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  1. My (loaner) Polyscience Sonicprep just arrived and I have a few precious weeks tolearn as much as I can about the technique of ultrasonic homogenization. Does anyone have experience in thisarena, and if so, could you share your learnings? So far, I've heard that ultrasonic homogenizers (sonicators) are great for makingemulsions and quick infusions. However, I don't know anything about the water/oil ratios that I should be trying to achieve a really fantastic emulsion. In the first 10 minutes of use, I've been able to haphazardly emulsify different oils with water to achieve the texture (and look) of cream. But, I'd love to know what else is possible. BTW, I also have a rotor-stator homogenizer, and I plan to do side-by-side tests comparing the results of the two. Let the thread begin!!
  2. With chamber vacuum sealer, I learned that I can pickle the food instantly. Can I use this technique for speed brining? so that I can brine the chicken breast in brining liquid few minutes instead of brining the chicken breast 24 hrs. If I can speed brining with chamber vacuum sealer, can I use the rigid container, brining liquid, and meat to brining it without vacuum bag?My friend showed me that he used pickling liquid with sliced onion in the stainless bowl and operate the the sealer without bag. I wonder if this affect the quality of chamber vacuum sealer.
  3. Has anybody tried making a dark roux in a pressure cooker? Can this be done without scortching do you think? I have made roux in the oven before and started wondering about this topic.
  4. HI everyone. Is there any way I could get a print of the heat equation photo which is at the beginning of chapter five of MC? The one whith the flames and so. In my opinion, it is one of the best in the book, and I would really like to have it in my kitchen!
  5. After trying in vain to convince an unnamed large chemistry supply company that I was planning to use some Czapek-Dox agar for making koji for sake (well, for propagating A. oryzae for making koji and M. purpureus for red koji), and after being flagged in Texas for purchasing a Soxhlet extractor (incidentally made and shipped from New York, which as far as I know is not in Texas) to try to concentrate extractable compounds from mint and peppers (maybe catnip for the kitties if they behave), I was wondering if anyone out there has found sources for lab equipment for culinary use where the proprietors do not immediately assume that a shipment of lab equipment to a residence is for a clandestine psychogenic substance laboratory? Yes, I ferment mind-altering wine and sake, in full compliance with 27 CFR 24.75, 27 CFR 25.205, and state law. I can imagine that for the authors it was much easier to get what they wanted to play with since they were shipping to a business, but for those of us who are playing with food at home it is unfortunately a different story. Modernist cooking is hard enough when people give you odd looks for using something called "transglutaminase" or "sodium citrate" in their food, but that is nothing compared to the interrogation one gets regarding purchasing a small heating mantle or standard taper round bottom flask.
  6. Hi Modernists, Dairy including butter (even lactose-free) make my stomach turn upside down. However, using casein and lactose-free clarified butter doesn't. Can butter be substituted with clarified butter in the recipes (e.g. caramelized carrot soup) or does it have to be butter? Cheers, Juho
  7. Hi chaps I've just bought a JML (I'm in UK) sealer, in the hope that I could blanch veg from the allotment and then keep it in the fridge for longer than in tupperware, the instructions even mentions soup but when I have tried sealing some blanched runner beans (that I'd squeezed dry) but when the vacume operates it sucks water as well as air and this gets between the two sides of the plastic bag and stops it sealing ... am I missing something please ? Roger
  8. Hi guys. I tried to pull this off a little while ago without success and was hoping to have the experts chime in. I cubed some flank steak, dumped it in a canister, covered with stock, froze for 24 hours, then tried to Pacotize with the blade that came in the coup set. The machine couldn't get the blade into the meatsicle and stopped itself, displaying 'EE' on the LEDs, which freaked me out (I don't want to break my baby). Upon inspection of the canister, I could see that it looked like the blade just spun around on top of the icy meat block, then stopped. What may've gone wrong here? Wrong blade? Frozen too solid? Too much liquid? I hesitate to try again in case I break the thing.
  9. I recently bought a 0,5L siphon to try (amongst other things) making some foams. My first two attempts sadly have failed. This is my last attempt: 1) Two sheets of gelatine soaked in cold water for 5-10 mins 2) 0,25L Monin raspberry syrup heated 3) I add the gelatine to the syrup while stirring and it quickly dissolves. 4) I then let the syrup sit until it gets to room temperature. 5) When at room temperature, I add the syrup to the siphon, close it, and load it with two chargers, shaking vigorously after each charge. 6) I then put the siphon on it's side lying in the fridge for about 5-6 hours. When it came time to test the foam, nothing but gas would come out of the siphon. When I opened the siphon, the syrup had turned into a quite firm gel covered by what looked like a thin layer of foam. I have a few theories about what could have gone wrong, but I'd like your opinion and advice as well, before my next attempt. After two failures, I need a success My theories: 1) Too little syrup (0,25L for a 0,5L siphon) / roo few chargers. Maybe the pressure in the siphon was not high enough to push the gas into the syrup? Could more chargers have helped, or should I get a 0,25L siphon? (I would rarely be making foams from 0,5L fluid) 2) Should have shaked the siphon just before trying to eject the foam. 3) Too much gelatine, making the gel too firm for the gas to push it out. 4) Should the siphon be stored upside-down in the fridge? At least then the gas not in the gel, would be pushing the gel out, instead of just ejecting all of the gas leaving me to scoop out the gel manually afterwards Any help will be much appreciated!
  10. Hey all, A few days ago I received my PolyScience Creative series immersion circulator and an Ary VP112 chamber vacuum. It's been awesome getting creative and freeing up time in the kitchen by cooking sous vide. However, I've had some significant difficulties when attempting to cook custards sous vide, particularly those that are meant to set and become firm enough to hold a shape, but light enough to be easily eaten with say, a spoon. Some examples would be creme brulee and lemon curd to be used as a filling for a lemon tart. When I attempted creme brulee the other day (using a modified recipe from the Modernist Cuisine book for coffee creme brulee), I sealed it in a bag and cooked it sous vide at 176 F for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I poured the custard into ramekins and put them in the fridge to set. They never did; my custards tasted wonderful and were certainly cooked, but they remained liquidy and never solidified in the way one would expect creme brulee to set. I put the ramekins into a water bath and baked them in my oven until the temperatures of the custards once again reached 176 F. It eventually set perfectly. Thinking my problem was temperature and time, I had made a lemon curd (http://www.channel4.com/4food/recipes/chefs/heston-blumenthal/lemon-tart-recipe, which by the way is absolutely fantastic tasting). I sealed the custard and cooked it sous vide at 179.6 F for 40 minutes, making sure to agitate the contents of the bag several times throughout the cooking process. Afterwards, I poured it into my blind-baked crust and let it cool to room temperature. Again, like the creme brulee, the custard was delicious and was at least this time, thicker and more viscous, but it was in no way a solid curd fit for a lemon tart. And again, like the creme brulee, I then proceeded to put it into an oven until the custard reached temperature. It set beautifully. What exactly is going on? Is there some sort of physics involved in a hot oven that produces results that can't be replicated sous vide? Should I reserve sous vide for custards meant to remain liquid (e.g. creme anglaise and ice cream bases) while traditionally baking more firm custards (e.g. creme brulee and fruit tarts)? Or am I simply not cooking the custard sous vide long enough?
  11. I just buy a termocouple from sper scientific that i saw in your book modernist , but it came not with the right probe ! , the people at sper csientific they said they don't no which probe is good for souvide and if its resist to the heat of the oven??? , so i made my research my self , and i find the model 800064, type K of sper scientific, but i am still not sure if its the right probe i should have for souvide or if its resist inside a 400 F oven, because the wire of the probe seem to be in plastic ! , like the one in modernist at home page 67 can you help me tank you.
  12. Traditional Sour Pickle recipes using salt brine. The brine helps to keep pathogenic bacteria at bay while encouraging the growth of beneficial bacteria which metabolize the vegetable‚’s natural sugars and produce lactic and acetic acids as a by product. I'm thinking I could speed up the process by using a Lactic Acid 80% Liquid Solution and a Whipping Siphon. Would this work and does anyone have a recipe?
  13. Sorry, first post, so forgive me if I stumble through this a little. I'm in a bit of a pickle! I've managed to get my hands on a second hand, ex-laboratory, Grant immersion circulator and am very keen to set it up for Sous Vide. However, I've been reading conflicting advice on whether I should use it for the purpose I intend. On the one hand, there's advice to say that it absolutely should not be used for food prep - the risk of contamination from carcinogens/pathogens is too high. http://www.ebay.com/gds/Immersion-Thermal-Circulators-for-Sous-Vide/10000000006157618/g.html On the other, that if I give it a clean with household bleach, then vinegar and then 70% alcohol (I presume surgical spirit would do the trick) then it should be fine. http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html I've cleaned the unit with the above - using an old toothbrush to get into the crevices with the various cleaning agents as much as possible. However, even the best cleaning is unlikely to reach every single part. Does anyone have any advice on how paranoid I should be? How should I go about giving the unit a thorough clean? Any authoratitive view would be hugely appreciated. As I say, I'm in a bit of a pickle. Thanks!
  14. Hello, I am a concessionaire at the State Fair of Texas. Every year we have a fried food competition and coming up with new ideas is getting more difficult. I just wanted to ask all of you if you have any fried food ideas that are not common and would be fairly easy to mass produce. (Our fair is 24 days long and if you win the fried food competition, I would expect to serve around 15,000-20,000 servings. Any suggestions would be awesome. (If you have ideas that are not fried but perhaps cryo-poached in Liquid Nitrogen, that if fine as well.) It just needs to be something different and taste good. Some of my previous entries have made national and world news.
  15. Hi, I've been having problems with one step in this recipe: fried egg foam (volume 5 page 212) I can make the egg white mixture. I'm not sure about step 5: "blend in fried egg whites". Does that mean mix it in or actually put the whole mixture in a blender. I blended mine and the problem comes when I transfer the mixture to my siphon; it refuses to be dispersed. I think it's all the small chunks that get stuck at the tip. Any other ideas? Maybe get a new isi cream whipper?
  16. I stopped by the coolest Asian market yesterday and came home with some really great stuff. And for the first time I found fresh black chickens! I know they can dry out pretty quick if you are not careful (its a lean bird). So anyone have tips or techniques to allow this ingredient to really shine? Thanks, B
  17. The improvised wet bulb thermometer on 1-322 is described as having the thermometer probe wrapped in cheesecloth, but the picture on the bottom right of the page seems to show the probe inserted in a blue sponge. Does anyone have experience with using an improvised wet bulb thermometer? Did you use cheesecloth or a sponge? Thank you.
  18. In the recipe for omelettes in MCAH, p. 147, the shown pan seems to have a plastic or rubber handle. Does anyone know what model this pan is? I've found it a bit hard to find oven-safe pans with that sort of handle.
  19. Which devices (e.g. "cheesecloth" or "strainer of Brand X/style Y") would be best to use to make sure that the mix is smooth enough to minimize or eliminate the risk of it clogging a whipper? By the way, I asked this in another forum but I haven't had any answers yet! http://cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/34996/straining-methods-for-liquids-to-be-used-in-whipping-siphon
  20. I'm looking into getting a chamber sealer, and was pretty interested in the Vacmaster 215. However, it does not have an accessory port. Since I don't have a sealer yet and don't know all the tricks it can do, I am not even sure if I'd miss it... but if I am spending a bunch of money, I'd like the most versatile unit possible. Would you rather have the more durable, more powerful 215, or the less commercial-grade 112 with the accessory port? Or is there another unit around the price of the 215 that I could consider? Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
  21. First forum post, my apologies if I missed anything in following forum instruction. I have a fresh filet of California King Salmon that I will use with the Fragrant Sous Vide application from _Modernist Cuisine at Home_. A couple of quick questions: 1) Should the duration of the brine in the 5% solution be affected if I have filet of uneven thickness? I am used to brining fish in a 10% solution for about 10-15 minutes; I understand this is a 5% solution, but will admit some apprehension at the 3-5 hour duration. 2) During the sous-vide step, is there any harm to exceed the ~30 min recommendation? I know the fish won't overcook obviously, but I'm curious if the fish is as "sturdy" at keeping at temperature for an extended period of time (for example, a couple of hours to leave the fish, then return an finish on the stove at my convenience). Thanks, -Nico
  22. I am new to sous vide and am interested in using it to cook steak. I have a 2" thick, 10-12 oz filet that I would like to cook for a week night dinner. I am afraid that if I wait until I get off work at 5:30pm to set it up and get it in the water bath that it would push dinner too late. (We prefer to eat at 6:30). Is it possible to put the steak in at lunch and have it go 5-6 hours in the bath or would that be too long? I am not sure how long beef can stay in the bath after it has reached the target temperature without changing the texture of the meat. I'm also open to hear about any ways that you are using your sous vide to minimize the stress of busy weeknight dinner. Thanks!
  23. Hi guys! I'm just starting out with modernist cooking and my husband is giving me a sous vide machine for my birthday (so spoilt!!). Anyways... He's asked me whether I want the creative or professional model and I thought I would ask on here what everyone thought was appropriate. I obviously have the choice of either but don't want to just choose the most expensive one just because its more expensive if there isn't actually much point for home cooking. Thanks!
  24. Sharp has introduced several models of consumer counter-top steam ovens that combine pure steam (low temperature and high temperature) with microwave and convection capabilities. They also have a feature called "super steam" where they claim steam temperatures aboe 100C (upto 300C). Examples include AX1200, AX1300 and AX1500 available in different countries. In addition there is a considerably cheaper AX1100 model that has pure steam and microwave without the said "super steam" capability. The super steam feature (except in AX1100) is supposed to enable steam frying of French fries and other items. Any experience with these
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