Chicken noodle soup doesn’t need grilled cheese sammiches to make it lunch but I made some anyway.These are chocolate chip oatmeal cookies.  I like to process the oats a tad before mixing them into the cookie dough.  I was showing Mrs J how a new blender gadget works and it absolutely pulverized the oats before she could stop.  I’ll have to do a gadget post on it.I love the sous vide setup.  We have settled on 138° as the preferred setting – pink enough for me and done enough for Mrs J.I sauteed sprouts with fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob, in olive oil and butter to accompany the ribeyes and it worked out just OK.  Didn’t look right, tasted great.This is the result of my first go at a shepherd’s pie.  This one has pork and green gravy with corn and carrots and peas.  I didn’t make quite enough mashed potatoes for a proper top, my pan was a bit too big.  I think I’ll make them as individual pies the next time.This was a quick lunch, a couple of chicken thighs braised in bbq sauce, some potato salad, and kimchi.  Since MrsJ won’t eat the kimchi I’ll have to double up.  We still have a ton of that cabbage and cucumber summer salad.Those cookies make good ice cream sammiches.  I don’t remember what Kroger ice cream flavor is in this but it has crunchy bits and caramel. Moar kimchi!  Told you I was going to double up.  I didn’t make that big of a batch (one head of Napa cabbage) and the smallest daikon radish was still too much so I match sticked it and put it back in a simple pickle of seasoned rice vinegar, salt, and water.  Crunchy and sweet from the rice vinegar!

OK, Here We Go – Sous Vide Steaks

First impressions – it’s bigger than I was expecting!  Not quite as big around as a 12oz soda can, but close.  It’s 15 inches long.  It is simple to set up, just clamp it onto the side of a suitable pot, plug it in, and scroll the wheel to set the desired temperature.20160928_1330001600x1200The cord isn’t very long, so you’ll need to place it fairly close the outlet.  (That cord trailing off the counter goes to something else.)  Here I have a pair of rib steaks inside generic zip-lock bags.  I’m not sure how much heat they can take but they handled the 129 degrees the device was set to.  That’s right on the dividing line between rare and medium rare per the table here.  I started with hot tap water so it didn’t take much time to come to heat.  They spent nearly 3 hours in the water bath.  I wanted to give them ample time, they say several hours more wouldn’t have made any difference.20160928_1626041600x1200Everything went well enough until it came time to sear the steak to finish it.  I didn’t pat them dry with paper towels, and didn’t get the skillet hot enough.  Lesson learned!  20160928_1627021600x1200Still, I can’t say that I wasted two steaks.  They were pretty good, although maybe too fatty.


dsc037361600x1200We don’t have much info on Cleo, AKA Grumpy Kitty.  She’s an older kitteh and hasn’t been at St Francis long.20160908_1629571600x1200Stir fry chicken and broccoli is a favorite around here.  This one has red bell peppers, red onions, and mushrooms in a brown sauce with noodles.20160906_103238-1600x1200I mentioned doing a brisket in the smoker and finishing it in the toaster oven set to slow cook.  Here it is after a night in the fridge to firm it for slicing.20160907_1449411600x1200I said the new counter top oven would fit a 10″ cast iron skillet, here it is with beans ready for baking.  I use the same skillet for cornbread.
dsc037301600x1200This is the same puppy we last saw with her head in a bag full of chicken.  She is a chihuahua mix with what may be terrier of some sort.20160911_1714461600x1200The local Kroger has sales on boneless rib eyes pretty often, not sure why that cut is featured above others but they can count on me to grab extra every time.20160910_1649261600x1200We often buy frozen shrimp already butterflied and breaded but these I did myself.  Dust the prepared shrimp with seasoned flour, dredge in beaten eggs, and then coat with bread crumbs – on these I used panko and they came out great after frying in 350 oil for about 2 minutes.dsc037241600x1200This is Roma.  She’s 4 months old, very affectionate, and would be thrilled to go home with you.

Surf ‘n Turf

DSC_7567 (1600x1060)Not much to steaming lobster tails.  I split these down their backs, peeled the meat away from the shell with my thumb and fingers, and brushed on melted butter spiked with paprika and lemon juice.  They then steamed, both together, for about ten minutes.  These were 8 oz. tails.  I keep hearing that Maine is producing huge crops of lobsters but the prices here in the middle of the country are still plenty steep.  The ramekin holds more of the melted butter mixture that was brushed on them at the start, for dipping the shellfish.

I love these little golden potatoes this way.  These were boiled until they were fairly soft, then mashed down a bit.  I placed them all on a baking tray and drizzled plenty of olive oil over them, followed by kosher salt and chopped fresh rosemary.  They went into a hot oven – 450 degrees – for fifteen minutes or so.  I flipped them once and bumped the temp up to hurry them because the steaks and the lobsters were done.  A little more brown would have been nice, but these were fine.

The steaks are smallish ribeyes that started atop the stove in a skillet and finished on a rack under the potatoes.  Salt and pepper and more olive oil.  Not a steak snob so don’t come to me for advice on those things.  These were very good.


Gadget Post – LP Gas Grill

DSC_3694 [1600x1200]In my last post I hinted at a new grill.  Here it is, set up and pre-heating.  Last Saturday I wandered into a local store in the midst of a spring sale.  I thought I was in the “just looking” phase but when they mentioned a waiver of the sales tax, along with free set up and delivery, I pulled out the credit card. This one is a Weber Genesis EP 330.

I put together too much stuff for the first day cooking with it, some of it sits on the side tables ready to grill.  I did corn, asparagus, potatoes, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and t-bone steaks.  I also bought squash and red and yellow bell peppers, and a pineapple but reason won out and those I saved for later.DSC_3699 [1600x1200]

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DSC_5875 [1600x1200]The steaks were just right, the corn was perfect, as was the asparagus.  The zucchini, alas, was undercooked, and the potatoes were a tad too done.  The mushrooms!  They were just superb!  The got a marinade of EVOO and balsamic vinegar with lots of garlic and some minced onion.  Five minutes per side over a medium flame,  Delicious!


These are the chorizo links I stuffed last week.  Any sausage link will make a decent sandwich.  I tried to keep to the general Tex-Mex theme with the minced jalapenos and the hot sauce.  I had an avocado that I really needed to use.  The habanero is pretty but it played no part other than prop for this photo.I dug out another pair of boneless ribeyes to go with the shrimp Kroger had on special this week.  The steak fries got the now standard twice fried treatment.

This evening we had pasta.  The sauce was made from tomatoes a neighbor gifted us yesterday.  She flagged me down as I rode the mower past their fence and sent me along with a dozen big tomatoes and a couple of big sweet onions.  We juiced the tomatoes first thing this morning and the juice has been cooking all day.  It has fresh oregano and thyme and plenty of garlic.  The Italian sausages are from a batch we made during the last sausage making spree.I added extra fennel to the recipe, and more garlic.  Hard to get too much garlic in a sausage recipe.  I browned the links in olive oil and then simmered them in the tomato sauce.Mrs J heads back to check the feeder and camera at the back pond.  She has a posse.  I call her Mizz Doolittle for the duration of these jaunts.

Steak pr0n

I don’t remember where we bought these rib eyes, but they were good ones.  I did the “twice fried” routine on the steak fries – soak the sliced potatoes in ice water, then pat them dry and fry them in 325 degree oil for 6 or 7 minutes, then let cool on a draining rack.  To finish them bump the temp of the oil to 375 and fry them again for 3 or 4 minutes more.  I don’t know how or why but the flavor boost is incredible.  Try this at home!