Freezing Alcohol

March 25, 2010 on 11:56 am | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

After watching the videos on liquid nitrogen and making ice cream in class on Monday, I began to wonder what other substances liquid nitrogen can freeze that conventional freezers cannot (or substances that are said to ‘not freeze’). Everyone always says that alcohol cannot freeze. When you put a bottle of liquor or wine in the freezer, it gets very cold but does not freeze. Sometimes the wine will become slushie, but the alcohol itself in the wine remains a liquid. I discovered that alcohol does freeze, just at a lower temperature than the one supplied by conventional freezers. Pure alcohol, or ethanol, freezes at around -114 oC and alcoholic beverages will freeze anywhere between 0 oC and -114 oC, depending on their alcohol content. Because liquid nitrogen boils at around -196 oC, it is able to freeze alcohol. Some restaurants/bars will use liquid nitrogen to  freeze liquors, creating interesting drinks and experiences for their customers.

Soy Sauce Caviar

March 11, 2010 on 1:53 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Soy Sauce Caviar

Last week I watched a clip on the greatest restaurants in Washington D.C. What stuck with me after watching it was that at one restaurant, they make little balls of soy sauce to garnish and add complexity to certain dishes. They look almost exactly like caviar, except they are slightly lighter in color. The chef was mentioning how they are salty and savory like caviar, but also provide that asian flavor to dishes. He said it creates an interesting eating experience, but alot of people eat with their eyes and have preconceived notions on how food will taste based on how it looks. These balls slightly confuse people because they don’t associate the flavor of soy sauce with the almost solid for of the soy sauce balls. They are formed when sodium alginate and calcium chloride react. A previous post on making caviar-looking balls out of juice reminded me of this clip I had seen.

Mock Meat Recipes (for vegetarians)

March 11, 2010 on 1:34 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

After eating the mock apple pie and doing the mock apple sauce experiment, I began to wonder if they had a mock meat recipe for vegetarians or vegans. It is often hard for vegetarians to get enough protein in their diets (especially with college food) without eating meat, so I wanted to find one that also had a high amount of protein in it. I found a recipe for mock chicken nuggets that looks pretty good. Next time I’m home I’m going to try it and see if it tastes decent (most of the time meat substitutes are not very palatable).

MOCK CHICKEN NUGGETS:

1 cup white unbleached flour,
1/2 cup of wheat gluten
1 tablespoon of salt,
1 cup of COLD water
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke (this is not nessasary if you don’t have it in your kitchen)

Add the flour,wheat gluten,and saltin a bowl,,stir the dry ingredients,when done mixing them up,add the liquid smoke,(optional) and add the Cold water too,mix baby ,mix,you should have a dough,you can use your hands if it’s too hard to spoon it…pick it up…form a nice ball,set it in your bowl for about five minutes,or a little more,heat a skillet to medium heat with about a quarter inch of oil in the pan,when the oil is hot,take some cold oil and rub this on your hands…(this will make it easier for you to handle the meat,,take a bit of the mix,,chicken nugget size,,and make your shape,pat it down,and these chicken nuggets are going to be thinner that the regular kind that you see,about a half inch thick please,,so,drop your nugget into the oil,fry it,and turn it once it is browned a bit,they cook rather quick,so be vigilant. Yeah,take them out to cool,and there you go…excellent with honey barbacue sauce. Kids love them and some intersting facts for you…wheat gluton is over 90% protein! talk about a super meat substitute!

Creamy Creamless Chile Corn Chowder

March 9, 2010 on 11:30 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment
  • 6 ears corn, brown tassels trimmed off, then shucked, reserving silk
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons fat (bacon fat, lard, unsalted butter, or oil)
  • 2 dried ancho chiles (see note above), wiped clean
  • 3 large garlic cloves, halved lengthwise
  • 1 lb boiling potatoes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Cut kernels from cobs, then scrape pulp from cobs with back of knife and reserve corn (with pulp) and cobs separately. Break cobs in half or thirds and combine with corn silk, water, and 1/2 tsp salt in a 4-qt pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Strain corn broth through a sieve into a bowl.

While broth is simmering, cook onion in fat with 1/4 tsp salt in a 5-qt heavy pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.

Slit chiles lengthwise, then discard stem, seeds, and ribs. Heat a dry heavy skillet (not nonstick) over medium heat until hot, then toast chiles 1 at a time, opened flat, turning and pressing with tongs, until more pliable and slightly changed in color, about 30 seconds.

Transfer chiles to a blender with 2 cups hot corn broth and let soak, covered, until softened, about 20 minutes.

While chiles soak, add garlic to heated dry skillet and cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until blackened in spots, about 4 minutes. Add garlic to blender.

Peel and dice potatoes.

When chiles are softened, add 1 cup corn kernels and purée until smooth.

Reheat onion mixture in pot until hot, then add chile purée and cook over medium heat, stirring, 3 minutes (mixture will spatter). Add potatoes and remaining corn broth and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are just tender, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in remaining corn kernels and simmer until tender, 3 to 5 minutes, thinning with water if necessary.

Just before serving, stir in cilantro, lime juice, and salt to taste.

Chocolate Chilli Tea

March 9, 2010 on 6:26 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Chocolate Chilli Tea

After doing some research for the second paper about chocolate and chili, I came across this: http://www.blisstree.com/kettleandcup/tag/chocolate-chili/.

It is a small article about a chocolate and chile tea, or tea with chocolate and chiles. I’ve heard about food and sauces that contain chocolate and chiles, but not drinks, so I thought that it was interesting. The person who wrote the article said it was actually good.

Bananas

March 9, 2010 on 4:57 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 1 Comment

In response to the Bananas post:

Wow, I never knew bananas could help with symptoms from PMS and getting over hangovers. Next time I’ll try a banana before reaching for the Advil or Midol during ‘that time of the month’! Also I remembered reading somewhere about bananas being a good food to eat after workouts because they prevent your muscles from becoming as stiff after strenuous exercise. I did a little research and found out that it is because bananas contain alot of potassium. When the muscles of the body work, they and release potassium and intake sodium. If the body does not have enough potassium, the muscles will not be able to relax, therefore causing stiff muscles and cramps. The high amount of potassium in bananas restores the body’s potassium level. However, it will not prevent them from hurting, it can only relieve some of the discomfort.

MSG Experiment

March 9, 2010 on 4:39 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on MSG Experiment

I really enjoyed the video we watched in class about the MSG. However, I have one modification to the experiment. After watching it, I thought that the way they set up the experiment yielded slightly inaccurate results. They used Chinese food in the experiment, which is notorious for containing MSG and also talked about MSG after the people had consumed the food. This could have possibly sparked the notion in the taster’s heads that MSG was in their food. Because of this, the symptoms they suffered from could have been mental because they thought that MSG was in their food. A better experiment would be to have food that is not associated with containing MSG tasted. After the tasters had eaten the food, they should ask them how they are feeling without mentioning MSG. This would eliminate any symptoms created by the mind from thinking that it was consuming MSG.

The Closing of the Fat Duck

February 4, 2010 on 11:10 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Closing of the Fat Duck

After reading another post about the closing of Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck, I decided to read more about it. It intrigued me as you don’t often hear of world class restaurants shutting down from contaminated food/food poisoning. About 400 diners became sick after eating at The Fat Duck. After reading more, I discovered that Blumenthal could be losing as much as $140,000.00 a week while his restaurant is closed. That’s a lot of money. Although many tests were run on the food and kitchens, nothing was discovered. Many believe that the sickness is caused by “winter vomiting disease” that has been plaguing many restaurants in Britain. This makes sense, as it is hard to believe that a restaurant as prestigious as The Fat Duck (with some of the best chefs and technology in the world) would be closed due to improper food storage and handling. Although it has been reopened, I would be very wary on eating there, especially because no cause of the illness was discovered. I wonder if the closing has affected revenue and popularity of the restaurant.

0 Calories?!

February 4, 2010 on 10:50 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | 2 Comments

I was watching the Food Network (once again) and noticed a lot of commercials for food and drinks with VERY few calories or even 0 calories? How do they remove calories from these products, while keeping the same great taste and richness? It seems very suspicious to me that a coke with 97 calories can be turned altered to have 0 calories. These lower or 0 calorie goods are advertised as being healthier, but are all the artificial additives they are putting in them to create a low or no calorie products really healthier? I think I would rather eat foods with the normal amount of calories, rather than something full of additives that are not necessarily healthy.

Effects of Alcohol on People

February 4, 2010 on 10:42 pm | Written by: | In Uncategorized | Comments Off on Effects of Alcohol on People

After thinking about the make-up of food and how it affects people, I began to wonder about the make-up of alcohol and why it affects people the way it does. I did a little research and came up with this:

Alcohol is ethyl alcohol, which is the component that makes people intoxicated. When it reaches the stomach, it is broken down by the dehydrogenase enzyme, which reduces the amount of alcohol passing through the system by about 20% (women tend to become more quickly intoxicated than men because they make less of this enzyme). After is passes through the stomach, it is absorbed mostly by the upper section of the small intestine. The alcohol slows the responses to the brain and increases the release of dopamine, which is why drinking often makes people feel good.

For more in depth information: http://www.healthchecksystems.com/alcohol.htm

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