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Msk

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 2)

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Mental note, when making baked beans, don't add any Calcium Chloride to it. It makes the beans seem uncooked even though they are soft inside. I read in the book that adding 1g of CaCl2 per 100g of water will firm up beans and prevent them from splitting, so I decided to play around with it.

It did indeed make a firm bean, not the texture you want in baked beans, but I can see it working in other applications.


John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

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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I made the parametric recipe for shellfish stock using shrimp heads and shells, with a few major changes: 1) I omitted the fennel bulb and leek because I was too lazy to go to the store, and 2) simmered the stock in a pot instead of cooking it sous vide. I guess that makes it distinctly un-modernist, but it was definitively delicious. The ratios are spot on.


 

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For the life of me I cannot find the recipe for mushroom stock, which is referenced several times in the book. Help?

I believe it is a mushroom broth rather than a mushroom stock: is that what you mean? That's on page 19 of the kitchen manual.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Made the Chili Oil over the weekend, but with different Chilis since thats what I had. Very interesting and deep flavor, intoxicating. Would go great on almost anything.

Just as an update to the Mango Sorbet, I have had limited success making this with other fruits. I have tried adding Xanthan Gum, I even tried adding some Fruit preserves. Almost every time as it reaches the top of the jar, it collapses, sometimes all the way down, sometimes less. The mango is by far the most stable.

The best luck I had was raspberries, with some added seedless rapsberry preserves, and some xanthan.

Mike


Edited by Msk (log)

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Re: citric acid vs. sodium citrate. Citric acid is just hydrogen citrate, and since it's the citrate ion that's doing the emulsifying legwork, they should both help emulsify the cheese. The problem is that citric acid is acidic (duh) and sodium citrate is basic, so your pH will be off. The pH definitely affects carrageenan's gelling qualities, and it may affect the emulsifying properties of the caseins in the cheese as well. Also, acids tend to prevent cheeses from melting by increasing the interactions between the caseins.

If you can, measure the pH of your cheese. If it's below ~5.4 or so, increasing the pH may help.

There's almost infinite more info about processed cheese in this scientific review article.

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After listening to Amirault's raving about the pastrami up-topic of course I had to make some. Having no access to decent beef cheeks (let alone Wagyu), and similarly no good short ribs available the week I wanted to make it, I just went with brisket. I used point, but I don't care for the large wedge of fat running between the two muscles, so I butchered it to remove that vein. What I wound up with where three pieces of brisket that were each more or less the thickness of a beef cheek, or perhaps just a little thicker. So I cured for four days (rather than the three suggested for cheek or the seven suggested for brisket): I'm not sure if this mattered in the end or not. I also left the dry rub on when serving because I really loved the flavor. I have to agree with Amirault's judgement here: holy pastrami. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Pastrami on rye.jpg

(yah, I reheated that in the microwave... even so, it was fantastic)


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The way I derived the rule is that I did the calculations for literally thousands of different grill configurations and then plotted them up. To my suprise there was a pretty simple correlation which is the rule that we discuss in the text.

Thanks, Nathan.

It surprises me too, but sometimes linear regression works well even in places you don't expect it to.


Chief Scientist / Amateur Cook

MadVal, Seattle, WA

Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code

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After listening to Amirault's raving about the pastrami up-topic of course I had to make some. Having no access to decent beef cheeks (let alone Wagyu), and similarly no good short ribs available the week I wanted to make it, I just went with brisket. I used point, but I don't care for the large wedge of fat running between the two muscles, so I butchered it to remove that vein. What I wound up with where three pieces of brisket that were each more or less the thickness of a beef cheek, or perhaps just a little thicker. So I cured for four days (rather than the three suggested for cheek or the seven suggested for brisket): I'm not sure if this mattered in the end or not. I also left the dry rub on when serving because I really loved the flavor. I have to agree with Amirault's judgement here: holy pastrami. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Pastrami on rye.jpg

(yah, I reheated that in the microwave... even so, it was fantastic)

Oh that just looks too good. I'm just waiting on the Insta Cure I ordered to come in so I can make some myself. Since Insta Cure seems to be hard to source locally around Los Angeles, does anyone know if you can just make your own? I think it's 6.25% sodium nitrite and 63.75% sodium chloride.

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Also, dumb question time, is citric acid the same as sodium citrate?

Not the same, but you can use it to make sodium citrate. It's basically a matter of adding baking soda, water and heat.

The reaction is: C6H8O7(aq) + 3NaHCO3(s) -> 3H2O(l) + 3CO2(g) + Na3C6H5O7(aq)

Basically, to get 100g of trisodium citrate:

  1. Dissolve 74.45g anhydrous* citric acid in distilled water. You'll probably need around 125 mL of water to fully dissolve it (more is fine, but it'll take longer to boil off).
  2. Add 97.66g sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) slowly. It will produce a fair amount of carbon dioxide (about 2 soda siphon chargers worth). Citric acid+baking soda+water is the reaction behind many fizzy bath bombs.
  3. Boil off the water; what remains is sodium citrate. This can be done in a 175C/350F oven (though it should be possible to use higher temperatures as sodium citrate is apparently stable below about 300C/575F). Breaking it up periodically while it's solidifying seems to help the result end up closer to a powder.

* If you don't know if your citric acid is anhydrous (for what it's worth, my unlabeled citric acid was), you can convert it to anhydrous with heat. Wikipedia says this occurs above 78C (and citric acid decomposes at 175C) so baking it for an hour or so at 135C/275F should probably convert whatever you started with to anhydrous citric acid (which is weakly hygroscopic so it's probably best to keep it in a sealed container).

If you know you have the monohydrate variety, you can measure out 81.43g of it instead. Or if you don't want to bother, you could just use 74.45g of whatever citric acid you have and stop adding baking soda when it stops foaming (somewhere between 89.29 and 97.66 grams) or when the pH is neutral/slightly basic.

I ran this by a chemist friend of mine and he said a quick and dirty method would be to add baking soda saturated water to solid citric acid until it fully dissolves and stops bubbling (might have some overshoot, but you can add more acid to fix this). He pointed out that distilled water is useful because citrate will preferentially bind to Ca2+ over Na2+ if there is calcium present in the water, though slight impurities probably aren't a big deal. Lastly, he mentioned it should be possible to avoid making the sodium citrate beforehand (i.e., add the citric acid and baking soda in the cheese recipe, which is more or less what emannths suggests).

- Sharif

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Oh that just looks too good. I'm just waiting on the Insta Cure I ordered to come in so I can make some myself. Since Insta Cure seems to be hard to source locally around Los Angeles, does anyone know if you can just make your own? I think it's 6.25% sodium nitrite and 63.75% sodium chloride.

i wouldn't. In instacure the nitrite is bound to the salt so the distribution stays even throughout the bag. If you just put the 2 chemicals together you're likely to have stratification or improper distribution.

Spend the $10 and mail order it.

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I made the carmelized carrot soup on Sunday, and it lived up to the hype. The faint aroma of browned butter filled the kitchen, which was nice, even if it meant that precious volatiles were wasted during pressure cooking! The pureed carmelized carrots were so good on their own (though rich), that I could see serving it as an amuse-bouche on porcelain spoons. I don't have a juicer, so I had to go with carrot juice from Whole Foods, but it seemed fine. The final soup was decadent, pure, and silky. I found minced fresh sage to be a perfect addition, though my guests tended to find it a bit overpowering. Personally, I think the sage gave great variation to those mouthfuls that included it, and recommend it as a garnish...

Another great success for a "not too modernist" MC recipe.

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I did another batch of the mango sorbet and learned a few things. I thought I'd post it here for people to capitalize on.

First, my jars just barely fit inside the VP-112. In fact, it was too snug. I could put the lid down and have them in a sweet spot where the lid wouldn't be touching the jar. However, once the vacuum started, the lid of the VP-112 would push down on the lid of the jar, sealing it, and preventing the vacuum from pulling any air out of the jars. This was the result of my jars that didn't 'fluff' up at all.

My first work around from this was to put the jars in on their side, with the lid screwed down a bit (so the expanding mango wouldn't leak through the side). The problem with these versions is that they would sometimes collapse before they were done. Basically a few bubbles would get big and pop, which would cause others to pop, which would cause a reaction and soon it was nearly the volume I started with.

The fix for that problem was to manually stop the vacuum a bit sooner, or add a little more mango to the jar. You'd see it drop a little in volume a few times and from there had just a few seconds before total collapse (it makes sense when you try it).

The other problem here is that when the air was reintroduced to the chamber, the lid would seal on the jar, but not before letting some air in, which would reduce the foam by 50% or so.

The next thing I tried was my jar attachment. This had the same problems as above. Sometimes the seal would be pushed down too much and it would vacuum at all, sometimes it would collapse, sometimes it would go through and foam up well but extra air would collapse it some right before sealing.

I'm still working on a solution. I'm thinking maybe that universal lid that is used in an above post might work better for the last sealing step and not introduce air because of how it works (maybe) since it seems you leave it on the jar and don't use a standard lid. Maybe I can get a few of them and use them with my big jars (4 pint) to do large batches all at once. My only worry here is that with jars that big the mango won't have enough time to reach all the way up. I was doing it for the full 60 seconds the machine allows in the pint jars and sometimes that would just barely be enough time to get it done all the way to the top. I'm not sure how well this scales.

My other idea is to put the jars inside bags, with the lids screwed down (but not fully tight) and then putting them in the VP-112 on their side. Then letting them fully inflate and manually stopping them just before I think they are going to collapse. The hope here is that then when it reaches that point, the bag will then seal before any air is let back in. That will mean that there isn't any extra air inside the jar that can be forced into the jar collapsing things. I'm not sure if cutting the bag open after it's all done will let air in or not (depends on how well the jar seals with only outside air pressure through the bag) but I figure I can just throw the whole thing into the freezer and wait till it freezes and stabilizes before I have to worry about that.

The good thing about this recipe is that the base amount in the book gives you a LOT of jars to play with. I certainly needed all those extra attempts.

Also, I think for trying other fruits the process won't be that bad. As I found above, most my issues were caused by the sealing of the jars themselves. I think for testing fruits it's easy just to put some of it in an open jar, without a lid, and see if you can get it to foam up. I'm confident that if you can, the process will work if you can get it sealed properly.

I think someone (Nathan?) said it was the pectin that makes mangoes a good choice. I also thought I remember someone saying the citric acid helps in reacting with the pectin. I'm wondering if just using strawberries (or whatever) and citric acid and adding some pectin manually will let the same effect work. It should be easy enough to experiment with since you can remove the jar sealing from that step and just add ingredients as necessary to work on ratios.

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Phaz, I was following Nathan's suggestion of using Xanthan, perhaps I just didn't use enough. I decided to add some jelly of the same flavor fruit puree to add pectin content since I don't have Pectin on hand, again maybe there wasn't enough pectin in the jelly. Oh I did the above attempt without any citric acid at all. (the first successful one with pictures) So thats not even needed with mango.

You may have hit on a point too about the universal lid pulling a different type of vacuum, I haven't gone back to using that since I bought the smaller Ball Jars. I made a batch of the Simple syrup so maybe Ill give it another go tonight with some other fruits.

The other question is, if just adding Pectin is the answer, does it have to be heated to get hydrated? Most jelly recipes include it for canning which means its always heated.

Mike

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Phaz, your thought that the release of vacuum in the VP112 is allowing a bit of air in before the jar can seal makes sense although I still can't figure out why one of my jars worked absolutely perfectly, filled right up and stayed that way and why others only partially filled and others wouldn't even start to rise. More experimentation necessary for sure. Since I scaled the recipe down by a large degree I didn't have as much to play with. I did use 1/2 pint jam jars instead of 1 pint jars which fit in the chamber just fine. I figured the end resultant quantity would be fine for service directly from the jar as individual servings (even though there was only 20 grams of mango base in the jar it 'looks' like a large portion to the diner).

Doing a test with other fruits, as you suggest, makes sense too. I did add some pureed frozen saskatoon berries to the remainder of my test batch of mango and while it did expand satisfactorily, the fruit the fruit-to-seed ratio in Saskatoons (service berry) made for a not so pleasant eating experience.

Will try the jar in a bag idea and also with the one small container that was made for vacuum sealing - if a person could find a source for inexpensive or semi-bulk purchase of these canisters it could be good for individual service. Another thing to try would be putting a jar (would probably need to be the 1/2 pint size with its lid and snug ring) inside the external vacuum canister and then repeat with additional jars.

The eating experience of the aerated sorbet was quite nice, especially as it just starts to soften enough to make it easy to spoon out and before it 'melts'.


Llyn Strelau

Calgary, Alberta

Canada

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Carlton-they sell curing salt (pink salt) at Williams Sonoma. It's in the spice section. Of course, I can never leave that damn store with just what I went in for, so be warned you might spend more than you'd bargained for :wink: ...


If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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After listening to Amirault's raving about the pastrami up-topic of course I had to make some. Having no access to decent beef cheeks (let alone Wagyu), and similarly no good short ribs available the week I wanted to make it, I just went with brisket. I used point, but I don't care for the large wedge of fat running between the two muscles, so I butchered it to remove that vein. What I wound up with where three pieces of brisket that were each more or less the thickness of a beef cheek, or perhaps just a little thicker. So I cured for four days (rather than the three suggested for cheek or the seven suggested for brisket): I'm not sure if this mattered in the end or not. I also left the dry rub on when serving because I really loved the flavor. I have to agree with Amirault's judgement here: holy pastrami. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

Pastrami on rye.jpg

(yah, I reheated that in the microwave... even so, it was fantastic)

Oh that just looks too good. I'm just waiting on the Insta Cure I ordered to come in so I can make some myself. Since Insta Cure seems to be hard to source locally around Los Angeles, does anyone know if you can just make your own? I think it's 6.25% sodium nitrite and 63.75% sodium chloride.

I couldn't find Insta Cure locally on Long Island and my short ribs were going to spoil if I waited for mail order. I found curing salt at Williams Sonoma and it worked great! Amazing pastrami!


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 get my instacure from Amazon. Supermarkets often have Morton's cure mix too. I forget what they call it.

Sent from my Droid using Tapatalk

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Morton's Tenderquick is not a substitute for Cure #1 or #2. It contains an unspecified amount of nitrates, nitrites and sugar as well as salt.

What is it good for?

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Morton's Tenderquick is not a substitute for Cure #1 or #2. It contains an unspecified amount of nitrates, nitrites and sugar as well as salt.

What is it good for?

I guess it's good if you follow a recipe formulated to use Tenderquick. I thikn there are web pages that detail the % of the contents, but it's not on the package.

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I've seen that one on Amazon, I just have a problem spending $10 shipping on a $6 item. I ordered from sausagemaker.com because you can get a $10 off coupon for signing up for their catalog if you are a new customer. Wound up only costing $9 shipped.

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I've seen that one on Amazon, I just have a problem spending $10 shipping on a $6 item. I ordered from sausagemaker.com because you can get a $10 off coupon for signing up for their catalog if you are a new customer. Wound up only costing $9 shipped.

You can also get it on ebay, 4oz for $4.75 incl shipping. Just search for curing salt or prague powder or pink salt, etc.

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Has anyone tried to make the bearnaise ice cream from the hangar steak tartare recipe? I'm curious about what the actual yield of the syrup is, since the recipe calls for around a liter of input to yield only 45mL of output. Does it really get reduced that much, of is there a lot left over?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Has anyone tried to make the bearnaise ice cream from the hangar steak tartare recipe? I'm curious about what the actual yield of the syrup is, since the recipe calls for around a liter of input to yield only 45mL of output. Does it really get reduced that much, of is there a lot left over?

I made it and I don't remember much excess. I will note that the ice cream seemed to our tastes way too sweet so maybe I missed a step.

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