Mmm… Steak

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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!

Rosemary Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

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I saw these potatoes on a new food show on TV and they were pretty good looking, better than these.  He used a deep fryer to finish his off and I went with the oven for mine.  Start by boiling/steaming  large Russet potatoes – put them in a pot and add enough water to half cover them, bring to a simmer on the stove, then cover the pot and finish them in a 400 oven for about an hour.  When they cool a little break them up into pieces, add salt, and douse them with olive oil on a baking tray.  Toss on a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary and roast them in the hot oven until they brown sufficiently.  Toss the roasted potatoes with grated Parmesan and serve .DSC_0700 (1600x1060)I’ve been seeing people using basil butter here and there for a while now so I decided to give it a try.  I used a good handful of basil leaves, a couple cloves of garlic, a squirt of lemon juice and the zest of a lemon along with a little sugar.  Chop those up and run them in a food processor until they are are a fine paste, then add butter and spin that until everything combines.  Roll the soft butter mixture into a tube in some plastic wrap and then refrigerate to make handling it easier.  It’s pretty good on steak.

Chicken Marsala

20150615_165337 (1600x1060)Mmm… this is so easy to make!  The link is to Emeril’s recipe but there isn’t much variation in the recipes that I’ve found on line.  The easy to yummy ratio is right up there with peanut butter jelly sammiches.  The green beans were steamed and then sauteed in garlic butter and a splash of balsamic vinegar and were very good that way.  I’m no cooking purist, the Zatarain box mix rice was on point for this.20150615_165351 (1600x1060)

Kitchen Fun

DSC_8900 (1600x1060)While we were at the store yesterday looking for cake ingredients we went ahead and bought some ground beef for a couple of quick burgers.  Hard to beat burgers grilled over a flame.  There was a fair amount of beef leftover so we bounced a few ideas around.  Mrs J mentioned sloppy joes and that sounded pretty good.  I went to the patio to grab some sweet peppers to go into the dish and brought in a few.  As I was breaking them down I thought it a waste to let those cute little peppers go unstuffed.DSC_8914 (1600x1060)Before long I had them filled with a mix of taco seasoned beef and nacho cheese sauce and topped with shredded cheddar and Monterey jack.  They went into a 350 oven for about 15 to 20 minutes.DSC_8916 (1600x1060)We had settled on a Nacho centered meal by this time what with the ground beef seasonings and cheeses already to hand.  We needed another dish to round out the menu, Mrs J suggested making more of the black bean and corn salsa:DSC_8925 (1600x1060)We have cherry tomatoes ripe again so they went in, as did 3 ears of sweet corn with the kernels shaved off the cob.  There are several varieties of peppers chopped up in there, a few green onions, a can of rinsed black beans, salt, black pepper, and a dash of lime juice in with a rice vinegar dressing.  It’s pretty good.DSC_8921 (1600x1060)Everything came together nicely on a platter.  I piled the chips on a toaster oven tray and sprinkled them with a good handful of the shredded cheeses and then popped it into the toaster oven under the broiler to melt the cheeses.  The whole pile slid right onto the platter and then I really piled on the extras:  the taco seasoned beef, some of that corn salsa, sliced jalapenos, nacho cheese sauce, sour cream, guacamole, New Mexico green chili salsa, more green onions, and a good grind of dried chili seasonings.

Enjoy!DSC_8923 (1600x1060)

Summertime and the Living Is Easy

DSC_8586 (1600x1060)Mrs J made her first banana cream pie.  She did good.  She bought some Jell-O brand pudding mix but decided to go from scratch using this recipe she found online.  We have a can of cream of tartar that is at least 30 years old.  It’s got the little oval tin lid that presses into the top.  All such items these days have a plastic top of some sort but this one is old school.DSC_8595 (1600x1060)I imagine we will still have the same can for longer yet.  I don’t think it goes bad if kept properly, at least this can is still good.DSC_8591 (1600x1060)Time for a kitteh!DSC00181 (1600x1060)Both the kitteh and the staffer have a “what’s that thing” look.DSC_8584 (1600x1060)Hamburgers are par for the course come grilling season and I’m not too old burn my share.  You can’t get that grilled taste unless you grill them.  We finished off the deviled eggs with the burgers this evening.  These are half mayo, half sour cream blended into the yolks and they are garnished with bacon bits, chopped chives, and paprika.DSC00190 (1600x1060)This little girl was found abandoned in a field.  She was staying close to a bag of kibble that was torn open and left with her.  So the owner was not a total bastard.DSC_8577 (1600x1060)I seasoned a rack of baby backs and wrapped them in foil and set them cooking in a 300 oven, figuring I would mow the yard while they braised in their own liquids, and finish them on the grill.  It was a good plan but they fell apart while I was trying to transfer them so I ended up just setting them on the warming rack with the top off the foil package and basting with sauce while the corn and squash grilled.

The squash got a marinade of lemon juice, chopped fresh thyme, garlic, white vinegar, and olive oil.  That worked great!  I’ve been experimenting with different seasonings for the sweet corn.  Old Bay works pretty well, but the Creole seasoning I used on these was perfect.DSC00137 (1600x1060)Moar kittehs!  This little boy was rescued from a kill shelter.  St Francis had a little extra room and took several off of death row.  The other kittehs in this post were in that same batch.DSC_8550 (1600x1060)I didn’t know where to put this pan of baked beans so I’ll just leave it here.

Easing Back Into Grilling

DSC_8574 (1600x1060)Pulled the gas grill out and cleaned it up, knocked the dust off with the garden hose.  Fired it to heat the grills and gave them a good brushing.  I was going to do just hot dogs and some sweet corn but the pork chops won out.  We’ll give it a good workout tomorrow.

Spare Ribs and Sweet Corn

DSC_6256 [1600x1200]That pork shoulder wasn’t lonely in the smoker yesterday, I laid a rack of ribs in beside it.  It had the same dry rub as did the shoulder.  My rub evolves over time – I remix it with additional ingredients to make up for use and don’t necessarily add the same stuff back, like I could remember what was in there – LOL!  This iteration had onion powder, granulated garlic, black pepper, kosher salt, cumin, brown sugar, and smoked paprika added to the leftover rub from the last project.  I gave the ribs a misting of apple juice a few times, and wrapped the whole rack in foil after a few hours.  It went straight into the fridge last night, still wrapped, and I reheated it in the oven for dinner today.  Good stuff.