Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sunday Heart Mind Soul Spirit Department

I decided to keep my Sunday thoughts re Churchy-type matters in this blog-post.


Stanza Promoting Enthusiasm for Transcendental States of Mind

Excluding from my hopes those we should not hope for
I mentally hope that I and all of mankind
Will become more and more enthusiastic for
Soulful spirited transcendental states of mind
Wherein awestruck fascinated and mesmerized,
We appreciate God the artist in nature
And God the master-author in inspired scripture

@2015 David Virgil Hobbs

Friday, May 22, 2015

Insomnia Department

I figure I'll put my posts re insomnia into this blog-post, keep them on the same page.


Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Steak-Tip trial & Error

Sunday near 10 PM, at the Whole Foods, I bought a pound of steak-tips. It was almost closing time. The young black man who was a butcher, gave me the meat which had already been covered by some white plastic. For a change I got the unflavored stuff. At home I discovered it was not chopped up, I tore it up with my hands. I rubbed Black Peppercorn Sauce into half of it, and organic Tandoor Masala into the other half of it (Hour 0). Then at hour 28 (28 hrs after hour 0), I heated up my cast-iron griddle and cooked the Black-Peppercorn half-pound, for 8 minutes only because the pieces were small.

I was disappointed by the black-peppercorn half-pound, though at other times I've had great results with black-peppercorn sauce meat and the griddle. They tasted a little like Whole-Foods hamburger I buy and take home tastes when I try to cook it on the griddle or in a skillet. The taste was like stale animal-fat (when the Whole-Foods Hot-Bar presents cheeseburgers made with their ground-beef this stale-animal-fat-like taste is not present-- they use an indoor grill over a flame source, which allows the fat in the hamburger to drip down and away).

Then at hour-56, I took out two pieces of steak tips that I had marinated simply by rubbing Tandoor Powder into them. I heated up the griddle all the way up to 650 degrees in the middle and 550 degrees in the corners (IR thermometer readings). I noted that after the griddle got to around 475 degrees as I left the flame on it went all the way up to 650 degrees. Then I cooked two pieces of the Tandoor-powder marinated steak tips. I left the pieces on one side for 2 minutes, then on the other side for 2 minutes, then rolled them around for 2 minutes, and then put the lid of a pot over them for 2 minutes. Then I put some clarified butter and lemon juice and salt on them, waited 5 minutes before eating them.

The result  with the Tandoor-powder steak-tips was superior to the peppercorn-sauce marinated tips. The stale animal-fat taste was not present. The taste of Cumin was excessive, and the Tandoor-spices tasted undercooked; however the result was something that I can imagine the neighborhood Indian restaurant presenting, accompanied by chutney bread garnishments etc, without incurring disgrace upon itself.

This experience so far produces certain points of confusion.

1. Are the steak-tips that you buy pre-marinated, better preserved compared to the un-marinated ones?

2. Are the steak-tips less fresh when you buy them just before closing?

3. Was the level of heat of the cast-iron griddle, (ranging from 450 - 650 degrees when it seems ready for cooking) too low when I cooked the Peppercorn-sauce marinated tips?

4. How can us earthlings who lack indoor grills, reproduce that Whole Foods hot bar taste, which is pleasingly devoid of that stale animal-fat taste? Will an electric grill work?

5. Would somehow cooking the Tandoor-powder before using it as a marinade improve things?

6. Were the Tandoor-Tips better because they had no pink in the middle like the Peppercorn-tips?

7. Of all the differences between the way I cooked the Peppercorn-tips and the way I cooked the Tandoor-powder tips, which difference accounted for the superiority of the Tandoor-tips, despite them having sat in the frig for 56 hours before being cooked?


Thursday 5/21/15, I continued the experiment at 845 AM (hour 82),
82 hours after the marinated steak-tips had been put in the frig. This time, I had the griddle at 400 degrees when I added the tips and I kept the flame constant, cooked them for 13 minutes. Previous time at hour 56, I started with the griddle at 650, kept the flame constant, and cooked for 8 minutes. This because 400x13 = 600x8. As with the previous time, the first quarter of the cooking-time the tips were left to rest on one side, the second quarter they were turned over and rested on the other side, the third quarter they were constantly moved around, and the fourth quarter, they were left stationary under a pot lid to get smoked up.

The result this time at hour-82, was superior to the result at hour-56. The spices did not taste as undercooked and the Cumin was not so dominant as at hour-56. After taking a few bites I heated the griddle up to 550-degrees and put the tips in without moving them for 1.5 minutes, after they had been covered in clarified butter lime juice and sea salt which I put on the Tandoor tips after I cook them as a garnishment that much improves things. This additional 1.5 minutes, did not change the taste of the tips.


Friday, May 01, 2015

Slow-Cooker Country-style Ribs Failure

Past 24, hours, I succeeded in failing for the 3rd time in a row, in an attempt to produce a presentable meal using the Electric-ceramic slow-cooker.

4/30, 3 AM: Bottom of the slow-cooker ceramic pot, I put a bed of hickory chips. On top of this bed, I placed the pieces of inexpensive 'Country-style-ribs', whole potatoes, a piece of garlic, some large raw undried peppers, some raw undried Habanero peppers, some sea-salt, some liquid smoke mixed with water. I placed pieces of sliced onion between the meat & the hickory chips. I turned the slow-cooker up to high. I had rubbed Hydrogen Peroxide, Tamarind Concentrate, & Peppercorn sauce into the ribs.

4/30, 430 AM (+1.5 hours from start): I added whole dried red peppers and sea-salt to the pot, turned the slow-cooker heat down to low. I had lost my appetite. I didn't want to bother with putting the pot into the frig, so I just let it continue cooking on 'low'.

4/30, 500 PM (+14 hours): I turned the slow cooker heat from 'low', down to 'keep warm'. The past 13 hours, I simply had not felt hungry enough to eat the ribs & vegetables.

4/30, 1200 PM midnight (+21 hours): I managed to stir up some interest in food in myself by drinking a little red Spanish wine I bought because I wanted to become World Champ in making 'Sangrias'. I took the stuff out of the slow-cooker and put the vegetables on a pre-heated cast-iron griddle with dried red peppers and peppercorns and garlic and sea-salt. I put the pieces of meat on a plate. A piece of meat broke revealing that the meat was white and very dry on the inside. I rubbed clarified-butter, Tamarind-concentrate & Peppercorn sauce on to the meat, hoping to put flavor and moisture back into the meat. I poured some red wine into the Griddle with the vegetables, mixed the vegetables with the wine, let the wine evaporate. I added the meat to the Griddle. I poured some wine on top of the meat and let it evaporate.

Finally I dared to partake of the concoction. The potatoes were edible, tasty with butter, soft and thoroughly cooked on the inside. The onions and peppers tasted sour and winish and tasteless. The meat was dry and tasteless. Everything tasted old. The end-result was edible, but the kind of dish foolish-restaurants present to customers a month before they go out of business forever.


My intention had been to prep the ribs in the slow-cooker and then cook them on the griddle at high-heat without oil, thereby getting ribs that were not overcooked or undercooked on the inside or on the outside.


The meat was dry and flavorless. The vegetables were soggy sour sweetish flavorless.


Would the result be better if a little slow-cooking of the ribs was done using a bed of hickory chips beneath the ribs, or would it be better simply allowing the ribs to directly contact the ceramic pot in the slow-cooker? With the ribs sitting on a bed of hickory chips, the ribs do not get boiled in sauce (dry-cooking can produce fab outdoorsy taste); however with the ribs sitting on a bed of hickory chips, the moisture of the ribs gets drained away into the hickory chips.

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