Showing posts from January, 2011

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

Cleaning House On Good Housekeeping

I really try hard to produce thoughtful reviews of any product I obtain for such purpose. I have been lucky enough to receive a couple from companies interested in having me look at them. And in reviewing some of my reviews, I have found a lot to be desired.  I am somewhat inconsistent, and I don't have a great methodology... yet. That being said, I need to call out (another) bad review of sous vide equipment.  This isn't the the first time that I have called out a sous vide product review.  Last time, it was Gizmodo that bungled the review.  This time,  Good Housekeeping 's Research Institute produced a shoddy review of the SousVide Supreme Demi. What makes this a shoddy review you ask? First of all, there is a complete lack of detail around the review. The reader isn't given any details on how the review was conducted. We know they tried four recipes that were included in the book, and that the reviewer didn't like the results. Here is a quick synopsis