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June 21, 2020

Food Thread: Desperately Seeking Headline: Will Cook Pork Chops And Pizza For Ideas

Porkchopgrillmarks.jpg

One of the pleasures of Sous Vide cooking (have I ever mentioned Sous Vide?) is that the final step for most recipes is simply browning for that last bit of flavor and pleasing looks. No worries about temperature and doneness and potential for gastrointestinal disease.

And that leaves more leisure time for important activities like measuring for the perfect angles of grill marks (my plastic protractor melted...) and figuring out how to balance those chops on the perimeter so every nook and cranny is nicely browned and crisped.

Technically it is the Maillard reaction and caramelization, and it's actually a fairly complicated process, because it is a function of both chemical and heat, and way too boring and tedious to go into detail. But it makes food taste grand, and so we should all thank Dr. Maillard and Dr. Caramel for their pioneering work. One interesting little tidbit though...the Maillard reaction is favored in alkaline conditions, which is why pretzels get dunked in a basic solution (lye or sodium bicarbonate) before they are baked.


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nokneadpizza.jpg

That's the result of a pizza made with Bluebell's excellent no-knead bread dough recipe that I posted a few weeks ago. I tossed in some sourdough starter just for kicks, and while handling the dough is a pain in the ass because it is such high hydration, the results are quite good. One interesting thing I noticed was that the pizza required more time than typical, presumably because of all of that water. But it's so easy to make that the additional minor complications are well worth it.

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At some point food becomes too fussy to bother with. And here is a great example. Oh, I am sure that these little croissants are fantastic as cereal, but I won't be making them, because life is too short to waste time doing this sort of crap.

tiny-croissant.jpg

Cinnamon Croissant Crunch

This is nuts. Impressive...but nuts!

[Hat Tip: artisanal ette]

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There is something about the crunch of pretzels in stuff like this that is immensely satisfying. I buy some weird chocolate/pretzel/peanut...thing from Trader Joe's that is fun to munch now and again, and this bar sounds like it is just the ticket for a homemade version.
Buckeye Crunch Bars
Except of course the whole "Buckeye" thing. Shouldn't it be "The" Buckeye Crunch Bar?

Yes, I find Ohio State to be tedious in the extreme with that crap.

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I wonder whether the Dempanic of Wuhan Flu has resulted in a decrease or an increase in gastrointestinal illness? The number of commercially prepared meals consumed in America probably plunged, especially during the beginning of the hysteria, so it would be interesting to see who causes more Delhi Belly (or Aleppo Two-Step, or Montezuma's Revenge or whatever euphemism you can think of): home cooks or restaurants.

Any thoughts?

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I have made something like this to great acclaim and adulation from my guests. But all I did was bake good chocolate chip cookies and slap some halfway decent store-bought ice cream between two of them and tossed it to my guests. I'm not sure that something this simple requires homemade ice cream, no matter how easy it may be to make. Face it, there are tons of good ice creams available in our stores (thank you market economies!), and I'm not just talking about the super-premium ones that cost more than aged beef.

But if you have your heart set on making your own, have at it!

No-churn ice cream cookie sandwiches

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eatmorfish.jpg

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Food and cooking tips, Large-breasted Muscovy ducks, young wild pigs, bartenders who use vermouth in Martinis (but not too much), pork belly that doesn't have 5-spice, low-temperature-roast chicken, and good tomatoes that aren't square, pale pink and covered with Mestizo E.coli: cbd dot aoshq at gmail dot com. Any advocacy of French Toast with syrup will result in disciplinary action up to and including being nuked from orbit. And yes, shaking a Manhattan is blasphemy...it's in the Bible!

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posted by CBD at 04:00 PM

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