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KennethT

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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. KennethT

    Pressure Cooked Stock

    That's interesting... I do find some impurities stuck to the bottom of the pot, but I get quite a bit floating to the surface during the heat-up phase. Do you heat it with the cover on or the cover off? I know the instruction manual for the pc said to add all ingredients, put the cover on and put on high heat until full pressure, but I'm always afraid of getting a cloudy stock, so my method is kind of a hybrid between traditional and pc stocks...
  2. KennethT

    Pressure Cooked Stock

    I do all my stocks in a pressure cooker... typically, I'll put in the bones and fill with cold water up to about 2 inches from the top of the pressure cooker - I know you're not supposed to pass the 2/3 point or something, but it works fine... bring to a simmer, and as it heats, the bones will release impurities - so skim as they accumulate... After about 15-20 minutes of simmering, the release of impurities will noticeably slow down, at which point I add mirepoix and sachet... then cover, raise heat to high and bring to full pressure. Once full pressure is reached, reduce heat immediately to the point where it's just maintaining pressure - you want a slow simmer - just at an elevated temperature... depending on the type and size of bones will dictate how long... chicken stock is fine after about 45 minutes... veal stock can go for a 1.5 hours to really get all of the gelatin out... Once it has cooked sufficiently long enough, turn off the heat, and let the pot cool down naturally until the pressure is reduced... removing the lid should show perfectly clear stock - like a consomme... but the trick is how to get the liquid out without disturbing the bones - disturbing them will add impurities to your liquid... if you remove the liquid carefully and put through a chinois lined with a couple layers of cheesecloth, that should keep your stock clear. Otherwise, you can always run it through a superbag to remove anything that may have mixed in....
  3. KennethT

    The Fresh Pasta Topic

    I love making fresh pasta - but my machine seems to have a problem when I get to the thinnest divisions.. I have a Weston hand operated pasta machine that I got from the local rest. supply store... The problem is that when I get to the last two divisions, the dough seems to pull to one side causing a pile-up and my rectangular sheet becomes a rounded triangle... I keep meaning to contact the factory but never get around to it. Any suggestions?
  4. Great writeup! My wife and I have visited Burgundy for the past two summers... We loved Ma Cuisine... the wine list is superb with veryn fair prices and excellent cooking. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Interestingly enough, of all the writeups I see of that place, no one seems to mention the 2 some-odd pages of their wine list devoted to Chateau Yquem sauternes!!! Plus, the pyramid of empty Yquem bottles in the corner... We also loved Lameloise.... agree with everything you said.... another great spot in Chagny (on a much lower level though) came from a recommendation from the Lameloise staff - it's around the corner - Le grenier de Sel or something like that... in this old Burgundian stone building - a great place for Charollais beef grilled on their wood grill in the middle of the dining room, or classic burgundian fondue, with choices of meats (I loved the duck) and various dipping mayos... If making your way to Chablis, a great spot to stop is in Joigny, which I'm sure everyone knows about, also *** is Jean Michel Lorain's La Cote St. Jacques... I cannot recommend this place highly enough... In my opinion, if Lameloise is worth the *** (which I think it is), then JML is worth **** if there were such a thing... simply an amazing experience from beginning to end with undending creativity...
  5. KennethT

    Chicken Stock

    I second the pressure cooker method... I use backs, necks, wing tips, feet when I can get them and then fill the pot with cold water... I then bring to a boil uncovered, and skim the scum that forms... once the impurities stop coming up, I add the onion, carrot and celery in big pieces, plus I throw in a small handful of peppercorns, a pinch of dried thyme and maybe 10 parsley stems. Cover and simmer under full pressure for about an hour... I then turn off the heat and let it cool slowly until the pressure reduces to normal - the result is rich and gelatinous, but also crystal clear.
  6. Both of the versions above (176 and 185F) were done with the skin on, which came out tender with a slight give to them... one might call it very slightly rubbery, but I thought it was very nice. For this version, I'm not planning on crisping the skin since I'm going to be serving it with puffed rice which will add a nice crunch, and I want the braised texture of the skin to contrast with it... With that said, if I wasn't planning on doing the puffed rice, I would probably crisp it post SV... 185 seems to be the number for vegetables... I haven't done leeks yet, but pearl onions at 185F for about an hour are awesome... I haven't really tried less time... artichokes are also great
  7. I also contacted SC Johnson (I prefer the ziplock bags to foodsaver also - much more convenient) - but they were not very willing to divulge information to me. I am in the process of contacting a few outside testing labs to see if they will (and how much it will cost to) test some bags under a few different conditions for me.... I'm thinking I'll have them check 185F for 12 hours as I think that would be the worst case scenario... Are there any other temps/times that people use that might be good to test as well? I've recently done some 5 spice pork belly that was cooked as a taste test - about 1/4 C liquid in each bag, one bag at 176F for 12 hours, and the other was 185F for 8 hours... Both came out very tasty - but I think the 176 was the winner... the meat turned out to be a little more succulent... but regarding the recent topic, both were done in ziploc bags and both had no problems with leaks, etc... but I wouldn't know for sure if I didn't ingest some plasticy stuff....
  8. KennethT

    black chicken

    Do a google search for Silky chicken... the black chickens are typically called 'silky's because of their soft feathers... I gather they actually make decent pets... Silky's are very common for Chinese to eat when pregnant, elderly and I think around New Years... typically silky's are used in soup - otherwise i think the skin gets pretty rubbery and the meat is tough...
  9. KennethT

    Aldea

    Yes, we received the same 5 (actually 6 including the cuttlefish) dishes... plus, we ordered the sea urchin toast a la carte to share... which was awesome btw... We decided to do the tasting rather than sharing because we felt that if we each ordered an app. and main and shared mid-way, we'd try 4 dishes (not including dessert which we don't always get), and with the tasting we'd get 5 each.... And yes, all of the dishes on the tasting came from the menu... before we started, I asked the waiter how the tasting worked, and he said it was 5 dishes, and then preceeded to point them out on the menu (he didn't point out the cuttlefish)... so each of the dishes were taken straight from the menu, but in tasting portion sizes... you could hear chef Mendes expedite everyonce in a while, and he definitely made it clear when it was a tasting plate being prepped.
  10. KennethT

    Transglutaminase idea

    I don't know if there's an actual limit... your best chances are with the GS... When I originally talked to the Ajinomoto rep about the duck breast idea, he thought it would be tricky, but he thought it was possible and to go with the GS to do it... It did work... but I was bonding raw meat to cooked fat+skin (not much protein in fat/skin, especially after cooked) - and the skin was crispy so it about as cooked as could be. After searing your filet "knot", I would first wipe off as much fat/oil as possible, then cool it down so it's cold. Put a lot of slurry (I paint it on with a brush on both sides to be glued) and then wrap it really tightly - as tight as you can - before it goes into the refrigerator for at least 6 hours... As for the tofu, I have no idea - try it and let me know!!! Or talk to the Ajinomoto people - htye may have some experience glueing tofu...
  11. I second the Khymos collection... but also check out the texturas el bulli site where they sell lots of ingredients but also show excellent videos on how to use some of them.. I think it's albertandferranadria.com or something like that... do a google search for texturas el bulli then click the link for the videos and recipes... Also, Willpowder (who also sells the ingredients) lists them by function - spherification, gelling, emulsification, etc., and gives a pretty good description of everything they carry...
  12. That's a good idea - but I was thinking about if you wanted to cook something 'in liquid', not just marinated - sort of like a braise... There are many times that I cook things in a court bouillon, stock or equivalent flavored liquid - the great thing about SV is that you only need a few Tbs of liquid as opposed to a few cups in traditional cooking. It's true that you can pre-freeze many liquids and add them to the bag, but I've found that mostly it's a pain in the neck - frozen olive oil melts really quickly, for instance, and it's always a race against the clock to add it to the bag, vacuum and seal before it starts working it's way up the bag. Plus, I usually like my oil flavored, and unfortunately, I'm usually more on the spontaneous side to plan too far in advance... Lastly, I have a small apartment kitchen, and my foodsaver typically lives on a high shelf in a cupboard where I have to get a step ladder to access it (I have very limited counterspace) - so it's a pain to constantly get the thing, so I try to avoid it as much as possible...
  13. KennethT

    Transglutaminase idea

    You could definitely do this if you wanted to... glueing the seared meat to the salmon is the hardest part - so you should wipe off all the oil that you can, and then use the Activa GS - it has 10% more bonding strength than the typical Activa RM... The way you use it is to make a slurry of 1 part GS to 4 parts water by weight... then wisk for 3 minutes or so to dissolve, then wait until the foaming stops and then it's ready to use. Brush the slurry in between each layer, then wrap tightly and refrigerate overnight... I once glued an already cooked duck skin onto a raw duck breast to get crispy skin, completely rendered fat and perfectly cooked meat... I would recommend talking to the Ajinomoto people - they're very knowledgable... and there's lots of info on the website...
  14. I find that if you're SVing something with liquid in the bag (marinade, olive oil at room temp, etc) it's very hard to get a really good vacuum with the foodsaver because it starts to suck liquid into the machine before it finishes sucking all the air... so I've manually stopped the vacuum and sealed it before it's finished "sucking".... these have the tendency to float... if I vac something that's dry I've never had a problem with floaters... Lately, if I want to do something that's been marinated or in olive oil, I'll use a zip lock bag and seal it in a sink full of water... when you put the open bag in the sink, the surrounding water pushes all the air out... just give it a little jostling and you can get all the air bubbles out, then move the bag so that the zip lock is just at the water line and seal it.... I haven't had a problem with floaters ever since... and they're a lot cheaper than the foodsaver bags!!!
  15. I second (or third) the Bun Cha in Hanoi..... I'm considering going back there just for it! There's a thread on the eGullet somewhere where we were discussing bun cha and I think the consensus was that one of the components to the sauce was "caramel sauce" - I gather it's easy to make - just caramelize sugar and add water or I think you can find it in an asian grocery... Nakji wasthe poster - and we were discussing it while she was living in Hanoi and was trying to ask her friend to ask one of the guys on the street how it was made...
  16. KennethT

    Aldea

    I have to agree, Bryan - Aldea is one of the few restaurants I have been excited about in a while... a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I visited, and sat at the counter. Sitting at the counter was great, for a few reasons - it was really interesting watching this kitchen, and seeing Chef Mendes actually cooking - but also, one dish (the shrimp) arrived and wasn't explained by the runner (one of the few service flaws) - Chef must have noticed my wife and I guessing/discussing what we had in front of us and he came over and explained it to us himself. Very nice of him to do that... he also chatted with us a bit as we were walking out... We wound up getting the tasting menu - my wife and I usually order separate dishes and then we split midway through each, but for some reason, we decided to go with the tasting that night... Your rundown was just fine - the cuttlefish was not technically part of it, but was comped.... The shrimp was incredible - it just bursted with flavor... the sauce was so good that it highlighted the other service flaw - namely that I ran out of bread and it wasn't refilled... so rather than waiting for some more, or hunting some down, I very discreetly began wiping the plate clean with a finger... not my finest hour, granted... but effective... as I was almost finished, someone came over and upon seeing her, I said "this was so good I would have licked the plate if it was socially acceptable" to which she responded apologetically - "maybe we should have given you some more bread"... haha... whatever - the sauce was freakin' fantastic... The cod was also a star - perfectly cooked - juicy, slightly fatty, moist.... just delicious... the rest of your remarks are right on....
  17. If you're from the East coast, you can get Bobo farms chicken - both silky (which has black skin and black meat) and black plume - similar to normal chicken but is leaner and a much more pronounced "chickeny" flavor...
  18. I had wanted to edit my last post and add that I've read that 176F also works well for re-producing a braised texture, but is said to leave the product more succulent than 185... but I haven't tried it yet myself...
  19. I find that 185F does a good approximation to traditional braising texture, but I think the end product is more succulent... I've done Yucatan style pulled pork shoulder, BBQ ribs and duck confit (not reallya braise but I'll include it anyway) this way and they've all come out great... For times, a 2 pound boneless pork shoulder took about 8 hours... St. Louis cut ribs (not baby back) took about 6 hours and the duck confit (from Moulard ducks) took about 7 hours. I think there are definite advantages to doing these SV rather than a traditional braise - in addition to succulent texture... first is easy cleanup... and less marinating materials... especially for the confit - only a few tablespoons of fat is necessary for each leg, rather than a whole tub-full.... plus, you always end up with much more fat than you started, so you don't need to start with very much for a first confit project... plus, it's easier to infuse flavors - for ribs, only a 20 minute pre-smoke on a stovetop smoker is enough to make them nice and smoky... the same for the pulled pork...
  20. KennethT

    Ethereal Sauces

    In the same line of thinking, what if you used osmazome that's been heated to coagulate proteins and then strained - the resulting liquid is VERY flavorful... lately, I've been taking the extra 5 minutes when doing things sous vide to save the osmazome, pouring into a small cup, microwaving for 20 seconds, then straining and using to enhance the sauce... works very well... It has even been discussed somewhere on the eG (probably the sous vide thread) of getting some cheap meat, and cooking it just for the osmazome....
  21. KennethT

    Ethereal Sauces

    Typically, ER discusses adding piment d'espelette - typically recommending cayenne if you can't get it... piment d'espelette is not as spicy as cayenne, but has a subtle smokiness.... he also adds a couple of drops of tabasco for the same reasons you discuss... David Bouley says that most of his sauces now are based on juices rather than meat based stocks - he says he rarely uses meat based stocks anymore... now he uses mushroom water, or dashi, or other types of broths as bases and will thicken with a super-fine puree of shallots cooked for hours in redwine until dry then run through a tamis... or thickens with garlic treated in a similar way... he has moved away from thickening with roux or butter because it's not as healthy, and he feels that the fat coats your tongue and supresses more vibrant flavors...
  22. KennethT

    Pizza Dough

    Interesting - so is that to say that you will mix a 1:1 ratio of flour:water and then let sit in the fridge for 30-40 minutes, then add flour+yeast to bring the flour:water ratio to 100:70 (for 70% hydration)? Then you ferment after that - overnight? Sorry for all the questions - I'm very inexperienced when it comes to anything baking.... but I'm learning...
  23. a 4% sugar solution would be a bacteria extravaganza. My guess is that precision isn't all that important and you could wing it easily. 1/4 tsp of honey or glucose syrup in a shot glass of water will get you in the ballpark. ← That's what I thought... glad to check it though.... Your guess is on the money - I used 2g glucose in 50g water... the biggest problem is that the glucose sticks to everything - so while I put 2g in my mixing container, probably 1.5 g stuck to the spoon.... plus, to get it to dissolve faster, I stuck the glucose/water mixture in the microwave for about 20 seconds to warm it up... I know I could put warm up the glucose too to get it to flow better, but it's in this big plastic tub that would take forever to warm up... oh well, I'll just have to think ahead each time I need it!
  24. KennethT

    Pizza Dough

    It wasn't just the bottom that was hard - the entire untopped portion of crust was uniformly hard - even the top which had very little excess flour.... also, most of the excess bench flour stayed on the bench... I made two small pizzas out of my dough experiment... the first one was ridiculous beginner's luck because it just slid off my peel (an upside down 1/4 sheet pan) onto my stone... the second one was more of a mess but it did make it off, miraculously... the second one convinced me to do the parchment paper trick the next time... For an autolysed dough - would I just mix the total volume of flour and water together first, and put in the fridge... then after 30 min. take out and add yeast and mix a bit more? How can the yeast be evenly distributed?
  25. KennethT

    Pizza Dough

    ok... so I need help... what am I doing wrong? My first attempt used King Arthur "Italian style" flour - http://www.kingarthurflour.com/shop/items/...tyle-flour-3-lb I mixed about 2 cups of dry flour with about a half teaspoon of SAF instant yeast, then mixed with water for a 70% hydration by weight, but it looked a little dry, so I added a bit more water so it would all come together so probably a 72-73% hydration... This was mixed in a large stainless steel bowl, covered with plastic wrap and fermented at room temp overnight for probably about 15 hours or so... Then, I poured the extremely wet and sticky dough into a ziplock bag (poured is not exactly accurate - more like scooped handfuls of dough and slopped into the bag) and let sit in the refrigerator (about 37F) for 7 days.... On the day of baking, I put a large terracotta saucer upside down in my cold oven - then set the temp of my oven to about 250 to gently preheat the stone... then cranked the heat to 500-550F and let it sit for over an hour.... My oven thermometer which has a max of 500 was reading way off the scale... I took the dough out of the refrigerator probably about 2 hours before use... and when I had my mise complete (first trial was filetti style - cherry tomatoes, buffala mozzerella, basil, EVO, salt) put a crapload of AP flour on my work board.... scooped out a large handful of extremely wet/sticky dough (which stuck to the bag, my forearms, seemingly everywhere) and put on the pile of flour - I then dusted the top of the blob with a generous dusting of AP flour and gave the dough a couple of folds before I nudged/stretched it with my fingertips... For King Arthur to claim their flour makes an extensible dough is an understatement - if I would have sneezed, the dough would have ripped apart... Then quickly throwing on the toppings and slid it onto my stone with great difficulty - I'll definitely try the parchment paper trick next time!!! But, to my surprise, I did not find a soft pillowy crust as a result... instead, the outside of the crust was hard like a crusty breadstick, while the inside was soft-ish... Baking time was approx. 7 minutes.... What did I do wrong? Help!!!!!
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