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Anonymous Modernist 3093

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  1. There are several different "grades" (varieties?) of Ultra Sperse that are used in the MC recipes. It looks like Ultra Sperse 3 is probably the most frequently used. Does anyone know if it would be possible to substitute Ultra Sperse 3 for the other grades of Ultra Sperse by altering the ratios in those recipes? I'm having a hard time justifying the purchase of several different grades when some of them are used in only a handful of recipes.
  2. This a great looking dish, but it has an odd note stating that the verbena gel should not be consumed. If I use food grade lemon verbena essential oil (e.g., from the "Chef's Essences" product line), would the gel be edible? All the other ingredients of the gel (water, lemongrass, mint, agar, and sorbitol) are obviously edible, so I''m rather confused about the warning against eating it.
  3. JKessler said: Cost and footprint were a major issue for me, so I bought the VP112 late last year from Webstaurant like Luke. I've used it about 20 times. I haven't tried to do any compression techniques with it, so I can't address that, but I definitely don't have any complaints about the chamber size. It easily handles 10"x15" bags, which are the largest that will conveniently fit in most home sous vide setups, in my experience.
  4. chagel said: If you're doing a lot of stuff with Versawhip, I'd recommend going with L'Epicerie. They sell resealable 1 lbs (454 g) bags of it for $25.50, which is cheaper than even Modernist Pantry's "professional" sized Versawhip (400 g at $33.49).
  5. osterhou said: That's a terrible price; almost 6 and a half times more per gram than the AUI price. Does anyone know what the shelf life of Trisol is? I'd prefer to buy a larger quantity and just take several years to use it up.
  6. With regard to the legal question, I'm extremely doubtful that the format of the recipes in the MC style (as contrasted with the content of the recipes themselves) could be copyrighted. Copyright generally protects particular expression of information, not a pattern or template for arranging expressions of information. Trademarks and patents also both seem unlikely to work. (Not to mention that if MC didn't already start a patent application, the concept has almost certainly already passed into the public domain for patent purposes at this point.) I can't speak to the question of whether the MC team would find it to be in pooretiquette, but given that Nathan Myrhvold has made the point multiple times that the purpose of the project was to promote and expand the use of modernist cooking techniques, it would seem inconsistent to then insist that MC has the exclusive rights to a layout style intended to help with modernist cooking.
  7. brianrob said: I don't know that it is possible to generalize about cooking all kinds of meat sous vide from frozen, but many amateur sous vide websites advocate pre-preparing cuts of meat with marinades, sauces, etc., then vac sealing and freezing them, for cooking from frozen later. I have done it myself with both duck breasts and pre-cooked hamburgers and they both came out fine (just needed to sear the skin-side of the duck breasts to crisp them).
  8. ngaudi said: Have you tried increasing the duration of the vacuum phase beyond the default?
  9. Another big thumbs up for the VacMaster VP112! It's fantastic. You'll need to do a few test runs with liquid in the bags to get the hang of how much head room to leave, but once you get the feel for it, it does a great job. If you are going to be regularly doing sous vide cooking (like an average of once a week or more often), it is definitely worth the cost of upgrading to it from an edge sealer.
  10. Max said: Thank you. I didn't try it for the party, but I will give it a shot at some point in the future and report back.
  11. Many essential oils are toxic, so you should stick to ordering varieties that are either expressly marked as edible or implicitly marketed as such (e.g., the extracts and oils available through the Penzey's Spice catalog and other suppliers of cooking/baking products). If you're looking for more exoticvarietiesthan the typical flavors, Afterlier Perfumes makes a number of less common edible essential oils and "absolutes" (e.g., celery seed) that they sell under the appropriate name "Chef's Essences": http://www.aftelier.com/chefs-essences/
  12. I was thinking about making a batch of these as Halloween party treats, but I have two questions: (1) Can store-bought lard be substituted for the rendered ham fat? (I don't have any on hand and I don't have any other reason to cook a ham in the next couple days.) (2) Assuming the answer to (1) is yes, and assuming I don't brown the flour as specified in steps 5-6 before incorporating it, will the result be a lighter colored bar than the photo in the book? (I would like to color the bars in brighter, wilder colors than what is depicted in the book, so I think the logical approach would be to minimize the recipe's brown coloration before trying to add food coloring.) Thank you in advance for any thoughts.
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