Category Archives: Fun with Food
Mmm… posole with a few garnishes with quesadillas. The dish is similar in spirit to the classic tomato soup/grilled cheese combo. I made a huge batch of posole a few months ago and pressure canned several quarts of it to put back for quick dinners. I think there are six quarts left. The quesadillas are beef, cheese, and bean.Mrs J spotted Miss Bea down in the yard trying to decide if the deer was a threat. She decided the answer was no and proceeded to ignore it. She treats me the exact same way.We had chili one day this week, I used some ground beef and threw in some chorizo meatloaf that didn’t quite work out the way I had hoped and had frozen. Worked better as chili than as a meatloaf.There was enough chili left over to make a few chili dogs. These are garnished with chopped pickled jalapeno, fresh onions, and shredded cheese. The dogs are actually smoked sausages that claim to incorporate Vidalia onions in the recipe. I didn’t notice any particular onion-y taste but the natural casings did have a nice snap to them.This little pup took a few seconds off from the towel fight to pose for a picture. All the new arrivals get a flea bath whether they like it or not.Hard to beat a nice steak. I boiled the potatoes first and then squashed them a bit before frying them in duck fat and olive oil. Tasty little things with kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper! The veggies were stir fried in a little stock with a dab of soy, and a spoon of chili garlic paste.One more puppeh! I think he likes her!I’ll wind this up with an enchilada platter. These are beef, bean, and cheese rolled in corn tortillas and are baked with a roasted red pepper sauce. The corn salad with black beans was pretty good, it has chopped celery, onions, red and green peppers, garlic, and is dressed with a seasoned rice vinegar/garlic oil vinaigrette.
We have a couple of freezers jammed full of items that may not be labeled with all the info you might wish for but usually enough if you have a good memory. I pulled one crusted zip lock bag with “brisket” scribbled on it and the sammich here is what came of a portion of it. I smoked a brisket some time ago and this is part of that, there may be more – I dunno. It made a decent lunch. On top is some ancient giardiniera that I added some olives to because of reasons. The sauce is a new to me item from Texas Pete they are calling sriracha-cha. Works for me.And a puppy! I have no info at all on this one, nor the ones to follow in this post. I ordered a battery powered LED light so Mrs J could have a portable source she could use while at the shelter. I mounted it on a tiny tripod meant for tabletop photography but it can be easily hand held. Results so far are encouraging.I used some of that duck fat to roast these potatoes, they were pretty good but I’m sure I’ll do better the next time. The chicken was fried in some of it as well. The breast came pre-sliced to about 1/4″, I dusted it with seasoned flour and plopped it directly into the hot fat. I parboiled the potatoes, then tossed them with the duck fat, rosemary, and kosher salt and roasted them on a tray in the oven. They needed more time to brown but everything else was ready to go so I went with them as they were.Moar puppeh! I think the new light is bright enough to bounce off the ceiling there at the shelter. It does have a frosted plastic diffuser mounted to soften the light, and it can be dialed down if needed.Mmm… brisket and egg burritos from this morning. The last of the thawed brisket with scrambled eggs and cheese. I like that new sauce, it has more of a cooked taste compared to basic sriracha – the brand with the rooster on the label.One last puppy to wind this post up. Remember to look at the shelter’s Facebook page for more info on adoptable pets and (hint hint) contribution links.
This week I’m focusing on recipes you can give as gifts (and you thought I was just going to annoy you with Christmas Carols). This week is about sweet and salty. A change from the traditional sweet treats. Here are two spicy nut recipes that are sure to be welcome gifts:
Cajun Spiced Nuts
- 1 tsp teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tsp teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 6 cups unsalted deluxe mixed nuts
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 brown sugar
- 1 tbsp water
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
Mix spices together and set aside. Heat the nuts in a dry skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to toast, about 4 minutes. Add the butter, stirring, until the nuts begin to darken, about 1 minute. Add the spices, the sugar, 1 tablespoon water, and the salt, stirring until the sauce thickens and the nuts are glazed, about 5 minutes.
Remove the nuts from the heat and transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Make sure they are all separated. Let the nuts stand until cooled and the sugar has hardened, about 10 minutes. Store in an airtight container. Makes 6 cups
Indian Spiced Nuts
- 1 cup unsalted roasted peanuts (or cashews)
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 4 tablespoons shredded coconut (either fresh or unsweetened)
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 2 tsp salt
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the nuts coconut, butter, sugar, coriander cumin, garam masala and salt together and pour onto the baking sheet. Toast for 40 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through for even baking. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool. Store in an airtight container. Makes 2 cups
Now once you have these recipes completed, how about some creative ways to wrap them? Colored plastic wrap and ribbons, holiday Chinese take out containers are always fun, glass canning cars with fabric inserts between the rim and the seal, or even more fun, wrap the nuts in decorative paper cones, tied with ribbon. These are all creative ways to present your gifts and you make personalized labels to enhance the presentation.
Originally Posted December 2011
Took nearly as long to type the title as it took to throw this dish together. Kroger had these precooked shrimp set out front as a loss leader and I scooped up some. All it took was a quick boil of the angel hair while the garlic butter heated up. I tossed the shrimp to warm them then added the pasta and some chopped parsley. I almost added a little duck fat but chickened out. Has anyone tried it that way?
Don’t ever ask me what my favorite meat is when I’m eating a nice juicy cheeseburger but at most any other time I’ll answer that with a “hmm… chicken, I guess”. These are chicken enchiladas with jack cheese in a tomatillo sauce. Yummy!I made some beans to go with them, and added a daub each of guacamole and sour cream. I like the chips for the crunch they add.I ordered in a bucket of duck fat after a search turned up a source that wasn’t asking an arm and a leg for it. I have the tub broken down into smaller containers and most of it is frozen save for about a half pound in the fridge. I read all kinds of good things about it and am really looking forward to some turkey leg confit. I did use a spoonful of it when I browned these thighs and really got a nice color on them. I braised the thighs in stock and squeezed in the juice of a lemon and added capers at the finish to make a nice lemon sauce. It was good on the steamed broccoli, too.The rice is a box mix that works well for me – Zatarain’s is a good brand. I really like their wild rice mix.… and a puppeh! I love the expression on his little puppy face. Mrs J says he is a chihuahua terrier mix and was adopted today. Yay!
We were watching some freezing rain come down yesterday and that had us a bit down so we decided to bake cinnamon bread in the hope that the aromas would lighten the mood. Pioneer Woman has a nice recipe, we used it and it came out pretty well except the swirls wanted to come apart, at least the top one did. Maybe we should have given it the full two hours rise in the loaf pan but it was starting to get pretty big and I feared a collapse if I waited too long.There’s nothing much better than a slice of cinnamon toast with plenty of butter slathered on. Wow, talk about aromas – the toaster just added to what was already there. Mrs J started talking about one of her favorite things: Cinnamon French toast. She went on an on…… so I didn’t really have much choice for breakfast this morning. Not that I’m complaining, mind.
I nearly dropped the whole stock pot last night while carrying it down to the basement fridge. I did slop a pint or so out onto the stairs but they cleaned up well enough, just bare wood – no carpet. I brought it back up this afternoon and ladled out portions to freeze, and brought the rest to a boil for the dumplings. Simple rolled dumplings: flour, salt, baking powder, lard, and milk enough to moisten. These could have spent more time simmering but they were close enough done to eat. I stirred in a can of cream of celery soup just to get that can out of the pantry. I bought it long ago for an abandoned project, long enough ago I don’t remember what I had intended for it.
Mrs J makes a killer pie crust using the smittenkitchen.com butter recipe. We like these with crusts on the bottom, too. I bought some 6″ anodized aluminum pie pans a while ago and these pies came right out of them without greasing the pan, Lots of butter in the crust.Sometimes I mix the fillings with the white sauce, these were assembled in layers – veggies then meat then sauce, then the same again.I cooked a white sauce with a little nutmeg and a teaspoon of dry mustard. It seemed lacking so I turned it into a mornay sauce by grating in a few ounces of Parmesan. It would have been a little better with more half and half, these came out a bit drier than I like.Top them with another crust and seal the rims with a fork, trim the excess dough, then give them an egg wash. This wash was a whole egg beaten with a dollop of dairy.Pop them into a 350 oven until they get some nice color, about 30 minutes.