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Everything posted by Ttogull

  1. They are excellent raw. Even the stems. Cut it all up and top with a soft goat cheese. I too have found that people often give the greens away for free. Especially true for broccoli and cauliflower leaves. At the end of summer, I'm usually left with lots of beet roots I'll never eat because they came with the greens I do love to eat!
  2. My experience is mostly with chickens. I dry brine those with spectacular results. The key for me is to cook the chickens at a high temp (600+ degrees F) in a cast iron pan. But they have to be small birds, no more than 3.5 lbs or else the outermost parts of the chicken get over cooked before the inside gets done. I have been working to translate the chicken method to turkey. I want juicy turkey with crispy skin. Skin that cracks when I put a fork in it. Turkeys are larger (I'm doing 13 lbs) and I get to practice only once per year. But what I've learned from chickens is that the advice given above to let the turkey sit in the fridge uncovered is a vital step. For chickens, I do this at least 24 hours. The skin visibly changes from loose and flabby to tight and thin. Serious Eats also suggests adding baking soda. This raises the Ph, making it easier to brown the skin at lower temps necessitated by the Larger bird size. I might try this this year. http://www.seriouseats.com/2014/11/quick-and-dirty-guide-to-brining-turkey-chicken-thanksgiving.html I've used baking soda to improve the Maillard reaction in other things like soups, so I hope it works here.
  3. This is going to sound crazy, but do you eat kimchi or sauerkraut on a regular basis? https://mrheisenbug.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/l-plantarum-cured-my-eczema/ It has to be raw. There are also supplements. The link includes links to studies. I Had this problem for many years. It was very painful. Nothing provided relief. One year, it just went away all by itself. It wasn't until I read this article and thought back that it went away at the same time I became interested in fermenting vegetables. And I had not eaten them before then. I still eat fermented vegetables every day (right now, a tablespoon of beets and their green) and during the winter try to get a full serving at least once a week. You can't cook it though without killing the benefit. Also, other fermented products such as yogurt are different and don't count for this purpose. It's good for you for other reasons too, so no harm in trying! I know how painful it was so I'm hoping it helps someone here. If interested, also check out https://mrheisenbug.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/anthropology-science-is-l-plantarum-a-keystone-bacteria-for-human-health/
  4. I have a ton of vegetarian cookbooks. I am a committed carnivore, but often like to make vegetables the main part of a meal with meat as a side complement. I'm only listing books that I find to be somewhat valuable to me, with descriptions as I recall them. (Others might think of the books differently.) I don't think they are obscure. I have Madhur Jaffrey's book you mentioned above - I consider it a mainstream classic. I have several other books by her, and they have lots of vegetarian recipes. Very good. If you can find it, there is a British TV show called River Cottage <something>. I last saw it on the European version of YouTube for free. A season was devoted to vegetarian food. Fantastic. There is an associated cookbook called "River Cottage Veg". I have the cookbook, but I don't use it often. The show was inspiring. "From a Breton Garden" has lots of interesting flavor combos. I think it is a classic. "Super Natural Cooking" is fantastic, and focused on grains. I think the author might have other books too. Probably worth getting. If you are into more complicated stuff, "The Millennium Cookbook", "The Artful Vegan," and "Candle 79 Cookbook" are great. I ate at Candle 79 and had probably the best nachos in my life. That's saying something because I grew up in Texas. For newer "cutting edge" stuff, maybe "Dirty Candy", "Vedge" or "Vedgetronic".
  5. I'm not going to spend a lot of time debating this. I frankly don't care. I can't figure out your agenda. Everything I've said is correct. The immune system helps prevent tumors from developing. Here's an excerpt: "In 1909, a scientist by the name of Paul Ehrlich proposed that the incidence of cancer would be much greater were it not for the vigilance of our immune defense system in identifying and eliminating nascent tumor cells. This suggestion gave birth to the generally accepted concept that the immune system plays a vital role in the iden- tification and elimination of transformed cells. About 50 years later, two scientists, Lewis Thomas and Frank MacFarlane Burnet, took Paul Ehrlich’s original idea a step further and proposed that a special type of immune cell called a T cell was the pivotal sentinel in the immune system’s response against cancer. This elaboration led to the coinage of the term “immune surveillance or immunosurveillance” to describe the concept whereby the immune system is on perpetual alert against transformed cells. As dictated by the scientific method, theories must in the course of time either withstand rigorous experimental testing, crumble and be discarded or be improved upon. This basic requirement brought the theory of immunosurveillance under severe attack and great controversy when scientists like Osías Stutman showed in the 1970s that mice supposedly lacking an intact immune system (so-called nude mice) did not become more susceptible to tumor growth as predicted by the theory. Thus, the theory of immunosurveillance remained controversial until an important scientific article entitled “IFN-gamma and lymphocytes prevent primary tumor devel- opment and shape tumor immunogenicity” was published in the journal Nature on April 26, 2001. This breakthrough article was authored by Robert D. Schreiber, Ph.D., and his colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, in collaboration with Lloyd J. Old, M.D., of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY. The experimental evidence presented in their paper unambiguously showed that the immune system can and often does prevent tumors from developing, and thus plays a strong protective role against cancer. These researchers also uncovered important new insights regarding the immune system and tumor development that they dubbed “immunoediting.”" From http://www.cancerresearch.org/CRI/media/Content/Cancer%20Immunotherapy/Cancer-and-the-Immune-System-The-Vital-Connection.pdf The connection with the gut might be highlighted by the fact that the gut can impact the efficacy of anti cancer treatments http://www.nature.com/cdd/journal/v22/n2/full/cdd201456a.html I don't claim that fiber is the holy grail. In fact, it most likely is not. It is most likely a healthy immune system, of which the gut is only a part. Fiber can help when it can, but there are other factors in many cases. Odd, though, that fiber is associated with lower early mortality http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/181/2/83 Again, my earlier question: Is it really the bacon?
  6. The immune system is designed to clean up damaged cells. Lots of things create damaged cells that can create cancer. If bacon and processed meats damage cells and *simultaneously* impair the immune system (by reducing the quantity of fiber eaten), then there will be a correlation as described. BUT, and this is my question, what if one has a well-functioning immune system? Will bacon still be a problem? Let's do it another way. Alcohol. Alcohol damages cells, and high consumption is associated with cancers. Suppose we, loosely speaking, examine alcohol consumption relative to fiber (something not yet done with bacon, AFAIK). http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/25994566/?i=3&from=/26269366/related Short version: Alcohol intake was associated with hormone-dependent cancers among the low fiber group, but not the high fiber. I've read lots of studies like that.
  7. Sadly, what once might have been the case seems to have changed http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4488807/ I know there are all kinds of problems with studies like this. And the many others like it. It makes it hard to use studies to make a point. But even in 1990, T Colin Campbell estimated g/day at a median of 33 g/day for Chinese. That's about the US recommended amount. I've seen other estimates at 20 g/day. That's not high fiber. I can't speak to other countries. High fiber is probably something closer to 75-100g/ day. In general, there is a crowding out effect. More meat crowds out more veggies and fruit. So my original question remains valid. Veggies and fruit can be linked to a stronger immune system which can be linked to better cancer protection. Maybe meat/fat/bacon are not the real problem.
  8. I'm betting the microbiome is going to be a big factor. The microbiome is hugely influential on our immune system. Our immune system is a large part of our protection from cancer, helping to identify and destroy damaged cells. The gut microbiome is significantly impacted by our diets - carbohydrates that we don't digest directly help to feed it. These come primarily from plants and fruit in everyday situations. But if we don't eat enough fiber and stuff to adequately feed the gut, our immune systems can become compromised. When that happens, maybe our immune system loses its ability to help to ward off cancer. Here's my question: is it bacon's fault? Or is it that someone who eats a lot of bacon is more likely to have inadequate intake of fiber and stuff, and it's the latter that is the true culprit? I've read a lot of studies vilifying fat and meat, but not one I've read has compared diets with equal quantity and quality of fiber in the meat and non-meat diets. The problem is that there aren't too many people regularly consuming meat and fat and simultaneously eating lots of fiber. I know a few. We are all very healthy and have reversed many diseases (heart disease, high BP, diabetes, and many others connected to autoimmunity). I find it funny, though, that some of us have a distaste for bacon in large quantities - it's just too salty.
  9. If sunchokes and burdock affect you, I'm betting that dandelion root and chicory root do too. All short chain inulins, as I understand. Inulin sweeteners might also be short chain, because it will taste sweeter than long chain. You might be able to overcome this, if you want. I did. You've got to grow the bacteria in your gut that eat the gases produced by the bacteria that ferment the short chain inulin. Every day, maybe twice per day, eat just a nibble of sunchoke. Not a whole one, just a small nibble. If it causes pain, eat half as much. If you get gas but it is tolerable (gas is normal, pain is not) stay at that level for a week or so. If it is painful, cut the dose by half and try again. Slowly work yourself up. Why? I started a diet focusing on the gut microbiome some time ago. The effect has been amazing. But after gaining the ability to digest short chain inulins from sunchokes, burdock, and dandelion root, my digestion has been amazing. Its worth it. Plus sunchokes taste really good.
  10. Interesting thread. I've been interested in the gut microbiome for a while. As stated, Jersusalem artichokes are high in inulin. As are garlic, onions, and leeks. Few seem to complain about the gastrointestinal effects of the latter. Why? I do not know for sure. But as I understand things, not all inulin is the same. All inulin fails to be absorbed as food in the stomach and the small intestine. It is instead fermented by gut microbes in the large intestine. Some is short-chain, and other is long-chain. The short-chain is broken down quickly, and is very quickly fermented. Other is long chain and fermented later in the distal colon. My understanding is that Jerusalem artichokes have short chain inulins. They are digested easily by the gut microbes They produce by-products like CO-2, methane, sulfur, and other gases. Under normal circumstances, other microbes would feed on these gases, thus canceling the effect. But the average Western diet starves these canceling microbes, so in the short run eating Jersusalem artichokes produces an excess of gasses because there are insufficient gas consumers. Hence pain and suffering by the host by gasses produced but not consumed by the gut. So the response to something like Jersusalem artichokes is likely to be individualistic. I personally have no issues. But my diet includes all chain lengths of inulin (shorter chains including dandelion root, chicory root, and yacon root). A problem is an indication of imbalance. But adding Jersusalem artichokes slowly will help to restore an imbalance.
  11. Ttogull

    Peanut Beans

    Perhaps that speaks to what a good recipe it is. I've made it many times, and loved it each time. Perhaps when you try it you will like it too.
  12. Ttogull

    Peanut Beans

    I eat these very frequently. Love them! I call them cranberry beans. This is my favorite recipe. They go great with garlic http://localfoods.about.com/od/sidedishes/r/braisedcranberrybeans.htm
  13. Yes, cheating on weight (adding to a preweighed box) and substituting qualities (nonorganic vs. organic) would be stealing. But swapping bad for good of approximately equal amount is not. It's this last thing I am talking about. As someone working in the produce department, I would have appreciated someone just setting the bad produce to the side or leaving the other carton's lid up. But not everyone would think of that. And you are funny if you think my germs hands are the worst thing to touch your produce. An orange that falls to the floor goes back on the shelf. I'd bet very few people wash their oranges before peeling them and subsequently eating the inside with their hands. Somebody drops a carton of strawberries - there's no way they go in the trash if they are ok. Those containers have holes, and people sneeze and cough all the time in the produce department. Food is dirty! I forgot to mention that stores know the trick of people grabbing the stuff in the back or the bottom. Often, then, some of the older stuff gets put in the back and the new stuff in the middle. The bread companies know this too and sometimes stock their bread accordingly. Sometimes too the new stuff is actually older because it might come from a different vendor or warehouse.
  14. I personally do not see anything wrong with it. It's a pain for the people following, but not immoral or illegal. It's up to the store to set and enforce the rules. I do shop at a farm stand that has signs prohibiting this practice though. I respect the signs and would expect others to do so as well. But the farm stand makes sure the quality is uniformly good and the weights of the cartons/baskets are as stated. That being said, when I was much younger, I worked in and managed several grocery store produce departments. Like many things, the margins were thin and bonuses (or employment!) depended on how good the margins were and how they compared to other stores. People tend not to buy produce that is bruised or ugly. Yet to throw it away is wasteful (if it is edible) and counts against the margin. The only practical way to respond is to package it. Put slightly bruised apples or bananas at the bottom of a bag. Shrink wrap zucchini with the label strategically placed over a blemish. Use old or partially spoiled veggies and fruits for the crudités platters or fruit plates used for parties - the bad or spoiled parts cut off. This was perfectly fine produce being used, although some of those I worked with were more aggressive than others. I never saw anyone intentionally use rotten fruit. But this practice uses fruits and veggies that are on the edge, so to speak. So maybe something turns rotten before being noticed. Or maybe the buyer thinks the produce can sit for a few days. A funny thing: I worked produce long enough that I can smell that something is rotten. The give away is that it often smells too good. Potatoes, onions, strawberries, citrus, and others smell fantastic as they rot. A bag of potatoes, for instance, has a very potato-ey smell. Oranges smell super orange-y. Anyway, my number one rule in grocery stores is to never buy anything else ackaged for convenience if I can avoid it. Nothing shrink wrapped. No sliced watermelon or cantaloupe. No partially shucked corn in packages. No brown bags of peaches, apples, or bananas. Blueberries are a bit problematic, but I've never had an issue with the plastic see-through cartons. And, just to add, the customer before you might separate the dubious berries from the "good" ones in front of you. But that "untouched" carton might have come from several half-molded ones mixed in the back room by hands of dubious cleanliness. That is, the store itself might be doing what seems so objectionable when done by the customer. EDIT: I can't believe I forgot to say that in a large produce department I worked at, one guy's job was to save the produce with some hope of rescue we brought to him, and he'd trim, package, or otherwise save stuff that couldn't be sold. He was considered a master.
  15. I'm no chemist, but many sources say to avoid the briquettes because of the binders and other chemicals they use. You might be right, but I cook only on natural charcoal anyway. For meat, I'm not sure about the smoky flavor myself. I find that it gives better caramelization and simply fantastic flavor. The fat smoke that comes off of, say, pork chops is overwhelming. I have to duck down under the cloud of smoke when taking the cover off to have any hope of seeing the meat. The difference between that and regular grilling is significant. I don't see it as better, just a different method. One that impresses people. I also don't remember if the article states it, but I find that usually you cannot cook the meat 100% on the coals. You'd burn the outside. So eventually I put the grate back on and use indirect heat to get to the desired doneness. Standard. But veggies I often do cook 100% on the coals. Potatoes, onions, eggplants, etc, all come away with burned black exteriors. Cut them open, and scoop out the insides. Now these ARE smoky. We have an outdoor fireplace and use hickory and oak. Steaks cooked on those coals are very smoky. I have cast iron and clay pots that I use to cook beans in, and those are very smoky even when the lid stays on. Black-eyed peas done like this are amazing. It's 90 degrees F, and I'm thinking about starting the fireplace! Edit: to be clear, the bean pots are nestled in the wood coals for a couple of hours. Edit 2: to get the steaks in lower heat in a fireplace, I use a few fireplace bricks and a small Weber replacement grill. I used to have an expensive Sante Fe grill, but it kept rusting. The bricks work great. Don't use regular bricks as they might explode.
  16. It's been around for a while. I learned it from Adam Perry Lang, who calls it clinching. It wasn't new to him, of course. If you haven't done it before, then I encourage you to try the method with pork chops. Fatty ones. Un-buh-lievable. One thing I did not see in the article is that you don't get flare-ups. Fire requires oxygen, and when you place the meat directly on the coals, no oxygen can get between the meat and the coals. Now you do get tons of smoke fro the fat. But Modernist Cuisine taught us that fat smoke is flavor. Use only natural charcoal of course. No chemical briquettes. The method is not just for meat. Eggplants done this way make great smoky baba ghanoush. Potatoes are awesome. Onions are super sweet. There seems to be some worry about getting ash on your food. It can be avoided by blowing on the coals. It can be brushed off afterward. But really it is good flavor.
  17. I grew up in Texas. I ate in the public school cafeterias. Most days I ate pizza and French fries or chimichangas (deep fried burritos) and french fries. I recall full sugar jello too! The schools had special lines for these. The "healthy" lunch was usually disgusting, but the line was short if you were in a hurry. I tend to agree with the above. Everyone it seems has a different definition of healthy. My daughter's school won an award for its "healthy" fare, and I think it is pure trash. My daughter takes her lunch every day. It starts at home. My daughter knows our definition of healthy food. Out of 21 meals per week (3 per day), only 5 would be at school. Snacks, say 14 per week, are also the parents' responsibility. The majority of the meals and nearly all of the snacks are under the parents' control. My daughter splurges with her friends, eating stuff that she knows we deem unhealthy, but her attitude is good - once in a while is ok. Indeed it is, I think. Is 5 bad meals out of 21 considered "once in a while?" Close, I think. I am dubious that a school cafeteria can produce food I'd call healthy. I remember too well mushy green beans, probably originally from a large can. Shudder. I eat healthy now, and would still prefer a chimichanga. Conversely, I've seen kids that are allowed, for example, to eat only fried chicken nuggets at home. Or just boxed Mac and cheese kids who eat no vegetables at all. One lunch was simple white bread - a whole loaf. Not at just special meals, but at nearly all meals at home. I was aghast. The parents just shrug. What good is trying to force these kids to eat a "wholesome" lunch at school. Even if they did eat it - which they are unlikely to fo - it's 5 out of 21 meals. Of dubious nutrition. The effort to benefit seems lopsided to me.
  18. A few years ago (3? 4?), the peppers at the stores were plain hot. Even the poblanos were incredibly hot. I eat Carolina reaper and ghost pepper sauces nearly every day, so I was ok. Liked it even. But that year I had to be careful when making Mexican dishes for my kid or guests. Then there came news articles that the peppers were hot because of a drought in Mexico. The next year they were back to their usual heat level. If you want heat in your jalapeño pickles, consider adding halves of hot peppers like habanero to the jalapeños. I do this for my pickled okra. The okra picks up quite a kick. You can eat the habaneros or not. I've never done this for store bought jars, but I think it should work. Just realize it might no longer be shelf-stable if it was to begin with.
  19. I don't think we are truly in disagreement. Your process takes "about 60 days." Tabasco takes up to 3 years, and the mash is mixed with vinegar when inspected and approved. http://www.tabasco.com/tabasco-products/how-its-made/making-original-tabasco-sauce/ My point was merely that a host of factors matter in producing a good sauce, and precise directions might not produce the best result. Very much like saying that cooking a steak for 3 minutes on each side is unlikely to give a perfect steak. ETA: but you are right that the sauce can be made shelf-stable by getting the acidity right. I do not do this. I just pop it in the fridge, and it lasts for, in my case, up to 9 months with no loss of quality.
  20. I ferment/pickle peppers every year. I buy the really hot ones in the Fall and make my own hot sauce. My sauce is hotter than all but a few of the "natural" commercial ones (those that do not use capaicin extract), plus I can add garlic, tomatoes, and whatnot to my taste. I used several pounds of Carolina Reaper combined with Habaneros last August and I'm still eating the sauce every morning on my omelette. Doing this with jalapeños is exactly the same. I've done them in previous years. If I want pickled slices, I slice the peppers. I also add carrots, onions, garlic, and anything else that sounds good. I then prepare a brine that is about 3% salt by weight (3 g of salt per 100 g of water). I use spring water, not tap because the latter might have antimicrobial compounds. I use the raw produce, so there is no need to use cultures or whey found in many recipes. If you cook the veggies, you'll kill the free bacteria that come with them. I have no advice if you do this. You can add Apple cider vinegar as you see fit. I then combine and let them sit in a jar in a dark, coolish room for a while. This is art. Temperature and salinity and other things affect fermentation. Maybe a couple of weeks. Maybe a month. Eat them as things progress. When they are almost, but not quite, where you want them, put them in the fridge. They'll ferment a little more before they slow down considerably, and will be just right after a few days. If not, take them out and leave at room temperature a little longer. If you want sauce, I used a food processor to blend all of the ingredients (I recently got a Vitamix and will use that this upcoming season). I add salt. I eyeball it, so I can't give a precise amount. I stuff that in a jar. I let that sit at room temperature for a month, six weeks, or two months. I just taste and stop when I like it. I call this "mash". The mash will often separate and do weird stuff, but it is good. Then I run the mash through a foodmill and bottle. The pickles and sauce done this way will be probiotic. Not like yogurt, but like sauerkraut and kimchi. Very healthy. When I first started this, I wanted exact times, measurements, and recipes. Over time, I've learned it's Art. Precision is impossible. I've thrown away a few batches, but most are successes. Trust your nose to know the difference. Eta: you must refrigerate the end product for longetivity.
  21. For me, hot dogs are just an excuse to eat Lottie's mustard. Each bite is a lottery. One might be normal mustard; the next might turn on the sweat. Wonderful stuff. http://www.amazon.com/Lotties-Caribbean-Sunrise-Habanero-Mustard/dp/B00KQUTL0E If I have ketchup, I like Melinda's Naga Jolokia ketchup.
  22. I am also a fan of Rick Bayless. I'm pretty sure that I own all of his cookbooks. The odd thing is that I don't really follow very many of his recipes per se, but adopt a lot of his techniques and ideas. I find, however, that each book has a keeper recipe. His first Mexican Every Day, for example, has a recipe for Gulf Coast garlicky rice that the family loves. At every party, I make variations of a peanut snack from another recipe in a different book that guests can't stop eating. Chile Colorado. Cochinita Pibil. Etc. Thank you for the heads up on the new book. His show lately has emphasized fresh, seasonal, and local vegetables, and my reading of the description of the book suggests to me that this book will do the same. I've enjoyed many restaurants that emphasize seasonality, and my hope is that this book will give a Mexican twist to this theme. You've done your shopping, but I would personally load up on the the freshest seasonal vegetables and adapt the ideas in the book to them. From his show, for instance, I always buy knob onions when I can find them, and pair with marinated flank/hangar/skirt steak and make a salsa to cover the onions. Heaven.
  23. I don't have anything to add to PC vs SV, except I've done PC several times and love it. Also, I've been using various types of stout -like you did with the coca cola - and love them. I did short ribs a couple of weeks ago with a coffee stout combined with lots of cumin and ancho chile. It was great in tacos. Chocolate stout is also fantastic. I did lamb shank a couple of days ago with gingerbread stout - lots of Middle Eastern aromatic spices - presented with the reduced sauce, yogurt, raw garlic, Harissa, and roasted eggplant. Edit: Oops, said SV when meant PC! Fixed...
  24. I used to get Border Springs lamb products directly from them at local farmers markets. I second the quality of their lamb breasts. Funny, iirc, that's what I remember that they called them. Maybe they got fancy. When Border Springs got popular (they started showing up in restaurants and, well, places like Reading Terminal, they stopped going to farmers markets. Now they are difficult to find (I live in MD) or inconvenient. I found instead a great Halal butcher. Great lamb. He will cut or trim it any way I like (or he recommends) without charge. One time I got some lamb rib chops from the Halal guy, but realized I did not have enough. I got more at the supermarket. Cooked them together. The difference was astounding. One had no taste. The other had the fantastic taste only lamb and goat have. Guess which?
  25. I recently made Yellow Indian Woman beans. I kept the preparation "simple" with a smoked ham hock, a pig's foot, and some chicken stock. Awesome. I do not remember what I served them with, but a nice bone-in pork chop and roasted broccolini sounds very good right now. The ham hock provided some nice ham bits, and together with the foot gave a nice thick texture to the beans. I always use a Mixteca salt from Rancho Gordo that acts like baking soda to give perfectly formed beans. But I never soak.
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