The principles of Alchemy are being able to change the state molecules(that already exist!) by manipulating the four elements. I know that sounds complicated, but lets really shatter the illusion that Alchemy is magic.
Understanding that there are many definitions of the 4 basic elements, the four elements, Fire, Air, Earth, and Water, will be defined by me as;
Fire is both hot and dry(you know, the stuff that burns your hand!) Air is both hot and wet( think vapor) Water is both cold and wet Earth is both cold and dry
Starting from there, let us open this up a bit. Each element has only it’s 2 properties alone. BUT, as we all know, they also subsist with the 2 nearest it. Picture a square, each side represents 1 element. Yup, now you get it.
Now, lets go back to talking about cooking, it IS Alchemy. I take a filet of fish. This is nearly non edible in it’s current form for most of us. If I apply the element of heat, the filet “transforms as if by magic” into something our body can now use more effectively! This is great if you are just hungry as the day is long, but not if you want to enjoy what you just stuffed in your face. I then choose the elements Air and Water, in differing parts and measures to add some better qualities to the once unappealing fish. Getting the picture? The next step is to add parts of the 3 base elements(again, my version) Animal, Mineral, Vegetable.(Just like 20 questions!)
-Side note- In the Western world I live in, Alchemy is no more credible to the public as a street charlatan or conjurer of cheap tricks(thanks Gandalf). While it holds a place in nearly every previous belief system, or philosophical structure. This does not mean the science does not exist or is not practiced.
I digress like few others! Back to our once sad, sullen, and sibilant fish filet. Adding some minerals like salt, some plants(vegetable’s generic term) like ground peppercorns, some oil extracted from olives themselves(using 100% extra virgin olive oil), ground paprika, crushed dried oregano leaves or powdered as you like. Then we mix our alchemical ingredients into a proper medium(lets use a pyrex baking dish).
For an 8 ounce filet of fish, we’ll just pick tilapia. Apply some of that olive oil to the bottom of the baking dish, just where your fish will sit, no need to waste any more. Next, place your cold and crude raw fish into the pan, right on that oil slick you just made. You see this base item..this fish..at this moment, it’s nothing. Nothing you would eat anyways! Time for Alchemy! Spread those minerals and herbs over the top of the fish, lightly. Add just a little water into the fish pan. Nope, not enough to wash off those herbs and spices. Just enough to add moisture to the air as it all heats up. There ya go. Cover that pan with a soft and VERY malleable metal. It looks like metal paper. Take a moment to think about it. Did you come up with aluminum foil? That will keep the water element in our medium as the brazier adds the heat. With a tooth pick, poke 3-4 holes in the foil in random spots. After preheating your brazier(or oven if your grill is not able to be used right now) to 325(conventional), place the whole kit and kaboodle into your oven, or on your grill. Close that grill lid! When 7-12 minutes has passed, check on your fish. The alchemical process can very WIDELY depending all all manner of outside influences.
You should know how to properly handle hot items and feed yourself at this point. 😀 Time to talk about the the Alchemy what we just did, in a little more understandable way! We took a base item(Fish) added a couple other base elements(herbs and spices). We added them to a medium(pan). We then started to “magically” manipulate the molecules in that fish with the use of fire, water, and air.(had you added earth, the 10 second rule applies). Now, 7-12 minutes later what was once dreary, droopy, dismal, and disdainful has transformed into a superior, succulent, scrumptious, and satisfying material. ALCHEMY!
I’ld like to challenge anyone reading this. Send me one of YOUR recipes in ANY language. I will translate it, then consume it(if it’s food). Once I understand it, I’ll add it to this cook book. Please choose one that means something to you. I’ll explain why later( Alchemy is WAAAAAY more than than just physical).
*Personal note. I do not believe in selling my knowledge or “IP”. I’m not interested in making profit off of what I have learned. The flip side it, I can’t afford to write full time, work full time, school full time, father full time, friend, etc… I am juggling it all the best I can! If you visit my https://www.gofundme.com/helpcureocd page, you will see that I seek assistance with my overall goals, financially(realistically I can’t do this all myself…I don’t think). Many have reached out to me, with their personal struggles and expressed their support. I’m working as fast as I can to find our cure. I will find it. Just keep the faith. Some say Karma is a bitch, I say Karma is youthful mistress of compassion and kindness. You are not alone, but I only have a finite amount of time in each day and a multitude of previous responsibilities and duties to take care of. I also want to buy a pair of Under Armour shoes, designed by the Rock! Because..you know..it’s the friggin ROCK! Dwayne Johnson! I would like to look stylish and cool during my son’s trip to DC that I will be chaperoning.*
So you see, I’ve been an Alchemist all this time, I just never knew it.
Thanks to each and every one of you for stopping by. Don’t hesitate to contact me any way you can. You are not alone..WE are not alone, nor forgotten.
Recipe 2; Vampire Resistant Fowl in Wet Egg&Flour Strips
We start this transmutation with 6 ounces of flightless, fury filled fowl. (breast meat cut into strips about 1/4″ wide each).
*Side note, please read the instructions all the way through, first. Ingredient list won’t be listed in obvious fashion*
Ignite a small brazier and set it fire to med-low(slow burning helps release more flavors and excites each chemical interaction more completely, rather than just flaring it out.(keep the fire low, no need to rush this one)Place your preferred medium on the brazier and allow it to start warming.
This will be the start of your Alchemy lesson! Start with a liquid base, with a scorch point. I normally choose Ελαιόλαδο. (use google translate, if you are not fluent in Greek). Cover the bottom of your medium(darn you Thesaurus.com for not having more words for medium!) with about 2 oz of aforementioned olive oil. When you hear the heat agitate the oil, carefully place down your four or five fowl strips into the HOT oil. If it pops or sizzles TOO aggressively, turn the heat down. You should hear a nice soft sizzle sound to signify the sealing of the outer surface. We then add my preferred mix of minerals and dried vegetables(Salt, pepper, oregano powder and a new one, garlic powder. Everyone welcome garlic, he’s going to be joining us a LOT more in this book.) After allowing the fowl to firm, lets add some diced fruit. It’s red…acidic…and if you make a fruit salad out of it, you would call it Salsa…Yup, tomato! We’ll also use some sliced small fungus pieces. For just a little difference, we’ll toss in some onions, YOU choose the type, they all have different properties to enjoy. It’s my idea, but YOUR dinner:D (could not make onion sound fun, their scent is all you need to excite your nose) minced. Let some time pass as you lovingly lavish your dish with YOUR FULL ATTENTION. While using Alchemy, you have nothing better to do. If you do, stop, clean up everything, and go do anything else.
Once your fowl has finished it’s heat based transmutation, we’re going to add the piece of resistance(Lego Movie, watch it) fresh crushed garlic clove. Put in just enough to add flavor, not overpower the vampire population of Brooklyn. Lets let our 3 elements do their thing for about 2 minutes. Grab a handful of your favorite egg&flour bits/strips/elbows/spirals. Each shape will alter the flavor bouquet you experience in the end. Drop those noodles right in that pan, carefully. You will then apply the motion and friction action to the noodles in your medium.(Toss it, resist using utensils unless utterly unavoidable). Cover this pan with it’s own lid or equivalent, such as a pan of the same size or slightly larger. Turn the heat down to low and lets allow those ingredients to share properties for about 3 more minutes.
Once all of these step are taken, place ALL of the ingredients into your dinner bowl(going to be oil and stuff, use a pasta bowl or similar. Not that plate…not that one either.) Let the dish sit in a calm state for another 3-5 minutes. Using a strainer, carefully remove the excess oil that you won’t enjoy consuming, AFTER it has rested, not before. Bon apetite, mon petite chou. Garlic Chicken Pasta.
Keep your minds and palettes open for everything!
#3 <a request from my son> 4/17/2017
For this fine feast of bovine brilliance we shall unleash it’s busty beautiful bouquet of flavors with the use of very simple ingredients and techniques. I would suggest you have your young alchemists assist you.(Easy enough that younger kids can participate). Summon your fire elements(oven to 375). In a nice heating medium, you will place 1 pound of raw ground bovine meat and 1 container of premixed sauce/spice/seasoning(15.5oz can of sloppy joe sauce). Heat this concoction to boiling over medium to high heat. Stir occasionally to ensure proper consistent heating.
Now time for you little apprentice to jump in! We have elected to use 1 can of Pillsbury refrigerated breadsticks. Put the dough on a cutting board or other sanitary surface with a light smattering of flower to help prevent sticking. Have your helper harness his or her internal bakers man and unroll the dough into 12 separate stick. You should then cut those sticks into 4 pieces each.
Time to start the REAL fun! Pour your perfected portion of powerfully flavored beef into a baking dish, 12×8 works good. Let your assistant place the pieces of dough in a single layer over your combined works.
Bake uncovered for 13ish minutes(always start low and keep an eye on your projects). Yourself and your assistant shall now, in unison, spread the finishing touch upon your team work, Sprinkle your favorite type of cheese on top and let it heat up until the cheese melts. Viola! C’est Magnifique! Let it rest and cool down, to let the flavors set in.
*Side note, if you don’t have an apprentice, just hit me up, I’ll come help you* 🙂
#4 Overcomplicated Morning Meal
Lets go nuts here. Grab a few supplies! We’ll need an onion, a green pepper, a tomato, Cilantro leaves(2), 1 lime, 3 eggs, 1 oz of your favorite shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and whatever else floats your boat.(remember, ’cause I said earlier to read the entire recipe first) ;D Awesome, why don’t hack up those veggies/fruits. Doesn’t have to be perfect, just edible!(cooking is supposed to be fun!) dice up those cilantro leaves. Squish the lime a little, then juice it into the bowl you just got, because you remembered to read it all first. Toss in the stuff you just chopped up. Hit it with a dash of S&P maybe a little garlic. Toss that in the bowl. That means swish it around the bowl and use the sides to let it fold over. Put that bowl aside for now. Now, cook those 3 eggs and whatever else you finally decided to toss in to your soon to be breakfast scramble. Some items like mushrooms, peppers, onion, and what not will have to be started BEFORE you put those eggs in. Cook them however you like(scrambled in my case). Now comes the cool part. Toss that cheese right on there and cover it for a short time. Once the cheese is melted, scoop that all out on to a plate. Grab the other bowl and sprinkle some of that mix we made earlier on top. Egg Scramble w/ modified Pico de Gallo.
#5 Some Basics that Belong in the Beginning
Earlier I made the mistake of assuming everyone knows how to cook on some level. I am wrong. So here are some VERY basic things about cooking that I should have started with, but failed to. (If I miss meats, it is due to the fact that I have not worked with them)
Beef, Lamb, Duck, Pork; All of these items can be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 to be considered legally serve-able.
Chicken, Turkey, Ham, Non Sushi Grade Fish; Should reach an internal temperature of 165.
Sushi Grade Fish; Not my forte, ask a pro, please.(I believe it can be eaten without adding any heat at all).
Cooking some tools may be required for some of my recipes. Pots, pans, skillets, tongs, spatulas(generic term). Feel free to improvise in any way you can think of!
Terms such as sautee, grill, fry, etc. Should be learned in advance of trying to make it though some cookbooks. I try to keep things simple, but simple for me is WAY different than others.
Now back to the fun!
#6 I still love breakfast; the ongoing saga.
Lets try getting a few things ready, before I dive in this time! Lets get 4ish slices of your favorite type of bread. 3 Eggs and about 2 cups of milk will do. Sugar and Cinnamon work well, but I will give you a few other ideas to try. Get a zester(removes the outer skin of citrus fruits for the immense flavor) and 1 orange. 1/2 cap full of vanilla extract(about 1 teaspoon). Now for Adults only; 1 shot of Grand Marnier.
First, Zest the orange. If that’s even a real term. I would hope it is, since you are using a Zester! Crack your 3 eggs into a medium sized mixing bowl. Pour in your milk, add the zest, Grand Marnier and a pinch of sugar. Whisk your mixture to your liking.
Now for the Alchemy. Heat a flat metal surface with enough space for 4 pieces of bread and a little wiggle room. Once it’s ready, dip a simple, mundane, boring piece of bread into the mixture and let it soak in for a moment. Quickly and carefully remove the bread from the mixture and place it on the griddle. Repeat that 3 more times. Once they have sat for a few minutes, lift a corner to see if the bottom has solidified sufficiently. If it has, flip each one as it is ready. Now let them sit there for a little while. Turn on your favorite music. Get a glass of milk/juice/coffee/tea/water/martini/bloodymary, whatever floats your particular boat. Turn off the heat under your toast and let them rest another couple minutes. I was serious about turning on some music or maybe you like the internet instead. Or a TV program you like. Again, it’s your thing. After they have cooled put them on your plate! You may add butter, syrup, cinnamon and sugar, berries, or nothing.
You have now transformed 4 slices of your favorite bread into 4 slices of MY favorite bread! It’s taste, texture, and temperature have all be altered slightly, but noticeably. Orange Vanilla French Toast with optional Grand Marnier.
#7 We like FIRE!
This is a fun one. You will need 1 sautee pan, a pair of kitchen tongs, about 2 oz of peanut oil, or other oil with high scorch point, 1 small wedge of Kasseri cheese about 1/2 inch thick, 1 piece of pita bread, 1 lemon wedge, 1 egg, a small amount of flour, and an optional small amount of Bacardi 151 or similarly flammable alcohol( for effects only). The option requires a metal serving plate that you can heat up and a thick plastic plate holder for service and a lighter.
We start with cracking the egg into a small bowl that your cheese wedge can fit in. You will dip the cheese in the egg until every bit is covered, then quickly place the dripping cheese into the flour you have put in a similar container to the egg(remember I started this whole article with read every step first, before starting). Your cover the cheese with the flour just like you did the egg wash, being a bit more gentle with it this round, so the newly made batter stays on the cheese.
Now heat up your 2 oz of oil in your sautee pan. When the oil is hot, use tongs to move the cheese into the pan CAREFULLY! I recommend using a medium heat this whole process, but if you are comfortable with different, then feel free. After a few minutes have passed, check the bottom of your cheese to see if the batter had turned brown and sticks to your cheese. Once it is golden brown, carefully lean the pan forward slightly, so the oil wells up on the far side. You will need your tongs at this point, to carefully flip the cheese over, flip it towards yourself, since you oil is pooled away from you and is less likely to splash. Poke the cheese with your tongs or finger, once it starts to be malleable, it is ready to eat.
Now for the option! Heat up your servable stainless steel plate over a burner until it is hot. Place the steel plate onto your thick plastic plate holder. Quickly transfer the cheese to the hot plate, it should sizzle nicely. Pour the Bacardi 151 onto the plate. Use the lighter to ignite the cloud of flammable vapor. At this point you yell OPAH! Once the initial burst is over you can now use your lemon wedge to douse the flames in a tasty way.
Serve with pita bread and enjoy. We call it Saganaki.
#8 Frozen Atlantic Farmed Salmon transformed.
I use a simple stainless steel broiling pan for this, you can use a ceramic or glass too. This takes a bit, so I’ll try to keep the steps more organized.
We’ll start with all the mise en place first, for once. Preheat the oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Collect 1 Salmon filet, 6 oz, 2 oz of sesame oil, 1 oz of soy sauce, 2 oz teriyaki sauce, 5 pieces of candied ginger, 3 small pieces of pineapple, 1 small can of pineapple juice, salt, pepper, 1 oz of honey, crushed red pepper flakes, ground ginger, 2 slices of orange, 1 small sheet of tin foil.
First, line your pan with the tin foil, this recipe can make a pan hard to clean. Drizzle 1/2 of the sesame oil into a small area roughly the size of your salmon into that foil area. Set the 2 slices of orange onto that oil side by side, as a bed for your salmon. Place the salmon on the oranges and drizzle the rest of the oil onto it. Next add 3/4 of the can of pineapple juice to the pan NOT onto the salmon, as it would wash off your oil. Lightly salt and pepper the salmon before cooking. Sprinkle some ground ginger onto the fish as well. Place the pan into your oven for roughly 5 minutes. Slide the rack out, so you can now pour in the soy sauce onto your cooking fish. Cover the fish with the teriyaki and honey. Put the 3 pieces of pineapple into the juices of your pan. If you like a little spice, add the crushed red peppers at this stage also. Return the oven rack back into place. Let your fish finish cooking to your desired internal temperature IF you are using a sushi grade fish. Otherwise let it cook for another 5-7 minutes. When the time is up, take the pan out of the oven and let it rest for 5 more minutes. Garnish it with the candied ginger on top. Server still on the orange slices. This is my Ginger and Citrus Salmon.
Side option: Add 3-5 spears of fresh asparagus into the pan. Cook it on 1 slice of lime, 1 slice of lemon. Add only a dash of salt and pepper, if you enjoy that.
#9 Another salmon transformation
I tend to enjoy making our salmon into something fun. Today I’ll share my recipe for fun salmon with asparagus. Lets get started! Start with an 8oz salmon portion, 3 oz of Sweet Chili Sauce, 2 orange slices, brown sugar (quantities will vary), 2 cups of Rice Pilaf(or your favorite rice selection), 10 asparagus spears, 4 slices of bacon, a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Preheat oven to 350f. Score the salmon horizontally with 1/2 inch between each cut. Then cut the fish in 1/2 the same way. Place the orange slices in your pan and place 1 portion of salmon on each. Pour 1 1/2 oz of the sweet chili sauce onto each portion of salmon(feel free to use more, as you like). Wrap 5 spears of asparagus with 2 slices of bacon each. Mix a small amount of brown sugar with your crushed red pepper flakes in a small dish. Roll your bacon wrapped asparagus in that mixture until there is a nice coating on the bacon. Place those soon to be amazing rolls of delicious into you pan with the salmon. Place in the oven and bake for approximately 12 minutes. Until your salmon is cooked to you liking. Serve your now wonderful salmon on a bed of 1 cup of rice(less if you are not as hungry as I am right now). Sweet Chili Salmon with rice and bacon wrapped asparagus.