Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Open Thank You Letter To My Colleagues

Hi all,

Thank you all so much for your help on this project. I’d make fun of all the people who went for the obvious cholesterol/heart attack jokes but I think I was the first to post one of my own on the Street Talk blog when the Butter Poached article was posted there. (Great minds think alike)

The shortened history of this concept finds its roots in the Sous-Vide cooking method. Sous-Vide is French for “under vacuum” (Check out the Vacuum Sealer unit and replacement bags used in Sous-Vide cooking on page 262 of the NDG catalog) and has had resurgence over the past decade or so. Most recently it has been popularized by Chef Thomas Keller in his book Under Pressure and with his television appearances including a cooking demo on the today show. Chef Michael Mina has adapted the method for slowly poaching prime rib at his Bourbon Steak restaurant concept.

On the butter subject the theory is that the fat from the butter holds in the moisture of the meat, be it beef, duck, fish or whatever you are poaching. Further the long slow temperatures of the cooking keep the meat from expanding and releasing its juices or absorbing the butter.

Rather than tying up multiple ovens full of pans of hot butter at Bourbon Steak, Chef Mina has created a series of beef bathtubs (my kind of spa treatment) that are filled with clarified butter that are temperature maintained to within 0.09F by a product that is coincidentally available right here at US Foodservice (ok special order call Mike Crispi) called a Thermal Immersion Circulator.

In speaking with Jason, the culinary specialist at Polyscience, the maker of the 7306C Thermal Immersion Circulator the cooking process can be done in a Cambro H-Pan (page 197 of the NDG catalog) or a Carlisle Hi-Heat food pan (page 196 of the NDG catalog.). The 7306C unit is put in the pan-after the clarified butter is liquid. If you try to circulate coagulated butter through this $900.00 piece of equipment,
you will be replacing it soon.

The recipe from US Foodservice Chef Marty Bermpohl is attached and a copy of the blog posting that will be on line on Sunday is attached as well. You can’t click on any of the links on the document but when it posts at tomorrow they will be live there. The Polyscience website has an 8 page culinary brochure that includes the 7306c as well as the Anti-Griddle that has a service that freezes at -30 degrees so you can freeze purees instantly with a hard outer shell and a creamy inside, and the smoking gun which adds real smoke to your dishes without cooking them. All kinds of fun stuff there. (Also if you get a chance bookmark , fun stuff there I was reading a post about Sauerkraut Paper.)

Anyway, thank you all again it was a total team effort to get this info to my customer rapidly. Use the Street Talk blog and email to keep in contact with your peers, you would be amazed how many people-not just in Livermore, but across the country- at US Foodservice are willing to help.

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