The QOOQ Tablet Roadtest

If you are a regular cook, you would probably have struggled to keep your laptop or tablet away from the food and liquids in the kitchen while trying to read a recipe or watch a cooking video.

The answer to this is the QOOQ tablet that is a rugged, waterproof tablet designed for to be used in the kitchen and comes filled with thousands of professional cooking videos and recipes.

Qooq waterproof tablet review

Squeezing lemon juice over the QOOQ tablet

What is the QOOQ Tablet?

The QOOQ Tablet is the first multi media culinary tablet designed for cooks. It comes preloaded with thousands of recipes and accompanying videos.

The QOOQ is the first 10 inch touch screen tablet on the market and was launched even before the iPad. This product was created by its French founder as he wanted to learn to cook his mum’s famous cous cous and was afraid that the skill and recipe would be lost. As it happens, his mum is one of the featured chefs and her cous cous recipe can be found on this app/ tablet.

It is quite a nice looking gadget and is soon to launch in a multitude of trendy colours from lime green to fuschia. It is a bit chunkier than an iPad but it has taken other considerations in mind as it was designed to be used in a kitchen. The QOOQ has robust construction, is waterproof and quite durable according to the manufacturers, though don’t drop it from a height. It comes with an inbuilt stand with non slip rubber feet, so no need to prop that cook book or tablet on the nearest can to be able to read it while cooking.

Here are the specs:

  • It is linux based with it’s own operating system
  • It has an built browser
  • It has a high speed USB
  • You can connect via the ethernet
  • 8gb of memory and a SD memory card reader
  • Can subsitute as a digital photo frame when not in use
  • Has wifi
  • Proprietary smart software which will learn what you like and your cooking ability levels
  • 60% thicker glass than other tablets

What content comes in the QOOQ?

The QOOQ is basically a multi media cookbook and cooking coach. It currently has about 3700 English recipes written by about 100 chefs. Got 1000 recipes when you buy and you can buy upgrade packages for specific chefs. You can also add own recipes and share them with friends who also own QOOQ.

Each recipe has accompanying videos which teach you how to prepare the ingredients and takes you through each step of the recipe. The videos film the chefs hands in close up so you can see exactly what is happening which is quite helpful as most of the time, it is quite hard to decipher what a recipe means if you have never done it before.

You can also plan meals with the software and if you plan your meals a week in advance, the software can generate a shopping list for that week too which is quite a cool function.

They plan to keep filming new recipes in their purpose built kitchen studio in Paris. Currently, the videos available to the English speaking market are the original French ones voiced over in English. To expand into the English speaking market, they are going to be working with some British chefs, filming in English and will be adding more recipes in 2013.

How the QOOQ software works

  • You can browse by new recipes or by chefs
    The list of ingredients willl automatically be rewritten according to the number of people you want to cook for
  • You can watch the recipe videos as you go or even follow the links to generic technique videos too which is a nice touch
    The software gnerates a shopping list and it can send it to your smartphone

Roadtesting the recipes on a QOOQ tablet

A group of us were invited to the QOOQ HQ in Paris to test out the tablet. They set up up a little cooking competition for us where we had to make 2 recipes by the delightful Farida the Foodista, who is a TV personality in France. She is a lawyer by day and as a TV chef she says that she wanted to share her love of cooking simple delicious food with her recipes.

Qooq tablet Paris Farida

We got to meet another of the featured chefs in Paris that day, Chloewho also has her own TV shows on Cuisine TV. She is an ex fashion photographer, is a  judge on the French version of the Great British Bakeoff and opened her first cupcake shop in an old strip joint in Pigalle.

Here we get to find our way around the interface to find the chef and then to find the recipe. It all very intuitive so far with obvious menus and navigation tabs.

The first recipe we make is a Beetroot soup with goats cheese and the second one we make is a mango crumble.

Qooq tablet review

When we find the recipe, it has a tab for ingredients and this is where you can change the number of portions and the recipe will automatically adjust to the new amount of ingredients needed.

The recipe is laid out in steps and as we go down through the steps we can watch an accompanying video for that step. The videos are filmed in close up, so you see the hands of the chef and follow exactly what they are doing.

Review of the QOOQ tablet

At the moment, the recipes have been translated from French into American English, so the measures and terms will not work well with a British audience. The original French recipes have been voiced over in American English but they are working on a British version in the new year and the addition of new English recipes.

Alongside each step of the recipe, there are links to specific techniques like how to peel a mango in our second recipe. You can touch on the link and it opens up a pop up video with the technique video. When you finish watching this, you get taken back to the main recipe.

I think the content on the QOOQ is great and the interactive recipes and technique videos will be great for a beginner to an intermediate cook. You can learn about ingredients and how to prep them. But it will be even better when they have more recipes that are relevant to the British market and audience.

Qooq tablet review

You can also learn how to cook a variety of recipes that range from easy to cheffy. This would be a great gift for students and beginners to learn basic cooking skills on their own.

You can search for recipes by ingredients or by chefs. It has a built in glossary of ingredients. There is also a vast amount of information about wines too. On top of the recipes, there are a lot of chef interviews and a food magazine with lots of foodie features.

If you already own a tablet, you might not be tempted to buy another one just for the kitchen but if you are a real foodie, this is a great toy.

If you don’t buy the tablet, you can access their content via their website (currently only in French). They are working on a web version in English which will run on a subscription basis and this is expected in Q1 2013. The proposed subscriptions costs are at a monthly rate of £7.90 or £79 for 1 year.

The QOOQ tablet is available on Amazon in the US ($399), France (€349.90) and soon in the UK too.

Our day in Paris was not complete without some touristy pics of the beautiful city.

Views of Paris 2012

 

 

 

Massimo Bottura Recipe for Veal Cheeks and Magnum of Foie Gras

Here are the recipes for some of the delights we sampled at the Birra Moretti event the other day created by the 2 Michelin star chef, Massimo Bottura

VEAL CHEEKS in lager, balsamic vinegar and chlorophyll

The cheeks

4 veal cheeks

100 g of celery carrot and onion

2 litres of Birra Moretti La Rossa, reduced by 50%

20 ml of stock

Traditional Villa Manodori extra-aged balsamic vinegar

Pure extra virgin olive oil

Vacuum-cook the cheeks at 68° C for 30 hours with the beer, celery, carrot and onion reduction

The puree

200 g of fingerling potatoes

50 g white cow butter

100 of white cow’s whole milk

Extra virgin oil and Villa Manodori olive oil

veal cheeks

Cook the fingerling potatoes, peel them and mash them. Place them in a copper saucepan with some Modena white butter (better if fresh) and white whole milk.

Assemble using the Bamix, drizzling on the extra virgin olive oil.

Add salt to taste.

The beer-based balsamic reduction

Strain the cooking liquid from the cheeks and reduce slowly until creamy in consistency with a very intense aroma, adding the traditional Modena balsamic vinegar and salt to taste.

The intense CHLOROPHYLL crème

100 g of parsley

30 g of basil

20 g of watercress

Heat the water to 75 degrees and allow the herbs to infuse for sixty seconds.

Strain and cool quickly in water and ice. Dry carefully with cotton towel and put in refrigerator for two hours. Whisk with 100 cc of mineral water and strain overnight at refrigerator temperature.


Magnum of Foie Gras

400 g of duck foie gras

2 l of milk

30 ml of Birra Moretti Lager

1 cinnamon stick

10 g of cloves

30 g of Noto almonds, bitter and sweet

30 d of Piedmont hazelnuts

50 g of sugar

2 cl of water

1\2 a vanilla pod

The peel of half an orange

Traditional extra-aged balsamic vinegar

Fleur de sel

(sorry for the poor quality of the pics, my flash was not working properly.)

Soak the liver in the milk, at 30 degrees temperature, for a couple of hours. Remove and dry.

Clean the liver, delicately separating the lobes and remove the connective tissue from the larger veins without ruining the meat. In the meantime, reduce the beer on the heat by 50%, before cooling it in the blast chiller.

Allow the cleaned liver to marinate in the beer reduction and the spices for 6 hours.

Remove from the marinade and all excess moisture to drip away. Mould it into a terrine, then insert it into a vacuum bag and cook in the Roner for around 35 minutes at 55°.

Remove from the Roner and cool in the blast chiller to 2 degrees, before allowing to rest for at least two days in the refrigerator. Boil the water with the sugar, vanilla and orange peel. Immerse the almonds and hazelnuts into the syrup, drain them, place them on a silicon mat and dust with fleur de sel. Place them in an oven until thoroughly crystallised (200° for a few minutes).

Use a hot knife blade, prepare by cutting the terrine into two parallelepipeds around 8 cm long, 4 wide and 1.5 high. Under pressure, cover the six surfaces of the liver with the sweet/salted almonds after inserting the vinegar inside the terrine, using a cinnamon stick. Finally, insert the stick of ice-cream into the opposite side.

Recipe by Massimo Bottura ©

Really Crispy Roast Pork

This is a great simple recipe for really crispy Roast Pork.  It is inspired by the roast cripy pork in Chinese Restaurants so the recipe has some chinese flavours added but you can leave these out to suit your own taste.

Really Crispy Roast Pork

Ingredients

  • A slab of belly pork, about 1kg to 1.5kg - size to suit number of servings.
  • Salt
  • 5 spice powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/gas 6.
  2. Wash and scrape the skin until clean. Pour over a kettle of boiling water on the skin side of the belly pork and dry it. Sometime, I leave it in the fridge overnight uncovered to get even crispier results.
  3. Rub about 1 -2 tsp of salt all over.
  4. Sprinkle and rub in 5 tsp of 5 spice powder all over the pork until it looks brown.
  5. To roast, put the slab of bellypork, skin side up, on a wire rack over a pan of water. This will collect the fat that will be rendered out of the pork while roasting and stop the oil from splattering.
  6. Roast in hot oven for 1 hour at 200C.
  7. After 1 hour, brush skin side with vinegar and put the grill on in the oven as well and watch the skin blister. Leave it in the oven for another half and hour. You should get a really cripy piece of Roast Pork with minimal effort.
http://www.eatcookexplore.com/really-crispy-roast-pork/

 

Serve with rice and stir fried vegetable. Being Asian, we usually have to have a garlic chilli sauce to go with the roast pork. This would be the same garlic chilli that goes with Hainanese Chicken Rice.

What to do with leftovers, if any. If you have any of the roast pork left, you could always cut into little cubes and add it to fried rice. Alternatively, this is a dish that is one of my mum’s recipes.  Roast Pork in Sweet Soya Sauce.

Medicinal Cookery – Anti Inflammatory Curry

Also at the Natural and Organic Prodcuts Show, Dale Pinnock was demonstrating a couple of dishes from his DVD. The first was a tasty Thia inspired Red lentil soup and the other was called an Anti Inflammatory Curry, which was basically a sweet potato curry. The soup was delicious but I thought the curry was way too mushy so I would cook it a bit less than the recipe states.You could add other veg to the main recipe like caulifolowers and broccoli too to add to the 5 a day. The recipe below is from his website Dalepinnock.com.

Dale Pinnock

april_12_007.png

This recipe is an anti-inflammatory power house. This recipe is suitable in the treatment of any joint condition from rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, through to bursitis and tendonitis, as these all involve inflammatory responses.

1 Tablespoon of olive oil.
2 Red onions, thinly sliced.
2 Large cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
1 Teaspoon of freshly grated ginger.
2 Green chillies, thinly sliced.
1 Teaspoon ground corriander.
1 Teaspoon ground cumin.
1 Teaspoon black mustard seeds.
1 Heaped teaspoon of turmeric.
800g of sweet potato diced with skins left on.
375ml vegetabble stock.
150g spinach, coarsley chopped.
Large handful of fresh corriander leaves, coarsley torn.
1 Tablespoon toasted flaked almonds.

Method
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion, garlic, ginger, and chilli.
When the onion has softened, add all the spices and heat until they are becoming fragrant.
Add the sweet potato and stock and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the sweet potato is soft. At this point add the spinach.
Once the spinach has wilted, the curry is ready to serve. It is best served with brown rice to further increase its nutritional profile.

Therapeutic effects
Sweet potatoes
These are a great source of several anti-inflammatory compounds, all of which contribute to its wonderful orange coloured flesh. The first of these is beta carotene. This precursor to vitamin A is a strong antioxidant nutrient. Many inflammatory responses are associated with free radicals. This nutrient helps to combat the effect of these reactive molecules. The other compounds that work in a similar way are the flavanoids. These too are potent anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
There are also some very unique proteins present within these delightful root vegetables. These are storage proteins that are held within the root as a nutritional source for the plant. These particular proteins have potent antioxidant activity many times stronger than the caotenoids present, making this vegetable a significant anti-inflammatory ingredient.

Turmeric
This herb has been used in traditional herbal practices for centuaries. It is again a powerful anti-inflammatory agent. This is thanks to the chemical group known as curcuminoids. These substances make up turmeric’s yellow pigment (which stains your white shirt after a night at the curry house). The anti-inflammatory activity of these compounds has, in clinical trials, been shown to be comparable to such powerful drugs as hydrocortisone, phenylbutazone, indomethacin, and neurophen.

The anti-inflammatory activity of these compounds is due to their inhibitory action upon a group of enzymes in the body which are responsible for certain stages of metabolism of arachidonic acid. This compound is the precursor for the key substances – prostaglandins. These are the compounds that can either cause inflammation and pain, or suppress it. The enzymes blocked by the curcuminoids are the ones that allow for the formation of the pro-inflammatory series-2 prostaglandins.

Ginger
This spicy ingredient has been used in traditional medicine, the world over, throughout history. It is most commonly used in the treatment of nausea, and for improving circulation. However, in recent years it has come to light that ginger can have a very beneficial effect upon patients suffering with both osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. Patients have described a notable reduction in pain, and improved motility of the joint. The key component here is a group of chemicals known as gingerols. These compounds are again anti-inflammatory, but work in a different way to the other ingredients discussed so far.

The immune system is also responsible for some degree of the inflammatory activity that arises in conditions such as arthritis and bursitis. The gingerols found in ginger actually interfere with the production of chemical messengers produced by the immune system, known as cytokines. It is the variety that give the ‘inflammation’ signal that are affected.