Over the next couple of weeks we’re going to do a few homemade sausage recipes. To take the mission out of stuffing the sausage casings, I ordered an upright sausage stuffer, and after putting about 200 pounds of sausage through this, here are my thoughts on the machine.
Constructed entirely from stainless steel, the machine a basically a massive syringe. The ground meat goes into a hopper and is injected into the sausage casings through various sized funnels. The machine is available in 3kg, 5 kg, 7kg and 10kg capacities, and although it comes with a selection of funnels, additional funnels can be purchased separately.
The funnels attach to the outlet of the hopper by means of a large and well threaded retaining collar.
The hopper simply clips into the frame making cleanup really easy. This also allows the machine to used left handed or right handed.
Built into the plunger is a one-way air valve which allows air in the hopper to escape. This ensures that you don’t end up pumping air into your sausages.
The plunger is driven by very strong, heavy gears with 2 different ratios. The fast gear is for dropping and retrieving the plunger, while the slower gear is used for stuffing.
All-in-all, this machine is excellent value for money, and if looked after, will probably outlive your great great grand children. Click HERE to see pricing for the various models.
Making Quality Pie Shells Fast Using a Tortilla Press - Increasing Pie Production with a Few Simple Tricks!!!
Recipe type: Pastry
The humble tortilla press is far more useful than it appears. When you're making pies or tarts this brilliant tool can cut the time it takes to make the pastry shells dramatically. Use this alongside the shell forming technique I first demonstrated in our course on pie making, and you'll cut the pastry forming time by 80%.
Using 5 Inch #680 Pie Foils
130g of pastry for each pie base
100g of pastry for each pie lid
Starting with pot pies, line the entire press with cling-wrap or plastic film. These inexpensive bread bags work very well.
Roll the bottom pastry portion into a ball and place in the center of the bottom plate of the press. Flatten it out slightly and fold the plastic over this. Close the press and use the lever to press the lid flat. Repeat this with all of the pie bottoms.
Use your rolling pin to roll these out further to a diameter of 7 inches.
Invert a 5 inch #680 pie foil on your work surface. Open one side of the plastic on one of the pastries. Drop the pastry over the pie foil. Even the pastry around the edges and drop another foil over this. Press this down firmly around the edges.
Pick the whole lot up and flip it over. Press the inner foil down firmly around the edges of the base, then the remove the foil and plastic. And there it is.... a perfectly formed, perfectly even pie base. Repeat this with the remaining bases.
Use the same pressing procedure to press out the lids. For this demonstration I am not filling the pie. Drop the lid onto the pie and press the edges down gently to seal. Use a fork to crimp the edges, then trim away the excess pastry with a sharp blade. Punch 2 vents in the lid and you're ready to go.
To make tart shells is just as simple. Drop the pressed and rolled tart pastry over an inverted pie foil. Drop another shell over this and press this down firmly around the edges.
Lift the whole lot up and flip it over. Press the inside edges of the inner foil down firmly, then remove the inner foil and plastic. Trim away the excess pastry with a sharp blade.
Use a fork to dock the pastry. This prevents the pastry from bubbling away from the foil in the next step.
Press a square of foil into each pastry. Fill the pastries with rice, beans or baking beads and bake the tart shells in a preheated oven at 200c or 400f for 10 minutes. Remove the shells from the oven, carefully remove the rice and foil squares, then return these to the oven for a further 5 minutes.
Your tart shells are now ready for filling and processing.
Not only does this process save you tons of time, but also keeps the pastry much cooler, and inhibits shrinkage, resulting in a much better quality pie or tart.
Magic Basil Eggs - The Best Egg Trick Ever - How to Cook an Egg with Basil Leaf Inside it!!!
Recipe type: Eggs / Breakfast / Salad
This is one of the coolest egg tricks around, and you saw it first on Whats4Chow. Serve yiur guests with whole boiled eggs, and when they cut them open, there is a whole basil leaf in the center of the yolk. This how it's done. You will need to own an egg steamer to do this.
Large chicken eggs
Fresh basil leaves
Use a sharp, pointed knife to chip a hole in the base of the egg. The air sack in the base prevents any egg from leaking through the hole.
Gradually increase the size of the hole until the entire base of the shell is removed.
Place the eggs in the egg steamer stand with the open side upwards. Use the knife to poke whole directly through the top of each yolk.
Fold a fresh basil leaf over the end of a chopstick or skewer on press the leaf down into the center of the egg yolk. Repeat this with the remaining eggs.
Hard boil the eggs according to the egg steamer's manufacturer instructions. Remove the eggs from the steamer, allow them cool until manageable, then peel the shells away from the eggs.
On cutting the egg down the center, you'll find the basil leaf in the center of the yolk. You'll also notice the amazing fragrance that the egg has been infused with.
Best off all, you'll definitely notice the looks of absolute amazement on your guest faces when they wonder how you did this.
Smoked Chicken Breasts - Cured and Smoked Chicken Breast Cold Cuts - How to Smoke Chicken Breast
Recipe type: Chicken / Smoked
This is part 10 of our short course on smoking and curing meats. Today we're curing and smoking chicken breast for use as cold cuts.
8-16 Skinless, boneless chicken breasts
For the Brine
300g Salt (Kosher or dairy or rock salt)
30g Black pepper corns
10g Whole allspice
45g Whole or ground coriander seed
50ml Bicarbonate of soda
To cure the chicken, pour 5 liters of water into a large non-reactive pot. Add the saltpetre, sugar, salt, black pepper corns, whole allspice, coriander and bicarbonate of soda.
Bring this to a boil, lower the heat and allow this to simmer for 10 minutes. Quick-chill the brine by floating it in a sink of cold water.
Pour the solution into a large non-reactive container. Use a ladle to remove about 250ml of the liquid and pour this through a fine filter.
Use your brining syringe to inject the filtered brine into the chicken breasts. Insert the needle all the way into the breasts from the thick end. Slowly remove the needle as you expel the liquid. Inject each breast 3 times.
Place the breasts in the remaining brine, put the lid on the container and let this cure for 12 hours in your refrigerator. If you have not injected the breasts, allow the chicken to cure for a full 24 hours in your refrigerator.
The following day, remove the breasts from the curing brine and pat them dry using clean dish cloths.
Transfer the breasts to stainless wire racks.
Fire up your cold smoker with apple wood chips. For the first 30 minutes we are cold smoking the chicken, so none of the barbecue burners will be lit.
Place the chicken in the barbecue and allow these to smoke for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, ignite the burner furthest from the chicken and raise the temperature in the barbecue to 110c or 230f.
Insert your probe thermometer into the center of the thickest breast, close the lid and allow the chicken to smoke for 2 to 2.5 hours until the internal temperature reaches 79c or 174f.
Remove the chicken from the barbecue and allow it to cool completely before vacuum packing for storage in your refrigerator or freezer.
How to Make Sushi Rice - Perfect Sushi Rice Every Time - Tasty & Safe!!!
Recipe type: Sushi
Making sushi rice is a little more complicated than just boiling some rice. To do this successfully you need to use a glutinous rice called pearl rice. This is a very short grain rice that adopts a sticky and translucent finish once cooked.
250ml Sushi rice (pearl rice) rinsed until the water runs clear
60ml Rice wine vinegar
30ml White sugar
Pinch of salt
Add the rice and cold water to a saucepan. Heat this over high heat until boiling. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer until all of the water has been absorbed.... normally about 15 to 20 minutes.
While the rice is cooking, add the vinegar, sugar, salt and oil to another small saucepan and heat this over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt have dissolved. Remove from the heat and put this aside.
Remove the cooked rice from the heat and pour the vinegar solution into the pot. Stir this in until it is fully absorbed.
And there we have it.... sushi rice made right, made safe and made tasty.
This episode is a short product review. The products I review are generally products that I use on a dailly basis and have tried and tested thoroughly. Today’s product is the Joseph and Joseph thicknessing rolling pin.
I have been using this one for over a year now, and as you can see, it still looks brand new. These are available in stainless steel and wooden versions, however I opted for the stainless as it can go in my dishwasher.
The rolling surface is a generous 350mm wide and is laser etched with width measurements in centimeters and inches, and this proves to be quite useful.
At each end of the cylinder, four different sized discs are attached to the tube with a large heavily threaded screw.
These discs allow you to select the desired thickness of the pastry by raising the rolling surface the desired amount from the work surface. The disc sizes are 2mm, 4mm, 6mm and 10mm. The discs also have inch measurements on the reverse side.
As previously mentioned these discs simply attach via a heavy gauge screw.
This is a superbly made product, and if you’re looking for a rolling pin than will almost certainly outlive your entire family tree, this is it.
You can go directly to the product by clicking the onscreen link.
Thanksgiving Smoked Turkey - Part 6 of Smoking & Curing Foods with Smoke Daddy - How to Smoke a Turkey.
Recipe type: Smoking / Turkey / Poultry
Hi and welcome to part 6 of our series on smoking and curing foods. With Canadian Thanksgiving on Monday and in just over a month in the US, today's episode covers curing a smoking a delicious Thanksgiving turkey.
1 x 5-6lb Turkey (2.5kg - 2.8kg)
For the Curing Brine
30ml Black peppercorns
30ml Whole allspice
10ml Ground ginger
25ml Bicarbonate of soda
For the Basting / Mop
40ml Lemon Juice
Zest of 1 lemon
10ml Lemon pepper
15ml Garlic powder
5ml Cayenne pepper
For the curing brine combine the saltpetre, sugar, salt, black peppercorns, whole allspice, ginger and bicarbonate of soda and pour these into a pot along with 5 liters of water.
Bring the pot to a boil, reduce the heat and allow this to simmer for 30 minutes. Quick chill the pot by floating it in cold water in your sink.
To prepare the turkey, trim away any excess skin and fat from the neck and butt. Removing the tail is a matter of personal preference.
Use a sharp knife to cut through the skin and flesh along the breast bone. Cut through the breast bone with your kitchen shears.
Open up the bird, flip it over and dislocate the pelvis with a sharp downward thrust. This allows the bird to lie flat. Removing the wing tips is also a matter of personal preference, however I do recommend this.
Transfer the turkey skin side up to a large food-safe non-reactive container. Pour the cooled brine into the container.
Place a weight on top of the turkey to keep it fully submerged in the solution.
Place the container in your refrigerator and allow it to cure for 48 hours.
After curing, you will need to make the basting. Combine the lemon juice and honey. Take the lemon pepper, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and lemon zest and add these to the honey and lemon juice. Mix these until totally combined.
You will also need smoked salt to grind over the turkey once it has been basted.
Remove the turkey from the curing brine and pat both sides dry using kitchen paper.
Brush the underside liberally with the basting, flip the bird over and repeat this with skin side, before giving the skin a generous grind of smoked salt.
Place a rack at an angle across a pan and transfer the turkey to the rack.
Get your smoker running and heat the barbecue to 250f or 135c. I am using the Smoke Daddy cold smoke generator which allows for perfect cold or hot smoking in any closed barbecue. If you are using another brand of smoker, follow the manufacturer's instructions.
Place the turkey in the barbecue and allow this to smoke for 40 minutes per pound. For my turkey weighing in at about 5 pounds this will take 3 hours 20 minutes. Baste the bird every half hour with melted butter to prevent the skin from drying out.
Towards the end point, check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. When the internal temperature reaches 170f or 77c in the thichest part of the meat, the turkey is ready to serve.
And there you have it, a beautifully fragrant, tasty and succulently tender smoked turkey flavored with garlic, lemon and a hint of chilli.
Home Made All Natural Cough Drops - Home Made Cold & Flu Remedy - Throat Lozenges
Recipe type: Cold and Flu Remedy / Sweets
With winter just around the corner everyone is getting the coughs and sniffles. For the first time in the history of our channel, we have guest chef, my sister-in-law, Eileen here to show us how to make the most amazing all-natural cough drops to combat these winter ailments.
1 Cup sugar (brown granulated)
5ml Ground cinnamon
10ml Ground ginger
30ml Fresh lemon juice
1.25ml Roughly crushed cloves
Measure out the water, brown sugar, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, roughly crushed cloves, honey and lemon juice.
Place all of the ingredients in a medium sized pot. A small pot will not do, as the mixture bubbles up during cooking and may overflow. Not only could this be dangerous, but it definitely would be very messy.
You will also need 2 x 20 hole chocolate molds. Rub these with a light coating of cooking oil.
Place the pot over high heat and stir initially until everything is combined.
Bring this to a rapid boil, stirring every 60 seconds, making sure to scrape down the sides of the pot. Continue to boil for 5 minutes. The mixture will darken significantly during this time.
After 5 minutes, stir briefly and drop a little of the mixture into cold water. Give it 5 seconds to cool and pick it up with your fingers. If it is still gooey, then it's not ready. Give it another 30 seconds and test again. This time you will see that it sets hard as soon as I pick it up.
Remove the pot from the heat and stir the mixture until the bubbling subsides.
Using a pointed spoon, start filling the molds. Once all the recesses are filled, put these aside to set at room temperature. Don't be tempted to set the in your refrigerator as the drops will turn to toffee. Depending on the weather, it can take from 30 minutes to a few hours to set.
Once set, sprinkle a sheet with icing sugar and pop the drops out of the mold onto the sheet. Sprinkle more icing sugar on top of this. Transfer the drops to a container and shake them up to get an even coating of sugar. The sugar prevents the drops from sticking together.
These drops can be stored indefinitely until required.
The Amazing Vacuum Packer Hack - How to Use Plain Untextured Bags in Your Front-Loading Vacuum Packer!!!
Recipe type: Cooking Tips & Tricks
Almost every second household has one of these front-loading vacuum packers. These things are great, but they all have the same weak link.... the insanely expensive textured plastic bags. This hack will show you how use regular cheap vacuum packing bags, and save at least 80 percent of the costs involved.
To start cut a strip of the textured plastic from the roll. Cut the textured bits from the strip, leaving the edge intact.
Fill your plain vacuum packing bag with whatever you are packing and slide the strip into the bag, sealed edge first, down the side of the contents.
As long as the strip reaches the contents, this trick will work perfectly. If you are using a deep bag, cut it down to the point where the strip does reach the contents. Make sure a little of the strip protrudes from the bag.
Place the bag into the vacuum packer and hit the vacuum button. Bare in mind that when it seals now, it will be trying to melt 4 layers of thick plastic.
As a result, you need to follow the vacuum cycle with another sealing cycle to ensure a good seal. Some machines have an overheating protection, and you may have to wait a few seconds before it will allow the second seal to activate.
Using this process you will save 80 to 90 percent in costs, and although it does not totally negate the textured bags, it will certainly save money.
How to Smoke Salt - Part 5 of Smoking and Curing Foods - Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generator
Recipe type: Smoking & Curing
Smoked salt is really easy to make in a hot or cold smoker. Smoked salt adds a whole new dimension to grilled foods, fried foods and even salads.
Coarse salt - either Himalayan rock salt or sea salt
Smoking wood chips of your choice
The important thing to remember is the differences between sea salts and rock salts. Himalayan rock salt is a compressed, dense salt, and as a result will take on the flavor the smoke, but very little of the color. Sea salt is far more porous and will take on the flavor and color of smoking.
With the color not being of much importance, I still prefer using Himalayan rock salt for its amazing taste and slight acidity.
To start, spread the coarse salt evenly across a baking pan.
Load up your smoker with your favorite wood chips and set these smoking. I am using the Smoke Daddy Cold Smoke Generator for this demonstration and this unit together with any lidded barbecue is the perfect solution for cold and hot smoking.
Place the pan of salt in the barbecue, close the lid and allow this to smoke for 90 minutes to 180 minutes, depending on your personal preference.
Remove the salt from the smoker. With Himalayan rock salt you will notice only a slight darkening in color, but the smokey aroma will clearly tell you that your job is done.
Transfer the salt to grinders and store these in a cool dry place.