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Everything posted by BadRabbit

  1. I should have mentioned that I already looked at Thermoworks (I have quite a few of their products) but ~$200 was more than I wanted to spend (was thinking sub-100) on something where I need pretty basic functionality. I really just want to be sure that my product doesn't drop below 130F over the 10 week period. Aim is to keep at 140F but I'm using a crockpot for the first batch so it won't be really stable like a PID controlled environement. Later I may upgrade to something more robust if I decide that these projects are something I want to continue.
  2. One more thing... Do you know of an inexpensive temperature\humidity logger? Since I'll be keeping this at 140 degrees for 2.5 months, I want a thermometer that will log every hour or so to make sure I don't have any time in the danger zone. Power outages are rare at my home (and generally short lived) but they do happen.
  3. OK. Thanks for your help. Takes 75 days so didn't want to have a mistake ruin the batch.
  4. I was starting with the Beef Garum which is just lean beef, pearl barley Koji, water and salt. I feel like I may need to up the water a bit to make sure I still have a wet starting product vs a paste.
  5. Thanks. My concern that it might not work as well because the water activity might be too low for a hospitable environment if I didn't also add a little water.
  6. Sorry. I realize I may have tried to ask too many questions in my post. The book recipes for garum, miso and other things uses a koji from a recipe at the beginning of the book (it's a pearl barley that they inoculate with spores from a product like that pictured). That recipe seems to leave a somewhat wet product when done. The subsequent recipes then reference a certain number of grams of that pearl barley koji. Since the wet product would have more mass (and water content) than the equivalent dried version (whether pearl barley dried or the product pictured), how do I convert the recipe (I. e. How much dry product and how much water) vs using the wet product? Does that make sense?
  7. I've been reading the Noma Guide to Fermentation and I'm a little confused as some things don't seem well explained. Most of the recipes use pearl barley koji (recipe included) and I assume you are meant to use the still somewhat wet version that you have at the end of that recipe. It also tells you how to dry that koji but there are no instructions on how to then use that dried version in the recipes like garum and shoyu. 1) If using the dried version should I pre-rehydrate with a certain percentage of water? Or should I just add water to the recipe and mix? 2) They say you can use any of the kojis other than barley as substitutes but could you use the dried rice koji that you purchase (pictured below and assuming adjusting for water like in #1) in the garum recipes without the koji fermentation step or would you still need to use the dried koji below to inoculate new rice and ferment?
  8. I've had turkey from this farm before (I just didn't cook it) and it was fantastic. I did buy a second Butterball breast to smoke tomorrow (I'll just reheat in SV bag on Thursday) so we have extra breast meat for leftovers.
  9. They have significantly smaller breasts and massive thighs\legs (i.e. the opposite of a commercial bird). I have good thermometry equipment so I won't overcook (I'll cut the legs off and throw back in if necessary). I would prefer to do the faster way (Kenji's 450) but I am concerned that might result in a tough bird. That's why I've been leaning towards the other.
  10. I bought a small bronze (13.5 pounds) from a local farmer and I have dry brined it and air dried it. I am planning on spatchcocking the bird and roasting but I am having a hard time deciding on the best roasting method. Kenji says to cook a spatchcocked bird pretty hot at 450. This seems to be talking about a typical commercial bird. I've seen several other places suggest a heritage bird should get a quick flash at 450-500 to start the rendering the fat from the skin and then dropping to 325-350 to cook more slowly. The thinking here is that the heritage birds have more connective tissue and it needs to cook for longer to break it down. Any suggestions on which seems the better course? I'm leaning towards the quick flash\slow roast.
  11. Over the past 5 years, I've spent a considerable amount of money buying all my physical cookbooks in digital form (when I can find them). I have a 10 in Adroid tablet I keep in the kitchen that I now cook from almost exclusively. The problem is that I haven't been able to find a good app that allows for searching the text inside the books globally. Most are able to search within a specific book but I haven't found one that can search all books simultaneously. For now I've been using Eat Your Books as the search and then using a reader app to look up the recipe but would like to do all that in one app. Has anybody found an ebook reader that works well for cookbooks (or any reference type books)?
  12. Not sure what else to do about this. The publisher went ahead and published the book as is. I've published a review on Amazon with my concerns but that's certainly not going to do much. Completely irresponsible on the publishers part.
  13. The microwave is not necessary but does make it easier because you can consistently achieve the exact temp range you are looking for every time while paying no attention to it and there is no danger of browning\burning. So you can hand whisk a stick or two of butter into an emulsion in seconds but it takes you longer than a minute to separate two yolks and squeeze a citrus fruit? Also, lime in Hollandaise?
  14. It would be worth getting an immersion blender even if you were only going to be using it to make bearnaise\hollandaise\mayonnaise Food Lab style. It takes a task that traditionally takes ~20 minutes of hands on effort and reduces it to less than 1 minute of active time. All that and you get an identical product with much less risk of your sauce breaking during the process. About the only way to mess it up is if you get the butter too hot (or don't allow it to cool enough) before adding it to the cup. I just had a weekend brunch and was serving Benedict (though with Olympia Provisions recipe "Sweetheart Ham" that I just cured, HIGHLY RECOMMEND) and was able to spend time assembling everything up to the point of adding the hollandaise before I did anything more than melt some butter in the microwave and place the lemon, salt and yolk in a cup. 15 seconds with an immersion blender and the sauce was ready to go and perfect. There is absolutely no way I would go back to the old way. I got to spend more time with my guests and didn't have to stress that the sauce might break at the last minute and screw everything up. The other benefit is that we ran out of sauce because a few people were basically eating it on everything I served so I made another batch on demand less than a minute later.
  15. Went back to this book this weekend after a year or so since trying anything (I use the big brother MC books much more often). Pork Adobo: I made the recipe as written only I used pork shoulder instead of belly. I served with Momofuku buns with Chang's Ginger Scallion Sauce, Quick Pickles and some bottled Hoisin. I also had some kimchi that some guests put on their buns. They were absolutely spectacular and I'm not sure I'll ever make Chang's pork for this purpose again. Few notes: 45 Minutes was too long for shoulder and it was falling apart. I'll cut down to 35 next time.Hoisin was completely unnecessary. The pork already had tons of "dark" flavors like those in hoisin and didn't need more.The ginger scallion sauce and quick pickles were excellent at cutting through the rich adobo.
  16. I review a lot of cookbooks and have reviewed several on preserving\pickling. I have never seen one that avoided the food safety issue completely. This one does mention water bath canning but just as a method and doesn't even mention why you are doing it or that it is only safe for use in sufficiently acidic preparations. I've already sent an email informing the publisher that I think the book is potentially dangerous and seriously needs to be reviewed by a food safety expert before publishing. The worst part is that the preface of the book says that it's a great introduction to pickling which means they are marketing it to people who almost certainly don't understand the implications.
  17. This book is a mess. It's got zero pages on safety and there is a specific line at the beginning of the book that says to feel free to adjust recipes to your own taste. Given that some people might be looking for less sour and reduce or eliminate the vinegar in some recipes, that's a potential deadly piece of advice.
  18. I'm reviewing a cookbook on pickling\oil preserving for a publisher and I've noticed there are several recipes that I would say have questionable safety practices. In particular, one oil combines fresh mashed garlic and Herbs d' Provence with olive oil then lets them sit for a week before straining the oil. There is absolutely no mention of applying heat or refrigerating at any time. Am I wrong that there is a potential for botulism here? Mashed garlic in an anaerobic environment for a week at room temp (plus longer for the strained oil) seems dangerous but perhaps I'm missing something. Just wanted to check before I sent up a red flag.
  19. I never make anything but TK's recipe from Ad Hoc. It's absolutely perfect in every way. I really like the fact that he didn't try to reinvent the wheel but just tried to perfect something that was already pretty damned good. It never comes out runny like some recipes tend to and has a great feel in the mouth. The only problem is that the recipe is too small for more than 3 people because nearly everyone will want seconds.
  20. Dredging up this old thread since I use this book so often. Thanks for the hint about roasting the shrimp paste. It made all the difference. My family loves the Chiang Mai Noodles. We eat them about twice a month. It's nothing difficult or incredibly interesting but I can put in on the table in about 30 minutes and it pleases the crowd. The Lao Hot and Sour soup with fish is also simple and spectacular. I keep the Fish Sauce and Hot Chiles in my refrigerator at all times (though there is nothing original about their "recipe").
  21. This may be the most ridiculous post I've ever seen on eGullet. You must be a New Yorker if you actually believe that everywhere in the US not NYC or SF is "the middle of nowhere." It's a profound lack of perspective that only seems to exist in the five boroughs. It's also bullshit that a major city is needed to support a world class restaurant. I've eaten at 3 restaurants in that top 100 and have had as good a meal at places not on the list that are in metro areas of under 1M people. I am not from the US, I represent a country that has one restaurant on that list there, Chez Dominique, a 2 Michelin Star restaurant in the center of Helsinki. And if you had read my post thoroughly you would notice that I said with the right concept you can sustain a restaurant outside of a major city. For example el Bulli in Rosas or The Fat Duck in Bray. Talking about the Fat Duck, I read in Modernist Cuisine that before Mr. Blumenthal got his third star he was in serious financial trouble and almost had to close the restaurant. This is the point I am trying to make. And yes, I have had amazing experiences at top end restaurants, a friend of mine recently dined at Noma, and said it was a huge disappointment, I can't remember all the dishes he complained about but he said some of them were just taking the piss. The appetizer was a live shrimp in a pickle jar filled with ice, he was served a rock and told to eat the moss, etc. edit: Oh an on the chefs who say that they like to cook simiple dishes, etc. I have no trouble believing that, I too at home don't cook what I cook at work. I like to make traditional macaroni or potato casseroles from my home country. They taste great, of course. Personally if I rate a restaurant I place the most emphasis on the quality and taste of the food. I don't care that much for decor unless it's something completely new. But ingredients that have been processed and cooked perfectly usually happen in fine dining restaurants, where there is adequate staff to do it all. And I'm sad to hear about Madison Park, as I said the book looked amazing! I apologize for assuming you were a New Yorker. The NY-centric attitude is so pervasive here it's usually a safe assumption. I read your post thoroughly but given the context of the posts it was in response to it didn't read as you seem to think it does. It read like you think NYC and SF are the only "major" cities in the US or Canada and that someone would have to have no competition and a truly unique idea to have a world class restaurant in say Austin or Atlanta. The fact is that there are truly amazing restaurants all over the US that will never be even mentioned on these lists because the food community in the US by and large considers NYC and SF as the only places that matter. The only way a restaurant in the south would ever be even considered is if Thomas Keller decides to open something in New Orleans. I've spent a considerable amount of time in NYC, SF, Chicago and New Orleans and can say without a doubt that the top restaurants in NO have consistently outperformed the top places from the other 3. That's anecdotal and therefore not worth a whole lot but neither are the opinions of a bunch of jurors who by and large aren't going to spend any time outside of a few select metro areas.
  22. This may be the most ridiculous post I've ever seen on eGullet. You must be a New Yorker if you actually believe that everywhere in the US not NYC or SF is "the middle of nowhere." It's a profound lack of perspective that only seems to exist in the five boroughs. It's also bullshit that a major city is needed to support a world class restaurant. I've eaten at 3 restaurants in that top 100 and have had as good a meal at places not on the list that are in metro areas of under 1M people.
  23. Of the Big 3, Wendy's is clearly the best IMO. I don't think it holds up well against some of the smaller chains though.
  24. It's because these lists are BS. What the list should be called is "50 best restaurants in cities that are fashionable to visit or live in." Nobody is ever going to convince me that all but one of the best restaurants in the US are within 75 miles of NYC or SF.
  25. I was going to suggest something like Nawabi Malai Kofta but just swapping out the Indian herbs and spices with Italian stuff. A well done Kofta (especially ones with cauliflower) seem to be the closest analog texturally to Italian meatballs (I made them once for a vegetarian friend and she got angry as she was convinced I had fed her meat).
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