Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Sake: Drink Guide to the Whole Wellness

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H has an interesting post at Patternz.jp on sake. I am somewhat doubtful of the full range of health benefits, but he’s spot-on about how tasty good sake can be. Take a look. And he has some interesting recipes (e.g., Pineapple Yogurt Sake).

Written by LeisureGuy

13 September 2017 at 9:50 am

Posted in Drinks, Food, Recipes

Big batch of chili simmering

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I used the 6-qt pot, with the following recipe as template. Changes were to omit the canned green chilies and the green bell pepper, substituting about 6-7 Hatch chilies, which are now in season.:

Optional: smoked ham shank, cooked overnight
1/4 cup olive oil or bacon grease
3 large onions, chopped – ellow, white, and red
1 Tbsp kosher salt & 1 Tbsp black pepper
1 large green bell pepper, chopped (Hatch chilies instead)
1 large red/yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 Poblano pepper, seeded and chopped (Hatch chilies instead)
3 ancho chile peppers, cut into small pieces
[Optional: 3 chipotle chile peppers or 1 small can chipotles in adobo—if the latter add after meat]
1/4 cup minced garlic cloves
2-3 Tbsp Mexican oregano
2 Tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp smoked paprika
1 Tbsp Ancho chili powder
3-4 lbs boneless chuck roast or pork shoulder
2 Tbsp espresso grind dark roast coffee (the actual grounds – I use Illy)
2-4 Tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce (or fish sauce)
2 oz 99% cacao chocolate (I used Scharffen Berger)
1-2 Tbsp liquid smoke
6 or so good-sized tomatillos, chopped
1 28-oz can San Marzano whole tomatoes
1 can original Rotel tomatoes and chilies
1 small jar or can of tomato paste
1 28-oz can whole green chilies (Hatch chilies instead)
juice of 2 lemons or 4 limes

Optionally, put a smoked ham shank in the cast-iron dutch oven, add 1/4 c water, cover, and leave in a 200º oven overnight. The next day, let it cool and pick all the meat off the bones. Could use fat for sautéing onions, but I just added the liquid to the chili.

Put olive oil or bacon grease in 6-qt pot or 4-qt sauté pan. Sauté until the onions are transparent and starting to caramelize, stirring often (about 20 minutes). It’s best to do this in a large-diameter pan.

Add the vegetables and spices, and sauté another 10 minutes or so. The 6-qt pot was full but I did not require moving to 7-qt pot.

Add the meat without browning it—my younger daughter says that the meat is more tender in stews and such if it is cooked without browning, and that sounds good to me. Moreover, this dish does not need the flavoring of the Maillard reaction: there’s plenty of flavor from other sources.

Beef chuck roast works better than pork shoulder: the beef gets very tender, the pork not so much.

Add the remaining ingredients. I use scissors to cut up the whole San Marzano tomatoes after adding them. I recommend getting a large (28-oz) can of whole green chilies or four 7-oz cans of whole green chilies. Canned diced chilies seem to have a short shelf life and turn to liquid when added. The whole chilies are easy to chop because their cutting resistance is low: you can just press the knife through them. In this case, though, I used Hatch chilies.

Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover (or not), and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Serve plain or topped with grated cheese or sour cream. Chopped avocado and/or cilantro would also be good, and a squeeze of lime juice would not be amiss.

In the knife skills video, it was recommended to use a serrated knife on foods with a slick tough skin. The tomatillos exactly fit that description, so I tried the serrated knife: perfect! Easy cutting, no slipping.

Written by LeisureGuy

7 September 2017 at 3:16 pm

Posted in Beef, Food, Low carb, Recipes

Pretty good dinner for a 104ºF day: Chilled chicken salad

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Just made this up. The key is first to make Nigella Lawson’s Tarragon Chicken, using a 6-lb chicken as described in this post (includes lessons learned). We had a drumstick, thigh, and wing apiece for dinner, so the breast was left. I used 1/2 the breast to make a chicken salad tonight. Measures are approximate.

2 avocados, diced
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 thick scallions, sliced
1/2 cup walnuts
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola or blue cheese
1 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 breast from a 6-lb chicken cooked using Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Tarragon Chicken, diced
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped (or you could use tarragon)
1/3-1/2 cup homemade tarragon mayonnaise
2 tsp Maldon salt
1 Tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

Mix. Serve.

It’s really very tasty. The tarragon mayonnaise was my usual mayonnaise recipe with about 1/4 cup fresh tarragon leaves added at the beginning. This is with the optional two anchovy fillets, since they increase depth of taste by adding umami. I used Enzo Meyer Lemon Infused Extra Virgin Olive oil for the mayo.

The other 1/2 breast is destined for the same dish tomorrow.

Written by LeisureGuy

2 September 2017 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

Dinner tonight: Nigella Lawson’s Tarragon Chicken

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Here’s the recipe, and here are my lessons learned: Mix marinade in a bowl in the morning and marinate the chicken for a day, covered, turning it occasionally. The plastic bag in the refrigerator doesn’t work: olive oil solidifies. I could not find a “3-4 lb chicken,” if they still exist. The smallest I could find was a 6-lb chicken. It took 40 minutes.

Absolutely delicious. Definitely a repeat. Here’s a good guide to spatchcocking a chicken. I used a lot of tarragon in the marinade, and I used two lemons and 1 cup olive oil, because it’s a 6-lb chicken, not a 3-lb chicken.

Written by LeisureGuy

1 September 2017 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Food, Low carb, Recipes

Stir-fried iceberg lettuce with shrimp

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We had this Mark Bittman recipe tonight, with these changes:

  1. Avocado oil for sautéing: very high smoke point, monounsaturated oil (like olive oil, another fruit oil).
  2. Double the garlic.
  3. Double the ginger.
  4. Use 1 lb of shrimp rather than 12 oz. Jumbo shrimp require fewer peels per pound. I cut shrimp in half cross-ways: easier to eat, feels like more shrimp.

Extremely tasty, fast, and easy. Do all prep before you heat the skillet/wok. (I’m a skillet guy: woks don’t work well on an electric range.) The stir-fried iceberg lettuce is excellent.

Written by LeisureGuy

31 August 2017 at 6:42 pm

Kale my way

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Just made this for lunch.

1.5 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 Tbsp Enzo Fresno Chili Crush extra-virgin olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
salt and pepper
8-10 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 Hatch green chilies, seeded and chopped fine
1 bunch Bora red kale (i.e., not Russian red kale)
1 bunch Lacinato kale
1 lemon, diced
2 Tbsp sherry
2 Tbsp Ponzu sauce
1 Tbsp brown rice vinegar
1/4 cup water

Heat oil in 11″ sauté pan (mine is 4-qt, so you might want to use a pot). Add onion, salt, and pepper and sauté for a few minutes until the onion turns transparent.

Add garlic and peppers and sauté a few minutes more.

Then add the remaining ingredients and stir. Cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

For lunch I had a bowl of that topped by an over-easy egg cooked in olive oil. Very tasty.

Written by LeisureGuy

22 August 2017 at 2:25 pm

Chemists Say You Should Add A Little Water To Your Whisky.

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Merrit Kennedy reports at NPR:

It’s a common refrain among whiskey enthusiasts: Add a few drops of water to a glass to open up the flavors and aroma of the drink.

For example, hard-liquor expert Alice Lascelles said in a demonstration for The Sunday Times that “if you’re tasting with a master blender, they will always add some water at some stage.”

But the science behind this claim has been murky. A couple of chemists in Sweden set out to figure out why adding a little water would improve the drink’s taste.

They say the taste improvement happens because alcohol molecules and those that determine whiskey’s taste tend to stick together. Their findings were published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

First, the scientists developed computer model simulations that strip whiskey down to its most basic elements: water and ethanol, or alcohol.

They then simulated how the molecules interacted at different concentrations with guaiacol, a molecule common in single-malt Scotch whiskys that gives them a smoky taste.

Water and alcohol don’t uniformly mix together. And guaiacol molecules tend to bind to alcohol molecules, says Bjorn Karlsson, a computational chemist from Linnaeus University who co-wrote the paper. Both kinds of molecules are partially repelled by water.

The researchers found in their simulations at lower alcohol concentrations that the taste-creating molecules and the alcohol molecules would cluster on the surface of the glass near the air.

But at higher alcohol concentrations, the molecules associated with taste will spread out through the glass. When you increase concentration of ethanol, ethanol will sort of be totally at the interface [between the liquid and the air], fill up the total space at the interface and then start to also be found in the bulk” of the glass, Karlsson says. “And then a lot of the taste compounds will then be transferred from the interface into the bulk.”

The researchers think the position of these taste molecules in the glass has a big impact on the smell and taste of the Scotch whisky.

If the molecules are right on the surface, as they are in lower concentrations, “the first thing that you will experience on the tongue is what’s on the interface.” The compounds are also more likely to actually come off the surface as a gas, increasing the drink’s aroma.

Karlsson says this helps to explain why whiskey is diluted before bottling. Straight out of the cask, it might be up to 65 percent alcohol by volume, though it is typically then diluted to about 40 percent before bottling.

Adding a few drops of water would therefore continue to increase the concentration of guaiacol molecules at the surface, potentially improving the taste.

How much water should you add? People “want to know what the recipe is, how much water you should actually get to get the best taste out of it,” Karlsson says.

And that is not something he claims to have. . .

Continue reading.

Written by LeisureGuy

20 August 2017 at 8:31 am

Posted in Daily life, Drinks

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