Peas on Earth

Pasta e piselli con la pancetta (pasta with peas and bacon) was order of the day yesterday, because I had 600g frozen peas in stock and very few ideas for how to use them. The recipe I used was from Diane Seed’s The Top One Hundred Pasta Sauces — see the second search result here [1]. I usually use tinned marrowfat peas for this recipe, and half the recipe quantities at that, due to small saucepans and a preference for the texture of marrowfat peas. However, I was able to make it work this time thanks to some large saucepans inherited from my late grandmother’s kitchen. It turned out pretty well, too!

I’ll be back to the Hairy Diet next week — the next few recipes are all hearty, beefy fare which can easily be done in the slow cooker (very good for tenderness ^^).

[1] The edition I have is a much earlier edition (illustrated by Robert Budwig) than the edition given in the linked Google Books result. However, the actual text and procedure of the recipe is the same in both editions, so this shouldn’t be much of an issue.


I have no beef with you

Roast beef with mashed spuds was the order of the day yesterday ^^ Good medium-rare beef + mashed spuds + gravy + Firefly DVD + heavy rain outside = bliss!

I used a 1.198 kg topside of beef for this, roasted (while covered with foil, so as to retain moisture) at 200 Celcius for 1 hour and allowed to rest for 20 minutes or so. How was I able to get such a specific figure for the weight, you ask? Well, my local butchers place happens to be absolutely flappin’ brilliant, and when I requested ‘a topside of beef, in the region of 1.2 kilograms’, the bod who served me picked up a 2 kg lump of topside, eyeballed it, and with one clean cut with a sharp cleaver, cut off a piece that was within 0.002g of my requested weight. I repeat, they did this by eye! That is some awesome skill right there 😀 *happy flail*

Because I covered the joint with foil while it was roasting, there were a LOT of juices in the roasting tin, which naturally meant lots of yummy gravy 🙂 Between that and the size of the joint, I got six meals out of this recipe easily 😀

Geeky food

Hooray, I’m posting on time for once! X-D Mostly because I set a reminder on my phone… Ehehehe

Not much to say on the cooking front this week, because I’m consuming my stock of frozen microwave meals so as to have room in my freezer for leftovers from the roast beef I’m planning for next Sunday. It was my birthday yesterday and some relatives gave me money, so I’ll be able to afford a really good joint 🙂

I’ve been reading ‘Cooking For Geeks’ (second edition) recently (just finished it today, in fact). It’s fascinating stuff and it made my inner chemistry geek very very happy. It also made me kinda nostalgic for A2-level Chemistry, because that gave me a decent understanding of organic chemistry (which is a very large part of what food chemistry is) so I was able to understand unfamiliar topics more quickly. There’s so much in there that I can’t possibly comment on all of it in this post, but I can say that I was particularly fascinated by the sections on Maillard (browning) reactions and temperature gradients in meat cookery.

As a proofreader, I’m pleased to say that there were very few typos overall. However, there is a not-insignificant flub in the book’s little section on osmosis — the book claims that, in the process of osmosis, it is the solute (the thing which is dissolved, e.g. starch or salt) which passes through the semi-permeable membrane. This is incorrect — what passes through the S-P membrane is in fact the solvent (the thing doing the dissolving, e.g. water).

On a more positive note, one of the sections that I found really interesting was a bit on ‘How to make a 500-pound doughnut’, which the author was challenged to do for a Food Network show that, I believe, never really had more than one episode. The section is the book is a trimmed-down version of this post on the author’s website — it’s worth a read for the food science and also for the sheer ‘WTF???’ factor!

I’m not telling porkies

Work’s been coming in at odd hours this week, and that — in combination with whatever’s been causing my recent absent-mindedness — is why this post is late…

Aaaaanyway, as the title of this post implies, my latest culinary experiment was derived from the humble pig. Specifically, it was the Hairy Dieters’ ‘all-in-one spicy pork and rice’. This dish has some noticeable parallels to paella, the most significant differences being the lack of seafood and the use of long-grain rice rather than super-absorbent paella rice. This doesn’t stop it from tasting damn good!

I have enough chorizo left over from the making of this recipe that I’m giving serious thought to making a variation on my chorizo, feta and olive pasta salad with the addition of peas — I have a nearly-full bag of peas in my freezer and I’m going to have to use them up somehow. I’ll also do a batch of pasta e piselli con la pancetta at some point, so that I don’t over-pea the salad.

More on this as it develops!

I hope this post isn’t too rambly — I’m typing this at twenty to one in the morning on Wednesday because I only remembered that I’d forgotten to do Monday’s post half an hour ago >_<

Are Our Brains Bayesian? — The Philosopher’s Eye

In a fascinating article published in Significance, author Robert Bain delves into the arguments for and against viewing human judgements and decisions in terms of Bayesian inference. We are grateful to Significance and the editor, Brian Tarran, for permission to publish the excerpt below. The human brain is made up of 90 billion neurons connected […]

via Are Our Brains Bayesian? — The Philosopher’s Eye

Meat the pie!

Ok, that one was dreadful and I apologise wholeheartedly…

Still, meat-and-veg pie topped with tumbled spuds (potatoes chopped into 2cm cubes, cooked in boiling water for 5 minutes then lightly mashed so that the surfaces of the cubes go all fluffy but they don’t get modged together in one mashed mass) is pretty good, as it turns out. I had to leave out the leeks, though, because for some reason there was a considerable dearth of that vegetable when I was buying ingredients for the pie…

Even so, the recipe gave me enough food that I’m fixed for suppers for the rest of this week, which is handy — work is rather slow at the moment (not too surprising given the time of year), so I’m practising my drawing in case I decide to add an illustration/art branch to my freelancing business. More practice = less creative energy available for deciding on meals X-D

Don’t be afraid to drop me a line if you want something proofread!

Bioethicist Dr. Mary Kasule Recaps the 2016 World Congress of Bioethics — The Philosopher’s Eye

Recently, Wiley was honored to sponsor a bursary for Dr. Mary Kasule, Assistant Director of Research Ethics at the University of Botswana, to attend the 13th World Congress of Bioethics. We caught up with her after the conference to see how it went.

via Bioethicist Dr. Mary Kasule Recaps the 2016 World Congress of Bioethics — The Philosopher’s Eye