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Everything posted by KennethT

  1. I do flank steak at 131F for 24 hours every 3-4 weeks... comes out great every time... I also second the idea that a little smoke goes a long way - I've done smoked duck breast - smoked for about 30 min. then into the 131 water bath for a while (past pasteurization times) then into the ice bath then refrig... sliced and served room temp, comes out really good... very nice smoke flavor, and perfectly cooked...
  2. Hey, Kenneth. You are correct. There is a taper from bolster to tip. The distal taper, as it is called, does keep the tip from being inordinately thick. Even with the distal taper, though, the tip is still thicker than the edge, at least on most German, French & American made knives. The other part of the problem, as you rightly note, is accommodating the arc of the blade as it sweeps toward the tip. You'll have to check with Ben Dale, inventor of the Edge Pro, for the detailed explanation, but because the blade is not fixed to the blade table -- i.e. you do, in fact, move it across the table -- you are sharpening with a series of arcs rather than one big one. That's the problem with systems like the Lansky or Gatco. They're fine for short-bladed knives, but once you get over three inches or so the arc of the stone can't match the edge without repositioning the jig. With the Edge Pro you are playing connect the dots with a series of arcs. And because you don't (or shouldn't) swing the stone past the edges of the blade table, they are short arcs at that. You also rotate the knife on the table as you move from heel to tip, presenting a (mostly) straight section of edge to the stone. It's a compromise, but it's the best compromise I've found so far (aside from freehand sharpening, that is). Hope this helps. If not, and if you still have questions, email or call Ben Dale at Edge Pro Inc. and report back here. Ben always takes time to answer questions. I'll be eager to hear what he has to say. Take care, Chad ← Chad - thanks so much for clearing that up... I thought that that's how it would have to work - but whenever I looked at the video of the Edge Pro, it didn't seem that he was doing that - it just looked like he swept the stone over the knife as he held it in one spot on the table.. It makes perfect sense not to bring the stone past the left/right table edges - that way, the arc is so short, it's essentially straight, for all intents and purposes... Thanks again!!
  3. Hi Chad - thanks so much for this guide!!! I'm a little confused by the statement above... I understand that if you look at the cross section of the blade from the handle to the tip, it forms the triangle you discuss, with the spine forming the widest point of the triangle, and the edge forming the tip of the triangle... but if you look from the top down, with the handle towards you and the spine on top, the blades are tapered so that it forms another triangle (two long sides - that is the length of the blade, and the short side that is the thickness of the blade at the bolster). So, while the point of the western knives may be technically in the middle of the width of the blade, the blade thins as you go from bolster to tip, so the point isn't really that thick - it's much thinner than the thickness of the blade at the same latitude at the bolster. Unless of course, we're talking about a stamped blade, in which case it is of uniform thickness.... but most quality western knives are not stamped blades, but forged ones that taper from bolster to tip... A question I have with the Edge Pro is that the sharpening mechanism is fixed at one point so the sweep is circular - but a knife edge isn't circular - it's usually flat (or close to it) running from the bolster to about the middle of the blade, and then sweeps up to the tip... so I don't understand how you can maintain a consistent angle with a circular radius sharpening A) a straight edge or B) a circular edge with a different radius than that of the Edge Pro without constantly moving the knife back and forth and constantly adjusting the blade stop to the width required.... Help and thanks!!!!
  4. That marrow in the osso bucco was a revelation... everything else in the dish was a waste of time, by comparison... I was thinking now of doing an "upscale" pho bo - where I have the pho broth, but clear like a consomme (I've done this before in the pressure cooker - works great), little ravioli filled with the cooked marrow (which take the place of the rice noodles and the marrow that gets usually integrated into the broth), and some raw prime rib eye sliced thin that is "cooked" in the broth at the last minute... finish with chives to act as the sliced raw onion/scallion component... ETA: It's a great idea to have the butcher slice the marrow bones into 1" thick slices... I didn't think of that ..
  5. Has anyone done beef or veal bone marrow before? I did one a while ago by default when I did an osso bucco... the osso bucco was done at 82.2 for about 6 hours, I think... it was good, but the marrow stole the show... Has anyone done just a marrow bone? If so, what temp/time and how did it come out? Any suggestions?? Thanks!
  6. I do a flank steak all the time this way.... comes out tender like a NY strip, but it's much cheaper.... I jaccard first, season with S&P, then bag and cook at 55C for 24 hours.... then take the bag out of the bath, let it cool a bit (10 min?), then take the steaks out of the bag, blot with a paper towel, then I dust with Wondra flour... a quick 15s sear in a hot pan with peanut oil makes them nice and brown...
  7. KennethT

    Foie Gras: Recipes

    You can also buy slices from Hudson Valley Foie Gras... they come as 4, 1 ounce slices vacuum packed on a card... I get this in Manhattan from Ottomanelli on Bleecker St. who routinely has them in stock - I think the card is $20, which, ounce for ounce isn't as good of a value as a whole lobe, but minimizes waste if you're only going to use a small amount - I've heard freezing is ok, but I gather the texture gets altered slightly... Also, I've had experience with Citarella - you can get a half lobe there rather than a whole lobe, and the price is the same per pound as the whole lobe.
  8. You can try to fold back the top ofthe bag while filling - sort of like what you do when filling a piping bag.... then unfold and seal...
  9. I was reading notes of when George Pralus was teaching a class to David Bouley and other pros... he recommends putting cook/chill items into perforated hotel pans with ice - so a layer of ice, layer of bagged items, then another layer of ice, etc... and keep that in your walk-in... he says it's the only way to be sure that you're keeping the item at <34F since a walk-in can get upwards of 55F during service when the door is opened very often. Before you go about the ice ordeal, you can always try something out by putting a needle probe thermometer into the center of an item and monitor it from the outside - that way, you'll see the difference in temp between the inside of the item, andthe temp of the refrig... depending on the mass of the item and surface area, there should be a lag in change in temp of the item if the refrigerator gets warm for an hour... it won't follow the refrigerator temp... also, once all the items are well chilled, maybe you'd want to put them all in a big pan together - that way, the combined thermal mass will help keep them cool if the refrig. warms up temporarily...
  10. Yeah - that looks great! My squab came out really good, thanks to all the suggestions... but unfortunately, I didn't have presence of mind to take any pictures... basically there was a squab breast cooked SV to 55C (I thought it was slightly too 'medium' to my taste and next time I'll try 53.3C), chilled, then reheated during a quick sear in a very hot pan... that, topped with a foie medallion cooked to 55C also (that came out really good - very little shrinkage - still a bit rare inside). The whole thing was covered in a sheath of thin caramelized sugar studded with cocoa nibs, star anise and coriander. This was served with a chocolate sauce which was basically veal stock enriched with squab bones, with bittersweet chocolate whisked in at the end... All in all, I think it came out pretty well - even though the sugar shell was on the sweet side (I used sugar, not the fondant,isomalt combo) it was balanced with the cocoa nibs, squab/foie, and by the slightly bitter sauce.... if you had all elements at once, it was very well balanced - but the sugar shell on its own was a bit too sweet.
  11. KennethT

    Celery Salt

    Celery salt has a very specific flavor.... To me, celery salt is the primary seasoning component in Old Bay... So, with that said, I think it would be good on steamed crabs, or shrimp... or maybe in some crab cakes...
  12. Thanks everyone for your great replies... I'm actually doing something non-pastry related... I was thinking of making a sugar shell flecked with cocoa nibs as a shell for a squab breast with foie gras in a chocolate sauce for V-Day... I figured I could make the sugar shell in advance and mold it onto an aluminum foil faux squab breast and then just place it onto the squab breast before service. So far, I've done the first idea presented which was to take my original sugar shell (which was about double the thickness that I wanted) and broke it into pieces and then buzzed it in the spice grinder... then put the dust onto the silpat and into a 350 oven... worked pretty well, but then another shot worked well reheating with the propane torch... I used plain table sugar, not the fondant, etc. as recommended, and it worked pretty well... The taste test confirmed... a good success! Rolling is another good idea, but I wanted the cocoa nibs (embedded in the sugar) to be larger than the thickness of the shell, so that might be problematic... I love eGullet!!!
  13. hello sugar/pastry experts! I am looking to make a sugar (like a blond caramel color) shell that is super thin... I did some experimenting, but can't seem to get it as thin as I'd like - I tried pouring the liquid sugar onto a silpat and spreading it around, but it cooled before I could spread it thin enough... Is there some trick I'm missing? Or some way to make the sugar less viscous before pouring? Texturally, I'd like the final product to crack if smacked with the back of a knife or spoon - so I don't know if adding corn syrup would help becuase I don't know if it would make the final product too flexible... I'd love to hear any thoughts.... Thanks!
  14. KennethT


    Re-reading your post, I realized that I may be able to help a bit... herbs are usually pretty easy to grow - an outdoor patio is great in spring and summer, but you can keep them growing all year long if you have a sunny southern facing windowsill... basil grows like a weed from seed... you can basically dump some bagged soil into a pot with the fine stuff on top (use a strainer) and just scatter some seeds... keep it the soil moist with a mister and cover the top with plastic wrap until the seeds sprout... you'll have micro-basil in a week or two, and in a few weeks basil plants... just keep them very moist as basil loves water - you can tell because as soon as it gets a bit dry, it will wilt.... Tarragon is different - you can't plant tarragon from seed or you'll get Russian Tarragon, which is different from French Tarragon - in order to get French Tarragon, you need to plant cuttings from existing plants... an easy way is to pick up a tarragon plant at the farmers market in the spring. Tarragon doesn't like to get too hot, so if you keep it in the windowsill, it should be out of direct sun... or at least not right by the window. Other than that, some herbs like different conditions - thyme and rosemary both like to dry out slightly between waterings - so I tend to keep them in the same pot (or two separate pots that are watered together)... If you have any questions, you can pm or email me - I'm happy to share all I know... when I was a kid my father had a large garden in Westchester that I used to help in all the time... tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumber... I wish I could do some of that, but since all I have is a large windowsill, I'm pretty limited... My dream is to (one day if/when prices ever come down) have a space with decent patio or roof that I can put in a greenhouse and experiment growing hydroponically... I've been doing some research into it, and it seems pretty feasible....
  15. KennethT


    I've always fantasized about having a patio garden... right now, I have no outdoor space, but I make do with a southern facing windowsill with a lime and lemon tree, and various herbs, oh and some lemongrass... My biggest fantasy is to have a decent outdoor space where I can put in a greenhouse - and grow all kinds of stuff - plus, it's great to go into the warm steamy greenhouse in the dead of winter!!!
  16. anyone know where I can get cocoa nibs in manhattan? I figured I'd try NY Cake and Baking but I don't want to take the trip if I don't have to.....
  17. yeah, I'll be getting a bunch for Mardi Gras regardless.... I hope they're bigger, but if not, oh well.... I'll be down in NOLA in April - I'm sure they'll be nice by then!!
  18. The Louisiana Crawfish Company - lacrawfish.com - is currently selling live crawfish - I think they started a few weeks ago... right now, they're on the small side though - typical early season crawfish - but they're still tasty.... I'm hoping they get a bit bigger by Mardi Gras...
  19. I'm looking to get some andouille, boudin and tasso for some upcoming treats for my ex-NOLA wife... I've gotten some andouille from Poche before and it's great... but was wondering how it compared to some of the other brands out there - Comeaux's, Richards, Tonys, etc... Also, which are your favorite boudin and tasso??? I've heard Cochon Butcher makes some great stuff - I'll check them out the next time I'm down there - probably in April.... but does anyone know if they ship?? Thanks!!!
  20. For crawfish, I love the Louisiana Crawfish Co.... www.lacrawfish.com I think their prices were a bit better than Cajun Grocers, and their product is fantastic... and really great service too... I just ordered some early season crawfish last week - FEDEX damaged the box - out of my 10# order, probably 7-8 pounds came dead and crushed... this was a first for me with lacrawfish - but I emailed them, and they were happy to give me a refund or store credit.... very easy to deal with... Usually, when their crawfish come in, they're big, lively and very tasty - with only a couple of dead ones in the whole 10#.... They also include a pack of their boil (which is really really good) plus a can of creole seasoning which between the two make a great crawfish boil.... I just add some garlic cloves and a couple of halved lemons to the pot in addition to the boil....
  21. The best things to use are necks, backs, wingtips and feet - they have the most connective tissue (which turns into gelatin)... using whole chickens would be great for making a soup or broth, since the meat gives nice flavor... but typically, I like my stock to be more neutral in flavor - so I don't use meat... but to make a broth I like to add wings as my main meat source..
  22. KennethT

    Seared Tuna

    How do you usually do the tuna? How different would you like it to be?
  23. Does anyone know where to get food grade closed cell foam tape for making temperature measurements with a needle proble? I know some people have used the closed cell weatherstripping, but I'm a bit concerned that there may be some toxic stuff in the adhesive... Any thoughts or suggestions?
  24. 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...
  25. 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...
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