Archive for March, 2017

Palo Alto PA-220

About a month ago, Palo Alto announced their new 8.0 firmware, along with some new hardware.  The most exciting new product to me, personally, is their new PA-220.

The PA-200 is a unit I have a lot of experience with.  It’s got 4 Gig ports for traffic, supports 100 Mbps of firewall throughput, dropping to 50 Mbps with Threat prevention enabled.  It’s a good unit for a small office.

The PA-220 is better, sporting 8 Gig ports for traffic, 500 Mbps of firewall throughput, dropping to 150 Mbps with Threat enabled.  It is without fans, and since it uses EMMC for storage (32 GB), there shouldn’t be any moving parts to break down.

Basically, it’s got more power than a PA-500, the same number of ports, and it’s in an even smaller package than the PA-200.

Best of all, it’s at a much better price point than the PA-200.

March 7, 2017 at 11:20 pm 1 comment

Sous Vide Flank Steak

Last week, I tried flank steak sous vide.  I cooked them at 131 degrees.  The recipe I went by was for 90 minutes, though I may have gone a bit longer.  I seared them and cut them into strips.  We put some of the meat into tortillas and topped them with various taco/fajita toppings.  I wasn’t very impressed with the result.

Tip:  When you buy steak, etc. from a warehouse club, you might get a good number in one big package.  When you get them home, portion them, season them and seal them in individual sous vide bags (vacuum or water displacement method) just like you are about to sous vide them, but then place them in the freezer.  This makes the next time you want to cook them super easy to get started.  No need to thaw – if it’s a short cook time, like an hour or so, add 50% more time to it.  If it’s a long cook time, like overnight, there’s no need to add any time to it.

Since I had four more flank steaks in the freezer, already prepped this way, I figured I’d try again this weekend.  But with a long cook time, and a bit higher of a temperature.

Friday evening, I dropped a frozen pair of them into a water bath.  This time, I set it to 140 degrees.

Saturday evening came (probably around 20 hours in the bath, maybe more, maybe less).   I cut them into strips, then did a really quick sear of the strips in a pan set to about 6 (so, a bit higher than medium).  The resulting meat was very tender, but I wouldn’t say it had reached the mushy stage.  It was very good.  Next time I cook flank steak sous vide, this will probably be the way I do it.

March 5, 2017 at 11:52 am Leave a comment


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