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


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Pressure-Cooked Pork Belly Adobo

WOW! This dish packed some flavor! By far my favorite recipe from the book thus far. It is dead simple to make, has relatively few ingredients but transforms into something truly wonderful.

Some of the meat (the bigger muscle pieces furtherest away from the skin) dried out a bit but didn't detract too much from the dish. I'd be interested if anyone had any ideas on how to avoid this ... I've never had much luck with pork.

None the less a great recipe for a great meal.

Merkinz,

One thing that I like to do for all braises, in general, is to let them cool over night in their cooking liquid. Also, I recommend reducing the cooking liquid separate from the meat. This ensures that the lovely braised meat is not boiling away its moisture after pressure cooking. Hope that helps.

Johnny

Edited by jzhu (log)

Johnny Zhu
Research and Development Chef for Modernist Cuisine
johnny@modernistcuisine.com

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@Merkinz, your gorgeous pork belly has made me move that up in my queue. After the revelation of using star anise in the MC house bacon cure, it has become my secret ingredient with pork. Maybe it is a well known combo, but I hadn't seen it before.

Inventing the Universe

Here in the South, we don't hide crazy. We parade it on the front porch and give it a cocktail.

The devil is in the details but God is in the fat.

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Chris,

I bit the bullet and ordered MCAH yesterday, but before that, I made the Korean wings as written on Chow (http://www.chow.com/...n-chicken-wings), and they turned out nothing like yours! I'm no stranger to frying, but when I made them, they turned out rather pale and insipid looking, and weren't particularly crunchy. I'm curious whether this recipe/frying technique is the same as what's presented in the book. Especially since you called them battered wings, and there's no batter present in the recipe on Chow.

Chris, that was me in the CHOW video, and I have to admit, I made a mistake when demoing the technique. Rather than removing the wings from the marinade and tossing them into the potato starch and Wondra (as I did on video), the MCAH recipe actually calls for mixing the marinade with the potato starch and Wondra until it forms a thin batter on the wings. This is a totally embarassing mistake and we're trying to find a good way to update the video to reflect the recipe as-printed in MCAH.

So, I believe I owe you a batch of Korean wings. Please let me know how you'd like to collect :smile:

SCOTT HEIMENDINGER
Co-Founder, CMO

Sansaire

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Pistachio Pesto (p. 102)

I normally wouldn't post about this until I actually used it in something (I think it's in the dinner plans three nights this week), but after finding myself literally licking the bowl I thought I'd get a head start. This is a multi-herb pesto, with basil, chives, cilantro, scallion, and spinach:

DSC_0455.jpg

That all gets blanched, then added to a food processor with blanched garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and pistachios (plus olive oil, pistachio oil, and lemon juice—I used macadamia oil, lacking pistachio). An optional addition of a tiny amount of xanthan gum thickens it just slightly:

DSC_0458.jpg

Best pesto ever? Yes, yes it is. The balance of flavors between the greens is superb, in particular the bright note added by the large amount of cilantro (obviously you have to like cilantro: if not, stay away!). I also loved the use of pistachios, which add a great flavor to the dish. I'm glad I decided to make a full batch of this so I have enough to cover multiple meals.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Merkinz,

One thing that I like to do for all braises, in general, is to let them cool over night in their cooking liquid. Also, I recommend reducing the cooking liquid separate from the meat. This ensures that the lovely braised meat is not boiling away its moisture after pressure cooking. Hope that helps.

Johnny

Thanks for the tip, I'll be sure to try this method the next time I make it .... and I will be making it again soon :biggrin:

@Chris: Looking good!

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Making the pork belly adobo for dinner tonight. I wonder if it will be one of the "stars" of the new book.

So far, I've already pressure-cooked the belly and strained the liquid. When dinnertime rolls around, I'll make some rice, reduce the liquid and glaze the belly pieces.

--

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Fresh Egg Noodles (p. 268)

Pistachio Pesto (p. 102)

I talked about the pesto uptopic a bit: tonight I served it on the egg noodles. This was the same pasta used in the Chicken Noodle Soup, and I really like it. It is firmer than traditional fresh pasta, but I think there are a lot of applications where that is desirable. The pesto is the best I've ever had, so it was a very successful meal.

DSC_0461.jpg

DSC_0467.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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PB&J Gelato

Microwave Chocolate Sponge Cake

My first try from MC at Home is a dessert, specifically the PB&J Gelato and the Microwave chocolate sponge cake. I decided on the gelato because the original one in the MC books was fascinating but I never got around to trying it. In this case I needed to make my regular batch of peanut butter anyways and I had like five lbs of grapes that needed to be used up (long story...). I decided on the chocolate sponge last minute just to make a plated dessert.

First I made the the PB just like I always do. Roasted peanuts and a little salt in the food processor. Blitz until pretty smooth.

PB.JPG

I juiced the grapes in my Breville juicer and got a decent but not great yield. A Champion would fare much better with grapes I think.

Grape Juice.JPG

The recipe asks for roasted peanut oil. I could not find any at a couple of stores I went to including Whole Foods. So, I improvised by mixing a handful of crushed roasted peanuts in the required amount of peanut oil in a small pan. I heated the mixture but did not really fry the peanuts. I turned the heat off and let it steep then strained it. The oil smelled intensely of roasted peanuts and did the trick for the recipe. The rest of the recipe was pretty easy.

PB&J Gelato3.JPG

The sponge worked ok, but I think the batter is a bit too thick and I had difficulty extruding it from the siphon. Also I am pretty sure you are supposed to shake the canister well after charging with the NOx to make sure the gas mixes with the batter.

PB&J Gelato.JPG

To serve it I caramelized some bananas and drizzled the plate with grape molasses.

PB&J Gelato2.JPG

The gelato has an amazing texture and a brilliant intense flavor. It was very smooth, creamy and rich and tasted like PB&J! I am planning on trying the Pistachio one soon after the success of this one.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Pressure-Cooked Pork Belly Adobo

This looked good in the book to me so I thought 'why not' :cool: ... So I made a half batch

I measured out all the ingredients (everything shown below except the soy sauce) and thought ... "is that it?" :huh: not much really goes into this.

P1010823.jpg

... in then out of the pressure cooker ...

P1010838.jpg

Strained, reduced, glazed ...

P1010846.jpg

WOW! This dish packed some flavor! By far my favorite recipe from the book thus far. It is dead simple to make, has relatively few ingredients but transforms into something truly wonderful.

Some of the meat (the bigger muscle pieces furtherest away from the skin) dried out a bit but didn't detract too much from the dish. I'd be interested if anyone had any ideas on how to avoid this ... I've never had much luck with pork.

None the less a great recipe for a great meal.

wow, that looks great and easy!

any chance for the measurements? my book is still on the way!

thanks!

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PB&J Gelato

[...]The recipe asks for roasted peanut oil. I could not find any at a couple of stores I went to including Whole Foods. So, I improvised by mixing a handful of crushed roasted peanuts in the required amount of peanut oil in a small pan. I heated the mixture but did not really fry the peanuts. I turned the heat off and let it steep then strained it. The oil smelled intensely of roasted peanuts and did the trick for the recipe. [...]

Clever! I'm stealing that.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I made the buffalo wings and the beef stock over the weekend. The beef stock was kind of sad though. I have an old Fagor pressure cooker and it releases a ton of steam even with a very low flame. So the recipe that was supposed to make 4 cups made 2 and a half. I haven't tried it yet but it has great body.

The wings. To start, my wife is a purist when it comes to Buffalo wings. She likes the traditional sauce with no modifications. I made the Buffalo sauce out of the book with infused oil and a mayonnaise technique. I usually make my mayo with my immersion blender so I just did it as I usually do, blend in the egg lemon juice and salt then dump in the oil and stick in the blender and it always comes out perfectly. Well the emulsion didn't form and I got a thin sauce. I set it in the fridge and moved on to the rest of the recipe, mad at myself for messing up something so simple. When the wings were done I turned back to the sauce. It was now just a broken oily mess. Out of desperation I put the stick blender back in to at least mix it up some. I don't know if I got lucky or stumbled on a way to fix a broken mayonnaise but like magic it came together perfectly.

I chose to toss the wings in the sauce and they looked fantastic. I thought the flavors were excellent. My wife said they are good but not really buffalo wings. I think I will keep the cooking technique; Brine, Sous Vide, Shallow fry. But go back to the old standby wing sauce.

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Texture, too? I know Merkinz reported some toughness in some of his pork.

Mine was all tender with no dryness. But also not too much squishy fattyness that can sometimes make pork belly too rich for some people. Really it was perfect. And the strong flavored vinegar sauce was the perfect foil for the richness of the pork belly. That said, I bet it would work pretty well with chunked up pork butt or another less fatty cut.

--

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Pressure-Cooked Chickpea Salad (p. 172-173)

Sous Vide Tuna Confit (p. 174)

This was the first thing I cooked out of MCAH (as I wait for my replacement copies from amazon.ca). I made them according to directions, so did use salted mineral water. The consistent of the chickpeas was excellent. I found the dressing to be too tart & it didn't really stand out as a dish. The tuna confit, though: Gosh that was good. I've cooked halibut in a similar manner & will probably do more low temp olive oil fish dishes soon!

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.

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Does anyone think there is a particular, culinary, reason why the buffalo wings are shallow fried? Would the result be the same if deep frying were substituted for that step? I'm making them tonight and my deep frying setup is already there....

Edited by Paul Kierstead (log)
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Does anyone think there is a particular, culinary, reason why the buffalo wings are shallow fried? Would the result be the same if deep frying were substituted for that step? I'm making them tonight and my deep frying setup is already there....

It could just be convienience. One benefit I see to shallow frying is that it makes it easy to apply the method Heston uses in his perfect fish & chips recipe where he takes extra raw batter and flings it onto the cooking fish (or wings in this case) using a chopstick or whatever. This adds a little more crunch to it (if that's what you like).

Also, for anyone doing the Korean Wings. Kenji did a Food Lab article today on the subject. Kenji also uses alcohol in his recipe, and that seems to be a key component. This article goes a lot in depth on the various effects various ingredients have which can be exploited to tweak the MCAH recipe to your liking.

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Paul, I can't imagine why it would make much difference. I think it would certainly be easier to deep fry since the oil temp would be more stable. It was hard to keep the temp up when I did mine. If you haven't already made the oil don't skimp on the cayenne as I did because there wasn't much heat (I used half the recipe amount).

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How do we know if the liquid is thick enough to foam? ie store bought BBQ sauce( please forgive me I'm going back to school so I don't have much play time, but I really want to use the whipped cream siphon)

Mathewr-

What effect are you going for? BBQ sauce alone in a siphone charged with NOx will most likely come out like thick forth but will not hold it's shape. To make something like a shaving cream consistency with for example, you need to give it some structure with protein, like gelatin. Hope this helps.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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