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Everything posted by Reignking

  1. You have to have the pressure cooker to achieve a higher temperature for the caramelization. The PC is a worthwhile purchase. Digital scales are cheap, but you can use cups/tbsp/etc. I wing the SV setup at this point by using digital probes. Pacojets aren't for the home cook.
  2. I did let the butter cool. I put the pot in an ice bath trying to get it cooled down quickly to put in the fridge. Then I let it sit overnight. When it was still one consistent mass the next day, I reheated it and tried letting it cool on its own. Still the same result. Anyway, you and others successfully made the butter? I will definitely try again before purchasing a centrifuge! I have, but I also think that if you still had some of the "unwanted" liquid, it wouldn't matter. ----- I tried a few other recipes this weekend: SV Chicken breast skewers with PC Peanut sauce: The chicken was ok, but not as tender as I was hoping. The sauce, however, was fantastic. Learning about PC-caramelization from that and the carrot soup is a great takeaway. Pistachio pesto -- excellent. I omitted the $19 bottle of pistachio oil (couldn't believe my local, normal grocery store had it), but it wasn't necessary. The few "extra" steps of blanching the greens, and the especially the garlic, were worthwhile. Glad I doubled that recipe. I'll be using the mushroom jus in some risotto at some point in the next week.
  3. Did you let the butter cool? I absolutely loved the carrot soup; it's a definite winner. I tried it with turnips and apples -- obviously not as sweet, but the caramelizing was fantastic. I enjoyed the carnitas, but the flavor of the achiote paste didn't come through enough. Also, I need to defat it at some point. The pork stock was the important takeaway, as that really made some porky goodness. I loved the tuna confit, and it holds up really well. Glad that I could reuse that oil in the chickpeas, because it used a lot. One interesting note -- I made 1/2 of the emulsion without the sardine, and its volume was 40-50% of the recipe. That sardine really emulsifies well, apparently. And the chickpeas -- adding calcium chloride (on-hand from cheesemaking) is now another no-brainer.
  4. Im sure others will disagree, or say im being to cautious, but I always thaw meats/poultry,fish in a bucket of cold water for 30 min per pound to thaw, then i SV. Its the safest way to thaw and cook. I'm concerned about the quality, though, in the thawing process.
  5. I never buy frozen fish, but I just read a tidbit in Michael Chiarello's Bottega cookbook about slacking, or slowly thawing out frozen fish in the refrigerator over three days. I've never considered buying frozen fish, but I need to -- for convenience's sake and just getting more fish into my diet. My SV question -- if you bought pre-vacuum-packed frozen fish, would you thaw it for three days, and then SV it? Or thaw, drain, re-seal? Or just go straight to the SV?
  6. Part of the day was 90 minutes at the Buford Highway Farmer's Market, which, I thought, had everything. That's one of the few places I can find obscure things like kaffir lime leaves; the place is gigantic, and has aisles dedicated to Latino foods (and at least 3 for each Chinese, Japanese, Korean). I didn't even have time to look at Eastern European aisles.
  7. After weeks of having the book, and not having the time to cook, I spent most of Sunday doing just that...only to get much less done than I expected. I could really use 3 more pressure cookers. Carnitas set my timing back, since I could not find achiote paste. I had to make PC garlic confit for the paste, which was on my list to do anyway, but that took the first two hours of cooking. I finished the paste up at night, and it smells great (as did the garlic, of course). Meanwhile, I made the carotene butter, which is simpler (not PC or SV needed). Used bottled carrot juice from Whole Foods. I had to make use of my rigged SV set up, so I moved on to another infused butter -- Porcini Butter. This was a failure, and I wonder if the directions are murky. It calls for "crumbled dry porcini", so I used dried shiitakes, which I pulverized in the food processor. There wasn't close to enough liquid from the butter to mix with the dry mushrooms, so I ended up with something more like mushrooms poached in butter, not the other way around. Should the recipe call for fresh mushrooms? When I read "dry", I think "dried". Next in the PC -- veg confit. Definitely a success, but I would like to add more herbs next time (and find a way to make a larger batch). That's great; I have a technique to play with. I used one jar since two of the ones that I have would not fit (either due to height or the small trivet included with the PC), and it was fine. PC brown pork stock, which didn't finish to almost midnight, for the carnitas. I realllly wish I had doubled or tripled (if room allowed) the recipe, since 2/3 of it will be used in the carnitas. If the yields are so low, even though the effort is low (vs.traditional stockmaking) is it really worth it? I want to be able to stock my freezer with these building blocks. Tuna confit brined; will make that and the PC chickpeas tonight or tomorrow. Soups postponed until sometime this week -- PC caramelized carrot, and apple-turnip (instead of parsnips) -- I just have tons of turnips from my CSA that I need to do something with. I plan on doubling or tripling these since the yield seems low. Made an orange oil using the lemon oil ratio as a template on Saturday, but it came out bitter; I was trying to use up some old oranges, so that is probably the issue. I'm finding that I wish there were more non-PC recipes.
  8. And I really don't understand why they don't pick people, and then feel guilty afterwards...
  9. Finally, I have the book. The worst part is that it is so big that I can't sneak around with it at work and do some downtime reading.
  10. I was amazed how bad their palates were -- "what was that? tuna? potato?"
  11. Of course, olives are brined before they are edible, so the oil shouldn't taste like an olive that you would get in a jar.
  12. When I use it, it's always in a sealed container, and I don't need much. That's my solution.
  13. Since I didn't have my copy yet, I had to plan Christmas dinner with what MC had on its web site. The mac & cheese was a hit, of course, and the injection brining worked flawlessly on the fried turkey. It was nice to avoid creating a salt lick. Since I had to order sodium citrate online, I also ordered some tapioca maltodextrin. With some leftover hazelnuts from my raw brussel sprout salad with hazelnuts, apples, and brown butter vinaigrette, I pureed the nuts into a butter and blended in the starch. Creating the powder was incredibly easy, and added another subtle dimension to it all.
  14. I started to accept modernist techniques when I read the book on El Bulli, and how Adria was really, at the core of it, really interested in capturing intense flavors, and reading some of MC@H. I, like many, was scared of chemical-sounding names. But when I learned that sodium citrate is just a salt made from citrus, and that it wasn't artificial (in the way that splenda, or transfats are), I was on board. Or agar agar -- Asia uses it, yet we don't in the US because we've used gelatin. It just happened to be what was available at the time. I'd rather use an plant product, anyway, if it does the same thing. I started thinking "What if we had created sous vide first?" Would be consider boiling odd? What's the goal? Asia discovered agar agar first -- would they consider gelatin odd? I had the good fortune to attend a seminar taught by Harvard professors and Jose Andres and his thinkfood group at Georgia Tech. The "ah hah" moment came for me in the end, with desserts. He loaded strawberry puree and something to thicken it in the ISIwhip, and created a 99% pure strawberry mousse without all of the calories from cream. Not only did he create a superior-tasting product, easily, but it was also much healthier.
  15. Reinvigorated by Modernist Cuisine at Home, I'll finally be building this $50 version: http://qandabe.com/2011/50-diy-sous-vide-immersion-heatercirculator/
  16. I would bet that this publicity will only help them.
  17. As wacky as he was, I wouldn't be surprised if he had never seen it, or had only caught it once or twice. Same thing goes for even the biggest reality show, American Idol.
  18. And that professor has worked in plenty of kitchens...
  19. Have fun! For my honeymoon 4 years ago, my wife and I went to 8 different places in France, in 2 weeks, from Nice to Clermont-Ferrand to Biarritz to Paris and other places in between.
  20. There's a fantasy Top Chef game on the Bravo web site.
  21. I saw this on OnDemand (Comcast) as I was flipping around, but didn't know what it was. I'll have to check it out.
  22. The cheftestants' bios are out: http://www.bravotv.com/top-chef/season-7/bios
  23. Nah, it's not Top Charcutier. That would be the longest show ever. "For this challenge, cure a ham. We'll return in 6 months."
  24. Various blogs have picked up on this tidbit -- that the next season of Top Chef is filming in DC, in April. I can't believe we have to wait so long for the next one! I guess the other Top Chefs will have to do. http://events.nytimes.com/2010/03/17/dining/reviews/17rest.html HOST'S NOTE -- Links to previous Top Chef Seasons on the eGullet Forums: Season 1: San Francisco Season 2: Los Angeles Season 3: Miami Beach Season 4: Chicago Season 5: New York Season 6: Las Vegas
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