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Jan Stoel

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  1. OK, this is a very old topic, but I need some advise. I made the pommes puree with ratte potatoes and used a lot of butter and passed it twice trough a fine tamis (no blender!). The puree was very sticky and thick in the beginning and still has a slightly odd consistency even though I diluted it with milk. Is this just due to the ratte potatoes or could there be another cause. I never made or tasted pommes puree made in a blender, so am not familiar with 'potato glue'. I'm thinking of making it tomorrow, to compare it to my pommes. Anyone else made the puree with ratte potatoes and thoughts on the consistency?
  2. What is the deal with floating. Even when vacuum packed at full pressure my bags often float to the surface as if gasping for air. Anyway, the next time I'll watch the vacuum level and bring down the temperature a bit.
  3. Maybe lower is better. It is strange, because after about ten minutes I noticed something was wrong and the flesh had lost its shape. It was nowhere near the desired core temperature, so I think it has nothing to do with the temperature or time. I've also 'kept' one piece (the rest made in a terrine) and after it is chilled you can give it its original shape, but if you would reheat it you could never serve it as a poached piece of foie gras. A terrine is almost the only way to go. Nickrey, will using frozen foie gras not have a negative benefit on a possible cause for disintegration: longer time in a water bath. Also once defrosted is the pressure not the same as if you would vacuum pack it while properly chilled? Thanks. Foie + sous vide = nightmare. Please let me just go back to seared.
  4. He, I have problems cooking foie gras sous vide. I followed the recipe from the Fat Duck cookbook, cooking at 60C/140F to the same internal temperature, but the liver almost completely broke down. I used fresh liver. It has to be vacuum packed at full pressure. Could that be the problem (breaking down the cell walls)? Other thoughts? http://bit.ly/bYNUXi
  5. Jan Stoel

    Snails.........

    I like snails. However, I think I always had canned snails and never the fresh (live) ones. I found some farms selling live escargots, but I read they are now in their hibernation. Anyone any ideas if they taste worse at this particular moment, because I presume they live on their fat reserves, making them less good.
  6. Pate de fruits with this type of pectin require sugar and acid to set or am I wrong? If you would leave the tartaric out, is what I read, it would not set.
  7. I've made two pate de fruits recipes and had trouble with the setting of the gel. It was not that they didn't set, it was that they hardened almost immediately after adding (tartaric) acid. The recipes (Fat Duck) call for yellow pectin, so I use this one 'Genu® Pectin Yellow Type D Slow Set-Z', which should be a slow setter. The problem is that I have a 2 to 3 second window to pour the stuff after I remove it from the heat, it sets extremely fast. I cook the mix to 107C (don't have a Refractometer). Any ideas why this happens? The funny thing is the texture is good. It is set, but soft. So it is not that I end up with pate de fruits bricks, which could explain the fast setting.
  8. Not so long ago I was flipping through the book and started wondering about the pressure guidelines. Everything is described with the words 'low', 'medium' or 'high'. A lot of vacuum machines do not have these settings, having a simple meter, a digital barometer (mbar) or one where pressure is expressed in percentages, so how can you convert these guidelines. For example: Low = 250mbar or 75%. Medium = xmbar or x%.
  9. Is this something the authors of Under Pressure don't know or don't care about? However you look at it they present it as an authoritative book on sous vide and if there is a backway to cooking green vegetables they should have mentioned it. Slkinsey, I have not tested it extensively so my only answer is it's the same advantage as the other vegetables cooked sous vide instead of regular blanching.
  10. In the book it is explained why they do it. I'm too lazy to look it up, but they explain it in these lines. They cooked the lobster in a bag with some butter, but due to safety regulations the low temperature for shellfish was deemed unsafe and they were told to leave the poor lobsters out of the bags. They reverted to the classical butter-poached method without an immersion circulator and felt such excitement at actually monitoring the 'doneness' of the lobsters (I'm just paraphrasing a romanticist story in the book), that from then on a big bucket of butter was used for the sake of tradition (note that the circulator was again introduced, just not the plastic bag), although the regulations were lifted. So there you go.
  11. I was also struck by the high temperatures in this book. Often the advice is to cook on higher heat for a shorter amount of time instead of lower temperature for a longer amount of time. I must say I have not tested this extensively, but (for now) I disagree with the statement green vegetables can't be cooked under vacuum. It is true that cooking at 85C will make green vegetables dull, but what I have tried is blanch green vegetables in boiling water, cool them, vacumm pack them and instead of cooking them below boiling point I took the 'big-pot blanching'road, i.e. boil the bag in lots of boiling water. The vegetables came out nice and green. So you don't have the gentle heat, but you do have vegetables cooking in their own liquid. Any thoughts?
  12. Jan Stoel

    Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas

    I think that is one of the most important questions of your life. If one can realise that one sucks and act accordingly you'll help yourself enormously.
  13. Jan Stoel

    Top Chef: Season 6 – Las Vegas

    I've watched the entire season and must also say the final had a strange feel, however I think some of the reactions are a bit harsh. Should the elements of the entire season, chance, low on time, cooking out of your comfort zone/known ingredients, surprises, and more not have been part of the finale? If you purely look at the cooking of the day, and not the entire season, Kevin and Bryan seemed to deliver subpar, although, as a viewer, you have to go on the reactions of the judges.
  14. Jan Stoel

    Edible essential oils

    I have some edible, pure essential oils. Maybe this is a silly question, but I have to ask. I have mandarin, black pepper and rose and they smell like their 'normal' counterpoints. I also have lime, ginger and basil and they smell/taste far from what I think the flavour should be. The lime smells/tastes more like candy than a delicious citrus lime flavour. Is this due to quality differences in essential oils or do some of them develop a different flavour when the products are concentrated into an oil?
  15. Jan Stoel

    The Fat Duck CookBook

    He, if anybody is interested check my blog about cooking the recipes from the book. http://thebigfatundertaking.wordpress.com/ Greetings
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