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


Chris Hennes
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I made Buffalo Wings last night, we tried to keep the chicken wings away from the side and turned the bag around 1/2 way through cooking, results were much better.

I subbed a single 3g fatali pepper for the 2 types of peppers in the buffalo sauce, it worked very well. I'm guessing this will work with any other hot pepper with some flavor. The resulting sauce had a distinct fatali heat / flavor but not so strong you couldn't eat it (like you might get if you try a fatali raw, I did once... never again :))

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Unlike a similar recipe in Modernist Cuisine, this jus gras emulsion isn’t stable when reheated because it doesn’t use the same emulsifiers.

Is there a "modernist ingredient dictionary" anywhere? As a home chef (even as a well-equipped home chef), I'm reluctant to buy the entire Modernist Cuisine (though I do have the 'at Home' version) as I do not have or intend to buy a chamber sealer, liquid nitrogen, centrifuge, pacojet, or other laboratory-style equipment. That said, I can get ingredients from Modernist Pantry or other online providers, so I'd love that information. Is there any relatively in-depth reference for modernist ingredients available?

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Yea, they were probably about 1.5", amazing steaks. and I did calibrate my oven. It is surprisingly stable at low temperatures. I have a Bluestar.

It's likely due to the thickness of your steak then. If a 1" thick steak takes 1 hour to cook, a 2" steak will actually take 4 hours to cook, so a 1.5" steak will take a little over 2 hours to cook.

ETA: we actually have a lot of tables about this in volume 2 of MC.

Good to know. I think I will try it again with the remaining two steaks.

Also, I heard that the Arlington Club in NYC is searing steaks, resting them, then searing again to get a nice and thick crust. Did you guys happen to try this by chance? Sounds interesting.

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Unlike a similar recipe in Modernist Cuisine, this jus gras emulsion isn’t stable when reheated because it doesn’t use the same emulsifiers.

Is there a "modernist ingredient dictionary" anywhere? As a home chef (even as a well-equipped home chef), I'm reluctant to buy the entire Modernist Cuisine (though I do have the 'at Home' version) as I do not have or intend to buy a chamber sealer, liquid nitrogen, centrifuge, pacojet, or other laboratory-style equipment. That said, I can get ingredients from Modernist Pantry or other online providers, so I'd love that information. Is there any relatively in-depth reference for modernist ingredients available?

Modern Gastronomy A to Z is a good reference book. Take a looke here: http://www.amazon.com/Modern-Gastronomy-Z-Ferran-Adria/dp/1439812454

It explains what different ingredients do and how to use them.

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When I made the buffalo wings I loved the texture of the sauce but felt that it lacked the tart zing of great buffalo wings. So I wanted to recreate the thick rich sauce but with more zing. The original recipe says that they wanted to eliminate the water out of the sauce to prevent it from sogging out the crust, but I reasoned that a nicely emulsified sauce would accomplish the same thing.

I started with my regular buffalo sauce recipe (hardly a recipe since it only has 2 ingredients), equal parts margarine and Franks hot sauce. To that's added a tsp of Dijon mustard and 2 egg yolks. I then cooked it in a double boiler stirring constantly until I had the consistency I wanted. The sauce turned out rich and creamy but with the tartness that I love in hot wings and it didn't sog out the crust.

Edited by Charcuterer (log)
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Finally made my first recipe from either MC or MCaH (I own both). Wife's boss was coming to dinner so decided to make the braised short ribs with red wine glaze. Below are the results. I made so many mistakes during the process, but the recipe was surprisingly forgiving, so it all ended up being (I would say) among the best meals I ever made.

1. Glaze Mise.jpg

Unbelievable how so much can go into something that will be so little in volume (but voluminous in flavour!)

2. Glaze Sweated.jpg

Here's having sweated it all out.

3. Glaze Pressure Cooked.jpg

After pressure cooking, the beef and the meat off the bones had lost most of their flavour, I assume, because it was all in the stock.

4. Glaze filtered.jpg

Here's me filtering it, and

5. Glaze Bones.jpg

Here are the bones afterwards.

6. Glaze to reduce.jpg

After running it through the sieve, this is what I had to reduce. Because of some mistakes I'd made earlier with the oil, I put it into the fridge for a while so I could get the excess fat away like that. Worked a treat.

7. Reducing Glaze.jpg

Moved it to a smaller pot to reduce. You can get some idea of how little juice is left when you're done. Wish I could've done something more with the leavngs.

9. Carrots.jpg

At the same time, I found some lovely heirloom carrots to SV.

10. Carrots.jpg

In the bag, with some oil, per www.chefsteps.com

I made the potato puree recipe from MGaH as well, and aside from the prep for the glaze, it was the most labour intensive part of this dish. It was *soooo* well worth it, tho'.

We also roasted up some brussel sprouts with balsamic glaze to finish the plate.

11. Plated.jpg

My plating is awful and I'd most assuredly plate next time on a plain white plate, but having cooked this dish just made me want to cook more from this book. Next up, the Adobo Pork Belly.

That all said, this is my first post to the community. Just found this place, and can't wait to participate more in the future. I've learned so much from the little I've read here already.

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I picked up a Pork Chop on Friday with plans to cook it SV and found MC@H was lacking. I did get that I should cook it for 60 mins at 135F to get to 133F internal temp, and that I should brine it. But there was nothing about what to brine it in. ATK had a brine recipe for pork chops that started with brown suger and salt for an hour 1st so I did that. Then SVed it with some oil for an hour. It's below 0 here right now so finishing it on the grill like suggested was not an option, but the book said finishing it like a stake would be fine. One of the steak options is a dry hot skillet... well that didn't work very well so I won't be trying that again :)

In the end I did get the best pork chop I've ever had, if I can find a good sauce to make with it or something to put into the bag with it besides oil it should be better. I normally detest pork chops because they're overcooked and dry. So this opens up a new option for the old hunk of meat dinner.

Does MC do a better job with instructions / options to cook things like Pork Chops?

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I picked up a Pork Chop on Friday with plans to cook it SV and found MC@H was lacking. I did get that I should cook it for 60 mins at 135F to get to 133F internal temp, and that I should brine it. But there was nothing about what to brine it in. ATK had a brine recipe for pork chops that started with brown suger and salt for an hour 1st so I did that. Then SVed it with some oil for an hour. It's below 0 here right now so finishing it on the grill like suggested was not an option, but the book said finishing it like a stake would be fine. One of the steak options is a dry hot skillet... well that didn't work very well so I won't be trying that again :)

In the end I did get the best pork chop I've ever had, if I can find a good sauce to make with it or something to put into the bag with it besides oil it should be better. I normally detest pork chops because they're overcooked and dry. So this opens up a new option for the old hunk of meat dinner.

Does MC do a better job with instructions / options to cook things like Pork Chops?

I did almost the same as you the other day. SVed a pork chop for 4 hours at 60 degrees © and finished it off by brushing it with oil and giving it a go with the blowtorch. It was fantastic!

image.jpg

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I did almost the same as you the other day. SVed a pork chop for 4 hours at 60 degrees © and finished it off by brushing it with oil and giving it a go with the blowtorch. It was fantastic!

I forgot about the blowtorch option, wasn't listed in MC@H so I expect that's why... perhaps I'll have to try that next time.

What is the sauce you have in the picture?

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Nice effort there, Ian :) One thing about SV heirloom carrots ... I never SV them together. The purple ones tend to discolour the yellow and orange ones, so I tend to SV them separately. I see that yours came out with the colours preserved.

Oh yes ... when I SV them separately, it gives me an opportunity to introduce new flavours into the carrots :) I SV the orange carrots with cumin, the yellow carrots with ginger, and the purple carrots with cinnamon.

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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On Saturday we made the scrambled eggs recipe from MC@H w/o the Whipping Siphon. Has anyone ever made this version as well as the whipped version?

It was very dense and very potent, we thought it was best eaten in small bites so as not to over power ones senses. It was good, but I'm guessing due to the potency it works better when "foamed" and why this alternate version is just that :)

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On Saturday we made the scrambled eggs recipe from MC@H w/o the Whipping Siphon. Has anyone ever made this version as well as the whipped version?

It was very dense and very potent, we thought it was best eaten in small bites so as not to over power ones senses. It was good, but I'm guessing due to the potency it works better when "foamed" and why this alternate version is just that :)

I made it with the siphon and thought it was great - still it was definitely stronger than traditional scrambed eggs, but not in a bad way. I agree though - the butter makes it very rich. I didn't try it alone, however - I had one of the steamed omelettes filled with egg foam from that section.

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What is the sauce you have in the picture?

I kept it "asian style" so It's a fairly simple red curry and coconut sauce. The onions are caramelized to enhance sweetness and balanced with soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. Throw in some rice and you have a meal :-)

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Nice effort there, Ian :) One thing about SV heirloom carrots ... I never SV them together. The purple ones tend to discolour the yellow and orange ones, so I tend to SV them separately. I see that yours came out with the colours preserved.

Oh yes ... when I SV them separately, it gives me an opportunity to introduce new flavours into the carrots :) I SV the orange carrots with cumin, the yellow carrots with ginger, and the purple carrots with cinnamon.

Thanks for the tip, Keith! I'll keep that in mind for next time.

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Just got my feet wet this weekend for the first time. I made the Mac & Cheese for the family for lunch--they liked the rich sauce (consistency, mouthfeel), but they thought the flavor was too strong (I used a aged sharp cheddar). Apparently with too much flavor release, so lesson learned :).

The next day, I made the Carmelized Carrot Soup and the Tuna Confit/Chick Pea Salad, which my wife and son raved about--I made the Tuna Melt today with the leftover tuna (love that melty cheese).

Tonight, I am going to tackle the Chicken Noodle soup--made the stock last night--so I'll report back.

[Moderator note: This topic continues in Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 2)]

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  • 1 month later...

Part of my disappointment is that I don't have the tools for many of the recipes. I'd love to make the caramelized carrot soup (pp 178-179), but I don't have a blender or a (working) pressure cooker -- part of my love/hate relationship with Cuisinart who don't sell replacement parts. Can the soup be made without the pressure cooking step?

I also don't have a digital scale, pacojet, blowtorch, combi oven, microplane, microwave, nor sous vide setup.

You have to have the pressure cooker to achieve a higher temperature for the caramelization. The PC is a worthwhile purchase.

Digital scales are cheap, but you can use cups/tbsp/etc.

I wing the SV setup at this point by using digital probes. Pacojets aren't for the home cook.

I really would like to have a pressure cooker again. Maybe if there is enough left over from my tax refund.

While I don't have a digital scale, I have a nice analog scale. It's just not very good for micrograms. The smallest division is 5 grams. To make the peanut butter gelato I first weighed out three tablespoons of xanthan gum, then calculated that 0.3 grams was approximately a third of a quarter teaspoon. Fortunately the recipe worked. I've been looking at some digital scales that will measure milligrams. Does anyone have thoughts or recommendations?

I mentioned not having a pacoject only because MC@H devotes a full page to it! Not sure why I never got a microplane. Perhaps because they come in so many shapes and sizes.

Edited by Judy Wilson (log)

Judy Wilson

Editorial Assistant

Modernist Cuisine

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