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  1. I've been experimenting with sous-vide ribs and have had some excellent results sous-viding direclty in brine for 24 hours and then finishing them off on the smoker for a couple of hours. Other times, not so much. I've started to catalog my experiments and would love some input on what works & why! Experiment 1: removed silver skin from slab of baby back pork ribs cut in half, put in crock pot with chicken broth sous vided at 140F for ~50hrs sprinkled rub on ribs, put in smoker set to 180F (actual 180-220F) for 1 hr basted ribs in "bulls-eye brown sugar and hickory" bbq sauce, allowed to smoke for 1 more hr Experiment 1 verdict: smoking the ribs dried out the meat, and did little to add any "smoke flavor" to them. It had a mushy, dry texture. There was no noticeable red ring around the meat (an indicator of smoked ribs vs boiled ones). I was originally planning to put the 2nd half rack on the hot gas grill also, as a 2nd experiment, but after tasting how dry the other ones were, I didn't bother. I'm a little disappointed that I didn't try taste testing the ribs earlier in the smoking process, as I'm guessing there's a "sweet spot" at which point the gooey mess that comes out of the SV gets the crispier edge. Experiment 2: remove silver skin from slab of baby back pork ribs cut rack in half sprinkled rub on ribs, put in smoker set to 225F (actual 225-250F) for 1 hr Extracted one of the halves, sealed in plastic bag, put into the SV at 140F for 48hrs - more on these later the other half remaining i allowed to smoke for 1 more hr before basting w/ bbq sauce allowed to smoke 1 more hr (3 hrs total), basting every 20-30 min I continually cut off single ribs after 3 hrs, 4 hrs, and 5hrs total to taste them, basting in between For the ribs that were SV'd, i finished them off by basting w/ bbq sauce and cooking on the gas grill for about 2 min/side Experiment 2 verdict: For the ribs that were only smoked- as expected, they got more tender with more time. the ones after 3 hrs weren't very good (too tough) but the last remaining rib which cooked for 5 hrs total still had some moisture, but a flakier texture. a little effort is needed to get the meat to come off the bone, but it does come off cleanly. taste was very smoky. For the ribs that were also SV'd- these ribs were very tender, and came off the bone with zero effort. the texture was a little too soft throughout, especially on the outside which we normally expect to be crispier. the taste was very good, and a little smoky, but not enough to convince me it was bbq. Experiment 3: i think the next time i'm going to try the same method with the SV, but instead of the gas grill, use the smoker at 350F to finish them off...maybe try a rib every 30 min or so to see if/when they get dried out beyond the point of being good to eat... Thoughts on Experiment 3? Does anyone have any good experiences or advice to share in general?
  2. Dear all, a quick question regarding the pressure cookers. I am shopping for my first PC, and I have reduced my choice to two brands: Kuhn Rikon and WMF. They are both high quality brands with excellent products. I have, however, a question regarding the pressure that develops inside these cookers. - Only Kuhn seems to be able of reaching 15 psi/1 bar: the manual says that the maximum operating pressure is 1.2 bars. This is consistent with the MC books that cook everything on 1 bar. - WMF offers uses two pre-set options: low-level (around 9psi) and high level (around 13psi). If I were choosing just for me, I would go with Kuhn. But if I think of my wife, that the WMF is more gadgety/sexy. Its "ultra" model has a timer, green indicator when it can be opened and the choice of two levels is very straightforward: I am sure my wife would prefer it, as it makes cooking somehow more accessible and automated. My question: if I choose a PC that reaches only 13 psi, will it have any influence on the cooking outcomes? Specifically; a. would I need to add few minutes to the cooking times from the MC recepies? b. should I expect any inferior results in the taste/outcome? Thanx in advance, Ivan
  3. Hello, I am very interested in two products right now, a Rotary Evaporator, and a Centrifuge. Although any Rotary evaporator is far out of my current budget, after researching some Centrifuge's, I have noticed their price ranges vary significantly. I understand that the Rpm's work in direct correlation with time, as someone had mentions in a previous post, however after viewing this one on Amazon.com, I was wondering if anyone had used this product before, or one similar, with successful results. If not can someone recommend one of better quality, preferably under 500 Dollars. Thank you, and I'm sorry for the Naive questions. Here is the link to the one on Amazon.... http://www.amazon.com/Ample-Scientific-E-33-Bench-Top-Centrifuge/dp/B003WOKPF6
  4. I make my own Vanilla extract works great I get Everclear alcohol pour out maybe 20% of the product stuff the bottle with split Vanilla beans then shake and store for a couple months and have great Vanilla. I have done the same thing with Rum. I use the over proof alcohol as I was told that it "extracted" the flavour from the vanilla beans better. My questions 1) Do I need to use the Everclear alcohol? Does the higher % of alcohol give a better extraction? What is the best ratio of beans to liquid? 2) What is a good on line source of top quality Vanilla beans? This year for X-mass presents I think I will give people home made vanilla so I will need at least a kilo of beans and in searching on line getting prices all over the map. Any recommendations? Companies that ship to Canada are preferred.
  5. I use a Vitamix - love it have both the "standard" container and the whole grains container. Everything works great and its fairly easy to maintain by changing out the bottom of the containers and the "sprocket" on the base unit. Now I am seeing adds for Blendtec and Warring products that sound great. More power better containers that mix faster and run quieter. As I am happy with what I have I see no reason to change and when they all plug into a standard 110 Volt 15 Amp outlet I am not sure how much more power the newer blenders can bring to the task as they are limited by the amount of amperage delivered through the electrical circuit. Am I understanding this correctly?
  6. Dear All, I'm looking for an alternative to Branson ultrasonic bath. For the moment I've found the JPL Sonic 2200: http://www.jpleurope.co.uk/professional-sonic-cleaners.html Any suggestion for some other brands/models? Thank You in advance, Paolo Michelotti
  7. Has anyone managed to find where to purchase the "pastry bars" in the book? I've found several unanswered or dead end posts. Any help would be appreciated. Cheers
  8. I have a question about parasites in fish. Cooking fish at low temperatures (sous-vide and CVAP ovens set to 115-130F) wouldn‚’t kill parasites. Is that correct? Are there fish that you would avoid for these kinds of preparation? I‚’ve been seeing many parasite prone fish (wild king salmon, striped bass, halibut) cooked at low temperatures in restaurants. They have not been previously frozen. I don‚’t think any sushi restaurant would risk serving wild salmon without freezing it first, but upscale western style restaurants do it all the time these days. That‚’s not some BS a waiter told me. I have shadowed at one of the Nationally recognized restaurant in Boston and the chef told me their wild salmon is not previously frozen. Is there any way to get data on how risky this is? I‚’ve only seen two schools of thought on this: 1) it‚’s a risk and you should not serve parasite prone fish undercooked, and 2) as long as you buy the best quality fish, there is nothing to worry about. I realize that parasites have nothing to do with the freshness or ‚“quality” of the fish. They just happen. The one that concerns me in particular is tapeworm. Is it even visible? I know how to spot cod worm and anisakis, but am not familiar with tapeworm at all. All this being said, I cook fish with low temperature cooking methods all the time and even give most species to my children (5 yo and 2 yo). I want to figure out if the risk I am putting them under is greater than putting them in the car and driving them to school. :-) I am not trying to make eating risk free, but I‚’d like it to be roughly the risk level of driving in a car rather than riding a motorcycle.
  9. The wonderful menu on 6/21 featured Spaghetti alle Vongole: Taylor‚’s geoduck, vacuum-molded, centrifuged broth. What do you mean by "vacuum-molded"? I would expect that the shellfish was cooked sous vide, but how does the molded part come into play? This was my favorite dish of the evening.
  10. At the MC dinner last week (6/21), they served ‚“Liquid Caprese: constructed cream of olive oil, buffalo milk whey, and tomato essence”. I want to make it for dinner club this Saturday. I’ve figured out a few things, like the Tomato Whey Broth (p 4-49) Goat Milk Ricotta (p 4-108) and Tomato Water (2-366) and Tomato Vinegar, but how or what is the constructed cream of olive oil? Is it the Thickened Oil of p 4-230, or does it refer to the whole dish, which was pretty frothy? Of course, I could have asked while I was there, but my mouth was too busy doing flip flops of joy to let my brain rationally dissect the dish. And was there any basil in the dish? Thanks
  11. I decided to give the Osso Buco Milanese out of Volume 5 a shot. It turned out delicious in the end, but in retrospect I did have a few questions after making the dish: 1. Is the marrow from the braised veal foreshank to be used for the marrow custard, or is it better to use marrow from new bones? I used both, and it was delicious, but the instructions were not clear to me. It makes sense in my mind that you wouldn't want to use the marrow from the braised shank, but I didn't want to waste any... 2. For the Gremolata Crisp, the recipe specifies to leave rice "specks" in the batter, as well as coarsely ground black peppercorn. I was able to do this, although the ISI Whip manual specifies to strain everything before creaming to prevent particulates from occluding the exit port. Indeed, this did happen to me and I was only able to dispense the foam by repeatedly actuating the valve. Did I just leave the particles too coarse, or did I miss something else? Thanks!
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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?
  15. 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?
  16. 3 stage breading process flour, egg wash, bread crumb Any modernist replacers for the elements in this process namely the egg wash?
  17. We have a whole table for cooking whole eggs. What sort of texture do you prefer?
  18. 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.
  19. 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!
  20. 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
  21. 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?
  22. I have been flipping through the book looking for a discussion and understanding of the issue with low temp game cookery and the science behind the issues. I use a fair amount of both farmed and wild game meat (including some rather odd ones) and have been both disappointed and amazed with the results, but never sure how and why, and more importantly how to replicate them. I made a balontine of rabbit for a our menu recently and poached it sous vide. I cooked it to 60 degrees in a 64 degree bath and it was perfect. I cooked the same one the next week with fresher rabbits to 60 degrees in a 60 degree bath to pasturize and all the loin meat went mushy. I have also had this happen with lamb leg (not sure if it was just a bit to old or the acidic marinade did it but 24 hours later it was trash.
  23. This looks to be an inexpensive sous vide circulator: http://shop.vac-star.com/shop/USER_ARTIKEL_HANDLING_AUFRUF.php?darstellen=1&Kategorie_ID=108&Ziel_ID=1092&anzeigen_ab=0&sort=&order=&javascript_enabled=true&PEPPERSESS=012dd988efb2030eaa390a95cd627fde&w=1331&h=746#Ziel1092 Does anybody have any experience with this equipment?
  24. Hi Modernist Cuisine and followers, One of the recommended tools suggested by MC was the Jaccard 45-Knife Meat Tenderizer. They are not expensive but the jury seems to be out on whether they make a difference. Does anyone use one? How/when? (i.e. what kinds of meat etc.) Are their any Modernist Cuisine recipes that call for a tenderizer...I would love to make a specific dish twice, once with and once without using the tenderizer to decide for myself. Also, I already have a mallet-style tenderizer for carpaccio, so I am wondering if two tenderizers is overkill or if they are completely different in terms of application and results. Happy to try one out but thought I would run it by the group to see if anyone had experience with them. Thanks, Ian
  25. I'm ready to buy a pressure cooker and I'm looking at the Kuhn-Rikon Duromatics. I'm not sure which size to get, though. I'm mostly cooking for two, but I like having leftovers, and I'm concerned a 4-qt one won't be large enough for larger proteins or stock (which, in reality, I probably won't be making all that often). I'm leaning towards one of these three: http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-3043-Duromatic-6-3-Quart/dp/B00009A9XT/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1326995636&sr=1-1 http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-3916-Duromatic-Pressure/dp/B0000Y73UQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1326995628&sr=1-1 http://www.amazon.com/Kuhn-Rikon-3342-Stainless-Steel-Pressure/dp/B00004R8ZE/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1326995628&sr=1-3 Because they all look fairly similar, this is rapidly becoming the most difficult decision I've ever had to make. Does anyone have any advice?
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