Friday, May 25, 2007

Chicken and vegetables

For our Sabbath meal I used the most amazing means to make a stew in an easy, clean and low fat way: the cookie bag. This is a plastic bag that is made to sustain the high heat of an oven (up to 200 degrees centigrade) and this allows for cooking with almost no fat at all and still come up with a very tasty meal. I am still in the process of perfecting my recipes for the cookie bag, but for completeness sake, I give the one for Friday evening below. First I want to explain more generally the use of the cookie bag, though.
Nothing sticks to the bag and as a consequence one can make a mix of all the desired ingredients of the stew and not add any more fat ingredients than is needed for taste. This allows for making a dish without oil or butter or such altogether. Any combination of vegetables with fish, fowl or meat can deliver a very tasty stew. Vegetables with a strong taste of their own such as garlic, ginger, fennel, carrot, paprika for example are fantastic contributors to the stew.

For one large cookie bag:
1 kilo cut chicken (remove skin for less fat)
400 gram potatoes
400 gram carrot
400 gram cauliflower
red paprika
small green pepper
6 cloves garlic squeezed
tea spoon of squeezed ginger
table spoon soy sauce
table spoon sweet chili sauce

Throw all the ingredients into a large cookie bag. Mix well. Close the cookie bag with delivered clip and punch some 4-8 tiny holes in the bag with a tooth pick. Put the bag in the oven at 180-200 degrees for one hour. Let the holes in the bag face upwards in order to prevent leaking, but allow steam to be let out and not cause the bag to explode.

Physics for future presidents - podcast

Here is the first thing I learned from the PffP podcast after two lectures on power and energy: hydrogen has three times more energy per kilo than gasoline, but it has three times less energy per liter. How is that? It is because of density. Gasoline is so much denser that you have more weight per measure of content. In other words: it takes up less space. The consequence is that hydrogen may be a really good alternative for gasoline, because it has more energy in it and also, very importantly, is less polluting, but for putting it in cars it will take up too much space. Then again, for trucks and airplanes space is much less a problem. So in the near future we may see trucks and planes hydrogen driven, but less likely cars.
On the subject of cars I also got a good explanation of why hybrids are the future. And even though this is a physics class at UC Berkeley, I did not drop out as I did in high school. Many more lectures to go; I am excited.

The physics for future presidents is a lecture series that intends to hand out the broad lines and important social relevant facts of physics to any student, regardless of majoring subject. The lecturer Richard Muller is very entertaining, yet well on track and persuasive on the important stuff. A gem in educational podcasts.