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Easy Guinness Beef Stew

I’ve been wanting to post about this for a while and finally today found the time and the will power. This time I decided to photograph it instead of eating it before I could grab my camera. Beef stews are quite possibly my all time favorite thing to cook/eat/snort/drink/stare at during cold days and I’m documenting this recipe just in time before the hot weather returns to California and ruins one of the greatest winters this state has ever seen. The whole ritual is extremely relaxing and the outcome well… as you know… who doesn’t love a good beef stew. I thought about a sous vide version… but nah… I wanted that comfort factor pretty high. 

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pork tenderloin sous vide 58C 3hr and mango habanero sauce

And we’re back with some more sous vide cooking! A few things about pork tenderloin. It’s delicious but only if cooked properly otherwise is just boring. Cooking this cut with traditional methods requires some practice and a thermometer but if you’re looking for that medium rare finish and a pasteurized product then going sous vide is the easiest (and possibly the only practical …) way of getting there.

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the simplest hot sauce known to man

Homemade is best.

After the fist batch I couldn’t but regret not having done this before. If you think those hot sauces at the store have anything on homemade stuff, think again and the beautiful thing is: Hot sauces are extremely basic and easy to make. Just a few ingredients and cooking is really optional. In fact 1 ingredient is all that’s required. Fresh hot chiles,  puree them and that alone is already a killer hot sauce. Add salt and you have a seasoned sauce. Add liquid and control the consistency. Add salt and season it… trust me, 1-3% is more than enough.

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eggs: the vinegar trick

Ok, this is more of a question than an informative post. I can’t remember where but recently I came across a simple cooking tip that somehow I had missed all these years. No, it’s not the one about vinegar and poaching eggs… although that one is cool too… this one could have come in handy a million times. I’m talking about using a little bit of vinegar in the boiling water when hard boiling or soft boiling eggs. The shells are supposed to come of pretty easily. Some of my friends went like “oh yeah, first thing they teach you in cooking school” Well… not all that well documented elsewhere, or is it just me?? Anyways, I’ve tried it a few times and seems to work but maybe I got lucky and got friendly egg shells.  Have you tried it? I would love to know if this is pretty standard. It puzzles me that not a single cookbook I own mentions this.  If this continues to work… best cooking tip ever. 

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sous vide salmon with steamed rice and broccoli. 50C 40 mins.

I don’t cook at lot of fish sous vide. There’s really no good excuse other than maybe with proper technique similar results can be achieved and less gear is involved. But if you really want to experience the true potential of fish, cooking it sous vide renders an absolutely perfect and delicate finish. I’ve probably mentioned it already but for years I hated salmon. Every single time I had it, no matter where, the story was simply the same. Dry stuff.

Some fish can withstand heat better than others but most fish will easily overcook and if you aren’t obsessed with temperature control over the stove then chances are you’re over going to overcook the poor thing. Poaching and steaming are safer bets in most cases. Of course searing one side to get those beautiful and delicious golden notes or getting that crispy skin will require applying a ton of heat butI won’t go into details about this today because it isn’t trivial and depending on the fish the approach might differ a bit. But if you’re itching to know perhaps follow the same approach you would as searing a steak in general. I’d also suggest working with a non stick pan here. Fish meat is too delicate to risk cooking on a regular pan but it works if you’re careful and polymerize the bottom properly

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My first time being published!

A few months ago a received and email from Callisto Media.  They’re located in San Francisco and they publish books. Lots of books. They were interested in talking to me about the possibility of writing and photographing a cookbook on sous vide cooking. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I got to being even considered for something like that. Of course my answer was yes and we scheduled a phone call in the upcoming days. I really liked them from the get go. They were pretty clear about their approach to publishing, their schedule, deadlines, process, etc, etc, etc. I went on and on about cooking and sous vide and photography, etc, etc. With my crazy work schedule I feared I would not be able to write and photograph (not to mention do all the cooking) in the proposed timetable. So I took a few days to think about it and was pretty honest about being concerned with delivering the writing and the photos on time. They understood, and the conversation almost stalled at that point. I suggested only doing the photography to what they seemed opened to but they needed to regroup and come back to me with a verdict. 

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Christmas Bolognese Pasta

If you know or you know of somebody that holds the true original recipe for bolognese sauce please report back in the comment section if you can. I’m really curious. A simple google search returned over 200,000 result and after checking the first 2 pages of results it was obvious everybody has their own idea of what an authentic bolognese ragu should be. There are obviously the usual suspects in the ingredients list which I tried to keep in mind but seriously, cooking by most common denominator ingredients is plain boring, at least to me.

The absolutely required ingredients in bolognese ragu.

hmm…. meat? I think that’s mainly it. Which kind? well… in today’s world beef because it’s easier to find although historically veal is probably more proper. Pancetta can also be found in pretty much all the recipes I looked at. Then we have the aromatics like onion, celery and carrots. Carrots being fairly popular and onions being in pretty much all the recipes. Wine? hit or miss really. Milk? yep… another one that is popular but not standard. Garlic for sure. Nutmeg… yep. I think nutmeg is probably the only spice being added to this sauce in modern times. No bay leaves apparently. Pork? yep, it does appear but not consistently. Stock? yep… here and there although I should say.. if I can avoid it I will refrain from using stock unless absolutely necessary in a recipe.  

Moving to the ORG world.

 

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Hey guys, the time has come. I will be moving my domain over to a self hosted server and I will be saying good bye to wordpress.com. I’ve been with WP.com for 4 years. Since I don’t know what I’m doing things might go a little weird and if anyone out there reads this blog and checks in regularly for updates, bare in mind that the blog might go down for couple of days in the next week or so. I hope not but my knowledge is pretty limited and just getting the domain transferred to bluehost was “interesting” but now it’s done and it’s just a matter of time until the “move” actually takes place. As soon as that’s done I will bring over all the contents of my blog and will also move over all of you who have singed up for updates via email or follow me via WP.

I love this platform and I will miss it. I just can’t do a few things I wanna do. Hopefully my relocation won’t end up in disaster.  I will keep the same domain so nothing should change dramatically. I will be working on a new look for the blog and I will be adding a few new features like a recipe index and other cool things!

Hello World…and Hello Steak and Eggs

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Just when you thought I would finally shut up, I come back again for more food blogging. It’s not that I haven’t had anything to blog about. Plenty has gone on but I don’t have a kitchen of my own yet. I left my old apartment, the rain and my job in Vancouver and decided to go back to LA which is where I currently am and the city in which I started my blog a few years ago. I won’t bore anyone with the details of the last 2 months of amazing and much needed time off. I’ve been relaxing , exercising , cooking and going to the beach. I’m pretty sure this idilic existence will be soon be over as I will need a source of income and a dose of reality but I will enjoy it while it lasts. Without my own kitchen (I haven’t rented a place yet), blogging and cooking have been less than usual but never come to a full stop. I have been posting a few things on instagram (hopefully you’re following me!) and I wanna share those here in the next few posts as I catch up.

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I have posted about steak and eggs previously but I haven’t documented a more traditional presentation of this dish yet, well.. until just now. Facts about steaks and eggs. Yes, my favourite breakfast period. Any hour of the day is a good time for steak and eggs. Sunny side up is the path to enlightenment. Takes 10 mins to make, or 15 if you make home fries from scratch (the one in the picture took a lot longer but that’s because I wanted to get all fancy with my sous vide equipment and prolonged fridge curing times, but you can do without and it would seriously take like 10-15 mins).

Recipe list? seriously? eggs and a steak. Ok, throw some potatoes in there and bunch of rosemary. Fish sauce for those who aren’t afraid of the dark side.