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Everything posted by Borgstrom

  1. I'm attempting to make Russian Smoked Salmon (p. 3-212). Fish is vacuum sealed with cure and resting patiently in refrigerator now for dinner the day after tomorrow. This recipe, as well as the parametric recipe for smoking (p. 3-210), only gives instructions for cold smoking fish. Unfortunately, I only have a simple Camerons stove-top smoker which can only do hot smoking. The overview of smokers (p. 2-146) implies this smoker can be used for fish, but I can't seem to find any guidance on cooking times. I've made smoked trout in this smoker before; the fish was very thin and cooking time was about 25 minutes and turned out great. The wood at that point was totally turned to ash, so I'm not sure if longer cooking would have made more quality smoke. The salmon is considerably thicker (2-3 cm?), so I'm thinking it will need more time. Any suggestions? Will the Camerons be able to keep the smoke going that long?
  2. I had a great appetizer at Zero Zero in San Francisco a few weeks back with avocado. As I recall: Very thin slice of avocado on bottom, about 1" x 2" Very thin slice of hamachi (yellowtail) on top of avocado Drizzle of olive oil (?) Sea salt Small piece of a supreme of grapefruit on top Very simple, but surprisingly good.
  3. I have to agree that Amazon shipping estimates for MC were not very accurate. I ordered from Amazon.com on August 15, and was initially given a March 9 delivery estimate. Then on March 8, they changed the estimate to April 18. On March 10, they said it had shipped with a delivery of March 14. I actually got it on March 12! The first thing I noticed when opening the very heavy package was the quality (and "greenness") of the packaging engineering. While most things you have shipped by mail are protected by thick blocks of non-recyclable styrofoam, MC came double boxed with an extra layer of very solid but lightweight honeycombed cardboard blocks, cleanly wrapped in brown paper. While all of this packaging can be easily recycled, it's of such good quality I'm wondering how I (or my school-aged daughter) could re-use it for some other project. So far I've flipped though a few a the books, and read a few of the sections. I'm overwhelmed! There seems to be a whole culinary school's worth of information here. Actually, it will be interesting to see how cooking schools will fit this into their curriculums. I wonder if reading MC and doing lots of hands-on experimental work at home could approach a culinary school education. If so, the cost of the book is a real bargain! After I get through the "flipping-through" phase, I'll need to come up with a strategy to actually read and try to absorb the whole thing. What approach would work best? Just start on page 1 of volume 1 and work your way through?
  4. Wah! The same thing just happened to me. I ordered August 15 and the expected delivery was March 9....until the morning of March 8: I just got my shipment notice from Amazon; MC will be in the house Monday!
  5. Wah! The same thing just happened to me. I ordered August 15 and the expected delivery was March 9....until the morning of March 8:
  6. I invariably make farfalle with golden beets, beet greens and pine nuts whenever I am able to get some really fresh looking beets. It's just fantastic; the whole family likes it. I haven't tried it with red beets, but I suppose you could (if you're OK with pink pasta! Toast 1/3 cup pine nuts in oliver oil, set aside Halve and slice 2 large onions; saute in olive oil until brown & tender (30+ minutes usually) Add 3 minced garlic cloves Scatter de-stemmed and sliced greens from 2 bunches of beets over onions; cover and cook 5 minutes Meanwhile peel 2 bunches of golden beets and cut into 8 wedges each. Boil in salted water for 10 minutes, then set aside. In same water, boil pasta according to directions, saving one cup of cooking liquid. Add cooked pasta and beets to onion/greens mixture, add cooking liquid as needed to moisten, season with S&P, stir in 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese. Top with toasted pine nuts. Originally from Bon Appetit.
  7. Borgstrom

    Dinner! 2011

    Thanks! The bourbon-ancho sauce was really awesome -- a half a bottle of Makers Mark (2 cups) reduced down to 5 tablespoons. The house smelled like bourbon all weekend, but the sauce ended up with an incredible thick oaky/bourbony flavor that paired up well with the background heat of the chiles in the sauce and rub. This is the second recipe I've followed in Flay's cookbook, and I have to say I'm really happy with the flavor of his sauces.
  8. I'm thinking about getting a stove-top smoker, but am concerned about the potential health risks of smoked foods. Given how popular smokers seem to be, and how many different types of smoked food products you can buy in stores, I would expect that health concerns have been addressed or safe techniques have been worked out. What's the latest word on safe smoking? Is there a definitive reference/guide?
  9. Borgstrom

    Dinner! 2011

    New Mexican rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon-ancho sauce from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook; also with roasted red pepper sauce and cilantro oil.
  10. I'm glad I'm not the only one! Once I get into it, I really like working through a huge pile of dirty dishes, pans, tools and ending up with a pristine kitchen/workspace. In an hour you can go from total disaster area to perfection. Must be bringing me back to my first job in a restaurant kitchen many years ago at Glacier NP... Also: Oiling a 2" maple cutting board, and seeing it transform into its original, deep-golden self. Any kind of vegetable prep with scary-sharp knives; especially turning a pile of artichokes like they were butter.
  11. My 11 year old daughter loves to help me with dinner prep (a mis en place fanatic), but we're moving to her doing complete dishes/meals once a week. We have a deal where she is going to learn to cook 10 dishes from memory before she graduates High School. So far she does a very elegant rolled omelet with Gruyere and chives - a great way to learn heat management in the pan. Another is a very nice chopped salad with a homemade garlic vinaigrette -- a great way to develop the palate while adjusting the acid & salt balance in the dressing. Next will be a mushroom risotto -- hopefully a great way to learn patience while stirring
  12. ... Do a search for 'lactic' in the old Sous-Vide thread and you will find out more about this. Perhaps it is covered in the index. Thanks for the pointer! I actually had read all of the old thread's posts many months ago when first getting into sous vide but didn't recall that topic until you reminded me. The smell could indeed be coming from surface bacteria reproducing as the meat warms from refrigerator temp to bath temp. The next time I do long-cooked beef I'll dunk the bag briefly into boiling water before going into the bath and see if that helps.
  13. I've had my Sous Vide Professional for about 3 months now, and have cooked a variety of dishes including beef, fish, seafood, chicken, turkey, pork, eggs, vegetables. Most are reasonably successful, some spectacularly so. But there is an issue with long-cooked beef which is bugging me. So far I've made 4 beef dishes with cook times of 24-48 hours at 56-60C. Two were short ribs following the Momfuku recipe which includes a flavorful marinade in the bag. These turned out spectacularly well both times. The other two where boneless short ribs and bone-in chuck roast, each time seasoned with just salt & pepper before going into the bag. In both of these cases the smell of the juices/meat coming out the bag was...unappetizing to say the least. It didn't smell exactly spoiled or rotten; just off somehow. The meat came from different sources (Costco short ribs; grain-fed chuck roast from a local farm) and were prepared at different times. I confirmed bath temperature each time with a Thermapen. The prep conditions were sanitary and meat kept cold until entering bath and consumed within 30 minutes of leaving the bath. The bags hadn't puffed up or leaked. I ended up eating the meat in both cases and felt no ill effects. The meat itself tasted OK, especially after being torched & seasoned. The main issue really is just the smell of the meat when it comes out the bag. Has anyone else experienced this kind of bag odor with non-marinated beef? Are marinades for SV beef important to have a more appetizing aroma? Could this smell really be some sort of spoilage and I'm just lucky I didn't get sick? (The only other SV dish I've made with cooking time over 4 hours was turkey leg confit, which was salted for some time before being bagged, and then bagged with an herb sachet. I didn't notice any off odors or flavors -- it was actually quite good.)
  14. My Braun gave up the ghost last year. I ended up getting a Bamix Gastro 200 to replace it. I'm pretty happy with it overall, although I don't think I've yet really taken advantage of all the different blades they provide.
  15. Percyn did scrambled eggs at 72C, though his post isn't clear on time. I'll ping him to see if he can weigh in. They look delicious. My eggs looked similar to Percyn's photo, perhaps a little looser, before going into the siphon. Coming out of the siphon was the problem -- more of a sauce than a stiff foam as I expected...should have taken photos...
  16. I tried the aerated scrambled eggs from the Ideas in Food book today (eggs, milk, salt, butter whisked, bagged and cooked in 72.5C bath for 25min, loaded in siphon with 1 charge). Result wasn't what we expected--more of a slightly foamy liquid sauce than solid foam scrambled eggs. My only variation was to scale down from 6 eggs to 2 eggs. Has anyone else tried this? Are these the expected results?
  17. My 11-year old daughter and I did some SV egg experiments over the holiday break. She loves poached eggs over toast, where the yolk is liquid enough to spread easily. We tried 62, 62.5, 63, 63.5 water baths for times between 45 and 90 minutes. The egg was left in the shell during cooking. We found the 62C egg cooked a minimum of 60 minutes produced the best results -- a lightly set white with a thick liquid yolk with an almost honey-like consistency. We found differences in consistency between the 45 min version and the 60 min or longer versions. The 45 min 63C yolks were similar to the 60 min 62C yolks, but at 60min the 63C yolks had set up too much and weren't liquid. Since one of the benefits of SV cooking is not to have to worry too much about timing, we settled on 62C as our go-to temperature. De-shelling is pretty straight-forward -- crack egg on hard surface, lift half of shell off, "pour" egg out of bottom half onto toast. Sometimes part of the white will stick to or remain on the inside of the egg shell, which can be scooped out with a small spoon. For a more professional presentation, you can pour the egg first onto a small plate and separate the stuck-on bits of the white from the main egg to get a more perfect, smooth, white ovoid.
  18. I made Striped Bass with Roasted Poblano Vinaigrette and Yellow Pepper Grits from Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill Cookbook a few weeks ago and was very happy with the results, especially the roasted poblano vinaigrette. Next time I'd probably cut back on the cream in the grits to make it a bit less rich, and increase the skillet temperature to get crispier skin.
  19. Borgstrom

    Dinner! 2010

    Striped bass with roasted poblano vinaigrette and yellow pepper grits
  20. Nice kitchen! Depending on your budget, a Rational Combi might be an option, although you'd have to blow out the back wall to accommodate the depth - the CombiMaster 62 is about 42w x 29h x 38d.
  21. Cooking a suckling pig at home. Entire house smelled piggy for a week, and had far too much piggy pig meat leftovers for far too long...
  22. I used the Kapoosh for a while, but have abandoned it. I just could't fit some of my larger knives in it. I've now moved to a Mag Blok and couldn't be happier. The knives touch nothing but wood and I have more countertop space. Besides, I can more easily admire my new DT blades!
  23. Country Apple Tart from Chez Panisse Desserts
  24. Soft-boiled Egg with Toasted Brioche and Bacon Marmalade From Thomas Keller's "Sous Vide: A guide to low-temperature cooking". Eggs cooked at 64C for 1 hour. I will make the eggs again, but the bacon marmalade (made with ground bacon, minced onion, red wine vinegar, honey) wasn't worth the effort -- just too sweet and sticky for my taste. I also think I need to work on my SV egg plating skills -- all the runny whites tasted fine, but certainly aren't photogenic...
  25. It does take a bit of luck+timing to score one of these. I got very lucky & Santa came early this month with two new Devin Thomas knives -- a 240mm Gyuto and a 150mm Petty. I've just had them a few days & haven't really put them through their paces yet, but so far I'm very impressed. Fit & finish are excellent, and their balance/feel are very good to my hand. I can already tell that these will quickly become my go-to knives after 20 years with my Henckels 4-Star set.
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