I just got into smoking (the cooking kind) and have been smoking foods for nearly 3 months now (since Aug 2017), briskets, round tips, chucks, and chicken. It’s really fun and when I get it right it is incredibly delicious. As time-consuming as it may be (not so much for chicken but definitely for tough meats), very few things in life can taste that good. Earlier I had posted an article on smoked chuck which if you haven’t tried it and you have access to a grill and wanna practice, this is a really fun and delicious way to do it plus it was one of the most delicious meats I’ve ever cooked if I may say so myself. This post is about chicken, more specifically, spatchcocked chicken smoked on a gas grill at home! Check it out.
One of the things I’ve been trying to setup today is my email notification stuff and I got pretty far… like really far… like I can almost say I’m happy. I killed my site in the process but got it back up and running within the hour. Yeah, every step forward meets unmeasurable excitement…. fml.
I used to be a wordpress.com site and I’m trying my best to keep in touch with my wordpress.com friends via jetpack which is sort of a plgin-bridge between wordpress.com and wordpress.org. It’s a bit of a hack but it works… now if you have the time and care enough, please visit this page and signup so you get the new notification format and newsletter.. because it looks … well… yep, it looks cooler now. I will keep jetpack, so if you don’t want to re-sign up and go through that hassle… it’s ok. You’re still getting the wordpress.com style notifications.
Ah yes… pan cooked Farmer John’s brat,s sunny side up eggs. The corner stone of any perfect breakfast/lunch/dinner/midnight snack.
After a long downtime I think I’m finally getting my blog back up and ready as a wordpress.org blog! I still have tons to figure out, specially why all of a sudden my site dropped off the search engines indexes. The blog is live and the URL is valid and working but for whatever reason, today… I’m invisible to google, yahoo, bing, you name it! I resubmitted sitemaps today, maybe that’s why. It’s really odd and SUPER ANNOYING.
Really quick post. Not really a recipe. I mean, the recipe is in the title if anything. Not much more to it other than mentioning that the golden brown crust came from flash frying the whole medallions in Ghee @ 450F for about 15 secs. I just wanted to log this to keep record since is probably the best piece of steak I’ve cooked in a long time and I am very proud of it. Salt the steaks. Add to the sous vide pouches right away, and add vegetable oil . I don’t have a vacuum sealer here in Vancouver, so using the water displacement method is good but isn’t great. Adding fat to the bag gets around the issue of having some pockets of air around the meat and it probably helps the meat retain its shape better. A theory of mine…. 😛 Anyways, cook away. Remove from baggies and serve immediately. No need to rest the steaks. They are already at the serving temperature. Happy Sat. I had fun taking some pics. That’s it! Sous Vide Beef Tenderloin Medallion. 52C 1h. Hope you enjoy.
Still on the big Island. A few nights ago I almost lost my fingertips, nope, not due to a kitchen disaster, something much cooler, night diving with manta rays on the west coast, the surge was so strong that holding on to rocks at the bottom was pretty pointless, must be how little veggie bits feel when you stir your soup bowl. wow.. powerful cooking metaphor. Diving with manta rays is listed as one of the 10 things to do before you die apparently… I don’t believe you can do much after that anyways. I have to say, it was AMAZING. I wanna do this every night.
I’ve decided to slow down a bit after that experience and spend some time cooking something. I’m not gonna cook a manta ray, just in case you got all excited about possibly reading the weirdest blog post ever. I’m going to prepare pork belly, I bought it in a nearby market, and it looked so great and it was cheap too, I couldn’t resist. Pork braises wonderfully, takes time to break down its meat and have that melt-in-your-mouth texture, 3 hours in the oven can get you there. Pork belly is extremely fatty and it welcomes vinegar, in this case I used white wine vinegar, is what I had at hand. I would replace that with champagne vinegar in the future. Pickles also helped balancing the richness. The caramelized onion and the roasted garlic were SO GOOD. Anyways, here’s what I did:
This is a very simple dish to make, very few ingredients and tools, the oven works all the magic.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 3 hours
Serves: 4-6 people
cutting board and knife
preheated oven at 250f-300f
1 lb pork belly
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 navel orange, reserve juice, meat, peels
2 Tsp white vinegar (champagne vinegar if you have it)
4-6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
01: add a little olive oil to the baking dish
02: place onion and garlic in baking dish
03: with your hand, toss to coat with olive oil
04: add orange juice and its meat to baking dish
05: add vinegar
06: add pork
07: salt and pepper generously
08: toss and coat again yep, used my hands there too
09: place baking dish in oven, 3 hours *
10: Remove from oven, strain fat excess, plate.
* The braising liquid is basically the water contained in the onion, the orange juice and the vinegar. This liquid will be pretty much reduced by the time your oven time is done. I raised the oven temperature 3 times over the course of the 3 hours. Started at 250F and ended at 300f.
Finally I’m taking a little break from work which has been crazy, (by mistake I published this post password protected the first time, I’ve republished correctly this time, apologies to those who are email subscribers, yep, all 3 of you!) anyways… yes, work has been crazy so I’m taking a break from that and taking a break from cooking, ok, not that I needed a cooking break, but this is a very anticipated time off and there are many things I want to do, cooking will have to wait. Eating won’t and hasn’t.
I’m here in the island of Kauai, yeah, I’m pretty lucky. This is a beautiful place, extremely relaxing and full of nature and really welcoming people. In the 3 days I’ve spent here, I’ve seen some of the most most beautiful sunsets by the southern tip of the island, elegant manta rays swimming right on the surface of the water, the magical Na Pali coast, humpback whales breaching only a few yards away from me, I even lost my wallet, and got it back courtesy of some good samaritan that picked it up and dropped it at the fire station, a police officer delivered it to my hotel later that day, the dispatch lady even called my cell and apologized, because it was taking them a little longer than they had expected to get it back to me, they were dealing with an emergency, yes, priorities!
So yes, cooking, the closest thing to cooking I’ve done lately is wrapping canned sardines in white bread for a lunch snack and cutting up some cheese with my camping knife to go with some crackers for dinner, do not worry, I’ve had more than that in the last few days. The weather is really amazing, I thought it would be rainy, but it has been sunny the whole time.
I’ll keep adding photos to this post whenever I get a chance, internet isn’t all that accessible but that’s actually not a bad thing 🙂
Put your heart and soul into what you cook
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
~ Harriet van Horne – an American newspaper columnist and film/television critic
Put time and care into your cooking
Enchant, stay beautiful and graceful, but do this, eat well. Bring the same consideration to the preparation of your food as you devote to your appearance. Let your dinner be a poem, like your dress.
~ Charles Pierre Monselet – a 19th century French author
Don’t try to make it too fancy
Make [food] simple and let things taste of what they are.
~ Curnonsky – dubbed the Prince of Gastronomy, was the most celebrated writer on gastronomy in France in the 20th century
Keep in mind why you are cooking
Food is not about impressing people. It’s about making them feel comfortable.
~ Ina Garten – an American author, host of the Food Network program Barefoot Contessa, and former White House nuclear policy analyst
Ask experts for advice
If God had intended us to follow recipes, He wouldn’t have given us grandmothers.
~ Linda Henley-Smith – author, educator, speaker and opera singer
Cooking is an art and patience a virtue… Careful shopping, fresh ingredients and an unhurried approach are nearly all you need. There is one more thing – love. Love for food and love for those you invite to your table. With a combination of these things you can be an artist – not perhaps in the representational style of a Dutch master, but rather more like Gauguin, the naïve, or Van Gogh, the impressionist. Plates or pictures of sunshine taste of happiness and love.
~ Keith Floyd – a British chef and television personality who hosted numerous cooking shows for the BBC
Start with the basics and the rest will come
Once you understand the foundations of cooking – whatever kind you like, whether it’s French or Italian or Japanese – you really don’t need a cookbook anymore.
~ Thomas Keller – an American chef, restaurateur, and cookbook writer
Simple recipes. Look up. Turned out really good. Boil for 1 hour in pressure cooker. Just water, no stock.
the real mozzarella calls for thermophilic culture and no citric acid. acidity develops in the fridge over a 24 hour period. curds should melt at 170f
Using veggie rennet.., not sure if it’s still proper cheese but that’s all I could find in the store.
1 gallon of whole milk (I should try non homogenized milk next time)
1.5 teaspoons (corrected from 1.5 tablespoons erroneously used previously) of citric acid added to the milk before warming it up.
4 drops of rennet, directly into the milk that’s been heated to 92f… Next time, will dilute it in Luke warm water. 1/4 of a cup before adding. when trying with animal rennet better results. nicer curds.
Let set… 45 mins to 12 hours.
Drain whey via cheesecloth. Reserve whey for storing cheese later.
Heat curds in the microwave 30 secs at high heat. More whey will be released. Start kneading the curds. This process usually needs to be repeated 4 or more times to the get stringy mozzarella quality. Add salt and spices at this stage.
Make a whey and salt brine and keep the mozzarella balls immersed in it. Store in the fridge.
Used this vid as a reference:
And finally I ruined my IC. In a stupid attempt at making cheese at home. The coils heated the milk to 70 degrees celsius and the temperature around the coils was hot enough to burn the fat in the milk and create a crust that caused them to overheat and fry. here the photo: