Cooking


There’s nothing that says “God Bless America” like firing up the ol’ grill, making some thick, juicy, burgers and watching some fireworks. After all, it’s how we celebrate all our secular holidays in America — Grilling! But not those stupid hockey pucks of frozen, pre-formed meat one buys in a sleave at the local WalMart. The Angry Men know how to grill… and this 4th of July, we’re throwing on our angry chef hats and revealing our BBQ secrets for you, our loyal readers.

Angry New Mexican

The New Mexibuger is best made by mixing a little green chile (or red chile salsa, if you prefer that way) into the ground beef during prep, as well as an egg for binder. You’ll need something to soak up some of the fluids from the chile, so breadcrumbs or oatmeal are de rigeur. Melt a bit of Monterrey Jack cheese on top during the last few minutes of cooking and serve on a warm, toasted bun topped with some salsa and freshly made guacamole. Now that’s eating New Mexico style!

Angry Diesel Engineer

My burger of choice is made as follows:

Mix 2 parts ground beef with 1 part ground turkey.  Yes, I know, turkey is less manly than beef, but it is Americanized by being put through a food grinder.  Besides, the turkey helps to maintain the lightness of the patty.  Mix your dead animal together in a mixing bowl together with the secret ingredient – 1 packet of Lipton’s (or similar) onion soup mix powder per 2 pounds of meat.

Form 1/4 to 3/8 pound patties, and press your thumb into the middle to get a little dimple to collect the delicious dead animal juice which will ooze out upon cooking.

Charcoal grills are superior in all aspects to propane if you have the patience and know-how to use them.  Keep the charcoal piled mostly in the middle.  Put the patties on the hot part of the grill for about 3 minutes on each side to sear the outside, then transfer them to a cooler part of the grill, and put the lid on!  The lid is crucial, as it helps cook the meat through radiant heat transfer rather than just the convection from the coals, and it prevents grease fires from turning your delicious meat patties into little scorched fritters.

These burgers cooked to your done-ness preference can then be served on french freedom bread to bring out the lightness in the meat and the oniony goodness.

Enjoy!

Angry Political Optimist

I thought I’d chime in here with a little something for those who abhor red meet (not me). The APO salmon burger. You will need:

  • Salmon fillets
  • Cucumber
  • 1 c Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 c Kalamatta olives
  • 2 tsp capers
  • fennel, rosemary, marjoram
  • olive oil
  • Old Bay seasoning
  • Some fresh burger rolls/buns
  • Slices of pepperjack cheese

First prepare the condiment. Use about 3/4 to 1 cup Miracle Whip or Mayonnaise. Place in mixing bowl. Take some Kalamatta olives (without pits, or remove the pits) and chop them up – about 1/4 cup will do. Fold into the Mayonnaise until evenly distributed. Add some capers. Use the smaller kind. Blend these in. Add pinches of the spices (fennel, marjoram and rosemary). Set aside.

Peel and slice up a cucumber into 1/8-3/16 inch slices. Set aside.

Start with a nice fillet of salmon. I always broil the fillet first with the skin side against the heat, or up if you are using an oven broiler, for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and gently peel the skin from the meat. Use a fork to separate it. Broiling it makes this easy. Then using a fillet knife, slice the section of salmon so as to reduce the thickness in half. You want the resultant fillet to be even and about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick. Place the thinned fillets on some foil and apply olive oil over the salmon rubbing it evenly over the fish. Then sprinkle Old Bay seasoning and rub that in. Place them over the fire and cook evenly. After the edges turn from bright pink to white-ish, remove from the heat and flip over. Rub olive oil and Old Bay on that side also. Place back on the fire. After a couple of minutes, lay the slices of pepperjack cheese over the fillets so that they begin to melt. Do this at the end of the cooking so that the cheese is soft but not melted. (For those who can’t tell, the cheese should look like a limp slice, not a lava flow).

The trick here is to get the salmon cooked just enough. The olive oil helps preserve the juice. Under-cooking is not that bad (think sushi). I always split the rolls and throw them on the grill to toast them. By the time you place the last roll on the grill the first one can come off.

Now take your toasty rolls and slab on some condiment. Place the salmon fillet and cheese on the prepared roll and add three or four slices of cucumber. Close that sucker up and present them warm to your friends.

Warning: These can easily lead to you being the designated cook for your next get together.

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I generally avoid the diet and food hyperbole, but my daughter is studying nutrition so I get an earful of terms like trans-fats and the like. Recently, I decided to get a general physical. I learned that my glucose was a little high and my LDL was high. Strangely my HDL levels were good and the triglycerides were excellent. Regardless of my suspicion that the results were skewed by a late meal the night before, I did my homework and adjusted my diet. I have a fairly exhaustive exercise routine which probably accounts for the triglyceride levels so I know that diet was the only variable factor. My weight over the past six years has been 200 lbs plus or minus 3 pounds.

I used to consume Dr. Pepper and Peach Snapple — both quite tasty, as well as various juices. I cut these from my diet as well as any other source of HFCS I could identify. Basically, I restrict myself to boring ice tea and water. My weight for the past two months has been 193 lbs plus or minus 2 lbs — with a loss of 7 lbs. in the initial week. These are my facts.


sucrose

Sugars in the body are metabolized via the Kegg Pathway. Sugars, specifically sucrose, are disaccharides consisting of a glucose molecule and a fructose molecule coupled by an α1→2-glycosidic bond. In nature, most available sugars occur in this form and it’s not surprising that a pathway evolved to process them. The first process in the metabolism of sucrose is the cleaving of the glucose from the fructose. Glucose can be metabolized anywhere in the body at the cellular level. Fructose is metabolized in the liver.
fructose metabolism

Hepatic fructose metabolism: A highly lipogenic pathway. Fructose is readily absorbed from the diet and rapidly metabolized principally in the liver. Fructose can provide carbon atoms for both the glycerol and the acyl portions of triglyceride. Fructose is thus a highly efficient inducer of de novo lipogenesis. High concentrations of fructose can serve as a relatively unregulated source of acetyl CoA. In contrast to glucose, dietary fructose does NOT stimulate insulin or leptin (which are both important regulators of energy intake and body adiposity). Stimulated triglyceride synthesis is likely to lead to hepatic accumulation of triglyceride, which has been shown to reduce hepatic insulin sensitivity, as well as increased formation of VLDL particles due to higher substrate availability, increased apoB stability, and higher MTP, the critical factor in VLDL assembly.

Since sugars arrive in the body in these paired units, and glucose is the principle energy source, it is understandable that the evolved regulatory mechanisms are associated with the glucose metabolism. The fructose metabolism has essentially no independent regulation and feedback loop, depending upon the glucose component’s parallel metabolism.

This was all well and good when the principle source of free fructose was fruits consumed in sparse quantities. With fructose now saturating food products, via the HFCS component, there is essentially no feedback for the body to say “Whoa there sport, I’m saturated with sugar and really don’t need any more.” So the metabolism process continues. The result is the depletion of enzymes in the liver and the concentration of low density lipids.


Four companies control 85 percent of the $2.6 billion HFCS business–Archer Daniels Midland, Cargill, Staley Manufacturing Co. and CPC International. Recently the Corn Refiners Association has been issuing statements in an attempt to persuade the consuming public that HFCS is not the root of all evil. The association has obtained some support from the Center for Science in the Public Interest:

We respectfully urge that the proposal be revised as soon as possible to reflect the scientific evidence that demonstrates no material differences in the health effects of high-fructose corn syrup and sugar…The real issue is that excessive consumption of any sugars may lead to health problems. ……The Center for Science in the Public Interest

This is an interesting statement. Many are arguing that it is deceptive. True, HFSC is not detrimental per se, although its manufacture has some interesting components, and true obesity does have as a contributory factor the increased intake of sugars. In the interest of accurate science, the CSPI is correct.

What is missing or ignored is mention of the lack of a regulatory feedback loop in the fructose metabolism. Without such a mechanism, self control of fructose intake is difficult to impossible. This asymmetrical regulation of the two sides of the sucrose metabolism is the real danger. Since there is no inherent control mechanism, it is irresponsible to use fructose based sweeteners in literally every food product.

Perhaps in a few thousand years, given a constant diet of HFCS, we will evolve a new regulatory mechanism. Until then, I will continue to attempt to limit my intake of HFCS.

[UPDATE: Originally posted yesterday, this manly guide was overshadowed by the very manly news that the Supreme Court wants men to wear manly guns while admiring the impressive monuments to our great Founding Men in the Nation’s capital! So now we have restored this manly piece to a place of prominence this fine and manly Friday!]

Today I’ve decided to answer some cooking questions from our readers. In this short Q&A session I’ll help you understand how to cook in a manly fashion, while maintaining your Patriotism™.


Q: How many man-laws are broken when grilling marinaded steaks on a Foreman grill?

A: George Foreman made a name for himself beating people senseless with his fists. The Foreman grill is thus sanctioned for man use. It’s also a great tool when you are too lazy to fire up, and later clean up your charcoal or gas grill. Since men like to be lazy, the Foreman Grill gets the Angry Man stamp of approval.


Q: I’ve been having problems with food sticking to the pans, but I use plenty of Canola Oil… what is going wrong?

A: Canola Oil is low in saturated fats, and thus not the best for non-stick applications. Use something with a bit more saturated fat, like Corn Oil. It should also be noted that using Canola Oil supports terrorism. Do you know what canola stands for?

“Canadian oil, low acid”

Real Patriots™ use Corn Oil. Yes, I’m sorry but Canola Oil, aka the Oil of Communism, should be avoided when you’re worried about food sticking (or when you decide to love America).



Q: How do I avoid the taste imparted to food when I fry with my Teflon™ frying pan?

A: Teflon is a fluorinated hydrocarbon coating applied over a metal base and is suitable for low to medium heat cooling. High temperature cooking like sauteing, frying and searing can bake off the fluorine and cause an unpleasant taste. Teflon, a product of the both Patriotic and Manly Apollo space program, was initially applied to cooking with such warnings and an admonition to use only plastic spatulas. Modern versions are significantly better in both their temperature and metal utensil tolerance.

The approved Angry Man method of nonstick cooking, however, is to use a cast iron skillet suitably seasoned. Cast iron provides for a much more uniform heat spread and a well-seasoned skillet also provides a relatively non-stick surface. (Eggs excepted).


Q: I used your Patriotic Corn Oil™ while cooking stir fry and almost caught the kitchen on fire. How do I avoid this and still be Patriotic?

A: When cooking in a high heat open pan environment, a somewhat less Patriotic Oil should be used. The Angry Man approved Semi-Patriotic Peanut Oil™ is the way to go. (If you are from the south, this may be deemed Patriotic, as peanut farms and farmers abound. In the midwest, where we recall a less-than-Manly peanut farmer, peanut oil is somewhat less-than Patriotic.) None-the-less, peanut oil has a higher flash point than corn oil and is less prone to ignition at the temperatures involved in stir frying.

Now, about that less-than-Manly form of cooking — the stir fry… Ahem!.


Q: What is the best marinade to use to tenderize meat?

A: Based on credible evidence and scientific studies, marinades, e.g., those solutions of exotic wines and spices in which meat is soaked for hours, are fairly useless. Studies have shown that the absorbtion of marinade into the meat is essentially zero no matter how long the meat bathes. The effect of a long bath in a marinade is usually to turn the outer surface to mush as biological processes degrade the protein and connective tissue. The same effect without the mush can be obtained by ‘aging’ the meat without the marinade. If you use marinade, about four seconds is all that is required. Marinades do little for tenderizing the meat.

The Approved Angry Man Meat Tenderizing Process™ consists of laying the meat on a substantial wooden surface (UHMW cutting boards are acceptable), applying a layer of spice mixture, and beating the everloving shit out of it with one of those spikey meat tenderizing hammers. In addition to making Manly construction sounds, annoying present female persons and driving dogs to seek shelter under the bed (all good Manly things), hammering your meat is equivalent to 10 push-ups per minute of tenderizing. All of that and the hammering actually breaks the muscle and connective tissue, making the meat tender at the same time as forcing the spice into the meat (which a marinade is incapable of). We recommend various size hammers ranging from a small 8 oz. hammer for pork chops to a whopping 32 oz. tenderizer for those 2 inch thick juicy steaks.