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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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The one from the burgers uses different ratios of carrageenans, if I recall. I was able to slice it for the burgers and for grilled cheese, though I do wish it had been a touch firmer when cold to make that a bit easier.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I used the mac'n'cheese one on a burger. Three deviations: less salt, used gouda, use Kappa. I used it frozen, but even then you had to be quick slicing it to be able to 'handle' it. Once sliced into slices an placed on the burger, it was all great. I get the feeling you'd be better off using a mould then slicing it for that particular recipe. Even then it would be quite delicate at room temp.

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Thanks for the info. I am obviously at a disadvantage since I haven't had the opportunity to see the books yet. As I anxiously wait for my copies to arrive does anyone remember why the Modernist Cuisine authors include the carrageenans in the cheese recipes? If I understand their use carrageenans are used for gelling, but I have seen numerous recipes (Blumenthal's and this one, for example) that just use sodium citrate as the emulsifier. I was under the impression that the carrageenan allowed for freezing without the risk of breaking the emulsification, but it seems like there is more than that going on?


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

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I wouldn't say it was "delicate" per se: just sort of sticky, in terms of grabbing your slicer blade or knife. The first two slices were gorgeous, but then it started to warm up and didn't slice so nicely.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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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.

I have no iota carrageenan, does anyone think it can be replaced with Agar agar?

I'm trying to decipher http://cdn.khymos.org/wp-content/2009/02/hydrocolloid-recipe-collection-v2.3-screen-res.pdf and it looks like they are quite similar, but really to much info that I do not understand to be able to say if they can be exchanged. Looks like I should have about a third of agar agar compared to iota carrageenan. Unless anyone says it will not work I will try .....

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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.

I have no iota carrageenan, does anyone think it can be replaced with Agar agar?

I'm trying to decipher http://cdn.khymos.org/wp-content/2009/02/hydrocolloid-recipe-collection-v2.3-screen-res.pdf and it looks like they are quite similar, but really to much info that I do not understand to be able to say if they can be exchanged. Looks like I should have about a third of agar agar compared to iota carrageenan. Unless anyone says it will not work I will try .....

Well it might work ok, but I would hesitate to replace Agar for Carrageenan. The texture might suffer since Carrageenan makes for a soft and elastic (perfect for mac and cheese) mixture in the presence of Calcium. Agar does not do that. You might be better off making a half or quarter recipe and use only the citrate to serve right away instead of storing or freezing it.


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I recently made the Autoclaved Onion Soup on p. 3•302. No crazy ingredients in this one, just a slightly unusual approach: the ingredients are packed, raw, into mason jars, then autoclaved for 20 minutes.

Autoclave onion soup 2.jpg

OK, I don't actually have an autoclave.

Fortunately, they offer a variation, where you cook it in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes. This was only the second time I've used my pressure cooker, and it hissed throughout the whole 40 minutes, even when it was only at low pressure, so I was a little worried about how the soup would come out. (That reminds me, I guess I need to check the valve before I use the cooker again.) Fortunately, it worked beautifully, other than a small amount of leakage from the jars.

At first, I didn't think I was going to be able to pack 250g of sliced onions into each jar, but it does fit. Barely. The operative word here is "pack." I was out of fresh thyme, so I substituted dried; I'd like to try it again with fresh. I skipped the cheese foam, because I don't have any of the stabilizers called for in the recipe. (I also skipped the more traditional cheese croutons, which is a mistake I won't make twice.)

More than anything, I was impressed by the way the browning reactions worked; I've never seen onions go from raw to so evenly browned with so little time and effort. There was a unusual note to the aroma that I still can't quite place, but it wasn't unpleasant at all. My only complaint about the dish would be that, made exclusively with sweet onions and with added sugar, it was a little on the sweet side. I realize it says to season the soup with vinegar, and I will probably season the leftovers more aggressively, but it would be interesting to try it again with a mix of sweet and cooking onions. All in all, a worthwhile dish.

Now that that's done, I can jump on the bandwagon and do the caramelized carrot soup. Or maybe a variation on it... I wonder how it would work with parsnips?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Made the beef brisket recipe. Smoked ~5 hrs then sous-vide at 146 for 72 hrs. (Recipe called for 7 hrs of smoking.)

The flavor was very good, albeit a bit bland. Plenty of smoke flavor. It did go incredibly well with the basic Kansas City Barbecue sauce (which was far better than I expected it to be with Heinz ketchup as the base.) But the texture was somewhat off-putting. We like our meat to have some chew to it and this was baby-food soft. We had it on baked potato (my wife is celiac) and the texture was about the same. The combo of sauce, meat and potato was outstanding flavorwise.

What needs to be modded for a result which matches what we want? Lower temp for SV? Less time?

A.

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I recently made the Autoclaved Onion Soup on p. 3•302. No crazy ingredients in this one, just a slightly unusual approach: the ingredients are packed, raw, into mason jars, then autoclaved for 20 minutes.

Autoclave onion soup 2.jpg

OK, I don't actually have an autoclave.

Fortunately, they offer a variation, where you cook it in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes. This was only the second time I've used my pressure cooker, and it hissed throughout the whole 40 minutes, even when it was only at low pressure, so I was a little worried about how the soup would come out. (That reminds me, I guess I need to check the valve before I use the cooker again.) Fortunately, it worked beautifully, other than a small amount of leakage from the jars.

At first, I didn't think I was going to be able to pack 250g of sliced onions into each jar, but it does fit. Barely. The operative word here is "pack." I was out of fresh thyme, so I substituted dried; I'd like to try it again with fresh. I skipped the cheese foam, because I don't have any of the stabilizers called for in the recipe. (I also skipped the more traditional cheese croutons, which is a mistake I won't make twice.)

More than anything, I was impressed by the way the browning reactions worked; I've never seen onions go from raw to so evenly browned with so little time and effort. There was a unusual note to the aroma that I still can't quite place, but it wasn't unpleasant at all. My only complaint about the dish would be that, made exclusively with sweet onions and with added sugar, it was a little on the sweet side. I realize it says to season the soup with vinegar, and I will probably season the leftovers more aggressively, but it would be interesting to try it again with a mix of sweet and cooking onions. All in all, a worthwhile dish.

Now that that's done, I can jump on the bandwagon and do the caramelized carrot soup. Or maybe a variation on it... I wonder how it would work with parsnips?

So it begs the question - if you put sliced onions and a bit of butter/oil in a jar in the pressure cooker - could you get perfectly caramelized onions?

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So it begs the question - if you put sliced onions and a bit of butter/oil in a jar in the pressure cooker - could you get perfectly caramelized onions?

I think the baking soda is pretty key to the whole process, but I don't see any reason you couldn't just put onions, butter and baking soda in the pressure cooker and get perfectly caramelized onions. Certainly it would be worth a try, onions being as relatively cheap as they are!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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So it begs the question - if you put sliced onions and a bit of butter/oil in a jar in the pressure cooker - could you get perfectly caramelized onions?

I think the baking soda is pretty key to the whole process, but I don't see any reason you couldn't just put onions, butter and baking soda in the pressure cooker and get perfectly caramelized onions. Certainly it would be worth a try, onions being as relatively cheap as they are!

Just waiting for the parts for the pressure cooker!

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Are the lids on or off the jars inside the pressure cooker?

On, but only barely tightened. The book notes that the jars might explode if they're overtightened.


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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Are the lids on or off the jars inside the pressure cooker?

On, but only barely tightened. The book notes that the jars might explode if they're overtightened.

Does that mean that the contents themselves are under pressure due to the expansion of the air remaining inside the jar? And wouldnt they be under pressure anyway if the lids were totally off?

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Are the lids on or off the jars inside the pressure cooker?

On, but only barely tightened. The book notes that the jars might explode if they're overtightened.

Does that mean that the contents themselves are under pressure due to the expansion of the air remaining inside the jar? And wouldnt they be under pressure anyway if the lids were totally off?

I assume the contents of the jars are under just as much pressure as everything else in the pressure cooker, and the air in the jars gets out around the the lid, but that the lids are left on mostly to prevent the broth from evaporating or boiling over!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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So it begs the question - if you put sliced onions and a bit of butter/oil in a jar in the pressure cooker - could you get perfectly caramelized onions?

I think the baking soda is pretty key to the whole process, but I don't see any reason you couldn't just put onions, butter and baking soda in the pressure cooker and get perfectly caramelized onions. Certainly it would be worth a try, onions being as relatively cheap as they are!

I tried this using the same butter and baking soda ratio's as the carrot soup recipe. After 30 minutes the pressure cooker started losing pressure quickly so I did a quick release and was left with something similar to an onion jam. It was still very good but if you want caramelized onions that retain some shape then you'll either need to take it out much sooner or play with the recipe a bit

rg


Edited by roygon (log)

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I recently made the Autoclaved Onion Soup on p. 3•302. No crazy ingredients in this one, just a slightly unusual approach: the ingredients are packed, raw, into mason jars, then autoclaved for 20 minutes.

Autoclave onion soup 2.jpg

OK, I don't actually have an autoclave.

Fortunately, they offer a variation, where you cook it in a pressure cooker for 40 minutes. This was only the second time I've used my pressure cooker, and it hissed throughout the whole 40 minutes, even when it was only at low pressure, so I was a little worried about how the soup would come out. (That reminds me, I guess I need to check the valve before I use the cooker again.) Fortunately, it worked beautifully, other than a small amount of leakage from the jars.

At first, I didn't think I was going to be able to pack 250g of sliced onions into each jar, but it does fit. Barely. The operative word here is "pack." I was out of fresh thyme, so I substituted dried; I'd like to try it again with fresh. I skipped the cheese foam, because I don't have any of the stabilizers called for in the recipe. (I also skipped the more traditional cheese croutons, which is a mistake I won't make twice.)

More than anything, I was impressed by the way the browning reactions worked; I've never seen onions go from raw to so evenly browned with so little time and effort. There was a unusual note to the aroma that I still can't quite place, but it wasn't unpleasant at all. My only complaint about the dish would be that, made exclusively with sweet onions and with added sugar, it was a little on the sweet side. I realize it says to season the soup with vinegar, and I will probably season the leftovers more aggressively, but it would be interesting to try it again with a mix of sweet and cooking onions. All in all, a worthwhile dish.

Now that that's done, I can jump on the bandwagon and do the caramelized carrot soup. Or maybe a variation on it... I wonder how it would work with parsnips?

I am trying this first. In my quick lookthrough I was not sure it would work without the autoclave (don't have and won't buy anytime soon). But mason jars and a pressure cooker...those I sure have. Ah these expensive "modernist" equipment :hmmm:


E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Are the lids on or off the jars inside the pressure cooker?

On, but only barely tightened. The book notes that the jars might explode if they're overtightened.

Many of us use pressure canners, which are simply oversized, pressure controlled, pressure cookers. When using these, the lids are kept on. Don't get stuck on the phrase "barely tightened": it is not as crucial as it may sound from Matt's post. However, pressure does need to escape from the jar so as he says, don't overtighten.


Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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Anyone calculate the "sweet spot" of their broiler, per pages 2-22 and 2-23?

I just did, and there's a few issues.

First off, the rods in my electric oven are not evenly spaced; the element consists of 3 U-shaped rods, making 6 straight rods, and the middle one is slightly bigger than the 2 on each side, so my rods range from about 4.5 cm from each other to about 6.5 cm.

That gives me a "sweet spot" that ranges from about 2.5 cm - 3.25 cm from the rods. That's an inch to an inch and a quarter for us metric-challenged people.

That's a LOT closer to the element than I've been broiling at. I'm not even sure if I'm steady-handed enough to get something like a pizza in the oven if I've only got an inch to do it in. And it's confounded by the fact that the element is set in a metal support that hangs down about a quarter inch below the elements.

In order to really broil in the sweet spot, I'd almost have to come up with some sort of system to raise and lower the rack so that I could put the food on the rack, then raise it to the right level. Hmmm.....

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abadoozy, I've had exactly the same issues, and I have a few photos of burnt dishes to prove that something's amiss -- either my understanding or these calculations....

Interesting. I haven't tried it, but my gut feeling was that putting the food that close to the broiler would end up burning things - pretty much your experience.

I also know from experience that my broiler element does not heat evenly, and I wonder how much that would throw things off. My range is going on 15 years old, has been moved into 3 different houses (you know how mad it makes realtors when you tell them the range is not being sold with the house? REALLY mad) and across the country. It's not perfect, but I'm used to it and it loves me :smile: . I'll be really surprised if the calculations work, but I am going to give it a try before I give up. And if Nathan wants a very imperfect, but well-used and well-loved range to re-do his calculations with, I'd be happy to have him over.

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Does the book discuss finding the sweet spot under a broiler in a typical gas oven?


--

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So it begs the question - if you put sliced onions and a bit of butter/oil in a jar in the pressure cooker - could you get perfectly caramelized onions?

I think the baking soda is pretty key to the whole process, but I don't see any reason you couldn't just put onions, butter and baking soda in the pressure cooker and get perfectly caramelized onions. Certainly it would be worth a try, onions being as relatively cheap as they are!

I tried this using the same butter and baking soda ratio's as the carrot soup recipe. After 30 minutes the pressure cooker started losing pressure quickly so I did a quick release and was left with something similar to an onion jam. It was still very good but if you want caramelized onions that retain some shape then you'll either need to take it out much sooner or play with the recipe a bit

rg

So I am assuming that you did not use jars for this? Why do you think the pressure would drop?


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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I recently made the Autoclaved Onion Soup on p. 3•302. No crazy ingredients in this one, just a slightly unusual approach: the ingredients are packed, raw, into mason jars, then autoclaved for 20 minutes.

So there is no mention by you or in the book about putting water in the pressure cooker or using a rack. Did you put the jars in the pressure cooker dry and without a rack?


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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I recently made the Autoclaved Onion Soup on p. 3•302. No crazy ingredients in this one, just a slightly unusual approach: the ingredients are packed, raw, into mason jars, then autoclaved for 20 minutes.

So there is no mention by you or in the book about putting water in the pressure cooker or using a rack. Did you put the jars in the pressure cooker dry and without a rack?

No; I followed the instructions that came with the pressure cooker, and put the jars on a rack and added a cup or so of water underneath. I'm still getting the hang of pressure-cooking, but I'm under the impression that, without some form of liquid in the cooker, there wouldn't be anything to pressurize it!


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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