We are fast approaching Thanksgiving and we’ve had our second hard freeze. The first time I carted the vulnerable jalapenos into the garage overnight but I didn’t this time. I combed through the wilting foliage for the last harvest. The cornbread cubes are drying in anticipation of making a dressing. I baked a loaf of plain white bread earlier and dried them in a low oven.Here’s another treatment of the picture of Bea among the habaneros, it’s done with the “mosaic” filter in the Prisma app. It most effective when there are a lot of discrete elements within the photo like the leaves and peppers in this one.Sammich pr0n! This is a cod fillet that had been dredged one time in a commercial fish breading that I added some coarser cornmeal to. I made a very busy tartar sauce of mayo, onions, chives, horseradish, jalapeno, lemon juice, salt and pepper – and topped that with slaw.Here’s a chicken breast that was slow cooked in the toaster oven with my (current) favorite hot sides of fried potatoes and sauteed Brussels sprouts.Just your basic cheeseburger – pickles, onions, mustard.Here’s that mosaic filter again. The algorithm that draws in the tiles has trouble with the motion blurred background. And that tongue! LOLI had the stub end of a loaf of Italian bread left over from making garlic bread to go with a small lasagna I made the other day. The lasagna was pretty good but I served it right out of the oven and the layers slipped and slid all over the plate in the bechamel/tomato sauce. Served it in a bowl, I could have called it soup. Ha Ha I meant to do that!
Here’s a photo from the archives. I like the symmetry.Kroger had a sale on strip steaks. They needed some trimming but were still a pretty good value. I did this sous vide, setting the water bath to 130 degrees for a couple of hours. They finished in a smoking hot cast iron skillet in olive oil and butter, deglazed with white wine and chives for a simple pan sauce.Sloppy joes for lunch the other day. This one has American cheese and a few dill pickles. The potato salad looks like it has the traditional dusting of paprika but it’s really Creole seasoning. It adds a bit of a tang to it.BBQ chicken! I’ve taken to cooking these leg quarters in the toaster oven using the slo-cook setting. I did this on the high setting for two hours, no particular reason to choose that time – it’s the default for the high setting. Set it to low and the default is four hours.I snapped this one of Bitsy lounging atop the sofa, prompted by the play of sunlight through the slots of the vertical blinds. It seemed like a candidate for the Prisma treatment:
Hot dogs! I’m not sure how long these buns have been offered but I’m liking the slit on top rather than on the side. These are Pepperidge Farms brand.I’ll wrap up with some soup. This one uses the broccoli left over from that steak dinner, a bit of smoked pork, rice, and three kinds of cheese in chicken stock and milk.
I’ll start this off with a pie than should have been great but ended up only fair to poor. It’s a Brown Butter Apple Pie with a Cheddar Crust. Sound great! It turned out to be a lot of effort for a disappointing result. Mrs J swears that she will not try this one again.This was a pretty good pie. Somehow I got the water/flour ratio wrong on the dough – it ended up too wet and sticky. I kneaded in more flour but gave up and poured it onto the pan. It got an Awesome Sauce base for the mozzarella, onions, mushrooms, sausage, and ham.I broke out my slicer for that big sous vide tenderloin I did, and also sliced some ham. Most of it I vac-sealed and froze but kept some out for my midwestern version of the classic Cubano sammich.More chili! This is about half chorizo and half ground beef. I don’t usually put sour cream on mine but many people do. I can take it or leave it. It does make for a pretty picture, so there’s that.I used the slow cook feature on the toaster oven, they got 2 hours on high and some more time on the low setting because we weren’t quite ready to eat. I used a flat lid for the shallow pan and it touched the chicken quarter, that’s the black patch on the thigh. The rest was quite tender, the leg came off as I plated it.Here’s another sammich made with the pork and ham I sliced. I need to make more slaw, bake more beans, and make another potato salad.Classic spaghetti with meat sauce. When the pasta drained after cooking, instead of spooning some sauce into it I used half a stick of butter that I zapped in the microwave with several cloves of garlic. Add a little Parmesan and you can eat it just like that but I like a nice meat sauce. Mrs J isn’t fond of mushrooms so I sauteed a few to top my plate with as a garnish instead of mixing them into the sauce.Here’s a few kittehs.
The white sauce was made with garlic infused butter and olive oil for the roux, stir in milk and whisk until it thickens then start adding cheeses. This one has Monterey jack and Parmesan.I have mozzarella string cheese rolled up inside the edge. It was brushed with more of the garlic butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. Dough for the crust was made yesterday, it proofed some then and spend the night in the fridge.The crust isn’t a thin one, it’s more like bread than a limp cracker. The recipe called for 3-1/2 cups of flour and would easily make enough for two. That thick, chewy, mozzarella infused crust eats like one of those soft pretzels.Mmm… pizza! The white sauce is such a prominent part of the toppings that, compared to the usual profusion on my pizzas, chicken, broccoli, and red onions are deemed sufficient.Caution! Leftover zone! I put this straight into the freezer and will bag the individual slices when they are frozen solid. Remember to separate them on the tray so they are easy to remove.
Well, I have the gear so here I go with some chicken. I generally like the recipes and methods developed by the folks over at Serious Eats so I let them guide my go at it. I did leg quarters but I figured the technique would be the same.The table says 1-4 hours at 165 degrees yields tender chicken, this batch went about 3-1/2 hours. I think my next batch will spend much longer, 6-8 hours. The chicken was done, certainly, but not “pull the leg bone right on out” done I hoped for. I reduced the gelatin and juices from the chilled bag with white wine with good results.I have to give a shout out to those potatoes, I par boiled them for a couple of minutes then finished them (after they cooled and were drained on a towel) in duck fat. I added some chopped fresh rosemary to them for an added kick.
The sprouts and carrots were zapped for about three minutes, covered, in the microwave and then sauteed in oil with a balsamic glaze added at the end.
I still had mojo marinade on my mind today – I mixed up a small batch to marinate a couple of leg quarters. Today’s was orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, fresh pressed garlic, oregano, ground cumin, olive oil, a pinch of red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. I let the chicken marinate for about three hours then placed it in an 8×8 baking pan covered with foil and put that into my toaster oven set at 325. I left it for an hour, then baked it uncovered for another half hour with some of the marinade poured over it to reduce.
It was plated over a wild rice mix and served with blanched Brussels sprouts sauteed in duck fat. Delicious! The chicken was very lemony, but more than that, the cumin and oregano lent it earthy notes and the garlic went well with the rest.
We usually cook chicken enchiladas in a green sauce but this recipe caught my eye – it’s very nearly a chicken gravy with lots of sour cream. Make a roux and stir in chicken broth, let it cook until thick and smooth then remove from the heat and whisk in sour cream and green chilies. Pour the sauce over filled tortillas, top with more cheese, and bake at 400 for twenty minutes or so. (I used the new toaster oven for these, it’s working well.)The filling is chicken and onions fried together in a little oil, plus cheese. The recipe called for flour tortillas so I used them rather than corn tortillas but those would have been fine. The flour kind hold together much better. We both liked the sauce a lot and will be doing it again.
After asking for and receiving some excellent advice on how to use my new convection oven, I decided to jump in and test it out. Roasting a chicken seemed like the most logical choice. If I ruined it, I could turn it into chicken salad. Sonoma Chicken Salad to be exact, found here.
This time of year, recipes seem superfluous – farm fresh corn, zucchini from my garden and sliced tomatoes need little embellishment. But I do have Tomato-Pasta Salad, here, that changes up the usual flavors.
For dessert, those plums needed to be used, so I went with a Plum Crumble (or as my cousin christened it, Plumble), recipe here. I used the convection feature, which helped the crisp brown evenly. Bonus Bixby inspecting the plums here.
I don’t have any recipes from JeffreyW this week, but that could because this guy is keeping him busy:
That’s the most adorable, Gabe, getting himself into a bit of trouble. I am looking forward to seeing how JeffreyW’s figs turn out, hopefully abundant enough for homemade fig newtons. But if not, just fresh off the tree. I love figs! Photos of his fig progression are here.
What’s on your menu this weekend as summer winds down? My grapes are starting to ripen, and of course I’m overrun with plums, so does anyone have some good plum or concord grape recipes they want to share? What else is cookin’ tonight?
Tonight’s featured recipe is pretty simple, since what I wanted was to test out how the convection oven treated my ingredients. I started with a local chicken, zucchini from my garden, potatoes from my dad’s garden and local corn.
I mixed together 2 tbsps of butter with dried, crushed rosemary and basil, along with crushed garlic and rubbed it under and over the skin of the chicken. I then rubbed more of the herbs and garlic inside the cavity.
I put the chicken and the sliced potatoes into the roasting pan. I roasted them at 425 degrees, until the breast meat registered at 165 degrees and the thighs at 170 degrees. The high temperature, combined with the convection created a crisp skin that quickly sealed in the juices. Total cooking time was one hour for a five pound bird.
I added the sliced zucchini about 15 minutes before the chicken was about to come out of the oven, so everything finished up nicely. The corn was microwaved for two minutes an ear (for a total of six minutes) with the husks on. If I had been more confident with my oven skills, I would have popped the ears into the oven just a bit before the zucchini and roasted them in the husks.
I am over the moon with what the convection feature can do – the potatoes were perfectly roasted, the chicken crisp and moist, the zucchini tender. The flavors were great and the herbs really permeated the meat.
That’s it for this week. I’m sitting here watching the welcome rainstorm drench my very thirsty yard, while contemplating my long list of things to do this weekend. Have a great weekend! – TaMara
I nearly ruined this one, I set the oven to pre-heat to 350 but it somehow got bumped up to 425+. Fortunately I checked it at the 20 minute mark and saw the egg wash starting to burn. This is with the Kroger ready to go pie crusts. The bottom crust didn’t quite have enough to cover the rim of the deep dish pan so I tried tucking the top crust in around the edge rather than leave a single layer to burn up. It seemed to work OK.The sauce was made with a flour/butter roux with chicken stock added when the roux was cooked through, adding half a cup or so of milk to thin it a little. It made a tasty gravy.
I wanted to make this dish to try out that gallon of Marsala cooking wine I bought. I had low expectations for it but wanted to save some money over buying the real stuff. This met my expectations in that it isn’t nearly as good as the real wine but it does add some Marsala flavor to the dish so it wasn’t a total bust. I took the dinner as an occasion to also try out some Mexican rice from a box mix that has been showing up at the local Kroger store:The rice mix had some dried corn kernels that floated to the top when I poured in the water, I scooped those out and added some fresh off the cob sweet corn. I probably should have left them in to make the trial a fair one but I have a recollection of biting down on a hard little rock of a corn kernel once. The mix turned out pretty well – I will chop some fresh peppers into it next time, though.There was leftover chicken and rice from the Marsala dish so I added more broccoli and turned it into a creamy cheese soup by adding the leftovers to chicken broth and blending in cheese and heavy cream. It made an excellent lunch today.Bonus kitteh! This is Spots, a cute little tortie awaiting adoption at St Francis.