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Tuber magnatum

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Everything posted by Tuber magnatum

  1. Advice sought re SV pepper Steak for Crowd. I have been tasked with hosting family XMAS dinner and will be serving 24+ people. Request was made for pepper steak. Normally I do a traditional treatment: season filet with very course black pepper, pan sear in clarified butter, flambe, remove steak, make sauce with cream, small amount dijon, and of course green peppercorns. My idea was to avoid any timing issues and having to sear multiple steaks on the stove, to SV them all in advance and for fun, rather than sear on gas grill or pan, to try and sear them on a Tuscan Grill that I have set up in my fire place. The fireplace is open on all sides located in the kitchen dining area. Grill is big enough to hold probably 8-12 steaks at a time. Pepper sauce made in advance and served restaurant style in "gravy boat". My questions are: 1) Should I still use coarse pepper before placing in bags? I have read different views on whether you should use pepper in SV bag as this can create some off flavours. And whether I put pepper on pre or post SV, should I be concerned that searing on an open flame I will just burn the pepper? (This has never been an issue when pan searing traditional style in clarified butter). 2) How concerned should I be making pepper sauce without having the scrapings or juices from pan searing as I wasn't planning on pre searing before placing in SV bag. Should I use the juices from the bags (with or without reducing depending on volume produced) and add to pre-made cream based pepper sauce? 3) I have seared SV steak on gas grill which I can get very hot, so nice crust and Maillard reaction. Do you think I will be able to get bed of charcoal hot enough to sear SV steak? Below is set up I use so you can see what I am talking about re Tuscan Grill where I was cooking some thin sliders from raw, ie not SV in advance. Hopefully there are some caterers out there with suggestions! Thanks in advance.
  2. Tuber magnatum

    Smoking cheese

    OK, I know this is not really smoking, but I have had some good success with just smoking thinly sliced cheese under a glass dome and allowing it to sit a few minutes. Applewood seems to work best for cheese. I have found the hickory and mesquite a little overpowering. Admittedly it is more for show, but when you open the dome at the table and a waft of smoke pours out, it always brings a smile, and occasionally a cough from our guests. 😋
  3. Tuber magnatum

    Cryo-shucking Lobster

    Hello crustacean lovers! I have read and viewed videos on cryo-shucking oysters and reference to using the technique for other bivalves which makes sense. If not familiar, you basically drop oyster in Liquid Nitrogen for 15 seconds, remove and let rest 30 minutes. They will open up a bit allowing shell to be removed with out damage to shell or oyster. It is described in pod cast by Chef Anjana Shanker of the Modernist Cuisine Lab and in attached video. Partway through her description she comments on its use for lobster but doesn't describe the process. The closest instruction I have found is https://modernistcuisine.com/2014/07/cooking-for-ferran-adria-reflecting-on-inspiration-and-innovation/ but it isn't clear exactly how it is done. Drop whole lobster in N2? Just claw or tail? How then do you remove shell? Has any one tried this and how specifically do you do it? Thanks in advance!
  4. Tuber magnatum

    Precision induction: Tasty Onetop

    Yes I do. My first attempts at using it showed the that there was a discrepancy between the temperature showing on the app and with a Fluke thermometer. Fortunately it was consistent, ie precise but not accurate so I could compensate (Hopefully I remember the terminology correct from my schooling!). Like others, I wanted a "deep fryer" for outdoors. I just used it this weekend for fries, heated the oil to 400F in a cast iron pot with their temperature probe. I checked with Fluke and it worked well for me. It is relatively inexpensive so I wasn't expecting too much. My main complaint is the temperature probe which is too short and the holder which only allows the probe to be held in only one spot. If you don't have the correct height pot you cant adjust the probe so it is as correct depth. This should be an easy fix for them. Also the rubber holder doesn't hang on to the side of the pot well, especially if it has a lip. However, given the price, it has served its purpose well enough.
  5. Tuber magnatum

    Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)

    Recently I had the unforgettable experience of dining at Andoni Luis Adurizis’s restaurant, Mugaritz and had to buy one of his cookbooks, "Mugaritz". One of his many innovative recipes is “Edible Stones”. This makes use of kaolin, an edible clay sometimes sold as “Agalita”. A slurry is made using Agalita and Lactose to which is added food colouring. Boiled baby potatoes are skewered, dipped, and allowed to dry in the oven. They are served with real rocks to maximize what has been described as the culinary equivalent of trompe-l'œil. Guests of course are not to see the process or the skewered potatoes drying so as not to ruin the surprise. I have attached some pictures showing my results which, although visually not exactly like the real stones, were texturally and by weight, reasonably convincing. Now that I have served them at a dinner party, I am left with a large amount of Agalita! I am hoping there are some modernist chefs out there with more ideas for my remaining Kaolin.
  6. Tuber magnatum

    Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)

    Yes, I do have the flavour bible, an superb resource. I don't make use of it enough; excellent suggestion.
  7. Tuber magnatum

    Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)

    Thank you for the ideas! I am assuming the vegetables were cooked, otherwise no reason to add additional crunch. You have given me some inspiration for my next go at it. I am thinking of adding some additional flavours to the kaolin mixture to complement the inside. Not sure exactly what at this point .... If you have suggestions I would welcome them.
  8. Tuber magnatum

    Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)

    Very similar, but I think I may have used more lactose. An updated recipe which came with the kaolin I bought required more than what was listed in his original recipe in the Mugaritz cookbook. Would you repeat this, or was it a one off novelty? Curious about the raw white asparagus; it wasn't too bitter?
  9. Tuber magnatum

    Ideas for Kaolin / Agalita (edible clay)

    Asparagus! That's an interesting idea. Would you be able to elaborate a bit? In the photo you show some sliced asparagus. Was it coated before slicing? I would have thought the kaolin would crumble off. Or did you slice before it hardened? Or maybe the slices were from an uncoated stalk and only the whole stalk was coated? Did you add any additional elements / sugar to the kaolin mixture to add some flavour in addition to the crunch element.
  10. Tuber magnatum

    Precision induction: Tasty Onetop

    Just received mine today and will test later. In meantime, came across this review which describes some of the issues discussed already: https://www.wired.com/review/tasty-one-top-smart-induction-cooktop/amp
  11. Tuber magnatum

    What Are You Cooking Sous Vide Today? (Part 3)

    I have been on the hunt for one of these. Thanks for the tip. Unfortunately when I go to their site I seem unable to find any. Would you have any other info?
  12. Tuber magnatum

    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?
  13. Tuber magnatum

    Edible helium balloon

    I wondered the same thing. My plan is to try with what ever methylcellulose I have lying around (I think f50 off the top of my head). Need to source a small canister of helium first. Will post results when I get around to it.
  14. Tuber magnatum

    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.
  15. Tuber magnatum

    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.
  16. Tuber magnatum

    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!
  17. Tuber magnatum

    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!
  18. Tuber magnatum

    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!
  19. Tuber magnatum

    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.
  20. Tuber magnatum

    Edible helium balloon

    Only if you inhale! (you can skip to 58")
  21. Tuber magnatum

    Edible helium balloon

    But will it float?
  22. 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".
  23. Tuber magnatum

    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!
  24. Tuber magnatum

    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.
  25. Tuber magnatum

    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
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