Thursday, January 17, 2008

Twins and the Runny Egg Yolk


After my six hour ordeal from D.C. to Baltimore, I decided to give up on reaching The Spro or going home, so I headed down to Woodberry to ride out the storm traffic. While there, I decided to set up the Immersion Circulators and go for a test run.

Ever since my visit to Charlie Trotter's and the second course with the poached egg, I've been dreaming of re-creating this on my own. From what our server told us that night, the egg was poached at 60 degrees celcius for eight hours. Of course, it's seven p.m. and service ends at eleven. Four hours. That's gonna have to be enough time to see what happens.

Sixty Degrees.

Working with the immersion circulator is pretty straightforward. Fill a pan with water, put the thing in, plug it in and let 'er rip. Dial in the temperature and wait. Hint: if you're attempting a sous vide at 60C, it's unnecessary to use cold water. Just pour in hot water straight from the tap, the heating time will be shorter.

Once the water started heating, I dropped in four eggs and that was it. Now it was time to wait and make myself useful at the bar!

An order of Poutine and Tri-tip Steak (plus a sample of the new house-ground hamburger) later and it was time to check on the eggs. After three hours in the bath, the yolk was still too runny. Not yet. Gotta keep going.

4 Hours.

Another hour later (4 hours total), service was over and it was getting near the time to get outta there. Pulled another egg and the whites were really getting that lovely, soft texture but the yolk was still runny. Thicker than the other but still runny. Although, pushing back and forth with the fork showed resistance and the promise of something truly exciting in texture to come. The guy at Trotter's was right, we were only about halfway there. Another four hours and it must be something wonderful.

Unfortunately, it was time to go home so the rest of the eggsperiment will have to wait until another time.


Tonkotsu Ramen

Whenever I am in the Rockville, Maryland area, I try to make a stop at Temari Cafe. It's one of the few and only "Japanese restaurants" in the Baltimore/Washington DC area that's actually run by real Japanese people. And it's the only place that I know that serves a decent ramen.

It's good stuff and I wish there was a place like this in Baltimore.

Tori Kara age

Temari Cafe
1043 Rockville Pike
Rockville, MD 20852

Winter Blunderland

Trying to get somewhere in life. At least it looks pretty.

What should have been a routine trip to Washington D.C. turned into a train wreck today.

Had to go to DC to visit the Russian Embassy to file for a tourist visa since I leave for Moscow a week from today. It took a bit longer than anticipated to arrange all of my papers but I got the final papers last night and this morning I was on my way.

Going to DC is a fairly regular thing for me. To almost anywhere in the District, it's about an hour from my house - maybe an hour and a half at most. The drive down was pleasant. Smooth, traffic was light for a weekday and the weather was that crisp cold right before a snowfall. Flurries started falling on the way into the District and by the time I reached the Embassy, the flakes were pretty large but traffic flowed smoothly.

Dropping the paperwork off was pretty simple: put the papers in a slot, the man checks them out to make sure they are "in order" and hands you a receipt. Come back on Tuesday and the visa will be ready. Nice. I'm in and out in a short amount of time and back on the road to Baltimore and on the way to another day behind the bar at The Spro.

Of course, the flurries have turned to a full downpour and snow is everywhere. It's cascading down pretty heavily and through my windshield, the snowflakes streak by like the Millenium Falcon jumping into hyperspace.

This means that accumulation is occuring, traffic is building and I'm generally screwed.

For whatever reason, schools decide to close two hours early. I never understood this. Two hours early means that parents must scramble to get themselves home too. Now businesses are letting their staff go home early. Everyone and their mother is hitting the roads at 12:30pm. So, not only are the roads hazardous because of the two inches of snow but everyone is trying to get somewhere, which means that everyone is going nowhere.

But it's cool because I've got the iPhone and its' maps are directing me to the side roads where I can bypass the traffic. Without a doubt, those other people and their mothers are on the same road. No matter what I do or where I go, I'm foiled at each and every turn.

So, what would have been a simple one hour journey turned into a six hour odyssey that had me meandering across Montgomery County, Howard County, briefly into Carroll County, Baltimore County and Baltimore City. A normal sixty mile journey took ninety-five, and it wasn't uncommon for things to drag on and on. For example, one mile on Interstate 70 took 35 minutes and then I hit the "Authorized Vehicles Only" median crossing and got outta there. Later, 1/4 mile on Lake Avenue took a half hour to cover. It was insane.

In the end, I never made it to The Spro. At six o'clock, I called and told them to close and go home. I was maybe two miles and at least another hour away. Instead, I bailed and went to Woodberry to ride out the storm.


No, I'm not in Montreal this week but I did have a taste of some poutine, I'll let you guess where...