. We've just come from 4 days in Madrid and an evening in Toledo. In Madrid we ate at Casa Salvador where my wife's oxtails were superb but I can only rate the flavor of my tripe as good, though it was cooked perfectly. I thought Barbara was going to swoon over the roasted marrow bone and beef at Sacha. She started with a fresh tomato salad in a very light balsamic vinaigrette that was perfection. I had the fried artichokes - paper thin slices of baby artichokes fried in olive oil that had the texture of potato chips but were pure artichoke flavor. I followed that with brains that were superb - lightly battered and fried, slightly crunchy on the outside, milky soft inside. Barbara had a chocolate thing for desert and she flipped. I had something akin to creme caramel, but I have no idea what it was, other than outrageously good. I think it had cielo in the name, but since I asked the maitre d' to just pick out deserts for us I'm not sure what we had. Then on Tuesday we went to David Muñoz's Diverxo. Extraordinary. And that's saying something because we got off to a really bad start. Twenty minutes to get a glass of wine ordered from the time we were seated. Then, when asked if I'd like chopsticks to which I replied in the affirmative, none ever arrived, but the food transcended all. An amuse bouche of edamame seasoned, perhaps with sumac and something else with a buttermilk-like garlic dipping sauce. Then we both had the seven course tasting menu (the other choice being the thirteen course menu). The seven courses were actually around eleven since a course would often be divided into two halves served sequentially, like the poached prawn (it was called something else) that arrived followed by the grilled, seasoned, head and body with the juices from the body drizzled over the poached tail. Somewhere in the middle were white asparagus wrapped in the skin of red mullet - actually the meal involved parts of red mullet in several of the dishes, such as a pate of red mullet liver on a thin crisp. The courses that I sort of remember include the soup served in a young coconut shell where eating the coconut meat was a desired part of the experience, a steamed roll with a quail's egg yolk barely poached on top, an extraordinary piece of tuna cheek that tasted like a sous-vide cooked short rib, and a piece of ox cheek that had been slow roasted for 112 hours, a small piece of hake served sauced accompanied by a horseradish cream and spherified lime, and a desert which I no longer remember. Very, very highly recommended. Yesterday, we made our way to Toledo, where completely by chance we went for lunch to Adolfo. It turns out that the chef, Adolfo Muñoz, is David Muñoz's uncle. And he cooks like it. Not modernist, but brilliantly. Barbara had a simple "small" salad ordered off the menu which was beautiful and then a scallops and artichokes starter with fresh baby artichokes and incredibly dense scallops barely accented with maldon salt flakes that were perfect. I had a risotto of black rice cooked with squid ink and baby calamari and manchego cheese that was off the charts followed by red partridge that was excellent, but paled in comparison to the risotto. Excellent. Now we're off to Lisbon.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. Just got back from 5 weeks in Asia - Vietnam, Cambodia, and Japan. I forgot to note the meal but I believe in Vietnam at the Club Opera I had a Mango Kimchee that was brilliant. It was made from un-ripe mangoes, and the usual other kimchee ingredients. It was somewhat similar to a Vietnamese green papaya salad, but with slices of mango that were crisp, slightly sweet, salty, and hot. I am going to experiment and see if I can come up with something close - will report back if I do.
  5. I'm sure I'm not the first person to think of this question, and, upon reflection, it's also a function of the topography of the ham. So, I reckon I'll just have to stick the sucker with a digital probe, set a temperature alert, crack open a cold one, and just like all cavemen before me and wait till it's done. But it's still got a week to brine, so I'm not in any rush. Thanks.
  6. I suspect you're right, but, is this not basically a physics problem? And if we weren't talking about a ham, but rather something scientifically important wouldn't there be an effort made to answer it?
  7. My specific question is: does anyone have a way to approximate how long it would take a 16 pound ham to go from an internal temperature of 36 degrees F to an internal temperature of 155 when cooked in a 200 degree smoker? More generally does anyone have a way to estimate how long it takes to raise 1 pound of meat one degree in an oven as a function of the type of meat, the initial temperature, and the oven temperature?
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