Sous vide chicken and pressure cooker pumpkin soup

Recipe

Equipment

  • Pressure cooker
  • Stick blender
  • Water bath
  • Water heater/circulator

Ingredients

  • Chicken thigh and drumstick
  • Pumpkin
  • Ginger
  • Shallot
  • Spring onion
  • MSG
  • Pepper
  • Maggi original seasoning

Instructions

  1. The night before place the chicken into a vacuum bag and add some Maggi original seasoning. Seal the bag and put it into the refrigerator.
  2. The following day, cook the chicken for 2 hours at 76 °C.
  3. Open the bag and put the chicken into a bowl and pour the cooking liquor into a jug.
  4. Pull the meat and skin from the bones.
  5. Dice a Kent pumpkin leaving the skin on the flesh.
  6. Peel a rhizome of ginger with a spoon and finely dice it.
  7. Peel a shallot and finely dice it.
  8. Place the pumpkin into the pressure cooker.
  9. Add the ginger and shallot.
  10. Pour in the chicken cooking liquor and add water to just cover the pumpkin.
  11. Seal the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 45 minutes.
  12. When the pressure in the pressure cooker equals the pressure outside, open the lid.
  13. Put the chicken meat into the centre of a soup bowl.
  14. Season the soup with MSG and pepper and process with a stick blender.
  15. When the soup is smooth, spoon it into the bowl with a ladle around the chicken.
  16. Garnish the soup with slices of spring onion.
  17. Give thanks to the Lord.
  18. Eat with a spoon.

Photographs

Chicken and pumpkin soup

This was a surprisingly good soup. Well worth the effort of using the pressure cooker. Give it a go.

Recipe

Equipment

  • Pressure cooker (Cook, McDaniel et al. 2021)
  • Stick blender

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin (Men, Choi et al. 2021)
  • Shallot
  • Bird’s eye chillies (Shi, Riley et al. 2018)
  • Vegetable stock
  • Chicken thigh
  • Sesame oil (Wan, Li et al. 2015, Jayaraj, Narasimhulu et al. 2020)
  • Spring onion
  • Sourdough roll

Instructions

  1. Place a quarter of a Kent pumpkin (with the skin attached) into the pressure cooker chamber and 500 mL of stock.
  2. Peel shallot and cut it into quarters. Add it to the pressure cooker.
  3. Cut two birds’ eye chillies longitudinally and add them into the pressure cooker.
  4. Place the chicken thigh on the pumpkin and pour some sesame oil over the skin.
  5. Seal the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 45 minutes.
  6. Open the lid and carefully remove the chicken thigh.
  7. Pull the meat from the chicken and set it aside.
  8. Process the contents of the pressure cooker with a stick blender until smooth.
  9. Place the chicken pieces into the middle of a shallow bowl.
  10. Ladle soup around the chicken.
  11. Garnish the soup with spring onion.
  12. Toast the bread and enjoy soaking up some of the spicy soup.
  13. Give thanks to the Lord.
  14. Enjoy the soup with a spoon.

Photographs

References

Cook, R. K., et al. (2021). “Use of a Pressure Cooker to Achieve Sterilization for an Expeditionary Environment.” J Spec Oper Med 21(1): 37-39.

BACKGROUND: Sterilization of healthcare instruments in an expeditionary environment presents a myriad of challenges including portability, cost, and sufficient electrical power. Using pressure cookers to sterilize instruments presents a low-cost option for sterilization in prehospital settings. This project’s objective was to determine if sterility can be achieved using a commercially available pressure cooker. METHODS: Presto(R) 4-quart stainless steel pressure cookers were heated using Cuisinart(R) CB-30 cast-iron single burners. One 3M Attest 1292 Rapid Readout Biological Indicator and one 3M Comply SteriGage integrator strip were sealed in a Henry Schein(R) Sterilization Pouch and placed in a pressure cooker and brought to a pressure of 103.4kPa. Sterility was verified after 20 minutes at pressure. The Attest vials were incubated in a 3M Attest 290 Auto-Reader for 3 hours with a control vial. RESULTS: Sterility using the pressure cooker was achieved in all tested bags, integrator strips, and Attest vials (n = 128). The mean time to achieve the necessary 103.4kPa was 379 seconds (standard deviation (SD) = 77). Neither the ambient temperature nor humidity were found to affect the pressure cooker’s time to achieve adequate pressure, nor the achieved depth on the integrator strip (all p > .05). CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that sterilization is possible with offthe- shelf pressure cookers. Though lacking US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval, the use of this commercially available pressure cooker may provide a method of sterilization requiring minimal resources from providers working in expeditionary environments.

Jayaraj, P., et al. (2020). “Sesamol: a powerful functional food ingredient from sesame oil for cardioprotection.” Food Funct 11(2): 1198-1210.

Phytophenols are important bioactive food based chemical entities, largely present in several natural sources. Among them, sesamol is one of the key natural phenols found in sesame seeds, Piper cubeba etc. Several studies have reported that sesame oil is a potent cardioprotective functional food. Papers on the utility of sesamol in sesame oil (the chemical name of sesamol is methylenedioxyphenol, MDP) have appeared in the literature, though there is no single concise review on the usefulness of sesamol in sesame oil in CVD in the literature. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most challenging health problem encountered by the global population. There has been increasing interest in the growth of effective cardiovascular therapeutics, specifically of natural origin. Among various natural sources of chemicals, phytochemicals are micronutrients and bio-compatible scaffolds having an extraordinary efficacy at multiple disease targets with minimal or no adverse effect. This review offers a perspective on the existing literature on functional ingredients in sesame oil with particular focus on sesamol and its derivatives having nutritional and cardioprotective properties. This is demonstrated to have shown a specifically modulating oxidative enzyme myeloperoxidase (MPO) and other proteins which are detrimental to human well-being. The molecular mechanism of cardioprotection by this food ingredient is primarily attributed to the methylenedioxy group present in the sesamol component.

Men, X., et al. (2021). “Physicochemical, nutritional and functional properties of Cucurbita moschata.” Food Sci Biotechnol 30(2): 171-183.

Cucurbita moschata is widely planted in most parts of the world, and is rich in carotenoids, vitamins, dietary fiber, minerals, and phenolic compounds. It also has important medicinal value. Some related research has proven that Cucurbita moschata has the potential ability to induce anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antibacterial, and anticancer effects. At the same time, it has attracted more attention in the medical field. These nutrients and bioactive compounds in Cucurbita moschata have important effects on human health. In order to make better use of this crop, it still needs further study. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to summarize the physicochemical properties and nutritional components of Cucurbita moschata, and to provide a reference for further research on the benefits of on human health.

Shi, Z., et al. (2018). “Chilli intake is inversely associated with hypertension among adults.” Clin Nutr ESPEN23: 67-72.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: This study aimed to examine the association between chilli intake and the incidence of hypertension in a Chinese adult population. METHODS: Adults aged 20-75 years in the China Health and Nutrition Survey were followed from 1991 to 2011. Dietary data were collected during home visits using a 3-day food record in 1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2011. Cox regression was used in the analysis. Blood pressure was measured at each data collection point. RESULTS: 13,670 adults were followed for a median of 9.0 years. During 132,089 person years of follow-up 4040 subjects developed hypertension. Chilli consumption was inversely associated with the incidence of hypertension. The incidence rate of hypertension was 30.5, 33.4, 31.9, and 24.0 per 1000 person years among those who consumed no chilli or 1-20, 20.1-50, ≥50.1 g/day respectively. Adjusting for age, gender, energy intake, sodium and fat intake, smoking, alcohol consumption and physical activity, those with increasing cumulative average chilli intake were less likely to develop hypertension: 0, 1-20, 20.1-50 and ≥50.1 g/day had a hazard ratio (HR) for hypertension of 1.00, 0.80 (95%CI 0.73-0.88), 0.81 (0.73-0.89) and 0.65 (0.57-0.75) (p for trend <0.001) respectively. The association was independent of overall dietary patterns and BMI. There was no significant interaction between chilli intake and gender, income, education and residence (urban/rural) in relation to the risk of hypertension. CONCLUSIONS: Chilli intake is inversely associated with the risk of developing hypertension in Chinese adults.

Wan, Y., et al. (2015). “The relationship of antioxidant components and antioxidant activity of sesame seed oil.” J Sci Food Agric 95(13): 2571-2578.

Although sesame seed oil contains high levels of unsaturated fatty acids and even a small amount of free fatty acids in its unrefined flavored form, it shows markedly greater stability than other dietary vegetable oils. The good stability of sesame seed oil against autoxidation has been ascribed not only to its inherent lignans and tocopherols but also to browning reaction products generated when sesame seeds are roasted. Also, there is a strong synergistic effect among these components. The lignans in sesame seed oil can be categorized into two types, i.e. inherent lignans (sesamin, sesamolin) and lignans mainly formed during the oil production process (sesamol, sesamolinol, etc.). The most abundant tocopherol in sesame seed oil is γ-tocopherol. This article reviews the antioxidant activities of lignans and tocopherols as well as the browning reaction and its products in sesame seed and/or its oil. It is concluded that the composition and structure of browning reaction products and their impacts on sesame ingredients need to be further studied to better explain the remaining mysteries of sesame oil.

Beef short rib fingers and lentils with roast Tabasco flavoured pumpkin and cauliflower, smothered with gravy

Good evening dear readers.

It was a busy day with work, so I sat at my table while the slow cooker did its thing.

Coles Beef short rib fingers

Ingredients

  • Beef short rib fingers
  • Lentils
  • Beef stock
  • Red wine
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Instant gravy

Instructions

  1. In the slow cooker, add the lentils, red wine, beef stock, a good squirt of the Worcestershire sauce, and a few good squirts of the barbecue sauce.
  2. Cook for 8 hours.
  3. Place the pumpkin and cauliflower onto a baking sheet and rub olive oil over each.
  4. Squirt Tabasco sauce over the pumpkin and cauliflower.
  5. Cook the cauliflower and pumpkin in a hot oven for 45 minutes until a sharp paring knife penetrates both vegetables with no resistance.
  6. Plate up the beef on a dinner plate, add a few spoonfuls of the lentils, and then add the pumpkin and cauliflower on the plate.
  7. Serve with instant gravy.

Final thoughts

  • How are you going?
  • What do you think I’ll do with the leftover beef and lentils?

Lamb rack roast and roast pumpkin

Lamb rack roast with roast pumpkin and gravy.

Ingredients

  • Lamb rack
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Chilean spice rub

Instructions

  1. Dice a kent pumpkin and, in a mixing bowl, rub the pumpkin with some olive oil, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and Chilean spice rub.
  2. Spread the pumpkin on a baking sheet and put it into a moderate oven for about 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle salt, sugar, and Chilean spice rub onto the fat of the lamb rack roast.
  4. Cook in a moderate oven until the internal temperature reaches 55 °C.
  5. Allow the lamb rack roast to rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Carve the roast and plate up with the pumpkin.

Boneless rolled lamb shoulder

So, here I am. I succumbed to the commercial marketing and bought a lump of lamb to cook and eat on the gazetted public holiday officially known as Australia Day. 

Resting rolled shoulder of lamb.

Ingredients

  • Boneless rolled lamb shoulder
  • Iodised salt
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • White refined sugar
  • Chilli flakes
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Brown onion
  • Broccoli florets
  • Gravox instant gravy
Seared rolled lamb shoulder with pumpkin and onion.

Instructions

  1. The night before, or the morning of cooking, remove the lamb from the plastic vacuum wrapping. Dry the surfaces with a towel. Season the outer surfaces with salt and put the lamb back into the refrigerator to dry brine.
  2. Turn on the oven and set the thermostat to 180 °C.
  3. With a pestle, grind out some salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli flakes within the mortar chamber.
  4. Rub the ground salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the lamb flesh and fat. Don’t be gentle, really rub it in.
  5. Heat a skillet to be smoking hot.
  6. Sear the outer surfaces of the lamb in the skillet. There’s no need for any extra oil. The sugar and the rendered fat from the lamb will caramelise the outer surfaces of the lamb.
  7. Insert a wireless thermometer probe deep within the flesh of the lamb. You want the tip of your temperature probe to hit the perfect spot.
  8. Smear some cooking oil onto a baking sheet and place the seared lamb on it.
  9. Rub leftover salt, pepper, sugar, and chilli onto the surface of a wedge of pumpkin and place it next to the lamb.
  10. Top and tail the brown onion.
  11. Put the lamb, onion, and pumpkin into the oven and cook according to the app connected to the wireless thermometer probe you’ve inserted deep into the flesh. The aim is to get an internal temperature of 54 °C.
  12. While the lamb and pumpkin are roasting, steam the frozen broccoli florets and allow the florets to cool a little.
  13. Put the broccoli florets into a mixing bowl and season with salt and add a splash of extra virgin olive oil. Toss the broccoli florets in the salt and oil. When the app suggests 20 minutes are remaining for the lamb, add the broccoli florets to the baking sheet.
  14. According to the app, observe the resting time to ensure a succulent, juicy piece of meat.
  15. Make the gravy according to the instructions for use on the tin.
  16. Carve enough of the lamb with a sharp knife for the meal.
  17.  Wrap the remaining lamb and refrigerate for lunches and dinners throughout the week.
  18. Serve the meat with the gravy and vegetables.
Lamb shoulder with pumpkin, onion, broccoli and gravy.

Final thoughts

How did you spend today?

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