Cooking engineering, pt. II

I’ve already talked a lot about how great crockpots are, particularly when you are busy and you want something simple that will yield delicious results. However, while the crockpot does not need supervision to give you an amazing dish, it does require one thing: to mind the time. And while yes, you won’t burn your food if you let it go overtime, you might end up with really dry chicken.

20130610-155340.jpg
Now, there are crockpots that come with their timer, and that’s awesome! However, mine was a gift from my roommate (he didn’t know how to use it) and it’s a pretty old model. Really solid, but you can tell it has been around for a while.

20130610-155526.jpg
The solution was pretty simple, I’m not even sure I can call it engineering: use a christmas light timer. So I prepped it for the amount of hours I wanted, and went to bed without any worries in my mind. When I woke up, my almond meal was ready.

20130610-155652.jpg
The recipe was from Chrissy’s book, Paleo Slow Cooking: shaved apple (to provide humidity), almond flour (I actually used almond meal for coarseness – it’s an oatmeal substitute!) and water, and cooked for six hours. Strawberries for sweetness in the end. =)

Garlic. Garlic everywhere.

I’ve made Bill and Haley’s Chicken with Forty Cloves of Garlic before when I just wanted to experiment with the idea of using so much garlic to cook a dish. In this case I did it because it’s simple, and all it requires is to baby sit the over (which you can do while doing other things in the kitchen anyways).

20130521-070321.jpg
Just like the previous time the hardest thing to do is to cut up the chicken. Every time I do it, though, the easier it becomes, and I’ve gone from 30 minutes “I have no Idea what I am doing” to 5 minutes “I’m also chopping some shallot and other stuff at the same time”.

20130521-070509.jpg
Besides that, everything is even sequential: fry the chicken, fry the garlic, fry the shallot, put everything together and bake for 1.5 hours.

20130521-070609.jpg
One thing I forgot to buy were the fresh herbs, lemon thyme and rosemary. I will try my hand at herb growing again, but I need to stick it in my calendar that I have to water my herbs. I somehow managed to kill mint, which is basically a weed, so yeah, I suck.

20130521-070725.jpg
However, a good bunch of dried herbs were a good substitute.

The beauty of simplicity

Sometimes the best meals come out of the simplicity of cooking with very little ingredients. That’s what can make a dish economical and yet delicious. This time it’s just frying liver in bacon fat what can make a meal phenomenal.

20130130-214653.jpg
As usual I got my liver from Triple M Bar ranch – hey, they were the ones who sold lamb to Hickenlooper so he could pay his bet to Maryland! – and sliced it up pretty thinly. Since I was going to fry it and I wanted to ensure it will cook through, I sliced it even more thinly than usual.

20130130-215142.jpg
The breading was just almond flour with salt and pepper. Meanwhile I put the bacon to fry so it would render the fat out.

20130130-215313.jpg
And piece by piece, I fried the liver. In order to keep with the compliance of at least 60% of vegetables, I served it with a huge serving of spaghetti squash.

20130130-215821.jpg