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Everything posted by slkinsey

  1. It's not the RPM that is important, but rather the g-force it can produce. You can have two centrifuges running at 4,000 rpm, but the one with a larger diameter rotor will be generating more g-force. The Centurions you're interested in have a maximum force of 4,800g. By way of comparison, Modernist Cuisine recommends a 30,000g centrifuge and many of their recipes specify 27,500g. This probably means that there are certain effects that would not be possible with the Centurion centrifuges you're looking at. That said, most everything will be possible. The difference is that it will take longer. Let's say that the Modernist Cuisine recipe says that you should spin something at 27,500g for an hour. You would need to spin it for around six hours to get a similar effect at 4,500g. Good discussion here.
  2. Grits are not nixtamalized. That is a misapprehension deriving from the custom in some regions to refer to them as "homimy grits." But this usage of homimy does not refer to nixtamalized corn. To test he hypothesis that this effect comes from using super-fine cornmeal, I would recommend putting it in a high-power blender like a VitaPrep before cooking, not after. The VitaPrep should be able to turn it into a powder-fine texture.
  3. Once upon a time Martin Doudoroff and I did a series of experiments using Louis Royer Force 53 and Pierre Ferrand 1840 cognacs. These are both "high proof" cognacs, with Force 54 coming in at 106 proof and 1840 at 90 proof. We diluted samples of each cognac down to 80 proof, the usual strength of cognac, and prepared cocktails with each of the four base spirits. The results were dramatic and obvious, with the higher proof cognacs consistently producing significantly better cocktails. I've often been underwhelmed by cognac cocktails, but began to realize that this may have been due to the fact that I was using 80 proof spirits. Nowadays, I just don't mix with anything but high proof cognacs if I'm making a cognac cocktail.
  4. I'm in the gradual process of scaling back some things in Thanksgiving dinner, which I have used in the past to experiment with multiple course tasting menu concepts. Going in very different directions from what I have done previously with the meat courses (I do separate courses of white and dark meat). Old: starter of salmon three ways -- tartare, gravlax and mi cuit. New: small white meat slices with cornbread dressing späetzle, Brussels sprout petals and herb-infused butter; shredded dark meat confit with mushrooms, roasted potato gnocchi and jus gras.
  5. There are also light copper pans that are made to be used for tableside service rather than cooking. So, for example, if the idea is that the server will spoon freshly sauteed mushrooms over the risotto tableside, the mushrooms will be sauteed in the kitchen and then dumped into a small "table service" saucepan which is carried to the table. Looking at the size of these, I'm guessing that is not the case. They may be "display pans" for decoration purposes only. But we shouldn't ignore the extent to which companies will slap a tiny layer of copper on the outside of an otherwise crappy piece of cookware in the hope of duping someone into overpaying for it.
  6. I read your thoughts with interest. What more can you say about the "fermented tomatoes"?
  7. What may or may not happen with PTFE coatings on frypans as a result of high temperatures is also not relevant to the flaking-off of minute particles as a result of friction.
  8. Smithy, I microwave the seeds and gelatinous membrane just long enough to get the gelatinous membrane to break down so it can be strained off the seeds. This has the added effect of stopping any enzymatic activity that may be going on. Really all I do is jam it in the microwave and hit the "reheat" button, so it's likely that it doesn't even come to a boil. I agree that tomato seeds can impart bitterness, and I also just don't like them aesthetically. My procedure is designed to remove the seeds from the canned tomato product while retaining as much tomato flavor as possible from the gelatinous membrane material (plus any trimmings). I suppose I could just as easily pass the raw tomatoes through a fine sieve that would hold back the seeds and skins and give me a fine puree. That would certainly be a lot faster and easier, and many of my Italian friends do exactly this. But I like the ability to decide what texture the tomato product will have depending on what I'm making.
  9. I recently canned 50 pounds of outstanding plum tomatoes from Stokes Farm, which IMO has the best tomatoes at the NYC Greenmarkets. Every last one of them was fully ripe and deep red throughout, which hasn't been the case when I've bought tomatoes by the case from other area farms. I have kind of a weird procedure. Since I don't like seeds in my tomato sauce, after I peel and core the tomatoes I cut them in half and pull out all the seeds and seed goo. These go into a large corningware that I chuck into the microwave to bring to a quick and momentary boil, and then I pour it into a fine sieve that holds back the seeds but lets all the liquid through. I then put this liquid together with the tomato halves into the chamber machine and pull a hard vacuum to get all the air out of the tomato pieces. With this done, I bring everything up to a quick simmer, pack it into pint jars, top up as needed with the tomato juice and process in a pressure canner. I don't like the flavor of added acid, so I use an extremely conservative processing protocol instead of adding lemon juice. Because of my weird procedure, I can get about as many tomatoes in a pint jar as the standard procedure gets into a quart jar.
  10. Yea, no. Anything that is inert enough to be permanently implanted in the body is inert enough to pass through the digestive system in tiny little particles with little concern. Needless to say, there would be nothing wrong with occasionally ingesting minute particles of titanium. In fact, they make cookware with an interior lining of titanium.
  11. Um. Surgeons have been permanently implanting teflon in human bodies as part of things like replacement heart valves, stents and artificial tendons for a very, very long time. If that's not a strong indication of its safety in the human organism I don't know what is.
  12. Most guidance for canning tomatoes is for acidulated tomatoes in a water bath. I don't particularly care for that flavor and it strikes me that one ought to be able to pressure-can non-acidulated tomatoes just as safely. Does anyone have any guidance on pressure-canning hot-packed tomatoes with no added acidity?
  13. This actually works pretty terribly, because most of the cooling power of ice is comes from melting because of the heat of fusion.
  14. Who knows how much of the stuff they put in there. Could just be to make whatever vinegar they're using more like the one used in Japan.
  15. What's so bad about putting sugar in there? According to their web site, it looks like Kewpie has quite a few subsidiaries and affiliates.
  16. For me the hierarchy of mayonnaise goes: homemade > Kewpie > Duke's > Hellman's/Cain's > everything else
  17. I have often used trim of all kinds in making sauces. Typically I grind it up and brown it aggressively, then add aromatics and liquid, then pressure cook for an hour or so, then strain, reduce (if needed) and use. Works great.
  18. That's not the way the graphical representation works. Although it may look like it sometimes, it's not the case that the colored lines for salmonella and listeria are "reduced at surface" or "reduced at core" when they cross over the grey or black temperature lines. Those are independent graphs that are simply displaying information in the same space. The scale on the left shows temperature and quantifies the grey and black lines, and the scale on the right shows log reduction of pathogens and quantifies the colored lines. Pasteurization is considered to be a log reduction of five. From what I can tell, Sous Vide Dash uses a log reduction of six as its standard. All you need to care about is when a colored line reaches the height of six-log reduction on the right hand scale. Depending on a lot of variables, this may or may not be before, after or at the same time as the colored line intersects the black line.
  19. So-called "pizza sul testo" appears to be more or less an adaptation of the technique for making the typical fried bread disks of Romagna, Marche and Umbria called piadina, crescia, crostolo, etc. depending on the local dialect. Instead of folding it over a filling, it's topped like a pizza. And I suppose they may be using leavened dough whereas the others would typically be unleavened. This particular setup in Corchia, a medieval village in Romagna, seems to be unique. This is generally considered a "home technique" that would be made just by putting a domed lid over the testo. A "testo" or "testo romagnolo" is a flat ceramic or cast iron disk used for frying piadina. In some iterations it would have had a heated ceramic lid placed on the top, perhaps including embers as well, but nowadays a lid is rarely used and is likely to be tempered glass. The setup in Corchia is kind of like going to an "olde thyme" kitchen in the US where they are shoveling coals on top of the lid of a Dutch oven. Anyway, this technique isn't particularly interesting to me and doesn't seem all that promising. Mario Batali implemented something a bit like this at Otto, and the results were less than spectacular.
  20. Okay, so that's cool, but it's not really optimized for smoking, is it? Compared to, say, an offset smoker?
  21. Okay, here's what I don't get. I always thought of the BGE as fundamentally being for high temperature grilling over direct heat rather than low temperature smoking with indirect heat. Is the BGE considered to be a smoker?
  22. The chances are extremely slim that a restaurant or pub that doesn't have a fancy cocktails program will have more than one brand of dry French vermouth. If you say that you want a vodka Martini, you're going to get whatever dry French vermouth they have. Most any restaurant or pub you would want to make you a Martini will have one bottle of dry vermouth for Martinis and one bottle of swee vermouth for Manhattans. There's no need to worry that they're going to put the sweet vermouth in your drink. But there is also no reason to say "gimme a vodka Martini with Stoli and Dolin Dry" because you're just going to get Tribuno or Noilly Prat or Cinzano or Stock or whatever it is that they stock. Of far greater importance is how frequently they cycle through the stuff -- I'd much rather have fresh Tribuno than Dolin out of a bottle that's been sitting on the back bar with a pour top for nine months -- and for this you have to use your own good sense. Frankly, most places that don't have a well developed cocktail program (and even plenty that do) are going to put such an infinitesimal dose of vermouth in there that it hardly matters.
  23. If you only have this drink once or twice a year, you're going to have a hard time with the vermouth. Six month old dry vermouth is most certainly past its prime, even if you keep it in the refrigerator throughout. And if the vermouth isn't in good condition, it really doesn't matter all that much which one you use. All of which is to say that it's impossible to give you advice as to the best vermouth for your drink if your plan is to acquire a bottle and then dole it out on the order of an ounce each year until it's empty. So... first order of business if you're really only having this drink twice a year is to crack open a brand new bottle of dry vermouth every time. Luckily dry vermouth is quite inexpensive and it is often possible to get it in smaller-sized bottles. Noilly Prat Extra Dry is very widely available, and it is also a pretty good one. So that's what I'd go with if I were you. If you look hard enough you might even be able to find it in mini-bottles. If not, the nice thing about dry French vermouth is that it's great for cooking.
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