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  1. I have been tasked with putting together a team for a new kosher barbecue event in Arizona, happening sometime later this year. The event was supposed to be in mid-April, but the venue decided to cancel. The organizers are busy looking for a new venue, and have assured us that this will happen. Many details for the event are not quite settled yet, so, I am trying to prepare for all sorts of contingencies beyond the usual concerns about putting out good food. What is known is that we will be following the KCBS kosher rules. As far as I can tell, there were 10-12 such events held last year across the US. So, it's a pretty small world. I don't think there's a kosher championship ladder like the other barbecue events have, either. I think it's a good time to get in, get practice and see where it takes me. Now, I've been reading and watching videos online with all sorts of info on smoking/cooking for competitions. I have watched some of the TV shows, and one documentary. It's been kind of a mixed bag in terms of usefulness. No one has posted much about kosher barbecue, so I am making changes to recipes and procedures and running a lot of tests. I currently have access to my home kitchen which is small but adequate, the stove is electric and unremarkable and about 7 years old. It does maintain temperature well, and can be set to run anywhere from 140°F to 550°F. I also have access to an outdoor kitchen at a friend's place, with a relatively large charcoal type grill. At most of the kosher barbecue events the event organizers provide smokers/grills plus meats and many ingredients to ensure that everything is truly kosher. If needed, my team sponsor is prepared to purchase a grill/smoker which I will need to research once I know I will need it. I should note that I am not Jewish and did not grow up around any kosher households, so I am also studying some of the finer points about running a kosher kitchen and learning about kosher ingredients. Modern competition barbecue is an odd mix of modernist techniques and ingredients, right alongside ordinary-folk foods like margarine, and bottled sauces. For reference, the 4 categories for kosher events are: Chicken, Beef Ribs, Turkey, and Beef Brisket -to be served in that order. So far, I have been running smokeless tests on chicken and beef ribs. Mostly learning to trim the chicken thighs (what a nightmare!) and seeing what happens at certain temperatures and times. I know things will be different with real smoking happening, but I want to see some baseline results so that I know what to strive for. I do have a bunch of thermometers, and have got some basic ideas about writing a competition timeline. The chicken perplexes me in several ways. First, some of the competition cooks recommend boning while others recommend bone-in. Second, I see some folks injecting and brining, while others maybe do a quick half hour marinade, and even others are full-on modernist with citric acid under the skin, etc. Third, the braise vs non- braise chicken where some people load up their pan with a pound of butter, margarine or a couple cups of chicken stock while others do not. Fourth, The bite-through skin is driving me insane. Some people swear by transglutaminase to reattach the skin for a better bite. Catch is, only some types are kosher, and I can see having issues explaining it. I have tested an egg white egg wash which seems to attach the skin pretty well without showing. I think I need to go for longer times to get more tender skin. Today I did a pan (with olive oil) of six as follows: one hour at 220°, one hour under foil at 230°, then glazed and 20 minutes on a rack at 350°. It was only partly bite-though and the taste-testers wanted more crispiness. I tried showing them pictures and explained that it wasn't ever going to be crispy, that we're looking to go even softer. I am going to run tests on longer cook periods and see how it goes. I want to ask people about the whole swimming in margarine thing which is in voque right now. people claim it makes the chicken juicy. I know that meat is mostly all about temperatures. I can see how the margarine acts like duck fat in a confit and helps prevent some oven-drying after hours and hours in the oven, but, in the end, isn't it just an insulator? I've been making corned beef and other brisket dishes for over 20 years, so, I think I have a good handle on that. I will practice it in a couple of weeks. I simply don't need as much help on this item. The turkey scares me. On TV, I see people dunking it in butter before serving it. This obviously is not kosher, and I don't want to do it with margarine I don't want to present anything in a competition made with margarine, there has to be something better! -Either cook the bird better or find a better dip, like maybe a flavorful nut oil or a sauce. That said, unlike ribs or brisket, it is not traditional to dunk turkey in a sauce. I went with some friends to a chain place called Dickies to do a little research and their turkey breast was odd and kind of hammy. Not like Virginia ham, more like ham lunchmeat. It was very moist and unlike any turkey I have ever eaten. Ok, I admit to not being very fond of turkey, so my experiences with it have been a bit limited. I am assuming it was brined. Given the limited amount of time we will have (about a day and a half) to cook, I am planning on just cooking the breast. Other than that, I am open to suggestions. The internet has been least informative on the topic of turkey. People's videos and such just show rubbing the whole bird and letting it roast for a few hours. Any tips at all would be appreciated. Whew! Thanks for reading all of this, I look forward to any advice you can give.
  2. I'm still confused how long to hold the temp to pasteurize chicken. According to Modern Cuisine's Extended and Simplified Table, once the core reaches 150F, it only takes only 1 min 10 seconds, to pasteurize. Is this good enough to eat safely? What about pasteurizing for Listeria? At 140F the table saids it only takes 11 min. 34 seconds to pasteurize. When I read the recipe from MC at Home, it saids, at 140F, to hold for 20 minutes to pasteurize chicken. The original Modernist Cuisine table saids only 11 min 34 seconds. Which one is correct? I want to make sure I'm eating my chicken breasts safely! Thanks!
  3. Hey there, i hope to find some help in the wise hands of yours. after some research i am still having some problems concerning glazing: For a party i would like to make some cubes and rounded savoury cakes and foams out of silicone forms that have a ready bottom and a colour glazing. Somehow i just do not manage to find a steady glazing ( one that does not run ) and is for texture reasons preferably hard or crisp that does not include sugar or syrup. can you help me or lead my way in a certain direction? thanks very much!
  4. Is there a discussion in the book about the purpose of adding ascorbic acid? I just saw the contest #2 in which the recipe called for it. I'm curious because a woman I know on the internet used to work in a bakery in Vietnam, and said that to get similar results to the banh mi there, you need to add ascorbic acid. Does it act as a gluten relaxer? Traditional banh mi have a very tender and crisp crust, and a very light and tender, relatively closed crumb.
  5. Need to make duck confit in under 4 hours... I was thinking sous-vide at higher than 80°C... any ideas? thanks! pw
  6. 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...
  7. Modernist Bread is out now, but maybe you haven't taken the plunge. Here's your chance to win your own copy, courtesy of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. 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 part two, we're featuring another cornerstone recipe from the book: Direct Country-Style Bread. The only leavener here is instant yeast, so production time is considerably shortened. The relative lack of flavor compared to long-proofed doughs is offset by the use of whole grains. Courtesy of The Cooking Lab, here's that recipe (extracted from the book and reformatted for purposes of this contest):
  8. I have been trying to get a 100% success ratio on pomme souffle using untraditional pomme souffle methods but have come up empty handed. First I tried blanching super thin slices of potatoes in 310F oil for ten seconds, then wiping off the excess oil and pressing two slices together and punching out the desired size and frying at 375F - failure. I read about this technique here http://strictlyfinedining.blogspot.com/2010/03/pomme-souffle.html My second attempt was to start with the blanching technique then cutting out the desired shape and sealing the two slices with a hydrated methylcellulose solution at 3%. It's didn't work. I used F50 cause i thought it would create a stronger bind. Should I be using a different methylcellulose? If you have any ideas or help I would greatly appreciate it.
  9. I believe that steps 6 and 7 in the Pommes Pont-Neuf recipe should be interchanged. That is, the second, optional vacuum cooling step or air cooling should follow, and not proceed, the blanching step. What I was trying to do was to improve on the traditional recipe for Pommes Soufflees, which I hadn't made for close to 50 years, by adapting the triple-cooking Pommes Pont-Neuf recipe of Heston Blumenthal. I sliced the potatoes (and my ring finger!), and trimmed the slices into nice ovals, and boiled them for 20 minutes as directed, but with the thin slices they did indeed fall apart, so I gave up and followed the original recipe. Roughly a third of them ballooned nicely, but the others just puffed slightly, even though they were a uniform thickness, and cut from the same potato. I was using a Zyliss slicer, because I'd mislaid the straight blade for my de Beyer mandolin. The Zyliss slicer was set on the middle position, which appears to be about 2 mm, rather than the 3mm thickness called for in the recipe. I would have thought that the thicker slice would make it more difficult for the chip to balloon, but maybe it needs the extra starch to make it pop? Potatoes are cheap enough to try it again with different thicknesses, with and without the par-boiling and vacuum drying step, and I also want to try it with sweet potatoes, and with crinkle chips. Anyone else tried this? Any advice?
  10. Hello I have just ordered some activa online and plan on making a veal pasta. My plan is to cook the veal,grind,add activa, spread PAPER thin and cool, then shape my pasta. Does anyone have any experience working with this stuff that could chime in and give any advice? Thank you. I have read the past threads but was wondering if this specifically could be done. Will it be to firm?
  11. On Nov. 7, 2017, Modernist Bread will finally arrive on my doorstep. Having preordered it literally the first day it was available, to say I'm excited about this book is a bit of an understatement. The team at The Cooking Lab have been gracious enough to give @Dave the Cook and me early electronic access to the book and so I've spent the last week pouring over it. I'm just going to start with a few initial comments here (it's 2600 pages long, so a full review is going to take some time, and require a bunch of baking!). Dave and I would also be happy to answer any questions you've got. One of the main things I've noticed about this book is a change in tone from the original Modernist Cuisine. It comes across as less "everything you know is wrong" and more "eighty bazillion other bakers have contributed to this knowledge and here's our synthesis of it." I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Myhrvold and company are now the most experienced bread-bakers in the world. Not necessarily in terms of the number of identical loaves they've produced, but in the shear number of different recipes and techniques they've tried and the care with which they've analyzed the results. These volumes are a distillation of 100,000 years of human breadmaking experience, topped off with a dose of the Modernist ethos of taking what we know to the next level. The recipes include weight, volume, and baker's percentages, and almost all of them can be made by both a home baker and someone baking in a commercial facility. The home baker might need to compromise on shape (e.g. you can't fit a full-length baguette in most home ovens) but the book provides clear instructions for both the amateur and professional. The recipes are almost entirely concentrated in volumes 4 and 5, with very few in the other volumes (in contrast to Modernist Cuisine, where there were many recipes scattered throughout). I can't wait for the physical volumes to arrive so that I can have multiple volumes open at once, the recipes cross-reference techniques taught earlier quite frequently.
  12. OK, someone in an earlier thread asked me to post photos of this effort to make insulated, evap-resistant bathtubs for my new Anova ciculator. I decided to make two. The first was to just use my medium-sized Coleman PolyLite 40Q cooler. This is my Go-To grocery cooler, so I didn't want to sacrifice it just for SV, so I cut a plexiglass scrap into a cover that sits down inside on the cooler's interior rim, and then hole-sawed the corner of the clear plexi to accept the Anova. Someone specc'd the hole at 2.5" diameter, but I found that's a bit too large. 2-3/8" or 2-7/16" diameter would probably have been better. I solved the issue by adding a toilet flush gasket that seals the hole and stabilizes the Anova. The second was a smaller 9Q Igloo picnic cooler I never used, is only $15 new , and therefore didn't mind sacrificing. This I hole-sawed directly through the cooler's removable lid. Because the lid was hollow, I sealed the thing up with squirt foam and silicone caulk. The gasket seals this one, too, just moving from one cooler to the other with the Anova. So far, after a few uses, I can say that the setups hold heat extremely well, and don't lose much water by evaporation. The 40Q only dropped a few degrees after being banished to the back porch overnight in 40F weather. It would not have taken much time or juice to get it back on-temp. I'll break out the Kill-A-Watt later, and compare energy use. Cost was $6 for the IKEA rack, and $3.49 for the gasket. I had everything else.
  13. I thought that I had read that if you SV in bulk, and the freeze, that you were supposed to SV the item again based using the same time in the bath as when you first cooked the item. I tried SVing 4 meals's worth of pork strips and froze 3 of the 4. When I re-SV'ed a package last night (at a slightly lower temp to not increase the doneness, they were borderline dry, way different than the first package right out of the bath. What am I missing?
  14. When do you start counting the time in sous vide cooking? - when you first put the plastic bag into the heated water? Or, - when the heated water comes back to the desired temperature? I have a 7 quart slow cooker with an Auber instruments controller. There is nothing to circulate the water, but it has never proved to be a problem for me before. Sous vide fish is a new activity for me. After much research I planned 119F for 20 minutes, though in future I'll try one degree lower each time. My first experiment was salmon tail and it was the most delightful salmon I have ever eaten. Water heated to 119F. Added marinaded fish in a ziplock-type bag which had been removed from the fridge not long before, and I used the sous vide water to push the air out of the ziplock bag. Temp dropped enormously (but I don't recall exactly) and it took 15-20 minutes to get back up to 119F. Then I cooked for 20 further minutes. Second experiment was salmon tail and it was as boring as I usually find salmon. I took the marinaded fish out of the fridge 1 hour or 1 1/2 hour before it went into the sous vide pot. I used lukewarm water in bowl in sink to remove air from ziplock. When the fish was dropped in, the temp dropped to 113F. I was not as anxious watching the temp rise this time, so I didn't check it every few minutes. Somehow the water got up to 124F. In both these cases I used a soup bowl in the sous vide pot to hold the fish under water. So, short of buying some new sous vide equipment, could you advise me about things I could do to minimize the temperature drop and maximize my control over the fish.
  15. 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.
  16. Solid intermediate cook, here. Not especially intimidated by elaborate preps. But I'm new to SV, and would like a recommendation for a cookbook for guidance and exploration. I was thinking of Tom Keller's Under Pressure, but I'm wondering if the preps he includes may not be the most generally useful. What do you all like, and why? Thanks!
  17. On the Cooking with 'Modernist Cuisine' on eGullet, there has been some confusion as to whether or not you are supposed to drain the mustard seeds before putting them in the food processor. You are, in fact, supposed to drain them, and we've added this to our errata page. Some eGulleters, however, ended up liking the taste of the added vinegar, though they agreed it made the mustard too thin. Have any of you tried this yet? Did you leave the vinegar in or drain the seeds?
  18. HI guys, I'm here for a bit of advice. We are building a house (in Croatia, Europe), and finally have a chance to build a kitchen as i want it We would like to get a professional combi oven, something like this new Rational (a bit pricey) or this UNOX (better price) so that we have a long term solution for our needs. The reason we are going for the professional oven is that, for example UNOX, is cheaper than "home combi ovens" from brands like Miele, Gaggenau, etc. and are much better than those. Does anyone have any experience with pro combis at home? i have only seen a couple of people, at least on the internet, that have them at home. I guess that setup would not be a problem, because we designed a water inlet and outlet for the oven, and the voltage is OK. is there anything we didnt think of? Will that oven have higher maintananace cost, even if its used only couple of days a week? Thanks for help P
  19. 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.
  20. Wonder if someone could get me in the ballpark..the amount of Transglutamase...to make scallop noodles.. % I mean ill use a food processor..to purée the scallop.. then inject into a water or broth..to cook?
  21. Good afternoon everyone! I currently own a MiniPack MVS31x chamber style vacuum sealer and am wondering if a Polycience vacuum canister will work in my machine? The intended use is for making a larger batch of aerated mousse.
  22. Hello! I was wondering if anyone on here has tried using an induction cooktop with confection making (caramels, fondant, marshmallows ect...). My stove has literally three settings, and the low setting still burns sugar and there is no such thing as maintaining any sort of "simmer". I was looking into getting a cooktop and buying some copper sugar pots and mauviel makes this thing that goes inbetween. I would love to hear any input into this idea or your experiences! ~Sarah
  23. Hi :-) Bought 1.7Kg pork chunk, might be a bit of weird cutting, seems like a rack of pork chops caught between V shaped in bones. Would like to sous vide it whole without further cutting to single steaks and would be glad to get a direction for temp and time, from what i've seen 60-62C area might be great to keep it juicy but i'm lost with the time, as it is a big chunk and not single steaks.. Thanks !
  24. I've been making cheese for a few years now, but it's a challenging hobby because it requires so much precision and consistency. The good news for home cheese makers is that Sous-Vide circulators are ideal for this. They actually make the task ridiculously easy now. I recently purchased an Anova Circulator, and for the first time ever, in my years of making cheese, there were some "set-it-and-forget-it" steps. A welcome break especially since a typical cheese can take anywhere from 5 to 8 hours to make (plus pressing and aging, but we won't get into that here). I included a pic of my current setup. The Anova did a wonderful job on my first try. The 1kw heater and the 12L/m empeller played are an important part for temp control, and cooking times. A weaker model probably would not be enough. My current setup specs are : - Carlisle 12 x 18 food container - Stainless steel 6" half pan (cheap gauge... for better temp response... the thinner the better) - Anova Circulator Only one problem encountered with this setup: The half pan floats when either cheddaring, acidifying or washing curd... Currently looking for a solution that would keep the half pan in place. Anyways, just wanted to see if there's there's anyone else out there with a Sous-Vide setup as a cheese vat. Maybe we can give each other some pointers. Happy cheese making!
  25. Recently cooked whole bone-in lamb shoulder sous vide for 8 hours @ 80°C. The results were like a typical braise. More interestingly, I weighed the different components after cooking for future reference. Here is the breakdown: Before cooking: 2.1 kg lamb shoulder – whole, bone-in, untrimmed After cooking: 621 g liquid 435 g bones and fat 1044 g meat Almost precisely half of the total weight was meat. Hopefully this will be helpful if you are trying to calculate portions. As an aside to this: we've been cooking our tough cuts (sous vide) whole, without any trimming at all, and removing fat and bones after cooking. It is so much easier and faster than trimming everything beforehand. The excess fat comes off in large pieces and connective tissue peels away cleanly. Lamb shanks, for instance, are tedious to trim before cooking but easily cleaned up after they come out of the bag. It's luxurious to have big, clean pieces of shank meat although some may prefer on-the-bone presentation. We have tried this with pork shoulder, too, and the unwanted fat is easily removed after cooking with lovely hunks of tender meat remaining for slicing, dicing or shredding.
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