Oct 26, 2010
Oct 22, 2010
Oct 15, 2010
The things that will get my husband into the kitchen to cook ...(eyes rolling). It's either a "MacGyver" dish or something like this... technical. Mr Extremes.
Maybe I shouldn't name it "Sci-Fi Steak" but "Scientific Steak". He watched a program called Kitchen Chemistry and the lightbulb on the top of his head lit up...and I could see the gears in his head start churning.
I'm not complaining, it turned out beautifully. If you like your steaks flavorful, juicy, tender and perfectly medium rare, this is the method to achieve it. This method creates the most evenly cooked steaks I've ever experienced....beautifully pink throughout. Not a graduation from fully cooked to the cold, raw centers we usually get when we ask for medium rare / rare "doneness". Is it only me or does anyone else have a problem with the term "doneness"?
1 large pot
1 pair of long stainless steel tongs
1 chopstick / skewer
Heatproof plastic bag / Baking bag
2 steaks of your choice
salt, pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
Clarified butter / Ghee
Bring a pot of water to a steady 60˚C. Use cooking thermometer to accurately maintain temperature.
Heat pan with a little clarified butter / ghee and quickly sear both sides of the steaks on high heat. Remove. Add the chopped garlic and onion into the hot pan and stir until aromas are released. Take care not to burn the garlic. Remove pan from heat. Return the steaks to the pan and stir to mix through.
Put pan contents into a heat proof plastic bag. Expell as much air as possible and seal with elastic bands. Be careful not to scald yourself.
- A sealed vacuum in the bag is ideal. But if a little care is taken and there are no obviously large pockets of air in the bag, the dish will work out fine.
This is where my husband went MacGyver on me and used a contraption made up of, a short length of stainless steel tube, elastic bands, a wine bottle stopper and its related vacuum pump to achieve a sealed vacuum without a commercial vacuum sealing device. -
Suspend the sealed bag in the pot of 60˚C water for a minimum of 2 hours.
Remove steaks from bag. Serve immediately, no resting needed.
Reserve liquid. Thicken and season to taste. Serve with steaks.
* Side dishes - roasted potatoes, vegetables etc.
Recommended read - see, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sous-vide. The method is apparently from the 1800's....where they found plastic bags, I wonder....hmmm. Searing the steaks first arguably has taste and food safety benefits. Keeping a 60˚C water bath sacrifices the last bit of tenderness but is above the recommended pasteurization temperature.
Oct 11, 2010
This is another one of the "must-haves" in my family. I wouldn't suggest storing it for too long, as raw onions don't keep too well. Since it's such a simple recipe and needs no cooking, it can be made shortly before consumption.
As with the sambal belacan recipe, there is no specific amounts for this. The main ingredients are listed and you just add as you please. Just don't make it too runny. Oh, and the bird's eye chilly on top? That's just for illustration purposes only but, hey, go ahead, if you like the hot stuff. By the way, did you know that fresh milk actually calms a burning tongue? Just thought that bit of information might come in useful .........
onions / shallots
chillies or you can just substitute with some sambal belacan
belacan granules, if not using sambal
Sweet caramel soy sauce
Thinly slice onions or shallots and chillies (seeded, if using). Squeeze calamansi limes for juice and thinly slice the peel. (Peel is optional). Discard seeds.
Mix everything together. Taste, and if needed, add more chillies / sambal for more heat, more lime juice for tartness.
Leave in refrigerator for about 30 mins for all the flavors to combine before serving.
Oct 6, 2010
Hot! HOT! HOT! The weather's been rather fickle lately. In this part of the world, there's supposed to be just hot and rainy and it used to be such that even those days have their own times of the year to unleash their wrath upon us hapless folks. But the seasons have all gone wonkers and the monsoons and the dry days seem to come and go as they please. The last 2 days have been sweltering, after a whole week of electrical storms, strong winds and heavy downpours. Did I mention wonky?
I've just finished a good, hard-bashing game of tennis with my tennis-mad posse, and am ready for a long, cool swig of something refreshing. It was very humid and all that sweating... wait, no, not sweat. Ladies, I'm told, perspire... no, no, lemme get this right.... horses sweat, men perspire, ladies glow. Aaahh, that's right. Umm... cool drink, ok, so .... I remembered I had a batch of "improvised" ginger ale made 2 days ago and by now it should be nice and fizzy. Yup, glad I made those.
"Improvised" - as in, I added some 3 - 4 crushed lemon grass stalks to the basic ginger ale recipe that you can find here. Add it in at the first step. If you prefer a stronger lemon grass taste, feel free to add more stalks. More improvisation? Some ice and a good glug of vodka, limoncello, gin, etc ... you get happier as you go further along the list.
Oct 2, 2010
As of many traditional recipes, there'll be different variations from each family. And as it passes down from generation to generation, it gets more and more tweaked, and this is one of them.