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  1. Bernie

    Dinner 2018

    I think its a frittata...and I have exactly the same problem with left over ham...... Ham steaks, ham & eggs, toasted ham & cheese & tomato, ham& egg sandwiches (both hot & cold), ham sandwiches with pickles...still to come ham & mushroom quiche and ham & jalapeno Frittata.
  2. Bernie

    Commercial Sausage Cooking

    They could Sous Vide (say at 60C) in single serves and hold them at that temp till needed then sear them. At the end of the day just rapidly cool and refrigerate for next time. The refrigerated ones then just need a quick microwave to get them internally to temperature then a quick sear to serve.
  3. Bernie

    Stir Frying in Stainless Steel

    Just a comment on adapter idea. If you consider how conventional cooking works, the "normal" electric hob works using both conduction (the element is hot and in contact with the pot/pan) and radiation (those parts of the hot element not in contact with the pot/pan). Gas works by a combination of convection/conduction (the hot air & gases contacting the pot/pan) and radiation (the hot parts of the gas element that are heated by the burning gases radiate to the pot pan). The induction heating works a lot like a microwave in that the molecules of the pot/pan are directly heated by the radiation (magnetic waves). Now the food in the pot/pan is heated mostly by conduction of the heat from the pan to the food (in theory also a little radiation but not much once the food starts to heat). Radiation relies on the DIFFERENCE in temperature between 2 bodies. The final temperature of the pot/pan/wok will depend on how much heat it radiates into its surrounds. It is receiving radiation from the heat source but it is also losing heat through radiation into its surrounds. What ever material you use for the wok itself, the method of transmission of the heat will be by conduction and radiation. What makes a wok efficient in the way its used is that the gas around heating it is VERY hot. Similarly if used over say a conventional fire (wood or charcoal) the hot gases are very hot and the radiation component is very high. Back to the adapter. For it to be efficient in heating the wok is it must make very good contact with the adapter to allow for very good conduction OR it must be VERY hot to allow good radiation. Because radiation relies entirely on the difference in temperature, once the wok is close to the same temperature as the adapter, it will stop being heated by radiation and so will always remain at a lower temperature than the adapter. So will it work? Of course it will BUT (there is always a but) the adapters temperature will need to be much hotter than the what the final temperature of the wok is supposed to be. My guess wold be that the adapter would need to be heated to several hundred degrees above what the wok temperature needs to be, probably close to the temperature of wood coals (from 1250F to 1800F) which will probably damage your stove. You would then control the heat of the wok by how far above the adapter you placed the wok. (that's effectively what you do with a wok over a conventional fire). That is for a conventional wok, a stainless wok transfers heat much slower so the temperature is probably needed to be even higher. Instead of an adapter you could make the adapter into the shape of a wok and use it directly BUT (that dreaded but) the properties of a wok are twofold; they gain high heat rapidly but they also lose heat rapidly (the food sears but doesn't burn through, the contact point on the wok is cooled by the food/oil and the food is moved on to another hot point), but the adapter wok would not lose this heat rapidly. Any food not moved on immediately would just char. You could make a flat adapter, put a layer of charcoal on it and use the induction to start & maintain the charcoal burning, but you have to deal with the hot gases & ash. Be also be great for searing steak... Probably cheaper and easier to use a wok gas ring and bottled gas but that's a whole new set of problems.
  4. Bernie

    Cheese Fondue

    I waited & waited.......still nobody asked..... Frying bacon naked....????????
  5. Beef short ribs. 1.5 cup of store bought beef stock, dash of fish sauce, dash of apera (sherry-but we can't call it sherry anymore..sigh) 10 whole black peppercorns. Heated in top of stove, reduced slightly to about 1 cup. Let cool (would have used red wine but I couldn't justify opening a bottle just for a dash, prefer to open closer to consuming) (and no, whilst appealing, I am already struggling with weight so sitting and drinking a good red wouldn't help because I would not get anything else done.) placed in bag with 2 boneless beef short ribs. 62C for ~52 hrs (was going to do 48 but more convenient to just let it go longer. Wrapped the ribs in foil, reduced the the liquid on stove by (now over a cup to about 0.25 cups, added a little cornflower (wheat starch) to thicken to make a rich beef sauce. Put beef ribs in foil in 200C oven for a couple of minutes just to bring up to temperature. Served with the sauce over ribs, along with dry mash potatoes (cook potatoes drain return to very low heat to evaporate any water, mash, add a little butter but no milk cream or anything else), steamed frozen green beans. Made a bechamel sauce added, half a teaspoons ground mustard & shredded tasty cheese, heated till cheese melted. Goes nicely over the mashed potatoes (& beans-mmm love bechamel sauce) Texture & flavor and tenderness of the ribs was excellent, the sauce rich. The "dry" mash gives a really nice mouth feel with the slightly tart bechamel/mustard/cheese sauce. Very good counterpoint to the richness of the beef sauce. Beans just finish off the balance nicely. Now was the correct time to open the red wine. (a 4 year old straight Malbec) As usual never think to take photos till afterwards, then its too late.
  6. Bernie

    Making Your Own Condiments

    With all the food the larger companies make, they have to listen and cater to the majority of their customers, old and young alike. They also have to produce continuously and to a price. Quite often that results in condiments/food that is tending towards bland. Unfortunately a lot of people remember their childhood foods when their taste buds tended towards sweet and non threatening tastes (like chilli, pepper, and subtle flavors). As adults, if you never try new tastes you never actually realize that the sauce or food is actually bland, all you ever remember is how good it all was in childhood (the sugar hit). Its funny also how we use generic terms when we refer to condiments. Mayo, Aoli, ketchup, lots of different types with different ingredients and tastes are all grouped together. An example "home made ketchup", "heinz ketchup" are both tomato flavored sauce (well sort of) but they are two completely different products with completely different (I would hope) tastes.
  7. Bernie

    eG Cook-Off 76: Consider the Schnitzel

    Here in Australia (with the kangaroos not the alps) "schnitzel" is one of the pretty standard menu items in most hotels (bars). Generally, when referring to a schnitzel, it is chicken. Here is a list from a menu of a typical club or hotel. Under the general heading of chicken parmigiana: CHICKEN PARMIGIANA (all our parmas are homemade & served with chips) schnitzel crumbed chicken breast served with gravy and lemon wedge traditional homemade napoli sauce, ham and cheese pepperoni salami, roast capsicum, red onion, jalapeños, chilli, tabasco and cheese nacho mexican salsa, cheese, corn chips, sour cream and guacamole aussie ham, bacon, cheese, fried egg and bbq sauce They cook the parma itself and then add the toppings and place under a grill (broiler?) The "parma" is huge, taking up half a plate and usually placed on top of the chips (fries) The toppings on each type are about the same volume as the parma. Altogether it makes a fairly substantial meal,but when you add chips & salad its a huge meal. They are a relatively cheap meal often 1/2 ~3/4 the price of a steak type dish. Most establishments would buy in their parmas (schnitzel) already breaded. I guess the reason to treat chicken this way is that the underlying meat does not have to be perfect, because the appearance is covered by the crumbs. Perhaps its a good use for factory layer hens at the end of their laying career. That may also explain why it is relatively cheap.
  8. Bernie

    Beef Wellington Novice

    We used to make it fairly regularly. This is what we did. Basically its a fillet of beef (we used a whole fillet) coated in mushroom/onion/pate/butter paste wrapped in puff pastry. Heat your oven to 250C (hot) The beef is first tied with butchers twine to keep its shape. Brown on all sides in a hot pan. don't forget to do the ends. Set the fillet aside to rest. In the same pan in the juices, lightly fry off a finally chopped onion till translucent (add some butter if needed). Add double the quantity of onion, chopped mushrooms (you can used canned chopped champignons but they are not as good flavor wise) Set aside to cool. When cool (but not cold) mix equal amounts of soft butter and pate (originally we would use pate de foi gras but its hard to get and most produced by unacceptable method ) with the onions/mushrooms. Remove the string from the fillet, coat it all over with the mushrooms/pate/onion/butter. It can be a messy job. If the mixture is too thin, refrigerate and try again. You need enough puff pastry to completely enclose the beef. We used store bought pastry. You need to have it ready before you start coating the beef. brush the edges of the pastry with egg wash to help seal the edges before you start to wrap the pastry round the beef. Yo can do it 2 different ways. You can fully wrap the beef and overlap the pastry under the beef or make the join at the top but its harder to manage and I don't think it looks as good. Brush the pastry generously with egg wash and into the oven for ten minutes then reduce the heat to 180C and cook for about 30 minutes. It should be golden brown. Rest it like any other meat before slicing at least 1~1.5 inches thick. The meat will be rare to medium rare. Some people have an aversion to red looking meat (ooh..blood...), you can commit sacrilege by cooking for longer so the meat is medium. Just don't tell me.... If your kitchen is hot, you can put the whole thing in the fridge before baking to firm up the pastry. Some people leave out the onions. I have seen recipes where they use short crust pastry. You can do individual single serve beef wellingtons, but I reckon there is a little too much pastry to beef. It is also much harder to get the beef cooked rare, because by the time the pastry is cooked through, the meat is medium to well done. Quantities are a bit hard to quantify. Basically you will be coating the beef to a depth of perhaps 3/16~1/4 inch (4-~mm). The coating should mainly be mushrooms/onions/pate with enough butter to bind it all together. If you omit the butter you usually find the mixture wont bind very well and when it cooks the mushroom/onion/pate will not be combined into a paste like coating. One thing I will say, you need to know the meat is tender. The cooking time for the meat itself is relatively short so the actual cooking is not going to tenderise it. I guess you could add a step in between the browning of the meat and the wrap by using a sous vide on say 50C for a few hours, cooling it in ice water and then just proceed as normal. I haven't tried that yet though so its only a guess. Do a search for Mary Berry. On one of her TV shows she went step by step through the process. It should be on U tube. I seem to remember she used poppy seeds/pate/mushrooms. There are heaps of variations out there these days. Lots of chefs use different recipes just to differentiate their cooking from everyone else.
  9. Bernie

    How to stop Yogurt /stock split

    I have a nice recipe for Lamb shanks Rogan Josh. The recipe uses Greek style yogurt and stock along with the various spices and a long slow braise (3 hrs plus) 7 out of 10 times the result is that the sauce has the appearance of having split the yogurt from the stock. It does not seem to affect the flavor at all, its just the appearance. Is this the result of cooking at too high a temperature at some stage during the cook?
  10. Did Lamb shanks to this recipe https://recipes.anovaculinary.com/recipe/sous-vide-moroccan-spice-lamb-shank but with a few modifications. I simmered the marinade for about 15 minutes and then allowed it to cool. I think this is a better way to incorporate the spices. I have found that spices remain a little course and don't combine and develop their flavors as much when used for long low temperature cooking I used 62C for 48 hours then 68C for 12 hours. I also wrapped the shanks in foil and placed in a warm (60C) oven after the long cooking while I did the next step, because the next step took about 20 mins. I hate just warm food rather than hot food. I also did what one of the comments said about the chick peas, that is strained the cooking liquid, added the chick peas and apricots and then reduced the cooking liquid to form a sauce. Texture of the meat was excellent, very moist, falling off the bone but still close to its original volume, the sinews had softened and a lot of the fat was rendered out. As usual more interested in the result and forgot to take pictures. Served with garlic bread (to sop up the sauce afterwards), though I think there was more than enough meat /chick peas/apricots. Next time I will add a 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper just to the cooking liquid, just to give it a tang. We have a favorite "Lamb Shanks Rogan Josh" conventional recipe we had tried a few days before. Its a "braise" for 3 hours and used to be the standard for Lamb Shanks in texture and flavor, but now its firmly in second place.
  11. I did beef short ribs at 62C for about 16 hours. But i put them in a marinade with equal parts red wine & beef stock, 1/2 teaspoon each of cardamon, paprika, cumin (all ground), a teaspoon of black peppercorns. The marinade I put in a saucepan simmered for a few minutes then cooled. Vacuum bagged 3 largish short ribs with marinade. When done I opened the bag emptied everything in a casserole and heated for 20 minutes in a 180c oven. This gave the meat a nicer finish. This also rendered out a lot of the fat. I was going to reduce the marinade to make a sauce, but that would mean skimming the fat. I was too impatient to do that. We ate it without the sauce, with lumpy mash spuds, and garlic bread on the side, and a nice Brown Brothers Malbec. I let the juices cool completely and saved the fat for later use. It seems to have a lovely savory flavor so should be good to roast or finish off sous vide meats. You are dead right about the fat globules. Also to note that after the sous vide the meat on the short ribs was close to original size. After the roasting it had probably dropped in volume by at least 30% as the fat was rendered out, and it came away completely from the rib. I was happy with the result and I think a lot of the flavor is in the fat so I think you need at least some of it. Next time I might try 62C for 8 hrs then 8 hrs at 74C to render out the fat. One rib was sufficient for one person, and as there was only the 2 of us I got to save the other for lunch. A warm sour does roll with short rib heated in the microwave was pretty good. mmm.... sour dough roll with meat...homer would be ecstatic.... I need to increase my exercise to make up though...
  12. Love the temperature but if the meat is good quality i would drop the time to 1.5 hrs then seer in really really smoking hot pan (use beef fat instead of oil). Its going to burn so do it outside on a preheated grill. 5 hours seems long to me and the meat may become 2 tender. I prefer a little work for my teeth so I can savor the fat throughout the meat. Don't trim the fat either, just do a extra run around the block next week to make up😉 If you cook a thick fillet steak and when tasting first cut off the outside "char" and just taste the pink meat itself, it has a very subtle flavor that is unique to each cut of steak . That said, some of the best steaks I have eaten have been prepared in the normal way (seered then grilled in a hot oven then basted in butter...there is a cheffy term for it but alas I ain't no chef) then rested. They are mouth watering and delicious but a lot of the taste is because of the maillard reaction as well as the nuttiness of the browned butter. Not too many vegetables (and no strong flavors). Add a really good robust aged red wine and there is nothing better. I think I need to be alone now and will probably need a cigarette later (funny though I don't smoke).......
  13. Here is a question out of left field. Does anyone do 2 stage Sous Vide? By that I mean cooking for say 40hrs at 62C and then cooling in cold water and put in the fridge for a day or so and then repeating the cooking again for another 8 hours at 62C then proceeding as normal. A couple of times I have had a longish cook and had plans changed and had to store in the fridge and to serve I just heated up to the original cooking temperate I thought the taste and texture improved. I normally did this just for a half hour to get some temperature into the meat prior to browning. Could it be that the transition from cold (~6C degree) to the final cooking temperature (usually ~60 degrees ) actually re activated some enzymes or some such, but their effects might be more pronounced because of the changes that already occurred? One thing this allows is to cook several meals at one time. OK, its manual after the timer is set for the first meal but it means with the same run I could "overlap" and just put into the fridge. Of course after the first cook its necessary to cool fairly rapidly to avoid the dreaded safety/time temperatures for bacteria growth.
  14. Co incidentally, in a previous life (well it seems that way) I was a Tuna fisherman. I poled Bluefin Tuna, Striped Tuna (skipjack) and long lined for Yellowfin Tuna for the Japanese sashimi markets. The Bluefin Tuna fishery was almost destroyed in this country by over fishing. A strict quota ensured there is still a fishery. Its interesting to note the American fishery towards the end relied heavily on purse seine fishing. It was certainly the most efficient method. There is still a Bluefin Tuna fishery in South Australia both wild and now farmed and long line fishery all round Australia. A South Australian firm has successfully bred Bluefin Tuna artificially, the first in the world, so perhaps the wild stocks may be under less threat into the future. In Australia, most would consider the local purse seine fleet the major contributor to the rapid decline. The fleet of local purse seine fleet numbered between 2 & 10, depending on the season. Most would fish elsewhere (South Africa?) in the off season. In long line & pole fishing, the take from a school of fish is estimated to be in the order of 30% while in purse seine its about 98% or more. Fuel prices and the change in currents (global warming) meant that the returns in good years no longer offset the poor years of bad weather and no fish runs or fish runs far out to sea put paid to most of the fleet. I have seen where the ocean was blood red as far as the eye could see. A purse seine trawler tried to take a school of Bluefin tuna that was too big for their net. The purse seiner herself was almost capsized until the net was cut. Unfortunately the crush of fish in the net destroyer most of the school. Their blood covered the ocean. It was one of the most shameful & sickening sights any of us had ever seen. We were just glad the we were not on that purse seiner. I hope they still have nightmares about the incident. Towards the end of the fishery, there were a couple of American "super seiners" fishing under licence in Australian waters. These very large boats fishing with gigantic seine nets would fish whole schools of Skipjack tuna. There were so many in the nets and in the massive holds of these ships that much of the catch was crushed. The resultant mush was only suitable to be used for fertilizer. This made the fishery barely sustainable economically. These large boats were able to fish in atrocious weather but because of the size of their nets they would be restricted to deep water areas over the continental shelf. Local outrage by green activists at what appeared to be needless slaughter eventually led to the withdrawal of licence to fish in Australian Waters. Some of these boats then fished in less developed South Pacific Island waters. Russian Trawlers of the same ilk also fished these waters. Fortunately, the very lack of infrastructure mean the use of mother ships for processing which appears to have been non sustainable. I guess once you build a boat you have to use it, regardless of what part of the world you originate. Nearly all of these species are migratory round the world, though there seems to be localized migratory stocks as well.
  15. Unfortunately, fish names and species differ from staste to state and country to country. Bendigo, I guess, benefited from being on a major inland route so transport passing through and to the area meant that there was generally efficient fresh produce to and from Melbourne. In New South Wales for instance the long haul inland routes from Melbourne & Adelaide and the time from these cities to some of the major towns mean the cost of fresh produce is prohibitive for small volumes. Any fresh fish (unless local freshwater) comes from Sydney and the transport is not as regular. It is really interesting to see how fresh food distribution effects the way who towns and population view food.