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Everything posted by TheSwede

  1. The first two links in the first post goes to firms that sells concentrated truffle aroma (among a lot of other aromas). But there is of course no way of knowing if they are any good. I can definitely smell differences between truffle oils although I suspect that they are almost all synthetic. So, in my opinion there are better and worse fakes.
  2. The main selling point of the Thermapen is that it is fast. It is also accurate, but that is really secondary since any decent digital thermometer will be accurate enough for most cooking application. Since it is fast, you can take spot reading on the fly which is very useful when you are cooking on the top of the stove or if you want to check specific parts (ie the breast of a turkey). When cooking in the oven I belive an ordinary digital probe thermometer (USD 10-20) will be just as good. Stick the probe in the meat, set the alarm and then put everything in the oven. Heat build up will be gradual so speed won't be a problem. If you check your thermometer beforehand with boiling water and melting ice as described above, accuracy won't be a problem either. The ideal combination is probably one of each.
  3. Thanks for the advice! I just ordered a Thermapen.
  4. That first link has many products that look fun. I'm tempted to go buy some foie gras, white truffle, tobacco, lobster etc essences and play around with!
  5. This is slightly OT, but if someone could recommend a good and fast (!!) thermometer and a website that sells them, I would be grateful. I'm looking for something to use quickly when cooking on the stove top, with a needle probe to check for doneness. Is that steak really medium rare, is that potato perfect in the center etc. I have a digital thermometer with a separate probe to use in the oven and I also have a pen-type thermometer from Williams-Sonoma, but that one is just too slow.
  6. You can also find that recipe in the Cook's Book, in the chapter on meat written by Marcus Waring, Ramsey's eternal sous chef (now running his own resturant in Ramseys empire). Really good book, BTW.
  7. You also have to remember that if someone like PolyScience did a "home" version, a number of resturants and labs might choose to use it for non ultra critical applications, thus potentially cannibalizing sales of higher end models.
  8. Thanks, I've tried to do a copy of a dish from a cajun/southwest/something resturant here in Stockholm. This is how I do it at home: Fry smoky bacon until it is crispy, set aside. Fry onion and garlic in a generous amount of oil (or the bacon fat if you are naughty..). Added rinsed canned beans and fry at low-medium heat. The idea is to get a "dry" surface texture on the beans, soft beans but no extra moisture in the pan. Season with salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, hot sauce etc. Add bacon bits, stir. Add finely chopped raw onion on top just before serving.
  9. Black beans with onion, garlic and crispy bacon bits, spiced with dried oregano, cumin and some hot sauce. My favourite BBQ side order ever. Corn on the cob, pre boiled and then grilled. Coleslaw. (...I'm getting hungry here...)
  10. Don't discount the food as a source of income. Given your minimal labour costs (you are already there anyway) and that you probably get the hot dogs pretty cheap if you buy in bulk, you can get pretty good margins on hot dog sales. I've no idea how much you can sell a hot dog with some condiments for in a US bar (USD 4-5?), but it will be perhaps 50-75% profit. Dogs won't cannibalize on your other product (beer), but will perhaps even increase beer sales (people stay for another beer). See it as a free source of extra cash!
  11. So just install a bowl of saturated salt solution in the bottom of the fridge and let it do its thing? Does it equalize at 70%, or lower? (I am seeing some recipes that call for ~45-50% RH) ← That about it. The larger the surface area, the more efficient it will be. From a patent application I found by Googling: "A solution of sodium chloride will provide a relative humidity at about 74%. If the humidity starts to fall below 74%, the salt solution gives up water to form moisture in the air until the air reaches a relative humidity of 74%...On the other hand, if the moisture in the air around the present device rises above 74% relative humidity, the salt solution will pick up moisture from the air lowering the relative humidity to approximately 74%. A solution of sodium chloride with excess solid crystals of sodium chloride will provide a relative humidity of about 74%. " http://www.patentalpha.com/accessories_cl0...ol_5936178.html
  12. Isn't a saturated salt solution supposed to be self regulating, ie absorb humidity if it goes above somewhere around 70% and release humidity if it goes below? Don't know how well that works if you have an massive overload of moisture, but it might be worth a try.
  13. Living in an apartment, curing/drying space is a problem. But I have found this nice six bottle wine storage/fridge with a digital thermostat for 9-15 C (48 - 60 F). Perfect temperature range, only slightly larger than my microwave and only costs USD 180. Add a small computer fan and I should be all set. The brand is named Tann, made in China. They also make larger coolers and all are quite inexpensive. A medium sized one, 21 bottles, costs approx USD 400. Link (in Swedish only - but there are pics): Small: http://www.vinkylar.se/sv/article/8/tann_sandhamn Medium: http://www.vinkylar.se/sv/article/1/tann_falsterbo
  14. I don't think an induction plate will work unfortunately because they have too much electronics in them. I'm guessing that if you cut the main power to the plate (like a PID will do), it will reset and just return to standby mode once power is restored. But it certainly would be a very neat setup!
  15. I ordered one last week, will report back once I get it up an running. This might take some time though as christmas might come between me and my sous vide experiments. Auberin seems very helpful and service minded, corresponding with me via email and setting up the controller for my intended use. They have a pdf discussing some of the applications: http://auberins.com/Sous%20Vide%20application%20note.pdf
  16. TheSwede

    Making Fish Stock

    The cooking time for fish stock is obviously a hot topic. I've read that cooking more than 30 minutes can cloud the stock and/or extract harsh flavours. However, CIA's The Professional Chef says 40-60 minutes so that is probably perfectly ok. Using only bones from non oily fish is also important. No mackerel or salmon! On the other hand, I have made a most excellent stock (and then sauce) from the bones of a char, and I would classify char as at least "semi-oily". Edit: Ehh, did I really use the char bones for that stock or had I bought some other fish bones...? I rember when I served that particular char and I remember that the sauce was really excellent. But I actually don't remember what I used for the stock.
  17. If it was too hard it is because it was dried in an environment which had to low humidity. The saltiness is harder to pinpoint.
  18. Note that the cheaper one can only handle 800 W. I bought the more expensive one to have some flexibility in what appliance I connect.
  19. We are having a discussion on inexpensive sous-vide equipment over in Kitchen Consumer: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=110475 I would dearly like to have a (used, affordable) immersion circulator, but not much luck in Europe (220V) unfortunately.
  20. TheSwede

    Stupid Chef Tricks

    Fergus Henderson says it is perfectly ok to use your chopped onions with skin on in your stock. Ever since i read that, I've started doing the same. Saves a bit of work and I've never noticed any off flavours. Maybe I have to try the onion peel broth...
  21. This handy device: http://auberins.com/index.php?main_page=pr...&products_id=44 (same firm as ChefCrash linked to above) ..together with a rice cooker will give you your own sous-vide water bath. Edit: Just ordered the controller I linked above. Will probably take some time to arrive (US -> Europe) but I will report back here once I get it.
  22. TheSwede

    Oysters - The Topic

    Marco Pierre White's Tagliatelle of Oysters with Caviar. Lightly poached oysters in the shell on top of a small nest of fresh tagliatelle, dressed with beurre blanch sauce, cucumber julienne and, of course, caviar. Very decadent... I've done it a couple of times, sans real caviar. http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/575730
  23. Hmmm, a slow cooker like this one also looks interesting: http://www.shoppingwarehouse.net/prod-1221...ice#description However, the description doesn't say if you actually can set the temperature and in what ranges. And there is no telling how accurate it is.
  24. There are induction plates with digital temperature control, quite inexpensive ones too (USD 100-200). I've no idea how accurate they are and if they work by adjusting the effect or cycling on/off, but I would really like to know. I've also been unable to find one that goes below 60 C/140 F (probably for safety/food poisoning reasons) so no sous vide-ing your steak or fish. But they could still be pretty useful for slow braising and confits. There is also a fabled-mentioned-in-passing induction plate from Phillips that supposedly has a separate temperature probe. No amount of Googling has worked though. Example: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Micromark-Glass-Pl..._sbs_kh_title_3 (although this one only goes down to 80C) I want to know more! And I want one that goes down to at least 55 C, dammit! Edit: This one at least goes down to 60 C. The link show the twin plate version, but there is a cheaper single plate version too http://www.redumbrella.co.uk/product_detailpage.php?id=1070
  25. For the sour cream, you could try pouring it thinly on a silpat or similar and drying it on low heat in the oven. Then break into pieces and mix in a blender to a powder. It probably has to be very dry for this to work. But it might taste horribly after sitting on low heat in the oven for a couple of hours. I really have no idea!
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