Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Hi and Lo

The high vs. low protein debate has kicked off again, not that it ever really went away or is likely to for some time to come. Since people don’t fundamentally change it reminds me of the debate that went on between British doctors in the late 19th century on the action of chloroform. English doctors said that chloroform affected the patient’s heart and it was essential to monitor the pulse. Scottish doctors said it didn’t affect the heart but the respiration and monitoring the pulse was a dangerous distraction that could kill the patient. The arguments became quite abusive! It was like a kind of warfare in which people sat at opposite ends of a field lobbing the occasional missile. ‘No man’s land’ was exactly that, they just didn’t meet in the middle. Many years passed and many people died under chloroform before the matter was finally resolved by the invention of modern monitoring equipment. Most of the protagonists were dead by then so at least no-one had the embarrassment of admitting he had been wrong (or the task of trying to prove he was still right.) Historically I know that it is not always the person who shouts loudest, or is best qualified, or the one who believes in something with an incandescent passion who is proven to be right. Only time can determine that. The famous Baron Lister was never going to agree with humble Dr Clover about how to deal with a choking patient, (he described Clover’s advice as ‘pernicious’), but time has awarded the palm to the quieter man. On the current debate, I have read the posts and the articles to which they refer, and have sufficient education to be able to follow quite a lot of what is being said. I can see that both sides are arguing from different kinds of studies and different sets of data but how much weight to give to the different studies and how to interpret them is beyond my capability. That is something I have to leave to the experts, and of course the experts disagree. The matter is so crucial that I would have thought that a conference on that subject alone might be the way to go, though attendees should beware of the shrapnel!

Oh and the chloroform thing? Both sides were right, it affects both the heart and the respiration depending on how it is used.

Monday, 29 September 2008

Another makeover

I got this recipe from a book of healthy slimmers recipes so it didn't need too much tweaking. Take 225g crisp cabbage, and 100g onion, finely chopped, and steam until tender. Add to 450g lean minced turkey, and season with thyme and sage for that really British taste! If you are worried that meatballs will fall apart, bind with eggwhite. Make about 20-22 small meatballs and put in a pan with 1 bay leaf, a tablespoon of tomato puree and some flavourful broth. Bring to a simmer and cook until done. The added cabbage and onion makes them really juicy and tender.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Lotsa mozza

Ok here is the gig about making fat-free mozza - use fresh milk. Heat it gently adding in the citric acid. One and half teaspoons citric acid dissolved in 1/4 cup water to each gallon milk. (I finally tracked down citric acid in an Indian grocers, it is used for making paneer) When the milk is just below blood heat, about 88F it will begin to curdle. Now add the rennet - 1/4 teaspoon liquid dissolved in 1/4 cup water- and stir gently for about 30 seconds then heat to between 100 and 105F. Maintain that heat and in about 5-8 minutes you will have a smooth shiny curd and a lot of clear whey. Turn off the heat. Scoop out the curds into a microwave safe bowl pouring off as much of the whey as possible. (There will be lots) Microwave the curds for about 1 minute then stir well to distribute the heat. Microwave again about 30 seconds and stir again. Do this one more time at which point you could add either salt or any seasoning you like (the recipe says 1 tsp non-iodised salt). The curd should be stretchy, if not heat again. Roll into about 4 balls and put in iced water for half an hour for the best texture. The original recipe was made with full fat milk, but I still got a nice ball of mozza and it melted over some courgettes in the microwave.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Mozza misery

My first attempt at making fat free mozzarella has resulted in a mass of rubbery grains. The recipe says that this might happen with some brands of milk, so I have to get a different kind and try again. On the bright side I have been experimenting with some of Anjum Anand's delicious recipes. She has re-invented Indian cooking with a light fresh touch, very flavourful, easily made CR-friendly. I am enjoying the fresh coriander and mint chutney with strips of sweet fresh red pepper.