Salisbury Steaks

DSC_0958 (1600x1060)I remember seeing my Mom molding patties for these when I was just a tyke.  I asked her what she was making and she said “Bear Steaks”.  To this day that’s what I think of when I see them anywhere.  These are from  Ree Drummond’s recipe from her show The Pioneer Woman.

I looked at Wikipedia to see what they had, hoping to find out how it came to be named named as it is.  It seems to have been invented by  Dr. J. H. Salisbury (1823–1905).

Mmm… Meatloaf!

DSC_0930 (1600x1060)It’s a crapshoot to enter “best” as a search term but I’m a gambling sort – if the stakes are low enough.  “Best meatloaf” took me to a serious eats/food lab recipe that looked good enough for me to print the recipe out and follow along.DSC_0924 (1600x1060)The loaf was pretty loose but they managed that by cooking it for a half hour under an inverted loaf pan, pulling the pan after a half hour.DSC_0925 (1600x1060)It continues to bake at 350 until an instant read thermometer hits 140 degrees.  Let it rest as the oven temperature increases to 500, brush on the first layer of glaze.  Give it three coats, letting the hot oven set the coat for a few minutes after each layer.DSC_0926 (1600x1060)Here’s mine after the last coat.  Looks good!  Smells great!DSC_0928 (1600x1060)I made a few alterations to the recipe, skipping entirely the gelatin.  Also the marmite and the mushrooms – I didn’t have those and wasn’t in the mood to run after them. I used a mild store blend Italian sausage for the pork, and went with shredded Monterey jack cheese.  I did have anchovy paste so that went in instead of fillets.  It turned out rather well without those few things, I’m not sure adding them would have substantially changed things.  Two thumbs up!


DSC_0892 (1600x1060)I’ve mentioned the turkey we cooked the other day.  We really didn’t have any particular aim for the meat so I had a big ziplock bag full in the fridge waiting for me to do something.  Turkey salad sounded like a good way to move some of that along.  I have fun putting these salads together, chicken and turkey are pretty much interchangeable.  This one has a dressing of sour cream and mayo, in a 1:1 ratio.  I like to add cheese to mine and I usually have partial bags of shredded cheese laying about.  This one got a little cheddar and Monterey jack, and a substantial amount of Parmesan.  I can recommend Parmesan as being a particularly good addition after tasting this batch.  Also mixed in – pickle relish, chopped celery, a smallish Vidalia onion, a half cup or so of red bell pepper, a few minced cloves of garlic, and a tablespoon of well chopped fresh parsley.PICT1237 (1600x1060)More wildlife!  Not all that random, Mrs J adds corn and sunflower seeds to that pile daily and the local deer know to stop by.IMG_20150901_113041165 (1600x1200)Mrs J discovered a coupon app from her favorite store, she exercises it weekly.  DSC_0889 (1600x1060)Pork chops cooked in mushroom soup for a fantastic gravy and one of my all time favorite comfort foods.  I nearly ruined the box mix rice, it was all set to go in the rice cooker when I grabbed the rice vinegar bottle instead of the olive oil and gave it a good dose.  I dumped it out through a sieve and added it back to the cooker with fresh water.  It came out fine!arrgh!...I can't look (3) (1600x1060)Here’s an oldie but goody of Toby. Caption contest!DSC_0846 (1600x1060)I’m getting better at shaping the buns.  I’ve standardized on 8 buns per recipe, they make fair sized buns, not too big or too small.DSC02803 (1600x1200)I had to ask Mrs J how this momma-to-be cat got so dirty but she assures me that it’s natural coloration.DSC02796 (1600x1200)Here’s a handsome boy!  Ringo has some pretty blue eyes, he’s five months old and is ready to go out the door.  Hurry, he won’t be waiting long!

Chicken Fried Chicken

DSC_8038 (1600x1060)This is similar to the schnitzel dish I did a while back, except this just has the flattened chicken dredged in flour without a dip into eggs.  The gravy is the classic milk gravy made in the same pan.


Mmm… Roast Beef

DSC_7930 (1600x1060)Mrs J grabbed a big roast at the store the other day and we went with the crockpot to cook it.  She was wanting a basic pot roast supper and that is what she got.  I did tweak the menu a tad and made her mash her own potatoes but she didn’t mind.  The roast nearly filled the crockpot but I squeezed in carrots, onions, and celery and filled the rest of the space with beef broth and red wine.  I didn’t have any fresh herbs so dried thyme and bay leaves went in for seasonings, along with black pepper and salt, natch.DSC_7933 (1600x1060)There was still plenty of meat and gravy left so I added a few more veggies and broth for the next day’s stew.  I still have a fair sized lump of beef, I may slice it for sammiches before the day is out.  Speaking of that, it may reach above 70 degrees here today, which should melt the last traces of snow.  Just in time for more snow tomorrow!  Ahhhh!

Chicken with Couscous

DSC_7832 (1600x1060)We like Chicken Marsala so much that we made a variant of it tonight.  This has boneless skinless thighs dredged in seasoned flour and then browned in olive oil.  Remove the chicken and deglaze with the Marsala wine, scrape the bottom with a flat wooden spatula to break the nice browned bits up.  Add a cup and a half of chicken stock to it and bring to a simmer.  Add the browned chicken back and cover.  I used butter kneaded with flour to thicken the gravy before serving.  The couscous was from a box mix, this one was flavored with dried mushrooms.  I squeezed lemon juice over my chicken and liked it well enough, optional.

We don’t eat much couscous, but it is being stocked regularly and we may step up the pace.  I see from the Wiki that we had the instant variety which is quick and easy.  I may browse the International Grocery next town over for the regular stuff.