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Erik Shear

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (Part 2)

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There are as many definitions of "medium rare" as there are authors, and it may also depend on the kind of meat, e.g. I cook beef tenderloin or pork to 52°C and racks of lamb to 55°C.

I've never discussed that with Pedro, but I came to exactly the same conclusions. I cook my rib eye steaks at 52C, then post sear them. For a chuck steak, 55C for 24 hours, for food safety reasons. For brisket, again 55C, for 72 hours.

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paulpegg   

I use 52C for almost all cuts of steak. Tender cuts get 3 hours and tougher cuts like flank steak up to 8 hours. I found that 55C on strip or flatiron steaks was too done for my taste. I always post sear on a smoking hot cast iron skillet for 1 minute on each side. This is all personal preference stuff. The best way to find your ideal temperature is to experiment until you find it. All of Jason Logsdon's books have time/temperature suggestions that are great places to start from as is Douglas' paper..

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rotuts   
Paulpegg

I find your steak time and temps interesting. I do sirloin steak tips, long thick pieces not the cut up bits, 130 x 6. I season with

Sauer's Prime Rib Rub. I used to do chuck but gave up as most of the time the 'roasts' have different muscle groups in them

and require different times. if I left the meat whole, sometimes Id get the dreaded 'mealyness'

I also usually to large batches at one time so Ive kept to 130.

youve inspired me to try 52/125!

then of course there is that French Steak 'Bleu'. I think it's still moving when you eat it.

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nickrey   

I use 52C for almost all cuts of steak. Tender cuts get 3 hours and tougher cuts like flank steak up to 8 hours. I found that 55C on strip or flatiron steaks was too done for my taste. I always post sear on a smoking hot cast iron skillet for 1 minute on each side. This is all personal preference stuff. The best way to find your ideal temperature is to experiment until you find it. All of Jason Logsdon's books have time/temperature suggestions that are great places to start from as is Douglas' paper..

Eight hours at 52C is risky from a food safety perspective. To quote Douglas: "the common food pathogen Clostridium perfringens can grow at up to 126.1°F (52.3°C)."

Add in temperature error from your sous vide rig and you are potentially adding other pathogens to the mix.

To make sure that sous vide is deemed acceptable as a cooking process, let's work to keep it safe.

The rule of thumb most of us work to is if you want to cook something over four hours, use 55C or above.

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pbear   

MCaH gives a table (page 192) that properly indicates medium rare target core 55°C. But then on pg. 198 in the recipe for Steak in a Cooler it talks about cooking the steaks to a medium rare temperature of 52°C, Can anyone explain this discrepancy?

As this hasn't drawn a response from the MC team, I will hazard a guess. Which would be that they presume folks doing a tailgate party will instinctively give the meat more of a finish than they (the MC team) consider optimal. So, they undershot the sous vide temp to compensate. Notice the regular sous vide steak recipe (p.194) doesn't do this, but there they indicate a very specific finishing technique (deep frying at high temp for 30 seconds). As I said, that's a guess. If someone from the MC team shows up with a different explanation, I will cheerfully defer.

FWIW, I'm not a fan of sous vide steak. (Though I love sous vide in other applications, e.g., roasts). Just trying to answer the question.


Edited by pbear (log)

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Ozcook   

Pork Belly Adobo
I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water. :sad:


Edited by Ozcook (log)

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rob1234   

Pork Belly Adobo

I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water. :sad:

I had the same issue. Was wondering if my brand of soy sauce (Kikkoman I think) is saltier than others.

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I am about to make the Aroborio Rice with Caramelized Squash and Saffron on page 154 of KM. The amount of Parmesan Cheese seems like it will be way, way too much: 90 grams for 150 grams of rice. Anyone made this and can comment on the cheese? Thanks

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I missed that post of yours, thanks. We'll give a try with all the cheese.

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The rice was nice and cheesy. We didn't put quite all of the cheese in. We served it with the slow roast chicken. It was a free range 4 lb bird which was very juicy and tender but the skin was disappointing. Not evenly browned and not all the skin got crispy. I think next time I would spatchcock it for better skin. I microwaved eggplant and then brushed it with olive oil/herbs then grilled it. It is a great way to cook eggplant....3 minutes in the mircrowave. This time I peeled it because the skin tends to get very tough when mircrowaved.

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pep.   

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.

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fvandrog   

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.

If your fridge keeps 4 °C, or close to it, most of the time your beet root puree should still be fine. If your fridge is more than two degrees or more warmer for a significant amount of the time it might not hurt to be careful.

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pep.   

How long do the pressure-cooked vegetable purees keep? I've got some caramelized beet root puree sitting in the fridge since a bit more than a week. Still usable? It has been kept in a Lock & Lock box, not vacuum sealed. Normally I would have frozen it long ago, but unfortunately, I seem to have forgotten to this time.

If your fridge keeps 4 °C, or close to it, most of the time your beet root puree should still be fine. If your fridge is more than two degrees or more warmer for a significant amount of the time it might not hurt to be careful.

It has been in the coldest part of the fridge, so the temp should not have strayed to far from 4 °C, but I guess I'll just throw it out. It was a side product of a beet root sorbet I made, so I'm not too invested in it. Besides, while it tastes nice, it does not look so great. Apparently, the betalains are completely destroyed by the pressure cooking process.

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I have made espuma hollandaise (well, bearnaise actually), although not prepared sous vide. While good, I don't feel that using a siphon adds anything to the presentation of the sauce. I cook my hollandaise and bearnaise in a copper pot over direct heat.

The pictures of the procedure on page 107 show the sauce being added to what looks an awfully lot like a Thermo Whip, with instructions to use a water bath -- something iSi says not to do.

Tonight however I made my first real recipe from MC@H: peanut butter gelato (pp 370-371). I had set off to make pistachio gelato but was unable to find the ingredients locally. The result astounded me. Other than the salt being a little much, the gelato was perfect, and wow, did it taste like peanuts. I had three scoops. Then I compared it to a bowl of my twenty something percent butterfat custard vanilla ice cream. Texture, mouthfeel, and meltdown were remarkably similar. I had two more scoops.

Would the MC version of the recipe be any better?

MC@H is a beautiful book, but I have to say I am a little disappointed. I was hoping for something like On Food and Cooking, but with pretty pictures. I realize now that was not the intention of the book.

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.

I did a couple of experiments last night and you can definitely make the carrot soup in a saute pan using the quantities from MCaH. I cooked 340 grams of cored carrots with three variations: from MCaH; sauteed with butter and 2.5 grams soda; and butter only. Pretty dramatic results flavor wise in the first two versus the last. My wife thought the flavor was to strong with the butter and soda method but it was also more concentrated versus the MCaH. Check out the yield from the different methods.

After 20 minutes. Pressure cooked carrots on left. Carrots with baking soda at bottom

P1000594(1).JPG

Five more minutes with high heat for sauteed carrots.

P1000602(1).JPG

Pureed carrots with the addtion of 2.5 cups carrot juice

P1000607(1).JPG

Final product after straining.

P1000610(1).JPG

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pbear   

I did a similar experiment a couple months ago, except I used a countertop convection oven rather than a saute and didn't bother with the soda. IMHO, to make the comparison accurate, you have to add back the water lost by cooking conventionally. Doing that, I thought the conventionally-roasted version was slightly better than the pressure-cooked one, and a heck of a lot easier. It did take a little longer, though.

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bhsimon   

On the discussion of scales, and this is most likely the wrong topic, but I thought this might be helpful for those considering buying scales for cooking with Modernist Cuisine at Home. The biggest problem I've found with most scales is the auto-off ‘feature’. On many scales this cannot be disabled, and this can be a real problem when cooking. This seems to be even more of a problem with the cheaper low capacity precision scales, such as the 100 g / 0.01 g versions. They turn off very quickly, and some of them have a fixed off period, rather than turning off after a period of inactivity. Even if they do turn off after inactivity, the duration is often very low—too low. In my experience this can be very frustrating.

The best scales will allow you to turn this feature off. My preference is the Ohaus Scout Pro SP2101. There’s no doubt that it’s expensive, but as far as kitchen scales go, this is a good one. It satisfies the desire to have one scale which covers most kitchen needs. It’s ‘only’ accurate to 0.1 g, with a 2 kg limit, but this more than good enough for 99% of tasks.

One other thing to consider with scales is calibration. Heavy calibration masses are expensive. The 500 g ones are cheap, though, and four of them will do the job for a scale such as the SP2101. Scales with larger capacity may not have the tray space to support a bunch of 500 g masses, so you are forced to get the more expensive 1 kg or 2 kg masses.

I previously used two different scales in the kitchen. One was accurate to 1 g up to 3 kg, which turned off after 3 minutes of inactivity, which was okay. The other was one of those small, inexpensive 500 g / 0.01 g scales which turned off too quickly. I got quite tired of pulling out two different scales, especially when I needed to weigh lots of spices and other light ingredients in the middle of a recipe. This made me take the leap to research a suitable replacement, which is how I discovered the SP2101.

I hope this helps.

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Syzygies   

I really would like to have a pressure cooker again.

The Fissler Vitaquick Pressure Cooker, 8.5qt (top rated by Cooks Illustrated) is back in stock various places, such as Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00873AOIU). I ordered one; the last straw was dealing with the bones and trimmings from short ribs for a Daube Provencal, and picturing the quick stock I should be making in a pressure cooker. I've read elsewhere (here?) that buzz is only increasing for pressure cookers in general, and Fissler in particular, so stock may be erratic for some time to come.

MC@home got to me, but also Heston Blumenthal at Home (http://www.amazon.com/Heston-Blumenthal-at-Home/dp/1608197018). Eight pages of pressure cooker stocks, with a confident authority and calm to the layout and typography, these recipes enough reason alone to master this tool.

In comparison, I was having the strongest sense of deja vu reading MC@Home. I simply couldn't place it. It wasn't early Wired magazine. A new kind of cookbook? Then I realized, I have all these home repair tomes from Home Depot and similar sources, a category where I really need the help, and the layout and presentation is spot on identical to MC@Home. Not that that's a bad thing (I love these books) but that's a comparison one can't unsee.

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Ttogull   

I have been working quite a bit with the "Fat Free" Mac and cheese. Does anyone know how fat free it really is? I know the cheese water does not become solid after refrigeration.

I want to make the more famous version, but this one is so good that, when I want Mac and cheese, I gotta have the FF version..

Tonight I made a Parmesan version and discovered a really nice new fold-in for the mouthfeel: puréed flageolet beans. I'll have to try it again, but I might prefer that to the cauliflower in the original recipe. The beans are richer, earthier, while the cauliflower somehow seems brighter. Tough to explain. But It's amazing how the bean or cauliflower taste simply vanishes in the final dish.

I've even used the general idea of the FF method (with cauliflower and cheese water) to remake tuna casserole. It was better than the original, but I need to make some adjustments.

Has anybody done other fold-ins? I guess the cauliflower one is well-known because I hav found similar applications in several other books.

The only other post I found on this mentions that he cheese crumbles made from the leftover fat solids had no taste. I have done this now a dozen or so times, and I have found the same except for one type of cheese: sharp cheddar. The others are just bland. Tried he Parmesan today, and nada. The sharp cheddar crumbles by themselves don't taste all that great ( little bitter) but on top of the Mac and cheese they taste great and have a nice texture clash. The sharp cheddar crumbles are also great on eggs, guacamole, beans, and probably a lot more.

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Corymoto   

Regarding the FF Mac & Cheese fat content, I can't actually quantify it, but I bet it's pretty low... Both of the times that I've made the cheese water, I have refrigerated it overnight and was left with a solid-ish removable layer of cheese fat/oil on top.

Which, by the way, after you cook off whatever trace amount of water was present, behaves just like any other oil. I slow-cooked some 'torn croutons' (a riff on the technique in Ad Hoc at Home) in the aged cheddar oil and they were fan-friggin-tastic. I'm sure there are other uses as well.

I agree that the flavor (or lack thereof) for the crumbles is pretty cheese-dependent. The aged cheddar crumbles that I made were good. Gruyère crumbles weren't that tasty.

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Pork Belly Adobo

I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water. :sad:

I had the same issue. Was wondering if my brand of soy sauce (Kikkoman I think) is saltier than others.

We use Higashimaru-brand soy sauce.

Hope that helps!

Sam

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I have been working quite a bit with the "Fat Free" Mac and cheese. Does anyone know how fat free it really is? I know the cheese water does not become solid after refrigeration.

I want to make the more famous version, but this one is so good that, when I want Mac and cheese, I gotta have the FF version..

Tonight I made a Parmesan version and discovered a really nice new fold-in for the mouthfeel: puréed flageolet beans. I'll have to try it again, but I might prefer that to the cauliflower in the original recipe. The beans are richer, earthier, while the cauliflower somehow seems brighter. Tough to explain. But It's amazing how the bean or cauliflower taste simply vanishes in the final dish.

I've even used the general idea of the FF method (with cauliflower and cheese water) to remake tuna casserole. It was better than the original, but I need to make some adjustments.

Has anybody done other fold-ins? I guess the cauliflower one is well-known because I hav found similar applications in several other books.

The only other post I found on this mentions that he cheese crumbles made from the leftover fat solids had no taste. I have done this now a dozen or so times, and I have found the same except for one type of cheese: sharp cheddar. The others are just bland. Tried he Parmesan today, and nada. The sharp cheddar crumbles by themselves don't taste all that great ( little bitter) but on top of the Mac and cheese they taste great and have a nice texture clash. The sharp cheddar crumbles are also great on eggs, guacamole, beans, and probably a lot more.

Hi Ttogull,

I asked Anjana Shanker, the Research and Development Chef who worked on this recipe what she thought, and here's what she said:

"In my opinion, it is fat free. We make the cheese water and skim off the fat. We also use cauliflower water to cook the pasta."

Does that answer your question?

Judy

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rob1234   

Pork Belly Adobo

I tried this recipe last night. Unfortunately I found it unbearably salty so I had to throw it out. I measured everything to the gram. If I make it again I will halve the soy and fish sauce and substitute water. :sad:

I had the same issue. Was wondering if my brand of soy sauce (Kikkoman I think) is saltier than others.

We use Higashimaru-brand soy sauce.

Hope that helps!

Sam

Thanks. According to the nutritional info for Higashimaru (from amazon uk product pictures) it has even more sodium than kikkoman per serving.

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Ttogull   

Hi Ttogull,

I asked Anjana Shanker, the Research and Development Chef who worked on this recipe what she thought, and here's what she said:

"In my opinion, it is fat free. We make the cheese water and skim off the fat. We also use cauliflower water to cook the pasta."

Does that answer your question?

Judy

Yes, thank you. Although it is so good, it's hard to believe!

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