For Christmas, I am getting my mom and stepfather the meat grinder / sausage stuffer attachment for their kitchen aid mixer (which was last year's gift from me and my brother). I would like to also include a book on sausage making. I'm looking for something that covers the basics, with techniques and a few simple recipes.
I wouldn't classify either of them as "foodies", but they are not beginners or clueless either. My stepfather owns a smoker and has been cranking out some semi-decent BBQ recently. My mom is an above-average home cook.
Does anyone have any recommendations?
A month or so, my mom smoked ~30lbs of ribs. They were pretty good day-of, maybe a little tough for my taste even though they were on the smoker for 12ish hrs. She vacuum sealed a few racks for me to take home, and they have been in my freezer since. I put them in the fridge last night to defrost, but now I'm wondering what the best way to heat them up. I was thinking of basting them with some kind of bbq sauce in a casserole dish, covering with foil and putting them in a low oven for a while, but I'm not sure if they will just be super soggy? Anyone have any better ideas?
A while ago I posted about "saving" a cast iron skillet I found in the back of a cabinet when I moved into my new apartment. Well I finally got around to it...after several rounds of spraying/scrubbing with oven cleaner, I gave up and chucked the thing in the automatic oven cleaner cycle. After about 3 hours, everything burned off to dust and I'm left with a clean pan ready to season, which I'm going to start tonight after I de-rust it a bit.
So now I've been searching online to see if I can ID the darned thing. It is a skillet with 2 pour spouts and a short oval handle (i.e. looks like every other cast iron skillet ever). The only markings are an "8" on the top of the handle near where it connects to the skillet, and a "J" on the underside of the handle. The flat bottom is completely smooth, it doesn't have any brand marking or a heat ring. The inside cooking surface feels smooth as glass, which makes me wonder if it could possibly be pretty old. But, the lack of any markings on the bottom makes me think it's just some cheap store brand kinda thing. Either way, I'm happy with the find and I am looking forward to cooking in it, but just curious if anyone who has any kind of expertise in this sort of thing might be able to ID it.
So I moved into a new apartment last week and found a cast iron skillet in one of the kitchen drawers. It looks REALLY gross. Super caked on old burned food covering the entire thing, inside and out, it's actually worse on the outside then inside. And it's not coming off too easily. I don't really have the right tools (need to get some steel wool or a wire brush or something, my stiff plastic scrubber did NOTHING), but my question is if this thing is even worth the work I could put into cleaning and seasoning the thing, or if I should just buy a new one and season from there. The pan doesn't have a stamp or any identifying marks anywhere. It also doesn't feel particularly heavy, like I remember my mom's cast iron pan feeling. I know I've read lots of articles recently about how awesome old cast iron pans are, but I just don't know how to tell if one is particularly worth putting in the effort or if a new Lodge would be better.
So I made Kenji's carnitas over the weekend, and have some leftover defatted "stock" from the roasting process (Side note: the recipe says you should get about 1/2 cup of stock to use in the salsa but I always wind up with 1-2 cups. I think my oven temp might be off slash I don't pack the pork in my baking dish well enough. Still comes out freaking delicious though). I made a double batch to freeze for Super Bowl prep, so now I've got a good 4 cups of stock - which is basically pork juice flavored with orange, cinnamon, garlic, onion and bay leaf. Its OK tasting on its own, kinda meaty/latin flavored broth, not too strong. It gelled up beautifully in the fridge.
Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what else I could make with this? I know there is the obvious use in a soup/sauce/random dish in place of chicken stock, but wondering if anyone had any better ideas. I have never really cooked with pork stock before (or cook much pork in general), so looking for any suggestions you might have.
OK, so for a quick weeknight dinner once or twice a week I make the following dish. It's more a method than a dish:
- dredge chicken cutlets (or whatever boneless chicken I have lying around) in seasoned flour
- sauté in butter until brown on both sides
- removed from pan and cover with foil
- add splash of wine to pan, reduce
- add chicken stock to pan (sometimes homemade if I remember to defrost, other times boxed or water+bullion)
- reduce until sauce-like (sometimes I thicken with a little Wondra, sometimes not)
- add chicken back to pan with any juices
- sprinkle around some capers, possibly a squeeze of lemon if I have it on hand
- simmer until chicken is cooked through
I usually serve with a simply veggie side, something that will cook in the same amount of time as the chicken, green beans, broccoli, leftover mashed potatoes, whatever.
I'm looking for any variations anyone might have on this theme. This is a dinner that can be on the table in 15 minutes (depending on the thickness of the chicken). There is NO CHOPPING, which I like.
Any ideas of what else I could do to jazz this up?
So, I got a dozen poblano peppers in this week's CSA. They are big, ripe, purple/red peppers, I haven't tasted yet but I think they are going to have a bit of a kick to them. I've got a couple pounds worth in my fridge right now. Any suggestions on what to do with them? If I can't use them up in time I'll probably wind up chopping/freezing to throw into tacos/stir fry/stews for a while, but I'd like to do something creative with them in the mean time. I'll probably do some sort of stuffed pepper, maybe roast a few for a mole/salsa verde type thing, but I'm looking for other ideas.
Also, does anyone have any experience drying peppers? It would be cool if I could turn these into anchos, but I have no clue where to even start with that...
I got a giant bunch of collard greens in my CSA this week, so large it won't even fit (that's what she said?) in my veg drawer in the fridge. I have NO clue what to do with them. I have never cooked them before, I've only ever had them at a southern food restaurant (traditional hamhock cooked for ages kind of deal). Is there a "summery" way to prepare them? Or am I doomed to have a boiling pot this week in my already too hot kitchen?
Hi all - I got peaches 2 weeks in a row as part of my CSA...and I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on what to do with them all. I probably have about a 1-2 pounds lying around, some fresher than others. I'm making a cobbler/crumble tonight, any other ideas?
Also, any tips on storage (out on the counter, fridge, etc)? I stuck last week's batch in the fridge in a paper bag, and they got a bit wrinkly, still good but a bit dried out. Maybe should have put them in a sealed ziptop bag? In a two person household, there are only so many peaches we can eat, and I don't want them to go bad!
So, I got a giant bunch of kale in last week's CSA basket. I haven't managed to eat it yet (we also got a bunch of swiss chard and a bunch of collards, as well as a head of butter lettuce, so I'm feeling a little greened-out this week), so I wanted to try making kale chips for the first time.
I've seen the basic recipe out there (olive oil, salt, pepper, bake), but I'm curious if anyone has tried any variations - add garlic different spice blends, soy wasabi coating, etc. I've never made these before, and don't do much with kale other than saute with onions/garlic otherwise. Does kale play well with any other flavors?
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