paulraphael

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  1. Ah, ok. Some of the store-bought circulators can be calibrated (as Jo said) but Anova, at least, discourages trying. The circulator's temperature sensors are about an order of magnitude more precise than a thermapen. I imagine if you're programming your own PID it's a whole nuther story. I was concerned about my Anova once and so bought one of those ovulation thermometers ... mercury, accurate to about 1/10°F. But over a range of just a few degrees. Happily the circulator passed the test, so I didn't have to mess with it.
  2. You calibrate your fridge or your circulator?
  3. I don't think science has an opinion, but French bakers are pretty vocal ... Re: SF sourdough, I understand various ways of getting a dough more sour; just not the techniques for doing so that don't also inhibit the yeast.
  4. I'm curious about how it works in San Francisco sourdough (which I like very much, but have never made. I've read that many Europeans think the stuff is vulgar!) I've seen recipes but don't see anything in the technique that explains how so much sourness doesn't interfere with the rise.
  5. I mean on the sous-vide issue. If there was any context or if he was just dismissing it outright.
  6. The acid bacteria make acid, they don't consume it. Lactic acid, and occasionally acetic acid, are byproducts of the bacteria in sourdough metabolizing sugars. Active yogurt contains its own lactobacillus bacteria, but these will be different strains that thrive in different environments. According to the interwebs and Google Scholar, the bacteria in yogurt are typically strains of lactobacillus bulgaricus and streptococcus thermophilus. In sourdough it's typically strains of lactobacillus pontis, lactobacillus sanfranciscensis, lactobacillus paralimentarius, lactobacillus fructivorans, and lactobacillus fermentum. Part of the environment that these strains are especially adapted for is the yeast itself, which is likely to include saccharomyces exiguus, candida milleri, or candida holmii. The coexistence these bacteria and yeasts works in sourdough because the organisms are mutually tolerant of each others' waste products. Both types of organisms use their waste products as chemical weapons, to discourage the growth of competitors. The lactobacilli produce lactic acid, which inhibits most other bacteria and yeasts (including commercial baker's yeast—saccharomyces cerevisiae). But not our friendly sourdough yeasts. Likewise, yeasts produce alcohol. This discourages most bacteria, but not the right strains of lactobacilli. This is true up to a point. Eventually the dough can get too acidic for the yeast. This is why it can be hard to get extremely sour bread to rise much. But the broader point is that bacteria and yeast that thrive in an unrelated environment are not going to thrive on wheat flour. Maybe there's some utility in pre-acidifying the flour, to prevent infection by other types of organisms before these acid-resistant ones take over. That's just a wild guess. But you're not actually going to be colonizing flour with bacteria from fruit or dairy products.
  7. I think the science is pretty well established that using things like yogurt and fruit juices in starters amounts to old fashioned sophistry. Some of the wild yeasts and bacteria that make for a good starter can survive their presence, but none of them is encouraged by it. Organisms that like wheat aren't going to be found in fruit. I don't believe there's ever any good reason to put something besides flour and water in a starter. It's also been mostly established that when you start your own starter, your not doing it with organisms from the environment, but organisms that were resident in flour (probably from the wheat itself). I haven't seen hard science on this, but a number of fairly well controlled experiments have led to this conclusion. There may, of course, be exceptions. How often and under what circumstances is a question for someone who's studied this process..
  8. Thermapen hygiene

    I just keep a spray bottle of restaurant sanitizer by the sink. Quaternary ammonium. Odorless, tasteless, harmless to people (when diluted), and doesn't attack fabrics or wood or metal. It's more effective than bleach at some things, less effective at others, but has few of bleach's problems. Spray on and let it air dry. Are Thermapens water resistant? I have a Taylor thermometer in the same form factor that can be held under a sink and soaped up and rinsed off. It's nice to not have to be precious about washing it before sanitizing. Re: sponges ... these are the biggest failing in my kitchen sanitation. I like using them, but know there's no sanitary way to do so. Maybe if you kept them soaking in sanitizer, and nuked them every night and changed the sanitizer every day. But the time I tried that I didn't stick to the program. And I could never get my g.f. to stick to it. So basically, I use filthy sponges like most people do. And when I'm cooking a big dinner for other people I switch to my big stack of side towels, use them, and throw them in a pile to be washed. Re: peroxide ... I'm interested. I've seen a lot of literature on its use as a hospital and brewery disinfectant, but surprisingly little on food service use.
  9. Sure, but does anyone remember the whole conversation? I'm not about to spend $20 for the whole season on Netflix!
  10. What was the total water weight of the recipe? If it was much over 500g and still tasted too salty, then you're probably right that the carcasses brought a lot of salt with them. Edited to add: salting to taste is usually the best idea with a broth, since other things you do to it will affect its apparent salinity. Including the acid level, and of course any reduction. If you're using it as stock it's best to leave it out entirely.
  11. Is it also possible that we're taking this out of context? Among Collichio's friends are chefs he'd probably admit to being at a higher level than than he is, and who cook a lot of meat sous-vide. It's hard to imagine him holding onto (and blurting out) such small-minded and sweeping statements on the matter.
  12. Chicken stock rolling boil - for clarity?

    Interesting. I've seen all kinds of protein rafts used in classical cooking, but hadn't seen ground meet suggested before the MC books. I don't recall them specifically claiming it's a new technique. That was just my assumption. I haven't seen it mentioned in traditional texts (with the exception of ground meat combined with egg white when making consommé from an existing stock). It works beautifully.
  13. Meat cutting

    Sushi is just one of many kinds of food where the quality of the product is affected by the quality of the cutting. Herbs are another. Cooked proteins. Fruits. Vegetables that will be served raw. Arguably, raw meat that's going to be cooked doesn't put much demand on cutting technique. But good technique will still make you more efficient, and the job more enjoyable.
  14. Meat cutting

    The basic principle is that you'll make a rough cut if you change directions while cutting. What you can't see in that video is that he's (probably) letting up on the pressure when he changes directions. The result is a cut that looks as clean as if it had been done in a single draw. The 1-2 cut is fast and efficient, but you'd get the same result if you had to do it in more strokes, as long as you're not actively cutting at the moment you change direction. Sometimes if I have a knife that's too short for the task, I'll cut a big piece of meat with multiple drawing strokes. When I push the knife forward to begin the next stroke, I'll remove pressure so there's not cutting on the forward push. It's slower than what you see in the video, but still gives a clean cut. I worry about this more with cooked proteins that are about to be served. If it's a steak that hasn't been cooked yet, small imperfections will rarely show in the final dish. This is even more the case with a stew or a braise.
  15. Chicken stock rolling boil - for clarity?

    Yeah, sounds fishy. Of course I haven't done an a/b test and so am guilty of trusting the conventional wisdom. FWIW, the clearest stocks I've made have been in a pressure cooker, kept below a boil, with a bit of raw (unbrowned) ground meat in the pot to clarify the proteins (a Modernist Cuisine technique). These stocks also taste and smell better than the others I've done, so I'm not really jumping at the chance to experiment.