Wednesday
Apr272016

Pressure Cooked Beef Short Ribs

On my podcast, 2 Keto Dudes, Richard Morris and I talk about the great food we can cook on a ketogenic diet. This is one of my favorites, and very healthy, since the fat content is high, there's plenty of protein, and practically no carbs.

Let's talk pressure cookers.

I bought this one at a local kitchen store, and it works just fine. For the most part these things all work the same. They raise the pressure and temperature which lowers the boiling point of water (or oil), allowing you to get the same effects of slow-cooking in only an hour or so.

Pressure cookers must be sealed. Also, there is a pressure valve on the top that has two positions: open and closed. Close the lid, close the pressure valve, and start cooking for the desired time. 

My cooker has "food settings" which kind of annoy me, as I'm more scientific minded. However, I've found that the "chicken/meat" setting works really well.

For short ribs, I combine all my ingredients, close the lid and the pressure valve, select "chicken/meat" and increase the time to an hour. Then I just walk away. 

After it comes up to temperature it cooks for an hour, after which the thing beeps. At this point I press the "cancel" button, and using a long wooden spoon or tongs, I open the pressure valve. It's important that you don't do this with your bare hand or you'll get a burn like you've never had before.

Once all the pressure has been released, the safety mechanism allows you to open the cooker. It will still be bubbling away. 

I take the ribs out and set them aside. They will be falling off the bone and very tender.

Now, all that lovely broth in there is going to make a very nice sauce. I strain it into a saucepan, bring to a simmer, and reduce it until the flavor gets REALLY rich and concentrated. Then add about 1/2 cup or more of heavy cream, bring to a boil, and let it thicken. Pour it over the ribs and enjoy.

Ingredients:

  • Four beef short ribs
  • 4 cups chicken stock or bone broth
  • 2 cups of your favorite red wine
  • 1 entire bulb of garlic, crushed
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 to 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp worchesterchire sauce
  • 1 tsp ginger powder, or minced real ginger
  • 2 tbsp of your favorite sweetener. I use Xylitol
  • 1 tbsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • Herbs: thyme, rosemary, parsley

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in pressure cooker. Close lid, close pressure valve and cook on "meat" setting (or high) for 60 minutes. Shut off pressure cooker and carefully (with long tongs) open pressure valve. Open cooker, remove ribs and set aside. Strain liquid into a saucepan, reduce over medium heat for at least 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup (or more) of heavy cream and reduce until thick. Salt to taste. Spoon over ribs and enjoy.

 

Monday
Apr112016

Keto Recipe: Low-Carb Chocolate Mousse

Since I started a ketogenic diet in February, 2016 I have done lots of tests with artificial sweeteners. Many of them spiked my blood glucose. I found, though, that xylitol does not. What's more, I can't tell xylitol from sugar. So, here's a simple recipe for chocolate mousse that I eat one spoonful at a time. It's rich, sweet, and chocolatey, and being fat-adapted I don't have to eat a lot to be satisfied.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/8 cup xylitol crystals
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Whip the cream. I use a stainless steel bowl that has been chilled in the freezer, and a hand mixer. Whip it to the consistency you like. Add the other ingredients and mix until completely combined. Chill in the fridge overnight so the xylitol crystals dissolve. Alternatively, you could dissolve the xylitol in cream over low heat, but you'd have to chill it before whipping. Enjoy.

Monday
Apr042016

Keto Recipe: Carnitas

This is a great low-carb recipe for Carnitas, literally "little meats," which consists of pork butt cooked in lard with added flavors.

It's very simple. Get a 3 to 4 pound pork butt from your butcher. The butt is actually the shoulder, but 'butt' sounds better, doesn't it? Chop it up into 1/2 pound to 1 pound chunks and completely submerge it in a casserole or dutch oven full of melted lard. You heard me. It might take a few pounds of lard to get it completely submerged. Cut an orange in half, squeeze the juice in, and throw the orange halfs in, peel and all. Add 1/2 an onion (cut up or not. up to you), a clove of garlic, half a lime (squeezed just like the orange), 1/2 cup of heavy cream (which I found out you should add after about an hour), and 1 teaspoon of salt. Slow cook it over low heat, low flame, or an open fire for at least two hours. Don't let it boil too much. I have a propane range, and I find I have to stack about 4 burner racks on top of each other and keep the fire on low to get just the right heat. If after a few hours the meat isn't falling apart, continue to cook it for another hour.  Take the meat out and shred it. Crisp it up in a frying pan over medium heat and add salt and pepper to taste. Squeeze the other half of the lime over it before serving. Serve as is, or with guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, cheese, all the usual taco fixins. Just stay away from the tortillas. :)

Sunday
Mar272016

Keto Recipe: Broiled Brussels Sprouts

This is the simplist recipe ever. I always hated brussel's sprouts growing up, mostly because my parents steamed them and served them plain. Ick. When I was a grown up I went to a steak house in Vancouver. Somoene ordered the sprouts as a side dish. When they came to the table I knew I had to have them.

The recipe is simple. Cut them in half, toss in olive oil, salt and pepper, and broil in a cast-iron pan for about 5 minuutes, or until they start to turn brown and crispy. That's it.

In my house, after they are done, we add a bit of asiago cheese and stick them back in for a minute to melt the cheese. You could substitute bacon fat for the olive oil, and add crumbled bacon. Chopped hazelnuts also work wonderfully.

Turns out this technique will bring out the flavor of just about any vegetable: Peppers, mushrooms, onions, bok choi, parsnips, etc... So, have at it!

Friday
Mar252016

Visual Studio 2015 Tip: Report a Problem with Screen Recording

Visual Studio 2015 has some hidden gems, none the least of which is this very cool subsystem for reporting a problem. You can actually make a screen recording while reproduce the problem. VS packages up screen shots and system information in a zip file and sends it to the mothership.

The coolest part is that you can hack into this system and access the data before it gets sent. This is cool for the sake of learning how stuff works under the hood, but also to get some technical details about what's going on that can actually be helpful.

To start, Select the following menu tree: Help, Send Feedback, Report a Problem.  

  

On the screen that comes up, click on the button next to "Record your actions to reproduce the issue."

Next, click the "Start Recording" button.

The "Steps Recorder" dialog pops up. Now, go ahead and reproduce the issue. You'll notice that as you click with the mouse and type with the keyboard, a little red circle on the screen indicates that this step was recorded. Note that all of your screens are being recorded. If you have two or more monitors, you may want to check to see if there is any sensitive or personal data currently on screen.

When you are done, click the "Stop Record" button. Another dialog tells you to please wait while everything is assembled.

When the process is complete, you get a report screen that might look like this:

 At this point, before you click the "Submit" button, you can check out the report that was created.

Navigate with the Windows Explorer to %AppData%\Local\Temp\Microsoft\VSFeedbackCollector\

You will see a folder named feedback0. There may be others there if you've used this feature before. If you sort by date, you'll see the latest folder that was created. Inside that folder lies a zip file containing the report. It will start with the words "ReproSteps." Extract it to see the report inside.

The .mht file contained in the zip contains your report, complete with screen shots. You can double-click on it to see the report in Internet Explorer