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  1. Bernie

    Sous Vide Pork Chops

    Pork seems to be one meat that doesn't necessarily have to be rare to be tender. I find it seems to get a bit tough if its overcooked. Now normally with pork chops I will brine them (6%) for 6~24 hrs then smoke them (hot smoke 80~100C for 1 hr then add BBQ sauce (in foil) and continue for 1~1.5hrs then hot sear them But I have done them SV instead of smoke (65C for 1.5hrs) then hot sear them. You do tend to lose some juices in the SV (hence the brining) The 65C starts to do things to the connective tissue and turns them into jelly, and the hot sear renders any remaining fat. I think the lowish heat in the smoking does the same thing. If you want a truly tender pork rolled roast, SV 65C for 24hrs, then the oven at 200 for 20 minutes or so to improve the look and outer skin. BUT you cant get crackling unless you remove it before starting and cook separately.
  2. I think you get arrested these days for tampering with a tart...🤫
  3. easy horses doovers Button mushrooms (1~1.5 inch across) chop up jalapeno peppers mix with shredded cheese, about a teaspoon in each. pop in the oven till the mushrooms are cooked. Variations are shredded bacon/ham/chorizo nice ripe tomatoes. Add a small knob of butter if you are using one of the harder cheeses that don't release some of their oil while cooking. Even just a slice of cherry tomato on mushrooms with a little salt and pepper, put in the oven to cook the mushroom does for the "pepper wary" Serve them warm to hot. They are still OK cold but better warm hot. Its finger food but you could serve on 2 tooth picks (so they don't slip off) or a spoon (if you have enough) 😀 Surprisingly good with bubbles (we can't call it champagne anymore)😒
  4. Seriously though, going back to the original sandwich. You could change the type of cheese. Not too strong to override the turkey but go for cheese with a different texture. Also perhaps a small amount of red onion sliced very thinly (depends on whether your co workers will object to the onion breath 🙂), that will have the same effect as Vegemite (which is an acquired taste) which is to move the taste towards the savory.
  5. Bernie

    Dinner 2022

    Agree totally. When I was growing up i was taught it was bad manners to wear a hat inside at all, much less at the dinner table! In fact if you went to a local RSL club (Returned Services League) if you wore a hat in the club it was seen as a mark of disrespect and would often lead to fisticuffs. Even driving a car, wearing a hat is considered poor form.
  6. The first thing you should do when visiting someone is to go to the cutlery draw and grab all the forks in one hand and all the spoons in the other and swap them round. Then you find out who has OCD 🤣😜
  7. Just an outsider view, not about cooking. A few years ago i was investigating heat pipes as a way to cool small chambers for medical research. Basically we needed very low noise (electrical) so having heating/cooling elements away from the chamber is a good isolating method. After investigation, heat pipes would sort of do the job, BUT they have to be specifically designed for each job. Basically the liquid to gas phase change of the fluid (which is how the heat is transferred) is the most important design consideration. Whatever the fluid used it must undergo phase change within the hot & cold ends of the tube. So the fluid is super important . BUT more important is the temperature of each end. The "cold" end for instance must be at or below the temperature for phase change, the hot end must be at or above the phase change temperature. So a heat pipe is restricted to specific temperature ranges. The way to get around this is to mix several different fluids each fluid operating in specific temperature ranges. If you think that is easy then you need to consider what happens when a liquid turns to gas, the pressure increases and hence so does the subsequent phase change temperature. It can be done. For cooling or heating in specific heating ranges they work fairly well (like cooling semiconductors where the final temperature can be set and the cooling power can be continuously adjusted to keep the amount of cooling happening. I am pretty sure the heat pump would work pretty well to heat from cold to a specific temperature but that temperature would usually designed into the device and is probably not alterable. Having said that, if you desired your roast to reach say 60C then you could design the heat pipe device to operate to 50C and the roast would get there much quicker but above its design temperature it would only heat up in the normal way, the heat pipe would just not be doing anything above its design temperature. (I actually didn't use the heat pipe, i went to peltier cells since they are effectively fully adjustable by means of current control) As a final note, there is probably a reason why they are not common place and widespread, more to do with the tight tolerances needed in manufacture and the expectation of consumers that they operate over wide temperature ranges.
  8. I think that it is because the sweet potatoes cook in about half the time of the other spuds. When they cook in liquid, they also seem to become watery with even small overcooking. Pumpkin seems to do the same thing. Not sure whether they start to absorb water or the water starts to break down the cells. When you cook them in the microwave (by themselves in their skins or a plastic bad/container) they tend not to become watery. I roast them in their skins in the oven till the skins are quite dry and the flesh remains intact though soft. Perhaps try par boiling the spuds for 5 minutes. But it might mess up the flavors from the other ingredients or the thickening provided by the starch.
  9. I have tried a couple of recipes for lamb shanks converted to SV. One was a "Morrocon" spice blend. One was a "Rogan josh" What I found was the lower heat does not convert the spices correctly. Perhaps the proportions needed to be changed. What I ended up doing was to cook the spices separately and then add them to the SV bag along with the lamb. The end result was only just OK but not what I was aiming for. In normal cooking I think the lamb liquid and fats are combined in the sauce and the sauce is reduced in the process. With SV the temperatures are such that that doesn't happen and although I could reduce the sauce afterward it means the lamb has not been cooked in the final sauce. Perhaps if i was to long cook the spices separately but adding something like fatty lamb cutlets and then remove the meat/bone then use the resultant sauce to SV the lamb. For normal lamb roast I now just slow cook (2.5 hrs) in a sealed oven bag with rosemary sprigs at lowish temperature (140c) in the oven and open the bag for the last 15 minutes and increase temp to about 170c to harden/dry the outside (not crisp) have found this to be excellent. Depending on the lamb 2~3 days may well be too long; you may get too much rendering of the fats and juices and the meat itself may be a little dry. If its a young tender lamb then it will not need the time but a old worn out sheep may need the brick treatment (brick treatment: cook the meat with a brick. When the brick is tender, throw the meat away and eat the brick 😀)
  10. actually deep frying (as in when the oil/liquid is hot enough) it is the gas surrounding the food that does the cooking. The bubbles formed when we heat anything with water in it (most food) the water turns to steam and that steam as it boils away from the surface of the food does the cooking This steam becomes hotter, heated by the oil to well above waters boiling point and expands (the laws of physics says so) but it rises to the surface of the oil and dissipates as steam. The oil is bubbling & boiling! (well no it isn't the water in the food is boiling - take the food out the oil stops bubbling) So round the food is essentially a layer of super heated steam which does the cooking Once the food runs out of water or there is sufficient crust formed then the oil may well contact the food and the food will absorb some of the oil, though if the remaining steam can't get out past the crust. oil will certainly not go into the food. Once the water is fully used up the food is likely inedible anyway. The heat transfer is conduction (even though the air/steam is moving the heat is being transferred from the gas to the food and the gas is moved on by gravity (it bubbles to the surface) and is replaced by new hotter steam. That is not convection Convection occurs when the medium circulates around a body because of differences in the temperature of the medium itself, which is not what the gas/oil does. There IS convection happening while the oil is being heated but that is within the oil itself. If the oil is not hot enough to boil the liquid in the food then the oil may well be absorbed. (confid?) The heat transfer is conduction. In an air fryer the air itself takes the place of the oil but the food will still have a layer of super heated steam at its surface. In boiling foods the water/liquid and the internal water of the food are at close to the same temperature and there is no super heating of any steam so the heat is transferred directly from the water to the food. The method of heat transfer is mostly conduction. Below boiling the heat is transferred by conduction (in SV the bag is just a moisture barrier not a heat barrier) But it really doesn't matter as long as the chips cook😀
  11. I agree. It's like when you were a kid and you heard the first rumors about father christmas.
  12. Bernie

    Superbowl 2022

    In keeping with the topic (food for the superbowl?)... I watch a lot of games and love the spectacle and the subtleties of the game. But I have not grown up with it and only make token efforts to make it a special occasion event. The super bowl has become a spectacle in its own right and it seems to me they also play football as well.. So.. In keeping with the need to do something to mark the occasion I thought long and hard as to what to do Well the only thing I could come up with was to change from single malt whiskey to bourbon on my breakfast cornflakes. (only for the one day you understand 😁) I rather like the Bengals but I would have liked some of the exciting quarterbacks that didn't make it
  13. Bernie

    Brining Chicken

    I have brine & cooked chicken following Heston's method. Basically the chicken is cooked over a long period of time below boiling point. The brine is to increase the moisture in the chicken. The brine I used imparted a slight salty taste, not unpleasant but noticeable. The chicken was super juicy and melt in the mouth tender. The texture and mouth feel bears no resemblance at all to the traditional ways of roasting chicken. As for scallops (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scallop ) (there are many different types and substitutes) I was involved in the harvesting and shelling of wild scallops and can say unequivocally that fresh scallops will absorb about their own weight in water. This dilutes the flavor but has the advantage that it increases the weight (they are sold by weight 🙂) BUT if you leave them on a plate or rack in the fridge (or the bench) the water will drain out of them taking some of the flavor with it. Not sure if that also occurs for frozen scallops, I assume they would be the same. One indicator is that the meat of the scallop is nice and white when lots of water has been absorbed. They are usually a dull white when first shelled. Retailers love nice and plump and white because they look good and more importantly weigh more. On display they will nearly always have a good deal of liquid in the dish/display case. This is to keep the plump and is actually what has come out of the scallops.
  14. I make white sauce as a starting point for quite a few different dishes. I have always done it "by ear". Flour, Butter, Milk (or liquid). Probably as most do I sort of know how much of each and then I sort of trial and error to get the right consistency I need. For fairly plain sauce I add nutmeg. It takes away any blandness I sometimes get particularly if I am not adding salt to the finished dish. Method I now use is to heat the butter and stir in the flour to make the roux. Then I take it off the heat allow to cool and then heat the liquid in the microwave then add to the roux stirring with an egg whisk When dissolved and smooth, return to the heat and still using the whisk bring it to the boil (or close to it depending what I am going to use it for). Does anyone have any hard and fast rules as to the ratios. The net has a number of different (obviously copied from one another). 1 Tablespoon Butter(or Margarine) 1 Tablespoon of flour 1 cup milk or 1 Tablespoon Butter 1 Tablespoon flour 1/4 cup of milk (this is going to end up as a single great glop) or 3 Tablespoons Butter 3 Tablespoons flour 2 Cups of milk There are a few other and some with what I think are truly bizarre additions. I suspect I come close to the first one, though I never measure anything, and I think i end up using more milk. Variations are I use cream/milk , milk/white wine (usually for seafood and tarragon) I have made it with beef stock but I am not sure it is classed as a "white sauce" What say you is there a magic ratio?
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