Category Archives: Fun with Food
First impressions – it’s bigger than I was expecting! Not quite as big around as a 12oz soda can, but close. It’s 15 inches long. It is simple to set up, just clamp it onto the side of a suitable pot, plug it in, and scroll the wheel to set the desired temperature.The cord isn’t very long, so you’ll need to place it fairly close the outlet. (That cord trailing off the counter goes to something else.) Here I have a pair of rib steaks inside generic zip-lock bags. I’m not sure how much heat they can take but they handled the 129 degrees the device was set to. That’s right on the dividing line between rare and medium rare per the table here. I started with hot tap water so it didn’t take much time to come to heat. They spent nearly 3 hours in the water bath. I wanted to give them ample time, they say several hours more wouldn’t have made any difference.Everything went well enough until it came time to sear the steak to finish it. I didn’t pat them dry with paper towels, and didn’t get the skillet hot enough. Lesson learned! Still, I can’t say that I wasted two steaks. They were pretty good, although maybe too fatty.
We had a little bit of that smoked pork and I was thinking about another sammich for dinner when I noticed a couple of small potatoes I had set out for a potato salad project. These are not twice baked, I zapped them in the microwave and then peeled the tops and half mashed them and added the sour cream, cheddar, and pork. They were finished in the toaster oven and then garnished.
I remember a sauce that was a local favorite in the small town I grew up in. An old man had a smoke pit at the edge of town and turned out a good bbq and made a sauce that also sold in local markets. I tried to replicate it back then and managed to come close once. Of course I didn’t write down a recipe and never managed even “close” after that.It’s been 50 years since I had a genuine Witt’s BBQ but when I made a batch of this sauce it really rang a bell. I fiddled with it some, the sauce I remembered was thicker. I heated it on the stove and then added some corn starch, a little Splenda, red pepper flakes, extra ground black pepper, garlic powder, salt, and some ground Sichuan peppers. Fifty years is a long time but this sauce is as good as that one I remember – even if the recipe isn’t exactly the same.
That King Arthur bun recipe is so versatile. It’s been my go-to recipe for all of my soft bun needs for a while now. Great for hamburger or hot dog buns and these cloverleaf buns are no different.I dump the ingredients into my bread machine and run the quick dough cycle, it gives the dough one rise and beeps to let me know it’s my turn. Roll small pinches of dough between your palms and tuck them into a muffin pan. These have risen again and have been brushed with butter prior to baking. I set my convection oven at 375 and give them 6 minutes, then turn them. I let the color at the 6 minute mark inform the timing, these were starting to brown so I gave them just 3 more minutes and peeked, then added a another minute for 10 minutes total.
We don’t have much info on Cleo, AKA Grumpy Kitty. She’s an older kitteh and hasn’t been at St Francis long.Stir fry chicken and broccoli is a favorite around here. This one has red bell peppers, red onions, and mushrooms in a brown sauce with noodles.I mentioned doing a brisket in the smoker and finishing it in the toaster oven set to slow cook. Here it is after a night in the fridge to firm it for slicing.I said the new counter top oven would fit a 10″ cast iron skillet, here it is with beans ready for baking. I use the same skillet for cornbread.This is a favorite here, a real comfort food platter. The beans may have come from that batch of beans in the photo above but I made two batches in as many days and I’m not quite sure. This is the same puppy we last saw with her head in a bag full of chicken. She is a chihuahua mix with what may be terrier of some sort.The local Kroger has sales on boneless rib eyes pretty often, not sure why that cut is featured above others but they can count on me to grab extra every time.We often buy frozen shrimp already butterflied and breaded but these I did myself. Dust the prepared shrimp with seasoned flour, dredge in beaten eggs, and then coat with bread crumbs – on these I used panko and they came out great after frying in 350 oil for about 2 minutes.This is Roma. She’s 4 months old, very affectionate, and would be thrilled to go home with you.
Ok, I am so going to make these, but probably not in an cast iron kettle over an open flame.
I haven’t had a chance to look at his website, but he sounds like my kind fun, colonial cooking…with lard.