Showing posts from 2011

Kyocera Knife FAQ Funny

Kyocera makes ceramic knives.  The advantages of ceramic knives are that they remain sharp for a lot longer than their metallic counterparts.  They are also significantly lighter (which some people prefer, but I prefer heavier knives), and they are a little more delicate (meaning, you don't want to use them on product that could potentially damage the knife (meaning frozen foods, or anything with bones).   I say all of this, only because I was recently reminded of this knife, and I wanted to hunt down the original FAQ , which included something that I find very entertaining: Q: The peeler is great! How come you don't make a shaver? A: Too dangerous! A metal razor blade has a relatively "rounded" edge (under the microscope) which prevents the blade from cutting into the skin. A ceramic razor blade, however, does not have a rounded edge and slices into the skin. Thus, a ceramic shaver would be too dangerous to use. Several engineers in Sendai who tested prototy

Bataligate: Twempest In A Tweet Cup

A quick disclaimer: I don't much care about the morality of sound judgement of comparing bankers/customers/anyone to Hitler or Stalin. A bunch of online outlets are linkbaiting the crap out of this Bataligate bullshit.   It's lazy, layup blog-o-journalism, taking advantage of the current political climate along with riling up the primary readership of financial trades. Let's dissect Eater's  coverage : Despite having apologized for comments comparing bankers to Stalin and Hitler, the internet backlash against Mario Batali rages on. Yelpers have been dropping one-star reviews for his New York restaurants; the #BoycottBatali and #BataliGate hashtags on Twitter are blowing up; financial types are trashing his restaurants on Bloomberg terminals; and bankers are bad-mouthing the chef in the Wall Street Journal: "I must have spent more than $5,000 on his stupid black truffles over the years, and now he says I'm Hitler?!" They reference four sources: Yelp

French Reuben Soup

I don't really share recipes on this blog.  It just isn't what I do.  But, today is different.  Just like the last time I posted a recipe.  But this time, I blame a providence of Michaels.  I read Michael Ruhlman's post on french onion soup , and Michael Nagrant tweeted  about reuben soup.   The trick with doing a dish like this is honoring the souls of these iconic dishes without being constricted by them.  So... What is french onion soup? How can anyone forget the first time they had french onion soup?  Molten cheese bubbling on top of crouton floating over a rich, deep caramelized onion broth. The flavors muted only by the burning sensation in your mouth, not realizing that this soup was just sitting underneath a jet-engine-hot broiler. How about a reuben? The reuben is an iconic sandwich of the jewish deli (*).  Corned beef, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and russian dressing layered between two slices of caraway studded rye bread.  Then the whole sandwich ge

More Fish Confusion: Great Globe Article

First of all, great article in the Boston Globe on the pervasive mislabeling of fish.  My one criticism with the piece is the following sentence: The Globe found escolar being sold as white tuna, super-white tuna, or albacore at merchants such as FuGaKyu in Brookline, Kowloon in Saugus, H Mart supermarket in Burlington, and Oishii Sushi Bar in Chestnut Hill. While it is true that the FDA's Seafood List says that you can't sell escolar as white tuna, it is unfair to single out out places for selling escolar as white tuna or super white tuna when it is a pervasive industry practice.  Now, selling it as albacore tuna is more dodgy, because as I have written about before, there is a genuine sushi bar distinction between albacore and escolar . Anyhoo, good article.

My 7 Links

The noble frodnesor  tagged me in to the link-baity "My Seven Links" internet cage meme.  And while the speed of the internet is light-speed, the speed of a Pablo post is still all USPS baby.  So while I am pretty sure this meme is dead, I am a sucker for the lay-up blog post.  Of course, this took two hours to write.   Why?  Because I just reread a lot of my posts.  Which I think is why this meme worked.  It was really nice to stumble down memory lane, I definitely saw some posts that are totally horrifying, but then I also saw a lot of posts I had forgotten about, and were surprisingly, not shitty. My Most Beautiful Post This is a tough call.  Like the aforementioned frod, I am pictorially-challenged.   At first I was thinking that some of my travel posts like  Taco ,  Epoisses  or  Paris , where  I managed to take some quality shots.  Of course,  Ultimately, I think I have to give it to my initial thoughts on the SousVide Supreme Demi , which is really a short rib phot

On The Value Of The $200 Fennel Braiser

This is probably indicative of my state of mind, but I got super furious when I saw the following ad on epicurious: A $200 fennel braiser.  Questions like:  Who the fuck would spend 200$ just for the task of a fennel braiser?   What unique qualities of fennel could be coaxed with a special braising device?   Why would anyone think they could get away with this scam? Where did epicurious get the gall to sell such a ridiculous item? I had to research this further.  Within seconds my rage converted into amusement.  With myself.  At myself.  For within two clicks, I found the following:

Coffee tawk.

Coffee has been top of mind  lately .  With the rising price of coffee in NYC (I think I pay $4 for a thimbleful of iced americano), being able to make an excellent cup of coffee at home is becoming a priority.  I haven't made coffee at home without the guidance of Mr. Coffee himself, so this is going to be a learning process. To further complicate things, I really only like iced coffee.  Oh sure, I'll tolerate the hot stuff when it is freezing out, but give me iced coffee  anyday . Wisdom of the interwebs says that cold brewing coffee is the way to go.  Ratios and tools change, but technique pretty much remains the same.   Once I get a handle on making a good iced coffee, some variations I want to try are: Seasoning.  A  little  bit of  salt  can go a long way. It just makes sense and will supposedly cut bitterness. Cavitation.  I won't be the  first  to take  Nitrous cavitation  to cold brewing coffee, but maybe it's time to revisit the technique. Alcohol. 

NYPL: What's On The Menu?

I think it is safe to say that my niche is turning out to be foodnerdery.  Which is why I am ashamed that I missed the New York Public Library's initial announcement about the friggin' awesome What's On The Menu? project.   What's on the Menu? is a crowdsourcing project chartered to take their incredible menu collection and transcribe it.   Before you think that no one would contribute to this, allow me to say that you are a cynical jerkward, aaaaannnnd... as of July 8th, 2011, there are over 430,000 menu items transcribed. Miss Frank E. Buttolph American Menu Collection, 1851-1930 The NYPL menu collection has about 40,000 menus dating back to the turn of the century.  Approximately 25% of the menu collection is available online , but only searchable by high level meta data about the restaurant, not the menu data itself.  The first stage of the project is to take the menus that are already available digitally and have folks like you and me input what's on ea

The Sous Vide Vacuum Conundrum

SVS Zip Pouch My posts on SousVide Supreme Chamber Vacuum and on the Combi Oven nicely lead up to the subject of the value of the vacuum, and its role in low temperature cooking.  For most home cooks exploring low temperature cooking, there are two primary reasons why you use vacuum sealed bags: heat transfer and eliminating buoyancy.  Even though sous vide literally means under vacuum, you don't need to vacuum seal to achieve most of the desired affects of low temperature cooking.  The truth is, you can use a ziplock bag, manually remove the air out of the bag, and pretty much achieve both of these goals. FoodSaver Clamp Vacuum 2240 That being said, using a vacuum sealer is considerably more convenient.  Especially if you are cooking products that tend to float or you are going to be using like 50 bags.  Most consumers are familiar with the food saver style vacuum sealer.  The foodsaver is an example of an external clamp vacuum sealer.  These sealers suction the air o

"Loaded" "Risotto"

When your dish has a word or phrase in quotes, you are probably being a heretic.  This act can be forgivable when performed artfully.  When the name of your dish has more quotes that words, you are being sacrilegious.  Fortunately for me, I don't work in a kitchen, and like ten people read my blog. For those ten that do, I bring you a special treat.  An actual recipe.  Not just a recipe but a photo of some food I actually made.  I usually veer away from this being a cooking blog because I don't think all that highly of myself as a cook or as a photographer.  And really, who needs another dipshit on the internet writing recipes. But hey, it's 4th of july.  And I was inspired by someone on twitter who twoted: DemianRepucci   Demian Repucci   'Baked Potato Bar' risotto:) The 6min.  @ ideasinfood  method. Awesome. I thought this was clever and figured I could embiggen the cleverness by subbing out rice for potato.   I used my fingers' mo

The Modernist Beat Volume 3

I have been sitting on this one for a little while.  Mostly trying to cover science-y/food convergence type things.  If you have links to suggest for the next one, just pop a comment up in this bitch.  Without further adieu: From the 'how do you get to be a test subject for this study' dept. Scientists have improved on the perfect hangover cure: The Bloody Mary. Where Math And Sausage Infinitely Converge. I give you... the Mandelbratwurst . Locannivorism In the 8th case of its kind, a man self cannibalizes  his own finger. Is this a horrifying trend, or is it really just self foraging? I personally look forward to the negative Yelp review. Obligatory Modernist Cuisine Book give away Marcel's Quantum Kitchen is sponsoring a Modernist Cuisine Book giveaway over at grubstreet. All you have to do is suggest a theme for a future episode. I suspect that Marcel detractors have already suggested self cannibalism or some form of modernist mutilation. Do white choc

Espuma Matata (Culinary Foam Worries)

I have been working on a list of modern cooking technique debates I hate witnessing and the "Do Foams Suck?" debate is filled with jackassery from both sides.  I am a proponent of all culinary techniques regardless of trendiness.  They just have to be well executed and service the dish.  That being said, I think us pro-foamers do need to check ourselves when we attempt to engage the enemy. Say you are minding your own business when some foam hating douche walks up to you and says: I hate foams and everyone that likes 'em! The initial response as programmed by the Internet will invariably be: You hate all foams?  You know that x is a foam right? Where x is: Bread Mousse Cappuccino Beer Your Mother Hocking that loogie is a total red herring.   Obviously, when someone says they hate foams, they are being more specific than any solid or liquid with a gas trapped inside of it.   So, let's stop channeling that nerdiness from high school that got you into this w

The Shark Fin Controversy (One Hot Mess)

The blogs are all a-twitter about California's (and other states ) recent push to ban the possession and sale of shark fin.  This is legislation designed to protect sharks against a practice called shark finning.  Shark finning is the process of harvesting the fin of the shark and discarding the still live shark back into the ocean, where it will either drown, starve or be consumed by other predators. You might think that killing all sharks is a good thing.  Much like one might think that killing all bees is a good thing.  And you might be right.  Of course, you would be betting against most of the credible scientific community.  Look out, I'm going to blind you with some  science : There are a number of reasons why sharks should be protected from senseless and wasteful killing through finning. First, sharks are apex predators in the marine food chain and, without a proportionate number of sharks, an ecological imbalance with potentially disastrous repercussions will occ

SousVide Supreme Chamber Vacuum Thoughts

Earlier this week, SousVide Supreme announced their entrance into the chamber vacuum space.   An OEM'd VacMaster VP112 , this tabletop chamber vacuum sold out within hours of the announcement. Assuming that this isn't the result of EAT, LLC doing an incredibly small first run of chamber vac's, I am surprised that their customers would rush to buy an $800 chamber vacuum to assist with a $400 water bath.  You'd think that people that had the budget for the chamber vac would have bought an immersion circulator instead of the SousVide Supreme. It is possible that once people start cooking sous vide they become more willing to invest.  Maybe I am also underestimating the number of professional kitchens using the SVS.  If that is the case, it makes me wonder if we will see a high end SousVide Supreme 1 .   Finally, I wonder if there was a lack of awareness around the VP112's existence.  It was on my list to research this product given its (relatively) affordable price p

The SousVide Supreme Chamber Vacuum (Vacmaster VP112)

The folks at SousVide Supreme just introduced a chamber vacuum to their product lineup.  Given the name of the chamber vac is the  SousVide Supreme VacMaster® VP112 chamber vacuum sealer  , it appears to be a SousVide Supreme branded version of the VacMaster VP112 (possibly the dumbest sentence I have written this month). The price point is $799 (Which is list price for the VP112), but a quick Google Search reveals prices as low as $650 , for the non branded VP112. ps: Will have more to say later. pps: Buyer beware at that 650$ link.  They have good ratings from Google, but I have never heard of them.

Are Combi Ovens The Future Of Sous Vide?

Is This The Future? I was reading about Shola's post about the possible impending  obsolescence of immersion circulators, when I read: One thing I will confidently say is that the domestic immersion circulator market will be NON-EXISTENT in 48 months or less and IF sous vide cooking makes it into mainstream domestic cooking, it will be in the form of steam/vapor ovens similar to combi technology. Products like sous-vide supreme or sous vide magic are silly novelties at best and the only thing keeping them from zero sales is the lack of an affordable home combi oven. I am not sure if he has the timing right, but I think that when low temperature cooking hits critical mass, there will be a shift away from immersion circulators/water baths and into something more like a combi oven or CVAP.  Here is what I find compelling: Elimination of plastic bags.  They are annoying and not green.  Not being green doesn't really bother me.  But, the consumer market is buying the green thi

New Game: WTFIT.

Stands for, What The Fuck Is This: Tell me what this is.   First right answer gets 100 points and one dollar bill if I ever see you in person.

The Modernist Beat: Volume 2

Here is the roundup of all the stuff I read that I wish I could write more about but can't cause my life is too busy. The Future Will Not Be Turkey Paste Extruded By A Printer Cooking Issue's tackles 3D food printing .  What isn't mentioned in the article is that they are continually asked whether or not 3D food printing is how all food will be made in the future.  The answer can be found in last week's Cooking Issues podcast , which if you don't listen to: shaaaaaaammmmeeee. Happy Birthday Bruno! Bruno Gaussault's birthday just passed last week (according to Facebook).  Bruno is widely considered one of the father's of sous vide cooking.  Somewhere, the father of this father of sous vide cooking is beaming.  At a consistent 62ÂșC. Never Trust Your Gut Brain Scientists are pushing forward their understanding of satiety .  Basically, the enteric nervous system, which is made up of 500,000,000 nerve cells helps regulate hunger.  This gut brain is roug

Ask Pablo: Octopus Sous Vide and Doneness.

On an earlier post about Sous Vide Octopus , erich wrote: Ok, I need some help here. Bought a whole octopus, thawed it, cleaned it, vacuum bagged it, and cooked it for 2 hours at 180F in my sous vide bath. The thing came out very rubbery. Basically the same consistency one would achieve pan frying it. Anything, I'm missing here? BTW, this is not first sous vide dish, but definitely the one that didn't come out at all. I responded with: My guess is that you needed to leave it in the water bath longer, but here are things that may be different between You and I: 1. Size of Octopus. I don't know how thick your Octopus was. Any guess on it's size? Even weight might be helpful. 2. Fresh vs. Frozen. Not saying I know for sure that mine wasn't frozen earlier, but I bought mine in non-frozen form at a fish monger. If yours was larger and colder to start with, it might take longer to get tender. Finally, another thing I do is occasionally squeeze the octopus th

The Taste Map, Umami and Kokumi (Complexities In Taste)

I remember learning about taste in elementary school.  We were taught that there were four tastes: Sweet, Salty, Sour, and Bitter.  Each of these tastes were sensed on a particular region of the tongue.  The teacher handed out mimeographs that had a tongue drawn on them as a pop quiz.  We were expected to write the name of each taste on the proper region of the tongue.  I am sure I had to have gotten at least one wrong.  Which means I got two wrong.  Which means I failed the test.  Which means my elementary school failed me. Why? Because, there is no truth to the taste map theory.  It was information that I absorbed at an early age and never questioned it.  It's like that time I read about the dreaded Hoop Snake and thought that there was a snake that would bite its tail and roll down hills in order to surprise its victim. The Taste Map theory isn't just a little wrong .  It has been debunked several times, including studies in the seventies, before I was even in element

L2 Oh No.

Looks like Laurent Gras' old blog (the one associated with L2O) is serving up some SEO badness.  I'm no genius, but the site that was pretty much wiped clean of content after Laurent left L2o.  Today it started serving up content like: The financial manager for the Rock Island District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers requested an advance decision on the availability of appropriated funds for the purchase of  cold weather gear  for union employees who work outside in cold weather. And, of course, 'cold weather gear' links to a site selling cold weather apparel.  My guess is someone hacked or somehow gained access to the blog and is using it to boost up the pagerank of other sites. ps: If you want to keep up with Laurent Gras, you should really check out his new blog .

The Modernist's Beat: 1st Edition

Here is the roundup of all the stuff I read that I wish I could write more about but can't cause my life is too busy. Cantu-ing Homaro Cantu (of Moto and Future Food fame) announced his latest project iNG Restaurant .  iNG (Imagining New Gastronomy) will be helmed by Thomas Bowman , who was already cooking for Cantu over at Moto.  iNG will be taking over the existing Otom space, featuring creative, confortable, delicious food and featuring a kitchen table for a Miracle Berry experience where every dish is to be tasted with your taste buds tricked out. For more information, check out Digging In . Gelato, Jellato Linda, over at playing with fire and water came up with an ingenious two ingredient recipe for ice cream. I call it Jellato because it is made from heavy cream and Grape Jelly.   And what do you do with Grape Jelly Ice Cream you ask?  Why you use it to make ice cream sandwiches with peanut butter-miso cookies .  Too.  Clever.  Brain.  Shutting.  Down. Of Course