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  1. Oyster mushrooms cooked in lamb fat, with fish sauce.
  2. It is. A thoroughly delicious flavor combination. The really good ginger-pear tea is crucial. I'm sure one could fake this up with either regular ginger tea and Belle de Brillet pear flavored cognac, or with a pear schnapps like Berentzen's and cognac instead if one couldn't source the Tea Forte. But the tea is SO good. It comes in gorgeous silk pyramid shaped bags. They make a lovely presentation even just on their own. I didn't have any pear-ginger tea, so I just went the high-proof route: 2 oz cognac Pear liqueur to taste (1.25oz?) a la minute ginger syrup (a bit of microplaned ginger, a spoonful of sugar, a bit of hot water; infuse ~2 min.) to taste very good indeed.
  3. The index is at the back of Vol 5. I'm with jfrater on this, busting out Vol 5 just to find a page in the kitchen manual is annoying. The index should also exist in the kitchen manual itself. Even better there should be an app just for the index... They could even include that feature the website used to have where you could select an ingredient or piece of equipment and it would suggest some recipes ... That was a neat feature for deciding on which modernist ingredients to invest in and which would probably never get used. I have the kitchen manual index PDF on my laptop and my iPad. The pdf reader's search function works well enough to find what I want. One could also print it out and keep it with the manual.
  4. 1.5 oz Dow's white port .75 oz Noble-Dame calvados .25 oz Cinzano extra-dry vermouth 4 drops Pernod It started with raisin flavor of the white port. Apple seemed a good match. Then the vermouth, for some desperately-needed acidity and bitterness. And fennel, to round out the flavors and aromas. I'm v happy with this for an improvisation, and my wife--whose palate and judgement are generally more sound than mine--quite likes it, too. I'll be making this again and tweaking it.
  5. I needed a drink quickly, so made this one up tonight on the fly. No measurements. In descending order by volume: Vodka N-P sweet vermouth Cointreau chipotle-infused Milagro reposado tequila homemade bitters The fruity, herbal, and smoky components worked together well, though the proportions need a little tweaking (unsurprisingly).
  6. dml

    Ideas for duck legs

    Though it's really just another variation on braising, I make duck ragu by braising duck legs with tomatoes, a little white wine or madeira, a few spices (the usual suspects: cinnamon, clove, star anise, etc).
  7. Thanks. Mine's 1500 watts, so some adjustment is definitely in order. I'll be sure to check the table on 3-311.
  8. I did the exact same thing yesterday. First did a batch of MC crispy boiled peanuts (no problem), then a batch of MC crispy beef strands (again, no problem). Then I decided to throw in a handful of shallots, just to top it off. Unlike you, I didn't have the foresight to take precautions against flareups, but I was lucky and nothing caught fire, so I only had to spend an extra half-hour degreasing everything in a two foot radius.
  9. Things I've picked up or put on my shopping list as a result of the book, in increasing order of cost: - nail brush, as mentioned - quart and gallon freezer ziplocks (to go with the circulator a friend lent me while he's out of the country) - xanthan (well, I already had some, but I replenished) - white soy (for some reason they like to use it a lot instead of regular soy) - white port (see previous item) - essential oils: rosemary, clove, thyme. Easier than Keller's plastic-wrapped sachet for getting flavors into vac bags. - Ohaus gram scale
  10. If the MC sauerkraut isn't modernist enough for you, over on Khymos Martin Lersch had a write up a while ago on Sang-Hoon Degeimbre's kimchi, which involves innocculation with lactic starter, sous vide for anaerobic fermentation, addition of yeast autolysate for flavor, and centrifuge clarification. http://blog.khymos.org/2010/02/24/tfp2010-more-inspiration-from-asia-part-3/
  11. My version of a martini is usually just chilled gin, so yeah, but that's not really saying much. I should go back and try it with some vermouth.
  12. I'd love to hear more about this unusual and somewhat frightening ingredient. It's not every day that you eat something induces abortions and causes blisters on your skin! A little more about the rue infusion, since you asked. A vendor at the farmer's market last year had rue (he often has relatively uncommon items) so I picked up a bunch on a whim, figuring a little research would yield numerous options for its use. Instead I discovered that there's no mention of it in anything I own (alas, no medieval European books in my collection), and v little useful info on the net aside from Gernot Katzer's Spice Pages, so I had to wing it. Handling and eating it didn't induce any blisters, and no one who tried it suffered any intense gastrointestinal distress, despite what Wikipedia says (though I did warn anyone who ate it ahead of time of possible unforeseeable negative effects). The flavor is unique, and I'll do it no justice trying to describe it. The notable feature tasting it straight is that it starts out fantastic, then turns strange an unappealing. The bitterness comes to the front, and an odd aftertaste lingers. Cooking it mellows it somewhat and makes it more palatable; the flavor is compatible with sauteed onions. As an experiment I put a few sprigs in gin. After only a few hours it was strongly infused, and happily only the pleasant flavors were present, and none of the bitterness. It's great, though I rarely use it since I have such a limited bar and nothing I have, aside from the aforementioned Heering and bitters, is any good with it.
  13. Since Chris suggested it in his intro email, I'll post my latest drink even though I'm not much of a cocktail hound: 1.5 oz rue-infused CapRock gin .5 oz cherry Heering dash bitters (made by a friend; grapefruit-y though it contains no grapefruit) The rue infusion is fantastic, though I'm still trying to figure out exactly what to do with it. The Heering is a decent match, though I think something with more cherry pit/apricot kernel flavor might work better.
  14. I've been skipping through the books and preparing a variety of recipes, based mostly on what I have on hand. For the most part these have been simply components of the plated dishes, rather than complete dishes, and usually very simple ones at that. The first thing I cooked from the book was scallop tartare (6•66). I took the economical, non-modernist approach, using neither obscure ingredients (fresh out of truffles) nor crazy equipment. No freeze drier, so no scallop powder, and no deli slicer, so 2mm bread slices were as close as I could get with a bread knife and a steady hand. Straight up good food, it was. The Fredy Girardet fish technique for black cod (6•76) is an object lesson in food science, and I can get great local black cod. The combination of a medium-thick filet, a small pan, and minimal raft of aromatics underneath the fish led to a very shallow pool of wine (a California Viognier; my local grocery has no Condrieu). Six minutes in (the short end of the recipe's range for cooking time) the wine was already over temperature. Not tragic, the flesh was still beautiful. Also, I neglected to check that the skin was on the filets when I purchased them, so I missed the whole point of the dish: crispy skin. The results were very promising, so I'll try again with a skin-on filet and cooking to the proper temperature. With luck I can also procure the ingredients for the Condrieu butter which just looks astonishingly good. Sichuan bok choy (6•158). The core of the microwaved bok choy was still a little crunchy even as the darkest edges of the leaves were starting to get leathery. I hope to improve the texture by modulating the time and power a little more carefully next time. The book probably specifies the power of microwave that was used in the test kitchen (@Maxime, help?), which might help with mastering my microwave-fu. Leftover bok choy, gently reheated in the microwave again the next day, was surprisingly mustardy and sharp and sulfurous, in a way that was not entirely pleasant. This is the least successful dish so far. I'd heard about the caramelized carrot (6•150) trick on the Cooking Issues podcast. You can indeed cook carrots with no additional liquid for an hour in a pressure cooker without incinerating them, counterintuitive as it seems. They come out deep amber, sugary, and surprisingly aromatic, but also a little greasy. The flavor is fantastic, and as a puree it has innumerable uses. Next I'm thinking parsnips and white chocolate, or squash and bacon fat. Molasses butter (2•331). Following the directions to blend the butter with the molasses, I threw the mix in a blender, and the result was so well emulsified that after the jar came out of the circulator it was still mostly emulsified. The butter-to-sludge ration was roughly inverse to what's in the photo in the book. The yield of pure flavored butter I could drain off was pretty small. No matter. I've just been using the emulsified phase for its own sake on sweet potatoes, sweetbreads, and corn, where it has worked quite well. Veal sweetbreads appeared in the local market's butcher case this week, so I used MC as a guide to preparing them. Both sweetbread recipes in the book call for remove the membranes before cooking, which I tried for about 20 min before giving up. The membranes were much easier to remove after they came out of the bath. The approach I'll use next time will be to portion the raw sweetbreads by cutting the membrane along seams, then cook, then peel. I was very pleased with the texture of sweetbreads cooked 1h at 67C. My saute skills (or my burner) were insufficient to brown them in one minute (as the recipe instructs) and I didn't want to overcook them, so they weren't as crispy as I'd like. Next time maybe I'll try the torch.
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