Monthly Archives: August 2012
TaMara accepted a challenge the other day: “Betcha can’t make Spam into something good! Neener neener neener!”
I, as her champion, picked up the thrown gauntlet and then spiked it into the end zone and did a recipe dance that had the local bees envious of my wiggle. (I have a stand machine from Kitchen-Aid so mixing metaphors is not as hard as it looks.)I fortified myself with a hearty breakfast of Spam hash with fresh chilies and topped that with an egg. The challengers try to look like they are not impressed. HehI whip up some Spam sliders. Mmm… three bites of heavenly grilled Spam with cheddar and fixin’s. Yeah and those rash boys are nervously eying each other. I spot one licking his lips all sly and furtive.I’m just getting warmed up now. Take that! A grilled Spam Reben – my home made sauerkraut with Swiss and thousand island dressing. They reel! In for the kill now, no mercy! But wait! With a grin and a wink I pass more recipes to my Fair Lady. She will deliver the coup de gras. Stay tuned for the final beat down, coming to this blog Thursday. Thursday! When the big dogs run!
We planted our habaneros in mid June. They got off to a shaky start – Bitsy thought the pot looked like a good place for a nap. No harm, no foul.I snapped this earlier today. I have been picking the peppers as soon they come ripe but I’ve let these few stay just for a photo.They are good looking peppers, interesting shapes and good colors, they go from a light green through orange to the fiery red we have with this one. (Wiki -habanero) As I mentioned, I’ve been plucking the peppers as they turn red. I had no idea what to do with these things, I’m not a masochist when it comes to peppers and these can bring some real heat. I decided to just string these up on a thread and let them dry naturally.I’ll grind these up and use them as I would the dried red pepper flakes we are all familiar with. Should make a good sprinkle on a pizza, and a pinch or two in soups and sauces should work just fine.
Mrs J called for chicken dumplings when I asked her if she had a preference for dinner today. I have to say that these are a great Sunday dinner and are a real comfort food. Plenty of leftovers, too. Any good chicken dumpling recipe will start with a good stock:We save chicken bones in the freezer until we accumulate enough for stock. We had plenty for this one today. After roasting the bones for an hour in a 400 oven we dropped them into a stockpot full of water and added celery, carrots, onions, garlic, bay leaves, fresh thyme, tarragon, rosemary, and parsley, along with whole black peppercorns, coriander and salt. Simmer for as long as you can, at least for several hours.
Strain the broth and discard all the solids. Now you can cook some chicken pieces in it. While the chicken is cooking make the dumplings. We prefer simple rolled dumplings over the drop in kind. When the chicken is done, take it out to cool and cook the dumplings. Tear the chicken into bite sized pieces and add back to the dumplings, add a half a cup of cream and two tablespoons of butter. Ladle into bowls and serve with bread rolls.
I was working on this when we decided to make a run to town yesterday, I had the gumbo simmering sans the shrimp – they are added in the last minutes before the stew is ladled into the bowls for the table. We got back and needed to eat because we were both running a little low but I hadn’t made any rice yet. We did the Reuben sammiches and saved the gumbo for the evening meal. This one has Andouille sausage, shrimp, and chicken, and is served over white rice. Add hot sauce to taste. This fellow has some great Cajun recipes, here is a very good gumbo recipe you can adapt to any sort of meat.
The -esque is because a classic Reuben sandwich is grilled. This has all the standard parts: Corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and deli rye bread.We were running errands yesterday and stopped by the grocery for a few items on the list we keep on the fridge when I saw the corned beef in the deli section. I was reminded of some of the comments on the Thursday night recipe thread where someone mentioned Reuben sandwiches. One fellow said that a Reuben pizza was among his repertoire of recipes. I did a little surfing later and found a mention of Reuben egg rolls – standard egg roll wraps filled with Reuben ingredients and deep fried. I’m tempted to try the egg roll recipe, the pizza will have to wait.
nota bene: The pickle spear is a Claussen “Hot & Spicy”. Good pickle!
It’s also the last of the giardiniera, I’ll have to remember to get more next time I have a chance. Those cherry peppers are some from the garden, I dropped them into a jar of peppers that I bought earlier and was empty but for the brine. Took a few weeks but they were very good.They were so good I decided to do a lot of them, with some other types as well. I make an x shaped cut on the bottoms so the brine can penetrate the insides more easily. Not sure if it’s necessary but it doesn’t hurt.
Here’s one for TaMara’s mom. I watched this bird at the sunflowers right outside the window for a while, wanting to get a shot but hesitating, figuring I would be too slow. He hung tight, going from one flower to another and I made a dash for the camera, opened the window and started whirring away without bothering to look at settings, hoping the camera would come through. The auto ISO was high because the speed and aperture setting demanded it, so the shot is grainy, but still a nice picture. I’ll take something over nothing every time.