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Bernie

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    Bribie island Queensland

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  1. There is also another "anomaly" with onions in most recipes. When it says fry/cook/sweat onions in oil/butter/fat for 5 minutes till they are translucent... Well you can do it on high heat and turn them brown, you can turn them into charcoal in no time at all but at lower heat (say frying butter etc) it will take 20~25 minutes. There has been various discussions online over the years and the consensus seems to be that if you put 20~25 minutes in a recipe, no one will cook it because it takes too long just for that first step and it probably double the overall cooking time. So many recipes with onions probably taste different because people don't fry the onions long enough, and so the onions never break down properly. Now in something like a stew or curry that cooks for a relatively long time it doesn't matter. I fact in curries you can use the onions as the basis of the sauce, provided you cook it long enough for the onions to completely break down. You get the onion flavor without adding the onion texture. Another tidbit about curies, stews and such, is the boiling temperature. I actually made a quick curry last night (using green curry paste). I firstly boiled and reduce coconut milk (which I bought cheap not realizing it was 50% water and they add thickener to pad it out. Any more than 50% water I suppose it couldn't be called coconut milk) Then sweated onions for about 20 minutes in lard, added pork (had marinated over night in 5% brine) and curry paste. Added carrot, sweet potato and potato. Then added the coconut milk (now thicker and creamy smooth) The boiling point was 77c-82c. I am pretty sure that would not be enough to break down the onions or cook the vegetables in reasonable time so it had to bubble away for over an hour. If I hadn't already sweated the onions for so long (and at the higher temperature) I don't think they would have broken down. The texture of the sauce was smooth and creamy and the flavors were very well combined. There was no onion pieces at all so they had broken down completely I will be reducing coconut milk from now on as a first step, at the same time as sweating down the onions for 20 mins or so.
  2. No. Because of international differences, I put a link in to describe the biscuits. I wasn't sure if they were sold under the same name in other countries.
  3. One out of left field... Talking on the phone to a friend while she was making dinner, and as part of the conversation I asked what she was making. "meatballs with ginger pineapple sauce". Details are make and cook meatballs. The a can of pineapple pieces plus some extra pineapple juice (and wait for it)..... 6 Ginger Nut biscuits https://www.arnotts.com/brands/arnotts-biscuits/sweet which actually dissolves in the pineapple and juice as it heats to form the sauce. Add the meatballs and a really quick and easy meal. I haven't tried it but just might.
  4. Yep they are farmed in the north of Australia. Both for skins and meat. (here is a sample https://www.koorana.com.au/) They are protected in the wild because they came close to extinction. Now they are on the rebound. They can grow to about 6~7 meters (23feet) weigh in at a healthy 1000~1500kg (2200~3300lbs) and they eat just about anything up to (or over) their own weight that was or is alive. It depends on the size of the crocodile but they have been known to seize a full grown bullock and drag them under. A man is just a tidbit to the large ones (4~6 meters) A 1meter one will probably have a go at a leg or arm of an adult or a whole child, anything bigger will fancy their chances at a whole adult man or woman In most of the northern states you are pretty silly if you wade swim or camp next to tidal creeks and streams and you just don't swim in the northern waters, because of various marine stingers (jellyfish) and more important saltwater crocodiles. (we don't have to worry about sharks, the crocodiles ate them...🙂)
  5. looks to me like its been cooked at 160c rather than 160f. I think 160f (~71c) is about the temperature the white coagulates but the yolk would harden or thicken at a higher temperature so shouldn't be hard. The picture seems to show the yolks already hard. 3 minutes might also be a bit long particularly if the air fryer was to overshoot temperature wise. Also there is no white "membrane" over the yolks which is a bit odd if it was a low temperature cook. Theory might be fine but the application of the theory may leave something to be desired.
  6. Bernie

    Lunch 2023

    😄 And still no beverage to be seen..😄
  7. The only reason to brine is to increase the moisture content at the start. Because its to be smoked it means it can't really be sealed to keep the moisture inside. Smoking at anything much more than ambient temperature for a longish time is probably always going to dry it out somewhat. I have smoked pork after brine, but you are absolutely correct it becomes salty if in brine too long or too strong. I also brine in the fridge to lower the temperature. Here is an explanation for chicken but take it with a grain of salt and I didn't actually check the references. https://shaochiehlo.medium.com/the-actual-reason-to-brine-your-turkey-its-not-osmosis-d96ca056b7a9. The other thing maybe to smoke it for a shorter length of time then continue in foil to do the long cooking (and tenderizing).
  8. I have not smoked a brisket, but would putting in brine for 24 hours help with the "dryness" (wetness?). Though it may make it closer to corned beef if the it takes up any salt, so less concentration of the brine would be preferred. The other way may to introduce some humidity into the smoke - a pan of water?
  9. surely "the piper calls the tune...." (in this case the cook😁) If they can't wait they can go without or get it themselves. (that may include them purchasing a kitchen and ingredients for themselves.)
  10. I tried this with baby carrots. Initially OK when used after SV (sorry can't remember the temp), but after freezing vacuum packed they became very soft almost mushy, suitable (for me anyway) to bulk up stews etc. Even then they tended to be watery and turned to mush which actually provide some body to the sauce. I think i eventually tossed a couple of packets.
  11. Just a thought. When prawns are processed (cooked) on board ship they are boiled. That means the temperature they are in contact with is 100C (+- a little depending on brine, other chemicals) Also the water has a very high heat capacity (its temperature wont drop much as its heating the prawns). It transfers its heat readily. So...when frying one side of the prawn is in contact with much hotter temperatures, the heat transfer will be higher but have a different profile dependent on the thickness. Maybe a quick blanch in boiling water then a very quick plunge into ice water to cool should result in the tails being heated then rapidly cooled and the head etc being heated and cooled but the cooling will be slower because of the mass of the heat etc. Then perhaps a really high heat for a very short time to crisp up the shells without heating the internals? I have taken to "deep frying"in ghee with garlic to get nice crisp shells, (and I have little toast soldiers to sop up the garlic ghee) but most wild caught prawns have fairly thick hard shells to start with and only have soft shells after molting.
  12. That is probably an ideal way to buy prawns. To make a good lasting business they will be doing it right. You might ask them what their opinion is on freezing, whether raw or cooked. Wonder what they feed them on? In Australia, they also farm prawns but its outdoors usually. They farm Barramundi as well and most top chefs prefer wild caught. I actually have never asked about prawns. I am fortunate that we have a trawler that trawls at night (like most do here) and sells off the boat in the morning and messages all the regulars with catch and landing times and its a scramble to get to the wharf before they sell out.
  13. Not sure what a Rotovac looks like, but I have had some experience with vacuums and liquids. Most liquid have a set boiling point at atmospheric pressure. Water its 100C/212F (this is where the water turns to steam, it evaporates) But as you drop the pressure the boiling point also drops. At vacuum levels the water boils off, the "hotter" molecules first then the rest. In fact as the vacuum drops most chemicals "boil off" including things like impurities in the surface of metals and plastics etc. It is why it is VERY hard to get perfect vacuums. This happens to all the different components in the liquid. But they reach their individual boiling points at different vacuums, much like at different temperatures at atmospheric pressures. I would think you need to capture and distill the "evaporates" to add back. But the vacuum you use has to be low enough to boil off the volatiles without boiling off the water. But you will still get some water even at low vacuum. This is temperature of water is the AVERAGE temperature (energy level) of all the molecules that make up the liquid. Not all the molecules need to reach boiling point to change state. We call that drying when we talk about water and wet things like clothes.
  14. In the article decribes Here is a rather interesting article on MSG https://news.colgate.edu/magazine/2019/02/06/the-strange-case-of-dr-ho-man-kwok/ This is also the basis of homeopathy If you wish to believe this go for it. There are many food and health myths that are just that myths. Another good one is "antioxidants" . This was research done in the 1950 -1960 and has a sort of basis in fact. Antioxidants are needed to mop up free radicals around the body. But follow research in the 1970s found your body produces its own levels of antioxidants and maintains that level fairly well until you consume extra antioxidants which cause the body to reduce the level it produces to even out the bodies requirements. This reduced level persist for some weeks after your stop with the high intakes of antioxidants. At best the "extra antioxidants aren't necessary and at worst they may in fact leave your body short until it stabilizes its own levels when you aren't taking the extra antioxidants. If I food claims to have extra or high antioxidants, I avoid them as marketing at best and misinformation at worst. As to the notion that a little poison wont hurt are a bit hit and miss at best, and pretty dangerous course of action at worst. Can you be sure of the what level of a little bit of poison is? Alas, just like cigarettes or alcohol we indulge despite the dangers because we want to.
  15. Prawns (that is what they are called in Australia 🙂) are generally sold as cooked raw fresh or chilled. The last one (chilled is frozen then thawed and kept cold) are, I think, the supermarket chains doing in order to make them look fresh. It also applies to fin fish). So whats that got to do with the topic at hand? Well the deep frying of the shells of prawns makes them palatable to me, though I probably would balk at the shells just cooked in a sauce, as they usually remain flexible and chewy, a texture I don't really like. Most prawns wild caught commercially here are captured in the tropical and subtropical regions and are processed (cooked or blast frozen) on board ship. In order to avoid oxidation, they are cooked or "washed" in a solution containing sodium meta bisulphate and if done poorly in cooked prawns leaves a residual somewhat unpleasant taste. The blackening of the prawns is simply the oxidation of the blood and fluids within the prawn. These fluids are concentrated in the head end and may also be present in the "vein" down the back of the prawn. Initially at least there does not appear to be any change to the smell or taste but for my part I discard the black bits by deheading and deveining the prawns before cooking and or consuming. Prawns farmed commercially are "usually" processed in a similar way although harvesting and processing can be scheduled for cooler times. I find the farm prawns here almost OK but many are farmed in some overseas countries where labor is cheap and standards are generally lower. The tasted of farmed prawns is different to wild caught, probably because of the feed. So what does it all mean? If the prawns are fresh and treated correctly by placing in a ice brine slurry immediately when caught then very little oxidation occurs and as long as they are kept close to freezing they may last weeks or more. BUT even one warming up is enough to start to turn them black and it will continue from then on. Even subsequent freezing will only slow the process not stop it. Whether the brine contains sodium meta bisulphate is never actually suggested but a chemist would be able to tell us if it would be effective. If they are snap frozen (in a blast freezer) I would expect very little oxidation to occur. So, in making your decision about buying prawns in your fish share you really need to know exactly how they are treated. If they are kept on ice for a week then their shelf life is markedly reduced. If you can be certain that they are only hours or a day old and kept cold the whole time then they should be fine. I assume the processors will have to comply with state or federal regulations on food safety and the use of chemicals so that information should be available. Because of the quantities you suggest it may well be worth considering fresh frozen (in small quantities), but some of those offerings from overseas are pretty dismal. Perhaps contact the source farm directly to find out the full range they offer and they may well have all the information on their products.
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