Cooking Short Rib Beef the Sous Vide way



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"A very important thing to realize is that tougher or fattier meats always have better flavor; this is why osso buco and the short rib are so delicious and filet mignon will never be found on a menu where I am chef.” - Mario Batali

I will be cooking a few lots of Short-rib beef this Christmas. When cooked the Sous Vide way, it turns into a stunning piece of beef which belies its price and is a great party-pleaser.

So, what is your idea of a good steak? This will work for me:
  • Good flavour
  • Good marbling
  • Succulent & Meltingly tender
  • Firm texture (as your knife cuts though it, the steak - though pink - stays firm)
And best of all, if I can have this in the confines of my home, budget and cooking equipment.

Sous Vide Cooking : How it can help the Home Cook



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This batch of Char Siew turns our flavourful using Sous Vide
I have been waiting for a SV gadget that is affordable and easy to use for the average home cook. 

Now that my Codlo has arrived, I am planning to reorganise and rewrite my Sous Vide recipes and articles. Repeating what I predicted two years ago, cooking the Sous Vide way will be the next thing in home kitchens.

The classy sounding French term "Sous Vide" may give the impression that this is a modern and difficult way of cooking. Google the net and you will find complicated temperature charts and fanciful equipment. One reason may well be the fact that SV has been used in many restaurants and chefs who teaches this technique tend towards detailed elaborations.

As with most dishes, a combination of techniques are often used to cook them: steaming, deep-frying, pan-searing, grilling in the oven and so on. Having another kitchen gadget or adding another technique simply gives you more options.

Cooking Sous Vide in the home - Why I like Codlo



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If you have been following my blog, you will know that for Sous Vide cooking (SV), I like to use those which can be paired with rice cookers. They are often called PID controllers or an enabler device.

I prefer to use SV-enablers because they are compact, mobile and flexible when it comes to different types and sizes of pots. They can work on any analogue appliance with a mechanical switch. As I already have rice cookers in my  kitchen, I now have added use for them. When I was in Toronto recently, I found a electrical pan in my hostel's pantry which was rarely used. It was perfect for my SV set-up.

Claypot Chicken Briyani Rice



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Every cuisine has their signature rice dishes.

I like them all: Claypot Chicken Rice, Paella, Risotto, Nasi Goreng and so on. The great thing about all the dishes is that the focus, for once, is not on the meat but the rice.

But no rice dish excites my taste buds like Nasi Briyani, especially when it is cooked using Basmati Rice. I have made it from time to time. Indian in origin, there are many types of Nasi Briyani, including versions which are more popular with Malays.

I have worked at a Nasi Briyani recipe for my home dinners using the claypot, simplifying it over a few tries to the point where it can be a regular dinner feature. Tasting good is one thing, but it must be easy to make. In this recipe, the only crockery you use is the pot. You cook in it and serve it at the table. It takes a while longer and involves more steps & ingredients than the Claypot Chicken Rice recipe but it is still practical for the usual daily dinners. From start to finish, it will not take you more than 45 minutes to prepare and cook this.

This versions is more akin to the Indian version of Dum Briyani, where the meat is cooked in the rice. You can use the same method for fish. If you prefer, you can cook the rice and chicken separately and it will taste good too.

Auntie Ruby's Chicken Rendang



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Chicken Rendang (wet variety)
Rendang is a dry type of curry, which my Mum cooked often. I have many memories of eating her  Beef Rendang (check her recipe here) and Chicken Rendang.

According to tradition, it is an Indonesian dish. As the meat is cooked for a long time ("merandang") till the curry is dried out, it can keep for a long time. This explains why the recipe was popular during pre-refrigeration times. There are two types of Rendang, the dry and wet variety. The dry one can keep very well, even in room temperature. In fact, dry beef rendang is almost like dry beef jerky.

Glazed Carrots



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I have started a "Christmas" category for recipes that are suited for the season.

If you have cooked long enough, like me, you will realise that side dishes need effort and time to prepare well. Sometimes veg dishes can be harder to get right compared to the meat ones and demand more cooking attention.

I have a few favourite veg recipes which I like because they are easy to do and delicious. For these recipes I turned to my cookbooks.