Skillet Pie

Your no frills chicken pot pie.  Go ahead and call the cast iron pan a frill.  Ha!A basic pan biscuit, adjust the recipe for an inch thick crust (10″ pan will use 1/2 recipe) and bake at 450° until it’s just showing color.  Take from oven and remove from pan when cooled.  You can get it out in one piece if you’re careful.  I have a flexible, wedge shaped, nylon pie server that slips under and frees the bottom.  All that butter helps!




Sometime last winter the feed to the garage blew a leg of the 220v underground cable, one 110v leg was still working so I doubled up the remaining live breakers in the box. My electrician came out with a fault locator and found it, under the concrete, alas.They ran a new feed from the pole to inside the garage and looped it into the old box.  Gabe is in his spot, watching for squirrels.Here’s the copycat summer slaw, freshly made.  Chopped cabbage, cucumber, and tomatoes in a sweetened mayo based sauce.  I think the next batch I’ll salt the cabbage and let it wilt for an hour and then rinse and drain so the excess water won’t dilute the dressing so much.Here’s a photo of a painting a friend brought back from a summer in Belize.  I can imagine Bob Ross painting this, talking to the pretty little waves as they  lap at the beach.  “I’ll add one more happy little splash right… here.”Kroger had briskets on sale for the first time in, like, forever.  This one is destined to be a corned beef.  I have it salted and spiced and tucked away into a 2 gallon ziplock.Here we are, 10 days on, and the brisket has been rinsed, brushed with Kitchen Bouquet, laid on a rack in a big, nice hotel pan (That I finally have an oven large enough to handle!), with some garlic, onion, and jalapeno.  I covered it with foil and left it in a 275° oven for 6 or 7 hours.We transferred it to another pan and walked it down to the basement fridge.  We’ll be eating reubens and corned beef hash in the coming days.

Taco Day

Giving the two-burner griddle a job.  Onions and green peppers sit in oil as the griddle heats.  I don’t worry about the veggies sticking but I want it to temp when the chorizo lands.Success!  The hot griddle was perfect for heating the corn tortillas.  We assembled the tacos with crumbled queso fresco and some shredded jack and cheddar.  The small bowl in back is filled with some of that good green sauce.

Beef and Broccoli

Wanting to use the wok while it’s out, checking on the seasoning job.  It worked pretty well.  I expect it will get better with use.
These are sliced from a flat iron steak and were marinated in sesame oil and chili garlic paste.Set the cooked beef aside and add more oil to the pan.  I added the cut broccoli with some onion, added a splash of water, and covered for four minutes.  Stir it once or twice and add more water, a little at a time as it boils off and steams the veggies.  Add back the beef and let it heat through.
I made a sauce of chicken broth and soy sauce, sesame oil, minced ginger and garlic, a couple of slugs of Chinese cooking wine, a spoonful of chili garlic paste, and enough cornstarch to thicken it when added.
When the beef and veggies are cooked pour the sauce and stir until it thickens.
Serve over rice and garnish with sesame seeds and green onions.Combining my hobbies –  cooking, eating, and watching cooking and eating videos.

Wok This Way*

I mentioned the reversible range  grates the other day that helped with that humongous griddle, here is one flipped for a round bottomed wok.Naturally I had to get a round bottomed wok .  I had one years ago that came with a ring – I think it went away in a yard sale.   I wish I still had it.  This one is really too heavy to flip one handed.  I guess the helper handle should have given that away.It needed seasoning.  Scrub it out and then heat it till it discolors from the flame and then rub with an oil soaked wad of paper towels.  It will smoke!  Do it several times.  These Youtubes will walk you through it.  I sacrificed a kitchen towel instead of paper towels.  Be careful!  Hot stuff!Chicken, peppers, carrots, and snow peas with a side of green beans stir fried with soy and oyster sauces.  The sauce for the chicken and snow peas was a simple chicken broth with ginger and some sweet chili sauce, thickened with cornstarch..  I added some sambal and chili oil to mine at the table.

*Apologies to Run-DMC



Sunday night late I cleared the counters for the tile install, piling most of the stuff on the island.  I turned the lights out on my way to bed but forgot the under cabinet lights.  I took a picture.We went with plain tiles nearly the color of the painted walls.  The green rosettes are plastic spacers that help keep the tiles from shifting.  I don’t think they would fall off the wall but the grout gaps might close up some.They’re finishing up above the range hood.  They ran the tile right up to the ceiling.  They grouted between the tiles and cleaned it up pretty well and then left it there for the day.  They wanted to come back in the morning when everything was set before rubbing the shine back into the walls lest they move anything out of line.Having fun now!  I’m trying to season this stainless griddle and am making plenty of smoke.  It was a good trial run for the range hood.  The smoke alarm didn’t go off but there was a bit a haze in the kitchen so I opened the windows.  You think that’s a griddle?Now that’s a griddle!  It covers four burners, I fired them up but the burners weren’t drawing air very well and I fretted that I wouldn’t be able to use it but the burner grates all flip over accommodate round bottom woks and when turned over they elevated the griddle an extra inch or so and everything worked just fine.This has been a go to for us lately. The kimchi is growing on me, I think I need to buy another head of Napa cabbage to keep it going.Mmm… chicken noodle soup. I was called out for putting broccoli in there but I wasn’t having any of that.Gabe is tuckered out. We’ve had a kitchen full of people for a month and a half and he’s a nervous wreck. The kittehs are still hiding under the couch. The remodel is very nearly complete – there are a few handles still on order and then we will be settling up with the contractor.
We are pleased with their professionalism and are happy with the result.

A Nice Dinner

Ribeye cooked sous vide at 138° all day then  seared off in butter.  Asparagus steamed then stir fried in lemon juice and butter, and a small baked potato with sour cream.

Last Lunch – First Lunch

This is the last lunch we fixed and ate in the basement.  I made some kimchi because I always get some when at the Chinese buffet, muttering under my breath that I could do as well as they.  It’s good fresh and you can leave it out to ferment to your liking.  Refrigerate when it tastes right to you.
The potato salad is from the Kroger deli but the slaw/salad is something I made copycat style trying to replicate the Kroger version. It’s chopped cabbage with chopped cucumber and tomato in a buttermilk/mayo dressing. I put sweetener in because theirs is sweet. Add salt and pepper to taste. A splash of seasoned rice vinegar works well in these style dressings.  It’s good freshly made and it ages in the fridge well.Ta-Da!  I can’t claim that this is the first lunch we made in the new kitchen but it is the first one we sat at the island to eat.  I have a pair of rib-eyes going in the sous vide gizmo for dinner tonight. We’ll have asparagus and a small baked potato with it. I think I’ll steam the asparagus and then finish it in garlic and butter on the stove top. Love the new range, a six burner job. Wait till you see the griddle top I have coming for it! The  dishwasher is  very  quiet. Our old one was not – sounded like a train passing by some times.This entire wall was (intentionally left blank) left bare save for the video stuff.  The TV is hooked to the Dish satellite receiver and a mini PC.  It’s a smart-ish TV and it has its own ethernet connection so we can use the LG app for Youtube or watch it via a web browser.  The built in wi-fi is good but I prefer hard wired connections where I can get them.  I’ll fiddle with the cables to tidy that snarl, soon.  Promise!
We have pretty much got all the parts and pieces out of the garage and basement and loaded into a drawer or a cabinet. I’ve moved some of the stuff four or five times trying to find the most efficient places for them. I’m sure there will be additional adjustments.