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.
I’ll call these bruschetta for lack of a better word. Some leftover awesome sauce spread on slices of that sourdough with Parmesan topping. Toasted in the oven. Hmm… might be pizza bread? Tasted good whatever its name.This was the big holiday dinner. We did the rib roast sous vide and set the temp to 130, holding it there overnight. It was in the water bath for 12 hours or more. I roasted three kinds of potatoes in olive oil and honey – fingerling (white), sweet potato, and purple potato. In the little dish is a horseradish sauce for the beef. Also plated is a cranberry relish and a scoop of dressing leftover from the turkey day dinner.I had the oven cranked to 550 for finishing the roast. Pat it dry then pop it into that smoking hot oven for 15 minutes or so. Here it is just out, resting while everything else was made ready. I cut the ribs off and tied them back on with string before sealing the bag , they make a nice rack.Mrs J claimed the roast was delicious even though the rare finish was just barely within her comfort zone. I may do the next one to 135 or so. I can eat it medium, no problem!Breakfast for dinner! That sausage was made locally, it was so good I decided to make a batch of sausage myself. More on that, later.I did a sweet and sour pork dish for dinner today. The sauce was ketchup, rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, juice from those pineapple chunks, brown sugar, and sesame oil. The pork tenderloin was browned a bit on both sides and then diced and tossed with the sauce and the pineapple bits.Pretty good stuff! Post needz moar kittehs!
These are cooked for a long time over low heat – that’s what the “Southern Style” is all about. This dish today was cooked with a cured ham hock, one of those we travel an hour or so north to get from a meat processor there.This is part of one, it’s been simmering in water and stock with an onion for a couple of hours. I didn’t see any of these out on display the last trip and asked for a couple. They brought out two humongous hocks and my eyes nearly bugged out. The guy asked, helpfully, if I wanted them cut up some? I nodded yes and he took them to the saw and cut them each into three parts.You have to make cornbread to eat with these beans – It Is Written. To cook these it’s not so much a recipe as much as a method. I start the hock early, then set it out to cool and add the beans to the water and chicken stock it simmered in. Bring them to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for a couple of hours. After the hock cools, remove the bones and skin and cut it up to add back, add potatoes a little later. Those little baby potatoes I used take about 45 minutes to cook at a simmer. I used salt, fresh ground black pepper, onion powder, cayenne pepper and granulated garlic to season these.
That cauliflower soup was really bland. Even Mrs J said it was too bland. Bland even with sour cream and cheese. I fix! I fix by dumping half the remaining soup and adding 2 potatoes boiled in chicken stock. These I blended in thoroughly with a stick blender. Then I added crisp bacon crumbles. This one didn’t need sour cream but I did go with the Creole seasoning again because I like that stuff.
I say it’s an old picnic table because it is old, for a picnic table. I made that thing in a flurry of busy about 30 years ago and it’s been sitting out in the weather since then. I’m kind of amazed that it has held up as well as it has. I did replace one of the seat boards when we moved it a bit closer to the house a few weeks ago.
This recipe was at the top of the first search page, I went pretty much with it as written. I keep a few bottles of Guinness tucked away in the cupboard for recipes that call for a dark beer. We had a leg of lamb, bought during the last holiday and saved to the freezer, it’s not an everyday item at groceries in our neck of the woods. The recipe insists on a shoulder, saying that a leg won’t ever become tender enough, but that is nonsense. Maybe she was thinking mutton rather than lamb? I had frozen peas but decided to leave them out, opting for a chive garnish for eye appeal.
I could have sworn I posted this before, but I found this photo in my saved dinner photos and it hasn’t been used and I didn’t see any recipes using this technique. This is a great way to get very crisp and moist chicken thighs without added oil. It’s very similar to how you crisp up duck skin.
Start with a cast iron skillet or oven safe frying pan, COLD. Add two bone-in, skin on thighs (seasoned with salt and pepper), skin side down. Turn the burner to MEDIUM and let cook until the skin is super crisp, about 6 minutes. Turn heat down if it looks as if the skin will burn before rendering all the fat.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Flip over thighs sprinkle rosemary or tarragon over them. Add quartered potatoes and sliced carrots, tuck them down and around the thighs so they cook in the rendered fat and juices. Bake at 350 degrees until thighs register 170 to 175 degrees. About 30-45 minutes.
Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. Serves two.
You can also braise chicken this way, recipe here.
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