Glorious Smoked Garlic BUTTER: E+Δ+T EP1
In this episode of E+Δ+T, I spin up some smoked garlic butter, but a little differently. A little cooler, a little slower, a little less caramelized. So first of all, since its the new thing around, what is E+Δ+T? Well technically its E(k) - Kinetic Energy, Δ - application of heat, and T - for time. The elements within our control than can seriously alter or assist with the development of flavour. This is a show about exercising the greatest amount of control over these elements, all while asking a "what if" question, or creating a situation with a random element. The purpose is to inspire creativity and change! We'll cook/evaporate/infuse/boil/poach/caramelize until our hearts content, with whatever equipment I deem necessary. And thats where it all kicked off - the first random addition to the process: a laboratory magnetic mixer and hotplate, and some laboratory glassware. May as well act the part if you're going to assume it right? The first idea in the firing line is the garlic smoked butter. Suddenly, with a whole load of control at my fingertips i thought: what if I DON'T caramelize the garlic first? What if keep the temperature low enough that it just poaches inside the butter, and slowly breaks down? The result is in the video. From there, it's all about adding layers of complication. Smoke. Salt. From there, you experiment to your hearts content. So: if you're looking to change things up a bit, adjust the principles of cooking, and see where you land. You might be surprised. Also, check out my housemate Liliana's channel - she did some additional videography in this vid, and has some exciting art film work at youtube.com/c/lilianacolombo - she's also got a film featuring at upcoming festivals, the trailer for which is on her page: Icemeltland Park Thanks for watching!
Evaporated Sauce Experiment: E+Δ+T EP2
This episode of E+Δ+T 'I experiment with making an evaporated sauce - a sauce made with french red base, and built up with multiple flavour notes for a super complex sauce that will go toe-to-toe with game meats like lamb. The process? Constant stirring, super slow evaporation, that avoids the caramelization route, and keeps each component as honestly infused as possible. The reason was to see if keeping the integrity of the ingredients would make for a more intricate result, done under heats of around 60 degrees celsius for many, many hours until the sauce is thick and syrupy. I may have pushed things to extremes here, with stirring equipment and the like, but the principle still applies, even in your own home. Layer up those flavours with an interesting bouquet of ingredients, and then slowly infuse and reduce, and you'll be able to get similar results. But also, its perhaps most useful as an exercise in understanding flavour - you'll be able to get a grip on the impact of ingredients, and how to apply them in other dishes, even more so as you steer the flavour into something that tastes really good/amazing. Thanks @Liliana Colombo for the extra videography and smiles!
Smoked Pork Tomahawk Steak using the FRANKENSMOKER 1.0: E+Δ+T EP3
In this episode of E+Δ+T, I build the Frankensmoker, and take it toe-toe with a pork tomahawk steak! In an effort to defeat winter and the confines of London life, I set about getting a smokey finish to a delicious cut of meat, but indoors. They results were intense, and delicious, but is a process not without perils. I go through them, so you don't have to. A double team of fire and bacteria is what I faced! This all started when I found myself constantly trying to get a deeper level of smokey flavours in the meat I was cooking - but infusing that with secondhand smoke (liquid smoke, smoke guns, smoked salt etc) seems to be exceptionally difficult. The only solution was to get building! Some notes on the process: 1) extend the length of the smoke ramp, and enclose it with a more robust tubing, especially when using plastic. allowing the smoke to cool off as it travels towards the meat will hopefully make it even more juicy. 2) a rotating mechanism for the lid, so the meat is more evenly smoked and more evenly exposed to UVC lamp. 3) A stronger ingnition source, or a wire mesh that allows more oxygen to get through for a slightly faster smoulder 4) Some form of simple waterproofing would be great so I can move the contraption onto the neighbours roof without worrying, or, have a more effective ventilation system (collapsible) that I can run out the window. 6) At some point I'd also like to run a test to see just how effective UVC lamps are at eliminating a range of infectious substances (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation), so if anyone is able to recommend the correct agar for culturing various bacteria, that'd be awesome. Parts that didn't make the cut: Increasing fan speed, increased smoke creation which quickly overwhelms the contraption. Once a decent smoulder has started, a low fan speed is all that is needed Tool selection for "cutting" the plastic box was all ex-ikea. We've got a draw full of them. The meat was suspended by butcher string, that was tied to a chopstick from the kitchen draw. The buckwheat was designed to be simple, but punchy in flavour, and filling. Simply, trying to echo the nature of the cut of meat was key. Initially, I was going to start by smoking cheese, but is perhaps something I will do later with some upgrades to the Frankensmoker. Thanks @Liliana Colombo and Inese Briede for additional videography!
Making Delicious Herb Infused Oils - fast and controlled: E+Δ+T EP4
In this episode of E+Δ+T, learn to make delicious herb and spice infused oils, fast - using controlled application of Kinetic Energy, Heat and Time. This time round we're trying out: Chilli, Rosemary, Thyme and Juniper. I chose those four due to them being quite varied in texture. The "harder" the herb/spice, the more heat it would require. Hence the heat scale of chilli at the bottom of the heat scale, proceeded by thyme, rosemary, then juniper. I suspect I could've got slightly more out of the thyme oil - i was unsure how far to push it. Generally speaking, once the leaves began to appear saturated with oil, the flavour really began to take hold. Controlling the temperature is a must however. As oil can heat up exceptionally quickly, its very easy to burn the oils. What have I learned from this? Keeping herbs between 55 and 70°C for 1-2 hours will yield good results. Softer things, like chilli and garlic will slowly break down over the same time period between 50-65°C, and wood textured spices like cinnamon, juniper, anise, will require 70-90°C (ish). In short, using your nose is important, as well as watching the motion of the herb. For example - if the leaves are bubbling - its probably too hot, take it off the heat. Another lesson - they smell amazing. The taste comes off more with the scent, but that changes with salt. Salt livens them up significantly. A drizzle of the oil on meats, fish, veges after cooking will give them a delightful flavour boost, and a diffuse and delicious coating. What oils would you try? Comment below!! Also, if anyone is interested, this is the Kenny I use: https://amzn.to/3mY8N4K - its an affiliate link, but seriously, don't buy it - a thermometer, saucepan, and attention will suffice. https://amzn.to/2VQt7JF - cheap, reasonably accurate thermometer I use
Are you making your coffee wrong? Maybe. E+Δ+T Ep. 5
You might be making your coffee wrong. Long got are the days where coffee had to be a bitter muddy substance on the bottom of your coffee filter, or moka pot coffee comes out in need of a strong hit of sugar, or where espresso is strained to the point of next level acridity, while you sit there, and wince through the experience. No, the time has come to take that barista mentality of perfectionism, and apply it beyond the espresso. That is where this episode of E+Δ+T comes in. This episode, we'll be looking at how temperature and time affect the end product - your coffee, and how we can look at coffee at home a little differently. Part of what inspired this was the prevalence of what I consider to be appalling coffee in Britain, (with a few positive examples peppered across a sea of muddy sea of Costa, Nero, Pret and Starbucks). We treat a range of others in the hot drink field with a lot more care, because its more than just a caffeine hit. So why not coffee? I'd argue the best means of improving your coffee is to experiment with temperature - find a temperature and a extraction time that suits your taste, but always start from low temperature, and work your way up. The foundation for the parameters of this experiment were founded upon research into coffee in the following article: The Effect of Time, Roasting Temperature, and Grind Size on Caffeine and Chlorogenic Acid Concentrations in ColdBrew Coffee https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18247-4#Sec2 Here, Megan Fuller & Niny Z. Rao performed a series of experiments on cold extraction coffee, using extractions of different roasts and grinds. They noted that peak concentration in both caffeine and acid compounds was reached just after three hundred minutes of extraction time. This, with the addition of my heating stages, became the foundation of my parameters for extraction. Interestingly, through my research and cut from the video due to time, I also discovered that there are around 10 acid compounds that are extracted and broken down in coffee across temperature and time called chlorogenic acid (CGA) - the study mentioned above focuses on extraction of 3-CGA - while this article, https://phys.org/news/2007-08-bitter-coffee-chemists-main.html talks about the chemistry of bitterness in coffee in a broader sense, assessing the mechanics of coffee extraction at home and in coffee shops: A quote from the article: "The type of ... method used can also influence the perception of bitterness. Espresso-type coffee, which is made using high pressure combined with high temperatures, tends to produce the highest levels of bitter compounds. While home-extracted coffee and standard coffee shop [results] are relatively similar in their preparation methods, their perceived bitterness can vary considerably depending on the roasting degree of the beans, the amount of coffee used, and the variety of beans used." Meanwhile, the article below, from Scientific Reports mentions the mechanics of coffee extraction conducted by Australia baristas and international scientists, results which were ultimately published in Matter. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/01/200122110447.htm A quote from the article: "Most people in the coffee industry are using fine-grind settings and lots of coffee beans to get a mix of bitterness and sour acidity that is unpredictable and irreproducible," says co-senior author Christopher Hendon (@chhendon), a computational chemist at the University of Oregon. "It sounds counterintuitive, but experiments and modeling suggest that efficient, reproducible [extractions] can be accessed by simply using less coffee and grinding it more coarsely." This onslaught of information is interesting enough to tackle coffee at home. It would be interesting to see how much further one could take this. Further reading: Consumption of Chlorogenic Acids through Coffee and Health Implications - Adriana Farah * and Juliana dePaula Lima Effect of extraction temperatures on tannin content and antioxidant activity of Quercus infectoria (Manjakani) - M.Z.Iylia Arinaa, Y.Harisun https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1878818118308788#:~:text=At%20minimum%20temperature%20of%2050,approximately%2091.9%25%20of%20antioxidant%20activity.
Would you try DUCK BACON? I made it! Here's what happened!
And yet another form of bacon is required; DUCK BACON - would you give it a try? What's next? Venison bacon? Beef bacon? leave your comments below! This was a long process, and for some reason, somewhat nerve-wracking. It was time to bring Frankensmoker back, which worked last time, but it wasn't without it's share of problems. Admittedly, smoking meat in a plastic box with a very loose control of the heat is never a good idea. Although the goal was to try and make it a cold smoke, I think I was probably about two feet more of aluminium piping away from achieving heat-free smoked meat. Regardless, when I pulled the duck out, it had a delightfully oaky smell. I got it out at the right time, with the fan warping before fully melting and causing back porch chaos. I think the concept of duck bacon, although extremely unconventional, works. Its a delicious, although slightly expensive spin on everyone's breakfast favourite, though available to more people. Also, way more "clean" tasting, compared to lamb bacon. I recommend a few things if you're going to try this at home. - Make sure you get some good punchy herbs and spices. Duck is a very gamey flavour on its own, so requires something with a little more oomph to stand toe to toe. - Don't cold smoke in a plastic box. It'll work, but I can't guarantee that everything will end well. Perhaps consider a metal box, or for something more rustic, a good clean wood box. - The breast loses a lot of volume, so if you're planning on making a lot, more than two is advisable. I think 1 breast per person will hold you over for a weeks worth of bacon (depending on your intake) What's next? Venison bacon? Beef bacon? leave your comments below!
Eating the Pigeons from the Garden
this is a warning shot to the wood pigeons in the garden, pooing all over grass: this is what I do to you! Not actually the ones from the backyard, there seems to be a throuple of pigeons, and I'm not gonna break up the party just yet. In this food experiment, I use these perfect pigeon breasts from fieldandflower.co.uk, that when in season, pose a significant challenge. Because they're so lean, they're quite difficult to cook well, and then before too long the window of opportunity passes This year however I decided to extend the life a bit beyond just a meal or two. Curing gave me four opportunities to explore interesting flavour combos with less time pressure: coffee, cacao, sage and ginger. A few things I'd do differently next time: 1) a little less salt, let the Prague powder do it's magic and bring a little more meatiness forward (although in such small doses it's not really that noticeable 2) use a powdered coffee to get that coffee flavour more pronounced. 3) grind up the cacao nibs to maximize flavour there too, it was very subtle before, and was prone to getting lost 4) same deal with the sage. also I need to let the pigeon be more centre stage. What flavours would you try?