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NFT: Meal prep: Blk beans, Kale chips and brining chk Brsts/Thigh

chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 3:43 pm
I have been eating pretty well for the last couple years but wanted to actually ENJOY it more. I had a couple questions that I wanted to ask as far as better ways to prepare stuff that tastes good as well as are healthy.

I already eat kale both sauteed in a little veg oil as well as raw in salads and I snack on salted, roasted almonds.
I wanted to have an alternative and kale chips seem kinda cool. But the two times I tried making them, they either came out soggy or I had to cook the hell out of them and burning them. Anybody have a good recipe for these that includes oven temp? Yes, I have tried google but wanted to know if anybody here had one.

Brining chicken breasts and thighs is another question I have had. I have brined pork chops before, but was curious as to how long I should brine the chicken. If there is a preferred brining solution to post, I would welcome that too.

Finally Black beans. I have tried a dozen or so times to soak these myself to create my own "from scratch" recipe and reap the health benefits of getting outside the cans of Goya. But I just cannot get them tender enough. I soak them in water for about 24 hours, but even after boiling they still come out too hard. Any tips?

Thanks in advance.
Try a sous vide cooker  
robbieballs2003 : 1/10/2018 3:47 pm : link
The plastic concerns me a little bjt you can also use mason jars. My wife made chicken and it came out amazing. Tender and juicy. I just made ribs the other day. Awesome as well.
Brining solution I've always used is  
Bold Ruler : Mod : 1/10/2018 3:49 pm : link
2 cps salt in 2 gallons of water.
How did you make rhe kale chips? Do you have a dehydrator?  
robbieballs2003 : 1/10/2018 3:49 pm : link
There are so many brands that have kale chips. It might be more convenient to just buy them.
Haven't had much luck with kale chips myself.  
NorwoodWideRight : 1/10/2018 3:52 pm : link
Either too soggy or I need to burn the house down to get them crunchy.

But I do have a secret to no-soak black beans. I use my rice cooker on the brown rice setting and it makes my beans perfectly tender every time.

I cover the beans with about an inch and a half to two inches of water (depends on how many beans, partial bag vs. whole bag), add a bit of olive oil to prevent foaming & put it on the brown rice setting. I forget how many minutes it is, I'm so used to just hitting the button, but I let it go through the cycle, then cool down completely and I have perfect black beans every time.
They are expensive Robbie  
chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 3:54 pm : link
As far as Sous vide (Thermal circulator) I'm leaning towards getting one eventually, but would for now am only working with an oven and electric range.
RE: Haven't had much luck with kale chips myself.  
chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 3:56 pm : link
In comment 13781905 NorwoodWideRight said:
Quote:
Either too soggy or I need to burn the house down to get them crunchy.

But I do have a secret to no-soak black beans. I use my rice cooker on the brown rice setting and it makes my beans perfectly tender every time.

I cover the beans with about an inch and a half to two inches of water (depends on how many beans, partial bag vs. whole bag), add a bit of olive oil to prevent foaming & put it on the brown rice setting. I forget how many minutes it is, I'm so used to just hitting the button, but I let it go through the cycle, then cool down completely and I have perfect black beans every time.


No...fucking...shit. That is awesome. I do that for quinoa and never thought to do that with the beans. Fuck me...thanks Norwood!
The key to making kale chips in the oven  
PaulBlakeTSU : 1/10/2018 3:57 pm : link
is that after you wash the kale leaves, use a LOT of paper towels to try them thoroughly. You want to get as water off the leaves as possible. I can't stress that enough. Them drizzle olive oil (or use an olive oil spray) and add salt, pepper, or whatever seasoning you would typically add. I just use a little bit of oil and massage it into the leaves one by one.

Also, when you put the leaves on a baking sheet, do not put down more than one layer.

Another method I use for kale chips is in my air fryer which does a great job circulating hot, dry air. THe only catch is my airfryer has a mini rack that I put down over the kale chips so that they don't fly up and get stuck on the top coil, which would cause it to smoke.
I've found that kale chips in the oven  
PaulBlakeTSU : 1/10/2018 3:59 pm : link
get soggy for two reasons: they were still wet when they went in the oven, and/or the kale leaves were overcrowded on the baking sheet.
kale chips...  
ShocknAwe80 : 1/10/2018 4:04 pm : link
line baking sheet with foil...
lay kale leaves on baking sheet
mist with olive oil
season to taste (I like salt, garlic powder, and cayenne)
bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes
Sous vide  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 4:07 pm : link
Here's a link to Amazon for a bluetooth Anova unit for $104. You can often find the non-bluetooth model for under $100. If you want boneless breasts for salad or just slicing, there is no better way to cook it. Brine for whole birds is just salt and water. When I make fried chicken, which is probably not up your alley, lol, I brine the pieces in buttermilk and hot sauce (poke holes with a tenderizing device). Kale is not in my vocabulary :)
sorry  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 4:08 pm : link
link
Link - ( New Window )
RE: Try a sous vide cooker  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 4:19 pm : link
In comment 13781892 robbieballs2003 said:
Quote:
The plastic concerns me a little bjt you can also use mason jars. My wife made chicken and it came out amazing. Tender and juicy. I just made ribs the other day. Awesome as well.


Plastic in the container? I use an Anova "wand" and usually hook it up to a regular large metal pot. Or do you mean the plastic bags the chicken is sealed in? If there is air in a jar it won't submerge or conduct the proper temperature to meats. Sealed vacuum jars could work for certain items. Here's a link on sous viding with glass jars.
Link - ( New Window )
Yea, that's the  
chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 6:20 pm : link
one I am getting Bill. I have a few other things I need to spend mponey on first tho. I know it's only a hundred bucks, but I can work around that. Got get my 15 year old Jeep a huge tune up and emissions repairs, want a new TV annd need to buy a new grill. Plus, I think I am getting that circulator for my mother for her b day. But it's on the list.

Any info on the duration of the brining?
RE: Yea, that's the  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 6:37 pm : link
In comment 13782134 chopperhatch said:
Quote:
one I am getting Bill. I have a few other things I need to spend mponey on first tho. I know it's only a hundred bucks, but I can work around that. Got get my 15 year old Jeep a huge tune up and emissions repairs, want a new TV annd need to buy a new grill. Plus, I think I am getting that circulator for my mother for her b day. But it's on the list.

Any info on the duration of the brining?


From what I can gather, a couple of hours in salt brine for chicken pieces, about 12 hours for a whole chicken, and a couple of hours, up to 24, with buttermilk. You can also dry-brine skin on chicken with salt and baking powder for about 24 hours.
RE: RE: Try a sous vide cooker  
robbieballs2003 : 1/10/2018 6:49 pm : link
In comment 13781971 Bill in UT said:
Quote:
In comment 13781892 robbieballs2003 said:


Quote:


The plastic concerns me a little bjt you can also use mason jars. My wife made chicken and it came out amazing. Tender and juicy. I just made ribs the other day. Awesome as well.



Plastic in the container? I use an Anova "wand" and usually hook it up to a regular large metal pot. Or do you mean the plastic bags the chicken is sealed in? If there is air in a jar it won't submerge or conduct the proper temperature to meats. Sealed vacuum jars could work for certain items. Here's a link on sous viding with glass jars. Link - ( New Window )


I am talking about the plastic bags with heating up the bags. I am sure it isn't the most safe thing to do in terms of health but thay is why I said you can also use mason jars which are glass. Obviously the glass jars arent always possible for the food you cook but I don't use it all the time so I am not to concerned with the plastic bags when cooking. Like I said, I made ribs over the weekend. They came out tender as helm but not flavorful. I cooked them with onions, garlic, thyme, tomato paste and Guinness. The recipe said to sear the ribs first which I did but I think that stopped the meat from really absorbing the flavor of the other ingredients. When I took them out they were just bland. So, what I did was put them on a pan and broiled them a couple of minutes on each side and then mashed them up with some BBQ sauce. It was like pulled pork. It was awesome. The ribs were beef.
RE: RE: Yea, that's the  
mrvax : 1/10/2018 6:58 pm : link
In comment 13782147 Bill in UT said:
Quote:

From what I can gather, a couple of hours in salt brine for chicken pieces, about 12 hours for a whole chicken, and a couple of hours, up to 24, with buttermilk. You can also dry-brine skin on chicken with salt and baking powder for about 24 hours.


Spot on old chap! I've noticed a difference with a quick 1 hour wet brine on chicken.
Wet & Dry Brine - ( New Window )
RE: RE: RE: Try a sous vide cooker  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 7:10 pm : link
In comment 13782156 robbieballs2003 said:
Quote:
In comment 13781971 Bill in UT said:


Quote:


In comment 13781892 robbieballs2003 said:


Quote:


The plastic concerns me a little bjt you can also use mason jars. My wife made chicken and it came out amazing. Tender and juicy. I just made ribs the other day. Awesome as well.



Plastic in the container? I use an Anova "wand" and usually hook it up to a regular large metal pot. Or do you mean the plastic bags the chicken is sealed in? If there is air in a jar it won't submerge or conduct the proper temperature to meats. Sealed vacuum jars could work for certain items. Here's a link on sous viding with glass jars. Link - ( New Window )



I am talking about the plastic bags with heating up the bags. I am sure it isn't the most safe thing to do in terms of health but thay is why I said you can also use mason jars which are glass. Obviously the glass jars arent always possible for the food you cook but I don't use it all the time so I am not to concerned with the plastic bags when cooking. Like I said, I made ribs over the weekend. They came out tender as helm but not flavorful. I cooked them with onions, garlic, thyme, tomato paste and Guinness. The recipe said to sear the ribs first which I did but I think that stopped the meat from really absorbing the flavor of the other ingredients. When I took them out they were just bland. So, what I did was put them on a pan and broiled them a couple of minutes on each side and then mashed them up with some BBQ sauce. It was like pulled pork. It was awesome. The ribs were beef.


I'm not into real long-span sous vide meat recipes. It takes a long time to break down fatty or tougher cuts, like ribs. Right now I'm making sous vide burgers- just plain 80:20 ground beef at 129 degrees for an hour. Then I'll season with salt and pepper and sear in a cast iron pan for a couple of minutes. Whenever I sous vide any meat, from burgers, to skin on chicken to steak to pork chops, I also do the sear afterwards. For ribs, I smoke them 2 hours then wrap them and slow cook til done. If I didn't have a smoker, I wrap them, slow cook, and finish on a grill with some sauce, if desired. I only use dry rub.
RE: RE: RE: Yea, that's the  
Bill in UT : 1/10/2018 7:11 pm : link
In comment 13782166 mrvax said:
Quote:
In comment 13782147 Bill in UT said:


Quote:



From what I can gather, a couple of hours in salt brine for chicken pieces, about 12 hours for a whole chicken, and a couple of hours, up to 24, with buttermilk. You can also dry-brine skin on chicken with salt and baking powder for about 24 hours.



Spot on old chap! I've noticed a difference with a quick 1 hour wet brine on chicken. Wet & Dry Brine - ( New Window )


How do you know how old a chap I am, lol?
RE: The key to making kale chips in the oven  
chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 9:11 pm : link
In comment 13781918 PaulBlakeTSU said:
Quote:
is that after you wash the kale leaves, use a LOT of paper towels to try them thoroughly. You want to get as water off the leaves as possible. I can't stress that enough. Them drizzle olive oil (or use an olive oil spray) and add salt, pepper, or whatever seasoning you would typically add. I just use a little bit of oil and massage it into the leaves one by one.

Also, when you put the leaves on a baking sheet, do not put down more than one layer.

Another method I use for kale chips is in my air fryer which does a great job circulating hot, dry air. THe only catch is my airfryer has a mini rack that I put down over the kale chips so that they don't fly up and get stuck on the top coil, which would cause it to smoke.


interesting on the drying of the kale. Makes sense as if they are damp you are essentially blanching them.

Paul, do you line the "baking sheet?"

BTW, thanks everyone. Great answers all around.
I don't know why I put baking sheet  
chopperhatch : 1/10/2018 9:12 pm : link
in quotes.
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