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Sous Vide at Home Setup Guide Available on Cooking For Engineers

Posted 19 January, 2011 at 8:31pm by Michael Chu

Cooking sous vide at home is something I do about once a week. It's a fun cooking technique that can produce amazing results, especially with proteins. I've tried a lot of different, easy to put together, sous vide cooking setups and personally prefer the large rice cooker with PID controller solution. It's what I use most of the time, and it's given me great results. For people just starting out in sous vide cooking or who want to learn more about how to go about doing it at home, I wrote up a guide to various ways you can do it at home starting with the lowest cost solutions to the expensive immersion circulators.

Sous vide at home guide
Rice cooker and PID controller

What I Ate: January 12, 2011 (Austin Land & Cattle Company or ALC Steaks)

Posted 15 January, 2011 at 7:20am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) 13 comments

Austin Land and Cattle Company (1205 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX (512) 472-1813) which is also known as ALC Steaks has been in business for eighteen years and, according to Scott Mescall, the general manager and executive chef, the only remaining family owned steakhouse in Austin.

We started by asking what sparkling waters they had and were given the options of Topo Chico, San Pellegrino, and Evian. Unaware that Evian had a line of sparkling water (and not being fans of Topo Chico or San Pellegrino), we ordered the Evian… which of course came as still water. That one little mishap was the only thing that went wrong with our meal.

We started by trying the Buffalo Lamb Chops Lollipop Lamb Chops Deep Fried and Tossed in Franks Red Hot Sauce with Jalapeno Blue Cheese ($14). These four chops were excellent due to their novelty of flavor (the ever so slight gamey quality of the lamb was just the extra kick of flavor that buffalo wings has been missing all these years), the crispy sliver of fat that was left on the "handle", and the full flavored blue cheese dipping sauce (that had just enough blue cheese and an almost undetectable amount of heat, especially when compared to the Louisiana hot sauce). The only thing missing was some (more) apple cider vinegar in the Frank's Red Hot sauce. Scott told us that he had been injured skiing and while prescribed Vicodin for the pain had some strange dreams and this recipe came from one of those. What a productive crazy dream!
Austin Land & Cattle Company - Buffalo Lamb Chops

We had the 30 oz. Porterhouse steak ($46) cooked medium-rare. It came out beautiful and glistening along with all the sides we ordered at the same time.
Austin Land & Cattle Company - Porterhouse Steak
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What I Ate: January 12, 2011 (Austin Land & Cattle Company or ALC Steaks)

Things We Like: Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers

Posted 12 January, 2011 at 11:34pm by Tina Jiang

One of my New Year's resolutions is to cook more, and so I've been doing some pantry organization lately. I decided to put a lot of the foods (e.g. flour, sugar, pasta, rice, beans, etc.) into containers rather than leaving them in their bags. I looked at a variety of food storage containers of different materials (e.g. glass, plastic, stainless steel, ceramic, etc.) and of various shapes and sizes. In the end I settled on a combination of these three types of plastic food containers:

Rubbermaid Modular Canisters
rubbermaid-modular-container.jpg

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Things We Like: Rubbermaid Food Storage Containers

What I Ate: January 9, 2011 (Dai Due dinner at FINO)

Posted 11 January, 2011 at 2:37am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) 1 comment

Every year, Dai Due is invited by Emmett and Lisa Fox to cook for the combined staff of ASTI and FINO. This year, they had some extra seats and opened them up to the public. Once we heard the news on Saturday, we quickly made a reservation, Paypal'd the $85 per person, and waited eagerly for the dinner to arrive. Once we got to FINO, we were seated with four others (nice people who turned out to be excellent conversationalists) and a wonderful four hour meal began. Here's what we had.

Lima Bean and Mint Puree Amazing use of Springdale Farms' lima beans and mint. So delicious.
Arbequina Olives Great fruity taste without too much saltiness. Great olives from Sandy Oaks in Elmendorf, Texas.
Dai Due - Lima Bean and Mint Puree
Dai Due - Lima Bean and Mint Puree and Arbequina Olives

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What I Ate: January 9, 2011 (Dai Due dinner at FINO)

What I Ate: January 8, 2011 (Sushi Zushi)

Posted 10 January, 2011 at 1:54am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) 8 comments

The Sushi Zushi on 5th street is another restaurant we like to hit when it's late and we have a craving for nontraditional sushi rolls (they close at 10pm on weekdays and 11pm on weekends and don't give you the evil eye when you come in 20 minutes before closing). Many of their sushi rolls are relatively pricey, but quite a few of their other dishes are excellent values. We like getting one or two rolls and then getting a variety of other items.

Salmon Musubi, $3.50 (for two). We really liked these rice balls seasoned with flaked salmon.
Sushi Zushi - Salmon Musubi

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What I Ate: January 8, 2011 (Sushi Zushi)

What I Ate: January 6, 2011 (Justine's Brasserie)

Posted 9 January, 2011 at 12:32am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) No comments

Justine's Brasserie (4710 East 5th Street, Austin, TX (512) 385-2900)

One of our favorite late night stops. After a disappointing evening watching Tango Buenos Aires at The Long Center, we needed a pick-me-up meal. There are usually a bunch of people eating at Justine's at around 10:30pm so it doesn't feel like your the only patrons left in a restaurant and the food is pretty good.

Salade d'Endives Poire Roquefort Belgian endive, pear and roquefort salad with walnuts, butter lettuce, and a classic vinaigrette, $8. The Salade Landaise salad is stellar at Justine's, but this endive, lettuce, and bleu cheese salad is pretty decent.
Justine's Brasserie - Salad d'Endives Poire Roquefort
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What I Ate: January 6, 2011 (Justine's Brasserie)

What I Ate: December 31, 2010 (Mighty Fine Burgers)

Posted 3 January, 2011 at 12:14pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) 8 comments

Well, this is it: The last entry in the daily What I Ate series. I'll probably post in the future under this category for special meals, but for the most part (after two straight years - seven hundred and thirty consecutive days - of documenting every main meal) I'm concluding this series. After today's post, I'll have documented, through photography and text, approximately 6.8% of my entire life's meals (the first three months of 2008 plus all of 2009 through 2010). Writing What I Ate takes more time than I expected it to and I've decided that my time is probably better spent returning more attention to Cooking For Engineers. I'll continue to post to Orthogonal Thought random thoughts and perhaps continue the Things We Like series or Photo of the Week (formerly "of the Day") series. Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

Dinner: Before watching a performance of the Beatles tribute band Classical Mystery Tour backed by the Austin Symphony Orchestra, we grabbed a quick dinner at Mighty Fine Burgers. We're not huge fans of Mighty Fine's burgers (tonight I had a Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with grilled jalapenos), but we think their fries are usually the best in town.
Mighty Fine Burgers - Bacon Jr. Cheeseburger with Grilled Jalapenos and Fries

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What I Ate: December 31, 2010 (Mighty Fine Burgers)

What I Ate: December 30, 2010

Posted 3 January, 2011 at 12:28am by Michael Chu
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Lunch: My mom made an egg and tomato (with seaweed) soup.
Egg and tomato soup

We ate daikon buns with the soup.
Daikon buns

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What I Ate: December 30, 2010

What I Ate: December 29, 2010

Posted 2 January, 2011 at 9:07am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) No comments

Lunch: Nong Shim Seafood Ramyun with egg and Napa cabbage
Nong Shim Seafood Ramyun with Napa Cabbage and Egg

Dinner: Tina make a red kale and potato soup which we ate with cong you bing and corn bread.
Red Kale Soup
Corn Bread

What I Ate: December 28, 2010 (Baguette House)

Posted 1 January, 2011 at 10:14pm by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Food, What I Ate) No comments

Lunch: I had a craving for banh mi, so we went to Baguette House (10901 North Lamar Boulevard, Austin, TX (512) 837-9100) where we got a BBQ Pork sandwich and two Special Combination sandwiches which we split.
Baguette House - BBQ Pork Sandwich
Baguette House - Special Combination sandwiches

Dinner: I made beef stroganoff with egg noodles and Tina roasted some broccoli.
Beef Stroganoff with egg noodles and roast broccoli

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What I Ate: December 28, 2010 (Baguette House)

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