Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 1)


Recommended Posts

ETA: The cooking liquid in the polenta is clarified corn juice, and it's actually pressure-cooked in a retort pouch.

Is there a reason why the semi-liquid mixture has to be cooked in a vacuum pouch rather than in a masson jar? I understand the logic of vacuum pouches for solid ingredients, where the vacuum packing process insures intimate contact between the food and container wall and thus maximises heat transfers but for a mixture comprising liquid it just seems like more trouble, more expenses and more trash to me.

BTW, are there some retort pouches available for external sealer type machines?

Link to post
Share on other sites

That pistachio gelato seems to be a good demonstration of "modernist" It's taking a common dish, then focusing on the key flavor and making it taste more like that. Strip everything away in the traditional version that gets in the way of that flavor. Like the milk/cream in this case. That dilutes the taste of the pistachio The mac and cheese everyone is making is the same thing. The bachemel one would use to make a traditional cheese sauce gets in the way of the cheese flavor.

Curnonsky would be pleased. :wink:

As for the "vegan" question, I assume there was sugar in it, too. If it was refined, white sugar, perhaps it's the bone char question that keeps it from being strictly vegan? Just a guess, of course.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

Link to post
Share on other sites

FG's menu says they cooked it in mason jars. I'm sure nathanm would never mislead us, so I bet it works. Does MC comment on other containers to use as the inner vessel in what is basically a pressure cooker double boiler?

Link to post
Share on other sites

FG's menu says they cooked it in mason jars. I'm sure nathanm would never mislead us, so I bet it works. Does MC comment on other containers to use as the inner vessel in what is basically a pressure cooker double boiler?

Ok this makes sense. I guess the MC team just used pouches as their standard container since it is easy to use for them and that it makes less dirty dishes but it is not always necessarily (I would say almost never when dealing with a mixture with am important liquid component except if you would really need to keep the air out or want to force marinate)

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you close it normally and place it in the pressure cooker it will equilibriate in temperature and pressure with the pressure cooker as long as there is water both outside and inside the mason jar.

edit: well the pressure may be a bit higher in the mason jar, but the temperature should definitely be the same.

Edited by Pielle (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I made the Bacon chips last night. They were pretty easy. You mix up a syrup using maple syrup, water, sorbitol, isomalt and Glucose Syrup DE 40. I couldn't find any of that (well I could, but didn't need 5kg of it) so I went with light corn syrup.

After that you let the bacon sit in the syrup for 2 hours then dehydrate it at 140 for 12 hours.

They came out pretty good. They are a little chewy but when you are chewing on them the sweetness and savoriness start to mix for an interesting combination.

They say to use thin 1/16th of an inch bacon, which was hard to find other than cheap store bought stuff. I did a few pieces of double smoked thick bacon as well. I liked the double smoked stuff. It wasn't quite as dried out but the smoke flavor added a lot, plus having more bacon and less syrup (ratio) made it less sweet, which I like (but I know almost everyone likes things more sweet than me).

Getting the bacon out of the dehydrator was a challenge. One tray worked fine but the other two were a PITA. I'm thinking spraying them with something first or putting them on something would make a big difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little confused over something - maybe someone can help clarify...

In 3-99, there's a parametric poultry sous vide table... it says that to cook pheasant breast to medium rare, cook to 133F core temp and hold for 35 min. to pasteurize. However, it recommends (as their preference) to cook to medium, cook to 129F core temp, and hold 2h17m to pasteurize. Am I missing something? Also, all other temps in that table increase from medium rare to medium (as expected) except for the pheasant breast... Is this a typo?

To further complicate the issue, in 5-137, there's a recipe for SV guinea hen that in step 6 recommends cooking the breasts to 129F core, then hold 12min. for pasteurization, as opposed to 2h17m as recommended in the table on 3-99. Plus, we know from the sous vide thread that it takes much longer to pasteurize at 129F than 12 minutes!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little confused over something - maybe someone can help clarify...

In 3-99, there's a parametric poultry sous vide table... it says that to cook pheasant breast to medium rare, cook to 133F core temp and hold for 35 min. to pasteurize. However, it recommends (as their preference) to cook to medium, cook to 129F core temp, and hold 2h17m to pasteurize. Am I missing something? Also, all other temps in that table increase from medium rare to medium (as expected) except for the pheasant breast... Is this a typo?

To further complicate the issue, in 5-137, there's a recipe for SV guinea hen that in step 6 recommends cooking the breasts to 129F core, then hold 12min. for pasteurization, as opposed to 2h17m as recommended in the table on 3-99. Plus, we know from the sous vide thread that it takes much longer to pasteurize at 129F than 12 minutes!

That does seem to be an error. If you look at guinea hen breast directly above, I think you'll find how the table for pheasant breast should read.

The pasteurization time on 5-137 appears to be an error also.

Larry Lofthouse

Link to post
Share on other sites

Made the mac & cheese recipe again tonight and it was a smash hit, but: we had a discussion about the intensity of it. Everyone thinks it's the best mac & cheese ever, adults and kids alike. But you just can't have a typical portion size because, well, it's mind-blowingly rich. Hence the portion size, I think, that's indicated in the recipe.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we had the indicated amount for two people as a side and it was plenty sufficient, if not more so. You'd figure a 50g serving of [dried] pasta is pretty small, but in this case it is the right amount, maybe even a little on the 'much' side.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a little confused over something - maybe someone can help clarify...

In 3-99, there's a parametric poultry sous vide table... it says that to cook pheasant breast to medium rare, cook to 133F core temp and hold for 35 min. to pasteurize. However, it recommends (as their preference) to cook to medium, cook to 129F core temp, and hold 2h17m to pasteurize. Am I missing something? Also, all other temps in that table increase from medium rare to medium (as expected) except for the pheasant breast... Is this a typo?

To further complicate the issue, in 5-137, there's a recipe for SV guinea hen that in step 6 recommends cooking the breasts to 129F core, then hold 12min. for pasteurization, as opposed to 2h17m as recommended in the table on 3-99. Plus, we know from the sous vide thread that it takes much longer to pasteurize at 129F than 12 minutes!

Get back to the authors about this: I remember seeing that they spcifically wanted to be informed of any errors that were found.

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found an error as well and went hunting for the entry that said how to report them:

I want to ask everybody who has MC to report any typos that you find to us. So far we have found a couple ourselves, and just today somebody from eGullet reported another one. Obviously in a 2438 page book there will be some, and it would help a lot to get them reported.

Just send me a personal message via eGullet if you find any.

It would be helpful if that posting was either a sticky or was the first entry in one or more of the "Modernist Cuisine" threads.

If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. - Carl Sagan

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found these fantastic pieces of local pork belly earlier this week:

DSC00002.JPG

I've been making bacon from Ruhlman's charcuterie for a while and thought I'd give the MC house-cured bacon a try. Here's the rub, based on 2.5% salt and 0.6% curing salt (I used DQ #1); they also add Fermento and sodium erythorbate, neither of which I have on hand, so I omitted them:

DSC00006-1.JPG

You distribute the cure on the belly -- I did so after halving those long strips -- and then vacuum seal it:

DSC00008.JPG

I'll remove them from the cure next Sunday, let them rest in the fridge (or curing chamber, probably) for another week, then smoke them. Will report back.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found an error as well and went hunting for the entry that said how to report them:

I want to ask everybody who has MC to report any typos that you find to us. So far we have found a couple ourselves, and just today somebody from eGullet reported another one. Obviously in a 2438 page book there will be some, and it would help a lot to get them reported.

Just send me a personal message via eGullet if you find any.

It would be helpful if that posting was either a sticky or was the first entry in one or more of the "Modernist Cuisine" threads.

Right - I did that with another error I found - the word "check" was used for what I think should have been "cheek" as in "beef check".... I just feel bad if lots of people are finding the same errors and PMing Nathan with them leaves him innundated with similar messages, wasting a lot of his time.

I also think we should have an error/typo/correction page that way all the errors can be found in one place to eliminate the possible redundancy. That way, the authors just have to check one page once in a while to see if anything has been added, and can respond with any necessary clarification if they wish.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I found an error as well and went hunting for the entry that said how to report them:

I want to ask everybody who has MC to report any typos that you find to us. So far we have found a couple ourselves, and just today somebody from eGullet reported another one. Obviously in a 2438 page book there will be some, and it would help a lot to get them reported.

Just send me a personal message via eGullet if you find any.

Right - I did that with another error I found - the word "check" was used for what I think should have been "cheek" as in "beef check".... I just feel bad if lots of people are finding the same errors and PMing Nathan with them leaves him innundated with similar messages, wasting a lot of his time.

For those of you who would like to report errors but would rather not fill Nathan's PM inbox, here's a post copied from the "Modernist Cuisine" topic from Wayt Gibbs, the Editor of MC, with an alternative:

I'm collecting all errors, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, so that we can correct them in the second printing. I'd be grateful if you could email those to info@modernistcuisine.com. Once physical books have arrived at booksellers and are on their way to customers, we'll put up a page on modernistcuisine.com with corrections and clarifications.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone made: The Colonel's Chicken - 3-336 yet? I have an itch to make fried chicken Wednesday for dinner and was curious about this recipe. Does it require a pressure fryer?

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone know what kind of salt is supposed to be used? Other books (like Keller's) specify the kind (usually kosher for him) and brand (Diamond Crystal).

I know that going by mass is better than volume, as it equalizes between brands, but maybe there's a difference in 2 grams of table salt and 2 grams of kosher or sea salt?

Link to post
Share on other sites

All salt comes from the sea. the salt in the mines near Saltzberg come from the sea. just not recently.

crystal size is a different matter. if you dissolve the salt and make a solution it does not matter what kind you use. some salt has impurities that some people like (french sea salt)

if you use table salt, avoid the versions that that have added iodine. it has a harsh taste

Link to post
Share on other sites

I did the retrograded potato puree last night. I've done this in similar ways before (as posted on other threads) but I've always had problems, and, it's always been a real pain in the neck. Doing it the MC way was really convenient and easy, and it was probably the best potato puree I've had yet... I didn't even knock myself out to do it the "upgraded" way with the potato flakes or ultrasperse... just potatoes and butter, but still great potato flavor.

What I liked is that previously, I had been told to cook the potatoes in their skin, and then, once cooked, peel them while still hot - which is a real PITA... MC recommends peeling first, but reserving the peels and putting them in the retrograde water/cooking water to save their flavor... and much easier!

Also, I always thought you had to retrograde the potatoes dry with no water - just in the vacuum bag... but MC recommends retrograding in 400% water, which also made things easier.

It was a little unclear what to do with the retrograde water once you drained the potatoes to cool them. I saved the retrograde water, and after the potatoes were cool, put the water in a pot and brought to a boil, and cooked the potatoes in the retrograde water... whether that was proper or not I don't know - but it worked... I did have to add a bit of water halfway through the 15-20 min. cook time though to replace evaporation. After cooking, I saved that water again - to dilute the puree as needed later on... but as it aged for the afternoon, it turned brownish, so when I added it back, the potatoes went from white, to slightly gray... Still very very tasty, but I think I have to find a way to store the water without the browning... maybe I'll rebag it to keep the excess air out of it.. but I don't know if the browning is oxidative or enzymatic - something tells me it's not enzymatic, since it was boiling for 20 minutes - that should have killed all the enzymes... next time I'll add a little vit. C powder to it to see if that stops the browning...

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wild Rice "Risotto" (p. 6•152)

Sous Vide Potato Cooked in Fat (p. 6•143)

Glazed Pearl Onions (p. 6•140)

Pressure-Cooked White Chicken Stock (p. 6•11)

I tried a bunch of new (to me) things tonight, with mixed results. The wild rice risotto tasted good, but I didn't think the rice had enough starch to work properly, I should have added some. When finished mantecado the butter separated out. The potatoes were cooked in butter sous vide. I chose to finish them at service time by sautéing them until browned: these were OK, but bland: everything else on the plate was very powerfully flavored, so the potatoes just got lost. My fault, not the book's, of course. The glazed pearl onions were more assertively vinegary than I was expecting, but they tasted good. The texture would be WAY better with fresh onions (which is what the recipe calls for), but I used frozen because it's what I had on hand. Not a great idea. The chicken was sautéed and then the pan deglazed with vermouth. Then I added about a cup of the white chicken stock from MC and some tarragon, reduced it, mounted with butter, and used it to sauce the chicken (basically a Sauce Estragon). The stock is quite good, no complaints. As usual, the plating could use some work...

Wild rice risotto, sv potato, glazed onions.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Link to post
Share on other sites

I had my first failure tonight.

I tried the pasta recipe (using the tipo 00 flour and xanthan gum) and couldn't get it to work. I scaled everything properly (I believe) and the dough was just too brittle. instead of staying together it would just flake apart. I tried kneeding it to fix that but ended up adding more water. Once I got it to the point where it was more elastic I couldn't get it to work with the pasta machine. It just kept breaking apart if it would even grip at all. It's almost like it was too oily and at the same time just wouldn't hold together.

I'm no expert pasta maker, I've only done it once before (with Thomas Keller's recipe) so it's likely I was doing something wrong, but that was a little disappointing.

On the bright side, I got my vacuum sealer and tried the french toast which worked quite well. I used the chorizo milk as the recipe in the book has. It was really custardy in the middle and had a nice crust on the outside. The chorizo flavor just barely makes it through enough. Overall it's quite good. I'm going to make some more tomorrow morning and share it with a few people for their opinions. I also want to experiment with more flavors in the milk.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Similar Content

    • By eG Forums Host
      Modernist Cuisine at the eGullet Forums
      Here at eG Forums, we have what is probably the broadest collection of information on modernist cooking anywhere. We've discussed sous vide, the general chemistry of culinary modernism, practical applications with colloids and starches, and much, much more. A lot of this discussion is contained in our topics about the books Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home (we have topics on both the books and on cooking with the recipes they present), but we've been modern since before modern was cool -- click on the 'Recent discussions tagged "Modernist"' link at the bottom of this page for a small sampling of what we've been up to. And feel free to use the Search tool at the top of the page to look for specific terms or people.

      Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold with Chris Young and Maxime Bilet



      Support eG, buy the book at Amazon.com
      About the original book (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)
      Cooking the recipes from the book (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)
      A Q&A with the Modernist Cuisine team

      Modernist Cuisine at Home by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet



      Support eG, buy the book at Amazon.com
      About the book
      Cooking the recipes from the book (Part 1, Part 2)

      Other Modernist-related topics:
      Recent discussions tagged "Modernist"
      Sous Vide discussion index
    • By Mutleyracers
      Hi all. I hope you are well. I am just into baking bread due to lockdown and need help. Ideally I would like modernist bread but the wife is not quite agreeing to that yet. So I would like some where to start for now until she comes around to the idea. After she has tasted all my amazing breads I make. 
       
      I would like this to be in metric rather than imperial.
       
      Thank you 
    • By Porthos
      I picked up enough boneless short ribs to make 3 meals for my Sweetie and me. One meal will be pan-braised tonight. One has been vacuum-sealed and is in the freezer. My question is about seasoning, sealing, freezing, then defrosting and cooking at a later date. I'd like to season and seal the 3rd meal's worth. Can I use a dry rub on the meat, then seal, freeze, and cook at a later date? Does anyone else do this?
    • By newchef
      So I've now found myself at the water's edge of Modernist Cuisine.  Specifically, using sodium citrate for emulsifying all kinds of cheeses.  What I'm after is making an emulsified Parmesan sauce as well as another emulsified cheese sauce (most likely using Cheddar or Colby) that I can freeze and use later.  I'm a single guy and am no stranger of tweaking recipes for freezing but I haven't done it for modernist stuff yet.  I'd love to make a big batch of cheese sauce, freeze it into ice cubes for up to 3 months or so, and then take a few cubes out to thaw on a weeknight and toss with pasta, drizzle over veggies, etc.
       
      I looked at the modernist cuisine FAQ and saw this specific post about the cheese sauce that is "probably" freeze-able because it uses something called carageenan.  Has anyone been able to freeze sauce and keep it frozen for, say, a few months?  And not have to use carageenan?
       
      Thanks!
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...