T Nation

Food Porn Thread


#883

I love rice with salmon.


#884

Absolutely. I built it to facilitate braising and pot-roasting in a cast-iron Dutch oven, as well as direct-coal cooking. I have a gas grill (for convenience), but I had no way of safely using coals in my cooking. The advantage of using hot coals placed on and around the cooking vessel is huge compared to cooking the same thing in an oven… The coals heat up the walls and lid of the Dutch oven and create infrared radiation, which browns and caramelizes the food while it is cooking (Sort of like broiling it), while the tight fitting lid keeps the interior of the vessel at or near 100% humidity. As a result, I am able to use much less liquid for the braise, since very little is lost to evaporation, which translates to a much more concentrated jus at the finish. Another added benefit is the creation of 2nd generation Maillard molecules. When you brown food, you are creating Maillard molecules (the tasty, very volatile, smells and flavors that you associate with “complex” food). These molecules are great on their own, but when they are sealed in a vessel and interact together at high temp, they combine and create even more complex molecules, which your tastebuds interpret as more interesting/exciting. (In chemistry terms I am running a reflux reaction, as opposed to a linear/single-run reaction; this means that the reaction keeps going with little loss to the outside environment.)

Modern recipes that are trying to recreate authentic pot-roasted dishes usually begin by searing the meat, in an attempt to mimic the intense infrared of a coal-heated pot. This step is unnecessary when making it in the traditional style. The cooked photo is taken 3 hours after putting the raw version in the coals. Nothing was added; no stirring; just raw meat in, amazingly crusted/seared/tender meat out. The modern workarounds leave much to be desired, as the Maillard molecules are readily soluble in water, meaning they quickly leave the meat and flavor the cooking liquid. This cooking liquid is usually boiled at the finish in an effort to concentrate the flavors. The volatile molecules wind up making the kitchen smell wonderful, but if it’s in the air, it’s not making it to the plate. And a more diluted cooking liquid means that first-gen Maillard molecules are less likely to interact and combine, and more likely to volatise with evaporating cooking liquid.

This was done as a proof-of-concept, and it worked better than I could have possibly imagined. My family, who is rather picky, all had thirds and agreed that it was the best roast they had ever had. I will be experimenting further. My other goal, besides mastering hearth-cooking in general, is to get comfortable cooking in our fireplace. These are, unfortunately, lost arts, and I intend to do my part to preserve them. I believe that there is something in the modern tech that can be added to these techniques (i.e. Combining sous vide or pressure cooking with coals). I’m also very interested in pit cooking… Now that I have a safe place to build fire, I will be digging and burying. I will, of course, share the results.


#885

Thanks for the explanation! I have a charcoal grill and might give this a shot.


#886

That would be interesting. We had pig cooked this way in Hawaii and it was incredible.


#887

@FatKidfromFL That’s brilliant. How do you manage temperature control doing something like dutch oven roasting on an open hearth?


#888

Very cool!

I buried a pot bellied (webber type) grill half way into the ground once, and vented it from the bottom- like a basic forge just using oak and hickory fire wood. It got incredibly hot and would throw a massive amount of heat, but when I tried cooking a couple of steaks I just pretty much incinerated them.

Looks like you have a much better way of getting good heat control.


#889

Temperature control is achieved by varying the number of coals and the distance. The beauty of the high humidity environment is that there is a huge margin of error. The traditional method involves burying the vessel in the coals that are left over from baking. This means that there is a temperature gradient, with the most intense heat at the start of the process, and the heat naturally trailing off as the coals burn out. Modern recipes oftentimes employ a workaround in an attempt to mimic this phenomena, by beginning the roast at a high temp (15mins @450), then lowering for the remainder of the cook time (300 for 2 hrs).


#890



#891

I have lunch at my mum’s place on Sundays, and she likes to cook something slightly different for me than I eat on weekdays, to kinda make it special.

I have rice and salmon in my meal plan but I usually make tomato sauce to go with it. Today she actually cooked the salmon with broccoli and the thing really tastes good.

Would totally recommend.


#892

Hope this doesn’t come off as off topic but to all the meal prep ninjas:

I’m considering buying some sort of slow cooker / piece of cooking gear to step up my recipes.

My arsenal only consists of basic pots and pans as of now. Any recommendations?
I would like to not exceed 100 bucks by too much.


#893

Buy a used pressure cooker. You can do a whole roast in 1.5-2 hours. Also makes kick ass stock out of bones. We use ours way more than the crock pot.


#894

I’ll vouch for the quality of the results!


#895

I second the pressure cooker nomination, but if I were you I would buy an instant pot (multi-function cooker including pressure). Less than $100.

Other suggestion is a sous vide controller… About a hundred bucks. Makes the best meat. Also makes reheating very easy.

Last suggestion is a cast iron Dutch oven. I use mine for bread, roasts, stews, and more.


#896

Just found my dad actually ordered a crock pot for me.

Hope I still get some use out of it. Even if it’s not what you guys recommended I’m still pretty excited because I never used one and have always cooked the tradltional way so far.


#897

I’d prefer a crock pot anyway. I like being able to throw everything in and walking away for the day. Definitely helps with me working night shift. That and a rice cooker with a delayed start. I can set it all up before I go to bed, get up have my normal quick bfast, hit the gym and when I get home, supper is done. Can’t beat that.


#898

Breakfast porridge with all the calories and fiber: milk, peanut butter, coconut flour and shavings, chai seeds, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, raisins, shaved almonds, walnut pieces, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, maple syrup and salt.


#899

Looks very good. What is your water to oats ratio? I never seem to nail the consistency.


#900

There’s no oats. My wife and kids don’t eat grains. It’s coconut flour. We add the flour/PB, all the dry ingredients in a sauce pan on low heat. Let the natural PB liquefy a bit and then add milk to adjust consistency.


#901

Gotcha. Whenever I read porridge I automatically assume it’s oatmeal lol


#902

Okay bear with me guys. We got an old vitamix free after a relative died. I’ve been having some trouble eating boring foods to hit my macros and I just skip boring meals and eat junk later. Also when I workout in the mornings I want a fast meal that isn’t eggs.

Soo… I’m going to try some Poundstone/Sumner style shakes. Those with weak constitutions look away now. The point here is food as fuel, not for enjoyment. I’ll still eat dinner with the family, because my wife is an awesome cook. But I’ve got some serious fat to lose.

Two cans tuna, one cup dry oats, fist full of spinach and one tablespoon of olive oil. Filled it up to the 4 cup line with water. Blend and drink. Not bad at all and it took 3 minutes to make and 3 to drink. No excuse for me now not to hit protein targets and miss healthy meals.

619 calories
50g Protein, 54g carbs, 19.5g fat