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KennethT

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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. Anyone have any experience with Le Petit Nice (Gerald Passedat) recently? Thanks...
  2. For the basic inline filters you don't need to drill a hole in your sink. The filter goes onto the cold water line under the sink and you can take it out and take it with you when you move. In my office, we had a reverse osmosis filter under the sink in the lab and when we moved to a new office we took it with us and put the original line back as it was. Such an installation is not considered a "permanent" fixture. Wow! I looked at the installation instructions of the basic model of the link you provided, and it seemed like they were intending you to permanently install the included spigot. Maybe, instead of the spigot, I could use a hose/valve that I could stash under the sink when not in use? Is that what you're talking about? Otherwise, did the RO filter connect in between the cold water line/regular faucet full time?
  3. Andie, I completely agree... unfortunately, I'm in a rental apartment, and while I'm not averse to doing some "renovating", I think installing an in-line system is not really in the cards for me. I've drilled holes in my poured-concrete ceiling to mount a pot rack, and other easily concealable things (necessary when we eventually move out), but I think there's really no way to hide a 1/2" hole drilled into my sink or countertop... So, for the forseeable future, I'm stuck with the expensive faucet mount version....
  4. The Brita faucet system is definitely cheaper than the PUR. My Brita was $20 at the home depot for the faucet kit including 1 filter. The equivalent PUR system was almost double the price. As for replacement filters, the Brita has a 2 pack for $30, and the PUR was like $40 if memory serves correctly... But I don't know if the PUR works better (ie more throughput, not removal of substances) or lasts longer before needing replacement. The Brita filter is rated for 100 gallons, but mine lasted about half that amount when the throughput reduced to almost a trickle. And that's Manhattan tap water that I had previously thought was clean! Indeed, when I check my normal tap water with a TDS (total dissolved solids) tester, I read roughly 20ppm which is really good for any non-RO water. But I wanted to get rid of the chlorine - most of my Brita water is used for my hydroponic tomatoes, leafy veg. garden and lime tree which like chlorine less than us people do...
  5. KennethT

    Spherification

    I haven't done it, but from all that I've read, you usually want the liquid to be spherified to have some body to it - so a lot of recipes tend to thicken thin liquids with xanthan or the like before spherifying. Some of these additives react negatively with alcohol... have you checked out the Khymos set of recipes? There's tons of information in there...
  6. I use the Brita faucet mount and it works well - although I agree that the filters don't last as long as they say they do before the flow rate goes down to a trickle. According to the very official looking info included with the filter (inside the package, not advertising on the outside), it removes 99% of chlorine and a bunch of other stuff, but leaves the fluoride unfiltered.
  7. KennethT

    Spherification

    I don't know that much about it, but I know you can use a sequestrant and use the regular spherification... check out the primer on cookingissues.com. Sequestrants are commonly used if you have hard water and get pre-gelation before hitting the calcium bath.
  8. KennethT

    Hot Tub Sous Vide

    hmmm... 156F is pretty hot - what subprimal are you thinking of using? One with lots of connective tissue I assume? The other thing to keep in mind is the pump and other hot tub stuff - usually, hot tubs only go up to about 110F right? Somewhere over that is considered scalding... I don't know what would happen to the pumps/hoses at the elevated temp for a long period of time. I wouldn't worry about the bubbles as long as there is good circulation - the bubbles will be constantly clinging/blown off by the circulation so that's not an issue in my mind. As others have brought up, the thickness is important. Check out Douglas Baldwin's info for how to calculate internal temp with regards to various shapes (cylinders, slab, etc)... I guess, technically, the interior of the muslce is considered sterile, unless it was jaccarded at the packaging plant, which is becoming more and more common, and almost impossible to detect. If so, the interior is not sterile, and depending on how long it'll take to get up to pasteurization temps, might be dangerous.
  9. Most circulators are about 1000W, and will heat a stockpot from tap temp to 140F in roughly 15 minutes... rice cookers or slow cookers may be less.. i'm not sure...
  10. KennethT

    Foie Gras: The Topic

    Usually when applying smoke to SV stuff, I smoke first, then bag and cook... I've never smoked foie, but I would imagine it to be really good.... the smoke-oil is a good idea - but another possibility may be to season the foie with smoked salt.
  11. KennethT

    Vinaigrette sheets

    I haven't read this specific recipe, but usually, agar doesn't hydrate until you boil it for a few minutes...
  12. Are goose legs/thighs more similar to duck than turkey? If so, you can do a duck leg style confit. It renders the fat nicely and the meat is still moist... I used to do 185F for duck confit, then 176, but I think the last time I did it at 155 for 24 hours and it came out best... I'm sure others can chime in as well since there is lots of duck confit experience here... If the goose breast is similar to duck, you can remove the skin/fat layer prior to cooking, then cook the meat at 131 or 132 for medium-rare (do you eat goose this way?). Or, if the meat is not as red, and leaner than duck (more similar to turkey), maybe the more chicken/turkey approach of 140F would be better. You can prick the fat layer/skin with a jaccard or dog brush, then bag and cook SV at like 185 for a few hours to render the fat and break down the connective tissue... then you can crisp on the sheetpans between a silpat and it'll get really crispy.
  13. I keep the skin on for all manners of confit - the connective tissue in the skin really breaks down well, which makes for REALLY crispy skin afterwards with a post SV fry or high temp baking between sheet pans.
  14. KennethT

    Sous vide turkey

    You can always cut the raw meat off the leg and put the chunks in a bag in your SV setup... Usually the turkey confit is pulled from the bone anway once it's done (like pulled pork) - so if it won't fit, you might as well debone it first.
  15. I used to do it quite a bit - until I got out of my potato puree phase.... I think I wrote about it about 40 pages ago... haha... I sliced the potatoes about 3/8" thick, bagged, and into the bath - I think I let mine go for about an hour, then cooled. I did the second cook in barely simmering water. The results came out pretty good - but there were always a few granules that never cooked through, so I always had to run the puree through a tamis to get rid of the grittyness. The basic procedure was: 1) retrograde starches/cool 2) simmer until cooked through 3) run through ricer 4) dry potatoes in skillet over low heat 5) add butter 6) run through tamis 7) add starchy potato water to adjust consistency 8) season
  16. A great way to reheat without the microwave would be to put the remainder of the pork loin in a new bag and reheat in the waterbath. You can even slice it first, then put the slices in a bag in a single layer so that it will reheat much faster, with no fear of overcooking. Another option, if you didn't want to eat the remainder of your pork loin so soon would be to put it in a new bag and recook to pasteurization. Chill fast in ice as dougal said, and if your refrigerator is cold enough, you can leave it there for a few weeks if you keep the bag sealed.
  17. I'm not sure - it always has just been called "fondant" and since they're european, I've assumed they meant the european fondant which I've seen in european food science texts as being 1000g sugar, 300g water, 100g glucose, brought to softball, cooled to roughly 86F, then agitated (kneaded) to form small crystals - then let rest to ripen for 12 hours. For example that is.... Plus, I can't imagine why they would use superfine sugar if you're just going to melt it anyway....
  18. Right - but, wouldn't the fondant lose its structure once you remelt/boil/bring to hard crack?
  19. So this really isn't a pastry question so much, but I figured this was the best place to put it... El Bulli and other restaurants have been wrapping savory items in very thin caramel. Most techniques out there use the following: 2:1:1 by weight fondant:isomalt:glucose heated to 325-330F (where the fondant is sugar/glucose not rolled fondant). My question is why do they use fondant rather than just sugar and extra glucose? My understanding is that fondant is made up of very small sugar crystals in a saturated sugar solution - so it has a very fine and creamy texture. But if you're going to remelt and bring to hard crack, doesn't that destroy your crystal structure anyway? Does using fondant do anything special in this application?
  20. Wondra flour is a great coating for pan-frying, aka saute, proteins. You sprinkle it on, and a super-thin layer adheres to the protein, the rest blows off. The finished product does not seem to have a flour coating. It also helps proteins not stick to the pan. This is a technique that was lauded by David Bouley a few years ago in one of his demonstration classes - he extolled the virtues of the wondra flour for like a half hour - and even sold it in the Bouley Market when they first opened (which was about the time of this class). He said in the restaurant Bouley (at that time) they used the wondra flour when the sauteed just about everything... he demonstrated using it when searing scallops.
  21. I'm in Manhattan and have no problems finding it - it's in the Food Emporium and Gristede's in the basement of my building/across the street...
  22. It seems to me that the biggest problem I have with poultry skin is rendering the fat underneath and gelatinizing the collagen, rather than the crisping of the surface. Turkey skin is pretty tough and leathery (lots of collagen) unless you do something to convert it, and then it can be crisped successfully.... The problem is how to cook the skin long enough to convert the collagen without killing the meat underneath. I haven't found a solution yet, other than removing the skin and treating it separately - that seems to be the consensus here so far. Pour-over frying works pretty well at rendering some of the fat and crisping, but it's a real pain in the neck as hot oil splatters all over the place and it still doesn't do a completely effective job. 2 years ago, for thanksgiving, I did a turkey breast ballantine (with the skin on) that I tried browning the skin in a hot pan. The legs/thighs were done confit style and the skin from the confit was crisped between two sheet pans in a hot oven. The results: at the end of the night, when cleaning the plates, just about all had finished the white meat ballantine, but left the skin on the side. The crisped thigh/leg skin was completely gone, as well as the confit.
  23. Alex - can you sum up what he said about the future of El Bulli?
  24. I've done things wrapped in banana leaf - like a yucatan style pork shoulder, rubbed with achiote and lime, wrapped in a banana leaf and cooked at either 155F for 24 hours, 176 for 12 hours, or 182 for 8 hours... the banana leaf didn't impart that much flavor at 155, but it imparted a lot of aromatics at both 176 and 182... neither of them were bitter, although we didn't actually eat the banana leaf (does anyone actually do that?)
  25. Just checked my notes... nice thick asparagus, 150F for about 8 minutes with s&p and a couple pats of butter in the bag, then shocked in ice water and held in refrigerator until service - put back in 140 or 150F water (whatever's convenient if you have other things going) for a couple of minutes to reheat: results in a vibrant green color, crisp but tender texture... I thought they were a little too crisp still, but others loved them... maybe I'd try 10,12 and say 15 min. next time I can get really good asparagus... had a very green, grassy flavor... more than normal steaming etc...
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