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Erik Shear

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

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Made the Carnitas last night,

Made the pork stock, Achiote paste (garlic confit), whole shoulder of pork.

Was delicious!!

IMG_1633.JPG


Patrick Provencal

Montreal, Canada

Cooking from the Heart

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It's been a while since I've cooked from MC@H, but with dinner tonight I decided to make the @H version of the potato purée, in particular the one where you infuse the skins in cream. I made a number of modifications to the recipe: I used red-skinned potatoes of some kind rather than Yukon Gold, I cut the amount of butter in half, and I infused the cream sous vide at the same time I was retrograding the potatoes rather than doing it in a separate step. The result was fantastic: still rich, though not quite as in-your-face as the full-butter version, and with a really terrific potato flavor.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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What size pressure cookers are people find most useful for making stocks? For conventional stocks I've started with a 22qt pot and gotten a yield of around 6 quarts. What cooker would make sense for a yield of 5 or 6 quarts?


Notes from the underbelly

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You shouldn't fill a pressure cooker more than half full with liquid, so you're going to get into pressure canner territory if you want to make that much stock at once. Unless you plan on getting into canning, I'd advise against investing in such a large unit. It'd be much better to just get a 10 or 12 quart pressure cooker and just make two batches of stock. It'll still be much faster than using a stock pot and you'll have a stock with a lot more body and flavor to boot!

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I don't recommend using a pressure canner for making stock at all, at least not an aluminum one. I don't care for the taste of things actually cooked directly in the canner, and my one experiment with making stock directly in it resulted in my throwing out the entire batch.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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In a pressure cooker you really only need to just cover the bones and stuff with water.....it'll make a concentrated stock that you can dilute if you wish.

The stainless steel pressure cookers that I have (I don't cook directly in my aluminum canners) can be filled 2/3 full as long as it's something that won't foam-up.

I have 3-liter, 5-liter and 10-liter. 

Something else I've done is put a large stainless steel container surrounded by water in my 22-quart canner for large batches of stock.


~Martin :)

"Unsupervised, rebellious, radical agrarian experimenter, minimalist penny-pincher, self-reliant homesteader, and adventurous cook. Crotchety, cantankerous, terse, curmudgeon, non-conformist, and contrarian who questions everything!"

The best thing about a vegetable garden is all the meat you can hunt and trap out of it! 

 

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I don't recommend using a pressure canner for making stock at all, at least not an aluminum one. I don't care for the taste of things actually cooked directly in the canner, and my one experiment with making stock directly in it resulted in my throwing out the entire batch.

Interesting, I haven't had any issues like that at all and regularly use my aluminum WAFCO pressure canner to make stock.  I wouldn't think a stock would have enough acidity to make reactivity much of an issue.  I'm pretty sensitive to metallic flavors, too.


--

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Who knows?  Could be made of a different kind of aluminum alloy.  Different surface treatment.  Something else.


--

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Did anyone have trouble with the Korean-style chicken wings? I found that the marinade had way too much oil in it for the batter to properly form after the addition of the dry goods.

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Did anyone have trouble with the Korean-style chicken wings? I found that the marinade had way too much oil in it for the batter to properly form after the addition of the dry goods.

 

HowardLi,

 

When you add the starch to the marinade to make the batter, the wings and the mixture need to be mixed until the batter is fully emulsified.  If there are still visible spots of oil in the batter, then it is not mixed enough.  Once the batter is emulsified, it should stick to the wings better, and be ready for frying.

 

Johnny


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

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Did anyone have trouble with the Korean-style chicken wings? I found that the marinade had way too much oil in it for the batter to properly form after the addition of the dry goods.

I posted about them over in the "Cooking with Modernist Cuisine at Home" discussion: they turned out very well.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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HowardLi,

When you add the starch to the marinade to make the batter, the wings and the mixture need to be mixed until the batter is fully emulsified. If there are still visible spots of oil in the batter, then it is not mixed enough. Once the batter is emulsified, it should stick to the wings better, and be ready for frying.

Johnny

Johnny,

Thanks, that makes sense. But if such mixing is critical to the success of the recipe, and it appears to be so, shouldn't the marinade then be drained (and added back later) so that the emulsification be done more readily?

Two more questions: what is the emulsifying agent, and what purpose does the oil in the marinade serve?


Edited by HowardLi (log)

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Johnny,

Thanks, that makes sense. But if such mixing is critical to the success of the recipe, and it appears to be so, shouldn't the marinade then be drained (and added back later) so that the emulsification be done more readily?

Two more questions: what is the emulsifying agent, and what purpose does the oil in the marinade serve?

 

HowardLi,

 

If it were particularly hard to get the batter emulsified, then yes you could slowly add the marinade back like emulsifying a mayonnaise.  But, it's not.  One minute of rigorous mixing is sufficient. 

 

There is no emulsifying agent.  The emulsification is mechanical.  The starch will help hold the emulsion long enough to fry, but if you let the wings sit in the batter long enough, the batter will break.

 

The oil in the marinade is first and foremost for flavor.  As you have read it is peanut oil.  But, secondly it assists with the technique of "Velveting", whereby we try to insulate the meat from the high temperature oil while we cook it.  We have simply found that the meat is more tender when we do it this way.

 

Now, that is not to say that you couldn't reduce the amount of oil, or eliminate it completely.  It may very well work to your liking with that adjustment.  I would, however, hold back a bit of the salt or soy if you do so, as the wings might over-marinate in the saltier solution (with oil removed) and become cured or "hammy". 

 

Hope that helps.

 

Johnny


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

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I made the hamburger patty today after getting my meat grinder delivered. Just the patty, and I didn't follow the recipe closely, but some observations, from most to least noticeable.

 

- Using meats like short rib and chuck (the two I used today) produce a burger with so much more taste than what you normally get in store bought ground beef, it's almost a different food entirely. In fact, eating the test run without bread, cheese, veggies, ketchup or mustard was easier than I thought, The patty had enough flavor to be a course on its own, but had enough flavor to avoid getting lost when I dumped jalepenos, cheese, and A-1 sauce on it.

- Deep frying meat for the maillard effect is amazing. I already knew this from trying it with steaks, but the much rougher surface of a ground patty provides for a more stunning visual effect. Cutting into the burger and seeing the deep red medium rare contrast with the crusty brown of the outside is unexpected for a quick homemade first attempt.

- Getting the myosin out with salt is a very cool trick, and it allows for a much "looser" burger without having the patty fall apart.

- A-1 sauce is a damn good burger topping.

 

I'm excited to try different combinations of meat. I'm guessing the meat loaf is going to be pretty tasty too. Definitely alleviated any doubts I had about getting the grinder in the first place.

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I made the Pork Bello Adobo for dinner last night, and as others have already noted, it's terrific (albeit very rich). For lunch today I served it again with rice and sautéed cabbage, which I thought worked very well as a contrast with the texture of the pork belly, as well as cutting down the richness a bit.

 

Pork Belly Adobo.jpg

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I made the refried bean foam. The taste and texture of the beans is great, and once again the pressure cooker proves its worth. But the foaming step in the whipping siphon is a bit unruly. In a 1-liter siphon there is a huge amount of waste (probably 50-75% wasted) from the puree sticking to the sides of the siphon. I doubled the recipe and you can get a good bit more out, but there is still a ton of waste. 

 

I've found that adding the cream in the blender and running it on high for a few minutes does a good job of lightening the beans, though not as well as the siphon. But there is no waste.

 

I like it for a simple and great refried bean recipe. The whipping step doesn't add enough to the dish to justify the amount wasted in the siphon IMO.

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I have enjoyed the book immensely, but I have been running into some issues with the recipes that call for baking soda to enhance the Maillard Reaction (I have tried the pressure cooker carrot soup, some of its variants, and the pressure cooker caramelized onions). Specifically, I am getting an off-flavor at the tail end.

 

I am weighing all my ingredients, including using a scale with .1 gram resolution for the baking soda (Arm and Hammer - recently opened and from a shaker container stored in cool place). And yet, I am still encountering the off-flavor. Has anyone else experienced this? Are there any tricks for getting rid of this?

 

Thanks for any input.

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Bomba Rice with Chorizo and Broccoli Gruyere puree

 

So I've made this one three times now. The first time I had problems similar to those described by Chris H in this post, though mine was still green rather than brown, it was still way, way too oily. 

 

So I changed things up the next two times, and this is what I came up with:

 

Cut up some chorizo into slices and toss in the base of the pressure cooker on medium to extract the oil. I used about 30 grams. Not looking for a lot. get as much oil out without scorching, then discard the chorizo slices.

 

Cut up however much chorizo you want in the dish into triangles (thin slices, then quartered). I used the chorizo as a garnish, similar to the picture in the book. Add to the oil in the pressure cooker from the earlier chorizo and cook until tender. A few minutes. Too long and they will start to crisp, which you may like. Remove and set aside, keeping as much of the oil in the pressure cooker as you can. 

 

Add 25g of neutral oil from recipe (instead of 40) and saute the shallots. 

 

Add the rice (not the chorizo), cook for a minute, then add the liquid and pressure cook for 7 minutes.

 

Depressurize and stir in the puree. I use a bit less than the 150g called for, but you should just do it to taste. 125g seems to work for me.

 

Add EVOO to taste. The books calls for 90g. This is ludicrous. I used about 25, but you may want more or less. Do not add all at once, as it will stop incorporating at a certain point, and make an oily gross mess. You can also add more grated gruyere to taste at this point.

 

Now, depending on the chorizo, you may have lost the bright green color. It will still be mostly green, but it may be a darker, less appealing green. I had a bunch of liquid food coloring sitting around, so I dumped some green in and presto, color restored. Cheating? Maybe. If you don't want to do this, skip the oil extraction steps and use only the neutral oil to cook the shallots and rice, but you'll lose some of he flavor. 

 

Season to taste. Garnish with the chorizo triangles and fried garlic per the recipe. 

 

 

I thought it was a lot better this way. I'm not crazy about broccoli, but this was good once the chorizo and garlic were added. I served it with a pan seared scallop. It all went together well.

 

Sorry for the fuzzy pic. 

Rice.jpg


Edited by lordratner (log)

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Guest Caren Palevitz

Hi All- We're so sorry to hear about all of the trouble that people have encountered with this recipe. This kind of feedback is really valuable to our team. We'll absolutely take a look at the original to see what might be going on and what adjustments should be made. Thank you for all of the work, lordratner. 

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I've made several MC@H recipes, virtually all with great results (the Korean chicken wings are a huge favorite with friends and family).  This past weekend, I tried the Pork Belly Adobo using the Sous Vide variation.  As described in the recipe, this resulted in very juicy pork with great texture.  I have not had adobo before and unfortunately found the vinegar element of the sauce to be overpowering.  I'm interested to understand if this is a normal flavor profile for adobo, or if the sous vide method had an impact that the pressure cooker approach would not.  


Franklin G.

"Life itself is the proper binge!"

- Julia Child

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The problem you might find with that one is that the upper 20g limit can be a problem for tare on the holding vessel. Even a very small metal bowl tends to weigh 30-40g. Sure you can use the little plastic ones, but for stuff like (say) liquid soy lecithin, they become disposable since that suff is too hard to get off of plastic. I like to pour in some fat (from the recipe) to help it from sticking. I think a 100g limit makes it much more useful.

 

I simply cut a piece of aluminium foil to use as a container where I pour whatever solid I am measuring. Granted,

it would not work for liquids.

 

--dmg

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Is there a problem with the pork belly brine in the pork belly BLT recipe? The brine is made up of 1 L water,  70 g salt, 30 g sugar, and 30 g insta cure #1. I don't have a lot of experience with insta cure, but that amount is way more than other recipes that I've seen call for.

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It's been a while since I've cooked from MC@H, but with dinner tonight I decided to make the @H version of the potato purée, in particular the one where you infuse the skins in cream. I made a number of modifications to the recipe: I used red-skinned potatoes of some kind rather than Yukon Gold, I cut the amount of butter in half, and I infused the cream sous vide at the same time I was retrograding the potatoes rather than doing it in a separate step. The result was fantastic: still rich, though not quite as in-your-face as the full-butter version, and with a really terrific potato flavor.

 

Have any of you had problems with the texture of the purée being almost grainy? I haven't been sending it though a tamis because I don't have one but I find it to have a grainy mouthfeel. It's probably because I'm skipping that step but thought I would bounce it off all of you.

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