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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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Has anyone else had good results heat treating fruits?

I've been doing this with berries and stone fruits since McGee wrote about it in the NY Times a couple years ago. While it's always seemed to work great, I was never industrious enough to do a side-by-side comparison. Thanks for that!

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I just did some blueberries....but i've been keeping htem in the fridge

I've always heard you should never put strawberries (or tomatoes for that matter) in the fridge. I don't recall reading anything in MC on the topic...perhaps its time for another experiment!

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Did the heat treatment make any difference in taste\texture?

I let them both go to the moldy stage, so I didn't feel very motivated to do a taste test! Right out of the 60C/15sec soak I couldn't tell any difference visually. I had expected the leaves to wilt or something, but it looked no different from the strawberry straight from the package. Next time I'll treat a few more and do some taste tests before they get moldy.

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I've made a couple dozen batches of bacon in my life, using a number of different recipes: so far, this is the best I've ever made, by a healthy margin. I followed the recipe to the letter, except that I had to have the belly cut into smaller chunks so they would fit in the Foodsaver bags. I did include both the Fermento and the Sodium Erythorbate.

The cure is actually pretty lightly-flavored compared to some others I've tried: mostly salt...

Bacon 1 - Cure.jpg

The pork belly is bone-in, skin on:

Bacon 2 - Pork.jpg

To seal up those sharp bone edges I used paper towel to pad the area:

Bacon 3 - Sealed.jpg

That cures for a week, and comes out looking like this (after rinse):

Bacon 4 - Cured.jpg

The next step is a new one, at least for me: it dry-ages in the fridge for another week, coming out looking like this:

Bacon 5 - Dried.jpg

Next it's hot-smoked (I used applewood) for seven hours:

Bacon 6 - Smoked.jpg

Rested overnight and then sliced:

Bacon 7 - Sliced.jpg

Cutting off the skin and ribs leaves a lot of trim: a bunch of this is in with some beans as I type....

Bacon 8 - Trim.jpg

Finally, cooked up:

Bacon 9 - Cooked.jpg

The salt level and flavor balance is superb: here is a bacon that actually still tastes like pork, with the other seasonings there to complement that flavor, not cover it up. It has a nice long, tangy finish that I'm guessing is due to the Fermento (though I can't swear to it: someone who has made some without should try with and see if they can make out the difference).

My one complaint is with regard to using bone-in belly: when using a Foodsaver that's quite the headache. MC team, what's the reason for leaving the bones in?

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I must say your bacon is the best Ive ever seen. My MC will be here soon and this is the first thing Im going to try.

I can get great pork belly in Chinatown.

they might leave the bone on as many think bone on always tastes better.

if you had a hardware very coarse file you could smooth out the sharp points on the bones so they would not cut the palstic. or cut some double layer plastic and cover the sharp points beforehand

fine bacon lucky you!

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Chris that looks great! I am in the process of sourcing some belly worthy of the MC recipe - although it is unlikely I will find bone on. I have everything else I need, but the sodium erythorbate, which if I understand correctly encourages the curing salts to work more quickly. Does anyone know if the sodium erythorbate changes the final product? I haven't been able to find any.

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Chris that looks great! I am in the process of sourcing some belly worthy of the MC recipe - although it is unlikely I will find bone on. I have everything else I need, but the sodium erythorbate, which if I understand correctly encourages the curing salts to work more quickly. Does anyone know if the sodium erythorbate changes the final product? I haven't been able to find any.

SE speeds the break down of the nitrites into nitric oxide...it helps speed the cure, not really the salt absorption as far as a i know. It's probably a good thing to put in bacon that is going to be fried to avoid the formation of nitrosamines.

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Oh good god. I figured out why they wanted bone in ribs, and it has nothing to do with bacon at all. For lunch I just steamed those off-cut rib sections and ate them like BBQ ribs. Holy shit. Bone in belly it is.

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I have two very nice pork bellies in my freezer, no bone. I was so happy to get them (damn hard to get here), but now I am sad at the lack of a bone.

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You can get it at Nuts Online, who will sell you "one yummy pound" of the stuff...

Of course, it has to be a pound. I wish we could find some of this stuff in smaller quantities! 4kg of belly only needs a few grams of sodium erythorbate. 50-100 grams would last me forever.

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Sure, but a pound is like five dollars. I was happy to see they didn't have a minimum order.

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Sure, but a pound is like five dollars. I was happy to see they didn't have a minimum order.

In this case it is, although shipping more than doubles the price. It does get frustrating with other ingredients like gellan gums can only be found in larger quantities costing about $50+ per pound when 50-100 grams is sufficient for most home use. Maybe I'm just grumbling because I have no more room in the pantry :laugh:. But I do hope some of these ingredients do become more accessible as modernist cuisine and techniques become more popular.

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Butcher Packer also sells the sodium erythorbate along with Bacto-ferm and insta cure 1&2. Not sure why they dont have fermento. Chris, do you know if there is a generic for the Fermento they might have? Otherwise I'm looking at Sausagemaker for that.

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I'll echo the bacon results. Mine came out amazing as well.

I smoked it in the bradley doing 4 hours of maple and 3 hours of the oak from Jim Beam whiskey barrels (you can get that on amazon). Mine was really smokey but people have loved it. It might be a little strong flavored for having with eggs in the morning but will simple crush a BLT (or BLTA) or on a burger with some bbq sauce. I did 25 pounds and already have given more than 1/2 that away or cooked it.

Is everyone buying their belly local or is there a good online source? My belly wasn't ideal, it had some pretty thin spots so there are 3-4 slabs (out of 14) that I couldn't slice so I'm just saving for lardons.

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about those Bacon Bones:

Id like more info on the cut you used. it certainly looked like reg. bacon sliced. I though bacon came from the belly ie Pork Belly as in Futures.

based on the curve of the bones its some sort of outer meat from the rib cage?

Im dying for a taste!

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I made the pasta with 1% Xanthan gum, and i can't say i was overly impressed.

The dough is dry-ish but letting it sit 30 minutes to hydrate after mixing in the egg and dry stuff yielded a nice supple dough. The difficulty came with the rolling. The xanthan leaves the dough very "slick and smooth" and it does not stick to itself very much. This means that even at the widest setting of ym pasta machine the rollers were not able to grip it to pull it through. I had to flatten it so that it was just a little thicker than the roller width.

Folding in 1/2 and rerolling to develop gluten and smooth the dough was nearly impossible and led to tears, which were unpatchable because once torn the dough didn't stick to itself.

The ability to leave them dough in piles without excess flour was nice, but certainly not worth the aggravation of it taking 30+ minutes to roll out enough pasta for 3 using an electric roller! I also lost a good 30% of my dough b/c once it was torn or mis-shapen, as i said, folding to fix or reshape , then rerolling did not give good results.

Texture was nice, but not THAT different from a well worked dough without xanthan.

Anyone have better results than i did?

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"Pork belly" is most of the underside of the pig separated from the leg, loin and shoulder, consisting more or less of the bottom half of the ribcage going back. Another, more old-fashioned name for this would be "side meat." When you take the bones out of the pork belly, you have "spare ribs." The belly further towards the back/navel area doesn't have bones.

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Anyone have better results than i did?

Yes, but I added more water than the recipe called for to make the dough a bit more elastic. Then it rolls like normal pasta dough.

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Anyone have better results than i did?

Yes, but I added more water than the recipe called for to make the dough a bit more elastic. Then it rolls like normal pasta dough.

Thanks, i'll try that then. Did it still remain stickproof? Could you fold and fix tears? If so did it still remain stick proof when in bundles?

I was thinking of just using a normal 1egg:100g flour ratio including the whites and adding the xanthan and trying that...

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Anyone have better results than i did?

Yes, but I added more water than the recipe called for to make the dough a bit more elastic. Then it rolls like normal pasta dough.

Thanks, i'll try that then. Did it still remain stickproof? Could you fold and fix tears? If so did it still remain stick proof when in bundles?

Yes to all that, I think. I didn't have any tears, but it folded and rolled fine. I unfortunately didn't track how much additional water I added, but the end result behaved as normal pasta dough, except in the end it didn't stick to itself, and it had a slightly different (and I think better) texture when cooked.

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Anyone have better results than i did?

Yes, but I added more water than the recipe called for to make the dough a bit more elastic. Then it rolls like normal pasta dough.

Thanks, i'll try that then. Did it still remain stickproof? Could you fold and fix tears? If so did it still remain stick proof when in bundles?

Yes to all that, I think. I didn't have any tears, but it folded and rolled fine. I unfortunately didn't track how much additional water I added, but the end result behaved as normal pasta dough, except in the end it didn't stick to itself, and it had a slightly different (and I think better) texture when cooked.

Ok thanks. I might leave out the oil next time too...

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I'm working on Infusing Flavor into a Liquid and have a question. I'm making Prosciutto water to use instead of regular plain old water in my pizza dough hoping that there will be a nice subtle prosciutto-iness to the dough. It's a 30% by weight mixture and I'm sous vide cooking it at 80C for 2 hours. I'll then drop the water down to about 40C in order to get it to the right temperature for my pizza dough recipe. It will sit out for about 12 hours and then cold rise in the fridge for 3 to 4 days followed by about 4 more hours at room temperature before cooking.

Now for my question, should I be boiling the prosciutto water before bringing it down to 40C given how long it will be out. I'm thinking no because it is cured but I don't really know. Anyone try something similar and care to comment on results? I've never heard of anyone infusing pizza dough water this way but I'm guessing it's been done. Anyone try infusing water for other unconventional purposes?

rg

I thought I'd share my results with this. First of all, Prosciutto Water looks pretty nasty! Not sure what else you could do with it besides use it in place of water in a savory baking dish but I suppose that was the point of it. In my first pizza I topped with Prosciutto and really couldn't notice much of a difference. With the second pizza I went very simple with just sauce and mozzarella with basil and this time I could taste the Prosciutto. Very subtle but unmistakeable.

On the down side, I think the yeast was affected. I use a multi day cold rise and Caputo 00 dough and cook at around 750F (2Stone attachment on my gas grill) cooking for about 2-3 minutes and typically the cornicione puffs out pretty dramatically but this time it remained pretty flat on both pizzas. Not sure if adding more yeast would improve this.

Overall I'd just go with Prosciutto on top and skip the Prosciutto Water in the dough but it was a fun experiment and I could see that for something where the water portion played a bigger part in the overall dish, infusing could create some pretty interesting results. I'm already wondering what to infuse my coffee water with :)

rg

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