Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mmmmm, lasagna....

Looks tasty, tonight's feast. Doubling the house pupulation with friends of ours that have two Goldens (OK, so one's half poodle). Home made lasagna. Lots of work but has been worth it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast

I've been a big fan of prime rib for years, and it's been our Christmas day meal for probably 10+ years now. I've done more experimenting in the past 2 years because the roasts have gotten as low as $2.98 a pound, and that's cheap! My traditional method has held firm, and that's covering with thyme, salt and strips of Farmland Cider House Bacon (thanks again Bill!).

I've learned a coupla things and will stick with that recipe, it's plain and simple, but the addition of rosemary and garlic is not a bad idea.

Another thing I'll always do is warm my meat up (snicker) before cooking. Never go from fridge to oven immediately, the lower and slower it can cook the better. I now take my prime rib out in the morning, maybe even the night before and let it get to room temperature.

I've not made up my mind if Select or Choice from the stores makes a difference, I'm a bit tainted cause a pricey piece from McGonigles in KC was a big disappointment, but that was years ago and not having the experience I do now, I think I overcooked it. I've gotten them from all over and have had good and bad, no rhyme or reason except that the more patient I am with cooking, the better it has seemed to be.

Another must is putting your plates in the oven and getting them warmed up. A medium rare prime rib won't have a lot of heat, and a cold plate will kill it. This also has another benefit, it finishes the cooking. I pull my roast when internally the probe says a mere 125 degrees, watching it like a hawk when it hits 115. Yup, check the Internet, that's classified as rare. Temperature will increase as it sits, and you MUST let it sit, at least 20 minutes. When you cut it, you may think it's not done cause of the color, but in my humble opinion, this is the best way. For someone who likes their steaks well done, order a pizza. This isn't for them.

This year, attempt #2 on dry aging. My buddy Brett prompted me to try this last February, and it was a success. Tender and tasty. Last Sunday I bought a Choice piece of meat, covered it in cheesecloth and plopped it in the fridge. Really that's all there is to it. You will want to cut off some of the fat and pieces that turn brown or funky on you, then proceed as normal, but it's as simple as letting it sit, changing the cloth a time or two. This will only be a 5 day age, in the future I will try a 14 day and see how it works. Day three seen below:

Monday, December 21, 2009

Basque Beans

Thanks to Louis's Basque restaurant in downtown Reno NV for this inspiration. We went there for lunch on our anniversary and their beans were just tasty. This recipe is close, though a little more meaty and thicker I think.

  • 1½ lb. dried beans (I used Great Northern White), rinsed and drained and soaked overnight.
  • 5-6 cups beef stock (I use homemade, it makes a difference)
  • Some ham, maybe a cup or so, cut in small pieces
  • 1 leftover ham bone with plenty of meat attached
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 4 cloves chopped garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ lb (or two links) of chopped cooked chorizo, I've found Johnsonville is excellent for this, not too fatty. Just put mine on a pan and baked in the oven.
  • 1 TB Dried Italian herb mix
  • 1/2 Cup Dried Mashed Potato flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put the beans and cover with water into a heavy pot, cover and bring to a boil, simmer for 30 minutes, and let sit for 30 minutes. Drain.
  2. Add all of the other ingredients except the chorizo to a crock pot. (Note: My small crock didn't hold, I had to use the larger one)
  3. Bring the whole thing to high until bubbling, and then put to medium for 4-6 hours, occasionally sprinkling in dried potatoes to help thicken.
  4. Add the chorizo and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Friday, November 27, 2009

T-Day follow up

I'll probably do this EVERY year: Not snack, Not drink beer starting at noon.

When the bird was done, early since I used one of those covered pans, I hadn't had but a small stack and I was HUNGRY!

Everything turned out great, very happy meal this year. No more deep frying for me.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

T-Day, anything new?

No new fangled ideas for me this year, actually going back a step and cooking the beast in a bag, like I did so many years ago. Still brining it, hopefully not too salty so the gravy won't suck, like this spell checker. (Sheesh!). Turkey, taters, gravy, Copes corn, cranberry junk, pie. One thing I have to figure out is how to not be literally full when I serve the bird. Seems like for years, by the time I'm sitting down, I'm already full. Anticlimactic!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Making tamales

I've never really thought much of them, but we'll see how homemade is:

I came up with the meat recipe pretty much on my own. I had a hunk of beef roast (they call it cross rib roast here, I think it's just Chuck roast, maybe a more fancy name), some homemade broth, a coupla dried peppers, garlic, some onions, a little celery, salt, typical Mexican spices and I decided to throw in a cinnamon stick. I simmered it for about 4 hours, and it was fork tender.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Late 2009 tomatoes

Late prep, late planting, we are just now picking. Let's pray for a late freeze eh?

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shrimp Ceviche cocktail

Been awhile since I tried something new that struck me with YUM, and that happened last night with a shrimp ceviche cocktail I had at a friend's BBQ. Ingredients where jotted down on my iPhone, with the obvious recognition that the quantities are not measured accurately. The surprise ingredient was Clamato! A quick Google shows lots of recipes, will be posting mine when I tweak it to my liking....

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fried cheese, an experiment

Some FoodTV dude showed making cheese crackers, which essentially was nothing but grated cheese toasted on the stove in a fry pan. I don't even recall what dish he was making, but toasted cheese sounds yummy, so I decided to experiment!! Not much method, kinda high heat, sprinkle the cheese evenly and be prepared to flip it like quick. Drain on paper towels on a plate.

Cheddar. Greasy and burns before it looks like it's burning. I'd say this one was a success, but really watch it close.

Parmesan: Major success!

Mozzarella: Sadly, a failure. Turned in to nothing but chewy.

And like I warned you, burns easily!

Blue Cheese: Major failure. Pretty much turned in to gum. Actually TASTED OK when it cooled and firmed up, but was weird and useless.

One important note, TEFLON! I at first tried it in a regular fry pan and it instantly stuck and made a huge mess. Teflon is a must! I think the lesson learned here is the less moisture in the cheese, the better it's going to turn out. If you're wondering what you can use this for, it's great on salads, creamy soups, and of course I think it makes a nice snack!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Yummy ribs, I must write down the recipe.....

I accidentally cooked some of the best ribs I've ever cooked this weekend. I say accidentally cause I didn't plan it, kinda half-assed monitored them, didn't use all my "tricks", tried a few things new and after it's all over.... I really should document what I do. Cause when you pull them off the grill and you get this remaining there, you know they're gonna be good:

Here they are plated. Those are onion rings from a home grown onion and our super special recipe. Nothing beats fresh deep fried!

Baby Back ribs, not country style or spare ribs. Baby backs are better meat, a more consistent row of meat, and tend to be more dark meat

Start them in the oven. Sure, you can do it on the grill, but you gotta be able to control the temperature. Low and slow. What I can't recall is 170 or 250 degrees.... Or how long. It was hours, was it 4? Or 6? I also blasted it on broil once with the bacon on top for more flavor.

Hold the sauce for now. Sauce has a lot of sugar in it, and sugar burns.

Get the grill ready, get it hot and let the temp drop to 250 or so.

I did dust them with a rub, something I made up a while back and think I wrote down somewhere. Lots of stuff in it.

I also swabbed it with apple sauce after a few hours of cooking.

After another hour or two, I laid a few strips of bacon on it, and one on either side to give it moisture and flavor.

When I put them on the grill, I throw some apple wood on the coals. In this case I used store bought, which is sadly like sawdust, but it smokes well. Other times I've soaked wood chunks.

By the time they're going on the grill, they're practically done, so keep the temperature down and take them off after an hour or so.

Wrapped up in aluminum foil and get the sides ready!

See why I need to write this down?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ham, cheese & Egg cups

Try this!!! It's pretty dang easy, pretty tasty, and actually comes out kinda fancy looking! This is one of those dishes I'm going to make & serve at my pinball & dog themed Bed and Breakfast. Named Balls and Paws.... Nah....

  • Thinly sliced ham (deli kind)
  • Bread of whatever kind, I used hot dog buns!
  • About 1 egg per large muffin tin you're going to fill, beaten.
  • Cheese, I used grated cheddar and slices of Kraft Swiss
  • Optional herb topping, I used Mexican oregano and seasoning salt
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray. Press 2-3 slices of the ham in to the muffin tin forming the cup. Stick in a few chunks of bread and cheese, cover it all with the eggs then top with more cheese. Sprinkle with whatever spices or herbs you like. Bake for about 15 minutes, keep your eye on them closely near the end.


Finished Product: