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Basic Fish en Papillote

Basic Fish en Papillote

Basic Fish en Papillote

 

6 rectangular sheets of parchment paper

3 T. butter

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 cup leeks, white part only, julienned

1 cup celery, julienned

1 cup carrots, julienned

6 boneless, skinless fish fillets (6 to 7 ounces each)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 T. dry white wine

6 fresh thyme sprigs

 

Preheat oven to 425°F. Fold each sheet of parchment in half and cut into a heart shape large enough to encase a portion of fish when folded in half. In a medium sauté pan, heat the butter over medium-low heat, add the garlic, leeks, celery, and carrots, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss and stir the vegetables to coat them with butter. Cover pan and let vegetables sweat for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are almost soft. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes. Spray the parchment hearts lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Season each side of the fillets lightly with salt and pepper. Place 1 fillet on each parchment heart and spoon one-sixth of the sautéed mixture over each fish, drizzle 1 T. of wine over each fillet, and top with a sprig of thyme. Fold the parchment over and seal the edges by crimping them. Place parchment packages on a large sheet pan (or two if necessary) and bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. If the parchment was well sealed, the packages may puff. Remove from oven and use a spatula to place a parchment package on each heated serving plate. Use a scissors or sharp knife to cut a large X in the top of the parchment. Serves 6.

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

Herbed Lemon Cheese

 

1 quart whole or 2% milk

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

¾ tsp. minced fresh chives

½ tsp. minced Italian parsley

¼ tsp. minced fresh thyme

1 clove garlic, grated

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

Gently heat the milk to 180ºF. Add the lemon juice and stir slowly until the milk separates into curds and whey. Ladle into a cheesecloth-lined fine mesh sieve set over a large bowl. Gather the corners of the cheesecloth together over the curds and tie with butcher’s twine. Let the curds drain in the refrigerator for 4 to 24 hours, or until the desired consistency. Transfer the cheese to a medium bowl, stir in the chives, parsley, thyme, and garlic and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form the cheese into a wheel and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Easy Baked Polenta

Easy Baked Polenta

Easy Baked Polenta

 

You can use medium-grind cornmeal or polenta here.

 

8 cups water

2 cups medium-grind polenta

2 tsp. table salt

â…› tsp. pepper

4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (2 cups)

4 T. unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces

 

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine water, polenta, salt, and pepper in 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Transfer dish to oven and bake, uncovered, until water is absorbed and polenta has thickened, about 60 minutes.  Remove baking dish from oven. Whisk in Parmesan and butter until polenta is smooth and creamy. Serve.

Mix and Match Skillet Meal

Mix and Match Skillet Meal

Mix and Match Skillet Meal

 

1 cup grain, uncooked

1 ½ cups vegetables, fresh, canned or frozen, ~cut bite-sized~

1 cup protein, cut bite-sized

2 cups sauce, stirred

½ tsp. spices

3 Tablespoons topping

 

To make in a skillet: Combine all ingredients except topping in a large skillet. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until grains are tender, about 15 to 45 minutes. Stir occasionally and add liquid if too dry. Add topping before serving. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

 

To bake in oven: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients except topping in a casserole dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake until grains are tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Add topping before serving. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

 

Grain – try bulgur, pasta, quinoa or rice

Vegetables – try a mixture of corn, carrots, green beans, onions, mushrooms, peppers or zucchini

Protein – try cooked cubed or ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey, canned tuna or salmon, tofu or beans

Sauce – try one can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream soup such as chicken, potato or tomato soup plus 1 1/4 cups water or low-fat milk

Spices – try basil, oregano, parsley, chili powder, garlic, onion powder or ground ginger

Topping – try grated cheese or crushed whole grain cereal or crackers

Simple Rice Pilaf

Simple Rice Pilaf

Simple Rice Pilaf

 

Be sure to rinse the rice until the water runs clear. A nonstick saucepan is crucial to prevent the wet rice from sticking to the pan; for the most evenly cooked rice, use a wide-bottomed saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Basmati, jasmine, or Texmati rice can be substituted for the long-grain rice.

 

3 T. unsalted butter or vegetable oil 1 small onion, chopped fine

1 tsp. table salt

1½ cups long-grain white rice, rinsed

2½ cups boiling water

 

Melt butter in large nonstick saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and salt and cook until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in rice and cook until edges begin to turn translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in boiling water and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and gently simmer until water is completely absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes. Off heat, uncover and lay clean dish towel over saucepan; cover and let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with fork, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice

Instant Pot Brazilian White Rice

 

2 T. olive oil

½ cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup chopped carrots, peeled if necessary

2 cups rinsed long-grain white rice

3 ¾ cups stock (your choice)

 

Instant Pot using Sauté mode. Add olive oil. Add onion, minced garlic, and carrots. Sauté until fragrant (about 3 minutes).  Add rinsed rice and sauté with onion mixture until the rice becomes translucent white.. Add stock of your choice and secure Instant Pot lid. Choose Rice setting and press start. If Instant Pot doesn’t have a Rice setting, pressure cook on low for 12 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. Remove

Corncob Stock

Corncob Stock

Corncob Stock

 

4 (2½ pounds) corn on the cob, husked

10 C. water

1 T. black peppercorns, toasted

1 T. coriander seeds, toasted

6 parsley stems

2 celery stalks plus leaves if available

2 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, smashed

½ yellow onion, halved and deeply charred

 

Shave the corn kernels off the cobs and add the cobs to a heavy-duty stock pot. In a blender, blend half of the corn kernels on high and add to the pot. Save the other half of the corn kernels for other uses. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Once at a boil, lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours. Strain the stock and allow it to completely cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week or freeze in small batches and thaw as needed.

Instant Pot Basic White Rice

Instant Pot Basic White Rice

Instant Pot Basic White Rice

 

3 cups rinsed white rice

5 cups stock (your choice) or water

 

Place washed rice and stock (can use water if desired) into Instant Pot. Secure lid and set to Rice mode. When finished, let steam release naturally. If you do not have a Rice setting, pressure cook on low for about 12 minutes. Allow pressure to release naturally. 4. When pressure has released, remove lid and fluff with a fork.

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

Basic Sponge Cake (Genoise)

3 eggs room temperature

70 g (1/4 cup + 2 tbsp) sugar

100 g (1/2 cup + 2 tbsp) cake flour

45 g unsalted butter melted

butter, parchment and flour for prepping the cake pan

 

Preheat the oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Trace and cut out a circle of parchment, grease the cake pan with butter, insert the parchment cut out and dust with flour. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture triples in volume, reaching the ribbon stage. The ribbon stage is attained when you test the batter and it temporarily holds a shape. Sift the flour and fold it into the egg mixture in stage until incorporated. In a separate bowl, ladle out a portion of the batter and fold it with the melted butter. Return the buttery batter to the main mixing bowl and gently fold it with the remaining batter. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 30 minutes. Check for doneness by inspecting to see if the edges have sprung away from the pan or by inserting a toothpick into the center. Allow it to cool on a wire rack for ten minutes before removing from the pan. Note: Genoise cakes are dryer than many sponge cakes. You can add moistness and flavor with a simple syrup of choice.

Instant Pot Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot Herbed Mashed Potatoes

Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes

6–7 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces

½ cup vegetable stock

½ cup milk

1 stick butter (8 tbsp.)

2 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tbsp. Italian seasoning herb blend

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Place all ingredients into Instant Pot. Secure lid. Pressure cook on high for 9 minutes.  Allow pressure to release slowly. When pressure has released, remove lid carefully. Transfer entire potato mixture to stand mixer. Whip potatoes with a whisk, paddle, or mixer attachment. Adjust salt and pepper as needed.

Master Recipe Meatballs

Master Recipe Meatballs

Master Recipe Meatballs

 

8 ounces ground beef

8 ounces ground pork

8 ounces ground veal

1/2 cup ricotta

1/3 cup shredded Parmesan

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

1 large egg

 

Preheat the oven to 400. Put everything into a large bowl and mix well—with your hands please, not a spoon. Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until cooked all the way through. Boom.

 

 

Make a Marinade

Make a Marinade

Make a Marinade

 

⅓ cup vinegar:

 

Rice wine vinegar

Apple cider vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

 

½ cup soy sauce

 

2 T. liquid sweetener:

Honey

Maple syrup

Agave nectar

 

2 T. Dijon mustard

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 tsp. Italian seasoning

½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

 

¼ cup oil:

Olive oil

Avocado oil

Canola oil

 

In a bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, mustard, garlic, Italian seasoning, and pepper. Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify and combine. Alternatively, shake all the ingredients together in a jar with a tight-fitting lid. 2 Pour into a shallow dish and add your desired protein or vegetables, turning to coat. 3 For beef, chicken, vegetables, or tofu, marinate for at least an hour but not more than 24 hours. For fish, marinate for at least 30 minutes but not more than 2 hours. This recipe will make enough marinade for 4 to 6 portions of protein, tofu, or vegetables.

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

Pressure Canning Chicken Stock

1 3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

16 C. water

2 stalks celery

2 medium onions, quartered

1 T. salt

10 peppercorns

2 bay leaves

4 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 8 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

Half recipe

1/2  3- to 4-lb chicken, cut into pieces

8 C. water

1 stalks celery

1 medium onions, quartered

1-1/2 T. salt

5 peppercorns

1 bay leaves

2 Ball®  (32 oz) quart or 4 (16 oz) pint glass preserving jars with lids and bands

 

*You must process at least 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars in the pressure canner at one time to ensure safe processing.*

 

Prepare pressure canner. Heat jars in simmering water until ready for use. Do not boil.  Wash lids in warm soapy water and set bands aside Combine chicken and water in a large sauce-pot. Bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients. Return to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 2 hours or until chicken is tender. Remove from heat. Skim off foam. Remove chicken from stock, reserving chicken for another use. Strain stock through a sieve or several layers of cheesecloth. Allow stock to cool until fat solidifies. Skim off fat. Heat stock to a boil. Ladle hot chicken stock into hot jars leaving 1 inch headspace. Wipe rim. Center hot lid on jar. Apply band and adjust until fit is fingertip tight. Process filled jars in a pressure canner at 10 pounds pressure 20 minutes for pints and 25 minutes for quarts, adjusting for altitude, according to your pressure canners directions. Turn off heat: cool canner to zero pressure. Let stand 5 more minutes before removing the lid. Cool jars in canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and cool. Check lids for seal after 24 hours. Lid should not flex up and down when center is pressed.

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

Whether it conjures up a crusty, flavorful loaf of bread or a bubbling crock of flour/water starter, sourdough is a treasured part of many bakers’ kitchens. But where does the path to sourdough bread begin? Right in your own kitchen, with your own homemade sourdough starter.

Sourdough baking is as much art as science. The method you’ll read here for making sourdough starter isn’t an exact match for the one you read on another site, or in a cookbook, or in your great-grandma’s diary

Getting it started takes a lot of steps, but once its established, its easy to maintain and use.

1 cup (113g) whole rye (pumpernickel) or whole wheat flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water

 

To feed your starter

 

scant 1 cup (113g) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

1/2 cup (113g) cool water (if your house is warm), or lukewarm water (if your house is cool)

 

Day 1: Combine the pumpernickel or whole wheat flour with the cool water in a non-reactive container. Glass, crockery, stainless steel, or food-grade plastic all work fine for this. Make sure the container is large enough to hold your starter as it grows; we recommend at least 1-quart capacity.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 1

Stir everything together thoroughly; make sure there’s no dry flour anywhere. Cover the container loosely and let the mixture sit at warm room temperature (about 70°F) for 24 hours. See “tips,” below, for advice about growing starters in a cold house.

 

Day 2: You may see no activity at all in the first 24 hours, or you may see a bit of growth or bubbling. Either way, discard half the starter (113 grams, about 1/2 cup), and add to the remainder a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) cool water (if your house is warm); or lukewarm water (if it’s cold).

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 3

Mix well, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for 24 hours.

 

Perfect your technique

How to make sourdough starter-1

BLOG

How to make your own sourdough starter

BY PJ HAMEL

 

Day 3: By the third day, you’ll likely see some activity — bubbling; a fresh, fruity aroma, and some evidence of expansion. It’s now time to begin two feedings daily, as evenly spaced as your schedule allows. For each feeding, weigh out 113 grams starter; this will be a generous 1/2 cup, once it’s thoroughly stirred down. Discard any remaining starter.

 

Add a scant 1 cup (113 grams) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water to the 113 grams starter. Mix the starter, flour, and water, cover, and let the mixture rest at room temperature for approximately 12 hours before repeating.

 

Day 4: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6.

 

Day 5: Weigh out 113 grams starter, and discard any remaining starter. Repeat step #6. By the end of day #5, the starter should have at least doubled in volume. You’ll see lots of bubbles; there may be some little “rivulets” on the surface, full of finer bubbles. Also, the starter should have a tangy aroma — pleasingly acidic, but not overpowering. If your starter hasn’t risen much and isn’t showing lots of bubbles, repeat discarding and feeding every 12 hours on day 6, and day 7, if necessary — as long as it takes to create a vigorous (risen, bubbly) starter. Note: see “tips,” below.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 8

Once the starter is ready, give it one last feeding. Discard all but 113 grams (a generous 1/2 cup). Feed as usual. Let the starter rest at room temperature for 6 to 8 hours; it should be active, with bubbles breaking the surface. Hate discarding so much starter? See “tips,” below.

 

Remove however much starter you need for your recipe — typically no more than 227 grams, about 1 cup. If your recipe calls for more than 1 cup of starter, give it a couple of feedings without discarding, until you’ve made enough for your recipe plus 113 grams to keep and feed again.

 

Sourdough Starter – Step 10

Transfer the remaining 113 grams of starter to its permanent home: a crock, jar, or whatever you’d like to store it in long-term. Feed this reserved starter with 1 scant cup (113 grams) of flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water, and let it rest at room temperature for several hours, to get going, before covering it. If you’re storing starter in a screw-top jar, screw the top on loosely rather than airtight.

 

Store this starter in the refrigerator, and feed it regularly; we recommend feeding it with a scant 1 cup (113 grams) flour and 1/2 cup (113 grams) water once a week.

 

Tips from our Bakers

Why do you need to discard half the starter? It seems so wasteful… But unless you discard starter at some point, eventually you’ll end up with a very large container of starter. Also, keeping the volume down offers the yeast more food to eat each time you feed it; it’s not fighting with quite so many other little yeast cells to get enough to eat. You don’t have to actually discard it if you don’t want to, either; you can give it to a friend, or use it to bake. There are quite a few recipes on our site using “discard” starter, including pizza crust, pretzels, and waffles, and even chocolate cake. If you’re still uncomfortable dealing with discard, though, try maintaining a smaller starter: the smaller the starter, the smaller the amount of discard.

 

Why does this starter begin with whole-grain flour? Because the wild yeast that gives sourdough starter its life is more likely to be found in the flora- and fauna-rich environment of a whole-grain flour than in all-purpose flour. What if all you have is all-purpose flour, no whole wheat? Go ahead and use all-purpose; you may find the starter simply takes a little longer to get going. Also, if you feed your starter on a long-term basis with anything other than the all-purpose flour called for here, it will probably look different (thicker or thinner, a different color) and act differently as well. Not to say you can’t feed your starter with alternate flours; just that the results may not be what you expect.

Quick and Easy Gravy from Scratch

Quick and Easy Gravy from Scratch

Quick and Easy Gravy from Scratch

Homemade gravy is quick and easy. If you’ve roasted chicken, turkey or beef, use the drippings left in the roasting pan. They make the gravy extra flavorful and seasoned. You can make gravy without drippings and use stock or broth in its place. Store-bought stock is usually under seasoned. Take care when seasoning with salt and pepper towards the end of the recipe. Finally, for more flavor, whisk in mushroom powder. This is optional but adds a deep savory flavor.

 

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3 cups warm stock (poultry, beef or vegetable stock) or use pan drippings, see note below

1/2 teaspoon mushroom powder, optional

1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs or 1/2 teaspoon dried herbs (try sage, thyme or rosemary)

2 to 3 tablespoons half and half or cream, optional

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

 

In a wide skillet with sides, melt butter over medium heat. When melted and sizzling, whisk in the flour. Whisk until the flour and butter turn into a smooth paste and look medium blonde in color; about 1 minute. It smells toasty, like browned butter.  Pour in stock and whisk until smooth. Bring the gravy to a low simmer. As it simmers, it thickens and becomes glossy.  Whisk in the herbs and mushroom powder then cook at a low simmer for a minute or two. Remove from the heat then stir in half and half or cream (optional).  Taste for seasoning and adjust with salt and black pepper (we like a generous amount of pepper).  TIPS FOR USING PAN DRIPPINGS:  Substitute some or all the butter with fat left in the pan from roasting. If there are juices left in the pan, strain them then swap all or some of the stock for the pan juices. Pan drippings and juices will be well seasoned compared to the stock. When seasoning, taste the gravy first then adjust with more salt and/or pepper. If you used a stove-top safe pan such as a Dutch oven or stainless steel pan for roasting, there is no need for the skillet. Make the gravy directly in the roasting pan.

Thanksgiving Bone Broth

Thanksgiving Bone Broth

Thanksgiving Bone Broth

 

4 C. (1 quart) Turkey Bone Broth

2 ribs celery, diced

1 carrot, diced

1 small clove garlic, crushed

1/4-1/2 tsp. ground sage or Bell’s Seasoning (see Note)

1 clove

Celtic or pink Himalayan salt

Ground black pepper

 

Heat the broth in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot, garlic, sage or Bell’s Seasoning, and clove. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low so the broth barely simmers for 5 to 10 minutes, or just until the carrots and celery are tender. Remove and discard the garlic and clove. Season with salt and pepper and serve.  NOTE:  Bell’s Seasoning is a salt-free blend of herbs and spices containing rosemary, oregano, sage, ginger, and marjoram.

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

Easy Red Enchilada Sauce

½ tsp. Garlic Powder

1 ½ T. Chili Powder

1 tsp. Cumin

1 tsp. Sugar

¼ tsp. Oregano

Salt, to taste

8oz. can Tomato Sauce

 

Place small saucepan over medium heat and add all ingredients except the tomato sauce. Stir until fragrant, toasting the dried herbs and spices. Add tomato sauce and 1 C. of water, stir well and simmer a few minutes to blend spices into the sauce.  Use for homemade enchiladas or enchilada tacos, or try spooned over poached eggs.

 

Yield: 8 ¼ C. Servings

Calories: 15

Fat: 0g

Fiber: 1g

Canning Chili Beans

Canning Chili Beans

Canning Chili Beans

Boiled Water, kept at a simmer

7 quart mason jars

 

Per Jar:

1 C. dried kidney beans

1/4 C. tomato sauce

1/2 tsp. canning salt

1 tsp. smoked paprika OR plain paprika

1 tsp. granulated garlic

1 tsp. granulated onion

1 tsp. dehydrated onion

1 tsp. chili powder’1/4 tsp. cumin

vinegar to wipe rims of jars

 

Using clean quart jars…. add 1 C. dried kidney beans.

Add tomato sauce.

Add spices.

Fill remaining jars with boiled, hot water.

 

Debubble/stir contents. Wipe rims of jars with vinegar, checking for any crack, nicks and making sure rim is clean of debris. Add lid and ring, which has been soaking in hot, simmered water. Place into pressure canner. Canning: 1″ headspace, processed for 90 minutes for quarts, 75 minutes for pints at 10lbs of pressure for Michigan. Check your pressure poundage in your state. When pulling them out of the canner, cover them with a towel and allow them to cool for 24 hours. Check for sealing, remove bands/rings and wash jars in hot soapy water with 1/2 C. vinegar added to the water. Rinse and dry. Label. Place into your pantry.

Why You Need to Save Bacon Grease Like Gram Did

Why You Need to Save Bacon Grease Like Gram Did

Pop popcorn in bacon fat.

Make Caesar salad dressing with bacon drippings in place of the olive oil.

Fry chicken using four parts peanut oil and one part bacon fat.

Add about 1 T. of bacon fat per pound to raw hamburger, ground turkey, or venison meat before frying or grilling the patties.

Fry liver and onions in bacon fat.

Use bacon fat to make gravies and roux.

Sauté onions, carrots, and/or garlic in bacon fat for vegetable soups.

Use bacon fat to cook refried beans and sunny-side-up eggs.

Stir l to 2 T. of bacon fat into pots of boiling white beans, polenta, grits, or rice.

Sauté sliced brussels sprouts in bacon fat.

Add bacon fat when boiling water to cook or blanch green beans.

When baking russet potatoes, coat the skin with bacon fat before putting the potatoes in the oven.

Cook hash browns in bacon fat.

Sauté chopped Swiss chard and other hearty winter greens in bacon fat.

Fry sliced tomatoes in bacon drippings (great on sandwiches).

Use bacon fat when making skillet corn bread; you’ll get a crunchier crust.

Substitute a T. of bacon fat for other fats in single- crust pies.

If you have dogs, add it to their dog food for better flavor and digestion. Not to mention is helps keep their coats shiny and healthy.

When baking cornbread (or any other bread) use it to grease the baking pan or skillet before you add the mixture.

Add it to those green things we like to call “veggies” while you’re cooking. This way you don’t really need to add much salt, and it gives the veggies a hint of delicious porky flavor.

Use bacon fat in place of margarine for certain recipes. Get crazy and experiment. You will only find your favorite recipe by having fun with it!

Use it while frying up potatoes, steaks, shrimp, onions, eggs… practically anything you can think of frying up. Except for zombies. Don’t use bacon grease to fry up a zombie.

Add bacon fat into cream cheese to make as a sauce for different dishes. It tastes delicious poured over squash, broccoli, steaks, and potatoes. Also works well in gravy recipes.

When making pancakes, instead of using oil, use bacon grease. So genius.

Add into soups when you’re cooking over the stove- it will give your soup that extra hint of delicious savory flavor.

For an even tastier turkey sandwich (or any other lunch meat), lay warm liquid bacon grease on a plate to form a very thin layer. Lay your turkey slices (or whatever meat you like for your sandwiches) on top of the grease to just lightly coat the lunch meat. Then simply add to your sandwich. You may do this with your cheese if you would like too. This method is so tasty you won’t need to use mayonnaise. You can also use the bacon grease to fry up that sandwich after you’re done putting it together!

Adobo Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning

Adobo Seasoning

Essential in Spanish, Caribbean and Latin American kitchens, adobo is a savory, all-purpose seasoning that imparts a garlic flavor and is normally used to season and/or marinate meat, chicken or fish. It is so fundamental in Latin  Cuisines that adobado means “marinated and cooked in adobo sauce.”

2 tablespoons salt

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoo

 

ns ground black pepper

1 1⁄2 teaspoons onion powder

1 1⁄2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

 

In a bowl, stir together the salt, paprika, black pepper, onion powder, oregano, cumin, garlic powder, and chili powder. Store in a sealed jar in a cool, dry place.

LTS Pantry Stable “Roux” Base

LTS Pantry Stable “Roux” Base

Pantry Stable “Roux” Base

2 C. Milk Powder (not instant nonfat dry milk)
1 C. Butter Powder
1 C. Flour

Whisk to combine, store in a mason jar in pantry. To make white sauce, mix ½ C. mix with 1 C. water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened.

Replace water with pan drippings or meat stock/broth for a gravy.

To replace a can of “Cream of X soup” in a recipe, mix a cup of the mix with 1 ¼ C. water. Add dehydrated celery, mushroom, onion, and/or chicken bouillon to match the type of Cream soup you need. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until thickened.

Uses for Soy Sauce

Uses for Soy Sauce

Uses for Soy Sauce

To give steamed rice a savory flavor, add 1 tsp. soy sauce to the cooking water.

For a delicious glaze on roasted pearl onions, mix together equal parts soy sauce and molasses and toss with the onions before roasting.

To make a quick Polynesian sauce, stir together 1/3 C. soy sauce, 1/2 C. pineapple juice, 1 can (5 oz.) crushed pineapple, and 1/2 tsp. hot-pepper sauce. Add to cooked vegetables or meat as a stir-fry sauce or serve over roasted pork, chicken, or fish.

For an Asian-style glaze, mix together 1/4 C. soy sauce or teriyaki sauce, 6 oz. Dr. Pepper, 1 tsp. hot-pepper sauce, 1/2 tsp. ground cloves, and 1/2 tsp. ground ginger. Boil over high heat until reduced in volume by about half and thickened to a syrup, about 10 minutes. Brush over baked ham during the last 20 minutes of cooking.

Liquid Gold: Brown Poultry Stock

Liquid Gold: Brown Poultry Stock

Stock Making: Hints and Tips

Poultry, meat, fish, and vegetable stocks all utilize the same techniques, differing only in small details.

The aim of stock making is to produce a rich, flavorful broth; therefore, use only enough water to cover the solid ingredients by 1½ inches.

To make a rich, flavorful stock, you must use a high percentage of meat, rather than bones only. Luckily, however, the cheaper cuts of meat and poultry are generally the most flavorful. You can make a light poultry stock with a carcass from a roasted bird, but it will not have the rich flavor of a stock made from uncooked meat and bones.

A non-corrosive stockpot should be used when acid is included in the list of stock ingredients, as with wine in fish stock.

When meat or poultry is heated in water, it releases albumin particles that will cloud the broth if not removed. The water must be heated very slowly to draw out the impurities, which will form a scum on the surface, where they can be skimmed off. This process usually takes 15-20 minutes.

When making meat, poultry, or fish white stock, the skimming process should be completed before adding aromatic vegetables. If vegetables are included at the beginning, they will interfere with skimming. With brown stocks, there is not much skimming required, so roasting the larger vegetables along with the meat is fine.

All stocks should be cooked at a bare simmer. Rapid boiling will cause solid ingredients to disintegrate and cloud the stock.

Meat stock requires 5-6 hours of cooking time; Poultry stock requires 3-4 hours of cooking time; Fish or vegetable stock requires only 45-60 minutes of cooking time.

Seasonings, particularly salt, should not be added until the stock has been concentrated and reduced; or seasonings can be left out altogether so that the future dish utilizing the stock can be individually flavor-balanced.

Stock can be produced more rapidly if finely chopped meat or poultry is used in place of bone-in carcass pieces. The finer the ingredients are chopped, the more surface area is exposed to the simmering water, and the more quickly the ingredients will give up their flavor to the liquid. In this way, acceptable stock can be produced in 1 ½ hours.

The flavor of a rapidly made stock will be good, but because no bones or trimmings are generally used, it will be short on gelatin, thus much lighter in body.

Rapid stock technique does not involve skimming because the many particles of meat “catch” the albumin particles and hold them until final straining.

Stock should be refrigerated after it is of acceptable strength. A flavor change (souring) may occur if hot stock is refrigerated with a cover, therefore, chill thoroughly first, then cover.
Refrigerated stock should be simmered for several minutes every 2-3 days to keep it from spoiling.

Stock may be frozen. Ladle clear, cool stock into heavy-duty, zip-lock freezer bags, seal carefully, and freeze. (Two C. batches are most convenient.) Still in the plastic bag, thaw in warm water; or remove from the bag and heat gently in a small saucepan; or place in a bowl and thaw in the microwave.

Brown Poultry Stock

According to The New Larousse Gastronomique, Brown Stock can be made from beef, veal, or poultry. It’s the method that’s important, and that involves thorough browning of the meat, bones, and vegetables in fat prior to the long, slow simmering generally associated with stock-making. The following formula is for poultry brown stock, probably the least commonly used of the three types. When I make a brown turkey stock, I buy a small turkey, remove the legs and whole breast to roast later and cut the rest of the bird unto pieces for the stock.

¼ C. vegetable oil
5-6 pounds turkey parts (necks, wings, backs, bones, gizzards)
6 stalks celery, leaves and all, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, with skins, quartered
4 unpeeled garlic cloves
small handful of parsley, stems and all
1 bay leaf
2 whole cloves
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp. dried
cold water to cover

In a large roasting pan, put the oil, turkey parts, celery, carrots, onions, garlic, and parsley. (If you have a large Le Creuset casserole, use it. You will be able to take it straight from the oven and onto the burner for the simmering stage. No fuss, no muss.) Roast, at 450°, uncovered, on the middle rack in the oven, turning pieces occasionally until well browned, 1-1½ hours. Remove from the oven and transfer the browned ingredients to a large (10-14 quart) stockpot. Deglaze the roasting pan with a little water, scraping up all the bits and pieces of coagulated meat juices from the bottom and sides. (Don’t worry about the fat at this point. It will come off later and in the meantime contributes flavor to the developing stock.) Pour all of the collected juices (everything) into the stockpot. Add cold water to the stockpot to cover the meat and bones by 1½ inches. Heat slowly. When the liquid comes to a bare simmer, regulate the heat to maintain, and then begin to skim off any scum that forms on the surface. Above all, do not stir the stock at this point, as this action will incorporate the clouding particles into the liquid. Continue skimming until the scum ceases to accumulate, about 15-20 minutes. Now add the bay leaf, cloves, thyme, and more water, if necessary, to maintain the beginning level. Partially cover and continue cooking at a very slow simmer for 3-4 hours, partially covered if desired. (Overnight is fine.) Remove the large ingredients from the stockpot with a large slotted spoon, and put the stock through a triple mesh strainer. There will be virtually no flavor or nutrients left in the solid ingredients at this point; they should be discarded. Allow the hot stock to settle for 5-10 minutes before attempting to remove the fat. Then, skim the surface with a spoon, draw a “grease-catcher” brush across the surface, or use a bottom-pouring degreaser (available in most kitchenware stores and definitely the easiest of the three methods) to remove the fat. If time is not critical, refrigerate the stock, uncovered, until the fat hardens, at which point, it can be easily removed. After the stock is thoroughly degreased, check it for taste. If there is not enough flavor, simply boil it down to concentrate its strength. Salt may be added now if desired, although I think it is generally preferable to wait with this until the final dish is prepared utilizing the stock. Refrigerate, covered, remembering to boil the stock for several minutes every few days to keep it from spoiling, or freeze in 2-C. batches.

Everyday Tomato Sauce

Everyday Tomato Sauce

Everyday Tomato Sauce¼ C. EVOO
1 large Onion, diced
4 Garlic Cloves, peeled and minced
46oz. can Tomato Juice
29oz. can Tomato Puree
2 6oz. cans Tomato Paste
1 T. each dried Basil, Oregano, and Thyme
2 Bay Leaves

In large saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and light golden brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add tomato juice, puree and paste and stir until blended. Crush basil, oregano and thyme in your hands and add to sauce. Add nay leaves. Lower heat and simmer at least 30 minutes, up to several hours, until thick. When ready to serve, remove bay leaves and add salt and pepper to taste. ¼ tsp. crushed Fennel seeds may be added with herbs, if desired.

Cooking Nopales

Cooking Nopales

Cleaning cactus is no easy feat to accomplish. In fact, I was too scared to attempt it until I was older, for fear of getting pricked. That’s because even though the bigger needles are visible to the naked eye, there are also some tiny needles that are as clear as water and virtually invisible. You can blanch your cactus, boil it, saute it, or even cure it in salt for a different approach. Heck, some people blend cactus into their green smoothies. Note that the smaller the paddle, the more tender the cactus will be.

6 nopales (cactus pads)cactus

1 tomatillo husk (to reduce the viscosity effect)
1/4 white onion
1 garlic clove
1/2 tsp. of salt

VERY IMPORTANT TIP: Use kitchen tongs to hold the nopales or, better yet, wear gloves to protect your hands from the thorns. Once you are familiar working with cactus paddles then you can try to clean them without gloves. Place the cactus paddle on your cutting board and, using a sharp knife, trim off the edge. Scrape the spines, thorns or eyes, running your knife from back to front until completely clean. Turn the cactus paddles and do the same on the other side. Repeat the same steps with the rest of the cactus paddles. Finally rinse the cactus paddles and take them back to your clean cutting board. Place a medium size pot with 4 quarts of water to boil. Cut the cactus paddles in small strips. Once the water is boiling add the cactus, onion, garlic, 1/2 tsp. of salt and the tomatillo husk. Boil uncovered for about 8-10 minutes or until tender. The cactus will exude a sticky substance and most times will foam, so, pay special attention to this step to avoid the foam to spill over. Once cooked, drain and rinse the cactus. Let them drain completely or pat them dry with paper towels. Now, your nopales are ready to be prepared into salads, scrambled eggs, as an addition to your Mexican stews, etc. Note: Nopales also taste good grilled and topped with melted cheese. Just make 3-4 small cuts to each nopal after you cleaned the spines; brush them with oil and grill them for about 3 minutes on each side.

Tortilla de Maiz

Tortilla de Maiz

Tortilla de Maiz2 C. Masa Harina
½ tsp. Salt
1 ½ C. Warm Water

In a large mixing bowl, combine masa harina and salt. Slowly pour in warm water and mix with your hands until incorporated. Knead mixture until you have one large ball of dough. Pull a small bit of the dough off and roll into a ball to test the consistency. Squash the ball gently between the palms of your hands until about a quarter inch thick. The dough should squish easily in your hands without being too sticky and form a flat disc with rounded edges. If the disc has rough edges, it is too dry, and you need to add more water. If the dough sticks easily to your hands, it is too wet and you need more masa. Pull and equal size portion of dough from the larger piece and roll into a ball just larger than a golf ball. Place on sheet tray lined with parchment paper and repeat for all the dough. Keep the dough ball covered with a damp towel as you work to keep the dough from drying out. Heat comal over medium high heat. Put 2 6” round pieces of plastic (such as from a plastic shopping bag) and place one on the bottom of a tortilla press. Place a masa ball on the plastic and cover with the second plastic disc. Close cover and apply enough pressure to flatten the dough into a 5” tortilla. Lift lid of press, gently peel away the top layer of plastic, flip in your hand and peel away the other piece of plastic. Place tortilla on heated pan and cook 30 seconds, until bottom starts to brown and bubble. Turn tortilla over and cook 30 more seconds. Remove and set aside. Cover with a clean towel to keep warm. Repeat with remaining dough, stacking the tortillas on top of each other after cooking.