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About paulraphael

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    Brooklyn, NY USA

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  1. Tomato soup - How to perfect it?

    Here's what I've been doing, as much because it's easy as it's delicious. Works best with a high-powered blender. proportions can be adjusted to suit any taste, so I'm not giving any quantities. -Quarter a bunch of really good tomatoes. -peel and quarter some onion. -peel some garlic. -optionally peel some ginger. -Puree it all until completely smooth in blender. -Pour a portion of it into skillet, preferably one with a light interior. -Pour the rest into a pot and heat. -Reduce and brown the portion that's in the skillet. Deglaze with some of the fresh soup, and pour the deglazing liquid in the pot with the rest of the soup -Add any fresh herbs you want. -Simmer until it has the level of cooked flavor you like. -Season -Optionally swirl in some olive oil or cream You can do this in about 25 minutes. The browning / reducing step introduces deeper, roasted flavors. Without this step the soup is pink and has a very light / fresh flavor. You can adjust the fresh-to-roasted spectrum of flavors with the quantity that you choose to reduce and brown. I've done this with canned tomatoes, and it's good if you can find good ones. You probably won't have to add salt.
  2. You can also get a roll of reflectex, and cut it with scissors to fit. It floats on the water, makes a pretty good seal, and insulates. You can just lift it out of the way to get to the contents. And you can use in conjunction with a lid if you want to save a few joules.
  3. I don't have a problem with ice creams muting the flavor of dark chocolate desserts they're served with. I find the yin/yang of the intense chocolate and softer cream to be quite nice. I prefer this to chocolate desserts served with sorbets and very low-fat gelatos (although I like chocolate sorbet). If we're talking chocolate ice creams, I do eggless and about 10% milk fat (so what many people would think of as a gelato). It's still a fairly rich ice cream because of the cocoa butter (5%). The cocoa butter has a stronger effect on the texture than the milk fat, and not a positive one. I'd use all cocoa powder instead of chocolate if I could control the flavors adequately with powder.
  4. I think a lot about milk fat and egg content with regards to flavor release. Usually I use 2 yolks per quart, because I find minimal impact on other flavors and no discernible egginess. Some flavors I feel are a muted by any eggs, like fruit. Others already have too much hardening fats in them, like chocolate or nut butters. I leave the eggs out of these and use other ingredients as emulsifiers. I aim for milk fat percentages from 10% to 15%, depending on the kind of flavor. I don't care for the mouthfeel and dull flavor release of super rich ice creams. Possibly with the lapsang I'd aim for a recipe that's on the rich end of this spectrum, just to help take the edge off the smoke. Off the top of my head I'm thinking it might work well with cooked pears. Maybe also cardamom. I also like the idea of serving it as a complement to chocolate.
  5. We're all coming to your house for the apocalypse.
  6. Tobacco sounds hardcore. The trouble I've had with Lapsang Souchong is the opposite of the smokiness getting lost. It's just been too assertive, at least in the couple of desserts I've tried it in. As a dry rub for meat, it's been amazing. I still love the idea of some kind of lapsang ice cream, just because I have such a long history enjoying that tea.
  7. Ingredients via Internet

    I order chocolate online these days. Mostly from World Wide Chocolates, but sometimes from Chocosphere. Both have amazing selections and good prices. The interwebs is also the best source for techie ingredients. L'Epicerie, Modernist Pantry, La Sanctuaire, TIC Gums Chef's Store, Willpowder, probably a few others.
  8. Ingredients via Internet

    Or if you have a little more room, BERKEL - Fly Wheel Slicer VOLANO TRIBUTE - Gold Finish and Flower Flywheel - Handmade in Italy - RED
  9. Teo, have you had any success with lapsang souchong in an ice cream or sorbet? I've had luck with it in savory dishes, but not so much in desserts. Would love to find a way to get the smoke to work in something frozen.
  10. As funk precaution before long cooks, I dip the bags in simmering water for one minute before putting them in the bath. I'm making a few assumptions about the conductivity of the plastic and the thermal mass of any fluids in the bag, but it should be enough to pasteurize the surface. After this routine, even after several long cooks, including 4 hour pre-cooking at 40°C, I've never had a hint of bad funk. I use ziplocs. No problems ever with long cooks. They are fragile, though, during and immediately after the dip in simmering water. So you have to handle them carefully there and check the seal afterwards. Once they cool down a bit they get their strength back.
  11. Pizza Baking Steel

    It's definitely worth checking out a fabricator or scrapyard or two. Here in NYC the prices they quoted were way higher than the manufactured pizza steels, but it seems like in most places you can get a better deal by going that route. You may have to put in some work to get a finish on the steel that you find acceptable ... be prepared for rust, a rough mill finish, and sharp burs on the cut edges.
  12. Try it and compare. The results are different. One extracts at 85°C, the other at 121°C. I find the differences especially noticeable with fish stock.
  13. We were talking about using s.v. for veggie stock, not for the veggies in meat stock.
  14. I made Rachel Khong's 2-minute chocolate microwave mug cakes. They're pretty good! I used decent chocolate (callebaut 70% and cluizel cocoa) and substituted melted butter for half the oil. This time I served them in the mugs (when I tried de-mugging, the results were unaesthetic in a fecal sort of way). This is a good one to have in your trick bag.
  15. The Bread Topic (2016-)

    Several years ago I bought a boule from a bakery in Manhattan (one I'd bought from a few times before). There was something bizarrely wrong with it. The texture was strange, and it seemed to have no flavor whatsoever. It was like eating nothing. A friend of mine finally figured out that they'd left the salt out.