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AKB's Cooking / Science Experiment
#1
Don't know if anyone besides Razor will be interested, but here we go.

I got a couple new pieces of cooking equipment this offseason with the idea that I'd use them next year at some games. The first is an oil-less frier, which is pretty much what it sounds like. It allows me to fry stuff (wings, fries, chicken, etc.) in a less mess, healthier way.

The second piece of equipment is the weirder one, a sous vide machine, aka an immersion cooker. What you do is vacuum seal food (don't actually need a vacuum sealer to do this, just a standard zip up baggie), typically meat, and immerse it in some evenly heated water. It's generally speaking a longer way to cook things, and you often have to pan sear or grill food to add a flavorful and more attractive char, but it has some really tangible and unique benefits.

For one, immersion cooking has a far longer "sweet spot" when food is at its best. I have a recipe to cook burgers and it says to sous vide them at 135 degrees for anywhere from 40 minutes to 4 hours, saying outright there's no difference.

Secondly, immersion cooking doesn't lose any of the moisture since it's sealed. This makes chicken in particular a prime candidate for cooking this way, since it's real easy to get cooked the way you want without drying it out. You will never find a way to make more moist chicken.

[Image: 20170321_165635_zpsb04qbdoh.jpg]

Seriously, I made that lemon rosemary chicken, and it may have been the best chicken I've ever had, yet alone made. It cut with the fork, yet alone the butter knife. I'm a believer in sous vide cooking now.

Third, I can pre-cook stuff. Bacon is probably the best example. I can and have cooked bacon overnight which makes it fully cooked, but still malleable instead of crispy. So, I can put bacon on and in stuff, like jalapeno poppers or omelets, without any fear of undercooking it. Just cook it until it looks appealing and has some crunch. And again, even bacon is more juicy even after it's cooked to where it is also crunchy. I can even freeze the bacon for weeks ahead of time.

So, all that was a setup to explain what I decided to cook last night. My father use to make these things he called Big Als. They're pretty much seasoned beef on a toasted hoagie, covered in mozzarella cheese and black olives. You can season it however you want, but he typically did mustard, BBQ sauce, and a little pickle juice. It was the best thing he created, myself included.

My goal was to make my own spin using these two new devices.


[Image: 20170513_194719_zpsxfidyhf2.jpg]
Step One
Chop up toppings
I chopped up some onions, mushrooms, and black olives. Then I put the onions and mushrooms in a couple bags with olive oil and soy sauce to marinate, then put them in the fridge. I put them in separate bags so people could chose their toppings, but ended up combining them later since the people there all either wanted none or wanted all. Added just a little minced garlic because who could say no to that?

[Image: 20170513_213215_zps9efpt3fu.jpg]

Step Two

Sous vide hamburger
I had about 4.5 lbs of hamburger meat total in two sealed bags. One bag I did normal, just a chunk of burger. The other I decided to pour a beer in with it, just see how it goes. I couldn't find a sous vide recipe anywhere for loose beef, let alone with beer, so I decided to use the hamburger recipe I mentioned earlier as a guideline, 135 degrees for 40 minutes to 4 hours. I ended up doing an hour on the first bag and a little more or the beer bag.

Per my father, cooking anything in beer takes 3 beers minimum. One for the pot and two for yourself.

[Image: 20170513_213403_zpsfmhdzuwe.jpg]


Step Three
Add seasoning

If any of you happen to find yourself in Carrollton, MO, go to Bruce's Burger Bar and get a beef burger. It's not actually a burger, almost more like a better version of a sloppy joe with way different seasoning. Little known secret even to regulars, they sell their seasoning, and I got me some of this magical dust.


[Image: 20170513_224055_zpsmnf64shf.jpg]

Step Four

Skillet burger meat
I took the meat out one bag at a time and browned the meat. Added a little pickle juice to keep the moisture up. Sorry for the shitty picture, only took one on the skillet, didn't realize it sucked until today.


Step Five
Toast buns

Pretty self explanatory. Can see them in the frier, so I could do it by sight. Took about 3-5 minutes at 450 degrees. Thought about adding butter to the hoagies, but I'm sure it wasn't necessary.


Step Six
Skillet Toppings

Threw the onions and mushrooms on the skillet while toasting the buns.


Step Seven
Assemble!

Individuals can put what they want on theirs. I put pickles underneath, plus all the other toppings mentioned earlier on top.


[Image: 20170513_232511_zpsgldzijpe.jpg]

Step Eight
Toast again

Put back in frier at least long enough to melt cheese. Again about 3-5 minutes at 450.


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Step Nine
Eat

Pictured is my sister's which didn't include the mushrooms and onions.


Ended up being really good, but rich and filling. Didn't notice much difference in the beered up beef, but it probably was slightly better. I probably shaved at least 10 hours off of my life because of this meal, though I did at least have some steamed veggies with it.

Don't know how practical this recipe would be for a tailgate considering how long it took altogether, but at least I'm getting that hamster wheel turning. Made a total mess in my frier but was worth it.
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#2
I'm sad because I can't have one of these.

Everything else was dope, though.  I will always read food porn.  I probably would have subbed in balsamic vinegar for the soy sauce with the mushrooms.
[Image: nolasig.gif]
Homer: [reading] "Project Arcturus couldn't have succeeded without you. This will get you a little closer to that dream of yours. It's not the Dallas Cowboys, but it's a start. Drop me a line if you're on the East Coast, Hank Scorpio." Aw, the Denver Broncos!
Marge: I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good.
Homer: Yeah, yeah.
Marge: Well, explain to me why it isn't.
Homer: [sighs] You just don't understand football, Marge.
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#3
Awesome!!
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#4
(05-14-2017, 09:02 PM)NOLA Wrote: I'm sad because I can't have one of these.

Everything else was dope, though.  I will always read food porn.  I probably would have subbed in balsamic vinegar for the soy sauce with the mushrooms.

Good idea, I'll probably do that next time. It'd add a little zing to it.

I made this at my sister's, so I doubt she had any balsamic vinegar on hand. She's a bit of a plain Jane "chicken strips and ranch e'erday" type of person. I get embarrassed taking her anywhere because she asks for extra ranch before she even sees how much ranch they give her.

Side note, not that I expected otherwise, but the meat reheats well.
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#5
I wish we had more time to COOK-cook.

Anybody wanna come be my chef?  Smile
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#6
(05-15-2017, 06:28 AM)asskickingboots Wrote:
(05-14-2017, 09:02 PM)NOLA Wrote: I'm sad because I can't have one of these.

Everything else was dope, though.  I will always read food porn.  I probably would have subbed in balsamic vinegar for the soy sauce with the mushrooms.

Good idea, I'll probably do that next time. It'd add a little zing to it.

I made this at my sister's, so I doubt she had any balsamic vinegar on hand. She's a bit of a plain Jane "chicken strips and ranch e'erday" type of person. I get embarrassed taking her anywhere because she asks for extra ranch before she even sees how much ranch they give her.

Side note, not that I expected otherwise, but the meat reheats well.

I understand.  My whole family are midwesterners, and dammit, they have both kinds of spice, and don't need any of my fancy cooking.

But that said, with the kinda stuff you do, play with some of the various vinegars.  I like balsamic for lots of thing, but especially a little tang in grilling situations.
[Image: nolasig.gif]
Homer: [reading] "Project Arcturus couldn't have succeeded without you. This will get you a little closer to that dream of yours. It's not the Dallas Cowboys, but it's a start. Drop me a line if you're on the East Coast, Hank Scorpio." Aw, the Denver Broncos!
Marge: I think owning the Denver Broncos is pretty good.
Homer: Yeah, yeah.
Marge: Well, explain to me why it isn't.
Homer: [sighs] You just don't understand football, Marge.
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#7
Thanks for the pics and the posts AKB! Some cool ideas
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#8
Rainbow 
(05-15-2017, 07:55 AM)ChiefsChick23 Wrote: I wish we had more time to COOK-cook.

Anybody wanna come be my chef?  Smile

Hmmmm... what would it pay?

Seriously, because you can learn to cook damn near anything from youtube in the current year.  I mean it's the current year!
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#9
I originally planned on having semi-regular updates to this thread, but I decided to go back on a serious diet and exercise routine instead.

At the end of football season I weighed 272 lbs, the most I've ever weighed. Since then I've been eating a little healthier and doing minimal exercise and even with those minor changes and not pigging out at tailgates every other week I've gotten down to 250.

I'm starting pretty well the same routine that I lost about 40 lbs a few years back. P90x, running, eating healthy, lots of protein (mostly chicken and turkey) and veggies, limited carbs (outside of fiber). I think I would have kept the weight off the first time if I didn't strain my Achilles. Once I wasn't working out it was way too easy to avoid eating healthy.

Didn't figure you guys needed pictures of my kale, mango, banana smoothies. Here's one anyway.

[Image: 20170610_083027_zpsgbpsanzq.jpg]

Mmmm.... kale? Actually, no kidding it is pretty good and you don't taste the kale at all.

To make up for that, here's a picture of Razor's "big boy" grill he sent a week or so ago.

[Image: 18591_zpspbf5s8sz.jpeg]

Ribs, chicken thighs, and Cajun sausage on a well seasoned nearly 20 year old grill. I actually like most of my diet food, but I still have to admit I'm jealous and that Razor isn't doing me any favors showing me this.

Maybe I'll look at some sous vide recipes for chicken and turkey I could post. I really wish I liked fish since there's a lot of really good healthy recipes for them. Just don't like anything "fishy" tasting. Maybe I should try some less fishy tasting varities like Halibut and Swordfish and marinate them well to get rid of the fishiness.

Anyway, time to make myself a grilled chicken spinach salad.
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#10
Debbie is on a kale, spinach, all kinds of stuff smoothie kick right now. When she makes one I usually have some other place I need to be. Like with my Big Boy Grill!! That thing has been so good to me over the years. I used a combo of hickory/apple wood on that batch of meat. Good Picture!!
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