Hanger Steak Sous Vide With Rice Pilaf

trimmed hanger steak, about one pound
middle eastern spice blend
one cup rice
one or two tablespoons cracked linguni pieces
quarter to a third of a cup of finely diced carrots, celery, and shallots
fresh-ground black pepper
fresh-ground fennel seeds
olive oil


Hanger steak.


Middle eastern spice blend.


Coat the outside of the steak with the spice blend and vacuum seal it.


Sous vide cook at 130 degrees F for at least two hours (since the steak is somewhat thicker than 1 inch at its thickest.


Sautee the vegetables in olive oil until starting to caramelize. Based on how long they each take to sautee, I usually dice my carrots and start them sauteeing while I dice my celery, throw them in, and then dice the shallots and finally add them. Start simmering two cups of chicken stock, salted to taste.


Add the linguini, and continue to sautee until the linguini is starting to brown.


Add the rice and sautee until the rice is toasty and fully coated with oil. See how the vegetables are browning? That is good! Add the simmering broth, put on the lid, and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.


When the steak has cooked at least two hours, remove and pat dry well with paper towels.


Sear the outside just for about a minute on each side on a superhot grill pan or flat top.


When the rice is done, remove from the oven, let rest with the lid on for at least five minutes, and then fluff with a fork.


Finished hanger steak.


Perfect! I should have taken a better picture to illustrate this, but one of the great advantages of sous vide cooking is that when cooking a non-uniform shape of meat, even the little skinny end pieces are cooked perfectly to temperature. If you grill or broil a steak shaped like this (or a flank steak), when the thick middle part is cooked perfect, the skinny ends are hammered.



Filet Mignon Sous Vide With Saffron Rice Pilaf

four 1-inch-thick beef tenderloin filets
olive oil
chimichurri spice blend
La Yu
crushed red pepper flakes
one cup long-grain basmati rice
some broken pieces of linguini
finely diced shallots
two cups chicken stock
fresh-ground black pepper
some saffron threads


Here are the filets. Our local butcher wraps the whole tenderloin in a layer of fat and then ties with string, which is great for grilling or broiling to add more flavor. For sous vide, you don’t want that extra fat, so I asked him to take it off.


Components of the marinade. I used 1/3 cup of olive oil with a good amount of the other stuff. Stir it all up real good!


Filets sealed into their own vacuum bags with the marinade. You can sous vide them immediately, or leave them in the fridge for as long as you want, up to over night. I held them about two hours before cooking.


Immerse the filets in the water bath and start making the pilaf. One-inch thick pieces of meat take about one hour to come to temperature, and we set the temperature to 129 degrees F, aiming at rare-to-medium-rare. Sautee the shallots in olive oil until they are starting to brown. Get your chicken broth simmering, and preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.


Add the broken linguini, and continue to sautee until the linguini start to brown.


Crush some saffron threads into the broth.


Add the rice and continue to sautee, until the rice is just starting to toast.


Put the sauteed mixture in a ceramic or cast iron oven-safe vessel, pour in the broth, and mix it up well, distributing the rice evenly. Add salt and black pepper. You want something that has a partially porous surface, and not completely impervious like glass. I used my Le Creuset tajine.


Cover, put in the oven, and bake for 35 minutes. At this time, get a cast-iron flat or grill pan heated up on the stove top at the highest temperature.


Filets should be done! From what I have read, for tender cuts of meat like filet, it doesn’t matter if they go longer than the intended cooking time (within reason, as many hours at temperature can supposedly cause the meat to become mushy instead of tender). For tough cuts that you would normally braise, it is necessary to keep at temperature for longer, in order to allow the meat to tenderize. I will be experimenting with a tough cut soon.


Remove the filets from the bags and pat them dry with paper towel.


Grill the filets for 30 seconds on each side. Do not press down on them with a spatula! And do not cook longer than just necessary to char the outside! (Sorry for out of focus.)


Done! And note that there is no reason to let them rest–as there is when you grill or broil–because they are already at a uniform state throughout.


Remove the pilaf from the oven allow to rest for ten minutes before opening. Look at how nice that looks!


Gently fluff with a fork.


Beautiful!! The meat was tender and packed with flavor, and the pilaf was perfectly fluffy and flavorful.


You can see that the meat is absolutely uniform rare-to-medium-rare, with just a very thin layer of char on the outside. There is no extended gradient of doneness as there is when you grill or broil. (Sorry for out of focus.)

Salmon Sous Vide With Goat Cheese And Dill Risotto

three 8-ounce salmon filets, skinned
olive oil
fresh dill, finely chopped
La Yu chili sesame oil
ground fennel seeds
fresh ground black pepper
one cup carnaroli rice
half cup finely chopped white onion
half cup dry white wine
six cups beef or chicken broth, salted to taste
four ounces creamy goat cheese
third of a cup grated parmigiano reggiano


Brine the salmon for a couple hours in the refrigerator in one liter of water with four tablespoons salt.


Sous vide seasoning is olive oil, La Yu, black pepper, fresh dill, and ground fennel seeds. No need for salt, as the brining adds salt to the fish, and the fish will be finished with a little salt just before serving.


Remove the salmon from the brine, rinse in cold tap water, and pat dry with paper towels.


Put each salmon filet in a FoodSaver bag, stir the seasoning well and add one third of it to each bag, and seal the bags using the FoodSaver vacuum sealer.


Ready to cook!


Get your risotto sofritto started, sauteeing the onions in olive oil with a little black pepper.


Put the vacuum-sealed filets in the immersion bath. We wanted medium-rare, which is 124 degrees F inside, so we set the temperature of the bath for 126 degrees. PhysioWife got me this Anova immersion circulator for christmas! Since the fliets were 1.5 inches at their thickest, I figured 35 minutes to reach temperature. I clipped the bags to the pot, so they wouldn’t get jostled around by the circulating water.


Continue the risotto by adding the rice and continuing to sautee until toasty.


Continue the risotto in the usual way by deglazing with the wine and then cooking in the already-simmering broth, ladling in a bit at a time.


When the risotto is nearly done, turn the heat down to low, throw in the goat cheese, reggiano, and a handful of dill, and stir until all the cheese is incorporated.


Risotto is done. Add some more broth as desired to get the consistency you want.


Remove the salmon from the bags after 35 minutes.


Perfectly medium-rare all the way through!


Plate with the risotto, sprinkling a little finishing salt on the fish, and EATTE!!!111!!11!!

Since this was my first foray with sous vide, here are some of my impressions:

(1) Most recipes recommend searing or grilling the outside very briefly after the sous vide is finished, in order to add some char flavor and nicer appearance. Next time, I’ll definitely try that, as it was a little weird that the outside of the fish was medium rare, just like the very center.

(2) I am used to salmon that is cooked medium rare in the center, which means it is substantially more done as you get to the outside. To my taste, having the entire thickness of the fish be medium rare was a little underdone, so I would cook to a higher temperature next time, like maybe 130-134 degrees.

(3) The flavor intensity of the fish was IMMENSE!!!! This is obviously because with sous vide, all of the juices, fats, and flavor stay embedded in the fish, instead of leaking out as they do while broiling, poaching, grilling, etc. It also seems like the flavors of the seasoning in the bag actually get drawn into the fish, and don’t just stay on the surface.

(4) So all in all, I am excited to try some more sous vide cooking! Next try will probably be with some terrestrial meat!

Socialist Obama’s Jobbe-Killing Policies Have Killed All The Jobbes Completely Dead!!

That fucken jobbe-killer Obama just can’t stop with all the killing of all the jobbes:

For the whole of 2014, employers announced a total of 483,171 job cuts. That was 5 percent fewer than in 2013 and the smallest number since 1997.

* * *

The government is expected to report on Friday that nonfarm payrolls rose by 240,000 in December after surging by 321,000 in November. That would mark the 11th consecutive month of job gains above 200,000, the longest stretch since 1994.

Overall employment gains in 2014 are expected to be the largest since 1999. The unemployment rate is forecast slipping one-tenth of a percentage point to 5.7 percent in December, which would be the lowest since June 2008.


Anybody have a good sense for the scientific evidence for and against the utility of stretching for injury prevention and/or rehabilitation? My forays into PubMed have left me scratching my head.

Ask Your Comradde: Halp! My Career Is Hostage To A Sociopathic Mentor!

Our correspondent is being held hostage by his PhD mentor who refuses to support any attempt at genuine independence and continues to exploit the correspondent’s scientific efforts:

I still work with my old PhD advisor (6 years post phd). I came with him to a new location for post-doc. He didn’t support me getting any other job than a faculty position in the department he works in. I did it (because … path of least resistance? economy? clueless?), it’s 3% effort supported by the institution, no start up funds, this was 5 years ago.

Our set up is basically he gets senior author on my papers, I get office space and lab space (and equipment). Over the years, he’s randomly emailed me on Saturdays writing things like “I need 3 solid pages by Monday for this grant app,” with the “!!” feature in the email subject lines. He’s had me do all the administrative paperwork of IRB, Controlled Substance Use Authorization, Biohazard Use Authorization etc. He’s sent me NIH grant apps asking me to review them for him for study sections he’s on. When I tried to assert myself independently and decline this work, citing that I can only afford to spend time on work that I publicly get credit for, he gets passive-aggressive and then starts asking me about progress on lab work (that I’m supported 5% for).

When I tried to submit a paper without him authored on it (scientifically justified), he found out and asked around the co-authors about me “using their data,” then asked me for the manuscript and then sent me two emails: 1) At midnight: expressing that he should be co-authored and it was non-collegial and unprofessional of me to have submitted; 2) At 1:30 am: the paper is crap and I should retract (sic: withdraw it); it was scientific misconduct, and unprofessional. This was a fiasco that took months to cool down, I still harbor resentment about it.

He hired someone in the lab without consulting anyone, citing he was doing this person (a good scientist) a favor. Then forced me to share my office. I objected saying we should talk about this with our Dept Chair as the 3 of us. I had a conversation with the new hire about the other career options that were available and expressed surprise at this choice. He called me to his office alone, accused me of being unprofessional and non-collegial, dressed me down for being protective of my filing cabinets and couch (I had a 2-seater guest couch that students used to sit on), and told me I was making New Person feel “unwelcome” in the lab because of my actions. I yielded and now share my office with a great coworker (who is now being exploited and I predict career in serious danger because of this). The office situation sucks because phone conversations and meetings are a pain.

I tried to get other jobs (without him knowing because he never gives his blessing when I try, and without his [my PhD advisor] letter of rec), but having failed to do that over the past year, I am trying my damnedest to get independent funding and away from him. Now that tensions have cooled externally (I had dinner at his place), two days later, he’s emailed me, “I need you help with grant reviews for this study section.” Now — here’s how I spend my holidays– I have an R01 deadline on Jan 7, I have two manuscripts to review (at least I get “credit” for this service work), I have two manuscripts that were provisionally accepted in December, and I did some lab work to make things ready for when the techs get back from holiday break. Now he wants me to review grant apps for him …. which apparently was forbidden to have shared with me (like he has countless times over the past 10 years). wtf should I do?

First, a few comments that are too late to help our correspondent, but could benefit grad student and post-doc readers. The absolutely worst thing you can do for your career if your goal is independence is to fail to cut the cord between you and your former mentors. Yes, it is safe and comfortable to continue protecting yourself from the weather under their umbrella. But the unintended consequences can be dire, as exemplified by this extreme case.

Now, what is our correspondent to do? The first thing you need to accept is that you are dealing with a sociopath who has no concern for the ethical and professional norms of the scientific enterprise. This means that there is no reasoning with this person or appealing to their sense of fairness or mentor’s care for their trainees. The corollary is that your only hope for getting out from under their thumb is to take actions that will enrage them and cause them to act aggressively towards you. Unpleasant, but true.

So if you can accept that, then you need to think about main pressure points that can work to your advantage. First, is the fact that your mentor has been grossly violating federal laws and regulations by sharing assigned grant applications with you and demanding that you write reviews for him to submit under his name. This is serious legal and ethical misconduct, and if divulged to the NIH, will create a huge shit storm of a mess for him. So you could turn this fucker in by contacting the SRO of his study section and informing her of the situation. Hopefully, you have plenty of documentation of what has been going on, such as e-mail correspondence and Word documents that you created on his behalf. Once this shit storm rolls in, his power to fucke with you will be substantially reduced.

Second, you need other independent respected voices to vouch both for your scientific productivity and against your mentor’s sociopathy. Do you have senior collaborators who know what’s been going on? You need to consult with trusted third parties.

Third, you can go to the chair of your department and tell her everything, importantly including the gross misconduct vis a vis federal grant review. This can create pressure to your benefit.

There are no easy answers to your predicament. The only way out is to go nuclear on your mentor. And he’s handed you a nuclear bomb.

How To Be An Egregious Victim Blaming Rape Apologizing Motherfucken Asshole On The Internet Without Even Trying

(1) Diagnose people you’ve never even met with psychiatric disorders:

I have been avidly following the story of Jackie from UVA – the other great true-life crime mystery of the late fall 2014 (besides Serial).

It’s starting to seem more and more likely that the gang rape did not happen as initially described in Rolling Stone.

This article in Slate, based on today’s Washington Post article summarizes the recent progress nicely.

To me the case is looking more and more like a clear case of Borderline Personality Disorder.

(Note: I am not a psychiatrist nor do I study BPD professionally. I don’t know any of these people; this is all speculation based solely on reading a few articles.)

(2) Dismiss an extensive detailed piece of investigative reporting because of inconsistencies in a single source of information, among many that have not been questioned at all:

Nonetheless, this story presents many mysteries, and to me the biggest is why a reported risked her entire career on one person’s word