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KennethT

Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)

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I made some garlic confit following the recipe at http://svkitchen.com/?p=1802, using a neutral canola oil instead of your olive oil. It has not congealed or turned cloudy, and it tasted great.

However, any kind of oil/confit is an anaerobic environment, and hence the risk of botulism cannot be ignored. I took issue with the MC Cooks Forum on this question, becasue I didn't think they were necessarily cooking it long enough (depending on your altitude), or refrigerating it adequately. See http://modernistcuisine.com/cook/forum/g-m/garlic-confit/

I agree with Pete Johnson at SV Kitchen. I would make the confit under sterile conditions, then divide it up into small portions that can be individually sealed, and use each portion on a one-time basis, to avoid reintroducing a pathogen into the mix. If you then freeze the individual confit portions, they should last almost indefinitely.

If you aren't sure about the sterility, I would certainly throw it out and start over. Garlic is cheap, funerals are expensive!

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I need some advice regarding the sherry gel cubes that are one of the garnishes for the sous vide lentils in volume 5: in the recipe you are told to steep 15g of chamomile blossoms in 50g of water. It is not specified whether they mean fresh or dried, and in a later recipe they explicitly state that they want fresh blossoms. So I assumed that when not stated, they wanted normal, dried (as in, for tea) blossoms. But that makes the ratio of blossoms to water completely insane: 15g of dried chamomile basically soaks up all the water. So, um. Now what?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'd agree with your assumptions, but 15g of dried blossoms is a LOT of blossoms... especially in only 50ml of water... so even though it's not explicit as in the later recipe, I would assume fresh blossoms.

If you think of making tea (not necessarily chamomile tea) - for normal brewing, I use about 4.5-5g tea leaves for roughly 250ml water and that makes a pretty potent brew - I wouldn't want it stronger than that...

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Well, I think it ought to be pretty potent in this case: this liquid is used to dilute sherry vinegar in a ratio of 3:1 vinegar:tea, and then gelled into tiny little cubes. So it's a seasoning element, and the chamomile needs to cut through the vinegar. What I ended up doing was pressing on the tea to extract as much liquid as I could (I got about 30g), then I made a half batch of the gel (using 25g), so that my agar:liquid ratio was still 1%. That seemed to work well, and I wound up with intensely vinegary little nuggets that still had a clear chamomile flavor to them. I think these will probably end up working very well in the lentils:

DSC_1474.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Oooo fine knife work! I'm trying to envision the taste right now. I could think of a hundred different applications for these, might need to make some.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

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OK - so, in this case, it makes sense... especially if the finished product worked out well! I didn't realize the tea:vinegar ratio was so low - so I guess it makes to require a real strong tea to come through at all with all that vinegar.

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Right, though I still wouldn't be surprised if your guess is correct and they intended fresh blossoms, just given the fact that the dried blossoms basically absorbed all of the water and it had to be pressed out of them.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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The next component of the dish is a hazelnut brittle: nothing modernist here, just a standard brittle with hazelnuts and cherries. I've never had a hazelnut brittle though, and I love it. A note about preparing it, though: make sure you chop your hazelnuts really fine, the larger chunks will prevent you from rolling it thin enough. Obvious, I know, but of course I still screwed it up and had some pieces too large.

Hazelnut Brittle.jpg


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'm doing final assembly here, and ran into another glitch: the recipe calls for 175g of vinaigrette to 350g of lentils. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that one of those numbers is a typo. I'd swear that last time I made this it was something like 10g of vinaigrette, but I can't find where I got that number. Does anyone recall seeing it anywhere? I'll just go by taste here tonight, but this will drive me crazy.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Chris,

The recipe calls for 10 gm of the gel cubes, 40 gm of the Hazelnut brittle and 175 gm of the vinaigrette against 350 gm of the lentils. I would just dress the lentils with the vinaigrette until it looks good. Too much dressing on any salad kills it. If you use all the vinaigrette then just spoon it out of the bowl you mixed it in and leave the leftovers behind.


Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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I wonder if the 350 figure in the dish recipe just got transferred from the lentil-component recipe. 350g grams of dry lentils will weigh a lot more after cooking. Of course, it would also make for a lot of salad.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Dave, I think 350g is probably the right serving size, I think I got four salad-sized portions out of it when all was said and done (I also have a lot of leftover lentils, I think we'll eat this again this weekend).

So, this is the closest I have come so far to actually making the recipe as written:

Lentil salad.jpg

Note first off the omission of the foie gras cherry: I didn't feel like dealing with it today. Second, I only had sour cherries on hand, so anyplace the recipe calls for Bing or Ranier they were swapped in. Last, I couldn't find green hazelnuts or chervil, so omitted them. I used red radish instead of black. I couldn't find chamomile essential oil, so omitted it. Phew, that's a long list for it feeling like I got pretty close! Well, the upshot is that this is a fantastic-tasting dish. The flavor and texture combinations are spot on. It's not actually that tough or elaborate, either, compared to all the other stuff in V5. If you like lentils I'd suggest making this, even if you have to omit some components (don't omit the cherry vinaigrette, though, it's great).


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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My first post here, hello everyone!

JOHA SDS2 (a sodium phosphate) -- many of the cheese recipes in the books call for this, as well as the cheese puffs recipe that is posted on the Modernist Cuisine blog. Now, find­ing any food-grade sodium phos­phate, let alone that par­tic­u­lar type is almost impos­si­ble. Until now!

I sent off an inquiry to the Modernist Pantry about stocking this, and they were super-responsive in sourcing it and making it available. They now have this elusive ingredient available now in 50 gram portions.

Now I can finally try the recipe from the MC blog for the cheese puffs, along with a slew of other recipes call­ing for Joha SDS2 sodium phos­phate from the books!

If you need a link for the Modernist Pantry, just Google it; I don’t want to give the impres­sion that I am adver­tis­ing for them or any­thing, because I am not. I’m just try­ing to pass along the news about a source for this item that has likely eluded most of us thus far.

Buen Provecho!

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Thank you both.

Yeah, I'll be hydrating the agar in something other than the alcohol (not sure on a recipe as yet, all I've been given is the dish description along with the instruction of 'make it'), then adding it to the sake which I'm going to hold at around 60C, then use the cold oil trick.

Unfortunately there's no guar in the kitchen.I'll post some photos if it turns out haha.

Yes, do keep us posted! And if they're on the menu somewhere I can stop by and try them out, let me know. I'm curious.

Big anticlimax, the chef forgot to order the sake, so we just went with traditional caviar. It was just for a catering event that I've suddenly found myself in charge of, which is a nice break from the restaurant a few days a week.

I was actually in Guelph a few weeks ago helping my roommate move some furniture back to Toronto, it's a really nice little town.

I'm working at Centro at the moment, so if you do feel inclined to pop in, let me know and I'll organise a nice tasting menu. We've just changed head chefs, and we've just started doing our own charcuterie, which I'm stoked with.

I won't be there for the month of April though, as I'm staging in NYC, but drop me a PM if you want to come in and I'll do my best to hook you up.


James.

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I might have missed it in this thread, but has anyone replaced the wheat beer called for in "Mac and Cheese" with white wine, yet? If so, how does it compare?

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When I thought of it I was going to go with the aged gouda and sharp cheddar from the recipe.

I just made two loafs (with beer) - one from the MC recipe and the other, based on your suggestion, of sharp cheddar and blue cheese. Maybe next round I'll try out the wine wine.

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I've used a couple different beers as well as just water, trying to match the flavor of the cheeses to the liquid: I don't think I'd do white wine and cheddar, personally, but maybe gruyere?


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I can certify that cider works just fine in the M&C with gruyere and cheddar. White wine should be fine; I don't think the higher alcohol should cause any problems, as whatever percentage you start with will be reduced somewhat by the heat.

But of course if the stuff doesn't behave, blame the alcohol!


Leslie Craven, aka "lesliec"
Host, eG Forumslcraven@egstaff.org

After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relatives ~ Oscar Wilde

My eG Foodblog

eGullet Ethics Code signatory

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I wasn't thinking in terms of the alcohol content, just the flavors. I'm having a hard time putting white wine and cheddar together in my head, but maybe it works great.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I make the modernist cuisine mac and cheese at least once a week. I always make it with white wine (chardonnay), and most of the time I use extra sharp cheddar and aged gouda, plus a little bit of sweet paprika. Topped with panko and grated parmesan, and baked until golden, it's by far the best macaroni and cheese I've ever had. And the best part is that the texture is exactly the same the next day.

photo.JPG


Fat gives things flavor. -- Julia Child

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I wasn't thinking in terms of the alcohol content, just the flavors. I'm having a hard time putting white wine and cheddar together in my head, but maybe it works great.

Think Fondue.


PS: I am a guy.

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I know at least &roid has made the Cucumber Black-eyed Pea Salad to go with the Goan Curry in Volume 5: has anyone else? I don't understand the construction of the "seasoning blend", it calls for whole curry leaves and whole (presumably uncooked?!) channa dal and urad dal. I see in the photo that they have indeed dressed the lamb shank with that, but as a salad seasoning it seems pretty strange to include the two uncooked dal and to not julienne the curry leaves.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I might have missed it in this thread, but has anyone replaced the wheat beer called for in "Mac and Cheese" with white wine, yet? If so, how does it compare?

I have played around with the mac and cheese recipe using white wine, red wine, beer, and milk (not at the same time). This is what I have found:

1) White whine is great. think fondue - in fact, this is how I make fondue now...

2) If you like "port wine cheese" type dips and/or spreads, you will like using red wine. The color, however, is not great.

3) Beer is great, but very high bitterness beers (ie, IPAs and the like) don't really work for me. The bitter component is just too much, and not harmonious. I wouldn't limit myself to wheat beers, but just go easy on the bitter.

4) Milk plus carageenan equals one monstrously thick sauce. If using milk, leave the carageenan out. Milk will give a sauce that is more classically "creamy", but will also take the edge off the flavor. Using all milk for the liquid and no carageenan gives a good approximation of "Velveeta and Shells" or "Kraft Deluxe" type mac and cheese, except with more cheese taste.

My house mac and cheese is to use all milk (ie milk in place of both the water and the beer), no carageenan, and mostly sharp cheddar cheese. The cheese choice is based on what I have in the refrigerator; we usually have sharp cheddar, but things like aged gouda or gruyere are more rare. This is a dish that I usually make on a whim instead of due to planning. I just make the amount of sauce I need while the pasta is cooking, and mix it with the pasta without cooling it. This results in mac and cheese in about 15 minutes.


Edited by Mark Muller (log)

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