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  1. #71
    Ramen soup base

    By Norma Chikiamco

    Philippine Daily Inquirer

    1:47 am | Thursday, February 27th, 2014

    In one popular Makati restaurant, the story goes, the staff will serve their rich, delectable ramen only if they still have the soup stock that goes with it. Once they’ve ran out of their soup stock (which could happen late in the evening), they won’t serve ramen to any customer. Not even, it has been rumored, if the customer is a political bigwig.

    While that may sound petulant, it’s understandable, considering the time and effort that go into the making of the soup base for ramen. It takes hours of patient, slow simmering to make a good ramen soup base, and the above-mentioned restaurant probably doesn’t want to serve its ramen without the substantial, flavorful broth it is known for.

    At a cooking class held recently at The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center, chef Seiji Kamura demonstrated the complexities of making ramen soup base. A longtime resident of the Philippines, Kamura attended the Tokyo Cooking Academy and trained in Lyons, France.

    Aside from being a culinary consultant and chef-demonstrator, he has written two popular cookbooks: “Japanese Cookbook for Filipinos” and “Secrets of Japanese Cooking.”

    It takes three hours to simmer the stock for ramen soup, we learned from Kamura that day. Factor in the hours spent shopping for and preparing the ingredients and you’ll have practically a whole day’s work.

    And that’s just for the soup base. You’ll also need to prepare the other ingredients needed for the soup, such as the noodles, the shoyu or miso base and the toppings.

    No wonder there’s been such a craze in Manila for this much-loved Japanese noodle dish. If it takes that much time and effort to make good ramen stock, we’re probably all better off ordering ramen in a restaurant, where a well-trained kitchen staff has already done the job of extracting the rich flavors from the pork and chicken bones and all the attendant ingredients.

    Still, for those who are feeling adventurous, here’s Kamura’s recipe for the ramen soup base. It’s the foundation for making the two kinds of ramen: shoyu and miso.

    As with my other DIY recipes, I’ve kitchen-tested this—and it’s probably one of the most challenging recipes I’ve tried. Note that this is just the soup base. Although already flavorful as it is, you’ll need to add other ingredients to make either the shoyu or miso ramen.

    Next week, DIY will feature the recipe for the shoyu ramen, using this basic soup base. Meantime, you can have a foretaste of this delightful, full-bodied soup base by using it to prepare any ramen or noodle soup. Just season the soup base to taste with soy sauce and dish it out in a bowl of cooked noodles, then add your choice of toppings (eggs, vegetables, etc).

    The Maya Kitchen Culinary Center is at 8/F, Liberty Bldg., 835 A. Arnaiz Ave., Makati City; tel. 8921185, 8925011 local 108, 0947-8352290. For more information on other courses, visit www.themayakitchen.com or e-mail contactus @themayakitchen.com.

    Ramen Soup Base

    1 ½ k pork bones (the leg part), cut into large pieces
    1 ½ k rib bones, cut into large pieces
    ½ k chicken bones, cleaned
    Water, for the first boiling
    20 c (5,000 ml) water, for simmering (see tips)
    100 g sliced ginger
    2 white onions, quartered
    3 stems onion leeks
    1 carrot, thinly sliced
    50 g kombu (dried Japanese seaweed)
    150 g garlic, crushed

    Put all the pork, rib and chicken bones into a large cooking pot and add enough water to cover. Bring to a fast boil, then discard all the water.

    Add the 20 cups of water plus all the other ingredients to the bones in the pot. Bring to a rolling boil, removing all the scum that rise to the surface.

    Lower heat to a simmer and continue cooking for three hours. Put a strainer over a large pot and strain the resulting liquid (discard the solids).

    This is the basic ramen soup base. You can use this to make miso ramen and shoyu ramen. If needed, strain the liquid again, using a very fine sieve to make sure there are no bits of pork or chicken bone in the liquid.

    You can also use this as soup base for any ramen noodles you might have in your kitchen. Just ladle about 1 cup soup base into a bowl. Season to taste with soy sauce. Add some cooked ramen noodles and toppings such as eggs, vegetables and cooked sliced pork, beef or chicken. Store any remaining soup base for later use in the refrigerator or freezer (see cook’s tips).

    Cook’s tips:

    Kamura recommends using bottled water for simmering the soup bones since tap water sometimes has an aftertaste.

    Kombu (dried Japanese seaweed) is available in Japanese groceries such as those in Cartimar Market, located on Taft Avenue, Pasay City.

    If not using the stock immediately, store it in the refrigerator and use within a few days. For longer storage, keep the stock in a tightly covered container in the freezer. Thaw well before using.
    FRIENDS LANG KAMI

  2. #72
    Authentic fish and chips, straight from a British chef

    By Reggie Aspiras |

    Philippine Daily Inquirer 11:00 am |

    Thursday, August 28th, 2014

    I seek out British chef Matthew Hornsby-Bates whenever I crave classic English food. His Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding with all the side dishes is my favorite indulgence, along with his Fish and Chips.

    Recently, Matthew and his Filipino wife, chef Meg Tansiongco, visited me with their newborn, Kane. While Meg and I chatted away, Matthew so kindly went to work and cooked delicious fish and chips.

    I love mine lightly battered and crisp on the outside, with the fish still moist and delicate on the inside, served with golden fries, just as chef Matthew does it.

    He reminded us that fish and chips has been the “undisputed national dish of Great Britain for around 150 years.” It has become “a cultural and culinary symbol of our country, instantly recognized as British all over the world.”

    Fond memories

    “The love for it,” he added, ranks alongside “our love for roast beef and Yorkshire puddings and the recently nominated Chicken Tikka Nasala as the English national dish.”

    “When I was a child,” said Matthew, “one of my fondest memories would be sitting on a pier on a cold day eating fish and chips from a greasy paper bag wrapped in newspaper, with the wooden chip fork, of course!”

    Today, he declared, “fish and chips are divided between the classic chip shop (the batter made mainly from flour, water and yeast) and the experimental modern chef, with so many adaptations on batter, sides and serving styles.”

    His favorite is beer-battered fish: “Beer will give [the fish] that unique crisp texture once fried due to its high carbon dioxide content and foamy consistency.”

    As for the chips, he said the “correct potato” should be used: “A King Edward or Maris Piper would be just perfect due to its texture.”

    While fish and chips is traditionally enjoyed dusted with salt and a splash of malt vinegar, he added, it’s also commonly served with side dishes such as pickled onions, pickled gherkins, tartar sauce, curry sauce and everyone’s favorite, the mushy peas. “Nothing works better with crispy piece of battered fried fish than a generous ladle of overcooked peas,” he said.

    Here’s exactly how the chef cooked his beer-battered fish and chips for us. He included mushy peas and tartar sauce to complete the experience. He also gave personal tips and tricks.

    Thanks Matthew! (You may reach him at 0917-5825441.)

    Fish

    4 pcs approximately 180 g each of Cod or Haddock fillets, the fresher the better. The tail end of the fish is best to use since there are less bones. (We used the Pacific Bay brand of Atlantic Cod, available at all major supermarkets.)

    100 g flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper

    Batter

    200 g all-purpose flour
    300 ml San Miguel Pale Pilsen
    5 g salt
    5 g pepper
    Pinch of turmeric for a beautiful golden color
    1.5 liters ground nut or canola oil, for frying. (Both oils are good for frying as either can reach high temperatures without smoking. Note that the same oil will be used to fry the chips.)

    Method:

    For the batter: Whisk all the ingredients except the oil to make a smooth batter.
    Let batter rest for 20-30 minutes.

    Heat oil to 180 degrees Celsius.
    Wipe fish dry and lightly dredge them in seasoned flour.
    Dip the fish fillets into the batter before slowly submerging them into the hot oil.
    Cook for 6-8 minutes until crisp and golden.
    (Note: Prepare everything else first. Fry the fish last, just before serving.)

    Mushy peas

    2 shallots, diced
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    50 g butter
    400 g peas
    1 chicken stock cube
    1 medium-sized potato (peeled and diced)
    1 medium onion (diced)
    Combine all the ingredients for the mushy peas and simmer until thick and mushy.
    Season to taste.

    Chips
    6 potatoes (use the right potatoes, if available)
    Pinch of rock salt
    Cut potatoes into 1-cm sized chips and wash thoroughly to remove any starch.
    Dry the potatoes.
    Heat oil to 140 degrees Celsius.
    Fry the chips for 7-8 minutes until soft.
    Lift out and drain.

    Reheat the same oil to 180 degrees Celsius and return the chips to refry, cooking this time, until they are crispy and brown.
    Drain well and season with salt.

    Lemon tartar sauce

    2 shallots, diced
    50 g cornichon/gherkins
    50 g capers
    25 g chives
    10 g tarragon
    1 tsp lemon zest
    1 c mayonnaise, preferably homemade

    Finely chop all of the above ingredients and mix with the mayonnaise. Season to taste.

    (The Fish and Chips Cone Stand used in the photo is courtesy of Urban Kitchen. For a catalog of Urban Kitchen products, e-mail charmaine.chua729@gmail.com or call tel. 0917-5822809.)

    Unbelievable

    Here’s a useful tip:

    My friend Sofia Co had told me that if ever I found myself with a fish bone stuck on my throat, I should keep quiet and turn my plate clockwise three times. The plate must make three complete turns, but you can also keep turning the plate until the bone comes out.
    I looked at her in disbelief and said, “Oh?” And I left it at that.

    A month after, a hito bone stuck on my throat. I remembered what Sofia told me and did exactly as she said.

    Guess what? Immediately after the third rotation of my plate, the bone just came out.

    Don’t ask me how, it just did! The people watching me do it gave me a real strange look; then after I announced the successful disentangling of the bone, we were all just amazed.

    Well, you don’t have to swallow a fish bone just to prove or disprove this theory. But in case you find yourself in such a predicament, do as I did.

  3. #73
    Authentic fish and chips, straight from a British chef

    By Reggie Aspiras |

    Philippine Daily Inquirer 11:00 am |

    Thursday, August 28th, 2014

    I seek out British chef Matthew Hornsby-Bates whenever I crave classic English food. His Roast Beef with Yorkshire Pudding with all the side dishes is my favorite indulgence, along with his Fish and Chips.

    Recently, Matthew and his Filipino wife, chef Meg Tansiongco, visited me with their newborn, Kane. While Meg and I chatted away, Matthew so kindly went to work and cooked delicious fish and chips.

    I love mine lightly battered and crisp on the outside, with the fish still moist and delicate on the inside, served with golden fries, just as chef Matthew does it.

    He reminded us that fish and chips has been the “undisputed national dish of Great Britain for around 150 years.” It has become “a cultural and culinary symbol of our country, instantly recognized as British all over the world.”

    Fond memories

    “The love for it,” he added, ranks alongside “our love for roast beef and Yorkshire puddings and the recently nominated Chicken Tikka Nasala as the English national dish.”

    “When I was a child,” said Matthew, “one of my fondest memories would be sitting on a pier on a cold day eating fish and chips from a greasy paper bag wrapped in newspaper, with the wooden chip fork, of course!”

    Today, he declared, “fish and chips are divided between the classic chip shop (the batter made mainly from flour, water and yeast) and the experimental modern chef, with so many adaptations on batter, sides and serving styles.”

    His favorite is beer-battered fish: “Beer will give [the fish] that unique crisp texture once fried due to its high carbon dioxide content and foamy consistency.”

    As for the chips, he said the “correct potato” should be used: “A King Edward or Maris Piper would be just perfect due to its texture.”

    While fish and chips is traditionally enjoyed dusted with salt and a splash of malt vinegar, he added, it’s also commonly served with side dishes such as pickled onions, pickled gherkins, tartar sauce, curry sauce and everyone’s favorite, the mushy peas. “Nothing works better with crispy piece of battered fried fish than a generous ladle of overcooked peas,” he said.

    Here’s exactly how the chef cooked his beer-battered fish and chips for us. He included mushy peas and tartar sauce to complete the experience. He also gave personal tips and tricks.

    Thanks Matthew! (You may reach him at 0917-5825441.)

    Fish

    4 pcs approximately 180 g each of Cod or Haddock fillets, the fresher the better. The tail end of the fish is best to use since there are less bones. (We used the Pacific Bay brand of Atlantic Cod, available at all major supermarkets.)

    100 g flour, seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper

    Batter

    200 g all-purpose flour
    300 ml San Miguel Pale Pilsen
    5 g salt
    5 g pepper
    Pinch of turmeric for a beautiful golden color
    1.5 liters ground nut or canola oil, for frying. (Both oils are good for frying as either can reach high temperatures without smoking. Note that the same oil will be used to fry the chips.)

    Method:

    For the batter: Whisk all the ingredients except the oil to make a smooth batter.
    Let batter rest for 20-30 minutes.

    Heat oil to 180 degrees Celsius.
    Wipe fish dry and lightly dredge them in seasoned flour.
    Dip the fish fillets into the batter before slowly submerging them into the hot oil.
    Cook for 6-8 minutes until crisp and golden.
    (Note: Prepare everything else first. Fry the fish last, just before serving.)

    Mushy peas

    2 shallots, diced
    1 garlic clove, crushed
    50 g butter
    400 g peas
    1 chicken stock cube
    1 medium-sized potato (peeled and diced)
    1 medium onion (diced)
    Combine all the ingredients for the mushy peas and simmer until thick and mushy.
    Season to taste.

    Chips
    6 potatoes (use the right potatoes, if available)
    Pinch of rock salt
    Cut potatoes into 1-cm sized chips and wash thoroughly to remove any starch.
    Dry the potatoes.
    Heat oil to 140 degrees Celsius.
    Fry the chips for 7-8 minutes until soft.
    Lift out and drain.

    Reheat the same oil to 180 degrees Celsius and return the chips to refry, cooking this time, until they are crispy and brown.
    Drain well and season with salt.

    Lemon tartar sauce

    2 shallots, diced
    50 g cornichon/gherkins
    50 g capers
    25 g chives
    10 g tarragon
    1 tsp lemon zest
    1 c mayonnaise, preferably homemade

    Finely chop all of the above ingredients and mix with the mayonnaise. Season to taste.

    (The Fish and Chips Cone Stand used in the photo is courtesy of Urban Kitchen. For a catalog of Urban Kitchen products, e-mail charmaine.chua729@gmail.com or call tel. 0917-5822809.)

    Unbelievable

    Here’s a useful tip:

    My friend Sofia Co had told me that if ever I found myself with a fish bone stuck on my throat, I should keep quiet and turn my plate clockwise three times. The plate must make three complete turns, but you can also keep turning the plate until the bone comes out.
    I looked at her in disbelief and said, “Oh?” And I left it at that.

    A month after, a hito bone stuck on my throat. I remembered what Sofia told me and did exactly as she said.

    Guess what? Immediately after the third rotation of my plate, the bone just came out.

    Don’t ask me how, it just did! The people watching me do it gave me a real strange look; then after I announced the successful disentangling of the bone, we were all just amazed.

    Well, you don’t have to swallow a fish bone just to prove or disprove this theory. But in case you find yourself in such a predicament, do as I did.

  4. #74
    PULLED PORK SANDWICH RECIPE

    You can make Michael Mina's pulled-pork sandwiches a day in advance, then spend the rest of the time buying napkins for when you eat 'em.

    By Francine Maroukian on June 4, 2008 0 0 0

    It's not just the flavors that make a dish but the layering of textures. I love pulled pork because of the contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender, almost-melting inside. You start with a pork "butt" (actually a pig's shoulder), a cheap but flavorful cut with a good amount of fat that renders out during the long, slow cooking and bastes the meat to give it a caramelized crust.

    A pulled-pork sandwich should be messy; that makes it perfect summer-by-the-pool food at my house. I recently added an outdoor party kitchen with a rotisserie, and I roast all kinds of things, including birds and prime ribs. It works great for pork butt, too. Or if you have a smoker, this is also an awesome piece of meat to smoke. (Just follow the same recipe using the smoker instead of the oven.)

    This is a dish you can make a day ahead with no hassle; just reheat it with some of your favorite barbecue sauce and serve it on plain soft white rolls. (You don't want a real serious roll that is going to interfere with the flavor of the meat.) Because it can even be served at room temperature, I bring this to our tailgates before 49ers games. A little extra barbecue sauce or hot sauce and maybe some mustard, and you're all set.

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
    2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tbsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp dry mustard (found in spice section)
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1 boneless pork butt, about 3 pounds
    1 1/2 cups apple juice
    1/2 cup water
    1 package plain soft white rolls or other bread

    Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butts. Both have their benefits: Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, you can rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed — a great way to get the flavor deep inside the meat.

    Instructions

    Mix brown sugar and dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time for (as little as 1 hour or up to overnight). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork on a rack insert fitted inside a roasting pan. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt is sitting above the cooking liquid.) Pour in apple juice and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown outside and meat is very tender, basically falling apart.

    Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces using 2 forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, just transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

    Tip: If the pan drippings aren't burned, discard fat and mix drippings back into the pulled pork, which will make it even more moist and flavorful.

    Esquire's note: We used a roasting pan that wasn't much bigger than the meat itself, so the drippings didn't spread out and burn.

    To serve: Sandwich between rolls and partner with classic barbecue side dishes like bourbon-baked beans or jalapeño creamed corn. Esquire's note: We ended up with six sandwiches.

  5. #75
    PULLED PORK SANDWICH RECIPE

    You can make Michael Mina's pulled-pork sandwiches a day in advance, then spend the rest of the time buying napkins for when you eat 'em.

    By Francine Maroukian on June 4, 2008 0 0 0

    It's not just the flavors that make a dish but the layering of textures. I love pulled pork because of the contrast between the crispy exterior and the tender, almost-melting inside. You start with a pork "butt" (actually a pig's shoulder), a cheap but flavorful cut with a good amount of fat that renders out during the long, slow cooking and bastes the meat to give it a caramelized crust.

    A pulled-pork sandwich should be messy; that makes it perfect summer-by-the-pool food at my house. I recently added an outdoor party kitchen with a rotisserie, and I roast all kinds of things, including birds and prime ribs. It works great for pork butt, too. Or if you have a smoker, this is also an awesome piece of meat to smoke. (Just follow the same recipe using the smoker instead of the oven.)

    This is a dish you can make a day ahead with no hassle; just reheat it with some of your favorite barbecue sauce and serve it on plain soft white rolls. (You don't want a real serious roll that is going to interfere with the flavor of the meat.) Because it can even be served at room temperature, I bring this to our tailgates before 49ers games. A little extra barbecue sauce or hot sauce and maybe some mustard, and you're all set.

    Ingredients

    1/4 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
    2 tbsp kosher or coarse salt
    2 tbsp paprika
    1 tbsp ground black pepper
    1/2 tbsp ground coriander
    1/2 tsp dry mustard (found in spice section)
    1/2 tsp onion powder
    1 boneless pork butt, about 3 pounds
    1 1/2 cups apple juice
    1/2 cup water
    1 package plain soft white rolls or other bread

    Tip: You can buy bone-in or boneless pork butts. Both have their benefits: Cooking bone-in will contribute some flavor (and increase the cooking time slightly). But if you have your butcher take out the bone, you can rub the spice mix into the incisions where the bone was removed — a great way to get the flavor deep inside the meat.

    Instructions

    Mix brown sugar and dry spices together in a small bowl. Rub all over pork, cover, and let sit in the refrigerator for as long as you have time for (as little as 1 hour or up to overnight). Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lay pork on a rack insert fitted inside a roasting pan. (The rack should be high enough so the entire spiced butt is sitting above the cooking liquid.) Pour in apple juice and water, cover pan tightly with foil, and slow roast for 5 hours. Remove foil and cook for another 30 minutes, until pork is brown outside and meat is very tender, basically falling apart.

    Remove from oven, transfer to large platter, and allow meat to rest for about 10 minutes. While still warm, shred pork into small pieces using 2 forks or 10 fingers. Transfer to bowl for serving, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, just transfer to shallow baking dish, bring to room temperature, and place in preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.

    Tip: If the pan drippings aren't burned, discard fat and mix drippings back into the pulled pork, which will make it even more moist and flavorful.

    Esquire's note: We used a roasting pan that wasn't much bigger than the meat itself, so the drippings didn't spread out and burn.

    To serve: Sandwich between rolls and partner with classic barbecue side dishes like bourbon-baked beans or jalapeño creamed corn. Esquire's note: We ended up with six sandwiches.

  6. #76
    YOU SHOULD BE EATING CHICKEN

    By Pat LaFrieda on November 3, 2014

    America’s known for its meat—it’s one of our greatest resources—with beef garnering top attention. But as gorgeous porterhouses, New York strips, and rib steaks glisten in the showcase light, the quiet giant in the room is the pterodactyl, commonly known as chicken. I love beef more than most, but in a world where cash is king, poultry dominates the market in terms of weight and inexpensive prices.

    The United States is the largest producer of poultry in the world, exporting on average 18% of its harvest. It only takes six to ten weeks to grow a broiler chicken from hatching to slaughter, and with the recent spike in corn production, the poultry industry has thrived on the decrease in corn pricing, compared to the pork industry, which was decimated by the pork plague, and beef inventories, which continued to decline last year. This left an even larger abundance of corn, and plenty of anxious poultry growers have jumped to action, benefitting from the low feed pricing.

    This may sound contrary to many recent reports claiming that the cost of poultry has risen dramatically in the last few years. Those reports are very much exaggerated. To put prices in historical prospective, a boneless, skinless chicken breast costs 20 cents a pound less now than it did on the first day that I joined the family business in 1994, and that’s without adjusting for inflation.

    If poultry prices rose faster than normal in the last few years, it still hasn’t risen at the rate of beef. Let’s take a look at the numbers from the USDA. In August of 2012, New York strips cost $6.81 a pound as compared to boneless, skinless chicken breasts at $3.36 a pound. Fast-forward more than two years and the New York strips are at $8.25 a pound compared to boneless, skinless breasts at $3.47 a pound. As beef pricing rose 21 percent, poultry only rose three percent. So when you read headlines like, “Meat Prices Continue to Rise, but Corn and Soybeans Slip,” in The New York Times, keep in mind that the lower priced corn and soybeans will be used in the next cycle of poultry and beef production. With beef taking 24 months to grow and poultry only 2 months, it’s clear which price will drop first.

    As a meat purveyor, a huge part of my job is to keep my customer’s food costs low. With the increase in price for most other proteins, chicken is a great way to cut down costs. And I have to say, some of the best dishes I’ve ever eaten are chicken based, like the Tuscan Fried Chicken with Lemon from none other than Cesare Casella. He dredges the chicken in flour first, then dips it in egg and fries it. The crispy exterior simply comes from the skin. With some lemon squeezed over the top, it’s chicken perfection. Another favorite is from the legendary L & B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn. That’s where I go for Lenny’s classic Chicken and Eggplant Sicilian. Peeled, fried eggplant dressed over fried chicken cutlets and then broiled with plum tomato sauce, olive oil, white wine, and long green hot peppers. Fresh melted mozzarella seals it all together and the result is a comfort food that hits a soft spot in my food memory.

    As for every day consumption, I stand by the chicken sandwich. Simple and addictive. Fried boneless, skinless chicken cutlets, on crusty, sesame seeded, toasted Italian bread with baby arugula and mayo. It’s all I ever travel with.

    Now that’s a lot of poultry for a butcher with access to any type of meat.

    TUSCAN FRIED CHICKEN WITH LEMON

    2 whole broiler chickens (about 3 pounds each), cut into 8 pieces each
    2 tablespoons kosher salt plus more for seasoning
    1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper plus more for seasoning
    ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice plus more for seasoning
    2 quarts vegetable oil, or as needed
    1 cup all-purpose flour
    4 large eggs
    6 sprigs fresh thyme
    6 sprigs fresh sage
    6 sprigs fresh rosemary
    6 cloves garlic, crushed

    1. Lay the chicken pieces out on a baking sheet and season with the salt and pepper and the lemon juice. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and set aside to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.

    2. Preheat the oven to 200°F. Put a wire cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.

    3. Pour enough oil into a large pot or Dutch oven to come up 2 inches. Fasten a deep-fry thermometer to the side of the pan and heat the oil over high heat to 375°F.

    4. Place the flour in a medium bowl. Beat the eggs in another medium bowl. Dredge the chicken in the flour, dip it into the beaten eggs, and carefully slide it into the hot oil, starting with the larger pieces, and making sure not to crowd the pot. Fry the chicken until it is golden brown and crunchy, 15 to 20 minutes, flipping the chicken halfway through the cooking time using tongs; keep the temperature of the oil between 325° and 350°F (the oil temperature will drop when you add the chicken). Remove the chicken as it is done to the rack in the baking sheet to drain. Season the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, squeeze the lemon juice over it, and put it in the oven to keep warm. Add more chicken to the pot as there is room and fry it and season it in the same way.

    5. After you’ve fried all the chicken, add the thyme, sage, rosemary, and garlic to the oil and fry them until they’re crisp, about 10 seconds. Remove the chicken from the oven, scatter the garlic and herbs over the chicken and serve. Serves 4.

  7. #77
    Wonkblog

    Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories

    By Roberto A. Ferdman

    March 25

    Rice, the lifeblood of so many nations' cuisines, is perhaps the most ubiquitous food in the world. In Asia, where an estimated 90 percent of all rice is consumed, the pillowy grains are part of almost every meal. In the Caribbean, where the starch is often mixed with beans, it's a staple too. Even here in the United States, where people eat a comparatively modest amount of rice, plenty is still consumed.

    Rice is popular because it's malleable—it pairs well with a lot of different kinds of food—and it's relatively cheap. But like other starch-heavy foods, it has one central flaw: it isn't that good for you. White rice consumption, in particular, has been linked to a higher risk of diabetes. A cup of the cooked grain carries with it roughly 200 calories, most of which comes in the form of starch, which turns into sugar, and often thereafter body fat.

    But what if there were a simple way to tweak rice ever so slightly to make it much healthier?

    An undergraduate student at the College of Chemical Sciences in Sri Lanka and his mentor have been tinkering with a new way to cook rice that can reduce its calories by as much as 50 percent and even offer a few other added health benefits. The ingenious method, which at its core is just a simple manipulation of chemistry, involves only a couple easy steps in practice.

    "What we did is cook the rice as you normally do, but when the water is boiling, before adding the raw rice, we added coconut oil—about 3 percent of the weight of the rice you're going to cook," said Sudhair James, who presented his preliminary research at National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS) on Monday. "After it was ready, we let it cool in the refrigerator for about 12 hours. That's it."

    How does it work?

    To understand what's going on, you need to understand a bit of food chemistry.

    Not all starches, as it happens, are created equal. Some, known as digestible starches, take only a little time to digest, are quickly turned into glucose, and then later glycogen. Excess glycogen ends up adding to the size of our guts if we don't expend enough energy to burn it off. Other starches, meanwhile, called resistant starches, take a long time for the body to process, aren't converted into glucose or glycogen because we lack the ability to digest them, and add up to fewer calories.

    A growing body of research, however, has shown that it might be possible to change the types of starches found in foods by modifying how they are prepared. At the very least, we know that there are observable changes when certain foods are cooked different ways.

    Potatoes, for instance, go from having the right kind of starch to the less healthful kind when they are cooked or mashed (sigh, I know). The process of heating and cooling certain vegetables, like peas and sweet potatoes, can also alter the amount of resistant (see: good) starches, according to a 2009 study. And rice, depending on the method of preparation, undergoes observable chemical changes. Most notably, fried rice and pilaf style rice have a greater proportion of resistant starch than the most commonly eaten type, steamed rice, as strange as that might seem.

    "If you can reduce the digestible starch in something like steamed rice, you can reduce the calories," said Dr. Pushparajah Thavarajah, a professor who is supervising the research. "The impact could be huge."

    Understanding this, James and Thavarajva tested eight different recipes on 38 different kinds of rice found in Sri Lanka. What they found is that by adding a lipid (coconut oil in this case, because it's widely used in Sri Lanka) ahead of cooking the rice, and then cooling the rice immediately after it was done, they were able to drastically change its composition—and for the better.

    "The oil interacts with the starch in rice and changes its architecture," said James. "Chilling the rice then helps foster the conversion of starches. The result is a healthier serving, even when you heat it back up."

    So far they have only measured the chemical outcome of the most effective cooking method for the least healthful of the 38 varieties. But that variety still produced a 10 to 12 percent reduction in calories. "With the better kind, we expect to reduce the calories by as much as 50 to 60 percent," said James.

    Cooking that can change the world

    The prospect of lower calorie rice is a big deal. Obesity rates are rising around the world, particularly in the developing world, where people rely more heavily on cheaper food staples. China and India, which are already seeing rising obesity problems, are huge consumers of rice. Rice, of course, is not the sole cause of weight gain. But reducing the amount of calories in a cup of rice by even as little as 10 percent could have an enormous impact for future generations.

    "Obesity has been a problem in the United States for some time," said Thavarajah. "But it's becoming a problem in Asia, too. People are eating larger and larger portions of rice, which isn't good."

    The researchers still have to test the remaining varieties of rice, including Suduru Samba, which they believe will produce the largest calorie reduction. They also plan to experiment with oils other than coconut oil, like sunflower oil.

    A world where commercially sold rice comes pre-cooked and with much fewer calories might not be that far off. People should already be able to replicate the process at home, although James warns the results might vary depending on the type of rice used. And there's good reason to believe the chemistry could be applied to many other popular but less-than-healthy foods.

    "It's about more than rice," said Thavarajah. "I mean, can we do the same thing for bread? That's the real question here."

    Roberto A. Ferdman is a reporter for Wonkblog covering food, economics, immigration and other things. He was previously a staff writer at Quartz.

  8. #78
    From Esquire online - - -

    Chef Adrian Cuenca's Creamy Carbonara Recipe

    Purists may scoff at this quick recipe for carbonara. Frankly, we don?t care, because it tastes great and goes well with our beer.

    By ADRIAN CUENCA | 5 days ago

    When I was a young boy in the ?70s, my foodie uncle made me try spaghetti carbonara for the very first time?cue angelic choir; revelation. The premise was simple: bacon, cheese, eggs, cream and mushrooms on spaghetti. How could a kid not like this dish?

    After I pestered my mom as any good son would, she started making it using quick-melt cheese, evaporated milk and canned mushrooms?certainly rudimentary, but it did the job of pacifying me.

    At around 12, my interest for cooking took form, and I decided to give my mom a break and do the handy work myself. We had a whole bookshelf full of cookbooks, which I rummaged expectantly through to find an Italian one and a pasta edition (both pretending to be authentic). The books? recipes for carbonara included pancetta, cream, parmesan and egg yolks. These being the days before Santi?s, we were limited to a wasteland of processed American goods: Kraft and all-purpose cream. Yum. It?s because of this ingredient oppression that most restaurants still get the dish wrong.

    My thirst for information was quenched and my eyes opened by the advent of the Internet. However, I was shocked to find out that the use of cream in this dish is a sin that the pork element is guanciale (unsmoked Italian bacon from the pig?s jowls and not the belly) and that cheese was optional. Oops.

    After several attempts, I?ve made a version that will probably leave the purist feeling insulted. Adding 1 to 2 teaspoons of cream per yolk gives the sauce the extra slurp, and let?s face it, pasta without a slurp isn?t worth the effort. If you can?t find guanciale or pancetta, don?t bother making the dish, as it will not retain its flavor profile. However, the real stars here are the eggs?the yolks are used to bind the sauce and ingredients together, which is why it?s important to opt for the richer and thicker organic egg yolks.

    This is my go-to dish after a grueling night behind the stoves at the restaurant: it?s simple, straightforward, and pairs great with the bitter flavors of a Cerveza Negra. Beer and Pasta is the new Beer and Pizza.

    Quick Carbonara

    From Chef Adrian Cuenca, Elbert?s Steak Room, Makati

    Serves 2

    Ingredients


    200 grams uncooked DeCecco Spaghetti (I won?t use any other brand)

    4 organic eggs, yolk and white separated

    Around 100 to 200 grams pancetta (or guanciale if available)

    Lots of freshly grated Pecorino Ramno or Parmegiano Regiano (around 3/4 cup)

    Minced garlic (optional)

    4 tsps of whipping cream (I?m cheating)

    Salt and freshly ground black pepper to season

    Chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish

    Instructions

    Bring out the eggs, cream, and cheese from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature.

    Slice the pancetta to desired thickness. I prefer mine not too thin, to keep the texture and flavor of the bacon.

    Cook the pasta in salted boiling water until al dente.

    While the pasta is cooking, saut? pancetta in medium to low heat. Leave the fat that is rendered in the pan. Set aside.

    Beat the egg yolks with the cream. Add a bit of salt (remember, the cheese and the bacon are already salty so take it easy, chef). You can add the optional crushed/minced half garlic clove.

    Add the freshly cooked pasta to the pancetta and the fat (off fire). Beat two of the egg whites and the grated cheese and add to the pan. The remaining heat of the pan and of the pasta will slightly cook the egg whites and melt the cheese.

    Add the egg yolks. At this point, you may have to turn on the heat just a little bit if the yolks don?t start cooking ever so slightly. This is why it is important to bring the eggs and cream to room temperature. If they are cold, the dish will not cook properly. Do not overcook, or the sauce will dry out and you?ll be left with a pasta omelette.

    Serve and garnish with more cheese, parsley, and black pepper.


 
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