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Latest Post on Michael's Blog: Fixing SONOS "Unable to play" song / "Unable to connect" to local music library problem on Windows 7
Recipe File
Sorry, I dropped the ball this week and only just realized a couple hours ago that Thermoworks offered to give away a Thermapen if I ran a giveaway contest that ended this Saturday (tomorrow)! I think this will be the third year in a row that I'll be able to give away the best thermometer I've ever used for cooking. This post will be short so I can get it up quickly, but read on to see how to enter the drawing which will take place on the evening of December 13, 2014.
This year flew past so fast that I didn't even realize that next week is Thanksgiving. I've been offered a new product from Thermoworks to giveaway, and we're going to have to rush this giveaway to have it in time to be received by a lucky winner in time for Thanksgiving. The product is their brand new DOT probe alarm thermometer. If you're familiar with the ChefAlarm which I reviewed and gave away earlier this year, then this new product is similar - except it does only one thing and it does it well: monitor the temperature of the probe and sounds an alarm when the temperature reaches the set point. No count down timers, no count up timers, no alarm start or stop... just set the target temperature and you're done. Sometimes simple is just what is needed.
Kitchen Notes
The smoke point of various fats is important to note because a fat is no longer good for consumption after it has exceeded its smoke point and has begun to break down. Once a fat starts to smoke, it usually will emit a harsh smell and fill the air with smoke. In addition it is believed that fats that have gone past their smoke points contain a large quantity of free radicals which contibute to risk of cancer. Refining oils (taking out impurities) tends to increase the smoke point. The table below lists some ballpark values for smoke points of various common fats. I like cooking with extra light olive oil and butter. This is mainly because olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids (73%) while being low in polyunsaturated fatty acids (less than 10%). The refined nature of extra light olive oil mainly affects taste and smoke point, but does not reduce the nutritional benefits of olive oil. Butter, although high in saturated fat (66%), is low in polyunsaturated (4%) and contains a host of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, and acids that are antimicrobial and antitumorigenic. Also, it tastes good.
In several articles, I've mentioned the need to brine chicken or pork to produce juicier, more flavorful, and tender cooked meats. The net effect of brining is to infuse the meat with extra salt (and sometimes sugar and other flavorings) and water. But how does brining work? In this article, I examine what happens when you brine.
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