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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)


KennethT
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For those of you who've made the sous vide lentils... did you assume that the quantity of bay leaves (2g) was for fresh? The entire jar of dried bay weighs in at 3g, and putting in 2/3 of it seemed like an awful lot of bay, so I just put in a couple leaves.

I think your scales may be having problems with taring accuracy. Bay leaves are light but not that light.

PS: I am a guy.

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WoW

you have inspired me to look into SV lentils

unfortunately

here green (FR.) are hard to find in 'bulk"

Assuming "here" is the Boston area, they're in the bulk bins at the Harvest Coop (Central Sq Cambridge and JP). Whole Foods also has them, either in the bulk bins or with the rest of the dried beans. I think they're under $3/lb at both places. They're not du Puy, but they're good enough IMHO.

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I'm going to call this "inspired by" the recipe for:

Lentil Salad (p. 5•267)

The Volume 5 version of this recipe has you make a foie gras parfait faux cherry: while that sounds delicious, I was more interested in the lentil salad as a weeknight side dish, since it's really not that involved if you don't follow to the letter each of the garnishes. In particular, the idea of making a cherry vinaigrette that the lentils get dressed with sounded excellent.

To cook the lentils you add 350g of lentils, 1000g of water, and over 400g of aromatics (in a sachet) to a bag and cook at 90°C for 1:15 --

Sachet.jpg

It's a LOT of vegetables for the amount of lentils, they contribute a ton of flavor. I imagine you could instead cook the lentils in a vegetable stock and achieve a similar effect. Now, since the SideKIC maxes out at 85°C, I actually cooked the lentils at 80°C and doubled the cooking time:

On the stove.jpg

Unfortunately, I made one approximation too many: instead of using distilled water I used filtered tap water, which left the lentils just slightly too firm in the end. However, the cherry vinaigrette was a fantastic success (though I didn't use MC's exact recipe I followed the gist of it); I also added toasted pecans and dried cherries to the lentils right before serving. At some point I am going to have to make the recipe as written, because even severely bastardized it was excellent.

Finished lentils.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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In case anyone is wondering, the Pistachio Gelato recipe translates well to Hazelnuts. I reduced the salt to 5g instead of 7g for personal taste but left everything else the same. It's really good with chocolate sauce on top or maybe even mixed. I'm going to try macadamia gelato next.

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I'm going to call this "inspired by" the recipe for:

Lentil Salad (p. 5•267)

The Volume 5 version of this recipe has you make a foie gras parfait faux cherry: while that sounds delicious, I was more interested in the lentil salad as a weeknight side dish, since it's really not that involved if you don't follow to the letter each of the garnishes. In particular, the idea of making a cherry vinaigrette that the lentils get dressed with sounded excellent.

To cook the lentils you add 350g of lentils, 1000g of water, and over 400g of aromatics (in a sachet) to a bag and cook at 90°C for 1:15 --

Sachet.jpg

It's a LOT of vegetables for the amount of lentils, they contribute a ton of flavor. I imagine you could instead cook the lentils in a vegetable stock and achieve a similar effect. Now, since the SideKIC maxes out at 85°C, I actually cooked the lentils at 80°C and doubled the cooking time:

On the stove.jpg

Unfortunately, I made one approximation too many: instead of using distilled water I used filtered tap water, which left the lentils just slightly too firm in the end. However, the cherry vinaigrette was a fantastic success (though I didn't use MC's exact recipe I followed the gist of it); I also added toasted pecans and dried cherries to the lentils right before serving. At some point I am going to have to make the recipe as written, because even severely bastardized it was excellent.

Finished lentils.jpg

Ooohhh....thanks Chris! Inspired!

Todd in Chicago

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In case anyone is wondering, the Pistachio Gelato recipe translates well to Hazelnuts. I reduced the salt to 5g instead of 7g for personal taste but left everything else the same. It's really good with chocolate sauce on top or maybe even mixed. I'm going to try macadamia gelato next.

Did you retain the pistachio oil or use a different one?

FWIW, I made a gallon of the pistachio gelato using pistachio butter that I ordered from Fastachi in Watertown, MA. (The recommended source in MC is not available to me). I had several complaints about the first shipment and the second was improved but still not what I expected. They sell roasted pistachio butter and the first one was quite brown and tasted like it was roasted too much. The second batch was better. They did not grind to a fine paste so the product had small bits of nut that I had to strain out after the mix was cooked. The gelato from the second batch was very good. I used Roland's pistachio oil which is readily available.

I used in an a "Deconstructed Baked Alaska" that I prepared for Valentine's Dinner for 40 people.

deconstructed-baked-alaska.jpg

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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I've been using oils from La Tourangelle. I switched out and used the Hazelnut oil which is much less expensive than the pistachio. When I made my pistachio gelato I was thinking about ordering from fastachi but wound up making my own butter instead. I used roasted pistachios from Trader Joes and threw them in my Blendtec with the pistachio oil, skipping a step but getting a super smooth result. In the end I wasn't totally happy with the taste but I think it was just the nuts I used. Next time I may try ordering some bronte pistachios from Sicily. It's not really a cheap recipe in the first place so why not go all out. I'm pretty sure L'Epicerie carries them. Macadamia oil seems to be readily available so I'm looking forward to trying that next.

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Has anyone made the Beurre Rouge from the Escolar recipe? I've made it 3 times and it splits as soon as I let it sit for five minutes after it is done. The first time I thought I maybe reheated it too quickly, but I followed the recipe to the letter the last 2 times. It is not nearly as stable with the Xanthan as the classically made Beurre Rouge. Could it be the liquid brown butter that is the problem??

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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I'm looking at the photos in volume 5, pages 264 and 265, and trying to identify the various components. Can anyone help me out? I want to make this next week and I'm having a hard time figuring out what each component comes out to look like.

ETA: That is to say, these are photos of possible platings of the onion tart. Which one of those things is the onion sablé, which the custard, and which the gratin?

Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Very fair question, Tri2Cook!

Now, I've made double-cooked French fries for 40-50 years or so, and they are certainly OK -- especially when right out of the fryer. But as someone said, even a monkey ought to be able to make hot, fresh, French fries that taste good right out of the fryer -- the real question is what happens after they cool a bit, and what they "feel" like. Certainly there are lots of fast food joints that fall down in that regard.

To my mind, taste isn't the only important factor -- auditory and other sensory "crunch" factors are also important to the overall dining experience. And it was the extra delicious crunch, plus the soft, mealy interior that made those fries so appealing.

Thanks for that. That's exactly the sort of thing I was curious about. A certain degree of holding time without loss of quality is a worthwhile benefit. A fry that's actually significantly better in texture combined with that increased aavailable hold time is definitely worth giving consideration. I appreciate the reply, I was afraid my question sounded a bit "looking down my nose" and that was not at all the intent.

It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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I'm looking at the photos in volume 5, pages 264 and 265, and trying to identify the various components. Can anyone help me out? I want to make this next week and I'm having a hard time figuring out what each component comes out to look like.

ETA: That is to say, these are photos of possible platings of the onion tart. Which one of those things is the onion sablé, which the custard, and which the gratin?

Chris,

After reading the various recipes and introduction carefully it looks to me that on page 264 the stack from the bottom is gratin, sable, onions and arlette. On page 265 they are sable, custard, gratin and onions. I can't tell where the buttery looking topping on the custard comes from in that stack.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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That makes sense: the sablé and arlette are easy enough to recognize, but I wasn't sure which of the other components was the custard and which the gratin. The translucent gel has me stymied as well. I wonder if it's a gelled onion stock?

Neither picture depicts the assembly instructions on the bottom of page 261, so I guess the pictures are just to illustrate a few other possibilities.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Chris,

After reading the various recipes and introduction carefully it looks to me that on page 264 the stack from the bottom is gratin, sable, onions and arlette. On page 265 they are sable, custard, gratin and onions. I can't tell where the buttery looking topping on the custard comes from in that stack.

Chris,

I looked at the picture on page 264 again and realized that the very bottom of the stack is the custard. It is almost the same color as the paper and goes right off the bottom of the page. A darker background or showing it on a plate would have made this shot easier to understand.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Here's what I wound up with:
Completed onion tart.jpg

I made a bunch of mistakes on the way, and somehow managed to wind up with far too little of the gratin component, but overall it was still successful. You can read the gory details here. I'd suggest from a practical standpoint that if you are making this you might want to chop the onions for the gratin instead of just slicing them: the texture made it a little unwieldy to eat.

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Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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On 1330213617' post='1865539, Chris Hennes said:


Here's what I wound up with:
Completed onion tart.jpg

I made a bunch of mistakes on the way, and somehow managed to wind up with far too little of the gratin component, but overall it was still successful. You can read the gory details here. I'd suggest from a practical standpoint that if you are making this you might want to chop the onions for the gratin instead of just slicing them: the texture made it a little unwieldy to eat.


Chris,

Beautiful job. I can taste it just looking at it. Your tip on chopping the onions for the gratin makes a lot of sense.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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To clarify: I'm not suggesting that you chop instead of slicing, I'm suggesting that after slicing, you might want to slide a knife over the pile a few times. I think you need them to remain strands to keep the structure, but shortening the strands would make it easier to eat.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I had reported on the sous vide lentils in this post and reported that they wound up too firm, and suspected it was my use of filtered water rather than distilled: I tried again today and sure enough, using distilled water, they came out perfect. They smell great coming out of the bag, too.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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