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Twyst

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 4)

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[Moderator note: The original Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)]


I made the BBQ spareribs and Kansas City sauce again and we all already know how awesome these things are, so I'll skip that part.
Well, I was in the "didnt know" camp as I have sadly not cooked as many recipes as I would have liked from the book. After reading your post and seeing your pics I decided to give it a whirl and was definitely not disappointed, it was as good as any BBQ Ive ever had (and I live in central texas now, we have pretty good bbq here)


Embarrassingly I think the only things Ive really cooked from the book are the mac and cheese, the carrot soup, the pastrami, and now the bbq ribs. Any other insanely popular recipes that I have missed and need to make since I have a few days off?
Edited by Mjx Moderator note added. (log)
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Embarrassingly I think the only things Ive really cooked from the book are the mac and cheese, the carrot soup, the pastrami, and now the bbq ribs. Any other insanely popular recipes that I have missed and need to make since I have a few days off?

I don't know if it was "insanely popular" but I had superb results with that short rib dish in V5, the one with the tamarind glaze and the crispy beef salad garnish. If it's not insanely popular, it should be.

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Embarrassingly I think the only things Ive really cooked from the book are the mac and cheese, the carrot soup, the pastrami, and now the bbq ribs. Any other insanely popular recipes that I have missed and need to make since I have a few days off?

I don't know if it was "insanely popular" but I had superb results with that short rib dish in V5, the one with the tamarind glaze and the crispy beef salad garnish. If it's not insanely popular, it should be.

I would have to agree here. I've cooked probably nearly a third of the plated dishes in book 5. My favorites were the braised Short Ribs (5-42) as mentioned and the Sunday Pork Belly (5-101). The Guinea Hen Tagine (5-135) and Osso Bucco Milanese (5-60) would be close runner ups.

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Thanks Chris and Baselerd! Ive got some pastrami circulating right now, but it looks like I know what Ill work on next weekend! Ill also take a look at the tagine, pork belly, and osso bucco really soon!

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OK, so regarding the famous caramelized carrot soup...

Attempt #1 was a while ago when I got the book. At the time the errata and various tips were not yet available so I ended up with burnt carrots at the bottom of my pressure cooker. I diligently separated the burnt bits from the rest of the soup but the burnt/bitter taste had contaminated everything, and it was not edible.

Attempt #2 was two days ago. I got so much carrots in my CSA recently that I decided to experiment again. I followed the updated instructions, with the butter pre-melted and the cooking time reduced to 25 min. My pressure cooker is the aluminum - venting kind (an antique "SEB") if that makes a difference. After about 20 min the smell mutated from caramelized carrots to burnt caramel and I knew I was in trouble. I opened the lid and sure enough, I got burnt carrots again. A very thick layer of charcoal...

8107388828_6af453128d_z.jpg

Not willing to give up, I proceeded with attempt #3 right away (after scrubbing the pot!). This time I reduced the cooking time to 12 minutes. I did not have carrot juice so I just used water to dilute the soup at the end. Some super-fresh grated ginger (also from my CSA) and fresh thyme for the garnish (next time I will add a slice of duck prosciutto too). Very nice.

8107553012_8af4fc0145_z.jpg

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Are you giving the pressure cooker the occasional shake while the carrots are cooking? How high is your heat when you are at pressure?

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I wonder why you have been having such difficulty with the carrot soup. There should be enough moisture in the cooker to prevent burning.

I always like to heat the pressure cooker with no lid first just to melt the butter before adding all the ingredients. From my experience it doesn't hurt to give the pressure cooker a gentle shake every once in a while as well.

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Are you giving the pressure cooker the occasional shake while the carrots are cooking? How high is your heat when you are at pressure?

Chris - no occasional shake and I kept the heat fairly high the whole time (so the rotating valve would keep turning slowly). I think the biggest problem was the cooking time because once reduced from 20 to 12 minutes, the recipe worked for me!


Edited by FrogPrincesse (log)

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I wonder why you have been having such difficulty with the carrot soup. There should be enough moisture in the cooker to prevent burning.

I always like to heat the pressure cooker with no lid first just to melt the butter before adding all the ingredients. From my experience it doesn't hurt to give the pressure cooker a gentle shake every once in a while as well.

The carrots don't seem to give out much moisture, if any, and the water from the butter seems to evaporate rather quickly. I did heat the PC without the lid to melt the butter and coat the carrots.

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Thanks for your experience, FP

I have both the "Tomes" and MC@H is there a way to find the errata on-line?

I plan to get CSA carrots ( 'get the best you can' ) this sat for this. as the helpful hint from ChrisH re buy the carrot juice.

although I did go to Whole Paycheck to get some Fish Sauce and was reminded why I never go there.

maybe a 'Juice Bar' in the Mall?

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OK, so regarding the famous caramelized carrot soup...

Attempt #1 was a while ago when I got the book. At the time the errata and various tips were not yet available so I ended up with burnt carrots at the bottom of my pressure cooker. I diligently separated the burnt bits from the rest of the soup but the burnt/bitter taste had contaminated everything, and it was not edible.

Attempt #2 was two days ago. I got so much carrots in my CSA recently that I decided to experiment again. I followed the updated instructions, with the butter pre-melted and the cooking time reduced to 25 min. My pressure cooker is the aluminum - venting kind (an antique "SEB") if that makes a difference. After about 20 min the smell mutated from caramelized carrots to burnt caramel and I knew I was in trouble. I opened the lid and sure enough, I got burnt carrots again. A very thick layer of charcoal...

I think that might be the original problem. (Venting pressure cooker) Glad you finally got a good result.

I can use the original recipe and go over an hour without burning.

Larry


Edited by LoftyNotions (log)

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Thanks for your experience, FP

I have both the "Tomes" and MC@H is there a way to find the errata on-line?

I plan to get CSA carrots ( 'get the best you can' ) this sat for this. as the helpful hint from ChrisH re buy the carrot juice.

although I did go to Whole Paycheck to get some Fish Sauce and was reminded why I never go there.

maybe a 'Juice Bar' in the Mall?

You can get the MC errata from this page. You can get it as a pdf. http://modernistcuisine.com/2011/04/to-err-is-human/

HTH,

Larry

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maybe a 'Juice Bar' in the Mall?

If you are looking for carrot juice almost every grocery store has it in my experience, not just the big ones. Look in the section where all the odwalla smoothies/health drinks are and you should find it at your neighborhood grocery.
Edited by Twyst (log)
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Does anyone know where you can find the errata for the 2nd print run onwards. I have the 2nd print run copy so i only need the errata for that point onwards. Is there a list anywhere by print run?

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Hi all -- I'd like to make the carrot soup, but the amount of butter in it is a turn off to me. Do you think I could cut down on the butter and add a tablespoon or two of water to the pot?

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Hi all -- I'd like to make the carrot soup, but the amount of butter in it is a turn off to me. Do you think I could cut down on the butter and add a tablespoon or two of water to the pot?

I do it all the time, even without adding water. I probably use less than half the butter they recommend, i have no problem with butter, just found the taste too rich and cut it down. I use a non venting pressure cooker.

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I decided to do a head-to-head comparison of microwave steamed vs. sous vide sea bass using the reccomended cook times in the book. Both of the filets were cooked with a bit of yuzu-soy-ginger-green onion sauce in the cooking vessel. Both of us preferred the sous vide sea bass (115 F for ~35 minutes), but the steamed was still very delicious. The sous vide variant had a texture somewhere between raw and steamed.

326707_10102480587115410_1360692680_o.jpg


Edited by Baselerd (log)

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Here's the Alinea-inspired bacon chips with apple leather, thyme, and butterscotch. Slightly tweaked it by adding some fresh apples and accidentally turning one of my apple leather batches into apple crisps.

621327_10102515711131600_789290070_o.jpg

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Those of you that have made any of the BBQ from the book, did you brine any or all of the protein? Which brine did you use?

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Interesting MC looking Japanese strawberry confection. http://m.dump.com/strawberrydessert/. Anyone have the knowledge to deconstruct the process?

I'm pretty sure for the husk (the least interesting part) they just blanched it (preserve color), dredged in strawberry liquor (for adhesion), sprinkled with isomalt/sugar, and dehydrated. The MC has a similar recipe for crystallized rose petals using egg whites and gum arabic instead of strawberry liquor.

That powder filled ball is pretty awesome though. I'll leave that to the professionals to guess at...

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I've looked at the video and been able to work out most of the processes. Measures, etc are a different matter. You'd need to consult similar process recipes to get these.

There seem to be six different processes involved:

1. Creating a dense sugared strawberry sauce.

2. Candying the strawberry leaves

3. Creating a strawberry snow

4. Creating a toffee strawberry

5. Creating a strawberry snow

6. Creating macerated strawberries in sugar syrup

Let's go through it piece by piece.

Create dense strawberry coulis

Remove stem from strawberries by cutting laterally. Remove strawberry bits, keeping only intact green leaf stem. Set aside, these will be used for the candied leaves.

Section strawberries.

Add sugar.

Leave aside for two hours to allow syrup to form.

Boil until the strawberries are broken down.

Store for use to attach stem to candy strawberry.

Candying the strawberry leaves

Boil sugar syrup (I think from the way it boiled that it is syrup rather than water). Blanch stems in syrup and drain.

Put a small amount of strawberry liquor (Crème a la Fraise des Bois) into a small bowl.

Dunk in liquor and place on kitchen paper to drain.

Top liberally with icing sugar.

Place in dehydrator and leave to candy for six hours.

Creating the Strawberry Snow (note, this could be relatively easily done with a Pacojet but this method seems to create a similar result)

Slice hulled strawberries in vacuum bag and add sugar.

Vacuum seal and cook sous vide at 80C for 10 minutes.

Place in ice bath to cool.

Then place in Thermomix. Add cream, condensed milk, and hydrated leaf gelatin. Cook at 80C speed 3 until well mixed and gelatin is melted through.

Strain through fine sieve into glass bowl sitting on ice. Strain mixture again into 500ml cream siphon. Charge with 1 nitrogen bulb. Sit in ice.

Add liquid nitrogen to open container. Spray foam into liquid nitrogen (be very careful on this step so the liquid nitrogen doesn't blow out). Agitate such that no large lumps of mixture are formed.

Place into food mill (Bamix wet/dry attachment). Process until it is fine snow. It looks like crushed cornflakes are added at this time but it could be another type of sweet crumb (my gut says malted crumbs).

Creating a Toffee Strawberry

(I've seen a demonstration by Jordi Roca of this: it's a bit like blowing glass).

You'll need to use a toffee recipe for this, he chef pulls it like taffy so I'd be looking at a recipe that creates this type of texture.

Create a strawberry mix with dehydrated strawberry, cream of tartar and water.

Measure out the sugar, add the strawberry mix, heat.

When the taffy mix reaches 164C, remove from heat.

Place on silpat in raised square mold.

Sprinkle with yellow seeds (not sure what these are but they approximate the seeds on the outside of the strawberry.

Remove taffy from silpat and work until it is a rope approximately 2.5cm thick.

Cut into 3cm lengths. These can be set aside before embarking on the next step.

Heat four of the pieces under a heat lamp until the taffy becomes workable.

Remove small piece and form into a half bulb shape.

Place this on the end of a copper tube (the other end has a hand operated rubber bulb attached to provide the air for blowing the toffee. Operate bulb with one hand and create strawberry shape with the other. Let it solidify. Heat the copper tube with a blowtorch near the stem end of the strawberry until you can remove the candy strawberry shell.

Next heat a metal wire circle with the blowtorch (this is a tool with a handle with a wire coming out of it that has a wire circle at the end). When red hot, slice off the extra stem to create the strawberry shell, which has a hole in the top.

To Complete

Fill the shell with the strawberry snow.

Place a small amount of the coulis on the exposed snow. Place the candied leaves on top of the strawberry to create the strawberry.

To Serve

Place the complete strawberry in front of the diner. Provide fresh chopped strawberries in syrup that can be eaten with the broken toffee strawberry.

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