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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 1)


Chris Hennes
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I've joined the ranks of people who have done the Adobo and loved it. Easy to do and was amazing. I loved the sauce with rice.

The only change I would make next time I think would be taking the skin off the belly. It was just a bit to 'soft' on some pieces with all the heavy fat plus the skin creating a mouth feel that wasn't optimal. The meaty parts of the belly were phenominal though. It's one I would definitly select belly with more meat than fat. The left overs were great as well.

I have the rest of the belly I bought in the water bath right now waiting some BLTs for election night. I'm pretty interested how those come out.

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Those of you who have made the adobo: how essential is it that you use pork belly, rather than another part of the pig? We don't typically see belly in the town where I live, so I'd either have to special order some (and hope my butcher can get it), travel to a bigger city where pork belly is available, or find another cut of meat to use.

MelissaH

MelissaH

Oswego, NY

Chemist, writer, hired gun

Say this five times fast: "A big blue bucket of blue blueberries."

foodblog1 | kitchen reno | foodblog2

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Pork belly is generally widely available from my experience, but some of the larger non-specialty supermarkets don't stock it.

Around here in Austin you can buy it at a lot of the more high end supermarkets (Whole Foods, Central Market) or any number of the dozens of Mexican Meat Markets.

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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Those of you who have made the adobo: how essential is it that you use pork belly, rather than another part of the pig?

As above, I have made it successfully with pork butt cubed up. Not as good as with belly, though. Make sure you use a fatty cut of pork with plenty of connective tissue and don't trim it up. Definitely don't use a lean tender cut.

--

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I made the rice noodles for lunch today and served them with the pressure caramelized peanut sauce and a sous vide chicken breast. I threw in some scallions and crushed peanuts as well. It was really good, but needed a little hit of acidity for my taste. Will either squeeze a lime or quick pickle some julienned carrots next time. I was worried about my rice noodles as they didnt really separate at all when going through the pasta cutter, but they separated just fine when they hit the water.

Going to make the pork belly adobo tonight for monday night football, I have high hopes after reading many of the reviews.

Around here in Austin you can buy it at a lot of the more high end supermarkets (Whole Foods, Central Market) or any number of the dozens of Mexican Meat Markets.

Im in austin as well and find it a little difficult to source. Central market has it frozen at times and whole foods can be hit or miss in my experience. Ive been having to go to MT market to get it ><
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Im in austin as well and find it a little difficult to source. Central market has it frozen at times and whole foods can be hit or miss in my experience. Ive been having to go to MT market to get it ><

The central market at Westgate usually has it stocked (about 3/4 the time), but they have never had it out on display for some reason - just ask the meat counter peeps. I don't know what market you go to, but the pork belly I've gotten at Central Market has consistently been much better quality than most of the meat markets I've been too (usually have too much fat to meat ratio, I like mine about 1:1 ratio).

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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I've joined the ranks of people who have done the Adobo and loved it. Easy to do and was amazing. I loved the sauce with rice.

The only change I would make next time I think would be taking the skin off the belly. It was just a bit to 'soft' on some pieces with all the heavy fat plus the skin creating a mouth feel that wasn't optimal. The meaty parts of the belly were phenominal though. It's one I would definitly select belly with more meat than fat. The left overs were great as well.

I have the rest of the belly I bought in the water bath right now waiting some BLTs for election night. I'm pretty interested how those come out.

I think pork skin servers to give gelatin and the great mouthfeel to the braising liquid. You can remove it after cooking though, I may actually do the same.

I made red wine glaze tonight. It is finger lickin' good. Cannot wait for my sous vide to arrive to make short ribs to go with it.

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on the PC pork belly, as above: is everyone using fresh bay leaves? Im guessing the fresh are 'sweeter' than the dried. so far have not found fresh.

and a trip to Chinatown-Allston this am was very disappointing: no pork belly! its a Ranch-88 and almost went out of buisness and is now HongKong but seems a little sad at the edges.

We usually get fresh bay leaves at Indian grocery stores.

Judy Wilson

Editorial Assistant

Modernist Cuisine

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Wow great tip! I go to a very good Indian grocery store from time to time. thanks for your input! always appreciated.

but now its soon winter here ....

but what do the Guru's at MC think a (portion) of dried bay might change the dish?

not too much snow in your area. plenty of rains for those trees!

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Recipes cooked/methods used so far..

Pistachio Pesto

Everyone here was right, it was a great hit

Cooking a pizza on a steel plate

I ordered the Baking Steel from kickstarter when it was available, and had a bring-your-own-toppings pizza party last week. I used Serious Eat's fermented dough recipe, and had success with the steel, but the crust still didn't bubble and char quite like I had hoped it would. Here are some pics - http://imgur.com/a/dp95c

Turkey Breast

I'm going to be sous-viding the thanksgiving turkey again this year, so over the weekend I made the turkey breast recipe (along side with a standard 5% brined sous-vide'd turkey breast for comparison). The recipe calls for you to remove the skin, and I learned why - when finishing the breast off in a hot skillet to sear the skin, the sugars from the apple juice/milk solution burn. While it didn't take away from the flavor, the appearance wasn't so great. The turkey itself was delicious, juicy with a definite hint of apple to it, but I think it would be more reserved for a "turkey meal", not thanksgiving. The traditional roasted flavor of the standard brined turkey breast won the taste contest with my girlfriend, so that's what I'll be serving at her parent's house in a few weeks.

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Pressure-Cooked Paella del Bosco (pp. 326-327)

As we discussed earlier in the topic, you may regard it as something of a stretch to call this "paella". Setting that aside, however, it does taste good. Predominantly of paprika and saffron, of course, but there is a ton of thyme in there as well, and I really enjoyed the lemon zest (which I used as a garnish). Overall, it was very easy and fast to make, if more in the risotto school than the paella.

DSC_0038 (1).jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Why not simply buy a bay plant? I have a couple of them and when they get too big I cut them right back and they never fail to grow back. I keep them in a south facing window in the winter and when it warms up in the spring, out they go to the deck. I use a lot of bay leaf and really like having these plants at hand.

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My bay tree is just now starting to recover from over-optimistic leaf harvesting when it was little, I hope. It's a 2 m tall stick with a few leaves. I think some insects didn't help, either. They are rather slow growing trees.

It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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I also made the Raspberry panna cotta, which was super-simple & led to the perfect texture and creamyness, without tasting any of the gelation agent. I thawed a couple bags of unsweetened raspberries for the puree. Ended up with left over cream, raspberries, and gelatin; I'll scale up to use up all the raspberries next time.
This was my first attempt from MCAH also, and it turned out great. I used to make panna cotta from a Martha Stewart recipe but the texture was never as good as "restaurant quality". This raspberry version was spot on. As to leftover raspberrries, I saved some perfect ones for decoration and the rest went in my belly while I was making the dish. A keeper for sure.
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Randomly happened upon a farm selling raw milk so I made the Ultrafrothy milkshake.

1 L Raw milk - $6

Cold bag and blue ice to get the milk home - $7

Egg white powder - $8

Whey protein isolate - $22

Expedited shipping to get the protein before the milk spoiled - $4

If I had figured on all that at the outset, I wouldn't have done it, but I had to shop around, and the more things I got, the less willing I was to drop out. Granted, I have a still have a huge tub of whey protein left. Protein shakes for breakfast from now on? It's a better way to eat the cost than letting it languish in the cupboard.

The shake was interesting. I had troubles getting it cold enough. Even after the salted ice bath, it was just cool after a couple minutes in the blender. It did have an interesting aerated kind of mouth feel, but it wasn't thick at all. I was expecting something like an Orange Julius in texture, but it was much thinner. The powdered raspberry topping was delicious.

Would having it colder make it thicken and froth more? Would blending it longer change anything? I blended it for 2 minutes instead of 3 because I didn't want it to warm up any more.

Alternatives I'd try next time:

- some ice to add texture and keep it cold; cream or half/half base to offset the additional ice water

- fresh egg/egg whites; basically a homemade eggnog, which in my experience is thicker

- powdered Julius imitation mix; cheaper, maybe thicker?

- just a regular ice cream shake

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