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KennethT

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Posts posted by KennethT

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Opening this topic again. I would like to do the turkey leg confit but my turkey legs are too big for my SV setup. I see you're breaking them down and building a brick but that is too advanced for me and I don't have the ingredients anyway. So what would a middle-ground option be?

    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.

  4. Has anyone done the retrograde starch mashed potatoes sous vide? I've always just done them with a pot and a thermometer, but it would be simpler to bag a bunch of potato slices and do them in the waterbath (at least the first cook, but probably both).

    Do you think there would be an issue with them being bagged vs. in the water? Is that a good or bad thing?

    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

  5. 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.

  6. Are you sure they're not just talking about fondant sugar? It's like confectioner's sugar but finer. I see it used in a lot of high tech pastry applications.

    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....

  7. 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?

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Quick Q: anyone ever SV banana leaf for an extended period of time? Wondering if it will go bitter like aromatics.

    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?)

  11. 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...

  12. If he can find someone to go diving with, I'll have three of them tomorrow night. I was going to have him cook up one the old fashioned way, and I was going to sv the other two (one with butter in the bag). I still think I'm going to let it go for 24 hours to break down the collagen.

    Does anyone remember the reason why we only sv shellfish for 40 minutes or so?

    Most shellfish is pretty tender, and if cooked too long turns mushy... octopus can be cooked long time, and I'd imagine that abalone would be good that way too, especially if it has lots of collagen in the muscle.

  13. Has anyone here sous vide'd abalone? My friend dives for fresh ones and we were thinking of doing it. I read in McGee's book that abalone are tough because they use collagen as their energy source.

    I was thinking of jaccarding one and letting it cook at 140F for 24 hours like you would a tougher piece of meat. Do you think this time is too long? I know I'm only supposed to cook shellfish like lobster and scallops for like 30-40 minutes. I figured after that give it a quick pan sear and it *should* be the most tender abalone ever.

    I don't want to mess it up/waste it though, these might be the last ones he gets this season. Any thoughts?

    I would love to do abalone SV, but for me, getting them is really expensive (the only source I know of is in San Diego and the shipping to me in NY is really expensive, aside from the abalone being already expensive!)... so I haven't taken the plunge in bringing them in as an experiment. If you do an experiment with one, please please post your results! Also, I wonder if you could take one, and cut it into quarters and use different temps/times? I know it's a lot of work though...

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  14. Try this again...anybody?

    Hey guys,

    When you cooked the duck skin on between silpats do you use any weight on top?

    Whats the ratio for this glucose solution you speak of?

    Thanks in advance!

    When making the duck cracklin, put the silpat on a sheetpan... then put the duck skin on one side of the silpat, fold over the other side, so you have a duck and silpat sandwich, and cover with another sheetpan...

  15. I typically use a couple of tablespoons of 5% to 8% brine per steak in the bag to season them. It seems slightly more effective than just salting and bagging the meat, and I find that the steaks turn out a tad-jucier this way than if salted and put in the bag without added water. I think that if you salt the meat without adding a little bit more water that the salt seems to cause a bit more liquid to come out of the steak. Or you could season the steaks and add a tablespoon or two of water. If you don't have time to experiment, I think you are safest waiting to season until they have come out of the bag and been dried prior to searing.

    Interesting - I never thought of putting a brine in the bag with the meat... I've always pre-seasoned and put some type of oil/fat in the bag. At such low temps/short times, I've never had problems with any liquid being exuded... definitely not true for long time stuff like 36 hour flank steak, etc (there's lots of exuded liquid)... I have to try the brine next time.

  16. Thanks everyone. I'm going to stay conservative since I won't have much chance to experiment. 1.5" sounds good, and I'll probably go for 2 hours.

    When I cook steaks in a pan I typically finish with butter (unless I'm using the long, slow Ducasse method, where I'll use butter for the whole process). The flavor works so well with aged beef. Has anyone experiemented with putting a little butter in the bag with the meat?

    Also, when cooking in a pan I generally pre-season with salt and pepper. Would there be any disadvantages to preseasoning before sous-vide?

    I usually put some butter (or even better, rendered foie gras fat) in the bag - maybe a tablespoon or two per bag... and I always season prior to bagging. Just make sure to dry the steaks off with a paper towel prior to searing... you can butter your griddle just prior to adding the steaks for a little extra maillard/butter flavor.

  17. How thick are the shell steaks? Once you know their thickness, you can get the minimum time from the tables. At that temp, I have left in the waterbath up to4 hours or so without noticing a difference. At 55C, tenderization takes a long time... Another possibility is to cook the steaks at 55C and leave in to pasteurize in advance - like today if necessary, or if you had the circulator in advance, up to 3-4 weeks in advance assuming your refrigerator is less than 38F. Then at service, the searing will also bring the steaks up to temp (depending on thickness - if it's too thick, then by the time the outside is nicely seared, the inside will still be cold). Doing it from cold has an advantage of getting a thicker crust on the steaks without overcooking the inside.

    Also, just a thought, but shell steaks are pretty tender... I usually go for 127-128F (53C) for such a tender cut which will leave it more rare. If doing this, you don't want to leave it in the bath for longer than 4 hours, and you can't really pasteurize, so cook-chill is out.. I don't know the "rare tolerance" of your guests, however...

    I can cut the steaks to whatever thickness. I was thinking about 1", which would allow everyone to have a little more crust than if they were cut thicker.

    53C sounds reasonable. I don't think that will be too rare for anyone. I won't need to hold them for a long time at all. i'd prefer to go straight from circulator to searing, just to keep things quick. There won't be any extra hands in the kitchen, so the less time i can spend searing etc. the better.

    Do you think 2 hours at 53 is reasonable? At this temperature is there any tenderizing effect to consider over these relatively short cooking times?

    For 1" thick, 2 hours is more than ample, and will not have any tenderizing effect. It will just be uniformly 53C edge to edge.

    Also, just make sure you trim any big chunks of fat, since they won't render at those temps and aren't so appealing...

  18. I'm going to be serving some very prime, 8-week dry aged shell steaks to a big group of people this weekend, and have borrowed an immersion circulator to make it happen (I'm going to think of it as a sous chef with two buttons and no mouth).

    My plan is to cook at 55°C with a little cultured butter in the bag, then sear on a griddle after brushing with a maillard-promoting glucose solution. I'll serve the steaks sliced on the bias across the grain, in strips a little less than 1/2" thick.

    I'm wondering about cooking time. Seems like anywhere from an hour to forever will work, but more time seems to equal more tenderness, and this is already a tender cut. At what point will I risk crossing over from tender to mushy?

    How thick are the shell steaks? Once you know their thickness, you can get the minimum time from the tables. At that temp, I have left in the waterbath up to4 hours or so without noticing a difference. At 55C, tenderization takes a long time... Another possibility is to cook the steaks at 55C and leave in to pasteurize in advance - like today if necessary, or if you had the circulator in advance, up to 3-4 weeks in advance assuming your refrigerator is less than 38F. Then at service, the searing will also bring the steaks up to temp (depending on thickness - if it's too thick, then by the time the outside is nicely seared, the inside will still be cold). Doing it from cold has an advantage of getting a thicker crust on the steaks without overcooking the inside.

    Also, just a thought, but shell steaks are pretty tender... I usually go for 127-128F (53C) for such a tender cut which will leave it more rare. If doing this, you don't want to leave it in the bath for longer than 4 hours, and you can't really pasteurize, so cook-chill is out.. I don't know the "rare tolerance" of your guests, however...

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