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Jonathan Kaplan

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Everything posted by Jonathan Kaplan

  1. alanjesq -- Anything to report yet? Any sense of the temp acccuracy, etc?
  2. A very brief note.... Last month, I ate at Manresa for only the second time in 6 years (I really need to get to the bay area more often!), with my wife and a couple we are close friends with. I used to work for David back at Sent Sovi, and so I am hardly an objective observer. But my love of David's cooking was why I wanted to work for him, and not the other way around. In any event, in the half-dozen years since I'd last had David's cooking, I believe the food has gotten more precise, more exacting, and more elegant, without losing its fun and flair (though it is perhaps a little more restrained than it sometimes has been). We did the tasting menu, and had an incredible, 3+ hour-long meal - one of the very best meals I've ever had. I had the wine-parings, and they were very well chosen. I really can't speak highly enough of the overall experience. It's the sort of thing that makes me wish I'd decided to keep cooking professionally... Jonathan
  3. Thanks Larry; it is interesting that the display is in .1 units, but the setting are 1 or .5 units... I wonder why they did that? jk
  4. For those of you who own the Sous Vide Supreme, a couple of questions... I know the temp. accuracy is supposed to be at least +/- 1F, and above an owner noted that they'd tested it to be accurate to within .5F, but how does the temp setting work re: accuracy? That is, when you set the temp does it go in 1 degree increments or does it go in .1 degree increments or what? And is it different in C and F -- that is, does it go by e.g. .1 in C, but 1 or .5 in F, or what? I'm torn -- part of me thinks this is a good, easy solution (given that my old lab water bath is having some technical problems and getting it fixed would prob. cost more than I paid for it), and part of me wants to hold out for a cool circulator... Jonathan
  5. I like this challenge! While I very much enjoy cooking expensive proteins, I often cook vegetarian / semi-veg for dinner parties, and have fun doing it (my wife is mostly vegetarian, so...). I'm uncomfortable buying "cheap" meat, because so much of it is produced under appalling conditions. But that would pretty much exclude meat from this meal... A few soup ideas: Carrot Soup -- should be able to get very nice carrots this time of year. cooked, pureed, strained, and served in small portions, this is a nice start to a meal. Sweet-potato and leek soup -- again, not too pricey (you don't need lots of leeks), and can be served chilled w/ sour cream / creme fraiche. Kale & White Bean Soup: I like this idea a lot, but I'd be tempted to use too much too expensive olive oil. Pastas: sweet potato ravioli or butternut squash ravioli (I tend to find pumpkin rav a bit bland) Saucing them will be a little bit of a challenge, but a bit of cream and a tiny bit of cheese could go a long way.. *** I really like the Lentil Salad idea -- it should be able to come in very inexpensively, even using nice petit puy (well, local versions) lentils. Maybe toss w/ a few nuts? or perhaps serve with some sauteed shredded Brussels sprouts?
  6. Jonathan Kaplan


    One idea I didn't see above -- Horseradish "consume". puree horseradish w/ a bit of water, add about 1/2 of 1% gelatin by weight (soak gelatin in water, heat to dissolve, than add to the puree), freeze, then thaw in 'fridge in cheese-clothe lined strainer over bowl (when doing horseradish, put that whole thing into a bag to keep it from stinking up the 'fridge!). You'll end up w/ a clear liquid that tastes like horseradish, doesn't have quite the bite of horseradish, but makes a *fantastic* medium for e.g. poaching fish, vegetables, etc. And the consume freezes well for future use. I love the stuff and try to always keep some around... Jonathan Kaplan
  7. I've had the most success in liquid -- same liquid as is inside them, but w/o the calcium (no gluco).
  8. I've kind of given up using "normal" sphereification, because the reverse method seems (to me) to be more flexible. The only downside is that the spheres will stick together sometimes in a way they don't do with the "normal" direction. So that would be one reason to try to get the normal direction to work, too, I suppose. That said, my advice is to try it w/ the two calcium products you have. I guess I'd start with something like a mix of 3g/l of each, and see if that worked (. If not, I'd try 6g/l of each separately and see if that worked. If all those fail, I'd move up to a mix of 10g/l of each and see if anything good came of that. After that, I'd probably give up, but that's just me. Oh, I suppose I'd probably just try to make sugar-water spheres for simplicity, using about 4g/l of alginate in that mix. Let us know how it turns out! jk
  9. It's sort of possible, but not pretty, as at least some bubbles seem to form in ways that muck-up the look of the spheres (e.g., they become part of the membrane). At least, I haven't been able to avoid that problem. I doubt you'd really be able to taste the carbonation in a 'pear' sized sphere anyway, so I'd use flattish beer and take it from there. You could also use flattish beer to make the spheres and then re-carbonate them in a soda maker...
  10. A friend of mine just made spherified Cointreau in champagne. ← Did your friend use "straight" cointreau for that ? I've had problems with getting 40% alcohol to form spheres ? I did some reading and thought that indeed tooo much alcohol doesn't work. From my experience around 20 to maximum 24% alcohol seems to work. Can somebody shed some light on this ? I'm using the Biozoon alginate and calcium. I also wanted to check on another thing as well. I made Chambord liqueur caviar recently which was put in sparkling wine. After a while the contents of the caviar seemed to be displaced by the sparkling wine. Is that just some sort of osmosis type process? ← Try reverse spherification -- it seems less sensitive to the properties of the materials Yes, it is some kind of osmosis process. But seriously, the membranes are permeable, and my guess is that if one waits long enough, the liquids inside and outside will be very similar. I've had this problem when I've tried to keep spheres for longer than a few hours - so if I need to keep spheres for a while, I put them in the same liquid that is inside them to hold them. Seems to work. Best, jk
  11. I think ermintrude understates the case -- I'd be very surprised if you could taste the chocolate at all, esp. given how thin you want the membrane to be. More plausible, I think, would be to embed a piece of chocolate in the cherry sphere, a la the ice-tea raviolo. But do let us know how your experiments turn out! jk
  12. I recently had some fun w/ some black truffles from tennessee... Black truffle ice-cream *is* really very nice. It is a bit on the savory side, but just. More putting them 'in' than 'on' though. Can't imagine I'd have the guts to try it with real white truffles, though... Similarly, given their affinity for eggs and cream, I suspect that any variation on pot de creme / creme brule, creme anglaise, etc., would rock. Not terribly original - James Peterson's _Sauces_ goes on about using them in creme anglaise after all.
  13. Lima105 -- I've used lecithin for making "airs" -- but I haven't tried it for hot preparations, and the texture I think would be a little to "thin" (air-like) for the application. But I'll try it, and maybe try a mix... Thanks for the tip! AVFool: For recipes, check out: http://khymos.org/recipe-collection.php I used to buy the texturas products marketed by el bulli but the place that had reasonable prices stopped shipping by ground so they got way too expensive. I now get most of my chemicals from Le Sanctuaire. Best, jk
  14. I've a quick question re: using methylcellulose to 'foam' liquids. I'm using SGA7C (and A15, but I find the SGA7C works better to foam things). Whipping water and 1% SGA7C, I get a wonderful foam. Same w/ a sugar solution. But acids seems to disrupt the foam (simple syrup at 1%, fine. simple syrup and lemon juice at 4:1 ratio, 1% methylcellulose, no luck ). I haven't read anything about this, and can't find a reference to it. Any thoughts? I'd like to make a hot citrus foam. I had OK luck augmenting the SGA7C with some xanthan gum, but that changed the mouth-feel more than than I wanted (a little slimy) . Thoughts? Ideas? jk
  15. Add a bit of nice salt, and I am *so* there... jk
  16. Carrot Consomme with Carrot Foam Comsomme: Carrots gelatin (does it count if it doesn't end up in the dish?) Salt to taste (doesn't count) Foam: Carrots Cream salt to taste (doesn't count) Well, that's only 3 ingredients! How about: Corn and tomato consomme (this assumes you can still get fresh corn where you are, or froze some earlier in the season)... I serve this in small glasses (a little bigger than a shot glass), with the tomato water cold and the corn consomme hot... Corn consomme: Corn gelatin Salt to taste Tomato water salt to taste light gelling agent to slightly thicken You could serve both and still be in at 5 if you used gelatin to thicken the tomato water.... jk
  17. I add all the chemicals at (roughly) room temperature. Depending on the size of the sphere and what it is made of, I find that most of the time I end up wanting it in the bath for between 10 seconds and 1 minute works. But the only way to tell where in that range is to try a few a different times and see what works -- as above, you usually want the 'skin' as thin as possible w/o too many breaking while being plated! jk
  18. Jonathan Kaplan


    There are a number of ways you can go. For airs, I use "Lecite" (Lecithin). One possibility would be first to make a clear mango "consomme" (puree, add gel, freeze, thaw in fridge), sweeten it if you think it needs it for your dish, add the lecithin (.25-.5%), and follow the directions in the http://khymos.org/recipe-collection.php. Let me know if you need more guidance or if that wasn't the kind of thing you were thinking of... (You could of course also just buy frozen mango juice and use that w/ the lecithin...) Best, jk
  19. If you have some air in the mix it isn't in my experience a disaster, but it does sometimes make the spheres less pretty. You can also use a vacuum to de-air the mix a bit faster... jk
  20. Are you trying this with a "standard" or "reverse" sphere. "reverse" (gluco in mix, fixed in an algin bath) are a bit "stickier" so they might work where "normal" spheres don't. Are you trying to coat them with melted chocolate? Might powered chocolate work? And: what effect are you going for? If you just want a liquid coated in chocolate, why not freeze the liquid into a sphere, dip it in chocolate, & let it melt in the 'fridge? Why bother w/ alginate at all? Best, jk
  21. Can't help w/ the "why" part but I agree that lobster does well w/ more heat than most fish. I start w/ the "steeping" of the lobster a al FL, and shell it and then move on. I played w/ 45-50C sous vide for a while, finishing it w/ a blowtorch, but I still found it a bit 'rare' for my tastes. After playing around w/ 60C sous vide, I eventually gave up on the water bath and went back to just buerre monte, which I keep on the stove at around 150-160F ( 65-70C). I leave in the buerre monte basically until I want to serve it -- up to an hour! I don't find it overcooked, but rather tender and very buttery... Just my .02... jk
  22. Following up on the soup / consomme ideas, I like serving the following in shot glasses, but I'm sure they would work as well in soup spoons: Carrot consomme (gel-clarified), with or without carrot foam (foamed unclarified puree) Pea consumme (gel-clarified), perhaps with "pearls" (small sphereification) of truffle juice? Or frozen spheres of truffle oil? Both these work fine at room temp, but you could also put the consomme's in a thermos, and pour on site. jk
  23. How about separating out the parts for individual cooking? Cook the cauliflower in a pan with butter, salt, pepper, no liquid, on medium heat, only partially covered (half-on lid or parchment). It will brown nicely, and you can cook it until it is almost but not quite as tender as you want it. Pre-cook the potatoes however you please, but make sure that they don't absorb too much water in the process. Make your bechamel sauce separately, seasoned however you'd like. I like the Bouchon bit about adding the cauliflower stems, but really, just whatever you'd like the sauce to be. Combine the pre-cooked potatoes and cauliflower in a gratin dish, spoon the bechamel sauce over it, sprinkle with cheese, etc., and stick under the broiler until it is browned... Should give you the basic idea you are after... jk
  24. I once made chocolate truffles with a young woman who I was, let us say, very interested in changing from a friend to a "relationship". The process -- especially the hand-rolling of the truffles, first to make them round, then in the ground chocolate in preparation for being dipped -- lent itself to licking chocolate off each other's fingers, etc. Oddly, despite claims from one of my housemates, who wandered through the kitchen a few times during the day, that what with all the licking of chocolate, long lingering glances, etc., that he expected that we were already an item, she decided that the man she'd left behind back east deserved another chance, and invited him out to try to make the relationship work again. Sigh. So that was a rather mixed success. jk
  25. Huh. I can't imagine why it isn't working. Neither the alcohol nor the acid should be a problem for reverse spheres... I'll try it this weekend and get back to you... Just to be clear... You are going wine + 25g/l glucolactate, and then into a 5% alginate bath?
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