Vegetarianism is becoming increasingly popular, not least for its abundant health benefits. Savour nutritious vegetarian dishes that are low in sugar and fat and packed with nutrients, yet still absolutely delicious. Discover brand new ingredients you may never have tried before, as well as tried-and-tested dishes that you already know and love. With a vegetarian cookbook as your kitchen companion, maintaining a healthy lifestyle will never have tasted so good! Not only are vegetarian dishes healthy and flavoursome, they can also be easy to prepare and perfect for meals on the go.
Find vegetarian recipes ideal for your lunchbox, quick and easy meals for weekday dinners, and plenty of everyday vegetarian recipes that will soon become your favourites. Shopping in Finland? You can now shop in Euros. Switch to Euro site. Continue on UK site. Books In stock isbn Mob Veggie Hardback Ben Lebus. This is the ultimate affordable vegan and vegetarian cooking bible. The easy, accessible and affordable each recipe should feed four people for under 10 dishes are all delicious and use simple storecupboard staples including salt, pepper and olive oil.
Among our top tips for you to feast on are the miso-glazed sticky aubergine with sesame rice and sweet potato gnocchi and jackfruit curry. Book info Add to basket. Bazaar Hardback Sabrina Ghayour. From Sabrina Ghayour, the bestselling author of Persiana and Sirocco, Bazaar is a delicious new vegetarian recipe book that celebrates Middle Eastern food. Packed with colourful, flavourful dishes , the magic of this cookbook is that you won't ever feel like anything is missing. Using a range of spices, herbs, grains, pulses, and plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, each recipe is designed to suit every occasion and palate.
Recipes include potato, ricotta and herb dumplings with walnuts and pul biber butter, grilled halloumi flatbreads with preserved lemon and barberry salsa, grilled tofu salad with tamarind and miso dressing, and courgette, orange and almond cake with sweet yogurt frosting. What do vegans eat? Filled with over simply delicious recipes , this comforting cookbook is here to show you! So, whether you're starting the year off with Veganuary or you want to cut down your meat and dairy intake, look no further Brett Cobley uses his passion for food to create recipes that are free from fuss, fads and cliches.
He also includes trips and tricks on ingredients, nutrition, and how to adapt to a plant-based lifestyle. Their first book became the highest selling vegan cookbook of all time and together they proudly run the world's largest plant-based Facebook channel, raking in over 26 million views a month. From vegan Christmas dinner to mini banoffee meringues, this incredible book uses the power of plants to bring you simple, savvy recipes that you'll turn to time and time again.
The latest Lean in 15 book is packed with flavourful vegetarian dishes! The Body Coach Joe Wicks' vegetarian take on The Shift Plan the bestselling diet book of all time contains over veggie dishes, many of which are vegan, ranging from smoky sweet potato chilli to 'creamy' butternut pasta. Suitable for anyone thinking of taking up a vegetarian diet or cutting down on meat in , this book also contains make-ahead ideas for easy midweek meals.
Thinking of going vegan in ? Or just cutting down on meat and enjoying a flexitarian diet? This cookbook is packed with over vegan dishes that will keep the whole family happy - and you won't have to make a different meal for everyone. The delicious dishes make use of meat- and dairy-free alternatives including grains and pulses and can be used for everything from packed lunches to the main meal of the day.
Each recipe also has a 'Good Stuff' box that lets you know its nutritional value. Aine Carlin returns with another tantalising selection of vegan dishes - all of which have an emphasis on fantastic flavours and seasonal fresh ingredients. These dishes do not rely on substitutes of hard-to-source ingredients and will appeal to both committed vegans and those who are wishing to dabble in meat-free recipes on an occasional basis. There are over plant-based recipes to try out and they range from crispy cinnamon potato tacos to turmeric and sweet potato soup. There are also sweet treats including vanilla panna cotta.
If you're looking to add more healthy veggie-inspired recipes to your repertoire, this is the book for you. These super salads make use of fresh vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and seasonings and are full of flavour and colour. They also provide your taste buds with a tantalising combination of textures. Ranging from Mediterranean-inspired recipes to Asian-infused spicy and sweet ideas, these dishes prove salads can be full of vibrant flavour. They're also quick to make, meaning they're perfect for lunchboxes or midweek meals.
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In a clean bowl, work together using your fingers:. Form into three or four patties.
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If grilling, add cheese try mild cheddar or Provolone after flipping the first time. If broiling, add the cheese after reaching temperature and return to broiler for half a minute or so, until the cheese has melted. Yes, you can haz cheezburger. Just cook it properly. You can pull it off the grill when it is a few degrees lower, because carryover will take it up to temperature. Since fats help mask dryness in meat, using ground beef that has more fat in it will lead to a juicer burger.
Alternatively, if you have a way of cooking your burger to a lower temperature and then holding it at temperature long enough to pasteurize it, you could avoid denaturing the actin proteins while still pasteurizing the meat. Note that change in color is not an accurate indicator of doneness. Use a thermometer when cooking ground meats and poultry!
Not long ago, I overheard the fishmonger at one of my local grocery stores which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty tell a customer that it was okay to use the salmon he was selling for making sushi. For one, start by understanding where the risks actually are. Not all fish and meats share the same set of risks for foodborne pathogens.
Salmonella, for example, tends to show up in land animals and improperly handled vegetables, while bacteria such as Vibrio vulnificus show up in fish that are exposed to the brackish waters of tidal estuaries, such as salmon. Deep-water fish, such as tuna, are of less concern. Because of these differences, you should consider the source of your ingredients when thinking about food safety, focusing on the issues that are present in the particular food at hand. With uncooked and undercooked fish, one concern is parasites.
However, there are those that do, Anisakis simplex and tapeworms cestodes being the two parasites of general concern. On the plus side, humans are a dead-end host for A. That leaves tapeworms as the major parasitic concern in fish. Just think of it as extra protein. Of course, raw and undercooked seafood is another matter entirely. Cod, halibut, salmon? Fish cooked rare or medium rare? Ceviche, sashimi, cold-smoked fish? All potential hosts for roundworm, tapeworms, and flukes.
Fortunately, like most animals, few parasites can survive freezing. Some parasites do survive freezing. Trichomonas —parasitic microorganisms that infect vertebrates—can survive temperatures as cold as liquid nitrogen. For the FDA to consider raw or undercooked fish safe to eat, it must be frozen for a period of time to kill any parasites that might be present:. The second concern with undercooked fish is bacteria. Luckily, most bacteria in fish can be traced to surface contamination due to improper handling—that is, cross-contamination from surfaces previously exposed to contaminated items.
If you happen to have a supply of liquid nitrogen around—you know, just by chance—you can also flash-freeze the fish, which should result in better texture and cut the hold time down to less than a day. Is there a tension between safety and quality in cooking, and if so, are there methods to achieve both? Safety and quality are two very different things. There are tremendous nutritional benefits to having a year-round supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. So how do you balance the potential for risk against the potential benefits?
Be aware of the risks and put in place safety programs, beginning on the farm. If you look at cancer trends in the s, the most predominant cancers were stomach cancers. All everyone ate during the winter were pickles and vinegar and salt. But now you have to prevent contamination from the farm to the kitchen, because more food is eaten fresh. There are trade-offs in all of these things. In preparing hamburger and chicken, there is an issue with cooking it thoroughly and validating that with a thermometer, but most of the risk is actually associated with cross-contamination.
Potatoes are grown in dirt, and birds crap all over them, and bird crap is loaded with salmonella and campylobacter. For things like listeria, it can be up to two months. Hepatitis A is a month. The fact that any outbreak actually gets tracked to the source I find miraculous. In the past, if a hundred people went to a wedding or a funeral, they all had the same meal. They all showed up at emergency two days later, and they would have a common menu that investigators would look at to piece it together. If a person in Tennessee and a person in Michigan and a person in New York have gotten sick from something, they take samples and check against DNA fingerprints.
And they can say these people from all across the country, they actually have the same bug, so they ate the same food. Think of spinach contamination in There were people sick, but it was all across the country. How did they put those together? Then they were able to find the same DNA fingerprint from a cow next to the spinach farm. It was one of the best cases with the most conclusive evidence. These bugs exist naturally. We can take some regulatory precautions, but what are we going to do, kill all the birds?
But we can minimize the impact. When farmers harvest crops, they can wash them in a chlorinated water system that will reduce the bacterial loads. Is there a particular count of bacteria that is required to overwhelm the system? It depends on the microorganism. We work backward when there is an outbreak. With something like salmonella or campylobacter, it looks like you need a million cells to trigger an infection.
With something like E. You have to take into account the lethality of the bug. So all of these things factor into it. A pregnant woman is 20 times more susceptible to listeria. Are there any particular major messages that you would want to get to consumers about food safety? The main message about food in our culture today is dominated by food pornography. Turn on the TV and there are endless cooking shows, and all these people going on about all these foods. None of that has anything to do with safety. A lot of those guidelines are just complete nonsense. People learn by telling stories.
What we want to do is come up with signs that work. We have some good ones! Our favorite picture is the skull in the bed of lettuce! The dead person from carrot juice is pretty good, too. The safest way of preventing bacterial and parasitic infections from seafood and meats is with proper cooking. Some of the best sushi chefs in Japan are finding that quick-frozen tuna is exceptionally good. Avoid cross-contamination by washing your hands often, especially both before and after working with raw meat.
Use hot water and soap, and wash for a good 20 seconds. Most discussions of cooking are structured around the different heat transfer methods listed at the beginning of this chapter. Instead of looking at sources of heat, the rest of this chapter is going to take a different approach and talk about what reactions happen when each of the critical temperatures in the following table is reached, briefly touching on cooking techniques that relate to each temperature as they come up.
The primary change is, to put it bluntly, that the animal is dead, meaning the circulatory system is no longer supplying the muscle tissue with glycogen from the liver or oxygen-carrying blood. Without oxygen, the cells in the muscle die, and preexisting glycogen in the muscle tissue dissipates, causing the thick and thin myofilaments in the muscle to fire off and bind together resulting in the state called rigor mortis.
Denaturation temperatures of various types of proteins top portion and standard doneness levels bottom portion. Somewhere around 8 to 24 hours later, the glycogen supply is exhausted and enzymes naturally present in the meat begin to break down the bonds created during rigor mortis postmortem proteolysis. Butchering before this process has run its course will affect the texture of the meat. Sensory panels have found that chicken breasts cut off the carcass before rigor mortis was over have a tougher texture than meat left on the bone longer.
And since time is money, much mass-produced meat is slaughtered and then butchered straightaway. I knew there was a reason why roasted whole birds taste better! Proteins in meat can be divided into three general categories: myofibrillar proteins found in muscle tissue, these enable muscles to contract , stromal proteins connective tissue, including tendons, that provide structure , and sarcoplasmic proteins e.repakgekaro.gq/3378.php
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Muscle tissue is primarily composed of only a few types of proteins, with myosin and actin being the two most important types in cooking. About two-thirds of the proteins in mammals are myofibrillar proteins. The amount of actin and myosin differs by animal type and region. Fish, for example, are made up of roughly twice as much of these proteins as mammals.
When it comes to cooking a piece of fish or meat, the key to success is to understand how to manipulate the proteins and fats. This leaves proteins as the key variable in cooking meats. Of the proteins present in meat, myosin and actin are the most important from a culinary texture perspective. In this temperature range, red meat has a pinkish color and the juices run dark red. The salt in the soy sauce and zingibain in the ginger give this marinade both chemical and enzymatic tenderizers.
Mix this up, transfer it to a resealable bag, and toss in some meat, such as flank steaks. Allow to marinate for an hour or two in the fridge, and then pan sear the meat. The texture of some cuts of meat can be improved by tenderizing. Marinades and brines chemically tenderize the flesh, either enzymatically examples include bromelain, an enzyme found in pineapple, and zingibain, found in fresh ginger or as a solvent some proteins are soluble in salt solutions.
Dry aging steaks works by giving enzymes naturally present in the meat time to break down the structure of collagen and muscle fibers. Dry aging will affect texture for at least the first seven days. Dry aging also changes the flavor of the meat: less aged beef tastes more metallic, more aged tastes gamier. Perhaps some of us are physiologically more sensitive to metallic tastes.
Retail cuts are typically 5 to 7 days old, but some restaurants use meat aged 14 to 21 days. In addition to denaturing, upon uncurling, newly exposed regions of one protein can come into contact with regions of another protein and form a bond, allowing them to link to each other. This process is called coagulation , and while it typically occurs in cooking that involves protein denaturation, it is a separate phenomenon.
Temperatures required for various levels of doneness. Note that seafood cooked very rare or medium rare and chicken cooked medium must be held for a sufficiently long period of time at the stated temperature in order to be properly pasteurized. Fish, such as salmon and Atlantic char, becomes dry and loses its delicate flavor when cooked too hot. The trick with poaching fish is to not overcook it. Poaching fish is an easy way to control the rate of heat being applied, and it is amazingly easy and tasty.
Place a fillet of fish, skin side down, in an oven-safe bowl just large enough for the fish to fit. Sprinkle a small amount of salt on top of fish. Cover with olive oil until the fillet is submerged. A squirt of orange juice in the leeks is really good. Salmon contains a protein, albumin, that generates a white congealed mess on the outside of the flesh, as shown on the bottom piece in the following photo. The top piece in the first photo below was brined; you can see the difference. Salmon contains a protein, albumin, that is expressed out of the flesh and leads to an unsightly, curd-like layer forming on the surface of the fish when poached, as shown in the bottom piece in this photo.
Pan searing is one of those truly simple cooking methods that produces a fantastic flavor and also happens to take care of bacterial surface contamination in the process. When you drop the tuna onto the pan, the outside will sear and cook quickly while leaving as much of the center as possible in its raw state. Coat all sides of the tuna in cumin seeds and salt by pressing the tuna down onto a plate that has the spice mixture evenly spread out on it.
On a second plate, pour a few tablespoons of a high-heat-stable oil, such as refined canola, sunflower, or safflower oil. Place a cast iron pan on a burner set as hot as possible. Wait for the pan to heat up thoroughly, until it just begins to smoke. Sear all sides of the fish. Make sure the pan is really hot. Some smoke coming off the fish as it sears is okay! The coarse sea salt has a large, flaky grain that prevents all of the salt from touching the flesh and dissolving.
The lore of eggs is perhaps greater than that of any other food item, and more than one chef has gone on record judging others based on their ability—or inability—to cook an egg. Eggs are the wonder food of the kitchen—they have a light part, a dark part, and bind the culinary world together. Eggs provide structure to custards and body to ice creams. Simply put, I cannot think of another ingredient whose absence would bring my cooking to a halt faster than the simple egg.
Egg whites are composed of dozens of different types of proteins, and each type of protein begins to denature at a different temperature. They take this shape because portions of the molecular structure are hydrophobic —the molecular arrangement of the atoms making up the protein is such that regions of the protein are electromagnetically repulsed by the polar charge of water. Because of this aversion to water, the protein structure folds up on itself. As kinetic energy is added to the system—in the form of heat or mechanical energy e. This is why a raw egg white is liquid, but once cooked becomes solid.
Well, technically, raw egg white is a gel that coagulates into a solid-like substance when heated.
Hydrophobic proteins in their native state left remain curled up to avoid interacting with the surrounding liquid. Under heat, they denature center and uncurl as the kinetic energy exceeds the weaker level of energy generated by water molecules and regions of the proteins that repel each other. Once denatured and opened up, the hydrophobic parts of the protein that were previously unexposed can interact and bond with other proteins. This is an important point. But as heat is transferred into the food more slowly, the subtleties of these chemical reactions become more noticeable.
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And unlike melting an ice cube, where increasing the heat transfer by a factor of two causes the ice to melt in half the time, cooking foods do not respond to additional energy in a linear fashion. You might find it easiest to think of the different proteins in foods as having particular temperatures at which they denature, and try to shoot for a target temperature just above that of the proteins you do want denatured.
Here are some examples of cooking eggs that show how to take advantage of the thermal properties of different portions of the egg. Should you start in cold water and bring the water up to a boil with the eggs in them, or should you drop the eggs into already boiling water? The cold-start approach yields eggs that taste better, while the boiling-water approach yields eggs that are easier to peel.
But can you have both? Thinking about the thermal gradient from shell to center of egg, it would make sense that cooking an egg starting in cold water would result in a more uniform doneness. Into industrial-grade cooking? Hmm, I wonder if one could do this in a pressure cooker But what about the rest of us? What if we shock the outside, and then cook in cold water?
Try it. Place your eggs into rapidly boiling water. After 30 seconds, transfer the eggs to a second pot containing cold tap water, bring to a boil, and then simmer. The second-stage cooking time will take about two minutes less than the normal cold-start approach. Cook for 8 to 12 minutes, depending upon how well cooked you like your eggs.
This method involves ultra-low heat, continuous stirring, and a vigilant eye. In a bowl, crack two or three eggs and whisk thoroughly to combine the whites and yolks. Transfer to a nonstick pan on a burner set to heat as low as possible. If your heat source is too hot, pull the pan off the stovetop for a minute to keep it from overheating. If you see any curds lumps of scrambled eggs forming, your pan is getting too hot.
Continue stirring until the eggs have set to a custard-like consistency. When I timed myself, this took about 20 minutes, but you might reach this point in as few as 15 minutes or upward of half an hour. Stir continuously to avoid hot spots so that the eggs are kept at a uniform temperature. In an individually sized oven-safe bowl ideally, one that you can serve in , add:.
Try adding some crushed red pepper flakes to the breakfast version or sriracha sauce to the dinner version. While salmonella is quite rare in uncooked eggs, with estimates being somewhere around 1 in 10, to 20, eggs carrying the bacteria, it does occur in the laying hen populations of North America. The real risk for salmonella in eggs is in dishes that use undercooked eggs that are then served to at-risk populations e.
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Going back to our earlier discussion of time and temperature, when food is left in an environment long enough, its temperature will come to match that of its environment. The added benefit of this method is that the egg cannot overcook. This is the fundamental concept of sous vide cooking. Your average, run-of-the-mill or is that run-of-the-yard?
By the turn of the millennium, improvements in breeding and feed had pushed this number up to eggs per year—almost 3. And, no, science has not yet figured out which came first. Temperatures related to collagen hydrolysis and the resulting gelatin. The most common type of protein in connective tissue is collagen, and while there are several types of collagen in animals, from a culinary perspective, the main chemical difference between the different types of collagen is the temperature at which they denature.
In cooking, collagen shows up in two different ways: either as discrete chunks e. Regardless of its location, collagen is tough it provides structure, after all and becomes palatable only given sufficient time at sufficiently high temperatures. For cuts of meats that have a thin layer of connective tissue on them called silverskin , presumably because of its somewhat iridescent appearance , cut off as much as possible and discard it. Beef tenderloin cuts commonly have a side with this layer; trim off as much as possible before cooking. Chicken breasts also have a small but noticeable tendon connected to the chicken tenderloin.
After cooking, it turns into that small white rubber-band-like thing that you can chew on endlessly yet never get any satisfaction from. However, for the other kind of collagen found in some cuts of meat—collagen that forms a 3D network through the muscle tissue—the only way to remove it is to convert it to gelatin via long, slow cooking methods.
Unlike muscle proteins—which in cooking are either in a native i. This property opens up an entirely new world of possibilities, because gelatin gives meats a lubricious, tender quality and provides a lip-smacking goodness. The three strands are held together by weak secondary bonds but there are a lot of them!
Collagen in its native form is a triple helix, held together in its helical structure by secondary bonds left and stabilized by crosslinks. Under heat, the secondary bonds break and the protein becomes denatured, but the crosslinks between the strands continue to hold the structure together second from left. Given sufficient heat and time, the strands in the triple helix themselves break down via hydrolysis third from left and, upon cooling, convert to a loose network of molecules right that retains water a gel.
Covalent bonds are bonds where the electrons from an atom in one location are shared with another atom. In addition to being crosslinked, the strands also form a helical structure because of secondary bonds between different regions of the same molecules. You can think of it something like a braided rope, where each strand wraps around the other two strands. Under the right conditions—usually, exposure to heat or the right kinds of acids—the native form of collagen denatures, losing its linear structure and untwisting into a random mess.
With the addition of sufficient heat, the molecules in the structure will vibrate enough to overcome the electromagnetic energy that caused the structure to twist up in the first place, leading it to lose its helical structure and denature. Acids can also denature the collagen protein: their chemical properties provide the necessary electromagnetic pull to disrupt the secondary bonds of the helical structure.
Given even more heat or acid, though, the collagen structure undergoes another transformation: the strands themselves get chopped up and lose their backbone, and at this point the collagen has no real large-scale structure left. This reaction is called hydrolysis : thermal hydrolysis in the case of heat, acid hydrolysis in the case of, you guessed it, acid. Think ceviche. For fun, try marinating a chunk of meat in papaya, which contains an enzyme, papain, that acts as a meat tenderizer by hydrolyzing collagen.
One piece of information that is critical to understand in the kitchen, however, is that hydrolysis takes time. The structure has to literally untwist and break up, and due to the amount of energy needed to break the bonds and the stochastic processes involved, this reaction takes longer than simply denaturing the protein. Hydrolyzing collagen not only breaks down the rubbery texture of the denatured structure, but also converts a portion of it to gelatin. When the collagen hydrolyzes, it breaks into variously sized pieces, the smaller of which are able to dissolve into the surrounding liquid, creating gelatin.
Since these dishes rely on gelatin for providing that wonderful texture, they need to be made with high-collagen cuts of meat. Trying to make a beef stew with lean cuts will result in tough, dry meat. For a land-based animal, those regions of the animal that bear weight generally have higher levels of collagen. Squid and octopus are notable exceptions to this weight-bearing rule, because their collagen provides the equivalent support that bone structures do for fish.
Older animals have higher levels of collagen. As animals age, the collagen structure has more time to form additional crosslinks between the strands in the collagen helix, resulting in increased toughness. This is why older chickens, for example, are traditionally cooked in long, slow roasts. The French go so far as to use different words for old versus young chickens: poule instead of poulet. Most commercial meat, however, is young at time of slaughter, so the age of the animal is no longer an important factor. The other easy rule of thumb for collagen levels is to look at the relative price of the meat: because high-collagen cuts require more work to cook and come out with a generally drier texture, people tend to favor other cuts, so the high-collagen cuts are cheaper.
Squid was a culinary mystery to me for a long time. You either cook it for a few minutes or an hour; anywhere in between, and it becomes tough, like chewing on rubber bands. Why is this? The collagen in squid and octopus is enjoyable in either its native state or hydrolyzed state, but not in its denatured state. And hydrolysis takes hours to occur, so a slowly simmered braised octopus turns out fine.
Braising it in tomatoes further helps by dropping the pH levels, which accelerates the hydrolysis process. You can create larger slices by cutting on a bias. Save the triangular end piece for munching on when no one is looking. Toast the bread. Flip as soon as they begin to turn golden brown. For small batches, a toaster also works. Once your bread is toasted, place it on a plate and store it in the oven with the heat off so that it remains warm. Slice the squid with a knife or, better yet, cut it into bite-sized pieces using kitchen shears.
You want the pan hot enough so that the squid will quickly come to temperature. Add a small amount of olive oil—enough to coat the pan thinly when swirled—and drop the squid into the pan. Use a wooden spoon or silicone spatula to stir the squid. Take note when it starts to turn white—it should become subtly less translucent—and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add to the pan and toss to combine:.
Try using a pair of kitchen shears to snip the squid into small pieces directly into a hot pan. Add tomatoes and herbs, toss, and serve. Using a slow cooker cooks the meat in the ideal temperature range. Pour a bottle of barbeque sauce into the bowl of the rice cooker or slow cooker. Add the short ribs, arranging them in a layer so that the barbeque sauce covers the meat. Slow-cook for at least four hours longer is fine.
Try starting this in the morning before going to work—the slow cooker will keep the food safe, and the extra time will help ensure that the collagen is fully dissolved. Ideally, you should pan sear the short ribs in a cast iron pan for a minute or two before cooking.
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As discussed at the beginning of this chapter, this will cause browning reactions, bringing a richness to the final product. Keep in mind the danger zone rule covered earlier. Try adding other ingredients to the sauce, or making your own sauce if you like. Duck confit—duck legs cooked in fat—tastes entirely different from duck cooked almost any other way. The secret to duck confit is in the time and temperature, not the actual cooking technique. The upshot? You can make duck confit in a slow cooker or in an oven set at an ultra-low temperature.
Regardless, definitely skip the exotic block of duck fat; duck legs are expensive enough as it is. Rub salt into the outside of the duck legs, covering both the side with skin and the side with meat exposed. I use roughly 1 tablespoon 18g of salt per duck leg; you want enough to coat the outside thoroughly. Place the salted duck legs in a bowl or plastic bag and store them in the fridge for several hours to brine. After dry-brining the duck legs, wash off all the salt.
At this point, you have a choice of heat sources. Duck confit is about cooking via convection heat with the energy being imparted into the meat by the surrounding fat. Regardless of heat source, the duck legs should be entirely submerged in oil. I generally use olive or canola oil and save the oil after cooking for use in other dishes. Note that the oil after cooking will be a blend of duck fat and your starting oil. Arrange duck legs in bowl of slow cooker or multipurpose rice cooker. Cover with oil and set to slow-cook mode for at least 6 hours preferably 10 to Arrange duck legs in an oven-safe pan and cover with oil.
The duck legs will become more tender with longer cook times. This way, the hot oil will impart a solid thermal kick to get the cold legs up to temperature faster. Duck leg that has been cooked at low heat for a long time falls apart easily, because most of the collagen and connective tissues that normally hold muscles together are gone. After cooking, the duck skin will still be flabby and, frankly, gross.
But the meat should be tender and yield with a bit of poking. You can either remove the skin pan sear it by itself for duck lardons! Traditional recipes call for duck fat instead of olive oil. One advantage to the duck fat is that, upon cooling to room temperature, it solidifies, encasing and sealing the duck leg in a sterilized layer of fat, somewhat like how some jams are preserved with a wax seal.
Use olive oil. If you pour off the oil and liquid into another container, a layer of gelatin will separate out on the bottom once it cools.
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Use that gelatin! Try tossing it into soups. Once your beef is in the slow cooker, set a timer for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove a few pieces of the beef. Stash the minute sample in a container in your fridge. After six hours of stewing, repeat the procedure: remove a few pieces, verify that the temperature is about the same, and stash the second batch in a second container in the fridge.
Once both samples are cold, do a taste comparison. Got kids? Got a spouse and kids?
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