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  1. There's a new SV circulator on Kickstarter by Scott Heimendinger, creator of the original Seattle Food Geek DIY sous vide many of us used as a reference and more recently appointed Director of Applied Research at Modernist Cuisine. It's called Sainsaire - i.e. without air, a play on "Sous Vide". The design and specs look good - 1KW heater, circulator, good clip to hold it to most containers - especially for the price: $199. With their permission I've attached some images to this post showing the general blueprint and prototype design. On the last update they've also confirmed they would do a 240V version if pledges reach $250K, which looks very likely as it's already at $214K after only two days. Kickstarter link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/seattlefoodgeek/sansaire-sous-vide-circulator-for-199 Main website: http://www.sansaire.com Good review with action photos over at Serious Eats: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/08/we-test-the-new-low-price-sansaire-sous-vide-ciculator-from-modernist-cuisine.html I'm looking to replace my complex and slightly unsafe DIY unit but didn't pledge for the Nomiku as I thought it was expensive and risky. This one however seems to hit the spot and comes from a well known SV expert. Any thoughts?
  2. The BBC had an interesting article comparing the horsemeat fraud to the sub-prime crisis that triggered our current economical problems. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21463838 As most will remember that was when good quality financial products were "packaged" with very poorly performing ones, but overall rated as good as the best they included and sold as such. One S&P analyst - who are now being sued for those misleading ratings - is even quoted as e-mailing: "We rate every deal. It could be structured by cows and we would rate it." Well it turns out that the problem is these same analysts are the ones running the big agro and food business too. This map showing the complex network behind a frozen lasagna makes it even clearer: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/special/panels/13/feb/horsemeatroute/img/graphic_1360859117.gif How can the most cost effective method of making a cheap lasagna be a French manufacturer ordering from another French meat processor that in turn orders the meat from a subcontractor in Cyprus, who then orders the meat from a Dutch trader, who then actually buys it from Romanian abattoirs?
  3. I love following what's going on with food in Asia and found these two from Singapore to be top quality: Cuisine & Wine Asia: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/cuisine-wine-asia/id533464792?mt=8 Epicure: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/epicure-magazine/id496228116?mt=8 The free "Open House Foodservice" (Australia) is also interesting: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/open-house-foodservice-magazine/id424156274?mt=8
  4. I have a few bottle AirPacks which do the job really well, much better than bubble wrap. You can even post them. http://www.airpacksystems.com/glass-bottle-packaging-single.asp
  5. The user interface in that Crossland is terrible! Even the vendor can't seem to work it out smoothly... I would like to move on from my Pavoni, but think I'll wait for the CC2...
  6. Kirkland is Costco's own brand, so don't expect too much. I do like some of Costco's stuff, but wouldn't consider any of it to be upper tier quality.
  7. Thanks for the bubble wrap tip PedroG. Just wondering if bubble wrap copes with > 85C sous vide temperatures? Is the FMM container a standard size? I have a DIY sous vide setup on a 1/1 Gastronorm polycarbonate container and I'm considering buying an insulated box for it. There are some called Thermoboxes (think it's from a company called Thermo Future). They an't cheap (about $50) but promise a drop of only 2C per hour and handle temperatures up to 120C. Plus I can use them to actually transport food or keep stuff cold too. May be an option for the FMM if it's close to the GN sizes.
  8. The book is already out in the UK and in stock at places like Amazon UK. The price is great too, 50% off so it costs just £15 (~ $24). Impressive for such a high quality printing and paper - not to mention the content.
  9. Got the book yesterday (thanks to Amazon Prime), it's nicely done, very informative both in the discussions on flavour and the actual recipes. I was surprised it actually has a whole chapter on Sous Vide - , think that's new for a "at home" book - with 6 recipes covering meat, fish and an interesting "Fennel in smoked duck fat" I'm quite excited to give them a go, so started with the rack of of lamb cooked for one hour at 60C, in plenty of aromatics (rosemary, bay and thyme). Should be ready in a hour :-) Also have a pork belly brining now for the "Cocotte of pork [belly] with black pudding sauce" (the belly is sous vide for 18 hours at 60C) From what I seen the rest of the recipes are also very good - like the salad with edible "sand" made of dried olives, or the fish pie with "sea" foam. It's funny that the book not only has a chapter on desserts but another one on "Biscuits, snacks and drinks". Finally I think the Health and Safety directorate will raise issues with the recipe for "Chicken with clams a la plancha" which involves cooking with a pan of "oil [..] hot enough so that the pan erupts into flames when you shake it".
  10. According to the FDA it should be safe to use them if used for brief periods of time at temperatures under 70C (160 F). Never use them in the microwave though or with items that may scratch it. http://www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm199525.htm These days I still use mine to mix cold items, but probably will get rid of them eventually.
  11. "Sopa de Pedra" comes from an old Portuguese legend of a monk who wanted to make a soup but no one has giving him anything so he said "well I'll have to make a soup with only a stone then". Villagers felt sorry for this and started giving him more and more ingredients to add. Anyway eventually this became a local speciality of Almeirim, in the north of Portugal. It's a very meaty soup (no seafood!!) and the now official ingredients are: red kidney beans (partially mashed) pig's ear blood sausage chorizo smoked pork belly potatoes onions garlic bay leaf coriander and of course salt and pepper In the traditional restaurant they used to serve it with a (large, easy to see) stone too, but I'm not sure that's still allowed by EU laws..
  12. Finally made the Racines cake today WITH the cocoa nibs (got a whole kilo by Callebaut, if anyone in the UK needs a bit PM me Wow what a difference. It's my favorite cake now, without the nibs I thought it was just OK. Also try it as recommended with some orange blossom flavored whipped cream. It's a perfect match. And +1 on the metric measurements, wish all the books had them instead of the spoon/cups craziness.
  13. An old colleague tweeted this photo of "Broth of Lamb" and "Rice and Flesh", two of the starters from the opening today.
  14. Thanks to annachan and others for mentioning Sandra Lee, being from the old continent I had never heard of her but her videos are just a fountain of laughs. Of course at the same time it's disconcerting that she actually published 20 cookbooks, including some bestsellers... Is she still doing new shows?
  15. We're really not spoiled for choice up in Newcastle, even high end places like the Jesmond Dene House leave a lot to be desired. Most good food around here I make it myself. However one nice place that hasn't been mentioned is Little Saigon, a Vietnamese restaurant in Bigg Market (city centre). Quite genuine compared to the other generic Asian eateries around, the food is fresh and not greasy. See http://www.littlesaigon.uk.com/ for details. Outside central Newcastle, in the places you mentioned, the best option would be fish and chips :-)
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