And we’re back with some more sous vide cooking! A few things about pork tenderloin. It’s delicious but only if cooked properly otherwise is just boring. Cooking this cut with traditional methods requires some practice and a thermometer but if you’re looking for that medium rare finish and a pasteurized product then going sous vide is the easiest (and possibly the only practical …) way of getting there.
Hey guys, so Halloween came and went… so happy belated Halloween to those who care. I’ve never cooked anything special for this day before so I decided I’d try and make some Halloween themed food to switch it up a bit… which really is more about making something up that matches some colours than it is about cooking anything traditional during this time. I didn’t want to just throw a bunch of candy in a basket and take a photo either… which would have been more fitting and would have been ok except for the fact that October 31st is also my girlfriend’s birthday, I had (willingly… or more like… yay, another excuse to cook something!!!) to prepare something a bit more elaborate. I also just recently bought the kitchenAid pasta maker attachment, not that I need any excuses to use it because I’m totally obsessed with that thing.
If you know or you know of somebody that holds the true original recipe for bolognese sauce please report back in the comment section if you can. I’m really curious. A simple google search returned over 200,000 result and after checking the first 2 pages of results it was obvious everybody has their own idea of what an authentic bolognese ragu should be. There are obviously the usual suspects in the ingredients list which I tried to keep in mind but seriously, cooking by most common denominator ingredients is plain boring, at least to me.
The absolutely required ingredients in bolognese ragu.
hmm…. meat? I think that’s mainly it. Which kind? well… in today’s world beef because it’s easier to find although historically veal is probably more proper. Pancetta can also be found in pretty much all the recipes I looked at. Then we have the aromatics like onion, celery and carrots. Carrots being fairly popular and onions being in pretty much all the recipes. Wine? hit or miss really. Milk? yep… another one that is popular but not standard. Garlic for sure. Nutmeg… yep. I think nutmeg is probably the only spice being added to this sauce in modern times. No bay leaves apparently. Pork? yep, it does appear but not consistently. Stock? yep… here and there although I should say.. if I can avoid it I will refrain from using stock unless absolutely necessary in a recipe.
If there is such thing as purpose in life, the purpose in the life of chicken would definitely be becoming fried chicken. Hmmm, that was probably a bit harsh, but hey, it’s my honest assessment of what happened to most chickens I’ve met. If you like eating chicken, fried chicken is one of the most delicious things you can do with it next to roasting or sous vide cooking it. I have tried sous vide AND frying combined. Freezing the cooked meat and then deep frying it just to get the proper crust with a perfectly cooked inside… it’s all great but a lot of extra work and to be perfectly honest, a waste of time . You can check out my first standard fried chicken post here. And some sous vide/freezing experimentation here.
I will stand by it. Making fried chicken doesn’t really need any fancy sous vide technique or careful temperature control. The problem is, chicken skin takes forever to brown and so do flour coatings, so unless you up the frying temperature by a lot, no matter how you approach the cooking, the meat will overcook. You’re thinking liquid nitrogen, I know.. (ok, maybe you aren’t) well good luck finding that stuff and living through the pain of using it. Don’t despair though. Like I said, a great fried chicken is attainable with your stove, some flour and oil. Juiciness and crispiness achieved by conventional and simple cooking techniques.
This is a quick one. Two main ingredients. Eggs and Steak. There were other components on the plate but I chose to leave those out and focus on what I thought mattered… my devoted consistent passion for steak and eggs. Specially eggs.
This blog is no stranger to steak and eggs in fact, one of my most popular instagram posts was a photo a took for my article on steak and eggs. This time I come back with a little twist. Sous vide’ed yolks… if you’re into sous vide cooking you’ve probably already spend some time experimenting with cooking eggs. It’s a great exercise to get familiar with the technique. Yolks set at about 70C and whites set at about 80C. This 10 degree difference is what makes cooking eggs a challenge, specially if cooked sous vide. Specially when we introduce long cooking periods….but I digress… It’s a complex subject and right now I don’t have the time or the patience to get into it. Next post!
Not the first time this has been featured on this blog but why not blog about it again. This has to be one of the most underrated preparations of all time. I’m almost inclined to suggest it might be better than leaner tenderer cuts like loin meat. The process is long. It takes about a week to make but so does bacon. And you know how meat lovers feel about bacon… correct! So this 5-7 day curing/cooking adventure will definitely yield something that might far exceed your expectations. I mean… it’s chuck meat. Cheap, tough, you have to boil this thing for hours to make it edible. The magic of sous vide never shined this bright before. Chuck roast. So simple and a powerful statement about getting misunderstood ingredients to steal the show.. I mean this thing even dropped the mike.
Ok, this is a couple of weeks late but happy 4th of July to America! I had an amazing time celebrating with the people I love and the food I love. If you have been following this blog, just a day before the 4th of July I attended a butchering lesson, and I was eager to cook some of the pork bounty I had earned after 8 hours of hard work, sweat and blood, literally. Pork shoulder, slowly roasted in the oven, after a long and flavourful marinade overnight session fit the bill.
When I say 8 hours of hard work, I mean 8 hours. That’s how long it takes to butcher a whole pig the traditional way although I’m sure it goes faster without annoying photographers or eagerly curious students asking a bunch of silly questions like I found myself asking.
I chose the wrong time of the year to roast a 15 pound pork shoulder for sure. The heat wave that’s hitting southern California right now probably contributed to the amazing quality of the crackling I got. I mean, it is HOT and DRY in here! But that didn’t stop me. I wanted to make pork tamales really bad and starting with a perfectly roasted pork shoulder is what I consider key… ok, I don’t know if that’s how most traditional recipes approach it but that’s how I make pork tamales. I’ve found many recipes suggesting boiling the pork, which is fine, but roasting develops more flavor complexity. Guess what…. I love complexity sometimes. Sure, it will take longer, but it is SO WORTH IT.
This pork piece could be served as is, carved at the dinner table and you would definitely impress your dinner crowd. It looks amazing, extremely elegant! and it smells amazing as well. Whether you’re thinking of serving the roast straight or using the meat for far more ambitious applications let me break down the process of making this roast in 3 very easy steps.
Another one of those recipes that almost got left behind during my transition to a self -hosted account. I took the photos weeks ago and I even uploaded them to my site but never got around to write about it which is weird.. guess was distracted by trying not to destroy my blog while making changes to it. It’s happened before.
I love pork chops but they can go wrong pretty easily. They overcook really quick. And you know what that’s like.. yeah… rubber soles. Totally unattractive. If you have the time and the equipment go sous vide. No doubt about that. If you don’t, then sear the meat in a really hot pan a couple of minutes per side. Obviously we’re dealing with pork and we need to make sure it is safe to eat. Trichinosis is a concern and pork should be cooked throughly. Cooking meat throughly doesn’t mean overcooking it though. The parasite in question actually dies at fairly low temperatures which is great news. This excerpt from a USDA document is interesting:
Cooking – Commercial preparation of pork products by cooking requires that meat be heated to internal temperatures which have been shown to inactivate trichinae. For example, Trichinella spiralis is killed in 47 minutes at 52° C (125.6° F), in 6 minutes at 55° C (131° F), and in < 1 minute at 60° C (140° F). It should be noted that these times and temperatures apply only when the product reaches and maintains temperatures evenly distributed throughout the meat. Alternative methods of heating, particularly the use of microwaves, have been shown to give different results, with parasites not completely inactivated when product was heated to reach a prescribed end-point temperature. The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations for processed pork products reflects experimental data, and requires pork to be cooked for 2 hours at 52.2° C (126° F), for 15 minutes at 55.6° C (132° F), and for 1 minute at 60° C (140° F).
But how can one translate this into a recipe? If you’re cooking the meat sous vide… it’s a no brainer. Set the water bath to 125.6F and cook the meat until the core has spent 47 minutes at this temperature for example. Of course. bear in mind that depending on the thickness of the chop, the total cooking time will need to be calculated. It’s usually a few hours for individual chops just like the paragraph above suggests. Check out my pork chop recipe cooked sous vide with cucumber and pineapple salad.
Now, if you’re cooking the chops on a skillet… things get a bit trickier and experience plays a big role in getting the meat cooked through but not overcooked. The thicker the chop, the trickier it gets. The leaner the chop, the quicker it overcooks… a total kitchen nightmare. I personally observe a few things while pan searing pork chops at home which has helped me quite a bit:
This tuna pasta is one of those recipes that brings back a great deal of good memories. I was making something similar back in high school. Cheap canned tuna, cheap canned tomatoes sauce and cheap pasta. That’s all we needed (that’s I need today). Back then I was usually tasked with any vacation/camping trip cooking needs…actually would volunteer as you might have guessed. My guy friends did not enjoy doing the cooking much, well except for my best friend this, Italian guy who I haven’t seen in forever. He wasn’t the biggest fan of my tuna dish or canned tuna period. The rest of my friend would only come near a grill perhaps… to flip a steak or stand guard near the cutting board. Opposite to the guys, the girls most loved cooking but hated grilling. Why is that?
I used to make the same 3 things back then: Chicken in tomato sauce (some sort of stew with potatoes), chicken in tomato sauce with pasta AND tuna in tomato sauce with pasta. Yes, basically the same recipe… but I got away with it! Ok, we could add a fourth… pasta bolognese. When I got it right, it was awesome… if I got it right. For these dishes the base was the same. A combination of celery, carrots, onions… add peppers because we Venezuelans gotta have those everywhere and some chicken stock (the knorr bouillon cubed kind of course, classic). Oh, and of course garlic… oh and paprika.. that comes from the spanish side of the family…Anyways, all pretty simple but delicious and except for chicken stock (which today I don’t think it needs it), today’s dish is very similar. To mix it up, I added chopped almonds and sweet peas at the end of the cooking. Hope you guys find this as comforting as I did today…over 20 years since the last time I made my classic economy high school tuna pasta.