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Monthly Archives: July 2009

Fast food chain KFC has been given a battering over "misleading" claims that fresh chicken is delivered daily to each branch.

The company broadcast an advertisement which showed a young chef lovingly dusting a tray of chicken on the bone with flour. The chef then said: "The secret to producing the best food is using the right ingredients. Like this chicken, came in fresh this morning."

A voice-over at the end of the advert added: "KFC. Fresh, on the bone chicken, every store, every day." But the Advertising Standards Authority found that, because the meat was only delivered to branches three times a week, the advert should not be shown again in its current form. It said: "We understood that chicken on the bone was delivered three times a week to KFC restaurants. "However, we considered the claims ‘came in fresh this morning’ and ‘fresh chicken on the bone, every store, every day’ implied that the chicken was delivered daily. "We concluded that the ad was likely to give viewers a misleading impression of the frequency of deliveries." Twenty viewers contacted the ASA about the advert. They also complained the advert implied all the food was prepared on site, but this was rejected. While there were "a couple of brief shots of salad preparation and gravy being stirred" the advert concentrated on one product, chicken on the bone, the ASA said.

It also dismissed complaints the broadcast would lead viewers to believe the meat was grilled not fried, as most consumers would know that the ‘F’ in KFC stands for "Fried".

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The man, identified only as Martin E, was working on a recipe involving liquid nitrogen when there was "a huge explosion", according to the Berliner Morgenpost. One of the 24-year-old’s hands was instantly torn off by the force of the blast, while the other was later amputated in hospital. The explosion happened at his girlfriend’s mother’s house in Stahnsdorf, near Berlin, where both women escaped without injury. The chef, a follower of "molecular gastronomy", had disappeared into the bathroom with a bottle of liquid nitrogen. He reportedly said afterwards he had been trying to fill a gas lighter but his 16-year-old girlfriend said he was attempting to empty the bottle. The young woman called the emergency services, who decided to airlift the chef to hospital in a helicopter. Liquid nitrogen is pure nitrogen at a very low temperature, which must be stored in special containers. Its low boiling point, at -196C, means it can cause frostbite in humans upon contact while it can also generate an explosion if the liquid is vaporised into gas too quickly. Cooking with liquid nitrogen was made famous by Blumenthal, the celebrity chef known for his scientific approach in the kitchen. Diners at his restaurant, The Fat Duck in Bray, Berkshire, are treated to a green tea and lime mousse poached at their table in the substance. Blumenthal also used liquid nitrogen to attempt to break the world record for making ice cream by using it as a coolant.

There are two simple tricks to remember when preparing and cooking fish. The first is to select a cooking method that suit’s the type of fish you are using, the second is having the confidence to know when the fish is cooked. Oily fish such as mackerel or salmon have their natural oils distributed throughout the flesh, therefore they can stand the heat of a barbecue, grill or oven. The oils in white fish however are stored in the liver as apposed to the flesh, this makes them prone to drying out when cooked. Gentle cooking such as poaching or steaming is much better. Also oily fish suit strong accompanying flavours such as chilli, garlic and citrus sauces. White fish suit simple flavours such as herb butter or olive oil. Cooked fish loses its translucence, becoming flaky and opaque. Check the thickest part of the fish as this will take the longest to cook. Press the flesh of a fish fillet, it will loose its flabbiness when cooked. Tug the dorsal fin of a whole fish, that’s the one on the back, if it comes away easily then it is cooked. Or make a slit into the fish through the skin, lift the flesh away from the bone with a flat knife and it should be juicy and opaque. How to poach. Poaching keeps fish moist and tender. Poach whole fish such as salmon in a ‘court bouillon’, that is water with added vinegar, onion, carrots, celery, peppercorns and bay leaves. White or smoked fish is best poached in milk, thinned with a little water and flavoured with peppercorns, bay leaf, parsley and butter. For a meltingly tender result you can poach fish in flavoured olive oil. How to bake. Unlike meat and poultry fish does not benefit from a high oven temperature. Cook uncovered fish at around 160° C gas mark 3. A fillet should take around 10 to 15 minutes to cook. Brush delicate white fish with a flavoured oil or butter before baking. To obtain a crispy skin sear the fish in a frying pan first and then finish it in the oven. Fish may be baked inside parchment or foil, encased within a pastry case or stuffed with rice or vegetables. How to grill. Grilling seals in moisture and flavour. Place skin side up to protect the flesh from direct heat. Baste with flavoured oil or butter. Cook for 3 to 8 minuets. Thin fillets will not require cooking on both sides. Turn larger fillets only once, being careful not to damage the flesh. Slit the sides of whole fish before grilling to ensure that the centre cooks. How to pan-fry or griddle. This method is quick. Do not remove the skin prior to cooking. Dust in seasoned flour before cooking for an extra crunch. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, skin side first to help maintain shape. Use only a small amount of oil in the pan. Make sure a griddle in smoking hot, and oil the fish rather than the griddle. Tuna and salmon steaks may be seared so that they are still rare in the centre. How to deep-fry. Do not deep-fry oily fish. Use only a clean groundnut or sunflower oil. Cook at 180° C. The contrast between crisp batter and delicate fish is a delight. Batter helps retain a fishes flavour moisture. Breadcrumbs provide crunch, but do not protect the fish as well as a batter. A 2cm thick piece of cod should take 8 minutes to cook. How to stir-fry. This is the quickest method of cooking fish. Use a wok with very little for best results. Use thinly sliced or diced fish and stir continually during cooking. Add cooked rice or vegetables towards the end of cooking. How to barbecue. Whole oily fish barbecue well. Leave the skin on and salt prior to use, basting with a sauce or flavoured oil during cooking. White fish is best soaked in an oil based marinade prior to cooking, this protects the flesh. Foil wrap larger fish such as salmon, cooking for around 30 minutes and then removing the foil, allowing the skin to Crispin. How to steam. The gentle simplicity of steaming suits fish. It maintains moisture and seals in vitamins. Bamboo steamers work well.

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