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Robert Jueneman

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  1. Robert Jueneman

    All about "sous vide" eggs

    I would strongly recommend approach #2, but wich a slight modification. I would set the yolk at the desired consistency, then chill the egg in ice wtr, and save until needed. Then drop then in near boiling water just long enough to set the white, before serving. You can try holding thm at 55C, but I would be afraid they would continue to get firmer, which I don't think you want. But try it, and let us know. From a bacterial safety perspective,holding them at 55C would be safe, as would holding them at close to 0C, but nothing in between. Bob
  2. I'm working from home these days, but I well remember the problem. I like chuck steak at 55C for 24 hours hours or a little less. Great flavor, and the timing works well. Also brisket or short ribs for 72 hours at 55C, although many people recommend a higher temperature. Beyond that I would recommend some tests on your sous vide apparatus. Try fillng the bath completely with ice from your freezer, and see how long it takes to thaw to 5C. Assuming it takes three to four hours, and that you are going to cook a steak that will withstand anywhere from 2 to 6 hours, you could plug your circulator into a timer and let it start unattended. This assumes that it will remember your desired temperature, and doesn't require you to push any buttons. If the ice melts too fast for you, you could try getting the ice even colder than your freezer will permit, by adding some dry ice to the mix. And that reminds me of my trick for rapid chilling. My freezer gets a lot clolder than my ice maker, so I keep a couple of 1.5 liter bottles of cheap vodka in the freezer, then pour it into the pan. Then I put that on top of my AntiGriddle, which chills down to about -20C, before adding the food to be chilled, still in the sous vide bag. Other than buying dry ice, or dragging out the Dewer of liquid nitrogen, that's the fastest way I know of chilling everything as qickly as possible, assuming you don't have a commercial blast freezer.
  3. Robert Jueneman

    Starch-Infused French Fry Perfection

    Interesting! Unfortunately, they didn't comment on the thin vs. thich cut fries, but their technique of determining the specific gravity (and presumably, the wetness or dryness) was certainly interesting -- one more variable to eliminate. And this might account for the earlier recommendation to use one to two week old potatoes, rather than fresh ones -- presumably they are somewhat dryer. Unfortunately, at the moment I am recovering from a nasty fall that severely dislocated my left ankle and broke the fibula in four places, requiring a 10" plate and a bunch of screws to hold everything together. So I won't be standing up and cooking fries anytime soon, but maybe somone else can try some of these techniques, and post their results.
  4. Robert Jueneman

    Cooking from Grace Young's "Breath of a Wok"

    Time to blow the dust off of this thread. This past Memorial Day, we drove down to Albuquerque and had lunch at the Elephant Bar. My wife had a rather ordinary ham and turkey focaccio sandwich, but I opted for the Honey BBQ Shimp, prepared in a flaming hot wok, and absolutey delicious. Unfortunately, the Elephant Bar doesn't sell a cookbook, and they consider their recipes TOP SECRET, but from what I could glean from one of the cooks, it doesn't sound all that difficult. The peeled shrimp are marinated in some kind of a Honey BBQ sauce (TBD), then coated in a rice bran(?) and flour mixture prior to cooking. Other ingredients included snap peas, orange slices, Thai chiles, thinly sliced red pepper, and who knows what other secret ingredients, in addition to the marinated shrimp and presumably the left-over marinade. This was served with stir-fried rice and some veggies, also very good, but the shrimp was the real hit. I'm planning to buy the Breath of the Wok, but it sounds as if maybe the recipies are not their strongest element. I recently bought a big 18,000 BTU propane burner for use outside with one of the two woks I own, one of which is an inexpensive carbon steel number that ought to easily withstand the intense heat. And if that doesn't work out, maybe I could launch a hot air balloon with it! If anyone has had the Honey BBQ shrimp at the Elephant Bar and successfully duplicated (or stolen!) the recipe, please let me know. Recommendations for other decent wok cookbooks would also be appreciated.
  5. Robert Jueneman

    Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014

    This subtopic really deserves a topic of its own, dealing with infusing fruits and vegetable infusion with a chamber vacuum (as opposed to infusing liquor with fruit juices, which can probably be done equally well with an iSi Cream whipper.) Another subtopic needs to be devoted to the compression of fruits like watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, etc., along with infusion. Anyway, inspired by Dan's experiments, I dug out my copy of the "Flavor Bible" to try to see what would go with what. For my first try, I quartered four strawberries, then put them in a onion soup bowl to contain them. Then I added 2 tbls of Triple Sec, 2 tbls aged balsamic, 2 tbls Cream de Cacao, 2 tbls Gran Marnier, and 1 tsp of Orange Bitters. My wife didn't like the flavor of the balsamic that much, so I added another 2 tbls of Triple Sec. I might try some Cafe Espresso balsamic I have, next time, or try to find some chocolate balsamic. I then put the soup bowl (uncovered) in a FoodSaver vacuum marinade container, and put that combination in my MVS35X chamber vacuum, set to 100% plus 45 seconds. As expected, the alcohol boiled over the top of the soup bowl a bit, but not too badly, and the marinade container caught it all. But the chamber vac timed out, because of the lengthy time, so next time I will reduce the extra vacuum time. I then put the container, still under vacuum, in the freezer for 15 minutes, then bled off the vacuum. A significant amount of liquid was left, so I decided to do it again. The initial results were very tasty, and not too alcoholic, but perhaps not quite chocolatey enough, so for the next iteration I followed the same recipe, but added 1 tbls of powdered Hersey's Dark Chocolate.
  6. Robert Jueneman

    Cooking with Your Absurdly Expensive Chamber Sealer

    Emannths, I've been rereading some of these older posts, and I wonder whether you might be overlooking something. With almost any chamber vacuum, you can make room temperature water boil. With a really good one, like my MVS-35X, you can make water boil at the triple-point -- under a layer of ice. (Damnedest thing I've ever seen!) So in addition to squeezing the water out of the vacuoles, you might in addition be boiling off the watermelon juice, whereupon it would be sucked out of the machine, before sealing the bag and applying the compression effect. Doing that several times might both dehydrate and compress the watermelon. I've done this before, but not recently. Time to try it again. And do see Unpopular Poet's wild and crazy fruit infusion, in the other chamber vacuum thread.
  7. Robert Jueneman

    Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014

    OK, Dan, you made me go to the liqour store (two, really) to find aquavit and Murphy's Irish stout, and then Whole Foods to find stawberries, "sumo" tangerines, etc., etc. Now, how about a little more detail about the actual infusion process? It seems to me that if you merely put all of that stuff in a bag and vacuumed it at 99.9% + 30, you would have completely squashed and compressed the fruit. So did you put it in some kind of a rigid container, and then into a bag? How did you keep the liquid from errupting/boiling all over the chamber? The dark chocolate -- was it a powder, or ice cream topping, or what? The whole world wants to know!
  8. Robert Jueneman

    Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 2)

    I've never discussed that with Pedro, but I came to exactly the same conclusions. I cook my rib eye steaks at 52C, then post sear them. For a chuck steak, 55C for 24 hours, for food safety reasons. For brisket, again 55C, for 72 hours.
  9. Robert Jueneman

    Chamber Vacuum Sealers, 2011–2014

    Unpopular Poet, you are going to have to change your moniker if you keep coming up with those kinds of recipes! Now I've got to go to the store and buy some strawberries, tangerines, aquavit, etc., etc. As you experiment, please note the quanties of each, and let us all know. Great job!
  10. Robert Jueneman

    All about "sous vide" eggs

    Yeah thats the link, however I can't seem to open it here on my work computer... I get a page of eternal loading. Strange. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the dish. I really love it, I added a little bit of Trisol to my bread crumb mixture (maybe 15 - 20%) for extra crispness. I hadn't seen Nick's post before trying the eggs, and as a result I boiled the eggs for 3 minutes, let them cool, and then cooked them SV as recommended. Then I shallow-fried them in rice bran oil at 360F, turning them several times. (Wouldn't it be nice if deep fryers and high-temperature thermometers in the US would adopt the metric scale, like the rest of the civilized world?) Disappointingly, the eggs were not runny in the center, but nearly solid -- not quite hard-boiled, but close. And a bit too salty, although I didn't measure the amount of salt. And I didn't use the baking soda -- maybe that would have helped. But tasty, nonetheless. Practice makes perfect, they say. "The only way to avoid making mistakes is through experience. Unfortunately, the only way to gain experience is by making mistakes!" Maybe tomorrow.
  11. Robert Jueneman

    All about "sous vide" eggs

    Thanks, Nick. I don't know why I could find it. I'm trying it tonight.
  12. Robert Jueneman

    Spherified chocolate

    You're making it too hard. Try this: Make simple syrup by adding 3 cups of sugar to 3 cups of water, stirring, and boil until the sugar is completely dissolved. Cool the syrup, which can be made up to a week ahead of time and chilled, covered. Wash and dry 4 ripe mangoes. Using a sharp knife, cut the mangoes lengthwise alongside the pit. Scoop out the flesh, and cut the remaining flesh from the pit. Put in a blender along with one cup of the simple syrup and 3 tbls of lime juice. Puree until smooth. Pour into an ice tray with spherical compartments (Gourmac.com), put the lid on, and wrap with rubber bands to tightly close it. Freeze overnight. Mix 75% cocoa butter with a 25% white chocolate (Valhrona), and a little coconut milk powder if desired. Heat in the microwave, stirring occasionally, until just melted and a uniform consistency. If you don't like the color, add a little chocolate powder. Put a plate in the freezer and remove the ice cube from the trays. Wearing latex gloves, roll them in your hands to smooth them out and return to the freezer (on the plate). When the cocoa butter/chocolate mixture is ready, start dipping the sorbet balls. Just drop them in, and take them out one at a time. The cocoa butter will set up immediately. After dipping, let them thaw in the refrigerator, so that the sorbet melts but the cocoa butter/chocolate doesn’t. Serve on a spoon, and instruct the guest to pop the entire ball into their mouth all at once. They will almost explode. To complete the erotic dessert theme, you could try peeling and chilling (but don't freeze) a banana, into which you inserted a bamboo skewer. Dip the banana (all but the last inch) into the cocoa butter and white chocolate. Poke the bottom end of the skewer into something that would hold it upright -- perhaps a sliced raw potato? Put it into the fridge to chill the chocolate. Once chilled, and before serving, remove the skewer. Soak coconut shavings in lukewarm coffee to stain them a dark brown. Serve the banana, mango/chocolate balls, and the coconut shavings -- well, use your imagination. I've served the mango/chocolate balls as a nice intermezzo, but haven't tried the banana. Let me know how it works out. Happy Valentines Day!
  13. Robert Jueneman

    All about "sous vide" eggs

    I looked for that recipe today, but couldn't find it. Do you have the URL? Failing that, how about a little more detail about each step? You didn't boil the egg first, and then cool it, before cooking it SV?
  14. Robert Jueneman

    Sous vide vs. pressure cooking for vegetables

    Has anyone done a controlled experiment to compare pressure cooking vs. sous vide for vegetables? Tonight I cooked two lamp shanks sous vide for 52C for four hours. They were terrible -- grossly underdone. I also cooked a combination of carrots and string beans in the pressure cooker for two minutes for the carrots, plus another a minute for the string beans, and those, with some balsamic viegar, and they werre pretty good. In general, I tend to prefer sous vide for veggies, in part because it allows me to add spices that might not be melded when cooking with a pressure cooker. But the much faster cooking when using a pressure cooker is also appealing, even though I have a multitude of sous vide appliances. Any thoughts as to which works better? Bob
  15. I routinely use the SVS racks in my PolyScience Classic circulators. Most of the time, I put the meat or whatever in them vertically, but sometimes, if the food was frozen some time ago and has accumulated some dead air from out-gassing, I will put the racks in horizontally, in order to keep the bags from floating. With my big 20 qt rice cooker, I never had a problem with just passive circulation. I'm in the process of going through a bunch of photographic stuff I haven't used in 20 years. Hopefully I will find some of those nice weighted SS clips that we used to use when drying 35mm film.
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