Not really crazy about starting days with overly sweet things. I came up with this mix because it’s just enough sweetness to balance the bitterness of the greens, but doesn’t taste like you just downed a pureed fruit salad.
12 ozs (1/4 bag) of Fresh Start Fusion Daily Power frozen mix (green apple, pineapple, kale, broccoli) – it’s a Walmart thing – or just substitute the same with the individual ingredients, plus ice cubes, if you don’t want to freeze everything
4 ozs. Labne yoghurt/kefir (this is a very thick and dense yogurt, without any sweeteners or additives – several brands work, but you can substitute a home-made version by straining a non-sweetened plain yogurt in cheesecloth overnight, which will remove a lot of the extra whey liquid and create a denser protein content.)
Sprig of fresh mint
4 ozs. fresh cucumber
1 T fresh lemon juice
Blend it to desired smoothness.
Estimated nutritional content:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
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24 hrs. air-dried in refrigerator – used cheesecloth to keep it from sticking.
Divided filet in 1/2; both directly placed on wire racks (did not stick due to sufficient oil from the salmon.)
Applewood (about 1 cup, dry chips) smoked for 45 minutes at 150F. Hot smoked version lost about 20% moisture and residual oil – similar to seared Ahi texture. Cold smoked version using top-box method (take any clean cardboard box that fits; place the salmon on a raised wire rack inside the box; cut a hole near a side and/or corner about 1-inch square to fit the smoke vent on the primary smoke box; excess smoke will exit from the top of the box (just interleave the flaps)). Preferably keep the box out of direct sunlight and try to do the smoking either at night when cool, or early morning to keep the temperature inside the box below 90F (similar temperature will work for smoking cheeses without melting them.)
Because we forget how we did this every year, now it goes in a place I’ll remember to find it. They look similar to this one from M’s Kitchen blog, but are created inside the potato skins instead of placed into separate paper shells.
-or- 1 tsp sugar dissolved in 1 tsp water
Preheat oven to 350F
Steam potatoes until fork tender. Cool to touch. Slice in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the potato centers to a separate bowl, leaving about 1/8-inch of potato attached to the skins. Or for a simpler version, just peel the skins from the potatoes, and place the potato mixture (as follows) into small baking dishes.
Mash the scooped potatoes with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Mix in the butter, sugar, and condensed milk. When combined, add the egg yolks and rum. Fill the scooped-out skins with the potato mixture just to the top of each skin.
Place skins on a foil-lined baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until fragrant. Remove from oven and brush tops lightly with the sweetened egg wash. Sprinkle each potato with a few black sesame seeds for decoration. Return sheet to the oven for another 5 minutes until slightly browned and golden.
* This is the slightly different appearance of a Japanese/Asian Sweet Potato, when raw.
So, the reason for this post is *I* was for one amazed at the results. My wife left a couple of stock pots sitting on the stove close to bed-time. I looked in and noticed each one had a bunch of (after 4 hours) 90 deg F water and a lid, with a plastic-wrap covered sausage-looking roll in each one sitting in the hot water.
So I had to ask, “What are those?” She says, “It’s chicken ham.” I think to myself, “Hm… raw chicken stuck in a plastic wrap tube and sitting in some hot water… isn’t this botulism in-the-making?” So I do the research.
Turns out in Japan, they’ve been making a version of a sous-vide style chicken dish for centuries. You can use white or dark meat, as long as it’s boneless.
And you’ll note the recipe calls for all of 4 ingredients:
The process is that the chicken is pierced with a fork to allow the seasonings to penetrate. The salt+pepper+sugar is liberally sprinkled all over the chicken, then placed in a zip-lock bag with the air removed, and left to cure/marinate in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours (depending on how seasoned you prefer your “ham”). If using the 2-day version, pour off the accumulated liquid after the first day, re-seal and return to the refrigerator.
After the curing, rinse it with cold water. If you prefer it less-salty, let it soak in cold water for 30 minutes after rinsing it. Pat the chicken dry with towels to remove excess moisture.
Wrap this in plastic wrap, sausage casing, a silicon tube, or whatever else you have that is boiling-water safe (it’s just to form the shape of the finished meat – if you don’t mind it looking flat and natural, just put it back in a clean ziploc bag and remove the air (using a straw helps get the last bubbles out.)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, large enough to allow immersion of your chicken package. Turn off the heat once boiling, and place the chicken package into the boiling water, and cover with a lid. Let it sit and gradually cool for the next 5-7 hours (if you live in a particularly cold climate, you might place the pot into an oven so it’s a little more insulated.)
Then you take it out and slice and eat it, or what have you (it’s just like pork ham, without all the nitrates, food coloring, and other additives.) Some people then take the finished chicken and then place it in a smoker to add a smoke flavor, or any other thing you might do with a canned ham.
Food process-wise, the reason this works is the internal temperature of the loaf immersed in boiling water, once covered, will gradually reach the minimum 140 deg. F for sterilization, and then maintain that temperature for over 45-60 minutes as the water finally cools from 212 deg. F back down to 140. That process usually takes 2-3 hours if covered. (If left uncovered, it would cool-down too quickly to be safe.)
Pretty much the simplest chicken recipe I’ve ever seen, and the results are fantastically tasty and juicy.
Note the proportions to this recipe (it scales perfectly well, you just need enough hot water in the pot to keep it from cooling down too fast – approximately 4:1 water to chicken should be enough):
-One large chicken breast: 250g (1/2 lb)
-Sugar: 1 large tablespoon
–Coarse salt-black pepper mixture: 1 large tablespoon (1/2-1/2)
My wife used about 2 lbs. of chicken to a 8 qt. stock pot with about 5 qts. of boiling water and double-layered the plastic wrap.
Other recipes include skipping the wrapping, and tying the bundle like a small roast and poaching it in broth instead. This is not a true sous-vide because you don’t need to vacuum pack the chicken. The salt/sugar curing is the preservation step that makes this work – you wouldn’t be able to substitute salt replacements, or sugar alternatives and have a safe product for poaching without keeping the temperature higher (about 160 deg. F)
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