KFC will Sell Plant-based Chicken Nuggets in China Next Week

Hunter Anderson wrote . . . . . . . . .

KFC announced that it will be selling vegan chicken nuggets in China from April 28 to April 30, as it continues its expansion into the plant-based market.

The fast food giant said that the nuggets will be sold in Shanghai, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou, and will be manufactured by Cargill Ltd.

This comes after extremely successful plant-based product testing in multiple countries, which showed enough consumer demand to expand the dishes into more locations in the US. Notably, the company is using a different manufacturer for the Chinese launch, as they tapped Beyond Meat in the US and Lightlife in Canada, respectively.

This isn’t the only way in which the brand’s Chinese release differs. Customers will have to purchase a pre-sale voucher for 1.99 yuan that entitles them to five chicken pieces, according to the company’s official Weibo account.

This is an interesting path to take, as KFC surely looks to avoid the expansive line that occurred during the high profile Atlanta launch of the company’s plant-based fried chicken.

Source: FoodBeast

Quiche Lorraine

Ingredients

short crust pastry
1 oz butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 oz streaky bacon, rinded and chopped
2 large eggs
2 oz Cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup single cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Roll out the pastry and use to line a 8-inch flan ring set on a baking tray. Place in the refrigerator to chill for 15 minutes.
  2. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and bacon and fry until golden brown. Cool slightly, then put into the pastry case.
  3. Beat together the eggs, cheese, milk, cream and seasoning to taste and pour into the flan case.
  4. Cook in the centre of a moderate oven (180ºC/350ºF) for 35 minutes, or until the filling is set. Leave to cool.
  5. To freeze: When cold, open freeze the flan on the baking tray. When frozen, remove the flan ring, wrap the flan, seal and return to the freezer.
  6. To serve: Leave to thaw wrapped at room temperature for 4 hours. Unwrap, replace the flan ring and reheat on a baking tray, in a moderate oven (180ºC/350ºF) for 25 to 30 minutes or until warmed through.

Makes 6 servings.

Source: Freezer Cookery Book

The Secret to the Perfect Soft-Boiled Egg

Wayt Gibbs wrote . . . . . . . . .

A perfect soft-boiled egg is a thing of beauty: a yolk with the texture of sweet condensed milk surrounded by a white that is tender but not runny. But for generations, great cooks have differed on how to achieve this state of perfection reliably.

Some authorities say you should drop a whole egg into boiling water for about three minutes — a bit longer if the egg is extra-large — and then gently peel away the shell. That can leave the yolk too runny, however. And when the egg is peeled, it’s all too easy to tear the tender white into a mess.

The legendary Julia Child advocated a six-minute boil (for large eggs starting at room temperature, or a minute longer if chilled), followed by a rinse with cold water before and also during peeling. That certainly works for the white, but often overcooks the center.

The French food scientist Hervé This argued some years ago that temperature, not time, is all that matters to the egg—cook it to 65 °C / 149 °F, and the result will be heavenly no matter how long it sits in the water. Or so it was thought. For a while, the “65°C egg” was all the rage at high-end restaurants.

But more recent research by the food chemist Cesar Vega , an editor and coauthor of the 2012 book The Kitchen as Laboratory, conclusively showed that both time and temperature matter. Moreover, the white and the yolk contain different blends of proteins, so the white gels at a higher temperature and a different rate than the yolk does. Vega’s rigorous experiments have armed scientifically inclined chefs with the information they need to cook eggs to whatever texture they like.

When the chefs in our research kitchen make soft-boiled eggs, they use a four step process that involves a blowtorch or liquid nitrogen. Here is a simpler version better suited to the home kitchen. You’ll need a pot of boiling water, a bowl of ice water, a temperature-controlled water bath, and, if you plan on peeling the eggs, a toaster oven.

The first step is to set the egg whites quickly by submerging them completely in a pot of rapidly boiling water for three minutes and 30 seconds, 15-30 seconds less if you like the whites quite loose, as our research chefs do, or 15—30 seconds longer if you prefer the whites fully set. When the time is up, plunge the eggs into the ice water to cool them completely.

Next, cook the yolks to a syrup-like thickness by submerging the eggs in a 64 °C / 147 °F water bath for 35 minutes; it’s important that the water temperature doesn’t change more than a degree or two during cooking. Dry the eggs thoroughly with paper towels. They are now ready to place in egg holders, top, and eat with a spoon. (If you have a Dremel or similar handheld rotary tool, use a thin grinder bit to top the eggs like a pro.)

Alternatively, you can make the eggs easier to peel by drying the shells in a toaster oven. Use a medium-dark toaster setting, and let the eggs heat for two to three minutes to make the shell hot and brittle. It will then readily flake away to reveal a flawless white beneath. Remember to remove the thin skin around the white if it doesn’t come off with the shell.

You can make these eggs in advance and later reheat them in a 60 °C / 140 °F bath for 30 minutes.

By adjusting the temperature of the cooking bath or the time the eggs are in it, you can achieve all kinds of delicious results and reproduce them flawlessly time after time. Prefer a yolk that is more like honey? Let the egg sit in a 65 °C bath for 45 minutes. For a runnier center, try our recipe for Liquid Center Eggs.

Or try cooking them in a 72 °C / 162 °F bath for 35 minutes (you can skip the boiling step). The yolk will then set just firmly enough that you can peel away the white to obtain a perfect yellow sphere, which makes a striking garnish or dumpling-like addition to a soup.

It’s remarkable how advances in science and precision cooking have given new life to this versatile food.

Source: Mordernist Cuisine


Read also at Serious Eats:

The Food Lab’s Guide to Slow-Cooked, Sous Vide-Style Eggs . . . . .

Taste of freedom: How Coronavirus is Changing Asia’s Relationship to Food

Bhavan Jaipragas and Tashny Sukumaran wrote . . . . . . . . .

Even the simple act of eating out with friends and family may seem a pipe dream at the moment for people in food-crazy Asian nations under Covid-19 lockdowns.

But that does not mean they have given up on their culinary obsessions.

In fact, going by the overnight rise in stress-baking and cooking, food may be occupying more than its usual share of head space among Malaysians, Singaporeans and Thais, as culinary adventures serve as an escape from weeks of being cooped up at home.

Beyond that, initiatives to help food vendors hit by the economic shutdowns show how the crisis may be reshaping – in a positive way – our relationships to food and the people involved in food production.

In Singapore, braised duck and pig offal hawker Melvin Chew points to the success of a Facebook page he created to support fellow food vendors.

His “Hawkers United – Dabao 2020” page has amassed nearly 230,000 followers since he set it up on April 3, hours after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announced a partial lockdown of the country to suppress Covid-19 infections.

The so-called circuit breaker came into force on April 7 as cases soared among the city state’s foreign workers, with total infections numbering over 5,000 on Friday, from 266 a month ago.

With dining-in banned as part of the measures, the platform gives the embattled hawkers – especially obscure ones off the radar of food-delivery apps – an opportunity to directly promote their menus to takeaway and delivery customers.

Freelance delivery drivers are also part of the mix, offering fees far cheaper than those of major delivery apps like GrabFood, Deliveroo and Foodpanda.

Singaporeans have so far lapped up the offerings, which include everything from top-grade Mao Shan Wang durians to the traditional kway chap that Chew – a rare second-generation hawker – sells at his stall in the Chinatown district.

“It’s not just that they are food crazy … I think Singaporeans want to preserve this treasure that is the hawkers,” said Chew, 42, who said his revenue was down about 80 per cent without dine-ins.

“They want to save the auntie, uncle who are like family because you buy their food so often. Whether rich or poor, you go to the hawker centre for comfort food.”

Benjamin Yang, a food and beverage profit strategist, said the across-the-board “digitalisation” by hawkers was one silver lining of what was otherwise one of the worst crises faced by the city state’s economy. Yang’s website manyplaces.sg, like Chew’s Facebook page, matches customers with small food businesses.

Yang said his platform had onboarded some 300 small food businesses – for free – after the site was set up last week out of “purely altruistic” intentions to rescue struggling merchants.

OPPORTUNITY IN CRISIS

Such innovation and industry is by no means confined to Singapore.

Some 1,800km away in Bangkok, Thailand, Peangploy Jitpiyatham, the owner of a hostel, has converted the premises into a hub for his newly created food-delivery platform “Locall”. Customers who use the platform will be able to order from 30 restaurants – including the hostel’s kitchen.

Unlike the bigger players, the innkeeper’s app – developed by his staff – allows users to order from different establishments at one go. “We aim to support our community and we want to help small places that cannot adapt during this time,” Peangploy said.

Others in the country – home to ubiquitous street food stalls – see a glimmer of opportunity in food retail as their own industries come under pressure.

Sasimon Chamnansarn, a flight attendant who remains employed with her airline even though flights have dried up, is one such individual. Recently Sasimon, 38, began selling sun-dried pork – based on a special recipe devised by her mother and grandmother – to friends in Bangkok, and was pleasantly surprised by rising demand.

The idea came to her after flights were suspended and she returned to her hometown of Udon Thani in the country’s northeast.

“If I go back to work, I’ll continue this business. I have contacted a local factory which can help me produce and package.

“Nothing is certain. I’m always ready for change. Who would have thought a pilot or an aircrew would one day find their job unstable?”

‘PARCELS OF LOVE’

In Malaysia, a different kind of food revolution is brewing – one that does not necessarily involve food vendors.

On social media, many have been posting about their “food swaps” – where delivery drivers are utilised to send family and friends parcels of home-cooked food.

Human rights activist Firdaus Husni said her undergraduate brother – who must remain on campus while the country’s “movement control order” is in force – was among the recipients of the parcels of love she had been dishing out.

“I worry about him often. It was nice to be able to surprise him by having food delivered to his hotel,” she said.

Swapping food has become part of Malaysia’s “new normal”, said Firdaus.

One of Firdaus’ friends saw her post on social media about having a grocery delivery cancelled, and quickly picked up a selection of essentials for her, while others have sent cooked food.

“I mentioned to friends that I missed having crab rasam [a tamarind-based soupy Tamil dish], and one made and delivered it still nice and warm,” said the activist, 34, adding that she had also received home-made curry laksa and nasi lemak – traditional Malaysian dishes.

“The thoughtful gestures and effort they must have put into preparing and making the delivery make me feel very thankful … Social distancing does not mean that we shouldn’t stay in contact with our family and friends,” she said.

Yudistra Darma Dorai, a Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer, said food had become a “form of communicating” in his circles while the lockdown – scheduled to end on April 28 – was in force. The lawyer said his friends, made aware of his decision to bring his elderly mother to stay with him during the lockdown, sent him home-cooked food so that he was not overtaxed working and preparing meals.

Redzuawan Ismail, a celebrity chef also known as “Chef Wan” who has an Anthony Bourdain-type of reputation in Malaysia and Singapore, said he expected sweeping changes in eating habits when lockdowns were lifted.

While people would probably slowly go back to eating out, many would come out of the experience having a more favourable view of home-cooked food and dining at home, the chef said.

“A lot of people’s usual eating habits are going to change for sure,” Ismail said.

“People are going to be more careful now – what goes on the plate, who sits next to them – and they will take some time to regain confidence,” he said. “Many will likely become more ready to entertain in their own homes, eat with their families, and allow those they’re comfortable with to visit for meals. Home delivery and takeaway will become more popular.”

Source: SCMP

Is there a Chance Your COVID-19 Quick Fix will Work? ‘The Answer is No’

Guidance from the federal government is straightforward: The best way to protect yourself from COVID-19 is to avoid being exposed to the coronavirus. That guidance includes advice on how to disinfect your home, protect and stay away from others, and wash your hands.

What it doesn’t include are any magic formulas, miracle cures, mom-knows-best remedies or “as-seen-on-TV” quick fixes.

Yet with traditional medicines and vaccines only beginning to undergo testing, surely there are some proven alternative treatments, maybe a vitamin supplement or a superfood, that will prevent or cure sickness from COVID-19 – right?

“This could be a very short story,” said Dr. Anne Thorndike, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and physician at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. “The answer is no.”

Some so-called remedies already have done great harm. Scores of people in Iran died and hundreds were hospitalized after drinking a toxic alcohol based on a rumor of a coronavirus cure. And a bleaching substance promoted through social media for the coronavirus and other ailments is cited in cases of severe vomiting and diarrhea, dangerously low blood pressure and acute liver failure.

The Food and Drug Administration has sent more than two dozen warning letters to companies about unapproved or deceptive COVID-19 health claims related to various herbal, homeopathic, essential oil and other products. There are currently no vaccines to prevent COVID-19, drugs to treat the infection, or home test kits for the virus, the FDA says, although the agency is working with manufacturers to develop these as soon as possible.

Among the advice the FDA gives consumers: You can’t test yourself for COVID-19. Testimonials are no substitute for scientific evidence. And if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Odds are long that any single food or nutrient will be found to work magic against the coronavirus, said Cheryl Anderson, professor and interim chair of the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California, San Diego. “There are very few things you can tease apart from a healthy diet. This idea that somebody’s going to take an agent in pill form or in high dose and make everything better, it just hasn’t borne out.”

Still, the quest for a quick COVID-19 fix isn’t surprising, said Thorndike. “People are afraid of this. It’s scary to conceptualize that there’s an infection out there that we can’t treat and that people are dying from.”

What people can do is shore up their own foundation with healthy habits. That means excellent personal hygiene, which would include a lot of hand-washing; exercising; not using tobacco; practicing healthy sleep habits; managing stress; and finding social support.

“Keeping that foundation strong is likely to be better than any advertised agent that is not tested or regulated,” said Anderson, director of UCSD’s Center of Excellence in Health Behavior and Equity.

To minimize shopping trips under stay-at-home orders, Thorndike suggests looking for vegetables like cabbage, sweet potatoes, squashes and carrots that don’t spoil quickly. Frozen vegetables and flash-frozen fruits without added sauces or sugars are equally healthy. It’s also easy to stock up on and freeze chicken and fish.

Even canned vegetables, especially with reduced sodium, are more healthful than highly processed, low-nutrient fare, said Anderson, chair of the American Heart Association’s nutrition committee. And dried beans and lentils provide ample fiber and nutrients. “I’ve noticed they’re still on the shelves, they stretch, they go a long way.”

It’s especially important for people with chronic conditions to stay physically active amid stay-at-home orders. People with diabetes should exercise at least as much every day as before the COVID-19 shutdown, said Thorndike, director of the Metabolic Syndrome Clinic at Massachusetts General. Regular exercise likewise will help control weight and high blood pressure.

Also, no one should take drugs like hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine without medical supervision, Thorndike said. In April, the American College of Cardiology, the Heart Rhythm Society and AHA issued a warning about potentially life-threatening complications from these drug for heart patients.

People with questions about a treatment or test they heard about online should talk to their doctor, the FDA says. Questions about specific medications should be directed to local pharmacists or to the FDA itself (contact its Division of Drug Information at druginfo@fda.hhs.gov or 855-543-3784).

No matter how healthy, anyone can be vulnerable to getting COVID-19, said Thorndike. “But the point about a healthy lifestyle is if you were exposed to the virus, it would help you weather whatever sickness you got as best as you could.”

Self-care is crucial right now, when stress levels are high, Anderson said. Instead of viewing the pandemic’s stay-at-home period as awful, she urges people to commit to their health and to try new things.

“Think about this as a time where you can set new, positive directions.”

Source: American Heart Association


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