Gadget Post – Electric Kettle

These kettles have been around for a long time but this one from the Amazon Basics line of offerings is my first one.
I’ve been using a glass kettle in the microwave to make tea. I noticed that there was some rust in spots inside the oven from the steam that condensed on the sides. I decided to try something different.
The electric one is smallish at 1 liter but it isn’t significantly smaller than the one I was using to steep tea bags.  The base of the kettle plugs into your outlet, the pot itself has the heating element and lifts easily off the base for cord free handling.
I timed the boil from hot tap water to the auto-shut off and it was about 2-1/2 to three minutes. I set another timer to tell me when to remove the bags.
It’s a no-frills piece. It’s meant to take water to a boil and then shut off and it does just that with no fuss.


Gadget Post – Field Cast Iron Skillet

I’ve been seeing alot of reviews of these lightweight skillets and finally decided to try one out.  This one is their #8 pan, measuring about 10 inches at the top with a 9 inch cooking area.  It weighs 4.5 lbs.  “Lightweight” is a relative term, of course.
It comes with some seasoning but they will definitely improve over time. I’ve just started the process – I caramelized the onions for last night’s mac and cheese in it.

Making Achiote Paste with a Magic Bullet Blender

I bought this blender a while back and was going to do a gadget post on it but didn’t.  I’ve used it to grind dried peppers and it does a good job on them.  The achiote paste recipes I linked to in the last post reminded me that I had a small jar of annatto seeds that are the main ingredient.
I decided I would be bothered, afterall.It did a nice job on the seeds and the other dry ingredients in this recipe from Bon Appetit.  It took a minute or two.  The bay leaves were resistant but they finally went under. I doubled the recipe because I had a half cup of seeds.I opted to finish it with the vinegar, garlic cloves, and zests in this small processor. Its lid has the little drizzle holes to add liquids and I judged that it would be a bit easier to clean.  The paste came out a little dry so I added the juice of the lemon and lime I zested for the recipe. It is a little looser than the store bought paste but I see no problem there.

Sous Vide Pork Tenderloin

I cut a pork loin in half for sealing in two vacuum bags along with sprigs of oregano and rosemary, and cooked them both for 4 or 5 hours @ 135°.  I see a recommended range from 130° to 150° for pink and juicy at the lower end and firm and not so juicy at the higher side.  I still get twitchy about seeing pink pork but I am gradually overcoming that.
The sauce is brown butter with roasted garlic. I cubed the potatoes and gave them a nice soak in cold water, drained them well, and dropped them into 350° oil till they browned.  The broccoli was steamed and then buttered with a squeeze of lemon.

Picnicking Birds

The Indigo Bunting is a new one to the stump feedlot.  I finally set up the new camera on a tripod and paired it with an android tablet,  I sat in the kitchen  and  took a series  of  photos  until  the  rain  came,  again.There is an app for smart devices and it’s fairly easy to pair the camera with the device.  The photo is of the live view out of the camera.  The functionality is limited, the only controls are zoom and the shutter button so there is no way to change the shutter speed, focus point, or aperture from the app.
It’s pretty easy to download photos to the connected device over the wifi connection between the camera and tablet in different resolutions. To get original quality you have to download one photo at a time, if you select more than one to download the app will only download in a lower res.

I downloaded the Windows app from DSLR Dashboard but it refused to hook up with the P900.

Bonus Bunting!

Picnicking Birds

This is a shot from the new camera, a Nikon P900, at max zoom.  It has the 35mm equivalent of a 2000mm focal length.  It was a hand held shot with the camera set on auto, and has a shutter speed of 1/250  @ f/6.5.

Breakfast Pr0n

A Denver-ish omelet.  More a frittata, although I did try to fold it over.  Lacks mushrooms but it does have all the other elements: eggs, onions, green peppers, diced ham, and cheese.I’m loving this new stove.

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!