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Cooking with "Modernist Cuisine" (Part 3)


KennethT
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Historic Lamb Curries: Goan Curry & Cucumber Black-Eyed Pea Salad (p. 5•89–5•99)

Tonight for dinner I made sous vide lamb shanks (0.5% salt, 62°C, 48h) with the Goan Curry Sauce and the Cucumber Black-Eyed Pea salad. There are a number of (what I believe are) errors in the recipe, so I did my best to work around them. First, although the table on p. 5•89 states that the cooking time for the lamb is 60 hours, the recipe they refer to on p. 3•109 is only 48 hours: I used the time from 3•109, "Best Bets for Cooking Tough Cuts."—the lamb was perfectly cooked, couldn't have been better. They also state that the finish time on the lamb is 30 minutes, but the recipe itself calls for a one hour reheat: I used the time in the recipe rather than the preparation table. It's already been pointed out uptopic and corrected by the MC team, but the curry sauce needs the addition of 250g of water prior to step 8. I also believe that steps 4,5 and 6 are out of order: I ground the spices prior to adding them to the tomato-onion mixture. The salad calls for channa dal and urad dal, in a very small quantity, and does not include a step to cook them. I have no idea if this is a mistake or not, but my dal were both inedible raw, so I sieved them out after step 7. Finally, the yield is listed as 200g, which is incorrect: the recipe itself calls for 100g of dry black-eyed peas and 170g of cucumber. And of course once the peas are cooked they weigh more.

Those changes being made, however, resulted in a superlative curry, quite possibly the best I've ever had, and certainly the best I've ever made. It is absolutely delicious.

Goan Curry.jpg

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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I'm making the Deep fried cauliflower for dinner tonight, but need some assistance (as usual): the cauliflower foam calls for locust bean gum, which I don't have. Is it possible to replace it with either xanthan or guar gum? Any suggestions for a ratio?

Chris,

You are making a milk based gel using Lo-acyl gellan as the gellant and the locust bean gum is probably introduced to slightly soften the brittle gel from the lo-acyl. I would try xanthan at about .05%. Adding some of the Cauliflower puree into the gel (according to the recipe) will soften it further. From the picture on 5-280 it looks like a soft pillow rather than a hard gel.

Good luck.

Paul Eggermann

Vice President, Secretary and webmaster

Les Marmitons of New Jersey

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Historic Lamb Curries: Goan Curry & Cucumber Black-Eyed Pea Salad (p. 5•89–5•99)

Goan Curry.jpg

Chris, great looking curry that. This was one of the first things I made out of MC and was blown away by it - the cucumber salad is as phenomenal as it is easy to make. I worried about the uncooked dahl too, but have to say they added a really nice crunch to the salad. Not something you'd want in larger quantities but just a few little bites here and there was actually quite good. Still not sure if it is intentional or a mistake, if it's the latter then it's a good one!

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Crispy Cauliflower (pp.5•281–5•283)

Marcona almond, Anjou pear, chaat masala, tamarind pudding

Crispy Cauliflower.jpg

The base of this dish is a large slab of deep fried cauliflower, surrounded by a bunch of little florets, dusted with chaat masala. It includes two sauces: a marcona almond butter and a tamarind puree. I personally preferred the tamarind, it has a bright acidity that is great with anything deep fried. It also has a relatively dense cauliflower foam: it's a different temperature and texture than the rest of the plate, but the same flavor as the main component, so I could take or leave it. It was fun to make, however. Next time I make this I think I will dispense the foam into a bowl and plate it with a spoon, though. I'm not very adept at using the siphon. I liked the flavor of the preserved pears, but my pears were overripe: I'd suggest choosing quite firm pears for this application. Finally, I found plating to be a challenge, in part because I didn't have a good sense of what the final textures of each component were going to be. Does anyone have any ideas or advice for the plating next time?

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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No, I think it's acting as a leavener in that case: the 3hr brine gives it time to work its way into the skin, and then when it gets heated it forms carbon dioxide, which puffs the skin up somewhat. At least, that's the impression I get from the discussion of baking soda in the frying chapter.

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

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Perhaps tangentially relevant to this thread: Maxime Bilet is going to be on Cooking Issues (Dave Arnolds' radio show / podcast) tomorrow (3 April) at noon EST. 718-497-2128 if you want to call in with questions for them.

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Has anyone tried the doing the Garlic Confit with twist-off jars? Over here, those are what you use for jams and canning. Old-style canning jars (similar to US mason jars, but with glass lids) are still available, but not common anymore. I made the Garlic Confit on Sunday according to the recipe (including a partial "untwisting" of the lid), but with twist-off jars. Two jars sealed correctly, a third jar popped-open when I tried if it was securely closed and the fourth jar opened when I touched it. A bit of the oil got into the water during cooking, but not much.

Would it have been better to vacuum seal the jars before cooking (in the chamber vacuum sealer)?

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I'm making the banana puree from the Banana Yogurt Recipe (sans centrifuge).

It calls for cooking the bananas sous vide for 12 minutes @ 190 deg F. Is that time from immersion, or from when the temp comes back up to 190?

AFAIK the cooking time is always measured from when the temperature has stabilized again.

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477160_10101829293707620_7934344_76594411_117750122_o.jpgMade the "Sunday Pork Belly" with red wine cabbage, applesauce terrine, red-eye gravy, and crispy corn pudding last night... it was delicious! I had to improvise quite a few things since I lacked many of the ingredients:

-For the crispy corn pudding I used instant mashed potato flakes instead of Ultra-crisp, using a 1:1 ratio. I also dehydrated pureed frozen corn rather than freeze drying.

-I didn't have any mallic acid, sucrose, sorbitol, fructose, or spray-dried apple crystals for the hot applesauce terrine. I substituted simple syrup for some of the sweetness.

-For the red-eye gravy, I used some lamb stock I had lying around rather than pork stock. I was concerned about this causing a strong lamb flavor, but it turned out really well and I couldn't even tell it was cooked with lamb stock. I used xantham gum to thicken the gravy instead of microcrystalline cellulose.

-For the sous-vide pork belly, I used the basic salt brine rather than pink brine... this is probably one of the best pork belly's I have ever eaten.

All in all, it took about 3-4 hours active prep time, and another hour for cleaning the kitchen.

Edited by Baselerd (log)
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I tried the starch paste a second time. This time I made sure that the solution was evenly spread out across the bag so that I didn't end up with huge clumps. It ended up looking much clearer that way and but the end result was the same - consistency of thick syrup. Is the 400 grams of water too much? I blended the water with the cooked "paste" in my blendtec - can you over blend the paste?

I too failed with this one - definitely does not look like the picture in the book - anyone figure out a correction yet?

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At work, I've got some pork lone roasts sitting in the basic meat equilibrium brine flavored with rosemary, fennel seed, black pepper, and a little clove. It looks like they will be around a couple of hours short on brine time, but I don't think that's deal breaking.

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With regards to plating, I have always felt symmetry, stacking (vertical aspect), and similar sized components make any dish look great. This one's a bit tricky since the large slab of cauliflower is the same texture and appearance as the florets (making the contrast of the dish a bit less).

One thing that helps is artfully arranging the sauces on the plate before placing the other components on (rather than pooling it to the side after plating everything else). Try painting a line of tamarind paste down the center of the plate first, and arranging the other components symmetrically around that dividing line, with the large slab of cauliflower in the center.

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Made the KC BBQ Sauce from MC the other night. Highly recommended; excellent. Notes: It is likely hotter then you might expect from a BBQ sauce. When cooking, it is harsh, but mellows amazingly well once cooked for a while. I used them to finish some smoked ribs (BRITU), and it was perfect, those this particular batch of sauce had 1/2 the amount of hot ingredients as our guests are sensitive to the heat.

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At work, I've got some pork lone roasts sitting in the basic meat equilibrium brine flavored with rosemary, fennel seed, black pepper, and a little clove. It looks like they will be around a couple of hours short on brine time, but I don't think that's deal breaking.

Forgot to update. One of the other cooks grabbed my loins by mistake, and turned them into chile verde, so I never got to test them to the roasting. I tried the resulting chili verde, and could tell there was good flavor penetration by the spices in the brine.

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Made the foie gras torchon last Saturday morning. Went by the recipe, but didn't have white port, so I subbed a 10 yr. tawny... 2/3 were aged only a few hours then frozen and shaved... excellent! The other 1/3 has been aging in the refrigerator.

My question is: the book says to age "at least 3 days" but doesn't give a maxiumum time... If I started curing Friday night, and cooked Sat. morning, do you think it'll still be good by Sunday evening?

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Carbonated Mojito2.JPG

I had a crap load of mint when I "weeded" my garden recently. Of course, making the Mojito spheres was a perfect use for the bulk of those fragrant weeds (I dried a whole bag of them too). I honestly do not have much more to add to Chirs Hennes' excellent pictorial of the process other than to say, follow his direction about "dropping" the mixture into the Alginate bath. That works best.

Carbonated Mojito.JPG

My only "innovation" is how to serve it. Since I had a lot of mint still I went ahead and made a lime-mint granita to serve as a base for the sphere. This is basically the mojito mix without the rum. It really worked great for both looks, taste and texture. I would love to try a Mai Tai for example with a base of coconut or pineapple granita. I am not sure I will go the carbonation route again though. I lost too many spheres transferring to and from the iSi canister. The ones I did serve did not seem to be that heavily carbonated to make that worth it.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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  • 2 weeks later...
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