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Johnny Zhu

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  1. HowardLi, If it were particularly hard to get the batter emulsified, then yes you could slowly add the marinade back like emulsifying a mayonnaise. But, it's not. One minute of rigorous mixing is sufficient. There is no emulsifying agent. The emulsification is mechanical. The starch will help hold the emulsion long enough to fry, but if you let the wings sit in the batter long enough, the batter will break. The oil in the marinade is first and foremost for flavor. As you have read it is peanut oil. But, secondly it assists with the technique of "Velveting", whereby we try to insulate the meat from the high temperature oil while we cook it. We have simply found that the meat is more tender when we do it this way. Now, that is not to say that you couldn't reduce the amount of oil, or eliminate it completely. It may very well work to your liking with that adjustment. I would, however, hold back a bit of the salt or soy if you do so, as the wings might over-marinate in the saltier solution (with oil removed) and become cured or "hammy". Hope that helps. Johnny
  2. HowardLi, When you add the starch to the marinade to make the batter, the wings and the mixture need to be mixed until the batter is fully emulsified. If there are still visible spots of oil in the batter, then it is not mixed enough. Once the batter is emulsified, it should stick to the wings better, and be ready for frying. Johnny
  3. Pep., I would suggest simply passing it through a coffee filter or cheese cloth, if you have it around. This "jus" is essentially rendered from the lobster shells without any additional water, so the intensity of the flavor should stand up to whatever you do. Johnny
  4. pep., This is something that we have experienced during testing. Because, with the pressure cooked crustacean butter, you are creating a sealed, high-alkaline environment there will be the slight odor of ammonia when you initially open the pressure cooker. The good news is that it dissapates and will not be present in the final product. Johnny
  5. The turkey confit recipe in MCAH is not a traditional method. The cure is meant to be included in the bag and not washed off. The recipe actually states that you should keep any cure that doesn't stick to the meat, and include it in the bag. A classic confit method cures the meat before it is cooked. Our method posits that the curing can be achieved during the long cooking process, and our testing backs that up. That is also why our curing ratios are probably lower than traditional recipes.
  6. Patmatrix, I think the main problem would be the kind of turkey that you are using. The salt and sugar ratio that you used is actually less than what is called for in the recipe, so that shouldn't have been a problem. It is, however, important that the salt and sugar is sprinkled evenly over the legs. And indeed, as you said, the fat does need to be evenly distributed around the meat, in the bag. But, mainly I think that your wild turkey legs have two main differences with the legs that we used for testing. First, they probably have less fat content. And second, they probably have less water content. The lack of fat and water would throw off the cure ratio and result in a dryer and tougher texture. This is because the leg is becoming, essentially, overcured. If you would like to try to make the wild turkey work, might I suggest that you decrease the cure to 800g legs :: 20g salt :: 2g sugar, and also try cooling the meat in the bag before eating it. This should keep the legs moist. Let me know if I can help you further. Johnny
  7. torolover, In general, one should always cool the meat in the bag. Any opportunity to limit moisture loss from evaporation should be taken. Also, I would recommend icing the bag immediately after cooking. The rapid cool down should not affect the moistness of the meat, as long as the bag is still sealed. Remember, that when cooling things in the fridge, whether it be stock or meat, it must be cooled to below 40F before placing it in the fridge. Putting hot items directly into the fridge can keep your food in the danger zone for longer than desired. Johnny
  8. Merkinz, One thing that I like to do for all braises, in general, is to let them cool over night in their cooking liquid. Also, I recommend reducing the cooking liquid separate from the meat. This ensures that the lovely braised meat is not boiling away its moisture after pressure cooking. Hope that helps. Johnny Hi Johnny, Perhaps you can explain why letting the meat cool in the braising liquid makes the meat "juicier"? Is it because the meat absorbs the the braising liquid? Merkinz, One thing I do with pork belly is cut off the part of the meat furthest away from the fat. This part of the meat seems to have less collagen so it can get tough even with long braising or Sous Vide. Merkinz, That's correct. When the meat is removed from the braising liquid to cool, the moisture evaporates through steam, and even more liquid migrates out as the meat contracts from the cold. When the meat is allowed to cool in the braising liquid, the steam tends to evaporate off the surface of the liquid instead of the meat, and as the meat contracts it draws in more of the liquid. Johnny
  9. Bojana, Regarding the striped omelet: 1) If the omelet sheet has cooked long enough, then there should be no issue with sticking. That is not to say that it will slide right off the silicone. One still has to be gentle in removing it from the silicone, but it should not be unusually sticky. I would suggest, perhaps, 1-2 more minutes of cook time. Our ovens may not be calibrated the same as yours. If that still doesn't work, I would suggest spraying the silicone and then wiping it off with a paper towel, so that there is only a very thing layer of oil on the silicone. 2) Depending on the temperature of the eggs in the siphoned French scramble, it may take a little longer in the sous-vide bath for the eggs to cook to a point where they are stable out of the siphon. Generally, when I mix the scramble base straight out of the refrigerator, I add on an extra 5 minutes to the cook time. Also, if you are dispensing the foam immediately, the scramble base may not have had enough time to fully absorb the nitrogen from the chargers. Give it a few shakes, and minute to fully absorb the nitrogen, and then try again. If this still doesn't work, you might try one more charge. I hope this was helpful. Johnny
  10. Merkinz, One thing that I like to do for all braises, in general, is to let them cool over night in their cooking liquid. Also, I recommend reducing the cooking liquid separate from the meat. This ensures that the lovely braised meat is not boiling away its moisture after pressure cooking. Hope that helps. Johnny
  11. Hello Merkinz, My name is Johnny, and I am a development chef at Modernist Cuisine. We always appreciate constructive criticisms of our recipes and we are always eager to help clarify any steps that don't work out for those who are trying to use Modernist Cuisine at Home. I have a few suggestions that may help you with the peanut sauce and pressure cooking in general,. First of all, I understand that the scorching of the siphoned refried beans led you to try using a trivet and a layer of water. With regared to the refried beans, I always find it helpful to give the pressure cooker a few shakes while the pressure is building in the pot. Depending on whether you are using a gas, electric or induction burner different hot spots will affect the potential for scorching. And since you can't remove the lid to stir the pot, a few shakes during the initial heating should keep the beans from settling into one place and burning. Second, with regard to the peanut sauce, I think that the suggestion to use a trivet and water in the bottom of the pressure cooker was good for preventing the scorching, but had an unfortunate side effect. If a significant amount of water was used to get the pressure built in the cooker, from under the trivet, then that water may have diluted the peanut sauce during the cooking process when it converted to steam. This would explain why the sauce seemed "dull" and thin. May I suggest that you simply put all of the ingredients directly into the pressure cooker, and give it a few agitations to prevent scorching. Please let me know if you have any other questions. We are always delighted to help. Johnny Zhu
  12. You are correct, 24 weeks is too long. We are missing a hyphen between the 2 and the 4. The actual time is 2-4 weeks. We are preparing a complete list of corrections and clarifications, and will post that on modernistcuisine.com as soon as it is ready, probably later this week. Johnny Zhu Culinary Research Assistant Modernist Cuisine
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