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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)


Msk
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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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So you post-it note the recipes that sound interesting while you read and then flick through those notes to find fun stuff to make?

got it.. i'm kind of doing that with electronic notes...

except i haven't even made anything yet :)

thanks

I'm still trying to work out an efficient system. What are you using for your electronic notes?

Anne Napolitano

Chef On Call

"Great cooking doesn't come from breaking with tradition but taking it in new directions-evolution rather that revolution." Heston Blumenthal

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So you post-it note the recipes that sound interesting while you read and then flick through those notes to find fun stuff to make?

got it.. i'm kind of doing that with electronic notes...

except i haven't even made anything yet :)

thanks

I'm still trying to work out an efficient system. What are you using for your electronic notes?

Right now i'm just writing the recipe title and the page numnber (X-XXX) in a list...but i think a excel spreadsheet maintained in "the cloud" that has an additional column with what type of course it is (app, entree, dessert) would be useful...and maybe a complexity rating so you can filter by each thing...and maybe a column with the protein used "fish, beef, chicken"....

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Actually the main reason for resting meat is to allow the temperature gradients to equilibrate. Yes juices coagulate, but that is not the main reason to do it.

The juice distribution within the meat depends on the cooking temperature. If you are cooking sous vide, or braising/boiling/stewing then the meat is wet so there is no evaporation. However, contraction of the meat by collagen shrinking will wring juices out of the meat. This primarily occurs if the temperature is high enough to make the collagen shrink - that tends to occur well above 140F/60C.

If you are searing/grilling/roasting then you are drying the meat surface. The last millimeter will be dry due to boiling and evaporation. The evaporation draws juice within the meat from the center to the edges. However, the edges lose juice faster than it is replenished from the interior. If that wasn't the case then the crust would never dry out and you'd never get browning. In fact that is exactly what happens when you make beef jerky - you dry the meat at such a low temperature that you dry the meat out uniformly, and there need not be any browning.

So, I think you misunderstood what is said in MC. The net flow is from the center to the edge, but it is slower than the flow out of the meat, so the edges are getting drier than they were when raw. Just because juice is moving from the center to the edge, it does not mean that the edges are more juicy than the center - in fact they have less juice then when cooking started.

Resting the meat allows the temperature to equilibrate from the very hot exterior to the relatively cool center. In principle the juices will equilibrate too, but that process is much slower than temperature (by about 10X) so not much occurs.

It is wrong that juices are "pushed into the meat". During the process of cooking juice is lost due to both collagen contraction and evaporation. Losing juice makes the meat less juicy. There is no part of the meat that ever gets more juicy then it was when raw. So the Alton Brown video is not correct on this point.

Juice coagulation occurs because the juice is full of proteins that can form a gel. Gelatin is one of the protiens but there many others. Even before it forms a full gel, it will increase in viscosity. While this is true, I have to say that that isn't the main cooking reason that you rest meat. The primary cooking reason is that the temperature is very uneven if you cook with a high heat method, and you want that to equilibrate before people eat the food, otherwise it will not be done appropriately.

Nathan

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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, I've done the sous vide snails using canned burgundy snails. I did it basically word for word from the recipe, but I didn't have any carrot, and I subbed shallots for sweet onion. Methods/cook time were the same as the orange highlight in the parametric table. All I can say is (and I know this has been done a lot) best. snails. ever... Really... I have a friend who's French, and he declared these the best he's ever had and that he actually dreamed about them that night. So I'd say that's a pretty good endorsement. I used the 5 hour temp/time combo...

Sorry, I got busy and didn't see the other post with the updated menu... but in any case, if any one else is interested....

Edited by KennethT (log)
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All I can say is (and I know this has been done a lot) best. snails. ever... Really...

I believe you. It's a bit dicey for the others at dinner -- my mom and I love snails -- and I'm having a hard time finding quality canned snails. But, soon....

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I'm in the process of making Beef Cheek Pastrami (3-213) with boneless short ribs; I'll be doing the smoking step tonight. Any recommendations on the wood to use for the smoking? I've got Alder, Cherry, Oak and Hickory available. Based on the table on 2-136, I'm leaning towards Oak or Hickory.

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I'm in the process of making Beef Cheek Pastrami (3-213) with boneless short ribs; I'll be doing the smoking step tonight. Any recommendations on the wood to use for the smoking? I've got Alder, Cherry, Oak and Hickory available. Based on the table on 2-136, I'm leaning towards Oak or Hickory.

I used hickory on my Big Green Egg and it worked well. I think the next time I might cut down the smoke time by 30 minutes as I found them to be very smoky (but good).

Anne Napolitano

Chef On Call

"Great cooking doesn't come from breaking with tradition but taking it in new directions-evolution rather that revolution." Heston Blumenthal

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I found some beef cheeks in the freezer so I'm making the pastrami, too. It's in the brine right now. Just as an experiment I used the Rancho Gordo piloncillo in the brine instead of brown sugar. Hoping to smoke it this weekend.

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Modernist Cuisine cooking lab pictures, fifth post

The next series of courses of the evening.

Ricotta Gnocchi, Pea Juice, Pea Butter Toast

flourless gnocchi, centrifuged pea puree layers

Polenta Marinara

pressure cooked in mason jars

Cocoa Pasta with Sea Urchin

constructed bottarga

Mushroom Omelet

constructed egg stripes, steamed in a combi oven

Quillyute Spring Salmon and Meyer Lemon

pressure-cooked stock, cold-smoked butter

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More to come...

Larry Lofthouse

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Modernist Cuisine cooking lab pictures, sixth post

The next series of courses of the evening.

Roast Chicken, Jus Gras

program roasted in a combi oven, emulsified jus gras

BBQ

cooked sous vide,flavored in a high tech smoker, centrifuged sauce, ultrasonic fries

Pastrami and Sauerkraut

cooked sous vide for 72 h, precisely cured and brined, fermented sauerkraut

Fruit Minestra

vacuum compressed fruit, centrifuged juice

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One more post to come...

Larry Lofthouse

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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.

Darn.. I was looking forward to details on

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

Maybe elsewhere?

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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Interesting to see that cryoseared duck was featured on Marcel's Quantum Kitchen in S01E06.

This gave me an idea... so far the best tool we have heard of for puncturing the skin of the duck is by using a dog brush. I have found it hard to find a suitable brush. Furthermore, I am concerned that the resulting puncture holes will be quite large and visible.

Has anyone considered using a dermaroller for creating the holes in the duck skin? They come in various lengths and I believe various diameters of needles... although they are quite narrow they have a high concentration of needles, and I think it would be very fast to roll a dermaroller across a duck breast.

What do you guys think?

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Interesting to see that cryoseared duck was featured on Marcel's Quantum Kitchen in S01E06.

This gave me an idea... so far the best tool we have heard of for puncturing the skin of the duck is by using a dog brush. I have found it hard to find a suitable brush. Furthermore, I am concerned that the resulting puncture holes will be quite large and visible.

Has anyone considered using a dermaroller for creating the holes in the duck skin? They come in various lengths and I believe various diameters of needles... although they are quite narrow they have a high concentration of needles, and I think it would be very fast to roll a dermaroller across a duck breast.

What do you guys think?

Holy cow! I just googled these things. My Gran said you had to be brave to be beautiful but I bet even she would have drawn the line on these things. Still for docking a duck breast......................... :laugh:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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Interesting to see that cryoseared duck was featured on Marcel's Quantum Kitchen in S01E06.

This gave me an idea... so far the best tool we have heard of for puncturing the skin of the duck is by using a dog brush. I have found it hard to find a suitable brush. Furthermore, I am concerned that the resulting puncture holes will be quite large and visible.

Has anyone considered using a dermaroller for creating the holes in the duck skin? They come in various lengths and I believe various diameters of needles... although they are quite narrow they have a high concentration of needles, and I think it would be very fast to roll a dermaroller across a duck breast.

What do you guys think?

Holy cow! I just googled these things. My Gran said you had to be brave to be beautiful but I bet even she would have drawn the line on these things. Still for docking a duck breast......................... :laugh:

Yes they look like a medieval torture device! But I think I may be onto something...

Much smaller and less visible holes but more highly concentrated, certainly much quicker too.

They often come with a cap, and are smaller than dog brushes.

Finally there is a choice of needle sizes, so you can be much more precise with the depth of penetration etc.

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Are the holes from a dog brush really that noticeable? I thought the whole point was that after cooking they all but disappeared?

I am not sure, but definitely rolling something up and down a duck breast a couple of times only takes no more than 3-4 seconds, rather than positioning the dog brush each time and kind of "stamping" the skin which could take up to a minute I suppose.

Still, I would bet that the needles of a dermaroller are even less noticeable than the holes from a dog brush.

You can pick up dermarollers for not too expensive prices on eBay...

Actually I had another thought whilst in the shower (my usual place of inspiration). Could other beauty techniques be applied to food. I was thinking specifically in terms of rendering fat. There are forms are Radio Frequency and I think ultrasound cavitation treatments which are supposed to rupture subcutaneous fat cells. Could you apply this onto poultry carcasses, and then follow up with the skin piercing to aid in rendering even more fat at an even quicker pace? Or could you perhaps use some form of skewer or device to emulsify the fat like they do in liposuction before the suction actually takes place?

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Right - I thought the same thing - that the wires on the brush are so fine that they disappear. I'm still looking for a decent dog brush (there's no conveniently located pet shop), but I've been using a jaccard on the skin - just no pressing hard enough to go all teh way through the fat, and it works fine with no noticeable holes. And those blades are a lot bigger than the dog brush wires!

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OK, I clicked through the site to check out the dermaroller, and I don't quite understand how it's going to work on a piece of duck. They seem to have very, very short needles, at least as far as I can tell. However, I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it... you first, GMO!

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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OK, I clicked through the site to check out the dermaroller, and I don't quite understand how it's going to work on a piece of duck. They seem to have very, very short needles, at least as far as I can tell. However, I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it... you first, GMO!

I actually have a couple of brand new ones at my family home, I can't remember what lengths of needles I ordered, but I am at my university home at the moment and currently taking my finals, so I wont be able to conduct any experiments immediately...

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Modernist Cuisine cooking lab pictures, seventh post

The last series of courses of the evening.

Pistachio and Hazelnut Gelatos

frozen constructed creams

Pots de Crème

cold infused, acid-coagulated, steamed in a combi oven

Caramel Mou

sweet/savory caramel, edible film

Gummy Worms

high fat gel, shaped in fish-lure molds

Banana Truffle

freeze molded, centrifuged juice

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Larry Lofthouse

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OK, I clicked through the site to check out the dermaroller, and I don't quite understand how it's going to work on a piece of duck. They seem to have very, very short needles, at least as far as I can tell. However, I suppose the only way to know for sure is to try it... you first, GMO!

I actually have a couple of brand new ones at my family home, I can't remember what lengths of needles I ordered, but I am at my university home at the moment and currently taking my finals, so I wont be able to conduct any experiments immediately...

Well I just spent a few seconds googling... I couldn't discover the thickness of the dermis of a duck, but apparently the human dermis ranges from 0.5mm on the eyelids up to 3.0mm on the back.

The longest dermaroller/skin roller I think you can buy also has a length of 3.0mm. I found one on eBay here. Please note I am in not way affiliated or anything with these devices... it is just an idea I had, and I really hope I could contribute something to the Modernist Cuisine body of knowledge!

As long as the thickness of the skin on a duck breast is no thicker than 3.0mm, this should work, right???

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That recipe mistakenly omitted a crucial ingredient. In the ingredient list, "Water 250g 208%" should appear before "Cane vinegar" and should be added to the mixture in step 7. Step 8 is correct as written, provided you add the water. We apologize for the error. We will add this to our errata and will correct the recipe in future printings.

Wayt Gibbs

Editor in chief, Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home

The Cooking Lab, LLC

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