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Todd in Chicago

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  1. Folks, here is a photo of a volume of "Modernist Cuisine" and my copy of "The Photography of Modernist Cuisine" to give you an idea of the size; also included are a coffee cup and a 165mm Takeda Nakiri for reference. It is a large book! As far as the pics, here is a snip from a blog: "Spoonhq – Food PR & Restaurant PR Blog says: At the same time as paying homage to the exquisite visuals of the original Modernist Cuisine book, Nathan Myhrvold has opened up The Cooking Lab photo archives to share a large number of stunning, never-before-seen images. The book will feature 399 photos, spread across 312 pages which are 60% larger than those in Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking at 66cm x 42cm. 161 of the images are presented full bleed across one or two pages. To prevent the photography from looking cluttered, no accompanying captions nor explanations have been included with the images, and have instead been positioned in a chapter at the end of the book dedicated to explaining each and every photo. There will be no recipes. And here is what Nathan himself has said: Soon after the publication of our second cookbook, Modernist Cuisine at Home, I started thinking more seriously about the hundreds of thousands of photos that my team and I have made and collected over the years— those that made it into the volumes of our books and the many more that didn't. We pored over our vast photo library and ultimately selected 405 photos for our book, The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. Of those images, 145 are presented full-bleed across one or two full pages. As we look at these images, it’s hard to resist the temptation to comment on their backstories, to share some of the scientific, culinary, or photographic context to the image. We didn’t want to add captions on the images that would distract from their impact, so we have instead included in the back of the book that presents a short interesting backstory for each photo. So some of these have been in the previous works, and some were taken and not used, but are now shown here. Have fun! Todd in Chicago Note (Edited Nathan's comments to fit eGullet 150 char limit)
  2. Well boom-chaka-laka.... My copy has landed! Well it looks like perhaps the price went up. If I remember correctly, I put in my pre-order the day it was announced and available for pre-order at Amazon (US). I paid $89 from Amazon and now the price at Amazon is $103. Wow.... My opinion, this book probably has a limited market. Who would buy this book? So depending on the price you got, it's roughly $90 - $104. The book really is a coffee table book of pictures with pretty much no text. Some double-page spreads. So who would buy this book? Would someone who likes food photography buy this book? Maybe. Would someone who wants to learn how to take great food photography pictures buy this book? If they did, they would probably be disappointed for $90-$104 since it's really a picture book with a few pages at the end about high-level equipment and techniques. And remember what most of the pictures in modernist cuisine look like, they are not your typical plated dish pics, but rather extraordinary pictures of ingredients and equipment. So who would buy this book? Someone like me. :-) I guess I'm a collector. I have 1 of the first 500 copies of Modernist Cuisine shipped to the states, and probably the same for Modernist Cuisine at home. I'm guessing also probably of this photography book. Funny thing is, I put in my pre-order of Modernist Cuisine when I didn't even have a job, hoping that I would get one before it shipped, or I would have to cancel. I was a believer. Lucky for me it worked out. I have no qualms about getting this book; because I really enjoyed what Nathan did with Modernist Cuisine and the follow-up of Modernist Cuisine at Home. I also enjoy photography, and in particular food photography, or probably more appropriately, pictures of food! The book is full of really great pictures of the pictures you have seen and would expect to see in Modernist Cuisine, and I think two others (and iceberg and a modernist building). The last 15 or so pages is devoted to equipment and how they created some of these pictures. Granted, some of these techniques may be in some other food photography books, but remember when you are a millionaire or billionaire, you may be able to do things a wee bit differently. One thing that really surprised me was the size of the actual book. This mutha is BIG and heavy! When I retrieved the package from our doorman, it was the size of a smaller carry on luggage! Granted of course the crazy amount of packing and materials. Seriously, if you are considering purchasing, review the dimensions, it is much larger than the other books. This is perhaps the biggest book I have ever seen and is absolutely the biggest book we own, regardless of content. It's silly large. Overall, I'm glad to have it in my collection. If you love the photographs in the Modernist Cuisine books, well then you'll probably love this book. Food porn for a large coffee table. I give it two thumbs up, but as I mentioned I think this has a limited market, but I'm in that demographic. I bought this book because I'm a believer. YMMV.... Todd in Chicago
  3. Well, I should be able to shed some light on this, my expected arrival date is 10/1/13. :-) Todd in Chicago
  4. Ttogull.... If you look in my "Meal Planner" report above, the following items have been cooked traditionally and were then vac-sealed for freezer storage: Sauce Kung Pao Masala Pesto Poblano Mole Soup Coconut Curry Squash Marmite Consomme I can tell you that I've not had any problems with those items. I think as long as you can vac-seal your items, and it is not an extended period of time, I think you'll be just fine. For sous vide cooked items, I believe you can freeze them for longer periods of time. I've had a beef tenderloin that was cooked for a year before we ate it, and you wouldn't have known the difference between that one and one that had been frozen for just a few days. If you are worried about the salt in particular, maybe you can salt lightly while cooking and add additional seasoning before serving. Anyone else care to chime in for Bonkboo? Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  5. Bonkboo.... Probably about 95% of my sous vide cooking is done exactly this way; meaning I cook quantities of items and freeze for reheating later. My "go to" reheat temp is 130 F. I typically find that putting pretty much anything in at 130 for about 30 mins will reheat the food through, particularly if adding some additional finishing such as searing (blowtorch, pan, grill, etc.). The only exception is if for some reason I've originally cooked something at a temp LESS than 130 F. Obviously, I only want to reheat AT or LESS THAN the original cooking temperature, or more appropriately the original CORE temperature that I sought to achieve with the original keeping. There are additional problems that arise from this technique however; such as in my freezer I currently have approximately 120 bags of frozen items! Yikes! You may ask, "How can I keep track of all this "stuff"?". ;-) Easy! Myself and a fellow eGulleteer (BHSimon, programmer extraordinaire) created a website to do exactly that! It's called ModernistCookingDB. Not only that, but one of my favorite uses of the site is what we call the "Meal Planner" report. This is something your wife can use to see what your current inventory in your freezer is, and pick and match items to put together a meal. Attached is my current "Meal Planner" report. Of course note that each item you see is already completely cooked and just needs to be reheated (which I accomplish via the method I described above). The nice thing about reheating is that even if I'm going to reheat items that were originally cooked at different temps, for example a beef tenderloin originally cooked at 130, and some beets originally cooked at 180, the reheat temp is the same for BOTH items since you are not cooking, but only reheating. So I can put in the beets, some carrots, the steak, and a bag of demi-glace and reheat all at the same temp. Darned convenient!! :-) Cheers.... Todd in Chicago Modernist Cooking DB_ Reports.pdf
  6. Todd: Both login methods appear to be broken; I get a 500 Internal Server Error. Jmasur.... Thank you for reporting this, and our webmaster will review this as soon as possible. Please, anyone that is reporting problems for the site, please send an email to: webmaster@modernistcookingdb.com Fellow eGulleteers, eGullet was kind enough to let us post about our site here, and I really want to make sure that we respect the purpose of this site and want to make sure that "support" is not handled here. Please do feel free to post about how this site helps you as it relates to the topic "Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques, and Equipment 2013", but for answers to questions or for support, please do use the webmaster@modernistcookingdb.com address. Once again, asking this out of respect for our community, which I'm so grateful that eGullet provides that. Jmasur, thanks again, and we'll have the site back up and running as soon as possible. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  7. Seannymurrs.... I know you have ruled out the SVS, but I'll give my .02 anyway. At time, the higher priced units were not an option for me, and to be quite honest, I don't think there were that many options about 2 1/2 years ago when I got my SVS. Note, I do not have the demo but the full model (demi came out later). I'm glad I have the full model as when I cook, I normally in "batches" and want all the space I can get. My SVS is permanently out on the countertop, due to it's looks this is acceptable with SWMBO. Even though I would LOVE to have a Pol Sci pro, there will be no lexan tubs sitting around in my kitchen! In the 2 and 1/2 years I've had the unit, I've never had a problem with losing water due to evap (keep the lid on with the mat on top) and it.....just works. It may not be as accurate as some of the other models, and may only rely on convection (which isn't the best), but I can keep it on the counter and I'll tell you....it is ON way more than it is OFF. For as much as I use it....or just keep it on (sssshhhh), I'm surprised it hasn't croaked yet. Anyway, as Enrique noted, you need to take into your decision all of the things that are important to you. For my wife, especially when I mentioned you cook things for days sometimes, this (the SVS) was the only acceptable answer. And although not as easy as some of the other units, I have traveled to friends and family houses and have brought it without any problems, obviously not as convenient. I'm a big fan of the SVS. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  8. Fellow eGullet members and sous vide enthusiasts, Announcing open free registration to the Modernist Cooking DB site! A short time ago, we announced a request for pilot users for a new website we created to track your sous vide efforts and your freezer inventory. We had several pilot users and fixed some bugs along the way, as well as adding some great features. Thank you to our great pilot users who inspired those additional features and helped find the bugs. The pilot period is now over and registration is now open for anyone. The site is free, and we hope that you enjoy it as much as we do. The site is: www.modernistcookingdb.com You can create your own login on the site, or use your credentials from one of six popular social networking sites, including Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. We, in conjunction with our pilot users, have logged many of our attempts at sous vide, or even just items we needed to track in our freezer into the website. As a matter of fact, over 200 items and counting have been entered thus far! In the end, this can produce a large number of experimental times and temps to choose from, and hopefully can provide a wealth of knowledge for our fellow eGullet-eers and sous vide enthusiasts. When checking out the site, we encourage you to explore the links along the top of the page before you register. The Diary, Reports, Printer, and Security choices will guide you through what this site can accomplish, as well as how we value your privacy. Simon and I are proud to offer this site back to the eGullet community which has immensely helped both of us, and many others as well. Cheers! “Todd in Chicago” and “BhSimon”
  9. At what stage did you store it? I am presuming frozen? PK PK.... I completely made the sauce and then portioned it into smaller bags and sealed and froze. Here is the Crab eggs benedict it was used on. Cheers... Todd in Chicago So you made the sauce including the foaming in teh iSi? or up to that point and then froze? Did you iSi it after you defrosted or just warm and put into the eggs? thanks Rotuts....at first I thought you were just referring to some yummy tasting food....but now I think otherwise! LOL! My wife picked up on it right away...she's a keeper that one! ;-) JMolinari.... Oops...yeah...forgot about that. Made it up to the point BEFORE putting in siphon, and didn't bother using the siphon....just used as good ol' hollandaise sauce. I love having this stuff in the freezer as it tends to save a lot of trouble unless you happen to have all the ingredients in your fridge already. I think my inventory in my freezer shows one left, so I'll need to make another batch. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  10. Ok...guilty pleasure, but I'm not alone here, love the FOF, and the DFOF, but I was not too keen on the fish bites that I tried. I only got them once, and wouldn't get them again. Couldn't really put my finger on it, but think I just like the texture of the FOF with the soft bun and the cheese so much better. Also, as far as the "crooked" fish on the bun, I swear, I receive mine like that all the time! I wonder it they actually are instructed to make it that way! Any Mickey D insiders here that can share the secret? ;-) Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  11. LOL! Forget the camera, come on over to Chicago and give the class!! :-) Todd in Chicago
  12. At what stage did you store it? I am presuming frozen? PK PK.... I completely made the sauce and then portioned it into smaller bags and sealed and froze. Here is the Crab eggs benedict it was used on. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  13. Team.... I also FINALLY made the olive oil poached salmon over smashed potatoes with bois boudran sauce. We liked it, and would have it again (which is a good thing since I have enough for 3 more dinners (saucewise)), but I fudged the potatoes which came out without enough texture and a darker color. There were still pretty good, but I know what I did wrong. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  14. Well my friend, I'll let you know as I went full bore! The thing is, is that most of that is recovered. I think the original amount is something like 7.5 sticks of butter here in the US, and from what I recovered as SOLIDIFIED on the top, I weighed and found only about 1.5 sticks as "missing". I fully believe that those went in the can with the used veggies. I plan on clarifying this evening, so will let everyone know! Cheers... Todd in ChicagoI made the Marmite consommé a few weeks ago. Just had some over the weekend, and it was good. Very funny the stunning amount of vegetables that goes into making so very few portions. We did like it, and kind of what Heston said, can be used as a substitute for Beef Broth, which is what it tasted like! A good complex one though. I served it with enoki mushrooms and sliced scallions. Cheers... Todd in Chicago
  15. Yes it does. Here is my version that I did for Valentine's dinner. i used a New Zealand rack from Restaurant Depot. The rack was given a dose of salt, pepper and garlic powder, bagged, SV at 53C for 3 hours, then seared, coated with honey and mustard and herbed bread crumbs per Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc at Home and finished for 10 minutes in a 220C (425F) oven. The sweet potato was cut in half, coated with EVO and roasted cut side down for 30 minutes in the same oven. The bok choy was cut in half, seared cut cut side down with some garlic slivers in some canola oil and then covered and steamed in the same pan with a half cup of chicken stock. I like my meats rare and have found that 53C is just right for red meats. lamb-rack-4-web.jpg Nice! I like the Thomas Keller treatment after the sous vide. I'll have to try that. Todd in Chicago
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