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Everything posted by Pielle

  1. I had a polyscience sous-vide professional creative series for about a year and it is one of the worst piece of culinary technology I have owned. It is heavy, bulky and noisy and the interface is terrible. It defaults to Fahrenheit every time you power it on and it takes forever to change the set point. It only memorizes the set temperature when you press the "stop button" after you have started it. I was once doing a long braise at 60oC after a duck confit at 82oC. I had a power outage and when the power came back on the unit reseted and started heating with a set point of 82oC ! i email the company and they never provided any usefull feedback except : yep, that's the way it is. The temperature sensor broke after 8 months and they replaced the unit but I had to pay to ship it back. In the end, I complained so much to the vendor that he gave me a refund. I would buy the anova over it even if the polyscience was cheaper.
  2. The Jamon will be fine for the duration of the flight. It is a cured product and the whole hams are kept at room temperature in the store.
  3. +1 on bringing back Jamon Iberico de Bellota, preferably from one of the Jamonissimo stores. I dream about the delicious nutty and fruity pieces of mountain dried ham since our trip to barcelona last year. A few high end stores are starting to carry it here, but the price is just ridiculous...
  4. Same here, I did pork shoulder two times and though it was done after 36h at 65oC. I was probably even done before that. I just test the donneness by pressing on the meat in the bag. You will feel it when it starts yielding easily. I would not recommend cutting the meat, the gain time to reach core temperature will be marginal and you may decrease the capacity of the meat to retain it's juices.
  5. I drink almost only Islay, and mostly Cask stenght. At the moment: Ardbeg Uigeadail and Ardbeg Alligator. The former being one of the best Whiskeys I have tasted, definately great bang for the buck at about 75$ for 700 ml (bought in Germany). The Laphroaig Quarter Cask mentionned in the previous post is, at 38$ a bottle, probably the best deal on the peaty Whiskey market.
  6. Not tightning the lid too much is part of the normal canning procedure for masson jars, so vapour can come out. The jars you have work a bit diffrently but I think clipping the lids for canning would be the normal canning procedure. The pressure on the lids might be set so as to let some vapour escape. They need in any case to be closed While there are certainly some interesting advantages of using canning jars (for service or to store the soup as canned soup) they are not mandatory. The recipe is made to cook in an autoclave, which is a sterilizing apparatus and not a cooking vessel. The jars therefore serve as a cooking vessel. When cooking in a pressure cooker, the soup can be made directly in pot. I did it a few times, worked great. I have a PC working with a spring though, which prevents the liquid from constantly boiling inside. If you have a PC working with a weight, it may still be advantagous to use the jars.
  7. Glad to hear that, I am still supprised by the ammount that goes through! A lot of what is in smoke must be small molecules, since they were volatile. It makes sense that some of those compounds are able to diffuse through the plastic.
  8. Modernist smoking. I smoked some port ribs, some beef ribs and a duck breast in my recently aquired Bradley smoker equiped with a dual probe Auber PID controller. Instead of putting the second probe in the meat, I inserted it in a wet sponge to monitor the wet bulb temperature. The recipes calls to smoke at 65oC and 60 %RH for a wet bulb temperature of 55oC. Obviously, that woudn't happen so simply in my Bradley. I first set the dry bulb temp to 65oC and, after stabilisation, the wet bulb stalled at about 42oC. It is relatively cold here at the moment (close to zero) so humidity is obviously a problem. I tried adding warm water to the bottom of the pan but that didnt help much. So I decided to crank up the dry bulb temp until I had the disired wet bulb. This ended up to be around 85 C, the tradoff was to cook in a dryer than ideal environment. I smoked for 4h. The beef ribs and duck breast ended up perfect, with a core temp quite close the the wet bulb temp (a bit higher on the lower racks. The pork ribs, however, while wll smoked, ended up with a dry surface istead of the ideal tacky pellicule. So, how do you guys deal with this, what is the best compromise to make in this situation? Do you stick with tried and true bradley-PID reciped (which are typically at higher temps) or have you found another middleground? I was quite happy about the ghetto wet bulb termometer. I only wetted the sponge each time I oppened the chamber and it seemed to be enough. The ribs are in the water bath at 60 deg at the moment. I noticed the bath water to get quite some colloring. I do not see my bags leaking. I am quite surprised that so much of the "smoke" would diffuse through the plastic. Or maybe it was just sloppy packaging. The duck breast is like a smoked breast roast. It is delicious
  9. We were in Istanbul last year and followed the guides from ahem istanbuleats.com. This page has good info. I highly recommend Antiochia in Beyoglu and Ciya in Kadikoy on the Asian side but of easy access. Sultanhmet is a nice place to stay since you are so close to the main attractions but it is clearly not the best place to eat. Don't miss breakfast at Van Kahvalti Evi in Cihangir, thier Kaymak is truly one of the best things I have eaten in Turkey. Enjoy Istanbul, it is a fantastic city. Also, don't forget to go on Isticlal Cadessi in the evening if you are not affraid of crowds!
  10. If you close it normally and place it in the pressure cooker it will equilibriate in temperature and pressure with the pressure cooker as long as there is water both outside and inside the mason jar. edit: well the pressure may be a bit higher in the mason jar, but the temperature should definitely be the same.
  11. Ok this makes sense. I guess the MC team just used pouches as their standard container since it is easy to use for them and that it makes less dirty dishes but it is not always necessarily (I would say almost never when dealing with a mixture with am important liquid component except if you would really need to keep the air out or want to force marinate)
  12. Is there a reason why the semi-liquid mixture has to be cooked in a vacuum pouch rather than in a masson jar? I understand the logic of vacuum pouches for solid ingredients, where the vacuum packing process insures intimate contact between the food and container wall and thus maximises heat transfers but for a mixture comprising liquid it just seems like more trouble, more expenses and more trash to me. BTW, are there some retort pouches available for external sealer type machines?
  13. Following Weinoo’s recommendation, we booked a table at Gelonch for last Saturday during a 5 day trip to Barcelona. I must say we are glad we did! Except for the suckling pig, we had a completely different, but equally impressive 9 course menu. After speaking with our waiter, I can confirm that these guys are true food passionate and thrive for excellence; the chef is particularly successful with flavor combinations and efficient use of some modernist techniques. I was impressed as to how they could manage such an elaborate menu and flawless service in such a small space and with a limited staff. Something else I appreciated was the reasonable price of all extras (glass of Cava, bottle of water…) and wine. These kinds of details help me appreciate the whole experience much better. Without doubt one of the best (value) meals I had. Ohh, and don't get put away by the rudimentary aspect of the website, they are working on something better and at least it doesn't feature music or video intros.
  14. I make a "Carbonade Flamande" that I thicken with bread. Some old style long cooked stews use bread as a thickening agent.
  15. Ok, so I have reserved myself a small white truffle (10-15g) for a special dinner with friends (we will be 4 persones in total) on tomorrow evening. Since the truffle is small, I will prepare a small appetizer with it (or a small primi) and plan to shave the truffle with a microplane in order to maximize surface area... too bad for a nice truffle slices effect. So, I am planning a very simple dish in order to showcase the flavor of the truffles as much as possible, I was hesitating between three main ideas: 1) Home made fresh pasta with a simple cream sauce. (looking for advice on the cut of pasta and on the details of the cream sauce: wine, garlic, shallots, parmigianio nothing but cream) 2) Home made fresh pasta with a butter parmigiano sauce (looking for advice on the cut of pasta and on the specific kind of butter to use, also additions, herbs, etc?) 3) A simple risotto (should I add anything? I know Thomas Keller has a recipe where he adds some cream) So talk to me about your best experiences with white truffles.
  16. Pre-ordered my copy today from amazon.ca 402 CAD, 420 with taxes, quite a good deal!
  17. Pielle


    I once read that Frozen and thawed Calamari is actually easier to handle than fresh one since the freeze/thaw process actually breaks down the tough tissues a bit and make it more tender. ( I think it was Portuguese lore...)
  18. Chicken marinated in red wine sounds good to me I would just easy on the white vinegar (maybe a 50-50 mix of vinager and wine accounting for the total amount required. It will probably be a bit different than the intended recipe but it should yeild something good!
  19. Well, it really depends on what is the recipe... If it is well cooked, I guess a little white vinegar with some red wine (or just plain red wine) should be alright. However, if it is for something raw, such as vinegrette, you might end up with something aweful..
  20. Wow, this is by far the stupidest thing I have read in a long time. I would like to know were they would draw the line for "Salt in any form". Just about EVERY food item, from broccoli to beef, naturally contains a significant amount of sodium (you know, because it is actually required for life). So either it is only refined salts that are banned, in which case I will gladly use my "sea water concentrate" or they just banned restaurants from serving food. Brilliant...
  21. I am pretty sure jerusalem artichokes do not contain starch, and can be pureed quite well also.
  22. ? ? I did not mean to offend you and my first post was not directly directed at you, I wanted it much more general. As it was said many times, the given list is what was found in real truffles. A similar quantity of a laboratory mixed equivalant would not be more or less toxic then real truffle aroma beaucause it would be the same thing. Actualy, the real truffle aroma contains much more compounds in small quantities and would potentialy be more toxic then the laboratory mixed equivalent. The is no such thing as a diffrence between a molecule procuced in a lab and a molecule produced by biological metabolism. If it is the same molecule, it is the same thing, same toxicity. Nature produces more rafined and complexe mixtures that we will probably ever be able to produce but it will also produce some of the most virulent poisons all by itself (think botulinium toxin). As of acetone, your body produces small quantites of it as part of it's metabolism, it seems truffles also do so. Also, acetone is not generaly used to preserve body parts, formol (formaldeyde) is. Acetone is used in the plastination process but it is removed by the end of the process. A solution of potassium chloride is used as the "killing injection" in lethal injection procedures. That does not make it a less essential compound to bodily functions. MaxH : Yes, the importance of names! Always reminds me of how nuclear magnetic resonance imagery got the nuclear removed from it in its common name (MRI) even though this technique has absolutely nothing to do with nuclear reactions and nuclear energy...
  23. Fat Guy, Sigma Aldrich carries it. It is just named diffrently, that why you had a hard time finding it. It is even Kosher! Link It seems that thier sample quantity is back order though. BTW, as a chemist, I coudn't agree more with just about all what MaxH said. Reminds me of the "Beware of dihydrogen oxyde" joke... everyone knows this is a very dangerous compound, it is even the primary componant of cancerous tumours! It just seems that systematic molecular names looks scary to some people... unfortunatly, each and evry, molecule has a systematic name and they all look equaly scary to the uninitiated.
  24. Laurier actually becomes Plateau Mont-Royal east of Hutchison (west it is Outremont) which was part of the former Montreal city. There is no official limits to the Mile-End neibourhoud. There is a municipal electoral district called Mile-End but it's southern limit is Mont-Royal and it streches to Christophe-Colomb in the east. This is obviously way out of the cultural limits of the Mile-End of which I would say that the whole of Laurier street is also not part of.
  25. Well, I dont know of any general rules for this. I think there is much of a similarity between a sous vide that long and a 100 C or bellow canning for a given type of food. Offical regulations here (Quebec )say 2 weeks for food canned at 100 or under (non acidic and with no preservatives that is) but I think that in France the same process can be said to keep for 6 months (expiration date) if kept in the fridge. I had a 9 months old sous vide pork belly confit in my fridge that I hesitated eating. I spoke with a friend who has a degree in biology and he told me that about any baterial activity would have to release CO2 (metabolism) and thus would get the bag to become inflated. I also thought that the reheating process would kill any live bateria and destroy thermolabile toxins (of which botulinic toxin is). So I heatted it up, tasted a bit (tasted wonderful) and caramelised a bit of mapple sugar with my blowtorch before serving. The meal was exquisite and there was no side effects
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