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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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Question on the mushroom ketchup - I made it today, and it's delicious. But it makes a ton! I don't see any reason why I can't freeze it, does anyone else? As much as I like a good burger, I'd have to eat one every day for a month to use up this much ketchup.

It seems like it would freeze pretty well, but we keep finding other uses for it. Two good ones are as a condiment for Tater Tots and tossing it with roasted green beans.


Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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I don't have the KM to look at, but my guess is that it is referring to a parametric recipe on vegetable purees. Is that what is on page 55 of KM? That would be my bet. If so then the reason you can't find it is that it is not a recipe per se it is an entry in a parametric recipe table.

That is what's on page 55, but tomatoes aren't on the list.


Dave Scantland
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Eat more chicken skin.

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The first curry recipe on page 225 of the Kitchen Manual calls for a tomato puree and references one on page 55 of the same manual. I am not finding that recipe anywhere even doing a search of the full index to MC and the table of contents of the Kitchen Manual. Is it my eyesight or my search skills? I have reported it to the MC team but wonder if I am somehow missing something that is in clear sight. I can easily make a tomato puree but this is really starting to aggravate me. Anyone?

I don't have the kichen manual handy - in fact, I don't have my own copy of the book yet!

But if you look at Volume 5, the curry recipes (page 5.89) refer to a tomato puree on 3.290. That is probably it.

If you look at 3.290 you find a parametric recipe that calls for making tomato puree by cooking peeled seeded tomatoes cut into quarters and cored, and cooking at 85C/185F for 25 minutes.

I don't have the KM to look at, but my guess is that it is referring to a parametric recipe on vegetable purees. Is that what is on page 55 of KM? That would be my bet. If so then the reason you can't find it is that it is not a recipe per se it is an entry in a parametric recipe table.

Thank you, Nathan. Yes on page 3.290 there is a recipe for cooking a tomato puree sous vide. I think that it has somehow been left out of the Kitchen Manual on page 55.


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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OK - so I've started work on the dinner for next Saturday. After running around in the rain, I was able to get 2 pounds American Wagyu beef cheeks, 2# berkshire pork belly, some awesome smoky bacon, a whole berkshire pork shoulder (I cut into 3 2# portions), marrow bones, high quality kombu, and a bunch of beef chuck.

First up: the pork belly had skin removed, and is being brined in a 0.7% equilibrium brine. My initial brine has a TDS measurement of 5870. The skin is being pressure cooked in some salty water to be puffed or crisped later.

First question - in the parametric table on 3.172, it recommends a 72h soak followed by a 2h rinse and 24h rest. Is that for equilibrium brining or high concentration method? I'd imagine an equilibrium brine wouldn't need to be rested since it should already be at the proper salinity. But, if it does need resting, since it will be cooking SV for 40h at 144F, can you include the resting time in the cook time, or does it have to be sequential?

The pork shoulder will go in 150F for 3 days starting tonight!

The beef cheeks have the same temp (144F) as the pork belly, so they can be done together, starting with the cheeks, and putting the belly in midway through.

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A friend called me this morning and wanted to know if I wanted to roll with him to the kitchen supply store (he was getting his knives sharpened) - hard to turn down a trip to that store! (Northwestern Cutlery on Lake St. in Chicago). Anyway, they had the Kuhn Rikon 7+ quart pressure cooker there. I've been reading quite a few things here about the use of a pressure cooker in the book including a couple accounts on this forum about the carrot soup (Chris). I've never owned or used a pressure cooker, but was intrigued. I whipped out my phone and looked up the pressure cooker on Amazon doing a price check - weird...about the same price - so I grabbed it! I made the carrot soup as best I could this evening. It was totally awesome and the pressure cooker (even though I was a tad intimidated) worked easy and flawlessly. My wife at first made the "frown face" about more kitchen equipment, but once she tasted the soup she quickly noted that we need to make this for her parents on their next visit. That is a major "thumbs up"!!

Awesome!

Todd in Chicago

P.S. I feel like a complete newb asking this, but the recipe indicates to peel and core the carrots....how does one core carrots? I simply sliced around the core as best I could and used those pieces. Also, I thought I read that the core contained the most sugar, so I wasn't sure why those were not being used - anyone know?

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The "mold" is what a confectioner would call "caramel bars" or what a cheapskate would call "a couple sticks of aluminum taped together and set on a Silpat." It's what I use for layered dipped chocolates: each bar is 12" long and 1/4" square cross section, hollow. I make the shape I want and then tape them together so they don't slide around. Real "caramel bars" are heavier and will stay in place on their own.

Thanks for the reply. I can't believe how expensive little bars of aluminum are. After seeing the prices I went to Lowes and bought a 1" x 48" square aluminum tube and cut it down to four 11.5" pieces. Now I have caramel bars and they only cost me $20. Sure they might be hollow, but for the money I can't complain.


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Not sure if I am missing it or something, but on 2-425 in the puree table for onion puree it references page 2-426, but that only have two recipes on it, broccoli and hazelnut puree and creamed watercress. Not sure if it is supposed to reference something else or not.


John Deragon

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The "mold" is what a confectioner would call "caramel bars" or what a cheapskate would call "a couple sticks of aluminum taped together and set on a Silpat." It's what I use for layered dipped chocolates: each bar is 12" long and 1/4" square cross section, hollow. I make the shape I want and then tape them together so they don't slide around. Real "caramel bars" are heavier and will stay in place on their own.

Thanks for the reply. I can't believe how expensive little bars of aluminum are. After seeing the prices I went to Lowes and bought a 1" x 48" square aluminum tube and cut it down to four 11.5" pieces. Now I have caramel bars and they only cost me $20. Sure they might be hollow, but for the money I can't complain.

I did the sane thing a few months ago. However I filled the tubes with sand and filled the ends with epoxy to give the bars some more weight. Works pretty well.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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If you want to not make your own bars, it looks like you can order a 12" t304 grade stainless 1/2" square bar online for about 7 bucks a piece here


John Deragon

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I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Finally getting around to making the Modernist Mac & Cheese recipe. Ordered some sodium citrate from Boots Chemist online, trying hard to choose one that is not cranberry flavoured... once it arrived I saw on the front of the packet, "Lemon Flavour". Oh well, I proceeded with the recipe, the cheese sauce seemed to taste pretty nice anyway, so I have popped it into the freezer in preparation for tomorrow night's dinner.

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Todd - we must be synchronised! I christened my pressure cooker with the carrot soup this weekend too. Fabulous stuff - I'm amazed how much caramelisation I got from the pressure-cooked stage.

I looked at the instructions to core the carrots, considered that the core is my favourite bit if I'm eating a raw carrot, and simply chopped up the whole carrot and put it in. No regrets; wouldn't do it any other way. I did omit the centrifuge step for the juice, though ...


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I attempted to correct my earlier mistakes with the carbonara, and served it for lunch today. Yesterday's cheese stick was 1/2" thick and 1 1/2" wide. The recipe calls for a stick 3/8" thick and 2" wide, but I'm guessing from the photo that it's actually only about an inch wide, so that's what I made today. I am out of eggs at the moment, so I changed up the toppings a bit, but otherwise this is basically the same thing as yesterday:

Spaghetti Carbonara - Take Two.jpg

Reducing the amount of cheese helped a lot, but I think it could be reduced even further. It's also quite possible that when served with pork belly (as suggested in the recipe) the ingredients balance better on the plate overall. Or maybe the MC team just likes parmesan more than me.

This is beautiful work Chris. I know they recommend pork belly in the book but that seems too rich. Maybe pork tenderloin might work better.


E. Nassar
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P.S. I feel like a complete newb asking this, but the recipe indicates to peel and core the carrots....how does one core carrots? I simply sliced around the core as best I could and used those pieces. Also, I thought I read that the core contained the most sugar, so I wasn't sure why those were not being used - anyone know?

I would leave the core in.

To core the carrots though, cut them into 3 inch lengths or so and then into quarters lenghtwise and slice the cores off.


E. Nassar
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contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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I'm going to make the mac & cheese tonight when I get home (to serve with some pulled pork sandwiches and a few other things), so I thought I'd share a tweaked version of the ratios in the book. We found that it was a bit too salty, and I wanted a stronger cheddar component. I also tweaked the techniques a bit.

Whisk & simmer

  • 100g water
  • 75g (wheat) beer
  • 10g sodium citrate
  • 4.5g salt
  • 1.25g iota carrageenan

Grate and combine over low heat:

  • 140g aged gouda (was 200g)
  • 145g aged cheddar (was 80g)

Stir until melted/emulsified. Pour into container; bring to room temp; freeze. Just before serving, pull it from the freezer and grate/shred 160g.

Boil over high heat:

  • 300g water
  • 100g macaroni
  • 1g salt [down from 24.g]

Don't drain it. When pasta is al dente, add cheese and heat through until smooth and combined.

I then put it in a Le Creuset au gratin pan, topped it with seasoned breadcrumbs, and let it sit until the broiler for a couple of minutes.

Oh, and, yes, that's dried macaroni, not fresh.

So I just made the macaroni and cheese. It was pretty tasty!

I didn't have any problems with my cheese setting. It went pretty darn solid. So solid in fact that I had problems removing it from the container! However it started to get pretty sticky in my hand and inside the grater when it was approaching room temperature.

I followed Chris' suggestions of quantity of gouda and cheddar. I already read his advice of scaling the salt in the water down from 24g. Since his suggestion was 1g, and what I read in the post was 24g, I decided I would just try 5g... that was way too salty!

I then checked Volume 3 Page 387, and saw that the recipe calls for 2.4g of salt in the cooking water, not 24g! Haha... I think I had better double check the books in future!

It was still pretty nice though! Just overly salty!

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If doing mac and cheese for now, why the iota carrageenan ?

The set and grate seems an extra step that while useful in a restaurant etc could be skipped at home. Could be wrong as it may change moth feel but when I made it with kappa carrageenan it worked fine, if doing it for immediate use can the carrageenan followed by set and grate step be skipped


Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana.

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I've been thinking about brining - the equilibrium brining, specifically. I've been brining pork belly for 2 days now (jaccarded first), and I've been checking the progress with a TDS meter which measures dissolved solids in parts per million. I've calculated what the final TDS should be once the brine and pork are at equilibrium, and it's getting there... but it's really slow. The book describes the movement of salt as a diffusion process, so if that's the case, do you think it would go faster if the system was at higher temperature? Which then brings up the logical conclusion that if I'm going to be cooking for 40 hours or so, can I cook the meat in the brine so that it will brine as it cooks?

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Tonight I converted a Beef Fajita recipe into a modernist version and it was very successful. I tried a few "modern" techniques:

* I made a tomatillo salsa verde and thickened with 0.2% xantham gun - this worked extremely well

* I tried pressure cooking onions using the same ratio for butter, salt and baking soda as the carrot recipe. After about 30 minutes I pulled it off and instead of getting caramelized onions I ended up with a caramelized onion jam. Not at all what I expected but it worked extremely well and I smeared this over the tortilla's before laying on the meat and toppings

* flank steak cooked at 60C for 24 hours. My wife doesn't like red meat so bumped it up from their recommendation and the 12 hours they recommend doesn't really work from a timing perspective unless I popped it in at 5am so no harm leaving this cut in for 24 hours. I actually pre-seared the meat as well for the usual reasons and then finished on a 400C inferno in my big green egg for a brief sear

This is what I'd consider a really effective use of simple Modernist techniques to improve a non-modern dish. What I'd really like to do is start a new thread that contains recipes and pictures for MC inspired dishes but perhaps I'll wait until I get through more of the volumes and have attempted a bunch more of these conversions.

rg

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P.S. I feel like a complete newb asking this, but the recipe indicates to peel and core the carrots....how does one core carrots? I simply sliced around the core as best I could and used those pieces. Also, I thought I read that the core contained the most sugar, so I wasn't sure why those were not being used - anyone know?

I would leave the core in.

To core the carrots though, cut them into 3 inch lengths or so and then into quarters lenghtwise and slice the cores off.

Thanks for the tip!

Todd in Chicago

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The set and grate seems an extra step that while useful in a restaurant etc could be skipped at home.

I didn't see the point of freezing and grating the cheese either. I made a "bulk" batch of cheese, then portioned it into 160 g portions by weighing this amount into the bottom of a bunch of round Ziploc containers. After freezing, I was able to pop the cheese 'pucks' out of their containers, and store them in a 1 gal Ziploc bag in the freezer. When I want to make a 100g batch of macaroni, I just melt the cheese puck in a saucepan over low heat, then add it to the macaroni once they are cooked. A simple stir, and it's ready to serve.

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Overpressure / underpressure (a geek's Mulligan stew)

The posts in this topic on pressure cooking made me reactivate my old Kuhn Rikon Duromatic. I had these vegetables at hand:

gallery_65177_6901_160595.jpg

I had planned to make a stew with a cut of brisket I had previously cooked sous vide ("underpressure") 55.5°C/48h. So I decided to cook the stew under overpressure.

Here's the mise-en-place:

gallery_65177_6901_137499.jpg

I sautéed the onions in butter, added the stalk celery, deglazed with 1 liter of vegetable stock plus the pasteurized gravy from a previous brisket, added the rest of the vegetables and cooked 120°C / 7 minutes. Then I let the stew cool down

gallery_65177_6901_29560.jpg

to avoid boiling the medium-rare brisket (reheated SV 55°C/3h), which I cut into cubes small enough to expose more surface to the Maillard reaction but large enough that 2 minutes of stir-frying in smoking hot rice bran oil would not cook them well-done:

gallery_65177_6901_296061.jpg.

After stir-frying I let the brisket cubes rest for a moment before adding them to the stew. In fact, besides being spoon-tender and succulent, they had remained pink inside.

SWAMBO found it delicious, me too.


Edited by PedroG (log)

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My copy hasn't arrived yet (slated for a July arrival according to Barnes and Noble), but I have a really good Bergblumen sitting in the fridge that I wanted to turn into a delicious grilled cheese. I've read about the reconstructed cheese slices and want to try that out, but have read mixed stories online different variants and was hoping for some clarification. Heston Blumenthal has a reconstructed cheese recipe using sherry, some spices, cheese and sodium citrate, but no gelling such as iota carrageenan. I believe I have read that he recommends 500ml of infused sherry to 850g of cheese. Is the Modernist Cuisine recipe similar or does the authors suggest add a gelling agent to the liquid prior to adding the cheese and chilling (as in the mac and cheese recipe)? I have read about some people having trouble with Blumenthal's reconstructed cheese not setting properly which is the primary reason why I ask.


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Tonight's dinner included a 72-hour 145°F brisket, as suggested by MC:

Sous Vide Brisket.jpg

I just eyeballed the seasoning on the meat before cooking it: salt, pepper, and Pimentón de la Vera. I should have measured it, I think it needed more overall. I made a "pan sauce" ("bag sauce"?) from the liquid in the bag by thickening it lightly with cornstarch and tweaking with brown sugar and red wine vinegar. That worked pretty well. In terms of texture, it's similar but not identical to the traditionally-slow-cooked method. In particular it feels a bit firmer when slicing and eating at first, but when chewing it actually breaks apart faster. I thought it was a very good, if not exactly revelatory, texture (contrast with the pork shoulder cooked in a similar fashion, which was amazing). Part of this may be due to my use of the flat part of the brisket (the point is in a pastrami brine at the moment).


Chris Hennes
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My copy hasn't arrived yet (slated for a July arrival according to Barnes and Noble), but I have a really good Bergblumen sitting in the fridge that I wanted to turn into a delicious grilled cheese. I've read about the reconstructed cheese slices and want to try that out, but have read mixed stories online different variants and was hoping for some clarification. Heston Blumenthal has a reconstructed cheese recipe using sherry, some spices, cheese and sodium citrate, but no gelling such as iota carrageenan. I believe I have read that he recommends 500ml of infused sherry to 850g of cheese. Is the Modernist Cuisine recipe similar or does the authors suggest add a gelling agent to the liquid prior to adding the cheese and chilling (as in the mac and cheese recipe)? I have read about some people having trouble with Blumenthal's reconstructed cheese not setting properly which is the primary reason why I ask.

I think I have answered my own question. the iota carrageenan stabalizes the emulsion created by the cheese, liquid and sodium citrate so the mixture be frozen and stored. If used right away I don't believe the iota is necessary, even in the mac and cheese. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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I think I have answered my own question. the iota carrageenan stabalizes the emulsion created by the cheese, liquid and sodium citrate so the mixture be frozen and stored. If used right away I don't believe the iota is necessary, even in the mac and cheese. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I made the Mac & Cheese with nothing but kappa, and it ended up being runny even at fridge temp, but I think other people have reported the same results with iota. It froze just fine - I used about a third immediately, then the rest a couple weeks later.

There was no separation or anything like that, if that's what you were thinking. It was fine after being frozen, just runny, like those jars of icky cheez whiz kinda stuff they sell by the chips in the grocery store. Tasted great, though!

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I think I have answered my own question. the iota carrageenan stabalizes the emulsion created by the cheese, liquid and sodium citrate so the mixture be frozen and stored. If used right away I don't believe the iota is necessary, even in the mac and cheese. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

I made the Mac & Cheese with nothing but kappa, and it ended up being runny even at fridge temp, but I think other people have reported the same results with iota. It froze just fine - I used about a third immediately, then the rest a couple weeks later.

There was no separation or anything like that, if that's what you were thinking. It was fine after being frozen, just runny, like those jars of icky cheez whiz kinda stuff they sell by the chips in the grocery store. Tasted great, though!

Does the reconstructed/processed cheese from the burger recipe use the same technique as the mac and cheese? My understanding is that the reconstructed cheese should be solid enough to roll out and cut into slices. I'm not concerned with it separating. I am more concerned with an inability to work with the cheese once I emulsify it because it is too gooey to form into slices for grilled cheese sandwiches.


Edited by avaserfi (log)

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      I'm not a stranger to food science but nor am I a chemist. I understand that emulsifiers are at least sometimes prepared by pre-mixing them into a (heated?) liquid or fat and then using the resulting solution in the actual recipe, which may explain why a lot of commercial emulsifier mixtures are packages as tubes of gel or paste. I've also checked several industry-level textbooks about emulsifiers and while they are fantastic for in-depth explanations of the chemistry behind each emulsifier, they do not (as you might imagine) provide guidance on how a lowly baker or cook would actually use a powdered form.
       
      So does anyone know how to prepare and use a dry powdered form of any of the following in a real recipe?
       
      Specifically I am most interested in enhancing baked goods and adding stability to sauces, but would also like to know how to use them for other processes such as sausage-making too.
      E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E481 Sodium stearoyl lactylate E482 Calcium stearoyl lactylate E472e DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides)
        Thanks.
    • By mjbarnard
      I cooked two turkey breasts sous vide. This year had access to the Meater+ thermometer probe which I managed to vacuum seal in the bag without difficulty (it is small). Since it works wirelessly I was able to monitor and it records the internal temperatures at the thickest part of the breast.
      I thought the results were interesting. I cooked at 60C for 8 hours. I have always used https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-better-way-to-turkey-cook-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever which gives long cooking times at lower temperature. I have found that as according to this page https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sous-vide-turkey-breast-crispy-skin-recipe-thanksgiving.html that 55C gives turkey which is just a little too pink for most tastes. Over the last few years have increased the temperature up to 59/60 and I find it perfect - very moist and tender, but pale not pink.
      See attached images. I changed my mind a couple of times and started at 58 then 60 then 59 again, so ignore the slight variations. The thing I found interesting was that the thickest part (of a large breast) reached 55C in around 1 hour 40 mins and target of 59 in 2 hours 30 mins. Now I appreciate that sous vide is a combination of temperature and time or duration, but the data make me think that around 4 hours would be sufficient, as per the seriouseats table. I have previously used the chefsteps 55-58 for their much longer advised times, up to 12 hours and the meat is still quite pink at the end, so I dont believe 55 for 12 hours would effectively be the same.
      From now on I will watching the internal temperatures with interest. This has always been the (relative) unkown for sous vide amateurs. 


    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
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