Thursday, May 27, 2010

Slow learner

Had another go at slowcooking. Bought big piece of corned beef from butcher who actually makes it by soaking in Brine - Old School style.
Read facebook posts and determined to cook mine in gingerale, with juice and zest of 1/2 an orange, a bay leaf , and large pieces of kumara, swede and carrot around outside.
5 hours on high - beef is cooked. Tastes just the same as if I'd boiled it. Veges are soggy and v. Salty. Served with brocoli and saute potatoes.
Will not bother doing again unless have to go out in early evening and cant cook in usual manner as was no noticable advantage to doing it slow.
Personally couldn't use slow cooker for dinner everyday as am crying out for some scrunch and crunch on my plate after only 2 days. Is like eating toddler food -would have been good when tooth was sore though.

Will continue to experiment but am just not liking the textures and missing smell of sauteed onion and garlic and sizzling meat, crispy edges, and crunchy toppings.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Slow cooking for un believers

Am trying to unlock the mysteries of the slow cooker. So many people passionately defending them, I must be missing something. Am not food snob, so will try to get over myself and give slow cooker a workout.
Bought house brand size 16 chook on special in big yellow supermarket. Made homemade BBQ sauce - not too much liquid as advised by- well everyone.

Used 1/3 cup tomato sauce, 1 tbsp white vinegar, 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce 2 tbsp brown sugar and 1 tbsp apricot jam - Yup made it up as I went along, was tangy and tasty.
Browned whole chook in frying pan then put in slow cooker, slathered on sauce and cooked on high about 5 hours. house smelt like rest home on muggy day - one of the things I most dislike about slow cooking, steamy, damp nappy smell.

Chicken was cooked and tender without disintegrating - so was happy, (have had chicken just fall bits in slow cooker - not tender, overcooked).
Feeling encouraged, scooped out sauce - which had multiplied substantially, skimmed the fat and thickened with cornflour, poured over chicken and mash and happily ate.
Did not taste blurry or bland.

Next time I will not brown chicken first, instead will try removing breast skin, so less fat, and sauce can permeate meat (I hope). Will also try adding some veg. overall a good result from an unbeliever.

Monday, May 24, 2010

let them eat cake

Went to a seminar last week and learnt that we eat 25% more sugar a day now than we did in the 70's. Yikes!
Seminar was interesting despite being packed with dietitians and such like. I was starving so made a dash for the afternoon tea table as soon as break was announced.
Caterers had provided colourful array of chilly sliced fruit and healthy oaty looking bars. Obviously trying to score points with dietitians.
Miracle of miracles, I spotted one lone triangle of ginger crunch buried among the scroggin slice. Must have slipped in the pile by accident. I snagged it naturally,and was well into daily quota of sugar and fat before fatal mistake of gloating to my friend Claire that I'd got the only bit of slice with icing, next thing I know I'm sharing it. (Is easy to forget Claire is dietitian cos she actually likes food. most seem to treat it as mortal enemy).
One of the speakers at seminar is Head of public relations for McDonalds. Surprising the dietitians didn't stone her there and then. Was quite interesting that McDonald's have tried to sell healthy stuff, but people just don't go to Macca's for salad or cereal. Good that 50% of happy meals are now sold with a healthy option like fruit or water, but I kinda understand. While I personally haven't eaten Macca's in 8 years and don't plan to. When I go out I want the choice, all junk is clearly not good, but all healthy is no fun either and if I do choose the oat bar, then can I have a glass of wine with it?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Have detected a worrying tightness around waistband of jeans. Concluded that diet high in cake is not entirely to blame as is actually genetic fault. Am simply to short for my appetite. If had legs several centremetres longer and a waist, would be able to spread the load over a greater area of mass. As it is, am still waiting to grow legs!
Also think fibres of denim contract when not in frequent use - has been too hot for jeans so havent worn them for months. I am sure this phenomena is not unique to my jeans. Anyone else have similar experience?
I will research it on google while enjoying my morning coffee break - Flat White and White chocolate and macadamia brownie.

White chocolate and Macadamia brownie

This slice is luxurious yet super easy to make. Macadamias give it an engaging scrunch, and the finished brownie has the delectable fudgey-ness of a traditional brownie with creamy white chocolate instead. It’s a natural partner for raspberry coulis, great coffee and company.

225g butter or margarine
220g good quality white chocolate – I use a whole tablet of Cadbury Dream
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1¼ tsp vanilla essence
2 cups plain flour
½ cup coarsely chopped raw macadamia nuts

Pre heat the oven to 180°
Line a Swiss roll or slice tin with non stick baking paper.
Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over a low heat , when melted add the sugar and stir well, then remove from heat and add the white chocolate, broken into pieces.
Stir the mixture until the chocolate is completely melted, it may have a curdled appearance at this stage, don’t despair.
Mix in the eggs one at a time and stir in the flour, vanilla and the chopped nuts. Pour into a well-greased and lined sponge roll or slice tin. Bake in a moderate oven at 180°C for 35 minutes.

Cool and cut into 24 fingers. Serve dusted with icing sugar.