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24
Apr

Cooking with Watson: Austrian asparagus and pig’s feet croquettes


Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson‘ is a collaboration between IBM and the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City. Once a week, as part of an ongoing series, we’ll be preparing one recipe from the book until we’ve made all of them. Wish us luck.

“Austrian grilled asparagus” that should be simple. Let’s see… Pig’s feet? Sous vide? Croquettes? Mustard “foam”? Damn it Watson!

Well, if the carrot pearls from last week weren’t sufficiently weird for you, fear not. This week’s recipe is the sort of thing that would send most casual cooks running for the hills. And to make matters worse, the title lulls you into a false sense of security. The first two steps in this recipe, that’s theoretically for grilled asparagus, are to brine two pig’s feet overnight, then to cook them in a 162 degree water bath (sous vide) for 24 hours. Yes, 24 hours. Between the eight-plus hour brine and the 24 hour cook, this is already the most time intensive dish I’ve ever made.

Before we get to the pig’s feet croquettes lets talk about the other elements of this dish. The grilled asparagus, is just that: quickly blanched and char-grilled asparagus. Don’t get worried by the “Austrian” part of the title, all you’re doing is dressing the vegetable in a mustard foam once it’s done. And, while the word “foam” may have initially triggered some anxiety, I’ve got to say it proved to be unfounded. The “foam” is basically just a sauce made from milk and Dijon mustard that’s processed with a blender. The spinach coulis, is essentially the same: some spinach, oil, garlic and milk that is pureed within an inch of its life. Now, using the method in the cookbook you won’t get a very stable foam, but it will still be a tasty sauce to pour over your veggies. If you want something that looks little bit more like what you’d find in a fancy-pants restaurant, and won’t run all over the plate on you, try soy lecithin. Also, might I suggest using a regular blender for the coulis. I attempted to use my immersion blender and ended up with a tasty, but still sort of chunky sauce. The end result was more creamed spinach than coulis.

SONY DSC

The real surprising part of the dish, however, was the pig’s feet croquettes. For one, I’ve never cooked pigs feet before and the idea of combining the flavors of pigs feet and asparagus seemed like a bit out of left field. Especially when the pigs feet, most commonly associated with southern American food, are seasoned with turmeric and mustard seed, a combination often associated with Indian cuisine. Chef James Briscione was definitely able to take the somewhat bizarre ingredient list served up by Watson and turn in a dish that is pleasing to the human palate. It’s only the second recipe in the book, but it’s already the first that seems to accomplish its goal of pushing chefs creativity through cognitive computing.

SONY DSC

Not a single one of my taste testers was excited about this dish. The idea of pig’s feet croquettes did not sit well, but they were all converts after the first bite. The delicate Dijon sauce added considerable life to the asparagus. And the salty, pungent and slightly sweet meat that was rolled up tightly in each panko-crusted potato log added a nice balance to what could have easily been a brick of deep fried starch. The only complaint is that pig’s feet simply don’t deliver enough meat. Especially considering the amount of time needed to brine, cook and disassemble them. This is a collection of flavors that’s going in my permanent kitchen playbook (thanks Watson, sorry about cursing at you earlier), but I’ll definitely be swapping out the pigs feet for ham hocks or pork butt next time.

Update: The original version of this story referred to the recipe as “Australian” instead of “Austrian” asparagus.

AUSTRIAN GRILLED ASPARAGUS

Pig’s Feet Sous Vide

2 cups water
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 ½ tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon fenugreek
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 pig’s feet

1. In a bowl, mix the water, whole-grain mustard, garlic, mustard seeds, fenugreek, vinegar, salt and sugar.

2. Place the marinade and the pig’s feet into a sous vide pouch. Seal and refrigerate overnight.

3. Cook the pig’s feet in a 162 degree Fahrenheit water bath for 24 hours.

4. Take the feet out of the pouch. Remove the bones and chop the meat, discarding any bits of tough connective tissue or cartilage. Reserve the strained cooking liquid from the pouch.

Pig’s Feet Croquettes

6 cups water
1 tablespoon salt
2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pig’s feet meat, minced
½ cup Swiss cheese, grated
All-purpose flour, as needed
1 egg, beaten
Potato flakes or panko bread crumbs, as needed

1. Combine the water, salt and potatoes in a saucepot. Bring to a simmer and cook until the pieces are easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife.

2. Drain the potatoes, then let rest for 30 minutes.

3. Heat the mustard and fenugreek seeds with the oil in a small saucepan over low heat for 2 minutes.

4. Add the garlic and sauté over medium heat for 1 minute. Add the pig’s feet and cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Let cool.

5. Rice the potatoes in a bowl and mix in the cheese.

6. Take a quarter of the potatoes and shape into a flat patty. Place some of the meat mixture in the middle, then roll into a log 4 inches long by 1 inch in diameter. Repeat until you have 4 logs.

7. Refrigerate the croquettes for at least one hour. Pass them through a standard breading procedure, rolling the croquette in flour, then dipping it in the egg, and finally coating in bread crumbs/potato flakes. Deep-fry at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until golden brown.

Spinach Coulis

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup packed spinach
½ cup low-fat milk
Pinch of salt

1. Sauté the garlic in the oil in a pan over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

2. Add the milk and salt, and simmer for about 5 minutes.

3. Blend and process until smooth. Reserve, and keep warm.

Mustard Foam

½ cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

1. Heat the milk and mustard in a saucepan for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Reserve.

Grilled Asparagus

12 large spears asparagus, stems trimmed
1 tablespoon canola oil

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch until halfway done.

2. Drain the asparagus, drizzle with the oil and cook on a hot grill until done and nicely charred.

3. Remove from the heat and plate immediately.

To Serve

1. Transfer the mustard foam to a blender and process on high speed until foamy.

2. On each plate, spread a small amount of spinach coulis. Place 3 asparagus spears in the center and 2 croquette halves on the side. Top with the mustard foam.

This recipe and others can be found in Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson.

Filed under: Household

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24
Apr

BitTorrent reportedly laid off dozens of employees


A search is performed on the BitTorrent Web site, which clai

According to Buzzfeed, BitTorrent drastically reduced its US workforce on Thursday. Multiple anonymous sources reportedly confirmed that about 40 of the company’s 150 domestic employees were sacked yesterday morning. BitTorrent has struggled to turn a profit over the last couple of years. Despite its ubiquitous name recognition and multiple profit-sharing partnerships with major musical acts, the company never quite shook the “pirated media” stigma with mainstream consumers. It also offered a string of peer-to-peer based products that never really went anywhere. I mean, do you remember Bleep, BitTorrent’s P2P messaging app? No, of course you don’t. BitTorrent reportedly made the cuts in order to streamline its business and focus on Sync, a cloud storage system based on it’s peer-to-peer file sharing system.

Update: Bittorrent PR has issued a comment on the reported firings.

We’ve recently realigned resources based on a regular evaluation of the business. Regrettably, this did include some employee departures. The business however, remains healthy, profitable and growing.

Filed under: Internet

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Source: Buzzfeed

24
Apr

Formula 1 aerodynamics will make grocery stores more efficient


No, that’s not a typo. It turns out Formula 1 racing technology, specifically aerodynamics, can help rid grocery stores of the so-called “cold aisle” issue. Using aerofoils that are designed to guide the direction of air flow around a race car, Williams F1’s engineering department and UK start-up Aerofoil Engery aim to keep the cool temps inside the open refrigerators at the market. The aerofoils attach to each shelf, guiding the cold air so that not only is that section more comfy for shoppers, but energy use is reduced as well. In fact, Sainsbury’s, the second largest grocery store chain in the UK, is already testing the tech. “This Formula 1 inspired innovation has already shown it can cut carbon produced by major refrigerators,” said John Skelton, the retailer’s head of refrigeration. The project is still in the testing phase, so if could be a while before its ready for widespread installation.

Filed under: Transportation

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Via: TechRadar

Source: Williams F1

24
Apr

How to Get Your Apple Watch Up and Running [iOS Blog]


If you are one of the lucky few to receive your Apple Watch on launch day, you are probably excitedly going through the steps to setting up and customizing your device. With a completely new operating system to get used to, we’ve got a couple of tips for getting your Apple Watch ready for daily use.

Apple Watch Overview

Apple Watch Front

Apple yesterday released a user guide for its wrist-worn device that provides a detailed overview of the case for those who aren’t yet familiar with various features. For starters, you can easily identify the Digital Crown/Home button on the side of the watch case. Press it to go to the Home screen while viewing an app, or to display the watch face.

You can also double-click the Digital Crown to access your most recently used app. To activate Siri, press and hold it. Zoom in and out or scroll by turning the crown.

The side button, which sits just below the Digital Crown is used to show or hide friends, turn on or off Apple Watch, and access Apple Pay (with a double-click).

Apple Watch Back

The back side of the case houses the speaker, heart rate sensor, and microphone. You will also be able to remove your watch band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of the case.
Read more »

24
Apr

How to Get Your Apple Watch Up and Running [iOS Blog]


If you are one of the lucky few to receive your Apple Watch on launch day, you are probably excitedly going through the steps to setting up and customizing your device. With a completely new operating system to get used to, we’ve got a couple of tips for getting your Apple Watch ready for daily use.

Apple Watch Overview

Apple Watch Front

Apple yesterday released a user guide for its wrist-worn device that provides a detailed overview of the case for those who aren’t yet familiar with various features. For starters, you can easily identify the Digital Crown/Home button on the side of the watch case. Press it to go to the Home screen while viewing an app, or to display the watch face.

You can also double-click the Digital Crown to access your most recently used app. To activate Siri, press and hold it. Zoom in and out or scroll by turning the crown.

The side button, which sits just below the Digital Crown is used to show or hide friends, turn on or off Apple Watch, and access Apple Pay (with a double-click).

Apple Watch Back

The back side of the case houses the speaker, heart rate sensor, and microphone. You will also be able to remove your watch band by pressing the band release buttons on the back of the case.
Read more »

24
Apr

Next version of Google Glass will be out soon, says Italian eyewear maker Luxottica


google glass glasses

Massimo Vian, CEO of Italian eyewear maker Luxottica, spoke earlier on Friday at a general meeting in Milan, Italy regarding Luxottica’s relationship with Google, and how the Google Glass project is moving along. While Mr. Vian didn’t mention a specific timeframe for the launch of the next-gen Glass headset, he did comment that a 2nd generation product is in the works and that it will be out sometime soon.

Here’s what Mr. Vian had to say, according to The Wall Street Journal:

In Google, there are some second thoughts on how to interpret version 3 [of the eyewear]. What you saw was version 1. We’re now working on version 2, which is in preparation.

Luxottica became a partner of the Glass project back in March 2014, among a long list of other partners.

Before we heard this news, we already knew a few details regarding the next generation of Google Glass. For starters, Nest co-founder Tony Fadell took over Glass shortly after the project graduated from Google’s X labs. Fadell had reportedly said that the next generation headset wouldn’t be available to the general public until he achieves perfection, and that he plans to completely redesign the product. Also, Google will supposedly not bring back the Glass Explorer program this time around, so the product likely won’t launch until it’s ready for everyone to use.



24
Apr

Samsung Galaxy S6 Gear VR pre-order starts today


Best Buy is now accepting pre-orders for the Samsung Galaxy S6 Gear VR Innovator Edition.  The Gear VR does not come cheap at $249.99, especially considering you can buy Google’s Cardboard for less than $20 which pretty much does the same thing as Samsung’s accessory.  Fortunately, the Galaxy S6 Gear VR will fit both the standard Galaxy S6 as well as the Galaxy S6 Edge and it will arrive in stores on May 8.  The Gear VR Innovator Edition comes with a built-in fan to help keep your head cooler, but that is quite an expensive fan.  I’m a huge fan of Samsung, but the price of this accessory is rather obscene.

Will you be getting the Galaxy S6 Gear VR Innovator Edition or Google Cardboard?  Let us know in the comments section below.

The post Samsung Galaxy S6 Gear VR pre-order starts today appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Apr

Twitter introduces a simple summary of the best Tweets for you called Highlights


Reading through tweets can be daunting.  By the time you have read through 20 or 30 tweets, there is a good chance that 30 new tweets have been published.  It can be impossible to get through every tweet, especially when many tweets are replicated about the same topic.

In comes Highlights, a fast and simple summary of Twitter of the stuff that is most relevant to you.  Highlights are created by gathering tweets from people you are close with, topics and events in your region, and people that are popular among the people you know.  If and when you opt into Highlights, you will get up to two notifications per day with your summaries.  When you open the notification, you will be taken to the Twitter app where your Highlights will be displayed in a brand new interface.

Highlights will only be available in English to Android users for the time being.

Source – Twitter Blog

The post Twitter introduces a simple summary of the best Tweets for you called Highlights appeared first on AndroidGuys.

24
Apr

How cheap VR helped a Stanford professor bring his dream to Tribeca


Stanford University's Virtual Human Interaction Lab VR Experience - 2015 Tribeca Film FestivalLast year, the Tribeca Film Festival began highlighting new mediums being used in storytelling, and that trend has translated over to 2015. Virtual reality is, naturally, a big part of this movement, as filmmakers start creating more content for consumer-grade devices like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard. This is why the current edition of the event is hosting Stanford’s Virtual Human Virtual Interaction Lab, a venture started in 2003 by Jeremy Bailenson, who’s a professor at the university and has been working on digital human representation since 1999. It features a set of VR experiences that attendees can check out, all with the same goal of transporting you into another reality.

Nowadays, that mission is simplified by the myriad companies investing in the space — including Facebook with Oculus VR, Google, Samsung and, most recently, HTC and Valve. “We used to have a $40,000 headset that couldn’t leave the lab, with thousands of wires on it,” Bailenson says, emphasizing how much easier it is to use Oculus hardware as part of the workflow. The fact that he no longer has to rely on a stationary, ridiculously expensive headset is extremely valuable. If he did, bringing his latest work to the Tribeca Film Festival, roughly 3,000 miles away from home, simply wouldn’t have been possible.

But here we are.

Tribeca Talks Imagination Powered By The Hatchery - 2015 Tribeca Film FestivalJeremy Bailenson during a Tribeca Film Festival panel.

So you can not only be the Stanford University quarterback in a training session, but also travel as a marine biologist to the bottom of the sea and even fly like a superhero. Or you can walk in someone else’s shoes, which is slightly similar to The Machine to be Another experience, though not nearly as immersive. While these projects are fun and interesting in their current state, Bailenson believes he’s just scratching the surface, noting that there’s still the need for better technologies, such as improved tracking, to get the most out of VR. (For reference, a DK2 was powering the demos I saw at the Tribeca Film Festival.)

“In the last year, there’s been more change [in virtual reality] than in the previous 18 years,” he says. “What we want right now is to tell people about VR.” Beyond that, Bailenson tells me there are many other projects in the works at the Stanford Virtual Human Interaction Lab — which, by the way, happens to be funded by none other than tech titan Google.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

Filed under: Misc, Gaming, Wearables

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24
Apr

Watch the Apple Watch unbox itself


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The appointed time has finally arrived. Months after its unveiling, Apple’s Watch is finally finding its way onto the public’s wrists. Yet, as is often the case with product debuts from the company in Cupertino, demand outstrips supply (for now). Fear not, would-be Watch wearers, even if you haven’t gotten your hands on one — yet — Engadget can still give you that kid-on-Christmas-morning feeling with our unboxing video.

Are you among the fortunate few who got one of Apple’s coveted Watches? Well, we want to see your unboxing videos, too. Be it Vine, Instagram or YouTube clip, just send it to us via Twitter using the hashtag #Gadgetsnaps or pop a link to the video in the comments below. We’ll be sharing our favorites next week, so show us what you got! And, stay tuned for our full review…

Photos by Will Lipman, video produced and edited by Ina Maria

Filed under: Wearables, Apple

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