Memorable Quotes:

"A Bearnaise sauce is simply an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar and butter, but it takes years of practice for the result to be perfect." Fernand Point

Monday, July 18, 2016

Creamy Herb Chicken

Ingredients:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2/3 cup chicken broth
1 (4.4 oz) package spreadable herb cheese (such as Boursin)
1 shallot, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 lemon tested and juiced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried tarragon
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:
1. Brush chicken breasts with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper
2. Heat a large pan or skillet over medium-high heat and cook chicken breasts until opaque and no longer pink. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
3. To the same skillet, heat remaining olive oil and sauce shallot and garlic with basil, oregano and tarragon for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant.
4. Stir in herb cheese, broth, lemon juice and zest and whisk together until smooth, then sprinkle in flour and whisk until incorporated.
5. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until sauce has thickened.
6. Return chicken to skillet and cook for another 2-3 minutes or until warmed through. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Almond Puff Loaf (King Arthur Flour)











Ingredients

  • FIRST LAYER:
  • 1/2 cup cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 cup water
  • SECOND LAYER:
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • TOPPING:
  • 2/3 cup jam or preserves
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • ICING:
  • 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons milk or water

Directions

  • 1. In a medium bowl, cut butter into flour until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball.
  • 2. Divide dough in half; shape each into a log. On a large greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, pat the logs into 11-in. x 3-in. rectangles, leaving a 4-in. space between pastries.
  • 3. For second layer, bring water and butter just to a boil over medium heat. Add flour all at once; stir until a smooth ball forms. Transfer to a small mixing bowl; beat at medium speed for 30-60 seconds.
  • 4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until mixture is smooth and shiny. Beat in extract. With a spatula, spread half over one pastry strip until the surface is completely covered. Repeat.
  • 5. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until deep golden brown. Remove to wire racks. Spread warm pastries with jam; sprinkle with almonds.
  • 6. For icing, combine the sugar, vanilla and enough milk or water to achieve drizzling consistency. Drizzle over pastries. Cut into strips or squares. Yield:16-20 servings.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Rustic Apple Tart (Martha Stewart)





















Ingredients:
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed
Flour, for work surface
3 Granny Smith Apples
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk, beaten with 1 teaspoon of water, for egg wash
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 Tablespoons apple jelly, or apricot jam

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Open pastry sheet and remove paper Fold sheet back up. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out pastry c=sheet (still folded) to an 8-by-14-inch rectangle. Trim edges with a pizza cutter or sharp paring knife. Transfer to a baking sheet; place in freezer. Peel, core, and slice apples 1/4 inch thick.

Brush pastry with egg wash, avoiding edges. Use a sharp paring knife to score a 3/4 -inch border around pastry (do not cut all the way through). Place apples inside border, and dot with butter. Bake until pastry is golden and apples are tender, 30 to 35 minutes.

In the microwave or a small saucepan, heat jelly with 1 tablespoon water until melted. Brush apples with glaze. Server tart warm or at room temperature, cutting into pieces with a serrated knife.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bacon Cure and How to Make Your Own Bacon


Snake River Farms Kiribato Pork Belly

















Ingredients:

1/2 cup of Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons of Prague Powder #1
1/2 cup of brown sugar
1/2 cup of maple syrup
10 pounds pork belly


Directions for Curing Bacon:
Mix the first 3 ingredients then add the maple syrup and stir to combine. Rinse the pork belly then place in either a 2 gallon ziplock bag or a large pleated food saver bag sealed on one end. Place approximately 1/3 of the cure on the fat side of the pork belly. Rub into the fat side of the belly then flip the pork belly over and place the other 2/3 of the cure on the meat side of the belly and rub into the pork belly. Seal the bag and brine for 7 days in the refrigerator. The pork belly should be flipped every day and the brine rubbed into the meat.






















Directions for Smoking After Curing

1. Set up smoker for indirect heat. I use a Big Green Egg so I use the plate setter with the feet up.
2. Start the charcoal
3. Adjust the temperature to 225 degrees
4. Add soaked apple wood chips
5. Rinse the pork belly and dry well with paper towels.
6. Place the pork belly on the smoker with the fat side down. It is ok to cut the pork belly in half if the pork belly is too large to fit on the grill. I had to do this and smoke in 2 batches.
7. Close up the smoker and allow the bacon to smoke for about 2 hours or until an internal temperature of 150 degrees is reached.
8. Remove the pork belly from the smoker and allow to cool then wrap in foil and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
9. Trim the belly into a form that is good for slicing (square up); I also remove the fat cap before slicing.
10. Slice into the thickness desired and package in 8 oz or 16oz packages then vacuum seal and freeze.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Laundry Detergent

Ingredients:
1/2 Bar of Fels Naphtha soap (grated)
1/2 cup of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1/4 cup of Borax
Optional: Downey Scent

Directions:

1. Grate the 1/2 bar of Fels Naphtha with a cheese grater
2. Add grated soap to a medium sized sauce pan.
3. Add hot water to the soap and place over medium heat and mix until the mixture has completely melted.
4. Use an immersion blender to help make solution homogeneous
5. Add the mixture to a 5 gallon bucket and fill about half way with warm/hot water.
6. Rinse your sauce pan with soap into the bucket a few times to get all the soap into the 5 gallon bucket.
7. Add the Arm &Hammer, Borax and Downey Scent to the bucket then mix well with immersion blender.
8. Add additional warm water to the bucket to the 5 gallon line and mix either with a long handle spoon of the immersion blender.

Detergent can be put into 5 1 gallon bottles or left in gallon bucket if there is a lid for the bucket. If you leave in the bucket you should remix the solution prior to filling up your container that is used for doing the wash.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Mississippi Pot Roast




Ingredients:
Chuck or Pot Roast 3-4 pounds
1 package of Hidden Valley Ranch dressing powder
1 package of McCormick's Au Jus powder mix
1 stick of butter
5-8 pepperoncini
1/4 teaspoons of pepper

Directions:
Trim any large areas of fat from roast as needed. Some fat is OK. Then place the meat into a large crock pot. Sprinkle the Ranch Dressing powder over the meat then sprinkle the Au Jus powder mix over the meat. Place the stick of butter on top of the meat. Sprinkle with pepper and add the pepperoncini.

Cover and cook on low (in crock pot) for 8 hours then shred the meat with a couple of forks. Place the gravy in a fat separator and drizzle some of the gravy over the "pulled" meat.  Serve with egg noodles and pass extra sauce.

So I have to say that this really did hit the mark for both easy of preparation and being very tasty. We made this for the Super Bowl 50 and it was a big hit with everyone. Allright, so it was just me and the wife but the good news is that my Food-Saver has been put to good use. I made 4 individual meal packs with about a cup of noodles, the roast and a bit of gravy. Looking forward to enjoying this again real soon.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Chicken with Sun Dried Tomato and Kalamata Olives

Photo by Chelsea




















Ingredients:
2 tablespoon(s) butter melted
6 skinned and boned chicken breasts
1/2 cup(s) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup(s) butter
3/4 cup(s) marsala wine
1/2 cup(s) chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
1/8 teaspoon(s) pepper
1/4 cup of sliced sundries tomatoes
1/4 cup of pitted kalamata olives (hailed or sliced)1/2 cup(s) shredded mozarella cheese
1/2 cup(s) parmesan cheese
2 green onions chopped



Directions:
Cut each chicken breast in half lengthwise. Place chicken between 2 sheets of heavy-duty plastic wrap; flatten to 1/8 inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin.
Dredge chicken pieces in flour. Cook chicken in batches, in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden. Place chicken in a lightly greased 13 x 9 inch baking dish, overlapping edges. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken and butter. Reserving pan drippings in skillet.
Add wine and broth to skillet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in salt and pepper. Toward the end of the cooking, add the sundries tomato and kalamata olives. Pour sauce over chicken. Combine cheeses and green onions; sprinkle over chicken.
Bake uncovered, at 450 degrees for 12 to 14 minutes until cheese melts.