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  1. Baggy

    Ris de caneton

    I’m building a menu from my recently purchased copy of Pierre Gagnaire’s Cuisine Immédiate. I have taken an instant like for the ‘Endives aux poires, poêlée de ris de caneton en bigarade’. Mr Gagnaire describes ris de caneton as having “…unusual delicacy but must be eaten very fresh.” Some questions: Am I right to interpret ris de caneton as duckling sweetbreads? If so, can anyone give me a ‘Technicolor’ description of taste and texture. Where on a duckling is it/are they located? Are they thymus or pancreas or what? I would love to find a source – anything in London? I can’t imagine my lo
  2. Thanks for the responses. As for searing – this is not the issue. I have tried searing the steak when cold (registered at 3-5C) and before putting in the water bath. Searing on a hot pan (measured at 280-310C with an IR thermometer) for 30 seconds a side increases the internal temperature by around 4-6C for a 2 cm thick steak; not as hot as e_monster suggests, but nowhere near enough to overcook. Less searing time is insufficient to produce significant browning and, even at 30 seconds, whilst acceptable in appearance the grey surface colour shows through the griddle marks. Searing for 60 se
  3. I might be a few months late, but check out this link for Pierre Hermé making macarons with almond paste.
  4. I’ve been experimenting with cooking steak sous vide and have come across an issue with the colour of the meat. I’m using a chamber vacuum machine and pulling down to around 50 mbars before cooking at 52C for a rare/medium rare finish for anywhere between 20 and 90 minutes. As expected, the meat is moist and has the expected texture (although this varies widely depending on the quality of the meat and length of ageing). Problem is the colour. Depending on which muscle groups are included, the colour is verging on grey (with a pink tint). It’s not the meat as I’ve done comparisons with the
  5. Fergal you are going to have so much fun! But I’m not sure that sous vide can conveniently done on the cheap in the UK – few/no secondhand water baths and no decent inexpensive vacuum packing machines. I started with a FoodSaver vacuum machine but found it unreliable in sealing bags. The vacuum they pull isn’t too great (not a problem if you’re just looking for something slightly better than an ordinary plastic bag, but no good for storage), and the cost of the bags is high. There are other external vacuum packing machines, but they are as expensive/more expensive than the FoodSaver and use
  6. Just in the middle of preparing some lamb’s tongues which I plan to chill, slice and make up as sandwiches with mustard. Last time I brined the tongues for 24 hours, soaked them and then boiled for 90 minutes with some aromatics, but the tongue was tough. I presume it was overcooked. I have seen recipes giving time for boiling lamb’s tongue for as little as 45 minutes and others for longer. I’d like to find the best conditions for cooking lamb’s tongue sous vide in a water bath. I’m guessing that tongue will be less full of connective tissue than say pig’s head (cooked at 68C for 36 hou
  7. Douglas, still trying to catch up. Does this mean that the rate limiting step to achieve any given internal temperature is not the interface between the water and food, but the rate of heat diffusion within the food?
  8. pounce – you are my link master! Now I have to figure out which pump. Any ideas which of the less expensive aerators sit outside the bath (not in it)?
  9. sygyzy – you’re right, and I was expecting a difference. What I didn’t know until I tried it was how big a difference there is between items of different geometries. Initially I started with a simple theoretical model based on Peter Barham’s formula included in his book ‘The Science of Cooking’. Unfortunately, the experimental approach seems to be at variance with the theory. So, I pose the question – has the theory been subjected to any real-world testing? I’m feeling my way in this area and have the impression that we are not quite ready to recommend a 20 mins a lb approach. e_monster
  10. pounce – thanks for posting the link. Happy I can track the storage temperatures back to a reviewed source. Douglas – Great work! Love the egg pictures – looks just like the ones that come out of my water bath. Do you have experimental data that confirms the heating/cooling tables you’ve put together? For example, I’ve found that in the case of a sausage vs the same thickness piece of meat, the sausage ‘cooks’ a good deal faster (measured with a probe thermometer), so geometry could be an additional factor. Any idea if there is a measurable difference between the use of a circulating and
  11. I think it’s fabulous sharing this information. Could you give the source. Obviously, this type of information on storage times/temperatures cannot be easily verified and is pretty safety-critical. I’d like to use the data, but clearly it would be difficult to justify without a reference. Thanks.
  12. Not exactly the same as sabayon, but I have made Swiss meringue using a bowl in the waterbath set to 70C. Unsurprisingly it works OK. The downside is the additional height of the waterbath makes beating the egg white less convenient. Also a bowl in a bain marie is a good fit. A bowl in an open waterbath isn’t, so it takes more firmness to hold the bowl and there’s a good chance of the water being ejected over the edge once the whites start to stiffen. So on practical grounds I’m sticking to a saucepan of hot water.
  13. I have been looking up some charcuterie terms and came across ‘palais’ as one of the abats rouges. There seems to be very little reference to this, and certainly no recipes that I can find. The closest I can find is that palais might be the stuff that divides the vault of the mouth and the nasal cavities. I think I can believe it if this is the same as the soft palate – but, honestly, how big is a cow’s soft palette? Is palais taken from any other animal, or only beef? How big is it and how is it prepared?
  14. I was looking up the different types of cream and came across this site (only in French). The site does say that crème fraîche épaisse is thick and slightly acid (sour) from fermentation. From the list, crème fleurette would be closest to a heavy cream with 30+% fat content. I found it mildly amusing (I think this means confusing!) that crème fraîche can apply both to generic ‘fresh cream’ and to cultured crème fraîche.
  15. Baggy

    Popping rice

    I must say that I’ve been somewhat distracted away from my rice puffing by the fabulous taste of gougères – now my technique is a little better I can get back to the rice… iguana - it’s not especially the popping, but I suspect that if the moisture inside the rice grain isn’t contained in some way then it is probably that the grain won’t puff either. I guess the popping is just a consequence of the steam bursting out rather than leaking away. I’ll go for either.
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