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  1. Has anyone had any experience with Sigma Aldrich? One reader wrote in to ask: "I want to purchase the xanthan gum and other ingredients and the easiest supplier I can find (based in India) is Sigma Aldrich. Their products are for tissue culture use. What is the difference between lab grade and food industry grade gums (including other gelling agents like alginate or carrageenan). Is it safe to use sigma aldrich products in food?"
  2. Mac and Cheese has been one of the most discussed recipes from the book so far. Coauthor Maxime Bilet has already answered several questions about the recipe on eGullet's Cooking with Modernist Cuisine thread. He, along with several other eGulleters, noted that you can probably save the cheese in the freezer for about a month, and explained that the use of carageenan makes this possible. Later in the thread, however, he does note that if you are using all the cheese right away, you can omit the carageenan, but details some of the benefits of the constructed cheese. We hope that answers a few questions, but if not, please ask! We'd also love to see what you have done with your leftover cheese!
  3. Some recipes call for a long slow cook in an oven for a whole chicken, followed by high heat for around 15-20 minutes to crisp the skin with the danger of overcooking, I was thinking about trying the torch to crisp the skin as I think this would be much less likely to overcook the meat and would be faster and more controlled. Anyone done this?
  4. Hopefully someone can help here, I reached out the MC via email with no luck. I had gone into work a and brought my guide with me to read. i ended up leaving it in the car during the day. The next day when I went to open it, a bunch of the pages were "glued" together. It's as the the page coating had melted and sealed the pages together. Some came apart with some pulling but a few ripped. Any suggestion on how to separate the pages? I'd hate to tear more page especially considering I just got the set from my wife as an anniversary gift. Thanks for any input.
  5. Polyscience has published an iPhone application that computes sous vide cooking time as well as 6.5 reductions and other metrics. It is very nicely done, it includes a chart and countdown and coutup timer -- all in all a professional applcation. However, the cook times do not correspond with those in the MC 1-5. Also, all of the recommneded times are not highlighted. Any chance the MC kitchen can develop its own application? Work with Polyscience to offer an alternative? From the data collected, this should be relatively easy. Polyscience sells its applcation for $4.99 via iTunes. I do recommend it, but with temperature reservations. I have verified that the termperatures in the MC 1-5 correspond better for my tastes.
  6. Hey all, so today Amazon is having some sale prices on FoodSaver vacuum sealers (about 50-70 off on a bunch). Since I don't have the books handy to see what the recommended one was, I was wondering if you all could help out. Just looking for a recommendation here. I will be using it mostly for sous vide cooking and not so much for storage, and if there is one up there that can do marinated food as well, thats a whole lot better. Thanks, Alex
  7. I've been reading that using a wet bulb thermometer will give me better results for smoking. I usually smoke overnight and slow cook the pork inthe smoker for 18 hours total at low temperatures (190F), but I've read that a smoke then sous vide would be more effective as the meat would keep more moisture and I could use lower temps. This is where I'm at so far: I've brined 16 lbs of pork shoulder for 24 hours in a weak salt and paprika solution. I have a bradley smoker that I control using an Auber instruments PID.I've threaded my thermometer probe into a shoelace which is dipped in a water container so that the thermometer is reading as a wet bulb. I've set my PID to use this wet bulb temp to control the smoker's heating element. Set the smoke for 7 hours and the 'wet bulb' temp at 135F. I also have another thermometer to measure the IT. In the morning the IT of the pork after the smoke was 171F. I vaccum sealed it and into the water bath it is going at 150F for the next 2 days. Is this the correct method of using the wet bulb thermometer method? I'm concerned that the IT of the pork went up too high during the smoke. Does anyone have experience with this method?
  8. I'm looking at that recipe and since I don't have a CVap yet I was wondering if it would be possible to cook the breast sous vide before doing the cryosearing to prevent the reabsorbtion of water? The order would probably be perforate, cook sous vide, dehydrate, freeze and sear. It seem simple. Did anybody tried something like that and want to comment? Thanks for your help Louis-Frederic Michaud
  9. I went shopping in the asian grocery yesterday and I decided to try buying a fresh bamboo shoot. I went on youtube to find a video on preparing it, and the poster explained that they need to be par boiled until they are tender "to remove the cyanide." that sounds dangerous. The poster also explained that it's important to throw in rice bran into the water to help "extract the bitterness," which I guess is the cyanide? I was curious, though, would par cooking at 185F be superior to just boiling it? can a better texture be achieved without sacrificing the important cyanide removal? Any thoughts or suggestions?
  10. Hi, I have searched but have not found any answers to a question I have had for some time, I'm hoping someone here can help me. A while ago I was served a nice amuse, a duck liver mousse with small crispy granulates of beetroot. The granulates were irregular in their shape and about 1-2 mm in size. They were really firm and crispy and did not melt in the mouth like maltodextrin creations. According to the restaurant the crisps were made of beetroot juice, some kind of starch and then baked in the oven and finally crushed to granulates. Any ideas how to make such granulates? I have tried normal household grade corn starch, but the granulates turned out not crispy enough and quite chewy, not the way I wanted them. Would appreciate any help you can give me on this issue. Regards, Marcus
  11. Browsing around I noticed that avaserfi posted some terrific looking French toast with bacon jam. We have a pressure-cooked egg toast and our Chorizo French Toast in MC. What other kinds of toast are you guys making?
  12. What is the difference between a commercial non-heated ultrasonic bath vs. a cheap consumer-grade jewelry cleaner? Is it possible to use the latter for smaller batches?
  13. 3 stage breading process flour, egg wash, bread crumb Any modernist replacers for the elements in this process namely the egg wash?
  14. Looking to get the extech EA10 K-type or similar, but dammed if I can find any information on the correct probe to get. Obviously it needs to be a penetrating probe. Is the TP882 what I should be looking at? It's 3.3mm in diametre which I guess is fine for meat etc, but for sous vide I guess I'm looking for something finer. Any help would be greatly appreciated. What boxes do I need to be ticking here? Regards
  15. Hi! I'm just trying to make a "glass" or container out of Beer for an event I'm doing. Trying to figure out the best way to make them and thought I'd ask the community if any of you had any ideas. If this is a go then I need to make 400 for the event. It's a big Gala so only 1 Item per chef. I would love to hear some differnent ideas on this, because so far the ways I've figured out how to do it won't work for that kind of event.
  16. We have a whole table for cooking whole eggs. What sort of texture do you prefer?
  17. My friend and I endeavoured to replicate this recipe with some rather unpleasant results. We deviated slightly, so I thought it would be best to ask for some advice on this forum. Mirin proved to be very difficult to locate so we substituted sake in its place. As the recipe suggested, we marinated for 5 days, but froze it thereafter as our conflicting schedules didn't allow us to attend to it on time. We then cooked it at the recommended 54C for about 2 hours. We found that the flank steak (sourced from our local butcher) was both difficult to brown and very unpleasantly chewy. To remedy this problem, we put it back in the water bath for another 12 hours at 55C (as recommended in 3-109). This yielded in a better steak, but it was still very chewy and unyielding. We could clearly see where the collagen sheaths dissolved but the meat had an oddly stiff texture. I noticed that I got a similar effect with marinated salmon vs. regular salmon. The marinade caused the fish to be unpleasantly chewy and I was forced to overcook it until it was edible. I'm wondering if the marinade is similarly responsible for the outcome of the flank steak. Is it possible that substituting sake caused this?
  18. 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.
  19. LOVE Pan Seared Alaskan Salmon with home made CayannePepper-Agave gel and Blood Orange Sauce.
  20. I have no affiliation with the site but see that ModernistPantry.com is stocking 50g bags of activa (all formulations). I've received some free samples from Ajinmoto, but haven't used activa since cooking through them because it's only available in 1KG bags. And once opened, it goes bad fast. I've written Ajinmoto many times encouraging them to sell the 100g sample bags they *give* away, to no avail. ModernistPantry says they repackage the 1KG bags in an oxygen-free environment, bag it in material similar to the Ajinmoto 1KG bags and include an oxygen absorber. They say shelf life won't be affected by the repackaging--they recommend storing at room temperature until opened, and then in the freezer (like the Ajinmoto bags). I have no idea if the repackaging will compromise quality, but I'm very excited to try. What shall we glue first?
  21. 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.
  22. Amazingly, no thread dedicated to LA LA land (or the Bay area for that matter). Just throwing this out there: http://www.thebazaar.com/ <--- José Andrés actually owns a restaurant here in case you hadn't heard! And of course Spago just because...
  23. my cousin has loaned me her sous vide machine and i'm falling over myself to use it, but not sure where to start. i have a million ideas in my head. what would be a good recipe to start for your first time using the sous vide technique? i wan't something that would be a main course entree - meat or fish. thanks for your suggestions!
  24. Not 100% sure if this belongs in the "modernist" or "traditional" section but it seems like a newer technique. In the gear guide the team recomends the Toddy T2N Cold Brew System does this work as well as the tall glass and wood type cold brew coffee towers. Thanks
  25. I work at a fine dining restaurant in Colorado where I make the individual cheesecakes we serve for dessert. Although my cheesecake baked custard is very delicious and silky, my graham cracker cookie crumb crust does not maintain its crunch once baked in a water bath. I have been researching to see if I can find a way of having a dry cookie crumb crust under my silky cheesecake batter once I serve it chilled, but have not found a solution. I have thought about adding the crust after baking my cheesecake but that would not work since my batter is very silky, light and smooth. I would deform it if I tried to lift it and add the crumbs after baked. I would like suggestions for maintaining my crumb crust crunchy after baked and chilled. Thank you.
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