Spent several hours mowing today so I needed something that would be good on a long simmer. These large lima beans soaked overnight then simmered in chicken stock for almost too long. There’s a large Vidalia onion chopped up in there, and some of the cured pork pieces we keep on hand in the freezer just for bean soups. That meat processor we make a morning out of visiting keeps odds and ends of cured pork in big bags and we pick up a couple everytime we go. The cornbread had minced jalapeno and shredded cheddar added to the basic back of the box recipe, and the bowl is garnished with more jalapeno and minced onion.
I found a frozen block of turkey broth while rummaging through the big box and dragged it out. I added more broth and a few more chicken thighs, tossed in some veggies and a bag of dumplings that have been in the freezer since I can’t remember when. It all simmered for a good while but the dumplings never did get quite right, they’ll be better tomorrow when they have had more time to soak.
These may be my favorite pizzas. For today, anyway. I roasted three heads of garlic and squeezed them into the white sauce along with fresh grated pecorino. The dough used up 3-1/4 cups of bread flour so there was plenty for a 14″ pie. The edges puff up so that they are like soft pretzels, especially when they are brushed with butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. I rolled string style mozzarella into the edge to make it a cheese crust. I gave the crust five minutes in a 400 oven before I added the toppings. I’ve done it both ways, par-baked and not, and I have yet to decide which method works the best, my practice hasn’t really been rigorous enough and the time between pies is playing a role.I par-boiled the broccoli for a couple of minutes and cooled it in running water prior to assembling the pie, the chicken was sauteed to just barely done as well. The completed pie baked for about 12 minutes then finished under the broiler until it looked good enough. I like to see a little crust on the cheese topping and the edge should be browned nicely. Let the finished pie sit for a few minutes before slicing to give the cheese time to settle a bit.I have to wait to get my slice to the plate before I can add the red pepper flakes. I usually give it a grind of black pepper, too.
Wikipedia tells me that “lo mein” translates from the Cantonese to “stirred noodles”. This dish had chicken breast chunks and shrimp with broccoli, onions, and carrots along with rehydrated mushrooms that I bought dried. I’ve learned to simmer them for at least an hour before they are anywhere near tender enough to eat, and don’t try to save the stems. I simmered these with the dried cayenne peppers, and used the broth from that in making the brown sauce. I ran across a good discussion of brown sauces here. Mine has dark soy, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken paste in that mushroom stock, a little chili paste, tamari, and a lot of garlic. I sweeten ours with Splenda but sugar is more common.
The mint is starting to come back. I doubt we can eat enough gyros to eradicate it during the normal course. It’s wildly invasive and this patch has been sprouting anew for years now after more than a few attempt to kill it off. I suppose we can live with it.
The gyro meat and tzatziki sauce are both from Alton Brown’s recipe. I sliced the loaf thin and broiled it a bit in the toaster oven this time, I usually brown it in a saute pan in a little olive oil. The resulting brown crust adds to the flavor and is worth the extra time.
I see a lot of recipes for gyros that call for shredded lettuce and I’ve seen some served with French fries right in there but the first gyros I ever ate had only the meat, the sauce, and the tomatoes and onions rolled into a warm pita so that is how I do them.
I swear I didn’t see that bay leaf in there. I actually had it in my mouth and had to take it out. Nothing special about the veggies or the broth but I did use a different noodle this time:The package has several little noodle bundles, each just about right for a single serving. I boiled two of them separate from the broth and then drained them and plopped them into the bottom of the bowl before adding the soup proper. It does solve the problem of noodles disintegrating when saved as leftovers. Tomorrow or the next day it will be a snap to boil a serving of needles, takes five minutes, and the serving size won’t be a problem.
We really went through that homemade salami in a hurry. I was thinking it would make a pretty good breakfast hash with a couple of sunny side up eggs and I was correct. It is a kind of lie that it’s breakfast porn, I couldn’t wait that long and made this up tonight for supper. Let’s say that it isn’t just breakfast porn. LOL