At-home cooking

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Wed Aug 05, 2015 5:32 pm

I've hear of mind over matter but it seems mind over mouth fluid has taken front row ....drooling over the thought of mustard rub and ribs :lol:

I can see your point of steaming over boiling....thanks! :-)
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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Sat Aug 15, 2015 8:20 am

churro wrote:Thanks, Zelph. I have a funny story about cooking a whole pig in a giant BBQ. When I was in college, I was ten years older than most of my classmates, so they assumed I knew how to cook a whole pig. There was a big celebration coming up, and I was nominated to cook the pig. Given about 7 hours notice, I was presented with a trailer-sized bbq grill, nearly a ton of charcoal and a butchered pig. I had classes to attend, so i got the rig cooking the way I though it might work, then turned it over to a friend to mind for 1 1/2 hors while I went to class.

When I returned, LOTS of smoke was coming out of the grill and my friend looked worried. We opened the lid and narrowly avoided the ball of flame that blew out of it. It came to light after that a drunken passerby had convinced my buddy to add several more bags of charcoal. The resulting inferno had rendered, then vaporized much of the fat in the pig, creating a booby trap for us.

We shoveled out most of the coals, let it cook another 4-5 hours and it actually tasted good!

The plan for our party so far is to serve ribs (steamed ahead of time, then grilled or smoked the day of the party), along with some sort of potato for dinner. It's pot-luck, so I don't have to do everything, just the main dish, maybe a desert: I'm thinkin' cobbler made from the rhubarb and peaches I just baked up and froze (got a deal on several boxes of peaches :D ). It's nearly 6 quarts of fruit , so I figure it will make a big cobbler in a 14" dutch oven. S'mores will be the backup plan.

Folks will be camping out in the yard, so breakfast will be my gig entirely. The expectation is that folks will drift in a few at a time, so I figured coffee and cinnamon rolls are the first priority, followed by a layered casserole of potatoes, peppers, onion, bacon, eggs and cheese. Maybe I'll throw in some corn, squash or wild greens. The 14" dutch oven should work, but I'll do the 10" also, to be sure. Probably need to make 2 batches, as folks drift in.

Should be fun. I've cooked for as many as 50 before, with 2 helpers, so I should be able to navigate this.

I just got done canning a box of peaches, and have several more to do over the next few days, so Goodnight. Work, work ;)



Ok.....what is the end result of your gathering? Weight gain around the gut????? :D
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:06 pm

zelph wrote:Ok.....what is the end result of your gathering? Weight gain around the gut????? :D

Yep. The ribs were a success. Several people admitted they were hoping I would serve that, since they had had my ribs before. I got lots of questions about the recipe, which is always a good sign. I also served some apricot salsa and guacamole I had frozen previously. Other folks provided potato salad, pasta salad and a truly delicious kale salad. For desert, my wife made birthday cake for one of the guests who was turning 29 yesterday, and the kids made s'mores. We all hung out by the campfire until 1 AM or so, trading stories and such.

For breakfast I made a simple fritada-sort-of-thing using bacon, local vegetables, cheese and eggs. My wife made my stepfather's grandmother's recipe for buttermilk pancakes, and we topped that with homemade maple syrup from my brother's father-in-law. Nobody went hungry, and we have leftovers to last a few days.

I have a question for y'all. I need to thin my flock of sheep, and hate to waste anything, so I'm researching cooking mutton. Any suggestions? I know people say they hate mutton, but nobody I have met has actually tasted it. My guess is that marinated in yogurt, lemon juice and spices, then cooked low and slow (maybe with smoke?) it could be delicious... We'll see, I guess. A yogurt marinade is an Indian thing, and I think the theory behind it is that the bacteria that makes milk into yogurt is ideal for tenderizing meat and making the bad flavors from older animals mellow a bit. I like to make my own yogurt, so this might be just the trick. The dog will probably eat it, even if my wife won't :D

I am also interested in any rabbit recipes that folks have. My beef supplier died a while back, and I didn't draw a deer tag, so I have to implement the back-up plan :(

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Mon Aug 17, 2015 9:43 pm

This method sounds delicious with the anise and garlic:
Lamb, Madeira, Port
Ingredients
1 4- to 5-pound leg of lamb bone in (mutton may be used; see note)
2 cups port
1 cup Madeira
4 tablespoons dried rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon star anise, crushed
1 cup glace de veau or reduced rich veal stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation
1. Put lamb or mutton leg in a large bowl or roasting pan. Mix together port, Madeira, rosemary, garlic and star anise and pour over lamb. Marinate 12 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove leg from marinade, reserving marinade, and put on a rack in a roasting pan. Put in the hot oven for 15 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking. Lamb should reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees; mutton, 140 degrees (lamb should take 1 1/2 hours; mutton will take longer). When meat is done, remove from oven and set aside to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
3. Strain marinade through a fine sieve. Remove star anise and garlic and return to marinade, discarding rosemary bits, as they will turn bitter during reduction. Bring marinade to a simmer, add glace de veau and cook slowly until liquid is reduced by half. Add salt and pepper if desired.
4. Carve the meat and serve with the port-Madeira sauce.
If using leg of mutton, the marinating liquid should be increased in proportion to the weight.

Edit to add: Put 2 rabbits in with the mutton and make "wabbitton"

I knew your gathering would be a success...good food always makes for a fun gathering with friends and family. Time to start planning another one :D
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Mon Aug 17, 2015 11:15 pm

zelph wrote:This method sounds delicious with the anise and garlic:
Lamb, Madeira, Port
Ingredients
1 4- to 5-pound leg of lamb bone in (mutton may be used; see note)
2 cups port
1 cup Madeira
4 tablespoons dried rosemary
4 large garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon star anise, crushed
1 cup glace de veau or reduced rich veal stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)

Preparation
1. Put lamb or mutton leg in a large bowl or roasting pan. Mix together port, Madeira, rosemary, garlic and star anise and pour over lamb. Marinate 12 hours or overnight in refrigerator.
2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove leg from marinade, reserving marinade, and put on a rack in a roasting pan. Put in the hot oven for 15 minutes; then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking. Lamb should reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees; mutton, 140 degrees (lamb should take 1 1/2 hours; mutton will take longer). When meat is done, remove from oven and set aside to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before carving.
3. Strain marinade through a fine sieve. Remove star anise and garlic and return to marinade, discarding rosemary bits, as they will turn bitter during reduction. Bring marinade to a simmer, add glace de veau and cook slowly until liquid is reduced by half. Add salt and pepper if desired.
4. Carve the meat and serve with the port-Madeira sauce.
If using leg of mutton, the marinating liquid should be increased in proportion to the weight.

Edit to add: Put 2 rabbits in with the mutton and make "wabbitton"

I knew your gathering would be a success...good food always makes for a fun gathering with friends and family. Time to start planning another one :D

That recipe sounds amazing. I like the idea of adding rabbit: rabbit is so lean and mild, and mutton so fatty and gamey, the marriage seems perfect. I make lots of stock from leftover bones, and have most of the spices on hand. I will try it.

Tonight I tried out a stovetop smoker my mom bought, then lent to me. No doubt she was hoping I would fall in love with it and she'd never have to learn how to use it. I'm not in love with it yet, but it seems to have promise. My problem tonight was that we had to arrange to switch cars at the mechanic shop around the time I was cooking, so I tried a stovetop-then-oven method and the smoke flavor was largely absent. I have a friend who recommended this smoker, so I suspect it works, once you've got the hang of it.

What I tried was cornish game hens, spatchcocked and rubbed with red chile, garlic, homegrown oregano and some sort of spice mix that my mom bought in France. The game hens were frozen, so I briefly soaked them in hot water (5 minutes was enough), removed the wrapping and plunged them into a brine of 1 gallon water, 1 cup kosher salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar. This effectively thawed them in about 5 hours so I still had time to make dinner. I patted them dry with paper towels, added the rub and placed them in the smoker, on the stovetop, for about 15 minutes, then transferred them to the oven @ 325 degrees for nearly 2 hours. The smoker uses sawdust (some came with it, but they also sell it for nearly $10/pint :o ), so I used that, but loose leaf tea suposedly works better. In retrospect, I should have left it on the stovetop longer.

Once the meat was cooked to 170 degrees, I took the whole rig out and we took the car to the shop (maybe an hour?), then I made glazed carrots and put the hens under the broiler with some chile-garlic sauce as a glaze. They were truly delicious, tender and juicy, especially with the carrot sauce, and my 10 month old son loved it (cut up small, of course). The smoke could have been a little more pronounced, though. I've been a little surprised at how receptive my baby is to spicy foods. He loves it, and no gastro-intestinal issues. He'll leave aside all the "baby foods" and tear into our dinner, only revisiting the tame stuff if he's still hungry. Our doctor advised us to feed him what we eat, within reason, so he doesn't get picky. Since most of what we eat is made from scratch from healthy, local ingredients, we go ahead and feed it to him, and he seems to like it.

I've got a new computer now, and can't figure out how to add the link, but the smoker is the Cameron's original stovetop smoker. I've done some smoking in a roasting pan with aluminum foil on top, and this seems to be a slight improvement on that, but not worth the price. A visit to the thrift store would yield an equivalent product at a fraction of the price. I won't complain, though. My mom buys stuff in hopes that it will inspire me to cook for her, and it does. We all end up happy customers, that way :D

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Tue Aug 18, 2015 8:05 pm

I won't complain, though. My mom buys stuff in hopes that it will inspire me to cook for her, and it does. We all end up happy customers, that way :D


You're doing just fine :D You love to cook and freebees come your way to inspire :D It doesn't get any better than that!!! Our gratitude goes out to your mom...you've become a true chef of the natural kind :D Your recipes have been greatly appreciated. I pass them on to my wife so she will pick up on the use of your spices. ;) Someday when I really retire I'll do most of the cooking. :o :D

I'm going to google the smoker and see what it's all about.

Your cooking has got to be good if your son eats it :D ;)
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Sun Aug 23, 2015 12:03 am

My dad and step-mom came to visit, so I made some lamb curry:

Lamb curry

2 lbs lamb, cut into stewing pieces.
2 tbsp each: chili powder, turmeric, coriander, cumin, minced garlic, minced ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp vegetable oil.

Mix the above, let rest in the refrigerator for 2+ hours.

Heat a dutch oven with some cooking oil until just shy of smoke point
Add the above and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until it starts to give up some juice. Add:

1 cup chicken stock or water
2 medium onions chopped fine

cook covered 10 minutes, then add:

1 can chopped tomatoes
several fresh tomatoes, chopped fine

Cook covered 10 minutes, then add:

1 small yellow squash, chopped
2 medium apples, peeled and chopped fine
1 inch of cinnamon stick
1 small jalepeno, diced

Place in a 250* F oven, covered for 2-3 hours until lamb is tender. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

Went over pretty well: tasty, and my step-mom, who's a good cook, asked for the recipe (which I'd made up- had to think hard to write it down :D ) We'll make this again.
I used leg steaks, but just about any cut should work. I bet gamey venison or mutton would be fine, too.

Oh, and my 10 month old son liked it too. I thought it would be too spicy, but he gobbled it up, and rather enjoyed smearing the sauce, well, everywhere. I was actually surprised how tame, yet savory, it ended up. I was expecting some real heat, but just got flavor instead :D Our doctor said that if my wife ate spicy food while pregnant (and she did, I saw to that) then we could expect the our son would handle spicey food well. That seems to be true.

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Sun Aug 23, 2015 8:28 pm

Your recipe sounds like a "basic" one that we should all write down and use it with all meats :D I think it will go well as a universal recipe for beginners and pro's alike.

Thank you for your test results :D I will use the recipe come this fall and winter months. I have an adventure coming up that will give me lots of cooking time.
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churro
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby churro » Sun Aug 23, 2015 9:33 pm

If you like that one, try this. It's another "basic" that should work well with almost any meat, especially venison. It BLOWS MY MIND! We served this tonight for Sunday dinner at my mom's house. The recipe was inspired by some Korean BBQ I had once with my cousin near Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Apparently, troops returning from Korea came in through that base and some brought their new Korean wives with them, so you find some of the best Korean food in the world in little family-owned restaurants there. The one that got me working on this recipe opened at 10 PM and served the post-bar crowd. It was packed from 10 PM until about 6 AM, and also served the best burgers I've ever had. There are more than a few stories connected to that night that I simply will not share on the internet! But I will share the recipe I worked up:

Korean BBQ beef:
the marinade (for 2-3 lbs meat):
1 ripe pear, peeled, cored and chopped
6 cloves garlic, peeled
4 tbsp peeled, minced ginger
6 tbsp sugar, brown sugar, honey, agave nectar or maple syrup (use what you have)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp cider vinegar

Blend the above in a food processor or blender and set aside.

Take the meat (I used an english-cut roast from a grass-fed cow we bought, but anything should work) and slice it into 1/2-3/4 inch slabs. Pound these to 1/4", then put into a ziplock with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight, then cook or freeze for a later date.

When grilling-time comes, let the meat sit out for 1/2 hour or so to come to room temp, then grill hot and fast to get a good char before it is overdone inside. My favorite way to serve this is to get everything ready ahead of time and then put a chimney charcoal starter 3/4 full of hot coals onto a few bricks in the center of the table, place a grate on top and let folks grill their own (do this outside). 30-45 seconds per side is enough, that way. Great drinking food. Or you can prep it ahead of time, freeze the ziplock, then take it camping. It'll thaw as you hike and can be cooked on sticks over the campfire. It's also good when stir-fried or pan fried.

The combination of vinegar, pear and soy sauce tenderizes the meat, and it has a really excellent flavor. I sliced it up after a brief rest, and we piled it onto lettuce leaves along with some spicy pickled vegetables, rice noodles and sriracha sauce. I thought I'd made enough to have leftovers, but we ate it all. My son couldn't get enough. SO GOOD!

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zelph
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Re: At-home cooking

Postby zelph » Mon Aug 24, 2015 4:41 pm

The one that got me working on this recipe opened at 10 PM and served the post-bar crowd. It was packed from 10 PM until about 6 AM, and also served the best burgers I've ever had. There are more than a few stories connected to that night that I simply will not share on the internet!


:lol: OH BOY!!! THAT WAS QUITE A NIGHT :lol:

I'm masking hard copies of your recipes for future use :-)

My favorite way to serve this is to get everything ready ahead of time and then put a chimney charcoal starter 3/4 full of hot coals onto a few bricks in the center of the table, place a grate on top and let folks grill their own (do this outside). 30-45 seconds per side is enough, that way.


wow, that's a great idea, cook your own :D
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