Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Snack food science

A fascinating look into the snack food industry:

The Extraordinary Science of Addictive Junk Food
By Published: February 20, 2013

Fascinating look into some very familiar brands and how they research and target their markets. The book this article is excerpted from should be a very interesting read...

"This article is adapted from “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us,” which will be published by Random House this month.
Michael Moss is an investigative reporter for The Times. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 2010 for his reporting on the meat industry."

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Pressure cookers explained

Modernist Cuisine has a neat article on how pressure cookers work.

I used to have up to four different sized pressure cookers but now am down to two - one small one for quick stuff and one larger one for stews and roasts.  I find they are great for making ribs - it takes only about 20 minutes in a pressure cooker to make succulent melt int he mouth ribs!  I broil the meat first in the oven to get some the brown Maillard reaction flavour and then add the sauce and ribs to the pressure cooker and have my ribs done in the time it takes to make the rice.
Here is one recipe example:

Another favourite is to use the pressure cooker to make Whole Oat Groat porridge.  I buy whole oat groats (dehulled) and rinse them quickly. I then dry roast them in the pressure cooker without the lid until I can smell the nuttiness and they look like they have mostly puffed up a bit.  Then I add about 3 times as much water as groats and some salt and pressure cook for one hour.  You can do this in the evening and leave it to cool in the pressure cooker overnight. In the morning, I open the pressure cooker and remove enough to eat and rewarm it in another pot.  It is extremely creamy and not as gluey as oatmeal from rolled oats. Shorter cooking times will keep the oat groats more firm if you prefer that.

Oat groats from

The bonus it is that you end up with enough for couple of days - it lasts really well in the fridge for up to 3 days (don't freeze it though)

And if you don't have a pressure cooker yet, here is an easy recipe for making the porridge without one (they don't roast the groats first but this does add a great flavour to the porridge):
And here is a blog post with tons of comments with lots of other suggestions: