I think I enjoy the cooking more than eating, there is nothing better than to watch the smile grow after someone’s first bite. Note from Steve: I am a flow of thought writer and apologize up front if I lose you. My family is used to it.
We are living in a weird time of Social Distancing, gloves, masks and fear of going out or shopping for necessities. Being basically confined to the house what does one do, watch TV – news to depressing, watching movies and binging series, search the net for needed items to be shipped or delivered and cook – gets a little old after a while. I’m extremely lucky to have woods behind my house with paths at the end of the street leading to the Upton town forest. Escaping to the silence except birds, peepers, the creaking of trees and the wind blowing through them sounding like a distant ocean all which calm the mind. I have a 3 mile path that is starting to feel short to me did it in a half hour the other day. Ny fall back has been cooking for Lyn and I and trying to make it interesting with what we have in stock so to speak. IT started when Mike and Gail return from New Orleans after he proposed they came with masks on as to not infect us or was it to protect themselves? N.O, was named the next hot spot the week after they returned, but they always had plenty of and used hand sanitizer with them. Anyway, I made this when they came over to show the ring and their smiles.
3 pound pork loin not tenderloin
4 cloves garlic minced
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Cut up apple
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
Add the pork loin to your baking pan.
Slightly score (large diamonds shape) the fat cap to allow garlic and rub to sit in.
Coat with the garlic on top of the fat cap.
Mix the seasonings (salt, pepper and paprika) in small bowl and rub it on the pork. Spread apple around the roast.
Cook the pork for 60-75 minutes or until it has reached a temperature of 150-160 degrees.
I love pork chops, bone in, boneless, stuffed, fried mostly like the taste of the crunchy fat…shhhh don’t tell Lyn she would not approve. Anyway, I wanted to try something different in the air fryer so I looked at a lot of recipes and came up with my take. My only complaint is that it was maybe a little too salty, Cooking Channel salty if you know what I mean. But parmesan cheese does have a lot of salt. Any suggestion on the salt let me know.
4 boneless pork chops
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
I like to quick brine pork especially if I’m grilling. Water, Honey and about a tablespoon of salt for about 15 minutes. Rinse when done with fresh water.
Pat pork chops dry with paper towels, then coat both sides with oil.
In a medium bowl, combine Parmesan and spices. Coat both sides of pork chops with Parmesan mixture.
Place pork chops in basket of air fryer and cook at 375-400° for 9 minutes, flipping halfway through. Depending on the size you may need to adjust the time. I use an instant read thermometer about 145 degrees internal.
Got some orange beets, butternut squash, red and orange peppers and red onions from Misfits and had just receive some pork chops from Butcher Box so I figured this would make a good meal.
I like to do a quick brine soaking in salt, sugar and water for about 15-20 minutes. Keeps the meat moist especially if grilling outdoors. Then I take a preheated cast in pan and pan sear one side for about 4-6 minutes flip and finish in the oven. Make sure you dry the pork chops with paper towel then salt and pepper before you place in the pan. if you don’t do this you will end up streaming the meat rather searing. This time I had some red wine left over from a nice basket off goodies I got from my retirement party at work. So when I placed in oven I poured the remaining about a cup in the pan and roasted for about 4-6 minutes until done. Hey it was either have a second glass of wine or try something new. My theory was it would braise but silly me braising is done on low heat so the wine quickly evaporated. However, the taste of the wine did come through so it was not a total maitake.
I had already roasted the veggie in a 425 oven.
The veggies as mentioned above, were tossed in oil and spices but I added 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and roasted until done turning half way through total time about 25 minutes. Really like the addition of vinegar.
For Christmas Lyn got me a taste of Texas, Austin Texas to be exact Blacks BBQ . It had been years since I was there, but it did not disappoint. It came frozen so after it defrosted, I followed the simple directions to reheat. Wrap in tin foil place on pan * into a preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to 1 hours until internal temp was between 110 and 120. I stuck in my remote temp gauge and began to prepare my Texas style BBQ sauce. Once it came to temp, I added another step and wrapped the whole thing, foil and all, in a towel and place in a small cooler with lid closed. It was in there for maybe 3 hours. Placing it wrapped in a cooler let it sit and absorb the juices and when I took it out it passed the flexible test gently dropping on each side. Ok enough about the brisket here is the sauce, a friend of mine in Dallas taught me this recipe which I have tweaked since.
* I like to preheat the pan in oven rather than throwing in cold pan.
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 dash of Black’s original pepper sauce (optional)
In a large saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer until you sell it could be less time. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 15-20 minutes to allow flavors to blend. I placed in the blender after, but this is optional. This comes out as a thicker sauce. I stored in a small canning jar.
I had a bowl full of cherry tomatoes, a yellow pepper and a pound of 90% burger from wholefoods and even though Lyn is not crazy about this dish I had a craving. So in this case the heck with her its all about me this time. I grew up calling a similar dish American Chop Suey so I based it a lot on my recipe but i’ve seen it been called Goulash so since this was different I ‘ll call it such.
1 lbs of hamburger
Maybe 30 quartered cherry tomatoes
One yellow bell pepper cored and chops
2 stalks of celery thinly sliced cross wise.
1/2 cup of Lyn’s pasta sauce which included a splash of water maybe 1/4 cup worth
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon basil
A pinch or so of red pepper flakes, depending how spicy you like it
I tired something I read on browning the burger and I have to say I think it worked. I flatten the burger out and place on the preheated pan on high with a little oil and browned on that side for a few minutes over medium, turning down the heat to medium as soon as it hit the hot pan.
Flipped it and then started to break up into smaller chunks. this did as I read kept the meat moister. I used to immediately start to chop up the meat. I had already added the pepper and celery and by the time the meat had browned they were limp but still had a little bite to them. Mine was 90% lean so there was very little fat render if you used 80% or lower then drain the fat out.
I then added the spices , tomatoes and sauce mixing well and brought to simmer then stirred occasionally.
In the meantime I had a plan I was going to freeze a lot of the meat mixture for a quick easy future bachelor meal so instead of cooking the one pound of elbow pasta I only cooked up 1 cup. and I only cook for 5 minutes.
When the pasta was done and bowled I scooped the meat mixture on top, mix to coat well it up and then being raised by my dad squirted some ketchup on it. I know I know I know.
It was quick and easy but did create a bunch of pots and pans but well with. Lyn shook her head and had a salad for lunch.
A taste of Passover. Since our regular Eastover crew was not available and Mike had been hinting about having a candied corn beef, I jump at the chance. We had bought 2 corned beefs on ST Patrick day weeince our regular Eastover crew was not available and Mike had been hinting about having a candied corn beef, I jump at the chance. We stated with Charoset and matzo sandwiches then went to matzo ball soup and then the candied brisket. I’ll put the recipes up later.
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons chicken fat or vegetable oil
1/4 cup seltzer, club soda, or chicken broth
1 cup matzah meal
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
N/A freshly ground black pepper
1. Mix the eggs well with a fork. Add the chicken fat or oil, soda water or chicken broth, matzah meal, and salt and pepper and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for several hours.
2. Dip your hands in cold water and make about 12 balls slightly smaller than Ping-Pong balls.
3. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt and place the matzah balls in the water. Cover and simmer about 30 minutes until soft.
1 cup walnuts
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup kosher red wine (such as Manischewitz)
1/4 cup honey
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 crisp apples (such as Gala or McIntosh), peeled and roughly chopped
I chopped and mixed everything I did not have Manischewitz so I had a open bottle of Sullivan cabernet which worked very nicely.
1 5 to 7 lbs cornedbeef
1 cup ketchup
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup firmly pressed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Cover the cornedbeef in water bring to a boil with without the spice package.
Drain water and cover agian add then peppercorns and cloves and the spices usually packaged with the cornedbeef. Simmer for about 4 hours or until fork tender.
While this is simmering combine the ketchup, vinegar, sugar and mustard and heat mediummhat until bubbly. I might also add a small amount of the pineapple juice.
Place in roasting pan and slather with the sauce, cover with either crushed or sliced pineapple. Roast about 30 minutes basting with left over sauce occasionally. I Like to finish off under broiler for a few minutes.
Matzo ball soup
I grew up with a very brothy soup with sliced carrots. I will use box of matzo ball mix but add about 1/3 cup of soda water for a light and fluffy texture. I used maybe 2 tablespoons of oil. Very similar to this
So whole foods had whole organic chicken on sales so we bought 2. I went to make a quick butter milk brine but the powered buttermilk can was empty. So I made a quick yogart brine put one chicken in the fefrig. While we were out later grabbed a new can of buttermilk came home and did the other in that. Now we have 1/2 of each for meals this week. Made this before https://stevesacooking.com/2017/11/07/buttermilk-marinated-roast-chicken-recipe/
There is just so much that can be done with left over roasted chicken always ending with a soup or freezer broth.