I wanted to write a post about my recent experiences in cooking with filtered water and also give you the chance to win your own slow cooker. Up until a few months ago, I was under the impression it didn’t matter whether I used filtered water or tap water when cooking, but I found out soon after purchasing a water filter that I was very wrong.
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As I tend to do a lot of my cooking using my trusty slow cooker, I also want to include one of my favourite recipe works best using one. Right now there is an offer for £50 worth of amazon vouchers so you can buy your own slow cooker, which by the time you’ve read through to the recipe at the bottom, I am sure you will want to use to get a slow cooker, if you don’t already have one. Does Cooking With Filtered Water Make A Difference? I, like many of you undoubtedly right now, used to think that the water that came out of my taps was completed fresh, filtered and safe to drink water. However, it couldn’t be further from the truth! The actual truth is that many households tap water supply may have problems in terms of not looking right, not tasting right and being full of dangerous bacteria and chemicals. While it is true that unless you have a very weak immune system, the water from the taps is fine and will not pose any health risks. After all, the water companies treat, disinfect and clear the water supply of any harmful bacteria, chemicals and waste particles. However, no system is completely fool proof, which means that sometimes, on rare occasions, contaminants including fuel by-products, pathogens and pesticides have been found in the water. This is why many people, including myself, chose to control the water they use for drinking and cooking with by purchasing a water filter. By cooking with purified water you could remove the increased risk of ingesting highly carcinogenic tri-halomethanes. When water containing chlorine (to destroy most micro-organisms) mixes with old, leaking pipes it can form these tri-halomethanes. It has also been discovered that the same thing can happen when you cook and boil water containing chlorine. By using filtered or softened water, which doesn’t include any chlorine, you remove this risk. Another fact that definitely got me thinking was that the majority of fine restaurants and cafes use filtered water for cooking with and making their beverages because they notice the difference it can make. If something was good for the best chefs in the world, then it was good enough for me. As well as decreasing the steeping time for drinks, it can improve the flavours as well. When you cook rice or pasta in filtered water it doesn’t take as long as it does in unfiltered water and has a much creamier consistency. It is also worth bearing in mind that chlorinated, unfiltered water seeps into your fruit and veg when you are washing and preparing it for cooking. After these revelations, I didn’t spend too long thinking about it before I took the plunge and bought a water filter; and not only am I glad that I did, but I do wonder why I didn’t do it a long time ago. Everything tastes so much better and many of my friends prefer my cups of coffee and tea to their own made at home. If there is one dish that I absolutely love cooking with filtered water and noticed the difference straight away; and is requested by my friends and family more than any other dish, it’s my slow cooker chilli con carne, similar to this recipe – http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/slow_cooker_chilli_con_13029. Generally I only use the recipe as a rough guide for the quantities, as I love to experiment in the kitchen with different flavours and prefer to cook this dish with whatever vegetables I have in my freezer, rather than buying things especially for it. I prefer using frozen veg, as it stays fresher for longer. You should always start by placing the onions, red pepper and coriander in your slow cooker. Once I have that bit of prep done I then start heating sunflower oil in my trusty non-stick frying pan and season the beef with fresh black pepper and alt before frying the beef in the oil(normally in two batches) until it has a nice golden brown colour before adding it to the slow cooker with the vegetables.
I keep the pan on the heat and add the oregano (or whatever herb I have growing at that time) with the spices and garlic to the pan to fry them in the beef juices for at least one minute. I always judge it using my nose, and as soon as I start to get that lovely fragrant odour, I add the stock, tomatoes and tomato puree and then bring the sauce to the boil, before pouring it into the slow cooker and cooking it on a low heat for around 7 hours. After 7 hours I pour in the beans and cook it for another 1 hour or so until the beef is nice and tender. You don’t have to add chocolate at the end, but I think it adds an extra depth of flavour to the dish. I absolutely guarantee that if you were to cook a batch of this with filtered water and a batch with unfiltered water, you would notice the difference in taste! The best thing is about this recipe is that it is open to interpretation as I am always, as mentioned earlier, tweaking it! a Rafflecopter giveaway