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The beef stroganoff stew recipe in the 3-in1 cookbook turned out more of a hearty soup.

It was quite tasty as soup. However, that's not what I was expecting.

Science of Haute Cuisine project
For the Science of Haute Cuisine MOOC with edX, I must do a final project. The assignment is to take are recipe that you enjoy and do experiments to learn how it works. Instead, I plan to take this recipe that has promise and almost works. I will examine what doesn't work, and will do scientific experiments to come up with a better recipe of my own.

What doesn't work in this recipe
I was disappointed with several aspects of this recipe:
* too much liquid
* liquid is too thin (more broth than sauce)
* meat didn't brown during browning stage (seemed to stew in melting fat)
* not creamy
* not enough mushrooms
* not enough potatoes

Changes that don't require a scientific understanding
Although I might need to play around with the quantities, I don't need a scientific hypothesis to change these quantities:
* Liquid - part of the problem is that the recipe calls for too much broth. I will try reducing the broth by 50% and see if other aspects of the stew are adversely affected.
* Mushrooms - I will double the mushrooms, and see how the rest of the recipe is affected.
* Potatoes - Even preparing the recipe for the first time, I realized that more potatoes were needed. I doubled the amount, but I will try tripling the amount.

Viscosity of the sauce
Viscosity refers to the thickness of the liquid. Thin plentiful liquid seems like soup broth. I want thick less plentiful liquid - stew sauce. By reducing the liquid and increasing the amount of mushrooms and potatoes, I will increase the particles in the liquid. Will I increase the viscosity enough?

After cooking the recipe with the initial modifications, I will measure the viscosity of the liquid. If the sauce is not thick enough, I will try further steps to increase the viscosity.

Browning the meat
Was it the temperature or the fatty liquid that prevented the meat from browning? I will measure the temperature of the oil, and also of the melted fat in the oil. After the fat melts, I will drain the fat, and continue to cook the meat.

The original recipe called for sour cream, but it need this recipe to be dairy-free. I tried plain coconut yogurt, but it clumped and didn't do enough for the creaminess. I will experiment with soft tofu and almond milk, but only after I measure the viscosity of the sauce with my initial changes.



( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 25th, 2014 06:17 pm (UTC)
I realize it didn't turn out how you'd hoped, but it looks awesome.
Jan. 25th, 2014 08:43 pm (UTC)
It's a very good soup. I'll keep using that recipe for soup. But I also want to figure out the recipe for the stew that I thought I was making. And that will make a good project for the MOOC.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
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