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.
Random wildlife – Ginger checks out a backyard visitor. This was captured by the backyard camera in a happy accident. There is a setting on the camera that allows you to space the time between shots and we have it set for 5 minutes, iirc. That cuts down on the number of pictures it will take if, say, the deer here stays and mills around for a while but it may miss whatever shows up during that hiatus.I mentioned the other day that I bought the ingredients for mojo marinade thinking about doing a pork butt for a more authentic Cubano sandwich. I marinated this one overnight then roasted it low and slow. It was covered for most of the cooking time but I did take the lid off for the last 30 minutes.Here’s the sandwich I had in mind the whole time. It’s basically a layered assembly of Swiss cheese, pickles, ham, and the mojo pork. The bun halves are smeared with mustard, the other components assembled, and cooked in a grill press. These are great tasting sammiches even without the mojo, any roast pork will work fine.Mrs J planted some cucumbers in with some clematis where it climbs up a wired in enclosure down on the south side of the house and the vines are starting to produce. (You can just barely see them in the picture with Ginger and the deer, above.) We had a couple rounds of the classic cucumber, tomato, and onions with vinegar and oil so we used the last half dozen to put together a refrigerator pickle recipe. Can’t wait to try them, we’ll give them a week to come together but I’ll bet they get better after that. Kitteh! This is one of several in a litter at the shelter, I have no more info than that, alas.Mrs J saw a much earlier photo of roast pork and gravy on egg noodles and she remembered that she really liked it and we haven’t had that in a long time and we do have some roast pork and egg noodles, don’t we? She who must be obeyed! The fact that these were slices from the mojo pork butt made no difference. I simmered the slices in chicken stock with onions, colored it with Kitchen Bouquet, added a bit of beef soup flavoring and thickened it with corn starch. Not the ideal gravy but it worked well enough!More random wildlife – a few wild turkeys browsing for insects, I assume. This camera is on the opposite side of the house and is looking North. It doesn’t get nearly as much action as the one overlooking the spot where Mrs J scatters corn and sunflower seeds but we see a fair selection of critters. I understand that they have cameras with wi-fi transmitters built in that can broadcast their captures to a centrally located receiver. Sounds interesting, we gather the memory cards and view the take via a screen in the house. From what I’ve seen the wi-fi range isn’t far enough to be all that useful for us.
The Griddler, by Cuisinart. It’s more than just a press but that’s all I’ve used it for so far. It will accommodate fairly thick sammiches but you have to place them just right to get the best results – good contact over the length of the item you are grilling.It opens up like so, the surfaces will flip for either a flat griddle or a ridged grill.I’m a bit confused by the selector knobs on the unit. As far as I can tell both top and bottom plates heat no matter whether the central selector is turned to the griddle or to the panini setting. The panini knob is indexed from warm to sear, the left, or griddle, knob is marked from 200 to 425. I have no idea why there are separate knobs.The Griddler has a plastic tray to catch drippings when you are cooking something juicy but so far all I’ve needed to do is wipe the surfaces with a wet rag. The grill plates are not very heavy so it cools down pretty fast.We had these for lunch today – sandwiches in the style of Cubanos but with prosciutto for the ham, and marinated olives on the side instead of pickles inside.Reubens are good but I need to learn how to get the insides hot before the bread turns to crackers. I may be too impatient to allow them to come to temperature in the press set low enough to accomplish that, but a quick zap in the microwave might hurry the cheese melt.