Monday, January 19, 2009

What I'm up to

Firstly, I'd like to thank everyone who voted for me for the weblog awards. It's nice to see that I've got some awesome readers who care about the blog. I came in fourth- not too shabby if you ask me.

Recently, I've been experimenting in many different ways, most of them involving sous vide. I just took out a flank steak that had been cooking at 131 for 24 hours. I'm gonna sear that off and see how it tastes.

In the avocado episode of his show (also my favorite show) Good Eats, Alton Brown claims that the enzyme responsible for the browning of avocados due to oxidation, can be "shut off" by cooking the avocados at 104 F for a few hours. He claims this temperature will not compromise the flavor or texture, but will kill that oxidation enzyme. I still have a little more testing to do but it's not looking good for Mr. Brown (or the avocados).

I'm working on developing the ultimate chocolate chip cookies for my taste buds. I like a chewy, texturally pleasing cookie, and I'm using some of the principles (speak of the devil) Alton Brown uses in his cookie show. I think I'm pretty darn close but theres one more variable I'm anxious to test.

Lastly, I'm experimenting with peanut butters. Right now I'm attempting a "BBQ" peanut butter by roasting the peanuts with traditional bbq spices then grinding them with brown sugar. I'd take that over Skippy any day.

11 comments:

Liz said...

Pretty funny- I've been making the Alton Brown chocolate chip cookies these past 2 weekends! Yesterday I did his chewy recipe. Last weekend I did his thin recipe. I think I prefer the thin so far. I found the cooking time on the chewy needed to be played with- all depends on your oven, of course. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

I voted my heart out for you! A friend and I even tried to get the folks over at Cake Wrecks to put out a call to vote for you as a way to prove they weren't cheating or something.

Alton Brown is my fave, too. He's entertaining and smart and likeable and all that!!

Nick N said...

Liz you're the best!

My family get mad, I fill up the DVR space with all my recorded good eats episodes.

Daniel King said...

Alton Brown rocks! I saw him in person when he came to a local bookstore to speak about his second cookbook and sign books... he was as awesome in person as he is on tv.
I've only ever experimented with the nestle tollhouse recipe...
Do you ever share any 'finished' recipes on your blog? like when you've worked out the chocolate chip cookies?

joyciel said...

I LOVE ALTON BROWN!!! I have two of his cookbooks and I watch his shows all the time! My favorite recipe from him is the cheesecake, one of the best I've tasted.

Sucks, he never come to Canada.

Cabot Jen said...

I just wanted to say that you're an excellent writer, and your blog is very interesting and entertaining. I wish I'd been as ambitious at you as 16!

Good idea to be making your own peanut butters these days, btw!

I love Alton Brown, but I'm mystified by cooking avocados. It's hard for me to imagine that such a thing wouldn't change the texture a little bit!

Rach said...

I have found that putting toffee chips (not the chocolate covered ones) in my chocolate chip cookies greatly increases the chewy factor. They just melt and then when the cookies cool a little, it makes for a nice chew.

I would highly recommend Shirley Corriher's *Bakewise* if you want to learn how to tinker with baking recipes. She is a food chemistry goddess, and, of course, I first learned of her from Alton Brown.

Bob said...

Big Alton Brown fan.

Big choc chip fan, too. I always use Maida Heatter's recipe for "positively the absolute best choc chip cookies" from her chocolate cookbook.

Not a Skippy fan - go to

Original Skippy

to find out why.

gammypie said...

The best choc. chip cookies are the ones from the back of the pkg. of the Nestle choc. chips. The trick is to make the dough then let it sit in the fridge for a day or two. That will give you the best cookies ever.

Judge Three said...

I've been enjoyed a recipe published by the NYT: it's truly fantastic. The resting time seems to make a difference.

Recipe: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/091crex.html

Article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/09/dining/09chip.html?ref=dining

I'm also a new reader that found you through the weblog awards. Love your writing style!

TheHolyEnchilada said...

Leave it to wacky Alton Brown! He has the coolest (and at times, weirdest) ideas. I only cook avocados when I make cold avocado soup. Cooking does change the color and flavor a little bit in my opinion.

How is the avo testing going? By the way, I love your blog!

David said...

sous vide avocados work. 104 f for 90 minutes then ice bath. Remove from skin, dice, slice, get about 4 hours if on a plate and 1 day if in a container with avocado oil. Use this for parties of 1000 all the time.