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Everything posted by sahmd

  1. I'm hoping to get a few suggestions by re-starting this thread. Specifically, I'm traveling to New Orleans with a large group to celebrate a family member's 40th birthday. We're looking for a place that will accommodate a group of 15-20, and would like to make reservations as far in advance as possible (we're going to be there over one of the Jazzfest weekends and tables are going to go quickly). The French Quarter or Marigny would be ideal because we're staying on Esplanade and could walk. Any cuisine is OK, but we'd probably prefer southern/cajun/creole - we are in Nawlins after all! Any thoughts?
  2. So my youngest turns 6 tomorrow, and he wants "bacon steak" for his b-day dinner (bacon wrapped filet). (with roasted broccoli and mashed sweet potatoes - he's a great eater ) We just finished a kitchen renovation which included the installation of a new bluestar range with an infrared broiler, and i'm wondering if any of you have experience with broiling steaks under super high heat. I want the beef to come out mid-rare and the bacon to be at least a bit crispy. Would you broil half way, then flip and broil some more, or would it be better to use a preheated cast iron skillet so that I don't have to flip the steaks at all? I've done a couple of trial runs and I know i can come up with a pretty good result, but am interested in feedback from folks who have had a similar stove in their kitchen for longer than I have. Thanks for any advice.
  3. I know this has been discussed in these forums before, but I want to add my $.02 - I purchased a Sous Vide Magic set up about a year ago, and have been thrilled with it. Recently, the temperature monitor began to malfunction - no idea why. This happened as I was setting up on a Sunday morning to cook some beets and turnips for our dinner that night. I went to the website (http://freshmealssolutions.com/) and called the support number, expecting to leave a message and get someone to call me back during the upcoming week. Instead, Frank Hsu answered himself - the support number on the website is his home number! I apologized for bothering him at home on a Sunday morning, and his response was something along the lines of, "no problem - I'm just having coffee". To skip to the end, I shipped my unit back to him and it was returned promptly, good as new. I know these forums are mostly about cooking, but I was so impressed with the level of customer service I received from Frank (not to mention the quality of his product), that I felt compelled to post. If you're looking for a home sous vide rig, I can't recommend the SVM/FMM set up enough. Kudos!
  4. I know there are a number of devoted SVM/FMM users here at eGullet (myself now included), so I was hoping for some feedback - I purchased my Sous Vide Magic about a year ago and use it pretty regularly - probably 5-10 times per month. Today, while it was working, the alarm started going off - I was cooking a flat iron steak at 131 F and the temp had somehow increased to over 160 F. I checked the water temp and it turns out it was 131, right on the money. I took this to mean that the SVM unit itself was working properly and the sensor had died - this was confirmed when I switched to a back-up sensor I had. I know I can (and will) purchase additional sensors from the website ($30 USD per), but I was wondering if any of you have had the same experience - how long do the sensors typically last? Is there anything as far as maintenance/storage that I should be doing to extend their life? Thanks for your input. Looking forward to my steak . -- Seth
  5. sahmd

    Lentil Soup

    It's more of a lentil dish than a lentil SOUP, but I've had great luck with recipes based on Simon Majumdar's "LSD" (Life Saving Dahl). I got the recipe from his Dos Hermanos blog, and have made it straight from the recipe (served over hard boiled eggs - yum) and played around with the veggies and spices in a bunch of different ways - delicious.
  6. It was a bit over 4 pounds, stuffed with lemon, onion, garlic, and rosemary. 15 min at 400F (convection), then a bit less than an hour at 375. Crisp skin and juicy (white and dark) meat. Next time I may start it a bit higher and pull it out a bit sooner, but it was pretty darn good.
  7. I got mine a few months ago and am very pleased. Roasted my first chicken in it tonight, so I thought I'd share. It was delicious. :-)
  8. sahmd

    Poached Eggs Redux

    If I'm not mistaken (I'll check it out when I get home), I learned this method from Cooks Illustrated's Best Recipe cookbook. (great book) I also like to make hard boiled eggs without actively boiling them - put eggs in cold water, bring just to a boil, cover and remove from the heat. After 10-ish minutes, transfer them to an ice bath - just right every time! (pretty sure I got that from CI as well)
  9. I did this a couple of times after reading the CI article and it worked great - beautiful brown crispy skin and juicy meat (dark and white meat). Not bitter or soapy tasting, but you've got to plan a day ahead and have space in your fridge for the bird to rest overnight.
  10. A stop at The Praline Connection on Frenchman Street for ribs (or fried chicken) with mac and cheese and greens is a non-negotiable part of any trip I make to New Orleans.
  11. My favorite venue for concession stand eating is the New Orleans Jazzfest. Boudin balls, crawfish monica, cochon de lait po boys, and pheasant, duck and andouille gumbo - man, I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!
  12. One more vote for crisping the skin in the oven between baking sheets. It's like a chicken cracklin - delicious! (although I rarely get to eat much of it - my kids love it :-))
  13. I actually discussed this with Douglas via email and he said that while the dark meat would technically be cooked in shorter space of time (similar to white meat) that many simply prefered the taste/texture when it was cooked for a longer period. My wife likes dark meat, and I prefer white. I solved the problem by cooking a bunch of thighs, two per package, per Douglas' recommendations and then quick cooling and then freezing them. When we want chicken I put the raw white meat in the bath along with the thawed thighs and the bath just reheats the thighs. (separate bags if that's not obvious) I ended up cooking the legs at 80 C for about 4 1/2 hrs then iced and refrigerated them. After reheating in the bath and searing, they were moist, juicy and cooked perfectly all the way to the bone - definitely not overdone. I think I'll pick up a couple more this week and try a different time/temp combination. (Gonna have to wait a couple of days though - I just got back from costco with a big tray of short ribs!)
  14. While we're on the chicken topic, I'm planning to cook up some whole legs (bell and evans brand from the supermarket) to serve simply with some rice and beans and leftover chimichurri. I've done breasts a couple of times, but this is my first try at SV dark meat poultry and I'm a bit confused by the wide range of recommended times/temps - from Thomas Keller (64 C for 60 min) to Douglas Baldwin (70 C for 8-12 hrs or 80 C for 4-6 hrs.) and everywhere in between. How do you like your legs? (cooked that is :-) )
  15. I admit to being anal but since the water often smells after I have cooked something in it, despite the vacuum bags, I am not willing to let it sit for days at any temperature. If I empty it immediately and dry it out and refill with hot tap water next time I want to use it, I don't find it takes more than 15 minutes to reach temperature. Your mileage may vary but I think there are enough risky things with SV that this is not something I am willing to compromise on. I never noticed any smell in the water bath, and I see no problem changing the water only every now and then. I use distilled water (i.e. the condensed water from the air dehumidifier in the cellar), thus avoiding limescale as well as growth of most bacteria. Every 48h/55°C cooking should theoretically reduce eventual pathogenic bacteria by something like 150D. For additional safety, the water could be heated to e.g. 80°C for an hour between rounds of cooking. For those of you SVM/FMM users who DON'T dump the water in between each use, do you just leave the FMM heating element in the bath as well, or pull it out and let it dry in between? It's so convenient to just be able to flick a switch and have the water ready to use in a few minutes, but I don't want to damage the hardware. Thanks.
  16. I'm planning to cook/chill some chicken breasts to use for dinner later this week, and would really like to serve it with the skin browned/crisped in the oven (per the recipe in D. Baldwin's book). Any reason I couldn't pull the skins off, refrigerate (or even freeze) them, and crisp them up while the meat is re-warmed in the water bath a few days later?
  17. Thanks for your responses. Pedro, I have read through most of D. Baldwin's updated guide and certainly want to be sure to eliminate/minimize all the bugs possible, including E. Coli - think I'll stick with those numbers. Thanks to everyone for all the recipes and photos - keep them coming!
  18. Hey all - I've been reading the forums here at eGullet daily for about a year or so and finally decided to join. I'm planning to join the rank of sous vide cooks (home only - i'm not a pro) soon - I finished reading Douglas Baldwin's book (as well as many many pages on this and other online forums) last week, and am expecting delivery of my SVM/FMM system today or tomorrow. Today I did a search for sous vide applications for my smartphone (android) and found two options in the market, both of which claim to have time/temp tables for many different cuts of different proteins - one is "Sous Vide" by Primolicious (I believe this one is available for the iphone as well) and the other is "Sous Vide Tables" by Hellbent Ventures. I plan to rely heavily on Douglas Baldwin's tables while I get my feet wet in sous vide cooking, but it would be convenient to have a quick reference on my phone as well - I wonder if any of you have any experience with either of these apps? If so, any thoughts on the accuracy/reliability of the information? Thanks for your help and I look forward to continuing to learn from eGullet! -- Seth
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