I was thinking that the potato soup we had the other day really needed a more suitable bread than the everyday white loaf that we had with it. Pumpernickel came to mind but I’m lazy so it would be more correct to say bread machine pumpernickel came to mind. Google brought this one to my attention. I didn’t have quite a third cup of molasses but I made do. Having none, I left out the instant coffee powder. I suppose I could have subbed coffee for the water in the recipe. This is one of the simplest pumpernickel recipes I’ve come across and it turned out very well.A side benefit to having pumpernickel bread on hand is that it is among the very best late night TV watching snack foods when paired with a nice dill dip. When baked in a round loaf it is one of the finest party dishes – just hollow out the loaf, cube the bread you remove, and fill the hole with dip.
This has all the parts of a biscuit crust pot pie but I can’t call it that. I was going to go with the chicken in gravy over noodles but changed my mind about the noodles and made these pan biscuits. I found a small bag of frozen mixed vegetables and tossed that into the saucepan with the chicken and gravy. The gravy was made with a chicken fat/flour roux, chicken stock, and milk.
I’ve been growing these in a container in the patio garden. They are green bell peppers in all but name – I’m not sure what the tag said. I managed to stuff about a tablespoon or so of my Italian beef/rice filler into each one.They are cute as can be! Here they are after blanching.I went with cooked and crumbled Italian beef mixed with rice and some stewed tomatoes. Actually, I started with the stewed tomatoes – Mrs J delivered a dozen or so ripe ones that I de-skinned and boiled down with onion and jalapeno peppers. We had a regular sized green pepper in the fridge so I made sure to make enough stuffing for it, too.Mozzarella made the perfect topping, I cooked them side by side in the toaster oven, the taller pepper browning better than the minis. Since the filling was already cooked, they just needed enough time in the 375 degree oven to make the peppers tender.Each one was two bites and gone – note that they have relatively thick skins compared to other small peppers.
These came out well but they really needed more gravy. I used this recipe and will use it again, adding another can of tomato bits or sauce to the casserole dish before it goes into the oven. These three took a good hour at 350 to give me an internal temp of 160, they were on the large side for green peppers.Like I said, they really, really needed more gravy. I may have cooked the veggies down a little too far. I added about half of them into the meat/rice mixture and used the rest to top off the peppers. Maybe I should have left it soupier and added that to the bottom of the dish. Next time, I fix.
I finally thawed that duck we bought circa Christmas last year. We have plenty of duck fat so a confit was a no-brainer:The 6 inch deep hotel pan was just about perfect for this…This is after 3 or 4 hours at 250. I grabbed a bone with tongs and it slipped right out. Had to have been a thigh bone because the two leg bones were still there.I had the notion that I could crisp the skin under the broiler of my toaster oven but I think a pre-heated 500 degree oven would have been the better call. The skin wanted to brown under the broiler but I could see that it was going to burn the high spots. I pulled the skillet because the veggies were done and needed to be served.We went with Brussels sprouts and teeny potatoes with prosciutto, sauteed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar.The blueberry sauce was a reduction of red wine, balsamic vinegar, and the last of our blueberry syrup, with a dash of allspice and cinnamon.The rice is my favorite box mix, Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Rice.
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.