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  1. This is my first post, but I thought it would be valuable to share some information with everyone. Many recipes in Modernist Cuisine specify a particular sodium phosphate, "Joha SDS2." Now, finding any food-grade sodium phosphate, let alone that particular type is almost impossible. Until now, hopefully. I sent off an inquiry to the Modernist Pantry, and they have ordered a supply, and it should beavailablefor purchase by the end of next week (meaning sometime by March 23, 2012). Now I can finally try the recipe from the blog for the cheese puffs, along with a slew of other recipes calling forJoha SDS2 sodium phosphate from the books! If you need a link for the Modernist Pantry, just Google it; I don't want to give the impression that I am advertising for them or anything, because I am not. I'm just trying to pass along the news about a source for this item that has likely eluded most of us thus far. Buen Provecho!
  2. I thought whipped butter would be simple enough but it appears to be the only place where an ingrediant called Delta decalactone (SAFC Brand) is called for. Anyone know where that can be obtained or in fact what it does to the butter?
  3. Sous vide corned beef? Brewing your own beer? Whiskey bread pudding? Turning everything green? What are you doing this March 17th?
  4. I attempted to make the sour cream spaetzle 4-117, 6-252 twice with zero success. Has anyone attempted this one? If so did it work? I would love to get this one dialed in but will not attempt it again without some feedback on what could have gone wrong etc. The biggest issue I have is that it never seems to setup. I have left it in the fridge longer than necessary and it does not matter as when it hits the ice water is just tends to dissolve. I tried frying the mess and it just turned into a bigger mess. Ricky
  5. Continued from Book Review #1: “Honey, there is the huge box and It weighs a ton; I dragged it into the garage,” my wife tracked me down while I was on the rental return bus to the air terminal. “What is it?” “I don’t know,” I lied‚ “could be anything.” “You have no idea what you ordered that is that big and heavy and takes up half the garage [exaggeration]?” I heard paper crumbling as she whipped out her Spanish inquisition checklist of questions. “Gee honey, almost to the security checkpoint. Got to go, see you tonight, late”. I listened for her final protest and then pressed end. On to the Book: Chapter 7 is positively the best set of explanations and pictures on the various methods of cooking. Starting with grilling and ultimately ending with smoking, consider this chapter like a walking tour of your favorite art museum, complete with awesome cut-away pictures and narratives from the artists themselves. There is even a touch of math in these pages where the authors show you how to calculate the sweet spot of your grill and broiler. Check out the Girardet Method (page 24-25); this yummy method of fish preparation is very tasty and oh so easy. In Power to Burn, page 52, I decided that real wok cooking was not a great idea for my kitchen; I couldn't sneak the hood and sprinkler system past my wife. I never really understood why my wok dishes didn’t turn out authentic until I read the chapter on stir frying. And, though I have watched things boil hundreds of times, I must confess, I never understood “The Birth of the Bubble,” see page 65. In pan frying, we learn that “the thickness of the pan matters more than the material.” Bad news for consumer premium pan suppliers - buy copper only for the looks, you can get performance in many other ways. Also, match your flame with pan and you’ll get better efficiency. Most of us know these things, but it is very interesting to have them laid out, all of it in photographic glory. With a tour through frying and smoking, your tour is complete - fourteen cooking methods surveyed in all. Chapter 8 is about cooking with moist air, for example a combi oven. Though I appreciate the distinction of combining temperature and humidity, this information is useful for the professional chef and is not within reach for but the very few home chefs with infinite budget and room. Moving on to microwaves, there two things that I absolutely didn’t expect to learn from this sophisticated text: how to do irresponsible things in a microwave (like plasma grapes), and how to measure the speed of light with a microwave and a cheese slice. If James Maxwell (1805) had only had Velveeta and space-saver microwave, just imagine the possibilities! I was eager to finally reach Chapter 9: Cooking Sous Vide. First the defining feature: “…[it is] the fine control of heat that modern timing and temperature-control technology enable.” The sealing and the water bath are all a means to this end. “Cooking sous vide is simple because it eliminates guesswork.” The chapter offers five steps: prepare, package, set temperature, cook, and finish. The chapter also delves in to details of types of sealers and water baths. Don’t miss the “Why Cold-Shocking Doesn’t Halt Cooking” on page 254.This chapter provides a complete overview of the processes involved. Each popular method of sealing is presented and contrasted along with strategies for chilling and reheating. The coup de grace is a Rosetta stone of sous vide cooking times and temperatures found on page 276-279. The remainder of the volume is a whirlwind tour through techniques to enhance flavor, clarify liquids, dry, and freeze. Unfortunately some (a lot) of the equipment is well outside of the budget of the home chef. But one thing that is very helpful is that the authors go to great pains to identify multiple techniques that can be accomplished in the home kitchen. What do a mouse and a mine shaft have to do with making the best stocks? Well you’ll have to read about it on page 288, and when you do, you’ll change the way you make stock forever. Even the method of preparation is different than what I had expected: see 296-297 for a tidy summary. I won’t recount but do not miss a page. Now, on to finish my story: “It’s a chamber vacuum sealer.” I proudly removed all of the packing flakes that clung to its stainless steel casing, “Ta daa.” It’s not just a sealer; it is a VacMaster VP215, oil pump powered, commercial Vacuum Packing System tipping the scales at 96 pounds. “It’s for Sous Vide cooking.” “That isn’t staying on my counter,” she proclaimed. “Oh nooo, I‚’ll be putting it downstairs,” as I measured how I might fit it into the pantry (not downstairs). Turns out a quick trip to The Container Store and you can buy a rolling table that fits its dimensions very nicely with storage drawers for the bags and other assorted utensils. “Let me just leave it here in the pantry, I have to get someone to help me bring it downstairs, it’s way too heavy for me.” “Un huh,” she sensing the insincerity that I was radiating on the subject. “Maybe in one of those books,” she pointed at the offending Modernist Cuisine collection‚ “there will be a tip on how to move that thing out my kitchen.” I chuckled, “Not in book 2.”
  6. Hello! I've promised myself I wouldn't buy any new kitchen equipment until I'm able to afford getting MC, but I really want to practice my knife skills and all I've got is a lousy plastic cutting board from IKEA. I know there's plenty of advice elsewhere about how to choose a cutting board, but I want to know not just what kind of board to invest in, but why. So my question is, what do I need to take into consideration before buying a cutting board? Types of wood, treatment, size, etc? Does MC cover this question in-depth or should I look to other sources to make an informed decision? Thanks for reading.
  7. I have heard that Nathan Myhrvold grows miracle berry (synsepalum dulcificum) plants indoors as a source for miraculin, which is a protein that turns sour tastes into sweet tastes. The result can be a lemon slice that tastes like lemonade or stout beer that tastes like a chocolate milkshake. Because the berries have a shelf life of only one to two days, the only way to obtain them fresh is to grow them yourself. Has anybody else successfully grown miracle berries indoors? If so, how are you supplying light to the plans and how are you regulating the humidity in the air? Right now, I am trying to grow my first miracle berry plan under a single high output 54w T-5 florescent bulb that is hung approximately three feet above the plant. The room has no other light source. Also, I have the plant growing in a five gallon paint bucket, which is covered with plastic wrap (with a slight opening on the side) to keep the humidity high. In addition, I have been feeding the plant with chlorine free water adjusted to a PH of 5.0 and using Pure Blend Pro Grow 3-2-4 vegetative formula as the nutrient solution. The soil medium is a mixture of peat and perlite. Right now, the experiment is not going well and the leaves of the plant are turning yellow/falling off. What am I doing wrong?
  8. I've been looking at various vacuum sealers and for a variety of reasons (oil pump, fast seal times, noise) I've been looking at the Vacmaster VP215. Does anyone here have any personal experience with this unit? Thanks!
  9. I am interested in making awine "caviar", and I am wondering if anybody has had any success with this, as well as the technique.
  10. I cannot see for the life of me where the Crab Oil is used in this recipe. Is it suppose to be used to fry the crackers? Thanks
  11. Is there a table with recommended vacuum levels for various applications (bagging fresh meat, fish, liquids; vacuum compression etc.)? The MC chapter on chamber vacuum sealers has several suggestions sprinkled in the text itself, but AFAIK no single table combining the "best guesses".
  12. Greetings, have had the MC a couple of weeks now and it is my favourite bedtime read! However, cant seem to find a whole lot of info on the Pacojet. Have read through book 2 section, but wondered if anyone had any pointers about general theory behind. I have all the usual standard recipes but was looking for some guidance on the effects of sugar, fats, temp etc. Ie, an increase in sugar will result in a), or to compensate for a decrease in sugar for a savoury ice cream you need to do (x) because b). Any help would be great!
  13. A friend of mine recently made a recipe for cupcakes she found on the internet. The idea was that they were "Irish car bomb cupcakes". (classy, i know) The frosting had bailey's and a bit of whiskey and the cake had a ganache that wasGuinnessstout flavored. The cupcakes were very good but the bailey's was not verynoticeableand the ganache just tasted….boozy. Overall it was a bit boring, like the liquors weren't providing any flavor beyond just the punch of the actual alcohol. I think that this is a perfect idea for a modernist cuisine type solution. Does anybody have any ideas for a way to incorporate these types of alcohol into a baked good without losing the distinct flavor and texture that makes them unique? I would think it would involve some sort of gelling or stabilization to preserve the structure and composition of the alcohol as it is baked or constructed, but as a new face to modernist cuisine, I will defer to the experts! Thanks!
  14. Since the SGA 150 is discontinued, what is the closest substitue and what would be the percentage to use to replicate all the recipes that have the SGA 150 in them?
  15. Can dry ice, easier to find for home cooks, be used as an alternative to liquid nitrogen for cryosearing? I want to make a try for the "perfect hamburguer". Any issue that I should anticipate?
  16. Yesterday I attempted the Brown Beef Stock (2-301) and was very pleased with the overall result. However, I would have liked more gelatin in the stock itself rather than clinging loosely to the bones. Is this simply a matter of cooking it longer? The bones were at the bottom of the pot, followed by the chuck and then the vegetables.
  17. Hello, i've had the luck this morning of getting a reservation in may for Noma. We plan to stay some days over there and I was wondering if anybody had recommendation about the others restaurants that we shouldn't miss! Thanks for your help Louis-Frederic
  18. I'm having some issues making soy sauce spheres and I think I know why. But Im not 100% sure so I thought I'd ask the experts. The spheres simply dissolve when they enter the bath. I believe it's an pH issue. From what I can find, Soy Sauce is extremely acidic. On to my questions... Just how acidic is soy sauce? How can I tell what the pH of a given food is? Do those electronic pH testers (like this: http://www.amazon.com/Milwaukee-Instruments-PH600AQ-Tester-Calibration/dp/B005H78ZI0 ) work worth a crap? Thanks
  19. So, in trying to do the mussel spheres, as influenced by Ferran Adria, I had a great success in encapsulating a mussel inside a sphere of mussel liquid. Where I had trouble was in then heating the sphere. When I put it in approximately 60 degree water, it started to wilt, leak and die. Very sad. I've had similar issues with other heated alginate spheres, and when I read in MC that they can be heated to 85 C with good effect, I am completely stumped. What am I doing wrong here? Any suggestions?
  20. so, i just made my first sous vide steak. I vacuum sealed it plain and cooked it for about 1hr 15 at 57C. afterwards I seasoned a bit with salt and pepper then seared with a blowtorch. I thought it came out very well, but I'm not sure if I went about the seasoning the best way I could have. Do you guys have any advice on the best way to season a steak you will be cooking sous vide? Do you season before the low temp bath or after?
  21. A couple of coworkers asked me why not use a flavorful stock or consomme instead of water for the cheese water. From what I have read in regards to the final water content of the cheese paste. Would the gelatin content of the stock/consomme inhibit steam when frying the cheese puff paste?
  22. I love my copy of MC, but unfortunately, I can't take it everywhere. Does anybody have a favorite MC or culinary science podcast? I love listening to podcasts when I drive and I think this topic could make for a great series.
  23. The times posted for cooking should vary based on the starting temperature, what is the assumed temperature? Room temperature? Fridge temp? 36 deg? Is there a way to adjust for cooking from frozen?
  24. I recently purchased a Table Top Vacuum Tumbler, Any suggestions on spice blend levels to add, Wet marinade amounts and or sodium levels. I have heard 10% of total volume is a good start with 1% of that being Sodium. Any suggestions as MC does not cover this topic specifically. Thanks in Advance,
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