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Tuber magnatum

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  1. Edible helium balloon

    Thank you so much! You were correct, I couldn't view the video on their site outside of Australia, however I did find it on YouTube. Again thanks, I will try this recipe next.
  2. New to me cut of beef for sous vide

    Just by chance I am reading about cooking meat in Modernist Cuisine, Volume 3. Although probably overly simplistic, there are two important enzymes involved in breaking down collagen and proteins: Calpain and Cathepsin. Like all enzymes, their activity increases with heat up to the point that the heat starts to breakdown the enzyme itself. Calpain denatures at 40C / 105F. If you cook at a higher temperature this enzyme is deactivated and doesn't contribute to tenderization. Its maximal activity is just below this temperature. So the idea is cook for a period of time just below this temperature and then when it has done its job, raise and hold the temperature to maximize the activity of Cathepsin at just below 50C / 122F. Apparently this doesn't work for meats that are already tender which benefit from quick cooking as a general rule, or for poultry, pork, and other lighter coloured meats in which their enzymes are faster acting than in red meat. It would be overkill. Above 50 / 122, a different chemical reaction occurs, gelatinization of collagen. The third chemical reaction occurs which is contraction of collagen and protein which squeezes out water drying meat. This is noticeable above at 58C / 135F, and increases with temperature.
  3. New to me cut of beef for sous vide

    Did a google search and came up with these! Haven't watched them yet but will do at some point, so I cant vouch for them. Enjoy!
  4. Edible helium balloon

    One cubic meter helium can lift about 1kg or put another way, one cubic foot of helium lifts 28.2 gms, around an ounce. I rather suspect a balloon of bread would weigh way too much and presumably it would be porous. Wouldn't it be cool if you could float a pomme soufflee, but that too is way too heavy? So I am stuck looking for a taffy balloon recipe!
  5. New to me cut of beef for sous vide

    Definitely going to get this book. Thank you for the recommendation! In looking at reviews of this book, I came across this instructional video. Maybe more than FeChef was looking for, but fascinating nevertheless!
  6. Beef Fabrication

    In the post below, there was a link to what looks to be a terrific book on beef cutting, "The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional's Guide to Butchering and Merchandising". Reading some of the reviews on Amazon, I came across this video which I thought extremely educational, particularly seeing as I just bought a mixed 1/4 Wagyu carcass and wanted to learn more about the cuts I received , and I thought others might be interested. Its long, but I found it much easier to understand than just looking at photos. Also referenced was the free pdf/webpage CFIA MEAT CUTS MANUAL.
  7. Edible helium balloon

    Only if you inhale! (you can skip to 58")
  8. Edible helium balloon

    But will it float?
  9. Edible helium balloon

    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?
  10. I recently posted my experience with pomme soufflée which may be of interest: I also was thinking of trying pomme soufflée with parboiled potatoes, but rather than boiling them with baking soda as suggested in the recipe, use vinegar as suggested by J. Kenji López-Alt: http://aht.seriouseats.com/2010/05/the-burger-lab-how-to-make-perfect-mcdonalds-style-french-fries.html. The vinegar is supposed to prevent the potato from falling apart: "... those boiled in the vinegared water remained perfectly intact, even after boiling for a full ten minutes. When fried, they had fabulously crisp crusts with tiny, bubbly, blistered surfaces that stayed crisp even when they were completely cool".
  11. Modernist Pomme Souffle?

    I know the original post was how to bond two slices of potato together. Nevertheless, I thought I would throw my two cents worth into the discussion on pommes soufflées. Ever since first experiencing pommes soufflées while dining at Restaurante Zalacaín in Madrid (2014), it became an obsession to learn how to make these at home. It was with excitement I read a recipe in Modernist Cuisine and thought it wouldn't be too difficult. I was wrong. Indeed, Jacques Pépin in his New Complete Techniques book notes that even experienced chefs in a restaurant setting, may experience 15% -20% failure! The first problem I encountered was with the recipe in MC. It is clear that moisture content is key to reliable puffing (I am currently working on a hack of a wood moisture meter to allow me to measure this) but inconsistent information is given: Volume 5 page 145 – “To ensure good puffing, the dry matter of the potato must be just right at around 19% - 20%.” However, in Volume 4 page 306 - "Fresh harvested potatoes will … have too much moisture to puff properly. Potatoes that are so old that they have become soft … will be too dry… the ideal moisture content ranges from 12% - 18%.” I think this is incorrect and they meant dry matter, as otherwise this would be one dried out potato! (I contacted MC on this but didn't hear back). Most everyone seems to use two pots, one at lower and the other at a higher temperature, but the temperatures suggested vary. My experimenting suggests oil temperature is critical and that as suggested by Chef Rogers Powell, first fry should be at 300°F / 149°C “max” as he says in his video. I think what happens is if too hot on the first fry, the outside crisps so it can't expand on the second. Timing of the second fry is also critical and one needs to be patient for the “blistering” to occur before removing to second pot to puff. Most everyone suggests 3-4mm slices (unless crinkle cut, then 9.5mm) However, what I finally realized after many failures, is that if cut perpendicular to the long axis, the core (medulla) running along the centre, can hold the two sides together preventing them from puffing. What one wants is the perimedulla, the largest component of the potato between the skin and core. Anyway, just my home cooking experience. I know there are many ways to skin a cat!
  12. Cooking with Activa

    For what it is worth, I have been able to keep mine after opening several months and just last week used it successfully, i.e it bonded the proteins as intended. After removing the amount of Activa that I need, I quickly vacuum pack the remaining, and place back in the freezer. Before opening the bag when taken out of the freezer, I let it come to room temperature so as to avoid any moisture condensing on the powder. I have opened and closed the package over the several months 4 times now. Not sure how much longer it will last, but I will re-post when it fails. In all cases, I used a hot set, i.e. did not place in fridge for prolonged time, but cooked sous vide. Most recently I made a "scallop" sandwich; instead of wrapping prosciutto around the scallop, I bonded a disc between the two halves of a scallop cut in half.
  13. How to serve A5 grade Miyazaki Wagyu

    I just bought a mixed quarter from a friend so I have a bunch of different cuts to work with (along with 12 kilos of ground Wagyu! Downside of buying a 1/4 carcass). I was thinking rather than sous vide, I would try reverse sear. This has worked really well for other kinds of steak. I was also thinking of trying thin slices cooked on hot rock table side (Ishiyaki style?) with a simple dipping sauce. Am keen to know from others how they have prepared their Wagyu. The breeder noted that open flame not best as flare up a problem with the high fat content of the beef. Will update as I work through the freezer! http://www.seriouseats.com/2017/03/how-to-reverse-sear-best-way-to-cook-steak.html
  14. Essential utensils for traveling

    Greetings, When visiting family and/or friends, my wife and I like to contribute by helping to cook meals. However, this is often a huge frustration when as is often the case, necessary kitchen utensils are missing! This is occurs particularly at friend's cottages. I don't like to think I am a food snob, but I just can't stand not having at least a sharp chefs knife and a pepper grinder. So, my question is, if you had to put together a traveling kit, (sort of like a journeyman apprentice chef?), what would you put in it. I would like to have a "travel lite" kit, and a more extensive kit for when space and weight are not an issue. Thanks in advance.
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