The buns are mini-ciabattas that Kroger sells out of their deli/bakery. I buy them up whenever they have them because they work for a lot of things – nothing is better for sliders. Taking a break from tortillas but the griddle is still out, it gave me the idea for sliders. Nom nom nom!My sliders start out with a pile of thin sliced onions with a beef patty on top, I flip them over when the onions start showing a little char.I don’t think they are at all complete without cheese, a dill pickle, and mustard. The dill potato salad worked pretty well, too. This meal pairs well with a soda pop but best with sweet tea.
I thawed half of a pork belly and I’ve been exploring recipes to use it up.This one starts with it cut into strips and pressure cooked in white wine wine with soy sauce and an onion. I gave it an hour. Transfer the pork pieces to a hot skillet to brown on both sides.Make a sauce to pour over them or use a commercial product. I used some of the cooker liquids to which were added maple sugar, a bottled sweet bbq sauce, and a squirt of ketchup.Let that reduce to glaze the pork belly. These were like ribs with out the bones
Well, it’s a semi-sorta biscuit crust pot pie. Biscuit crust pot pies are a thing, but whenever I’ve made them (usually with store bought pop biscuit dough) the tops of the biscuits browned nicely but the bottoms were always nearly raw. This fixes that. I found a nice pan biscuit recipe [here] that looked really good.Lacking any buttermilk, I went the ersatz route with a tablespoon of white vinegar in regular whole milk. I wasn’t sure that the butter in the pan bottom would incorporate well but it worked fine.My pan was 10×12 inches rather than the 8×8. I figured that for what I was doing there wouldn’t be any problem with a tad thinner biscuit. It did finish quicker, mine took 15 minutes at 425.I wish I had thought to use parchment paper in the bottom. I made a few half-hearted tries at winkling the whole thing out but ended up taking it out in pieces……and placing them atop the chicken and veggie filling that had been cooking on a different shelf in an identical pan. I gave the top a brushing of melted butter and popped it back into the oven for a bit.The pan biscuits were really good, I do think that for this application the recipe should have been reduced by a third, or the amount of filling increased.
We had one of those frozen turkeys leftover from the holidays and decided to free up some freezer room. It thawed in the basement fridge for a couple of days and then spent a few hours simmering it in a big pot with lots of veggies because we wanted a nice stock to come out of the effort. I had dumplings in mind. I made a half recipe, using only 1 cup of flour, rolled the dough very thin, and let it air dry for a couple of hours. The dumplings nearly disappeared in the pot they were so thin! Mrs J said she would need a few crackers, disappointed that the dumpling were so scarce. I have to say, though, that the broth was great – thick and tasty!We had plenty of broth left and, lest it go to waste, I boiled some wide egg noodles in a separate pot to add in lieu of more dumplings. They were good, not dumpling good, but they sufficed.
I rolled out my gas grill for the season and grilled a couple of burgers to get into the swing of it. Gah! It won’t be long until the grass it high enough that I can’t put off mowing. I wonder what this season will bring. Last year it rained so much that the grass was always high and wet – I smoked the PTO belts that drive the blades. Hate it when that happens.
Porchetta is as much a cooking technique as it is a particular recipe. This one uses a pork belly but can be done by butterflying a pork butt or tenderloin. The pork belly came from the butcher as a slab about 10 inches by 22, I cut this in half so I was working with a piece 10″ x 11″.The first step is to score it like so – it helps the herbs and spices gain penetration. I sprinkled kosher salt liberally on the slab and followed that with fresh grinds of pepper.Next came black peppercorns and fennel seeds that were toasted in a dry pan, ground in a spice mill, then added to a dozen or more garlic cloves in a little food processor. They were whirled about to mince the garlic and then spread on the meat, the fresh herbs were processed to a paste and spread along with the garlic mixture, followed by the zest of 2 lemons. I wish my patio herb garden had survived, I had to go to town for the herbs: rosemary, chives, sage. I also bought a fennel bulb for the fronds to add to the other herbs.Last thing, before it spent the night in the fridge, was to rub it with salt and baking powder in a ratio of 1 tbs salt to 1 tsp of baking powder. This is to help crisp the skin. Ta Da! This was cooked in a 300 degree oven for about 4 hours, then taken out to drain the fats off. While it’s out, crank the oven to 500 and return the pork roll to really blister the skin, it wants to be crispy! Watch it closely, it will brown really fast in that screaming hot oven.I mentioned that I bought a fennel bulb just for the fronds but I hate to waste a food item and so tried a braised fennel recipe. First, slice the bulb into about 1/2″ slices long ways, and brown both sides in a little oil. Add chicken stock and water to the pan, sprinkle on salt and pepper, cover, and simmer until tender – another 15-20 minutes.Serve the fennel with fresh parmesan and garnish with more of the fronds.