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Phaz

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Everything posted by Phaz

  1. I'm going to be doing something similar to this. Did the pressure cooked pumpkin taste good? I saw one of the pies used a thin layer of pressure caramelized onions on the bottom layer. I was thinking maybe doing a pie with pumpkin like that and then a cream variation on top. Did the turkey confit come out like standard confit? The interesting thing that stuck out to me about this recipe was that you don't let it cure and then cook it, you just add the cure and start cooking right away. Finally, how was the turkey breast? Is it something you would do again? Without a sear/skin it seems like the breast itself would really have to pack some flavor.
  2. I've joined the ranks of people who have done the Adobo and loved it. Easy to do and was amazing. I loved the sauce with rice. The only change I would make next time I think would be taking the skin off the belly. It was just a bit to 'soft' on some pieces with all the heavy fat plus the skin creating a mouth feel that wasn't optimal. The meaty parts of the belly were phenominal though. It's one I would definitly select belly with more meat than fat. The left overs were great as well. I have the rest of the belly I bought in the water bath right now waiting some BLTs for election night. I'm pretty interested how those come out.
  3. I made the red wine glaze and the potatoe puree tonight. The red wine glaze is amazing. I couldn't find nuckle bones so used some normal "soup bones." I also added the browned ground beef back into the pot after reducing the wine, before pressure cooking (not in the recipe but it seems like you are supposed to). The recipe says "lean beef" but I think you can get away with 80/20 chuck (which probably has the most flavor) to get the proper fat quantity. I ended up adding a bit of oil to get enough when cooking the vegetables. I also ended up not quite reducing it the full amount, as it was getting pretty strong and fairly thick. It made plenty of sauce for probably 8-10 steaks. I served it with some filets and it was really really really good. I'm certainly going to make it again. One other thing to note, is that it says to spoon off the fat while it is reducing. I was unable to do so. The fat wouldn't settle to the top while it was reducing, so the end sauce had a lot of the fat in it. It still tasted excelent, but separated on the plate and didn't look appetizing. If you are making it I'd recomend putting it in the fridge after pressure cooking and before reducing to let some of the fat solidify so It's easier to remove. The potatoes were a mixed sucesss. I did 750 grams of potatoes (instead of the 500 the recipe calls for) and still did 200 grams of butter (the normal amount). So I ended up using less butter than the recipe calls for but it was still overly rich for my taste. With the sauce it worked well, but by itself it was too much butter. I'd highly recomend cutting back on the butter and tasting it first before adding more. As far as consistancy goes though, it's some of the best I've made. I'll probably make them again, I'll just use less butter.
  4. I was curious about the pork stock in the carnitas. Kenji did a Food Lab Article on carnitas and determined that because of the thermal and hydrophobic properties of oil vs water, cooking them in fat was far suprior to cooking in anything water based. He found that cooking in stock made the meat drier and more overcooked. Has anyone tried the MCAH recipe who has some carnitas experience?
  5. It could just be convienience. One benefit I see to shallow frying is that it makes it easy to apply the method Heston uses in his perfect fish & chips recipe where he takes extra raw batter and flings it onto the cooking fish (or wings in this case) using a chopstick or whatever. This adds a little more crunch to it (if that's what you like). Also, for anyone doing the Korean Wings. Kenji did a Food Lab article today on the subject. Kenji also uses alcohol in his recipe, and that seems to be a key component. This article goes a lot in depth on the various effects various ingredients have which can be exploited to tweak the MCAH recipe to your liking.
  6. I would love to hear other people's impressions of the pizza. I ordered a baking steel yesterday and am really excited to try making some real home made pizza. However, any dough that requires kneeding has always been my kryptonite of cooking, pasta, gnocci, bread, etc I've never been able to get it right. Hearing some of the difficulty with the pizza dough from better cooks than I has me a little worried. I'm hoping someone from the MCAH team chimes in with some tips. I flipped through the whole book and one of the more interesting recipes I think is the fat free mac and cheese. I am going to test that this weekend with a Mac and Cheese expert (a toddler) and see how it turns out.
  7. Has anyone who's already gotten the book looked at the chicken wings chapter? I was hoping my copy came in before next weeks game (Broncos vs Pats) but it looks like I might miss that by a few days. I'm curious what their general process for perfect buffalo wings is.
  8. I ran into the same kind of thing with the bacon & banana cookies. It calls for 40g of bacon, which it says is about 5 slices. One slice for me weighed 46g. I know my bacon was thick, but not that thick. The cookies were pretty good but not one of my favorites. The flavor combination was interesting, I might try with some fresh banana mixed in instead of the dried to give more banana flavor.
  9. Phaz

    Risotto

    I agree that people are focusing too much on the cream. He even states (in the comments) that part is up to you based on your personal taste. "It tastes better to me. If people don't like it... just don't do it " The Food Lab often looks at approaches towards things that are new or at the very least not well known. Adding cream to risotto is not that (though whipping it may be for some). The focus of this article is everything else he says. Mainly, the details about how starch plays a role and how toasting plays a role. He shows that under traditional methods, those two parts fight against each other for two ideal qualities of risotto. Creaminess and that nutty flavor. The whole focus of this article is showing that by washing the starch off the rice into the stock you are using, and then toasting the rice, you can easily achieve the best of both worlds. You can get something creamy, while at the same time having that nutty flavor. This method is also less susceptible to error as traditional ones (as is another common theme in his articles/recipes). I've traditionally made decent risotto using hot stock while constantly adding it piece by piece and doing a fair amount of stirring. It's come out tasty, but not with the correct texture. I look forward to trying this approach, as I feel like using the same ingredients it will still taste the same, but by washing the rice with my stock and throwing it in all at once I can get that better texture with less effort in a more consistent way. Hopefully at least. I'll be trying it tonight with pumpkin risotto. Too me this is like the issue with doing duck confit completely in duck fat. Yes, that's how most people do it. Yes there are plenty of really talented chefs who swear by it, yet Nathan and the MC team have shown it's not necessary and doesn't have any noticeable benefit to the end product. Does that mean people can still do it that way? Of course. Does it mean I will? Nope. If I can make my cooking more efficient and consistent then I will. But to each his (or her) own.
  10. I just got back from Biker Jim's. I tried the vegan brat to give some feedback here for anyone who's interested (I also got the pheasant and wild boar, the vegan one was to take home). They have two, a mild herby one and a spicier one. The guy there said that the spicy one was more popular so I got that. It's actually really tasty. Lots of strong flavor and just enough spice. I had a couple guys in the office try it and they all agreed it wasn't a substitute for meat, but a really nice stand alone flavor. The texture is like what I think a lot of vegan/veggie things have. Think of really finely grounded beef (like in a proper Coney Island from Michigan) that is compacted (it holds together decently well). I think vegetarians will like it. Especially with the choice of toppings. I think those are all vegetarian and you can choose from everything from his classic caramelized onions with cream cheese, to roasted cactus to wasabi aioli (and others). I really think that vegetarians can go there and order something they are happy with and not just feel like they are taking the one vegetarian dish off the menu in a restaurant for meat eaters. His fries and chips are pretty good, as is the fried mac 'n cheese. Any MC owner will probably be a little disappointed in the mac 'n cheese itself (but I honestly believe that now happens with any non MC mac 'n cheese) but being deep fried adds a nice dimension.
  11. I believe Biker Jim's does have some kind of veggie option on the menu (like some kind of veggie brat or burger, I'm going there sometime this week so will check with the new menu and get back to you). Otherwise Steuben's might be a good choice. If you really wanted veggie there is a place called Watercourse that is all vegetarian that is really well liked. Non-vegetarians can certainly find options there, but vegetarians will love it. I also know it's not low to mid range but Fruition always has an (almost daily-changing) vegetarian option for $22 that includes 2 courses (app + main). That at least makes it reasonable for the person getting that option. I go there frequently with a friend who's vegetarian and he always loves it. I've had several bites from his plates and found it pretty amazing as well.
  12. BigDan seems to share my tastes. Fruition is easily my favorite restaurant in the area. I try to find random excuses just to go there. They change their menu seasonally and I usually try to hit each one 2-3 times to try a good selection of the dishes. It's hands down the first I would recommend. Biker Jim's is also highly recommended. He started with a street cart serving interesting 'dogs. Some of his best are a duck, rattlesnake/phesant, reindeer and a elk jalapeno cheddar. On the street cart he slices them down the middle for the grill and then adds cream cheese and carmelized onions. It's amazing. So much so that his street cart is still the best reviewed 'restaurant' on Yelp for Denver. He took that into a brick and mortar location with some interesting additions. You can see the menu on his site. He has some interesting (and delicious) elements such as wasabi aioli, avacado foam and bacon/tomato powder. If you are a baseball fan and plan on catching a game at Coors Field his place is just a few blocks from there. If you are looking for a place between those two, Steubens is pretty good. For burgers Cherry Cricket is really popular but I'm never as impressed with them as I feel I should be. Overall they aren't bad but they could do a better job with the burger meat itself. My typical burger joint is H-Burger CO (The liquid nitrogen milkshakes are awesome). There's a lot of other places worth a visit as well (The Fort, Wynkoop (if you like beer), etc). If you like whiskey you should for sure check out the Stranahans tour and then hit up the Rackhouse Pub after. If there's a certain type of cuisine/experience people are looking for I can provide some other suggestions as well.
  13. About how much extra water was needed? Do you just keep adding until it doesn't tear?
  14. I did that kneading time based on what's recomended in the book (5-10 minutes). During that entire period though the dough had that crumbly texture. It's interesting that it would need more liquid since the MC recipes are so precise. I don't remember seeing a correction for that page though so I'd assume the recipe is correct.
  15. I tried the pasta again (00 flour + xanthan gum) this time a double batch following the recipe ratios exactly. Same problem as before, even after 10 minutes of kneading the dough is really really crumbly/brittle and impossible to work with. When I try rolling it out it splits and forms really strange shapes with jagged edges, when I try to put it in the pasta machine it's almost impossible to get it to feed, and when it does it goes in unevenly, tears and gets jagged edges. Has anyone else tried it or know what I might be doing wrong? I kind of want to try the same recipe without the xanthan gum and see what the consistency is then. It's getting kind of disheartening throwing out batches of dough after all that kneading though..
  16. Thanks for reminding me of those other charts. That's more in line with the post I remember from Nathan in the sous vide thread. I'll give it another shot.
  17. The recipe in Vol. 5 does say 65c for 72 hours. Though, I do remember reading a post by Nathan (I think in the SV thread) saying that there are other temp/time combinations they enjoy.
  18. I made some pulled pork following the MC guidelines. First, this was something I was looking forward to, but a little reserved about. I have a very simple pulled pork recipe that I've been doing for a while that is universally loved. I've had tons of people say it was the best pulled pork they've ever had in their life (I agree with them). I even had one person come up to me a year after a big BBQ and recognize me saying how much they remember that pork. The thing about it, is it's simple. So simple that most BBQ purists wouldn't even consider it anywhere near the realm of BBQ. A simple rub made with salt, chili powder, black pepper, oregano, thyme and cayenne. You then wrap the whole thing in foil and cook it in the oven at 350 for 6-7 hours then open it up and finish it at 425 for 20 mins or so to form a crust. That's it. No charcoal, no smoking, no cooking outside at all. All in the oven wrapped in foil. About as anti-bbq as you can get, yet as I stated, loved by everyone. I was curious if the MC techniques would allow me to surpass that. Most the MC BBQ techniques seem the same. Smoke for 7 hours, SV for 72. That's what I did. I used the same rub recipe, but put some yellow mustard on the shoulders to get the rub to stick (normally the foil does that job). I then smoked it with a mix of woods (mostly Bradley special blend). It looked great at that point. After that it was in to the bags to SV. Once I pulled it out I drained/reserved the juice/grease from the bag, which I was glad I did. I then threw them in the oven to get that hard crust. I only did about 15 minutes and didn't quite get the crust I wanted (the bit of liquid that made it into the pans started smoking) but still it had some. After that I pulled it. Now, the good news. That stuff pulled so easily. I didn't even need 2 forks. I just used a single pair of tongs and one hand to squeeze and turn it. It came apart well. At that point I tried it. Good smoke flavor, good pork flavor, but dry. That was the most disappointing part. I then added the grease from the bags back and mixed it all together and that made the whole thing a little more moist (as well as more flavor from the rub/smoke) but the meat itself was still noticeably dry. I served it to people (without telling them all the steps involved) yesterday, most of which who have had my oven cooked pork. Most of them thought the flavor in the oven version was a little stronger (and better) but they liked how this had less salt. That's most likely something that can be fixed with me changing my rub. The one from the oven was still juicy and easy to pull but didn't have the dryness that this one did. Don't get me wrong, it was still great pork and all 18 pounds disappeared (some as left overs that were in high demand) but overall for the amount of extra effort and such I'm not sure this was worth it. I liked the smoke flavor (though no one I asked actually noticed it enough to mention it without me telling them it was smoked) so I might smoke them next time and then put them in the oven, or maybe try for just 48 hours instead of 72. I also made it with the Lexington style sauce which I thought people would find too spicy, but many really enjoyed it. It added some (needed) moisture to the dish and made it good, but in a different way than my traditional pork. Right now this is in the same group for me as ribeyes, where modernist techniques/process should be able to produce better results in theory, but overall the methods I used previous to that make a much better end product. I just haven't been able to top a ribeye on the grill and a pork shoulder in the oven with any kind of modernist techniques.
  19. Thanks for the tips (Thanks to the others as well). Yeah, that's what I was thinking. I also thought that it would be pretty close to temperature since meat itself is mostly water (as MC is fond of telling us) and if the meat just below the surface is hot enough it seems like the meat just above the surface would be about the same temp, minus a tiny bit. Before I left for work I grabbed that meat through the bag and could tell it was certainly hotter than 140. I think when I'll get home I'll pull it out and probe it and see how it compares to the rest. One nice thing is that with the meat getting a little softer it's settled a bit so now almost all of it is submerged. I knew with all the crowding that the temperature wouldn't be very normalized through things. There's enough water in the gaps that it should be within a few degrees of each other, but I'm ok with that. With a 72 hour cook like this I'm not to worried about a little variation. I don't think the difference between 147 and 153 would be something I'll notice. It does make me realize that the SVS is a little limited. I want to do a BBQ this summer for about 50 people using MC's techniques for all the meat, unless I started a few weeks in advance and did everything in batches then threw it in the fridge/freezer I don't see that working with the SVS. Maybe it's time to look at one of the circulators...
  20. How important is it that the entire bag is submerged? I barely fit two full pork shoulders (in 4 bags) into my SVS and for the most part they are in the water just fine, but two of the bags have maybe a 1/2 inch to inch of meat that just barely sticks out of the top of the water. I'm doing 150 degrees for 72 hours (as per MC). I suspect with a cook that long it won't make too much of a difference, and the meat towards the top will still be roughly the temperature of the rest of it and everything will be fine, but does anyone have any experience with this? I might flip the bags every day just to be sure.
  21. Mine was the same way and I just followed the recipe as is. It came out great. Did 25 pounds and only have 2-3 left after almost 3 weeks.
  22. I'll echo the bacon results. Mine came out amazing as well. I smoked it in the bradley doing 4 hours of maple and 3 hours of the oak from Jim Beam whiskey barrels (you can get that on amazon). Mine was really smokey but people have loved it. It might be a little strong flavored for having with eggs in the morning but will simple crush a BLT (or BLTA) or on a burger with some bbq sauce. I did 25 pounds and already have given more than 1/2 that away or cooked it. Is everyone buying their belly local or is there a good online source? My belly wasn't ideal, it had some pretty thin spots so there are 3-4 slabs (out of 14) that I couldn't slice so I'm just saving for lardons.
  23. Yeah, like I said, it's a bit more yellow because of the flash, but did have a noticeable color change. I decided to cut it off and it was only the very surface of the meat, under that it looked fine. I have it in the smoker right now (just under an hour left) but have those 3 pieces marked so I can decide what to do with them.
  24. Phaz, you're probably just fine. If you can photograph, we might be able to say more, but it sounds like an area that's desiccated a bit more than the other areas: pretty typical stuff. Here is a link to the bacon in question. The flash is making it a bit more yellow than it is but without the flash it didn't show the contrast. There are a total of 3 with a bit of that yellow/brown color(the 3rd just had a small spot). I tried the volume 5 short ribs Friday and have to echo what Chris said. They are phenomenal. If you are considering making them, do it. The flank steak strands were full of flavor and easier to deal with than I expected them to be. The only changes I had to make were using brown sugar instead of palm and not being able to find any birds eye chili so I left those out. Everything else I followed (including making the tamarind paste). When I first tried the ribs after taking them out of the bath (eating a little meat that was left on the bone after cutting them off) they were quite tender but not a lot of flavor so I was worried (every other time I did short ribs there was a dry rub, salt & pepper or some sauce in the bag). However, the flavor this dish has is amazing. It really all comes from the sauce. My sauce never quite got to 'coat the back of a spoon' thick but I took it out when it reduced to about 340 grams worth. Just a little coating of that on the ribs was all the flavor they needed. Truly astounding. I'm for sure going to make them again.
  25. One more bacon question. Most of mine is doing fine (2 days left before smoking!) but two pieces have a bit of light discoloration on it. Most of it is bright red/pinkish color but a few pieces have spots of a light brown. It doesn't look like mold or anything growing on it, just a different color. I'm not sure if that's a sign of spoilage (it's been in the fridge < 40 degrees the whole time) or maybe I didn't get any of the cure on that piece there or it's just moisture leaving or what. Does anyone have any knowledge on the topic?
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