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Found 1,339 results

  1. Has anyone used Valrhona Absolut Crystal neutral glaze particularly to thicken a coulis or to glaze a tart? If so, how did you like it and is there another glaze you think worked as well but is less expensive or can be purchased in smaller quantities?
  2. Hello. I would like to buy some pectinex ultra sp-l. However I am worried about the temperature during the shipping time. I read that the storage temperature should be between 2 and 8 C. It works best from 15 to 50 C, and if it stays a lot of time in 25 C, it will gradually be deactivated. It needs a week to come here (Greece), then will it affect its abilities? Do you know if I can find a document somewhere that explains the gradual loss of power as a function of time and temperature? Did you have any experience with pectinex not working well due to bad storage? Thanks.
  3. Hello, folks, thanks for reading. My husband thinks, I should start selling my popcorn seasonings (which I make for my family), it’s a good product. But I'm not sure if it’s interesting to other people... So, what do you think, guys? Our story: We’ve bought an air popper machine, but popcorn came out pretty tasteless. Then, we’ve bought different “popcorn seasoning” mixes... But it always ends with all the seasoning at the bottom of the bowl. Then, we've added butter, oil and so on before seasoning... we got soggy, chewy popcorn. Lot’s of disappointments… When we almost gave up… the magic happened! I figured out the way to make seasonings that: Stick to popcorn, but not sticky to fingers (or T-shirt , Easy to apply, May be pre cooked in bulk and stored… And popcorn appears crunchy, tasty, thoroughly covered with seasoning. Sounds good, yep? Now, when I want to treat myself - I only need 2 mins to turn tasteless popped popcorn to a real treat. The only moment - it request 1 extra effort: after you toss it over popcorn, you need to microwave it for 1 min, and stir after. So, I was wondering, if you like popcorn like myself - would this seasoning be interesting for you to purchase? Are you ready for a little extra work (microwave & stir) in the goal to flavor popcorn, or it feels too much effort? As I have no experience in manufacturing and retail, your answers would help me to make a very important decision - to dive in or not... Thanks in advance for your answers, it means the world to me.
  4. I'd like help from anyone on making the best Pistachio Ice cream. This forum is a continuation of a conversation I started in my "introduction" post, which you can see at I recently made Pistachio ice cream using the Jeni's Ice Cream Cookbook. I love Pistachio ice cream, so I've launched an experiment to find the best recipe. I am going to try two basic approaches: The Modernist Cookbook gelato, which uses no cream at all, and ice cream; I'm also experimenting with two brands of pistachio paste and starting with pistachios and no paste. Lisa Shock and other People who commented on the earlier thread said that the key is to start with the best Pistachio Paste.   Any advice is appreciated. Here is where I am now: I purchased a brand of pistachio paste through nuts.com named "Love 'n Bake." When it arrived, it was 1/2 pistachios and 1/2 sugar and olive oil. I purchased a second batch through Amazon from FiddleyFarms; it is 100% pistachios. I bought raw pistachios through nuts.com. The only raw ones were from California. If anyone has advice on using the MC recipe or on best approaches to ice cream with this ingredient I'd appreciate them. I will report progress on my experiment in this forum.
  5. The team over at Modernist Cuisine announced today that their next project will be an in-depth exploration of bread. I personally am very excited about this, I had been hoping their next project would be in the baking and pastry realm. Additionally, Francisco Migoya will be head chef and Peter Reinhart will assignments editor for this project which is expected to be a multi-volume affair.
  6. Sorry if this issue has been posted before—in spite of help, I don't manage searching past posts well. I have a shrink-wrapped package of corned beef which came with spices included by the manufacturer. Would you remove this plastic and replace with new vacuum-sealed plastic (without spices) to sous vide the corned beef? Thanks in advance.
  7. Is there any recipe from the modernist universe or any other galaxy to make ketogenic (low carb) puff pastry and strudel type doughs? Unusual ingredients OK. There must be a way...
  8. I got to thinking after the disgusting job of separating globs of fat from sous vide short ribs and debating never doing them that way again. If the fat renders out in a braise, but not in the sous vide, what temperature would you need to turn the fat liquid to get rid of it? Is it below well-done or do you really have to cook the shit out of it? Is it just temperature or a time&temperature thing? Along those lines, what happens with marbled, tender cuts? where is the sweet spot between solid fat and something more palatable?
  9. The cooking with Modernist Cuisine at Home topic seems to have mostly run its course as many of us have had the book for quite a while. One thing I like a lot about the book is that it presents ideas for variations along with the recipes and presents many variations of ways of achieving similar results. So my motivation for this topic is to have a place to talk about our experiments in modifying the recipes - successful or not. You see I have difficulty following instructions... To start, is serendipity with this post in the sous vide thread asking about using bag juice that came out right as I finished up an experiment with the red wine glaze. The experiment was motivated by a mistake where I made SV short ribs at too high a temperature a while back. The meat was not very good but juice was wonderful. So instead of frying up a bunch of ground beef, I took a half kilo of relatively lean stewing beef and bunged it in the SV at 88 C for an hour. At the end of that time the meat was dry and the bag full of meat juice. The juice was very clear and light in colour with little in the way of 'gunk'. I added it to the wine and veg, started reducing, then strained the veg out and reduced the rest of the way. I skipped pressure cooking the knucklebones (I'm not sure why the recipe has you reduce the wine, then add water to pressure cook the bones, why not cook the bones in the wine then reduce?) To cut to the chase, I was quite happy with the result. I don't agree with the 'fat is flavour' mantra and the only fat in this was the little that rendered out of the meat in the SV. I might try adding a little gelatin for mouth feel and to make the glaze with less reduction. ... and the dog was happy with the dried out meat for his tea-time.
  10. TdeV

    Salt & sous vide

    I'm thinking that one isn't supposed to add salt to meat which is about to be sous-vided. I have no idea from whence the idea came, nor whether it's correct. Also I'm thinking that raw onion is ok in the sous vide bag, but not raw garlic (because it imparts a harsh flavour). Either of these impressions have value?
  11. In Douglas Baldwin's book he states to cook at 135F for 75 minutes. My questions are: 1. Does this change the consistency of the eggs? 2. Would I still be able to use them to make eggnog or in a shake? 3. How long can you keep them in the refrigerator?
  12. This article from the French Culinary Institute goes into detail about the rotary evaporator that they have. Highlights: An initial question I have is that for doing something fairly simple like reducing pomegranate juice to make grenadine, could I just put the juice in a pan and put it in a food dehydrator, which is much cheaper? How about stock? Sure, you would lose some of the aromatics, while the rotary evaporator, based on my cursory understanding, would capture all of it. But that's a compromise I'm willing to make. I could see something like making brandy and syrup from wine (as detailed towards of the bottom of the above article) to absolutely require a rotovap.
  13. cigno1

    Sous Vide Braises

    Hey all, I figured IMHO that a thread that dealt with times and temps for braise cuts specifically would be useful. I am looking for times and temps for lamb shoulder. There are so many different recipes out there. I was wondering if anyone had any experience with this cut and if they could give me any real info. thanks in advance, Chris
  14. With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy. I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs
  15. Last year I had dinner at Belcanto in Lisbon and one of the dishes featured a "tomato water snow" or "tomato water cloud" (translated from the original Portuguese: "Nuvem/neve de agua de tomate") that I'm trying to replicate without success. Imagine a thick and solid foam of tomato water that immediately liquefies when you put in your mouth. The cloud was atop smoked fish and olive oil was drizzled over it. I whipped a mixture of tomato water and albumin powder (2 tsp albumin, 2tbsp tomato water) along with a pinch of cream of tartar, getting to the stiff peaks point after some effort. Trying to dehidrate the foam even as low as 150F didn't work; the foam collapsed. I then tried the savory meringue approach with some sugar and salt. The result was indeed a meringue that tasted like tomato but completely different from what I had at Belcanto. What am I missing? I've attached a photo of the dish so you can see what the cloud looks like. Thanks!
  16. <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_5544.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">It has often been said that the human activity that calls on the greatest number of senses is gastronomy. When we look at a painting or photograph, only the sense of sight is brought into play, just as when we listen to a symphony, the sense that transports the information to the brain is hearing. An opera or film calls for the joint participation of sight and hearing. When we are eating, four out of the five senses come into play, to a greater or lesser extent: sight, smell, touch and taste. Even hearing plays a small but interesting role in food with certain preparations, such as those with a crisp texture. <br><br> Sight is the first sense that transmits information to us when the dish arrives on the table. It enables us to identify the product, and appreciate its composition, presentation, colours and shapes. <br><br> The next to come into operation is smell, thanks to which we perceive aromas. All products have a specific odour which we appreciate when we smell them close up, and sometimes it can be very powerful (truffles, shellfish, certain fruits and vegetables). Stews and other products and preparations that are served hot can be smelled from further away. To appreciate wine, smell is essential.<br><br> The perceptions related to touch are two-fold: firstly the whole gamut of temperatures that the mouth can discern, as well as possible contrasts between different temperatures. Secondly, the various textures of products and preparations. <br><br> The sense of taste is the one that plays the major role when eating. Just as it is perfectly understood that the senses are the gateway for information to the brain, it goes without saying that taste is the sense that needs most attention when suggesting a dish to a diner. This is also true in our way of understanding cooking, although we are now aware of the fact that the right proportion of stimuli for each sense increases the pleasure.</p> <br> <hr noshade size="2" color="#666666"> <table border="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_1700.jpg"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_2702.jpg"></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_1803.jpg"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_3169.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">When a diner goes to a gourmet restaurant, he will experience physical reactions that go beyond the need to feed himself, but also a series of sensations that his brain will process based on data collected by his senses. This process is usually taken for granted, and many chefs accept this as an undeniably important aspect, without warranting further consideration or thought. For example, they know that they have to choose a high quality product, cook it in its own style and ensure that the diner’s requirements are met. This does not necessarily mean that it is routine, or that disdain is shown for the options provided by the senses, even though they are not usually taken into account as a starting out point for the creating process. <br><br> For several years, this was more or less our attitude. We knew that the gateway to gastronomic sensations was the senses, but we never really asked ourselves how they functioned and how they could be influenced. Apart from one or two specific ideas prior to 1994, it was from that year onwards that a change of attitude began to be forged, directed at exploiting the entire potential of this relationship between the chef and the diner. Three years later, while we were writing Los secretos de El Bulli, our method of tackling this aspect had taken root, and in that book we explained what the senses meant for us. In all fields of human activity, knowing how a process functions helps one to work with it, by modifying it, being sparing with some factors or enhancing others, in order to obtain the desired result. This is equally true with cooking: if we analyse how cooking is perceived, how each sense influences the appreciation of a dish and the pleasure it provides, we can then offer the diner much more information, and thus increase the emotion. <br><br> Of course, this understanding meant that when creating, it was essential to bear in mind all the information that the diner received. In other words, because this information directly depended on the senses, we had to study the role of each one in the act of eating in order to use them as a creative method. For several years, this was more or less our attitude. We knew that the gateway to gastronomic sensations was the senses, but we never really asked ourselves how they functioned and how they could be influenced. Apart from one or two specific ideas prior to 1994, it was from that year onwards that a change of attitude began to be forged, directed at exploiting the entire potential of this relationship between the chef and the diner. Three years later, while we were writing Los secretos de El Bulli, our method of tackling this aspect had taken root, and in that book we explained what the senses meant for us. In all fields of human activity, knowing how a process functions helps one to work with it, by modifying it, being sparing with some factors or enhancing others, in order to obtain the desired result. This is equally true with cooking: if we analyse how cooking is perceived, how each sense influences the appreciation of a dish and the pleasure it provides, we can then offer the diner much more information, and thus increase the emotion. <br><br> </font> </td> </tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_685.jpg"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_9210.jpg" hspace="5" align="left"> We stated earlier that sight is the first sense to transmit information in the act of eating. The data can indicate various aspects, such as the amount served, the shapes and proportions of the products and preparations, colours or the layout of food on the plate. Thanks to sight, we can immediately identify, before trying it, what food we are going to eat, as well as the type of cuisine the dish belongs to. In creative cooking, it is often even possible to identify the chef that has created a dish, merely through what we might call its artistic style. In view of all the data that the diner receives using his sense of sight, the chef has various options. Firstly, the appearance of a dish is undeniably a motivation: playing with colours, shapes, proportions, layout and so on – in short, everything that gives rise to what we colloquially call “eating with one’s eyes”. But this appearance can also “tell” things, such as indicating how the dish should be eaten, in what order the ingredients are to be consumed. There are gourmets who are particularly good at “reading” a dish, people who know the right way to appreciate the chef’s idea. <br> <br> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_79.jpg"></td> <td> <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_2795.jpg" hspace="5" align="left"> This is one of the senses that intervenes the most in the act of eating, and it plays various roles. Firstly, it has a physiological function which has nothing to do with culinary sensitivity: it is responsible for preparing the gastric juices for digestion. In the area of perception, thanks to smell we perceive the aromas of a dish. Furthermore, smell is a very important aid for the chef in order to judge the quality or condition of a product. <br><br> When creating, only the second of these functions, perceiving the aroma of a dish, is important. The aroma of a product or preparation is essential, to the extent that if we could not appreciate its smell, we would only be able to perceive a fraction of the basic flavours and refinements when tasting, but without the characteristic personality of these ingredients, since the two senses are very closely related. It is well known that a person whose sense of smell is neutralised (because of some product or a simple cold) does not experience the “savour” of food. <br><br> It was not until 1997 that we dealt with smell at a creative level in our cuisine, when we decided to concentrate an aroma to add flavour to a dessert. In 2000 we enhanced the aroma of a dish with rosemary in our Norway lobsters au naturel with rosemary or with a sprig of vanilla in our sweet vanilla potato purée. In 2001, with the creation of the aromas of elBulliolor, we invented three dishes in which smell played a crucial role: raw/sautéed St George’s mushrooms with elderflower and yoghurt and pine foam with a woodland scent, orange, pumpkin with yoghurt powder and bitter almond and oysters on a trip.<br><br></td></tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_89.jpg"></td> <td> <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_8046.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">The first tactile sensation that our mouths experience when we introduce food is temperature. The human palate is capable of standing only a certain range of temperatures, and anything that exceeds the limits of -20 ºC and 70 ºC approximately (depending on a person’s sensitivity) should not be considered when cooking. Within this range of temperatures, the sense of touch acts by detecting whether a food is cold, warm or hot, and also by perceiving contrasts between various temperatures. <br><br> So temperature is a source of sensations that a chef should know how to exploit, so that, for example, contrasts between different temperatures may be appreciated. In addition, it is important, and not just in creative cuisine, that the temperature of each dish is right, a factor that is often ignored. A variation of 5 ºC in a preparation can mark the difference between success and failure. <br><br> When creating, it is also important to bear in mind which preparations lend themselves to different temperatures. Soups, sauces, custards, crèmes or purées can be cold, warm or hot. Since 1998, jellies and foams, which until then could only be cold, can also be hot. In other cases, temperature defines the physical state of certain preparations: the temperature of a sorbet will always be below 0 ºC; the same preparation at 5 ºC is no longer a sorbet. <br> <br> </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td align="right" valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_1351.jpg" align="top"></td> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_7074.jpg" hspace="5" align="left"> After appreciating the temperature of a mouthful (or sometimes simultaneously), the sense of touch detects its texture. This factor is very important (borne out by the fact that many people do not like a product, not because of its taste but because of its texture), and in El Bulli it plays a vital role. The wealth of sensations provided by texture is only limited by the number of textures that actually exist. <br> <br> Firstly, one can play with the original textures of a product. It might be said that the appeal of certain products is based more on their texture than their flavour: pasta, rice, elvers, caviar, etc. The gelatinous texture of pigs’ trotters, frogs’ legs or cod plays a vital role in their gourmet value. Furthermore, by working on these textures, an infinite number of variations can be obtained: countless textures are provided by cutting and cooking asparagus in as many ways as possible. A large number of textures can also be obtained from a liquid or purée: whey, mousse, foam, water ice, sorbet, ice cream, custard, jelly, and so on. Then there are other preparations whose textures are not based on liquids or purées, such as caramels, croquants, pastry and all its variations (biscuits, sponges, tiles, millefeuilles), etc. <br><br> Creative playing revolves around offering contrasts in textures, and also modifying the usual texture of a product to provide a completely new perspective. Deciding which textures to provide in a product and combining them with others is one of the most complex, yet at the same time agreeable, aspects of creativity based on the senses. </td></tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr><td align="right" valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_395.jpg" align="top"></td><td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1138590929/gallery_29805_2457_2236.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">The world of prepared textures: the panaché, a distinctive dish. It is not often that we can say that a dish of ours has generated a whole line of evolution. Almost certainly, one of them would be our textured panaché, since it represents a veritable frontier between our way of tackling cold dishes up to 1994 and what we did afterwards. The panaché opened up a new world to us, the world of prepared textures, in which the transformation of products took on a new prominence in our cuisine. The origins of the panaché dish occurred more or less simultaneously. In 1994, concepts and techniques to obtain new textures were created: savoury ice creams, foams, or jellies which we had been experimenting with since 1991. All these factors were subsequently incorporated into our panaché, an ideal showcase displaying this complete range of different textures. <br><br> We usually say that the need to create this dish goes back to the time we tried Michel Bras’ gargouillou dish. From that moment, our dream was to create a vegetable dish that would offer the same response to a different attitude. With the panaché, we succeeded. Furthermore, it was probably one of the first dishes for which we used the deconstruction method, although at that time we had not even thought about it. For all these reasons, we consider this dish to be a symbol, a distinctive dish. </td></tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td align="right" valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_739.jpg" align="top"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_5850.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">The sensations perceived by the sense of taste while one is eating may be categorised as follows: <br> <br> - Perception of the primary flavours: sweet, savoury, acid, bitter.<br> - Perception of refinements: sour, astringent, spicy, balsamic, iodised, smoked, aniseed, etc.<br> - Identification of the characteristic flavour of each food. <br><br> Through taste we also perceive the harmony between the elements of a dish, although it is not actually this sense that judges the success or otherwise of combinations. This is done afterwards by the brain taking into account the perceptions that arrive via taste. <br><br> When creating, we can play with this harmony by modifying the proportions of basic flavours, complementing it with refinements, etc. To understand the potential of this creative method related to taste, we had to think about it for a while. For a long time we had assumed that the savoury flavour should predominate in a savoury dish, and sweetness in a dessert. On that basis, the other primary flavours merely acted as points of contrast. The evolution of the symbiosis between the sweet and savoury worlds stimulated a new way of looking at things. Our intention when creating a dish based on flavours is to provide variety, in which the four flavours are balanced, so that different sensations may be experienced. An essential ingredient of this method is the chef’s sensitivity, which will enable him to attain balance and harmony between all the elements. <br><br> When we are asked to give an example of the importance of balance between the basic flavours, we usually say that if one adds too much salt (or too much sugar) to a savoury dish, it is out of proportion. Harmony is the objective. And multiplying sensations does not mean multiplying the ingredients in a dish. For example, if we put a pinch of Maldon salt on a grapefruit segment, we have a taste of something with the four basic flavours. To these are added the flavour refinements (spicy, astringent, sour, etc.) that are as important in gastronomy as the basic flavours, and a vital component for enhancing a dish; however they are sometimes relegated to second place when talking about the sense of taste. This search for balance between flavours and refinements has also been the driving force that has led us to use new products that are distinguished precisely because of some of these aspects. </td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr><td align="right" valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144897038/gallery_29805_2457_1383.jpg" align="top"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1144883250/gallery_29805_2457_2923.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">The concept of sequence when eating a dish is one of the ideas that enabled us to enter into the world of the senses with a different attitude. The catalyst was our green asparagus wrapped in ceps, which we wanted to serve with a ceps jelly, macadamia nuts and a parmesan vinaigrette. After trying the dish several times we found that the balance was almost perfect, but there was something missing, something to set it off. At that time, we were also working on citrus fruit reductions, and it occurred to us that we might add an acid flavour by using a mandarin reduction. <br> <br> Now we just needed to know what part of the dish to apply it to, and we saw that the most suitable solution was to put it on the asparagus tip. This led us to set a sequence for eating it: the waiter told the diner that the dish was to be eaten in a certain order, and that the tip with the reduction had to be eaten last. This would produce an explosion of the acid flavour of the mandarin once the asparagus had been finished. In short, the dish consisted of three asparagus spears that had to be eaten in sequence. This was the catalyst of the analysis that led us to understand that there were two ways of eating: in the first way, the order in which the elements of a dish are eaten is not important; in the second way, it is essential so that its entire harmony can be appreciated. We also realised that the proportion of each element was extremely important, and that a lack of balance in this aspect could thoroughly upset the result. One only has to think of what happens if too much salt is added to a dish. If the harmony of a dish were to be expressed in an equation, order and proportion would be major elements. </td> </tr> <tr> <tr><td colspan="2"></font><hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"> <font size="-2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">Our thanks to Juli Soler for his invaluable assistance in this project. <br> Copyright Ferran Adria, Juli Soler, Albert Adria © 2006. Photographs by Francesc Guillamet. <br> Introduction by Pedro Espinosa.<br> El Bulli books may be purchased here.<br> </font></td></tr> </table>
  17. <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_21200.jpg" width="324" height="285" hspace="5" align="left">Within the family of products with soul, we include in this analysis all products that have played a major role in El Bulli, those that have warranted special attention or have been important in our evolution. The N2O that we blow into siphons to obtain foams meets these criteria, except in one crucial aspect that might be debated for hours: is air a product? There are many preparations in which air plays an important role, even though it has never been treated as a cooking ingredient, but the creation of foams in 1994 certainly gave it star status. <br><br> What in fact characterises foams is their airy texture, their lightness, and the fact that they have more air than traditional mousses. The mission of the siphon is to blow air into the preparation with the help of N2O capsules that charge this utensil. Without the magic of the siphon, without the intervention of this gas that is not only harmless but also tasteless, foams would not be possible. Air is an essential element for obtaining these foams for which we feel a particular fondness, and for this reason we think that it deserves to be included in the family of products with soul. <br> <hr noshade size="2" color="#666666"> <table border="0" bgcolor="#FFFFFF"> <tr> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1139674845/gallery_29805_2457_381.jpg"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_4833.jpg"></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" align="right"> <hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"></td></tr> <tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_1999.jpg"></td> <td><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_7110.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">Foams arrived in 1994, but they had undergone a lengthy germination phase. The only reason that this preparation did not come to fruition until then was because of technical problems, as we did not know how to achieve this texture that we dreamed about, and if we had the right tool, our dream would come true. Early experiments were carried out in 1991-1992 in Xavier Medina Campeny’s workshop, but after some amusing domestic disasters, the ony thing that we knew was that gas was essential to reap success in this aspect. The appearance of the siphon in our kitchen was to give us the solution, but even then it was not so simple. <br> <br> </td></tr> <td valign="top"> </td> <td> In 1993, our dear friend Antoni Escribà brought us back from Switzerland a gadget that we called “the phantom siphon” because it was always getting lost. After buying a set of CO2 capsules, we attempted to make our first foams, but we knew nothing about gases at that time, and the foams we obtained seemed fermented to us. Strangely enough, we went back to CO2 in 2001 for our mojito and carrot soda. In any case, these discouraging results caused the “phantom siphon” to be banished to the cupboard. <br> <br></td></tr> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_829.jpg"></td> <td> <img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_6625.jpg" hspace="5" align="left"> In the winter of 1993-1994, while we were helping our friend Eduard Roigé to draw up the menu of the restaurant Bel-Air in Barcelona, a customer asked for a dessert with whipped cream. To our surprise, the cream was served in the kitchen with a gadget they took out of the fridge, from which whipped cream emerged by pressing a lever at the top. Suddenly we saw the light, and we reckoned that this siphon might solve the foams problem. So we borrowed the siphon, and in a matter of just a few days, our dream became a reality. <br> <br> Now, when we look back on that time, it is hard to believe how long we used this siphon "full stop," the name we gave it to distinguish it from the ISI siphon that came to El Bulli in 1997. The siphon “full stop” was charged from a bulky cylinder containing N2O, and it was a sizeable gadget which meant that ease of service from it left a lot to be desired. Even so, for three years we were inventing foams and serving them from that lovable monstrosity. The ridiculous thing was that when the ISI siphon arrived in 1997, we realised it was very similar to the "phantom siphon" that we used to charge with CO2, and that if we had used N2O instead, we would almost certainly have adopted it instead of our siphon "full stop".</td> </tr> <tr> <td align="right" valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1141577940/gallery_29805_2457_1187.jpg" align="top"></td> <td valign="top"><img src="http://forums.egullet.org/uploads/1138590929/gallery_29805_2457_7783.jpg" hspace="5" align="left">At this stage of the game, so much has been written about foams in the gourmet media (and even the general press) that it only remains for us to mention the brief history of this preparation, which is a technique and a concept at the same time. Cold foams were hatched in the El Bulli kitchen on March 19th 1994, the year the development squad project started. <br> <br> Since 1990 we had been nurturing the idea of achieving a lighter mousse, in which the product’s flavour would be much more intense than in traditional mousses. The idea came to us while we were in a specialist fruit juice bar and we noticed the foam that formed in the top part of the glass. Between 1990 and 1993 we conducted a good many tests, some as crazy as the ones we did in Xavier Medina Campeny’s workshop (see elBulli1983-1993), but it was not until 1994 that we reached a satisfactory outcome. <br> <br> For this, the crucial moment was when the siphon came into our hands, the utensil that enabled us to turn our dream into a reality (see The siphon “full stop”, page 90). Our first test involved putting a consommé into the siphon; when it came out, it had maintained its consistency, and we thought that this was because of the natural gelatin contained in the consommé. Therefore, if any product did not gel naturally, we could always add gelatin leaves, something that had not occurred to us the year before during the tests with the “phantom siphon” our friend Antoni Escribà had brought us. <br> <br> And this is what we did with a white bean purée on that fateful 19th of March 1994. The first foam served at our tables was this one, accompanied by sea urchins. The same year we made foams out of beetroot, coriander and almonds. These preparations began life in the savoury world, but once we discovered their potential, their migration to sweet preparations was only a matter of time. In 1994, we only made coconut foam, the first in a long series that we began to prepare from the following year onwards. <br> <br> Foams were born with the intention of using only the juice or purée of the product in question, without the addition of cream, eggs or other fats that might diminish the flavour. As time went on, we began to realise that on the one hand there was the philosophy of foams, but on the other hand we had a marvellous gadget, the siphon, which provided us with innumerable possibilities: creams, meringues, extremely light mousses that were easy to prepare, and so on. Today we would probably call anything that comes from the use of the siphon, a “foam”. <br> <br> Of course, foams are very well known today, and hundreds of chefs serve them in their restaurants. It remains to be seen whether they will be so important in twenty or thirty years’ time. As for the controversy surrounding them, we still find it hard to understand why criticisms have been so harsh. Current results lead us to claim, without hesitation, that there are good foams and foams that are not so good, in the same way as there are mousses with varying degrees of success. </td> </tr> <tr> </tr> <tr> <tr><td colspan="2"></font><hr size="1" noshade color="#333333"> <font size="-2" face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif">This is the second part in a multi-part series. Part one is here.<br> El Bulli books may be purchased here.<br><br> Our thanks to Juli Soler for his invaluable assistance in this project. <br> Copyright Ferran Adria, Juli Soler, Albert Adria ©2006. <br> Photographs by Francesc Guillamet. <br> Art by Dave Scantland, after a photograph by Francesc Guillamet.<br> Introduction to part one by Pedro Espinosa.<br> <br> </font></td></tr> </table> </body> </html>
  18. I have a question-Alinea or Moto? Having trouble deciding. Taking my dad to Chicago in June, he's open to anything foodwise.
  19. Rut roh...just saw this article on NYTimes.com about the NY health departments concerns over sous vide. I'm thinking more temporary setback/annoyance than real problem. Thoughts?
  20. I've noted your three recipes in the new book that utilize the sous vide technique. There is also a rather active sous vide topic on the cooking forum. Was sous vide evident when you wrote the first edition of your book? Is this technique gaining momentum in the Southwestern France region? Is method employed in home cooking in the region, or is it still primarily a restaurant technique? Do you often use sous vide at home?
  21. Hi everyone... So I missed Blais at Blais, and I guess I've missed Blais at Bazzaar. Anyone know what he's up to at the moment? Or is there anything else in Atlanta at the moment that is Not-to-be-missed? I have a night or two in Atlanta next week and I'd like to do some culinary exploration. I'm also interested in some inexpensive places for our other meals (2 lunches and a dinner), so any suggestions are appreciated. I think we may be staying in the Buckhead area, if that makes a difference. TIA, morda Edited because it's spelled Bazzaar and not Blazaar
  22. This summer I am bringing a Japanese friend (and her son) for a 2 week trip to the US, since there isn't a whole lot to see in Cleveland we have decided to drive to Niagara falls and spend 2 nights there. We will be traveling with 4 kids between the ages of 4 and 9 so we are are looking for some reasonably priced (yet decent ) restaurants that are fine for children and close to the falls.... It has been a very long time since I was last there, any recommendations for things to do with kids? We haven't decided yet exactly when to go but are thinking somtime between July 16 and July 22, are the weekends really crowded? Should we aim for a weekday?
  23. Yes, the vacuum blender, Luddites. http://www.gadgetreview.com/what-is-a-vacuum-blender I am waiting for the WiFi version, so I can turn my smoothie into soup from Mars.
  24. Next week marks the official release of the highly-anticipated Modernist Bread by Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya. The eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters is excited to provide you with the opportunity to win a copy of the book. The Cooking Lab has provided us with a couple of other prizes that will go to a second and third winner: second place will win an autographed poster and calendar, and third place will receive an autographed poster. They are also providing an autographed bookplate for the first place winner's copy of Modernist Bread. The rules are simple: we are going to post recipes from the book that the team at The Cooking Lab has graciously provided for this purpose. To enter into the contest, you need to bake one or more of these recipes and post about them in the official contest topics by the end of November 2017. Winners will be drawn at random from those posting pictures and descriptions of their completed loaves. Complete rules and other details can be found here. For our first recipe, we're starting with a cornerstone recipe from the book: French Lean Bread. I've personally made this one and it's both delicious and completely approachable by anyone with an interest in this book. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest): The recipes in this book tend to rely on information presented more extensively earlier in the books, so if anything isn't clear enough here please ask and Dave and I will do our best to answer your questions (we've had early digital access to the books for the last month or so). ETA: Here's what my first go at the recipe sounded like coming out of the oven...
  25. Hi, I've tried to make the spherical mussels recipe from the Modernist Cuisine books and it didn't work as I expected, so I would appreciate any advice that may help here. The recipe calls for calcium gluconate which I couldn't get hold of, so I replaced it with calcium lactate gluconate that I had at home. I used the same ration (2.5%) When I tried to create the spheres in the sodium alginate bath I encountered two main problems; 1. instead of spheres the mixture just stayed as uneven shape on the surface. The bath was 1Kg. water with 5gr. sodium alginate and I let it rest in the fridge for 24 hours before using it so I think the problem is not here. However, the mussels jus mixture (100gr. mussels jus, 0.5gr. xanthin gum and and 2.5gr. calcium lactate gluconate) had a lot of air bubbles in it. Can that be the issue? 2. In the book the spheres seem to be completely transparent whereas my mussels jus mixture was pretty white and opaque. Is it because I replaced calcium gluconate with calcium lactate gluconate? Or maybe it's because the jus itself should be clarified before it is used? Thanks in advance for your support, Tom.
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