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Mikels

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    Connecticut
  1. I would be careful. About three years ago I was doing a single muscle roast. I forgot to put it into boiling water to get rid of bugs on the surface. I have done this for years when cooking larger cuts. Upon my return, the bag was floating on the surface, fully expanded like balloon. Upon opening the bag, it was obvious it had gone off. I have never made the same mistake again. This was the only time in about seven years I have had problems.
  2. I would consider a multi-layer roulade with the thinly cut chicken separating the layers. By having stuffings of different colors and complementary flavors, it should make for an interesting dish and form the basis for a great presentation.
  3. Mikels

    Boiling off the alcohol

    I think the reason it is so difficult to get rid of the alcohol is that it forms an azeotrope with water. An azeotrope consists of two or more compounds in a specific ratio that can't be separated by simply distilling it. The ethanol-water azeotrope is about 4% water and 96% ethanol. This boils fractionally lower than pure ethanol. That is one of the reasons you lose water when you boil the mixture. Even then, water is evaporating at about half the amount when it is boiling (vapor pressure at 79C is 341mm Hg and, of course at boiling it is 760mm Hg at sea level). If you don't want to lose too much water, you would need to run a still that has a column to condense the water with the mixture kept above 79C (don't let the Feds find out or they will send Eliot Ness's counterpart). Those are the physical reasons it is so difficult to get rid of the alcohol and why you lose so much water.
  4. I have never brined cukes. HoweverI do salt them to draw our water.
  5. I use a blowtorch quire often in cooking. I there is little difference in gases, other than the gas type (Butane or Propane); I prefer Butane, but that is just me. All you need to do is turn on the gas and light it. Your torch may have a To practice, try frying an egg sunny side up and use the torch to quickly cook the top - sort of like easy over without the "over." Have fun.
  6. I think it may be as vengroff says. Once I cooked a a roast that went bad (smell, puffed bag.....). The suggestion I had was to dunk the meat in boiling water for a minute or two to kill any surface pathogens. Since the interior is sterile all you need do is get the ones on the outside. If I have any concern, that is what I do now. Since the rub or spices will diffuse in the cooking liquid excreted by the meat, I don't rub them in, since your hands or board might be a source for bacteria.
  7. I do a few things: 1. Think of a place you would like to go, but it is likely you will never get there. So cook something from there. 2. Play Iron Chef. Go to a market, either your supermarket, butcher or ethnic market, find something you have never used. buy it and find ways to cook it. 3. Do the opposite of 2. Think of, or better yet invite, someone with a dietary restriction. Then cook a meal fo that person. If all else fails..... Take a rest; fast for a day; then cook the dishes you wished you could like eat after the fast. I should note, at the end, the fast goes slow.
  8. I use a forcemeat and mushroom stuffing. The spicing of the forcemeat provides a compliment to the meat. It works out best when the meat or chicken is boned.
  9. Mikels

    Beef Pancreas

    Strictly speaking, only the thymus is called sweetbreads. But, since the pancreas is similar, it is usually sold as sweetbreads. I like to blanch it, take the membrane off, cut them up and make a very rich stew with mushrooms. I haven't made them in years. Only had lungs once in a heart and lung stew.
  10. I can't say what bread is best. But freezing is easy to defrost. Just put it in the microwave for 5-10 sec, depending upon the power and thickness.
  11. When I looked into SV, one of the requirements was that I could cook for up to 20 people without breaking the bank - the answer was to put together my own. For three years I have been using a 32gal system with a immersion heater and a PID controller. Not only does it cook more food, but when you put the food in, there is almost no drop in temperature when food is placed in it. But, it takes up space. I have not had any problem with either the 1000 watt immersion heater or the PID controller. A while ago, there was a discussion of the food safety of plastic bags. I am under the impression that many think thicker is better. I don't think this is correct. The thicker the bag, the more chemical chemical can leach out; if I am correct the increased chemical is lineally proportional to the thickness. More importantly, the chemicals used to make the bag and its construction are the key factors.
  12. In answer to the question posted as the subject of this thread, I think the correct term is "tasteless."
  13. I have been cooking sous vide for about four years and just run into this problem. I cooked a 48 hour, 4 pound brisket at 132F (55C), iced it, and then froze it in the sealed bag. I later thawed it out and reheated it in the same bag to the same temperature long enough for a second pasteurization to occur. This was for a diner, but the people could not make it at the last moment. I then re-iced it and put it back into the freezer. Since the brisket cost about $60 and I would rather not throw it out. Aside from the possibility of losing the texture of the meat, will it be safe to reheat again?
  14. Chemically, aluminum (Al) is a fairly reactive metal. When in contact with salt (NaCl), it is likely it will form AlCl3. In the presence of acids it will form different compounds, depending upon the acid.
  15. Larry - A while ago I described a system I built using a bucket, an Aurber PID controller, a plastic storage container and an aquarium bubblier. All you need to do is plug everything together and you can have a 32gal SV setup. No electronics, just plug the bucket warmer into the PID controller and position it in the center by cutting a hole in the plastic cover. Another hole for the thermocouple and two more holed for two blubbers attached to the air pump. It took less than a half hour to put together. When you are done, just remove the water from the container, let it dry and place everything in the now empty container. If I remember right, it cost less than $200. The advantage of the large water volume is that, unless you put lots of food in it, there is no noticeable change in temperature.
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