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KennethT

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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. 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...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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...
  5. 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!
  6. 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....
  7. 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
  8. 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!!!
  9. 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...
  10. 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!!
  11. 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?
  12. 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...
  13. 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....
  14. 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!
  15. I second the chicken wing "lollipop" - one way to do it upscale is to dip the lollipop in a corndog type batter, deep fry, and serve with a garlic puree and a parsley puree... Robuchon does this with frogs legs and its incredible... I've done it with chicken wings and it works well... Jacques Pepin has a fast way to do the lollipops without a lot of work - it takes him about 10 seconds per wing... basically, you cut off the wingtip, then hold the single bone of the wing (the upper arm) in a towel, and bend the forearm orthogonally to the direction of articulation - so if it bends naturally from left to right, then force it down or up until you break the joint - then just pull back on the upper arm and the 2 bones of the forearm just pop out... pluck out one and discard, cut the meat between the upper arm and forearm sections and then just "wipe" the meat down until it forms a lollipop...
  16. hi everybody - my wife and I will be in PR between Xmas and New Year's... we were looking for some real authentic PR food experiences - we're staying in Rincon for the most part, but will be in San Juan for a night also... but we'll have a car, and don't mind driving to get something worthwhile... Not really interested in the best sushi on the island, or a great french restaurant.... but really, the best lechon, mafongo, roadside empanadas, really fresh fish, etc.... Plus any other great experiences anyone can throw out there that we might not be able to get in NYC.... Thanks!
  17. I had always thought that the main difference between broth and stock had to do with flavor... broth is typically made from both meat and bones so you get more of the flavor, as well as body... stock is usually made only from bones, and therefore, doesn't have as much flavor, but will have lots of body... This makes sense to me from a usage perspective: you want your stock to be neutrally flavored since it is only the base from which to make other things (sauces, soups, etc) - the only thing I want my stock to deliver is body, aka gelatin. This is different from a broth, which could be consumed "as is" - in which case, you don't want something neutrally flavored, but something with a lot of flavor of the original ingredient... As I understand it, a consomme is a refined, clarified broth - one that is completely devoid of fat, and is extremely clear.
  18. ok - this one's a little out there - but it's 5 ingredients... it's the squab breast and foie gras dish from Atelier Robuchon: Squab breast Foie gras Savoy Cabbage Bacon Piment d'Espelette Granted, I think it would be better with some kind of sauce - like a squab reduction or something, but I think it could stand on its own...
  19. Does anyone know where I can find heritage turkeys? Also, are they available somewhere as just parts (just the legs or breast etc) and not the whole bird? Thanks!
  20. Yeah - that definitely is an annoying thing about WF - and then, the inevitable question "are you sure you want this?" once they learn how much their limp, pathetic excuse for a chanterelle costs... I don't understand why they don't give them a photo page with the code numbers for all the produce... Try telling them that the ginger-looking-thing is galangal (which actually doesn't look too bad by the way, when they sporatically have it) AND, if you give them a name that isn't in their list, it makes it worse - like calling a hen of the woods a "maitake" - they look at you like you just asked them to roll around in pig's crap with you after they get off work... sorry... once I get started talking about WF, it's hard to stop... But, my conscience would kill me (and my wife would kill me again after that) if I ever called a chanterelle a "shiitake" or something... however tempting it may be... I've always been disappointed by the Union Square mushroom guy - usually, all they have is crimini, white button, and a portobello or something... I've never seen anything interesting there... but I keep looking from time to time... Unfortunately, I don't have any experience with buying enough to go wholesale... I'm sure you've done this already, but a quick google found American Mushroom Hunters (www.mushroomhunter.com) in NJ... they deal wholesale, so I'm sure they'll ship or deliver in the metro area... Good luck!
  21. Whole Foods sometimes has some decent quality interesting mushrooms... when in season, they'll have porcini, morels, chanterelles... lately, their chanterelles have looked less than inviting though, and sometimes you've got to pick through the pile to find just a few good ones... The biggest problem with WF is that you never know what they're going to have from day to day, or week to week... Just because you see something one week, the next week it can be gone... Sunrise Mart in the East Village usually has some good japanese mushrooms - honshimenji, maitake (hen of the woods) and some other ones I don't recognize... edit to rant about Whole Foods...
  22. hey Daniel - I was wondering if you're the guy I met at Ottomanelli's a few weeks ago... I was the guy in the Thai Tshirt ordering the squab and the foie... we talked about Rhong Tiam (where you were headed for lunch)... If you are that guy - what did you think of Rhong Tiam? I take it from the thread that you've found a new space for NYBC? My wife and I would be interested in joining - anything I should know about? I checked out the info on the website (pretty cool) but didn't see any info on pricing... If you're not that guy, this message will self-destruct in 30 seconds... have a nice day! Ken
  23. I have a general question about using the maltodextrin - I have no experience in working with it... once mixed with the fat in question, how long will it keep in that form? Do you keep it at room temperature, or in the refrigerator? So, for instance, let's say you wanted to make a nutella powder - will it start to clump after a while? Or worse yet turn into a giant nutella ball or nutella rock? Thanks!
  24. KennethT

    Airs

    Wow - great! I have my 3 (plus the mystery) little 3" high plants planted in a 24" terracotta planter (the same size as what I'm using for the dwarf lime tree).. it actually looks kinda funny - but I started it in a big pot because I was expecting them to grow quite large and voluminous like the grass that they are... That's why I've been a little worried lately because I was expecting them to grow faster...
  25. KennethT

    Airs

    Wow - that is a great idea... I will definitely try that this week! Kind of reminds me of the potato experiment I did as a kid....
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