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What Are You Planning to Cook?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Slightly different approach than some other threads. I often plan out something different for a weekend meal or line up a big project like a batch of sausage. I thought a thread where we talk about what we're planning and can solicit input might be a good idea and not clutter up Kyle's Random Questions thread. Pics of results will be well thought of in this thread.

So I plan to make the crispy pork belly confit recipe in Ruhlman's book this weekend. The only difference is that I plan to do it sous vide. I'm thinking of cutting it into about 2x4" rectangles and doing two of those per pouch. About 18 hours at 176. I should get three pouches out of a belly and plan to freeze two of those portions. For finishing I plan to pan fry them in the fat from the cooking pouch until crispy or torching them until crispy.

Thoughts on the sous vide vs. traditional lard poach and finishing method? FWIW, the book's recipe calls for deep frying them to finish.
post #2 of 23
That is, AFAIK, overcooking. At 176 you don't need 18 hours, 12 is more than enough. Also, the bags can be kept at fridge temp for pretty much ever, no need to freeze. They are effectively sterilized after 8 hours at 80C.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
That is, AFAIK, overcooking. At 176 you don't need 18 hours, 12 is more than enough. Also, the bags can be kept at fridge temp for pretty much ever, no need to freeze. They are effectively sterilized after 8 hours at 80C.

You're probably correct on the time, thanks. I use 18 hours at that temp for my short ribs which is no doubt a tougher cut. I'd not thought about just using the fridge as I guess I've trained myself to freeze things for longer term storage.
post #4 of 23
I don't know what I'm gonna cook when I get home tomorrow, but I have tons of beautiful vegetables I bought at Kinokuniya today. Will have to think of proteins to go with.
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
You're probably correct on the time, thanks. I use 18 hours at that temp for my short ribs which is no doubt a tougher cut. I'd not thought about just using the fridge as I guess I've trained myself to freeze things for longer term storage.
Freezer might be marginally safer if you keep them for too long, but the texture will be compromised. I've never seen a recommendation to cook anything other than abalone at that high a temp for that long. The standard high temp braise is generally 8 hours at 176. I can't really speak from experience, though, because I cook meat for longer at much lower temps.
post #6 of 23
I have a pound of frozen baby octopi I picked up at the Asian market. Thinking of making a Spanish-inspired braise with them but I'm coming up a little light on inspiration. Any suggestions?
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nil View Post
I have a pound of frozen baby octopi I picked up at the Asian market. Thinking of making a Spanish-inspired braise with them but I'm coming up a little light on inspiration. Any suggestions?

No suggestions but looking forward to seeing the finished product.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nil View Post
I have a pound of frozen baby octopi I picked up at the Asian market. Thinking of making a Spanish-inspired braise with them but I'm coming up a little light on inspiration. Any suggestions?

Octopus is one of the few things that I think are best grilled.
post #9 of 23
Wrong thread I guess, but since we're on the topic of octopus... I LOVE grilled octopus but I recently read something from Mike Symon (I have no idea what the SF cooking bigtimer opinion of Symon is but I can guess) saying you have to cook the crap out of octopus. I think the article said something about sauteeing it, then essentially boiling the shit out of it, before finally grilling it. He said that kept it from being tough... it made it sound like it might be mushy though the way he recommended. Any thoughts from the intelligentsia? Bear in mind that there's basically no way for me to get optimally fresh octopus, btw.
post #10 of 23
I think octopus is a little like calamari and abalone in that it can either be cooked very quickly, or for a long time. Anything in the middle doesn't work and ends up tasting like tire rubber.
post #11 of 23
as for "planning to cook" it would have been better to catch me on Sunday. I went to the farmer's market (really the only big one around here i can get to) and then the "regular" supermarket and brought home a huge haul and went to work for the week. i prepped a bunch of stuff for the week and got ready for a bunch of meals: slow roasted a pork shoulder for about 6-7 hours with some thyme til it broke down enough for me to pull it out for sandwiches for the week... and then some. made up some asparagus soup for the refrigerator. had some chilled tonight for dinner with morels. couldn't resist a few bites of pork. I've got a beef short rib braise pretty much done, just have to reduce the sauce and add a starch for company on thursday. bought some good eggs - i've never tried poaching eggs before and i figured i should have some decent ones to try.
post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Douglas View Post
Wrong thread I guess, but since we're on the topic of octopus...

I LOVE grilled octopus but I recently read something from Mike Symon (I have no idea what the SF cooking bigtimer opinion of Symon is but I can guess) ...

We ate at Lola Bistro last year. Loved it. His beef cheek perogies were one of the best appies we've ever had. His house made charcuterie plate included duck speck. Phenomenal.
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by iammatt View Post
I think octopus is a little like calamari and abalone in that it can either be cooked very quickly, or for a long time. Anything in the middle doesn't work and ends up tasting like tire rubber.
I've heard this too. One time I picked up a dozen or so baby octopi at the grocery store because they looked interesting, and got a oiled pan super hot, threw them in for a couple seconds with some minced garlic and took them out. Added salt pepper and lemon. Viola: nicely seasoned rubber. There must be more to the technique, because they barely touched the pan.
post #14 of 23
The quick cooking really only works with very young and small octopus. For med/lrg ones I whack the hell out of them with a mallet, simmer for a long time with a cork or a big piece of daicon. Only then do I grill, saute or deep fry.
post #15 of 23
what can i do with zucchini flowers? I've got a couple that will go off in the next couple days, want to use them properly.
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