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KennethT

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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. I agree - the major downside is that my pressure cooker isn't nearly as big as I'd like it to be... but since it's very easy to make and doesn't take much active time, I'd rather do it more often this way than make more at once in the traditional way. I just wound up finishing my latest batch of chicken stock last night - defatted and portioned... I like to call it clear liquid chicken... out of the refrigerator it was so gelled that I could almost cut it with a knife ... not quite - but it definitely wiggled and jiggled!! Here's my yield: 17 cups stock from approx. 7# backs and necks, plus about 2# mirepoix simmered at full pressure for about 40 min... yes, it's a pretty measely yield - but I don't have that much freezer space, and my pressure cooker isn't nearly as large as I'd like and haven't had a chance to get another... That came from filling the pc as high as I could - I think I only left about 1.5 inches empty space at the top of the pot - wihch is much less than manufacturer's directions, but I guess it was ok since I didn't have hot liquid chicken magma spewing out of the release valve...
  2. I dont know about hooking Jeffrey up with a farm but I use him as well and he is a great butcher but I do wish he had more meat variety as well. I usually just go to the greenmarket and get stuff from there if I am being picky but its way more expensive sadly, i cant imagine how much more it would be if sold through a middle man like Jeffrey. ← I use Jeffrey also... he's great... I wonder how much more he'd be - I'm sure he'd get much better pricing from the farm than we'd get at the greenmarket - becasue at the greenmarket, they're selling retail and the prices will be higher. Selling wholesale to Jeffrey and him reselling it would probably wind up being very similar prices, so long as he has enough volume to buy wholesale. The last I spoke with him, he said he didn't carry a lot of artisinal stuff because he didn't have a huge market for it - but he said he would love to if he had more call and more people asking for it...
  3. I completely agree... also, brining only adds water and salt so that, when overcooked, it still retains some moisture - but, if cooked properly so that you don't have lots of moisture loss, you don't need the extra water - in fact the extra water is bad since it will dilute the flavor of the meat. McGee wrote about this in his Thanksgiving Turkey article a few months ago I used to do a pork tenderloin, marinated overnight in a whole can of chipotle puree, on a very hot grill - I usually cooked it to about 135F in the middle of the thickest part... which required turning every 4-5 minutes and got my tiny NYC apartmnet kitchen really smoky... the thick middle came out tasty, but not spectacular - a nice crust with a center of medium-rare - but a good 1/4" of interior underneath the crust was overcooked... and the tail was completely overcooked throughout... Now, I do it slightly differently - I add 2-3 T of chipotle puree to a vacuum bag, add the pork and seal.. leave in the fridge overnight... It then gets CSV at 135F (57.2C) for however long it needs depending on thickness - usually I leave it in for about an hour or so... after the hot bath, I baste it with the puree leftover in the bag and torch it until I get my crust - and it winds up being medium-rare throughout - even down to the skinny tail... there's only about 1/32" of over-cookedness underneath the crust....
  4. Thanks for your input - I didn't think there was a concern - but I was curious if anyone knew why Pralus was saying what he was saying...
  5. I have a question for all the technical experts out there - Douglas Baldwin, Nathanm, I hope you're out there! I recently stumbled onto a paper which summarized a two day seminar given by George Pralus in David Bouley's test kitchen back in April, 2006. Some of the things Pralus was saying is a little contradictory to what I had learned from this thread, and from what I get from the 2005 FDA food code.... Pralus put a graph on the whiteboard showing temperature safety zones... 50-55C - danger zone 55-60C - tolerance zone 60-63C - start of pasteurization zone > 63C - assured pasteurization zone It was also stated that heat treatment only kills vegetative forms of pathogens if the core temp. reaches 60C. I've been routinely doing flank steak for 24 hours at 55C - granted my lack of problems is not statistically significant.... Can anyone shed some light on this??? Thanks!
  6. I love Coops... we go there on our first night every time we go since we usually get in around 10:30 or so, and it's a few blocks from our hotel... they have an awesome jambalaya... but I don't know if I remember their gumbo - if it's on the menu, I'm sure i've had it, but I can't remember it... I'll definitely give it another try when I go back... It's funny - my wife and I have a preference for Crystal hot sauce over Tabasco - but they have Tabasco on the table... turns out - they keep Crystal behind the bar for anyone who asks...
  7. My wife and I go to NO usually once a year - she grew up in River Ridge, but now we live in NYC... when we go, we usually feast on oysters, boiled crawfish, gumbo and jambalaya for a few days before heading home.... but the last few times we've been really disappointed by the gumbo we've had - most of it was pretty flavorless and looked like it was thickened with cornstarch!!! Any locals know of some great gumbo out there?!?!? Thanks!
  8. I second the slow cooker method.. it takes a while - but it is completely unattended and you can do a bunch at one time and save them for later...
  9. Many times, you want to use wine in a recipe not only for the flavor, but also for it's acidity - so, I wonder if the powders or extracts would deliver that, or if you'd need to modify the recipe to add it in another way...
  10. There also Armato Ice on 88th St. between 1st and 2nd... 212-737-1742
  11. I've been to Tet a few times - most of the menu is pretty good, and better than most Vietnamese in NY... but, the one dish that shines is their Bun Cha, which is the closest I've had to when I had it in Hanoi... it's not a perfect replica, but it's pretty darn close... they actually use the pork patties, rather than just a dried out, thin grilled piece of pork chop. The sauce is pretty authentic also... To make it a bit better, imho, is that they need more greens for dipping (lettuce plus herbs), plus to make it perfect, they need slices of pork belly and some kind of pork loin slice in addition to the patties...
  12. In the past, I've filled porcelain spoons with small bites of ceviche... also, a dessert spoon was a play on the thai dish mango with sticky rice - but I put the sticky rice in the bottom of the spoon and put a mango puree over the top...
  13. Before investing in the stovetop smoker, I used to do it in a wok with a rack and some aluminum foil.... not hard to set up, but once I started doing it enough, I figured it was good to invest in the real thing... What I did was put the shavings in the bottom of the wok (line the bottom with alum. foil first or your wok will turn black) then cover with another piece of aluminum foil... put the rack above that to hold what's being smoked (ie the pork) then cover the whole thing with a foil tent... my stovetop smoker company (Cameron's) recommends using a burner of 5-6 - it starts smoking in about 5 minutes...
  14. I love doing a pre-SV smoke for doing BBQ.... works great for ribs.... the other weekend, I did a SV version of cochinita pibil after watching Rick Bayless do it in a pit in the ground... since I don't have any ground, or a pit, I figured doing it SV was the next best thing... Took 2 pounds of boneless pork shoulder and coated with achiote/lime juice marinade... then wrap in banana leaves, and smoked (in stovetop smoker) over a combo of hickory and oak for about 30 minutes - in hindsight, I might smoke it a little longer next time... Then into the bag, and into teh 180F waterbath... I think I left it in there for about 8 hours, but I'd have to check my notes to be sure.... When finished, I pulled it and it was really nice - super tender, but not mush, with a suble smoke flavor, and subtle flavor from the banana leaves, and a lot of the fat rendered out... Then I reduced the liquid in the bag (pork juices, achiote marinade and some fat), and poured over the pulled pork and let it sit in the warming oven until my tortillas were ready... Put that in a corn tortilla with some pickled onions and some habanero salsa... heaven...
  15. I like SeanDirty's idea of the Robuchon variant... but one of the things that makes the Robuchon dish so great is that he uses (or used to use - I haven't had it in a while) bric pastry, rather than filo - it winds up a bit crisper, and doesn't fall apart... it may be hard to find the bric dough if you don't have a middle eastern or indian market around... Also, Robuchon serves it with a relatively thick basil puree for dipping... Another idea (if you want to knock off a great restaurant theme) is from Le Bernardin from a few years ago - they did a great shrimp ravioli - in the ravioli is the shrimp, duxelle of wild mushrooms, and served with a foie gras truffle butter sauce... it's freaking crazy good - but it's expensive to make... Eric Ripert puts the basic recipe in his book "A Return to Cooking" but he does it with crawfish rather than shrimp...
  16. I definitley agree... the NYC 3* restaurants do not compare to most of the 3* in Paris or France in general. I, myself, am usually disappointed with NYC 3* places, and I live there!
  17. I made the 1# "gift" NY strip steak the other night.... now, I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I still say that it was a very generous gift (especially when my primary purchase was only $3), but I wasn't very impressed by the quality of the meat... It had good flavor and it was pretty tender - but it didn't knock me over like I thought it would... I had a dry-aged NY strip steak (well, it was a roast, but semantics...) from Fairway that was much better... significantly juicier and more succulent... and while anything is possible, I don't think it's what I did to it- I cooked the steak sous-vide to 125F (with only a few drops of juices in the bag after cooking) and a quick sear on all sides on an extremely hot cast iron pan... The sear couldn't have been more than 2mm thick, and perfectly rare inside... Having said that - I will definitely go back to Jeffrey - but if I'm looking for really prime stuff, I think I would inspect the marbling first....
  18. On another note - I just got an email about Dicksons's Farmstand Meats... they source all kinds of meats directly from the farmers, and are only locally sourced... from my quick look online, they have beef, lamb, heritage pork, and suckling pig... supposedly all beef is dry aged as half carcasses for 14-21 days... I haven't tried them yet, but thought I'd pass on the info... his website is: dicksonsfarmstand.com
  19. I've been a loyal Ottomanelli customer for a while - but I recently tried Jeffrey because of this thread... let me say that I'm definitely going to be a repeat customer there! The quality of their products is great, and everybody who works there is a real piece of work! Jeffrey himself seems like a great guy - after seeing my interest, he gave my wife and me a complete tour of the place.... and since it was our first time there, he gave us a "gift" of a 1# dry-aged prime NY strip steak, trimmed... the marbling on that beauty is just crazy... as someone said upthread - he REALLY wants to be your butcher! BTW - my first exploratory visit was to get only 2# of pork shoulder - which is like $2/lb... and when the bill came out to $3.77, the guy said "just give me $3".... just crazy!!!
  20. I think, as a general rule, that turkey fat would be problematic just because of the fact that turkey fat is pretty difficult to obtain... turkeys are pretty lean and don't have much fat... you can't go to the supermarket or specialty store and pick up a jar of turkey fat - plus, with turkeys - usually you want to add as much fat as possible (basting) to compensate for the natural lack of it.... but ducks and geese have lots of fat, which is easily and purposely rendered... I also think that, traditionally, potatoes were typically roasted in duck or goose fat while roasting the duck or goose - so you would roast the potatoes that would render out as the bird roasted. It's a great way to use something that may ordinarily be thrown out, plus, it's really tasty... ETA - also, while turkeys and geese are both fowl, they are different types of fowl... geese and ducks are migratory water fowl, while turkeys would be more related to chickens.. so that changes the anatomy of the birds - ducks are all dark meat to more efficiently deliver oxygen and energy to the wings/chest during long flights, and have lots of subcutaneous fat to protect them from the cold water and be burned for energy, while chickens and turkeys generally just stand around on land, and only use their wings for short bursts - short flights or flapping to show dominance or something - Plus, I'd imagine that you could also add breeding to the argument - in the recent past, mass marketed chickens and turkeys have been bread for large breasts and minimal fat... ducks and geese aren't usually produced in nearly the same numbers as chickens and turkeys, so it's not as important to try to breed out or in different characteristics...
  21. Does anyone know if any restaurants are open on Christmas day in Puerto Rico other than hotel based ones? My wife and I will be arriving on Christmas day, and we'd love to go to Cayey for some lechon on the way to our hotel in Rincon... If not, I've heard that Sunday is the best day for lechon, but are they open other days as well?? Thanks for any info!!
  22. Sam - very interesting - this is the first time I've done a SV turkey - what happens to the skin that you don't like? Do you find it similar to what happens to chicken skin?
  23. Me too... I boned out the turkey and did a ballottine with the breast and my family's traditional bread stuffing - bagged with a bit of duck fat and then SV at 60C for 4 hours... Right before serving, I'll sear the skin on the ballottine either with torch or hot pan with butter - probably go the butter route for some added buttery goodness... Did the legs confit style - salted for about 12 hours, bagged with duck fat then SV at 82.2C for 10 hours... I have some duck confit experience SV, but no turkey leg confit experience, so we'll see how this comes out!!! I plan on picking the confit (like pulled pork), and making salty crispy turkey skin crackers with the skin...
  24. Strictly speaking, I believe McGee is not quite correct about this. Or, rather, he may be saying that 140F/60C is the minimum temperature for efficient breakdown of collagen into gelatin. As those of us who practice LT/LT sous vice cookery know, collagen begins to dissolve into gelatin at around 122F/50C to 130F/54C and collagenase is active down to 130F/54C. These reactions simply take a lot longer at these lower temperatures. This is why, for example, one can cook collagen-rich meats at 54.5C for 48 hours and both convert the collagen to gelatin and maintain a medium-rare texture. FWIW, I take exception to SeanDirty's temperature chart, which is a bit on the low side. I would suggest it's something more like: Very rare: 45–50C Rare: 50–55C Medium rare: 55–60C Medium: 60–65C Medium well: 65–70C Well done: >70C Certainly, cooking SV at 55 seems to just hit the boundary between rare and medium rare (aka, "medium rare on the rare side"). As for cooking something like a pork butt, the comments as to time-versus-temperature are spot on. Unlike wih a naturally tender meat, it is not enough to cook a collagen-rich meat to temperature. No matter what temperature is used, the meat must be held at the target temperature for a sufficient length of time to convert a sufficient amount of the collagen to gelatin. As noted, this reaction is considerably hastened as at higher temperatures, but there is a trade off in moisture loss, etc. It is up to each individual cook to make a final determination as to what combination of time and temperature to use. ← I have to agree with Sam - I (and many others on the SV thread) have done a flank steak SV at 55C (131F) for 24 hours - it comes out medium rare and tender like a filet mignon, but a lot more "beefy"... if I did it for 48 hours, it would be falling-apart-fork-tender....
  25. hi everybody - This is my year to do the main portion of Thanksgiving, and I wanted to do something familiar, but updated and a little "lighter"... I loved the flavor and smell of my grandmother's stuffing recipe - HOWEVER - it always was so heavy and, for lack of a better word, kind of mucky... even though she started with "stale" bread, and browned them in butter, after cooking it was like a solid, singular texture... I found that there are a lot of eggs in the recipe, which probably add to that heavy texture... I was thinking that I could separate the eggs, decrease some of the yolks, and whip up the whites and fold them into the mixture, and then, upon cooking, it would be lighter - almost like a souffle... Anyone have any idea why this wouldn't work??? Also, to make things a bit more complicated, I thought this would be the stuffing of the turkey ballottine that I was planning - so it's a whole turkey breast, boned out, with the stuffing souffle inside - then the whole thing would be cooked sous vide to 140/60 to keep the breast meat nice and juicy (don't worry about the timing/food safety - I have all of the FDA pasteurization times)... Does anyone have an idea if the "souffle" will be any lighter this way than in the past? Do you think it'll expand upon cooking and fill the inside of the ballottine? What if I added some baking powder?? Thanks!
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