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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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I've gone over the section of deep frying and am now trying to choose a suitable frying oil for french fries cooked using the first method adapted from Heston Blumenthal. What I want is an oil that can be filtered and reused many times, has a smoke point of at least 400F and helps brings out the best french fry flavor / mouth feel.

Would it be correct to have Palm Oil at the very top of the list? High stability, melting point close to body temperature, high smoke point and under notes it says that it minimizes off flavors very quickly. Anyone have experience frying with Palm Oil?

The Ideas in Food team recommends Rice Bran Oil so that seems like another good choice based on their findings.

I know of a few places that use duck fat but it has a low smoke point of 375F and I think that's going to be too low

Any thoughts?

Roy

I've been using peanut oil for a while and am pretty happy with it. I can reuse many times before seeing it degrade enough to hinder performace and it has a decently high smoke point. I can also get it pretty inexpensively in chinatown. But, I will say that duck fat does taste better... but is really expensive to get enough to deep fry in!

I try to stay away from Peanut Oil due to nieces, nephews and friends children who have peanut allergies. Makes it easier if I can say with 100% certainty that the oil container, frying pan etc did not come in contact with peanuts. I found a place locally that sells rice bran oil so going to pick some up and also bought a duck yesterday so will be butchering that and rendering out some fat.

rg

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Really nice work, Chris.

Do you have the movie rights sewn up yet for "Chris Cooks MC"? :smile:

Only fourteen hunderd and some to go. lol

Larry


Larry Lofthouse

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Modernist Cuisine cooking lab pictures, third post

The next series of courses of the evening.

Apple Snowball

vacuum aerated sorbet, frozen fluid-gel powder

Spring Tagine

pressure cooked pine nuts and sesame seeds, gellan gel

Ankimo, Mandarin, Chamomile

torchon cooked sous vide, centrifuged juice gelee

Spaghetti alle Vongole-Geoduck, Bagna Cauda, Sea Beans

vacuum-molded, centrifuged broth

Beef Stew

jus extracted at low temperature, marrow cured and cooked sous vide

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More to come...

Larry


Larry Lofthouse

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I'm working on the duck confit now: is the chill/reheat step is necessary, or just a convenience?

Mostly for convenience I would think.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I made the corn bread this weekend(pages 5.76 and 6.256) to go with some bbqd chicken and pork chops as well as the much hyped and awesome mac and cheese. forgot to download the pictures for the corn bread, so I will have to post them later but figure this might be helpful if anyone is going to try making it soon.

I think the recipe has 2 issues:

- Steps 2 and 3 are reversed. The picture shows that the corn should be pureed

with the cream, milk and eggs not added afterwards. Adding the corn afterwards

(whole kernels) makes an awesome but very crumbly and very difficult to slice

end product. Now, I was working from the KM so I did not notice the pictures till later when I refered to volume 5 to check for accuracy.

- The baking temperature at 265F for 20 minutes is very low. At 20 minutes the

bread was raw. I upped the temp to 365 and the loaf needed another 45 minutes

approximately to reach 190F internally.

I already forwarded this info to the MC team and, unless I screwed something up, they will need to add it to the errata list.

That being said, the corn bread is really delicious and I have to make it again. Even if the recipe has you blend all the lard/butter fried corn, I will most likely reserve 20% of it or so to add as a mix in. The texture and mild sweet taste were very unique and loved by everyone, kids and adults.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I wouldn't be surprised if the chilling/reheating affected the texture too. Most high-gelatin braised meats (think short ribs, for example) that are cooled and reheated do not soften to the falling-of-the-bone texture when reheated. For example, see the Good Eats video below, starting at 4:45 where he pulls the braised short ribs from the oven and compares the pre- and post-cooling texture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96y1qv8voZA


Edited by emannths (log)

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I try to stay away from Peanut Oil due to nieces, nephews and friends children who have peanut allergies. Makes it easier if I can say with 100% certainty that the oil container, frying pan etc did not come in contact with peanuts. I found a place locally that sells rice bran oil so going to pick some up and also bought a duck yesterday so will be butchering that and rendering out some fat.

rg

That's understandable... I'm usually not cooking for children so it's not really an issue for me. I do have a friend who's allergic to peanuts, but only to the protein... the oil is ok. Proven by how many times she's eaten things fried in peanut oil at my apt.

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I think the recipe has 2 issues:

- Steps 2 and 3 are reversed. The picture shows that the corn should be pureed

with the cream, milk and eggs not added afterwards. Adding the corn afterwards

(whole kernels) makes an awesome but very crumbly and very difficult to slice

end product. Now, I was working from the KM so I did not notice the pictures till later when I refered to volume 5 to check for accuracy.

- The baking temperature at 265F for 20 minutes is very low. At 20 minutes the

bread was raw. I upped the temp to 365 and the loaf needed another 45 minutes

approximately to reach 190F internally.

So you'd say (1) do the steps in the order shown in the main volume and (2) 365F until it's at 190F internally?


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I think the recipe has 2 issues:

- Steps 2 and 3 are reversed. The picture shows that the corn should be pureed

with the cream, milk and eggs not added afterwards. Adding the corn afterwards

(whole kernels) makes an awesome but very crumbly and very difficult to slice

end product. Now, I was working from the KM so I did not notice the pictures till later when I refered to volume 5 to check for accuracy.

- The baking temperature at 265F for 20 minutes is very low. At 20 minutes the

bread was raw. I upped the temp to 365 and the loaf needed another 45 minutes

approximately to reach 190F internally.

So you'd say (1) do the steps in the order shown in the main volume and (2) 365F until it's at 190F internally?

Pretty much. In the main volume, pay attention to the pictures, as opposed to the steps outlined for the fried corn. The corn (or most of it at least IMO) should be blended with the cream, milk and eggs. Baking at 365F is definitly what worked for me.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I'm looking at making the pad thai on page 3•385, but I'm confused about one step: one of the garnishes is "pressure-cooked peanuts (see page 3•303)." That recipe, for "crispy boiled peanuts" is seasoned with dried laver (I assume nori?), MSG, sugar and chili powder... so is it the whole recipe that should be made for the pad thai, or should it just be followed up to step 5, with the seasoning omitted? Any thoughts? I don't know a lot about Thai cuisine...


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I try to stay away from Peanut Oil due to nieces, nephews and friends children who have peanut allergies. Makes it easier if I can say with 100% certainty that the oil container, frying pan etc did not come in contact with peanuts. I found a place locally that sells rice bran oil so going to pick some up and also bought a duck yesterday so will be butchering that and rendering out some fat.

rg

That's understandable... I'm usually not cooking for children so it's not really an issue for me. I do have a friend who's allergic to peanuts, but only to the protein... the oil is ok. Proven by how many times she's eaten things fried in peanut oil at my apt.

Yes, I was of the understanding that peanut oil is ok because the allergy is only triggered by the presence of the proteins. Of course, it may be better not to take the risk anyway.

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Modernist Cuisine cooking lab pictures, Fourth post

The next series of courses of the evening.

Baked Potato Soup

pressure-cooked potato juice

France in a Bowl!

snails cooked sous vide, foie gras custard set at low temperatures

Caramelized Carrot Soup

caramelized in a pressure cooker

Cream of Mushroom

infused sous vide, foamed in a siphon

Raw Quail Egg

a touch of protein to invigorate the appetite

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Larry Lofthouse

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Thanks, Larry, those lab notes are very helpful. I made a version of those crispy beef strands for dinner tonight, but don't recall seeing anything like a corn tortilla in the book anywhere (though I haven't examined the book in quite as much detail as you!). What was the texture of it like? I'm trying to figure out if it was basically a gelled corn juice, or a dough made from dried corn juice, or something else entirely.

Chris, the corn tortilla was soft, with a smoother texture than what you would get in a standard version. But so much great food went over my tongue after that course that it's hard to be sure any more. :smile:

Larry


Larry Lofthouse

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Duck leg confit with Pommes Sarladaises (p. 3•178)

I think I'm the third or fourth person in this discussion to make the confit, I'm falling behind the curve, here! I did change it up a little by not adding any fat at all to the bag, I didn't see the point. As we've discussed in the various confit topics here, it really doesn't matter. Plus, duck legs render a LOT of fat when you cook them anyway. So although my original plan was to rub the legs with duck fat when they came out of the SV, that turned out to be completely pointless, the were already coated with a gorgeous layer of duck fat.

As with any confit, this one starts with a dry curing mix: I made it last week and stuck it in the fridge... when I opened it yesterday it smelled incredible. I bought a duck at my local butcher (Pekin, alas) and butchered the legs so they had enough skin to wrap all the way around them:

Duck Confit - 1 - Legs.jpg

Those get bagged up with the cure mix:

Duck Confit - 2 - Legs in rub.jpg

And cured for ten hours:

Duck Confit - 3 - Legs after curing.jpg

Here they are out of the bag:

Duck Confit - 4 - Legs out of cure.jpg

They are rinsed well, then individually bagged:

Duck Confit - 5 - Leg repacked.jpg

Those then get popped in the sous vide rig at 82°C/180°F for eight hours. In the meantime, I started on the potatoes. These are red potatoes that are cut into coins and sealed up with some duck fat, water, garlic, thyme, and salt:

Duck Confit - 6 - Pommes sarladaises.jpg

That gets cooked sous vide for about 20 minutes at 80°C/190°F. The duck legs come out of the sous vide rig looking like this:

Duck Confit - 7 - Duck confit cooked.jpg

And unbagged:

Duck Confit - 8 - Leg out of SV bag.jpg

I shredded one of the legs for my wife: it had plenty of fat coating at this point, so this is when it became obvious that no extra was needed:

Duck Confit - 9 - Shredded leg.jpg

And of course, the liquid gold exuded from the legs while they cooked, destined for lunch tomorrow:

Duck Confit - 10 - Liquid Gold.jpg

Next up, the duck leg is sauteed quickly to crisp up the skin. Yes, I completely stole the plating from the MC team, including the little purple flowers (mine are sage blossoms, since that's what's in bloom in the garden today):

Duck Confit - 11 - Plated.jpg

I will stop boring you with superlatives, or faux surprise at how well the dish turned out. This, for me, is the definitive proof that the traditional confit technique is completely superfluous. Cooking the legs sous vide with no added fat yields precisely the same result: flavor, texture, everything. Oh yeah, it's delicious. I love duck leg confit. This technique is easier, cleaner, and required no vast supply of duck fat waiting in reserve. I love it.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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As I mentioned above, I'm making a Mothers' Day dinner that needs to account for quite a few dietary restrictions, and I'm hoping to use MC for quite a bit of it. Here's what I've got so far, with MC recipes marked:

champagne cocktails with rhubarb syrup (3-291), lemon, & Cointreau

asparagus royale (4-94) with shaved blackstrap ham

sous vide braised snails (5-243) on carrot purée (3-292)

juniper brined pork tenderloin (5-36)

sweet potato fondant (4-39)

salted apple caramel purée (5-20)

herb spaetzle

If anyone has experience with any of these dishes, please let me know. One note: I can't do the leek wrap on the pork tenderloin, so I think I'll cook it SV, wrap it in bacon that I've sealed with Activa, and sear it off just before service.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I don't always agree with Alton Brown... I think for example in this video his theory of resting the meat for juice redistribution is to allow the internal pressure of the meat to subside and allow juices pushed into the meat of the steak to go back to the edges. However this seems to contradict what is written in MC in that actually when cooking juices in fact go to the edges and not the middle due to evaporation and capillary action, and resting is to allow for coagulation of the juices.

Watch from this video from 6:04

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I don't always agree with Alton Brown... I think for example in this video his theory of resting the meat for juice redistribution is to allow the internal pressure of the meat to subside and allow juices pushed into the meat of the steak to go back to the edges. However this seems to contradict what is written in MC in that actually when cooking juices in fact go to the edges and not the middle due to evaporation and capillary action, and resting is to allow for coagulation of the juices.

Watch from this video from 6:04

It's also interesting to learn that since McGee we have always been told that searing does not seal in the juices... however in MC they say that after juices from the edge have evaporated, a dry crust forms which inhibits further evaporation significantly. Obviously it is not the same as a waterproof seal, but it is interesting to learn...

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I certainly don't think that AB is infallible. But in this particular case of the reheating of braised meats, I think he's right, based on a combination of personal experience and the absence of contradictory evidence (though unfortunately, outside of AB, there seems to be a lack of supporting evidence as well). Does MC say anything about reheating braises for service?

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Had to nix a few things after running it by Central Office, so it's much simpler now:

asparagus royale (4-94) with shaved blackstrap ham

juniper brined pork tenderloin (5-36)

sweet potato fondant (4-39)

salted apple caramel purée (5-20)

herb spaetzle

Doing the shopping and prep list now.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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How are you guys tracking/compiling/choosing items to make as you go through MC? I've been reading through it, i'm about 1/2 thru volume 2 and 1/2 thru volume 3...there are recipes interspersed throughout, but unless i jot them down i'm sure i won't remember that they sounded interesting.

I guess what i'm asking is, how are you deciding what to make and creating menus from MC? There is so much information over so many books that it would seem hard to keep it all straight. I haven't even opened books 4 and 5 so that may be why i'm having some troubles.

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I have about one hundred post-it notes stuck in the KM and the various volumes, and every few days, especially before weekends, I snoop through to see what tweaks my interest. I'm also constantly refilling the larder with things like bacon, and each time I do that I review the book to see if I can learn anything new. (The answer, 100% of the time, has been yes.) The menu above involved a more focused project with a limited range of ingredients, though.


Chris Amirault

camirault@eGstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I certainly don't think that AB is infallible. But in this particular case of the reheating of braised meats, I think he's right, based on a combination of personal experience and the absence of contradictory evidence (though unfortunately, outside of AB, there seems to be a lack of supporting evidence as well). Does MC say anything about reheating braises for service?

I just quickly looked through MC and McGee but can't see anything specifically about the energy required in reheating braises. McGee does however recommend cooling braised meats in their juices as reabsorbtion takes place, cooler meats have a higher water-holding capacity, and gelatinised collagen can also hold onto more juices.

I just quickly looked through, but as I say I didn't see anything.

I wasn't directly discrediting AB's theory of the required energy to reheat the braised meat, but his idea of the resting juices was something that was on my mind for a while, and when he was mentioned again in this thread it reminded me to point it out, as I was disappointed that someone interested in demystifying kitchen science was making a false statement.

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