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Category Archives: Gadgets

Sous Vide Pork Chops

The recipe said that this would work out if the chop was cooked at 130° for really pink, and 1-4 hours would do – I set the temp at 135° and left it in all day.  It was going to be lunch but we got to messing about outside and had leftovers instead.We gave the chops a quick sear in a hot skillet to brown them.  It’s a great way to get juicy chops.  It gave me an excuse to male mac ‘n cheese, so bonus!

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Tidbits

This ended up being better than expected.  It’s a basic tomato and cucumber salad with a dill vinaigrette made with seasoned rice vinegar.  Mrs J snagged a bag of sweet Vidalia onions so I included those into the mix.  My handheld mandoline made short work of that English cuke.This hosta is pretty.  I took several garden shots per a request over at Balloon Juice in the Sunday morning garden chat.This is looking up at the patio herb and pepper garden.  The bare looking tree/shrub thing is a vitex that has to be severely pruned every year lest it take over.  It always was a late starter but I think it may dead.  I won’t miss it too much although the hummers and the bees sure liked it.Mrs J prefers garden kittehs to gnomes.  The feeling isn’t necessarily shared throughout the household.Post needs more sammich!  This is the last of a brisket I smoked earlier this year.  I reheated the slices in BBQ sauce.Another garden kitteh.  Mrs J is fond of those coconut fiber containers, saying she has good luck with them.I love to thin slice the mini peppers to brighten up a slaw.  We will make several in a row with the vinegar dressing, then shift to creamy for a couple of batches.

Pork Chop and Fries

It’s been a long time since we made twice-fried potatoes.  Dusted off the French fry cutter and ran a couple of Idahos through it.  Soaked them in ice water, dried them on a towel, and fried them at 320-ish for a few minutes.  Drained those and popped them into the freezer on a tray till we were ready for dinner, then fried them again at 350-or so till they took a proper color.

Gadget Post

This is a retractable hose reel, we grew tired of tripping over coils of garden hose.  It comes with a spray nozzle but you can use whatever you like as the hose ends are a standard garden hose thread.  Works well, so far.  There is a little trick to get the reel to “lock” in position but we figured it out quickly.  👍👍

Umm… Wut?

Multi-Pot Recipes: Beef and Barley Soup

Yummy photo by the great JeffreyW

I have used my Multi-Pot consistently for the last few weeks. I made two batches of soup, pulled pork, pasta sauce and two batches of rice. The first batch of rice I was all cocky and used the simple pressure cooker setting and my own time – because you know, I’m the Queen of Pressure Cooking – well, that didn’t turn out very well. I mean, it was great sticky rice, but I was going for light and fluffy. So the next batch I used the Rice Button! I mean, come on, a pot you can just push RICE and 10 minutes later have fluffy rice – why was I fighting it??

The buttons on this brand are easy and intuitive to use. It does help that I’m familiar with what times work well with my stove top cooker and there are good resources in the booklets that came with the machine to help pick timing.

My first batch of soup was to make Beef with Barley Soup:

I used this recipe (click here). I was excited to try out the browning feature and the pressure cooking setting.

I quickly and easily sauteed the onions and browned the beef with about a tablespoon of olive oil. Then added the remainder of the ingredients, sealed it shut and turned it to the Meat/Stew setting and set it for 30 minutes.

It took it 10 minutes to come to pressure – which didn’t surprise me because I filled it to the highest mark allowed.

The soup was delicious – I could easily leave it on warm, open the lid and let sit and fill the house with yummy soup smells as long as I desired.  It was good and tasty. And clean up was a breeze – just tossed the insert into the dishwasher.

The one part of this electric pressure cooker that has been a learning curve for me is the quick -release method. I am so used to taking the pot over to the sink and running cold water over the top. With this, they say to just turn the pressure valve to open. Which sounds easy-peasy.  EXCEPT it spews greasy, starchy steam all over my kitchen cabinets.

The solution is fairly simple – I grabbed an old kitchen towel and cover the valve with that as it releases. Takes a bit longer, but no mess and no risk of a scary steam burn.

So for this recipe, I’d give the Multi-Pot a solid A.

I know, I know I promised a puppy update…give me a few minutes. Until then…



 

Multi-Pot Electric Pressure Cooker

I finally got my new pressure cooker/slow cooker. I was going to get the Instant Pot, but every time I went to order it, it was back ordered. Then I stumbled on the Multi-Pot and it had all the features I was looking for – stainless steel insert, steaming rack and stackable pot to cook two items at once. It also came with some fun accessories – silicone mitts, which I found invaluable, and utensils.

Operation is very intuitive, so I’ve barely opened the instruction manual, so that was a plus and it comes with a link to a website with hundreds of recipes. My thought going forward is that I will try out a recipe a week, rate it and offer my tweaks.

We’ll have to see if I’m able to maintain that…so far I’ve made beef and barley soup, rice, chicken tortilla soup and used the slow-cooker for pasta sauce which was waiting for us when we got back from the “Ice Castle” adventure up in the mountains last night. I’ll share a few of those photos later. Until then…



 

Tidbits

Homer has that “ate the canary” look but I can assure you there are no canaries stopping by the feeder.

I cooked a pork shoulder in a 200 degree oven overnight in a covered pot.  That big Dutch oven is good for projects like this.  I added the usual seasonings and also a bottle of regular Coke.  It turned out fairly well.  After pouring off the excess liquids, I boosted the temp to 350 and returned the roast to the oven, uncovered, to get a little more color on the meat.  The reserved liquids were skimmed of  fat and reduced in a separate sauce pot before adding them back.

InstaPot Moroccan Chicken

This was pretty good.  I wanted to do something in the Instant Pot with a whole chicken I bought the other day. (Those poultry shears worked great.)  I liked this recipe when I skimmed it for ingredients, pretty much everything it called for I had on hand.  Subbed regular raisins for the golden kind, and used green olives instead of ripe, and added turmeric to the spice mix, maybe 1/2 tsp.

The couscous was from a box mix with a packet of garlic powder and other spices, it worked pretty well and was in keeping with the Mediterranean feel of the dinner.  They eat broccoli in Morocco?  Well, I like broccoli.

Gadget Post – Poultry Shears

I’ve been using the wrong search term when looking for good scissors for cutting up chicken.  Amazon offers tons of listings for kitchen shears/scissors.  I have several pair that are just okay.  Then I saw these!  Had to have them!  They do a good job of cutting a chicken into smaller pieces.The red latch tab is pretty flimsy and I worried that it would break off, sooner rather than later, but it folds away into a slot while the shears are in use.  Of course they come apart for washing.  I like that they are spring loaded, and that if you need to really bear down to cut a bone you can let the bottom handle rest on the cutting board and put your full weight on the top.