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.
For years I’ve wanted to get roasted potatoes like my mother-in-law’s, brown and crispy on the outside soft and smooth on the onside. I’ve come close but never quite got there. I used to love picking the real crunchy stuff off the sides of the pan. Then we went to my son’s for mother’s day and he made his roasted potatoes. Now they did not have the crunchy stuff on the pan but other than that they were perfect. I asked him to send me how and he said it was the preboil (10 minutes) with a little backing soda. He sent me the link. I’ve seen it before but the goose fat always through me off. So I decided to just use oil oil infused with some fresh rosemary and garlic. I discovered that J. Kenji López-Alt also mentioned, if I bothered to read it, that any oil or fat would work in fact it adds to the flavor.
These are the most flavorful crispy roast potatoes you’ll ever make. And they just happen to be gluten-free and vegan (if you use oil) to boot.
I adjusted the amounts based on the ponds of potatoes, there is only two of us after all.
1/2 teaspoon (4g) baking soda
4 pounds (about 2kg) russet or Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters, sixths, or eighths, depending on size (see note)
5 tablespoons (75ml) extra-virgin olive oil, duck fat, goose fat, or beef fat (I used Olive Oil)
Small handful picked rosemary leaves, finely chopped
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
Small handful fresh parsley leaves, minced
Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 450°F/230°C (or 400°F/200°C if using convection).
Heat 2 quarts (2L) water in a large pot over high heat until boiling. Add 2 tablespoons kosher salt (about 1 ounce; 25g), baking soda, and potatoes and stir. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until a knife meets little resistance when inserted into a potato chunk, about 10 minutes after returning to a boil.
Meanwhile, combine olive oil, duck fat, or beef fat, my son used bacon fat, what’s that old saying, with rosemary, garlic, and a few grinds of black pepper in a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Cook, stirring and shaking pan constantly, until garlic just begins to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Immediately strain oil through a fine-mesh strainer set in a large bowl.
Set strained garlic/rosemary mixture aside and reserve separately.
When potatoes are cooked, drain carefully and let them rest in the pot for about 30 seconds to allow excess moisture to evaporate.
Transfer to bowl with infused oil, season to taste with a little more salt and pepper, and toss to coat, shaking bowl roughly, until a thick layer of mashed potato–like paste has built up on the potato chunks.
Transfer potatoes to a large rimmed baking sheet and separate them, spreading them out evenly. Transfer to oven and roast, without moving, for 20 minutes. Using a thin, flexible metal spatula to release any stuck potatoes, shake pan and turn potatoes.
Continue roasting until potatoes are deep brown and crisp all over, turning and shaking them a few times during cooking, 30 to 40 minutes longer.
Transfer potatoes to a large bowl and add garlic/rosemary mixture and minced parsley. Toss to coat and season with more salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately. They tend to soften up if they sit for too long.
WHY IT WORKS
Large chunks of potato maximize the contrast between exterior and interior.
Parboiling the potatoes in alkaline water breaks down their surfaces, creating tons of starchy slurry for added surface area and crunch.
Offering you the choice of oil, duck fat, goose fat, or beef fat means you can get whichever flavor you want.
Infusing the oil or fat with garlic and herbs gives the potato crust extra flavor.
Up front this would work better with bone in, and fresh rosemary but you have to do with what you have because running out to the grocery store to pick up one or two things thing is a tough decision these days, especially for seniors.
This week has been a pork week from sausage patties with our breakfast for supper last night to tonight’s 30 Minute Pork Piccata. See ther is the What’s for syndrom and its only 9:30 AM.
I had two boneless pork chops in the freezer from Butcher Box and since our last anniversary in Maine where I had Brined pork chop and have been playing with this to duplicate. Came close but not there yet. Anyway
I tried this with what I had, I should have cut the chops in half to make thinner but it still came out Ok. This is definitely a work in progress for me and can’t wait for my herb garden to start to flourish.
4 Bone-In Pork Chops, About 1/2 Inch Thick
1/2 Cup of Extra Virgin Olive OIl
2 Tablespoons Juniper Berries
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Rosemary Note: I had to use dried so I heated in oil first, fresh would be so much better
Use the back of a knife to crush the juniper berries and peppercorns.
In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high heat along with the juniper berries, rosemary, and peppercorns until lightly smoking, then fry the chops for turning every minute, until no longer pink. 5-6 minutes estimated time.
Sprinkle with sea salt, and serve immediately.
BTW left over made great pork rollup for Lunch the next day.
Note: I did not have any fresh rosemary on hand so I used dry. I have made similar but never thought about rosemary, can’t wait until I have some fresh.
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Thinly slice half of lemon.
Prep asparagus shoots, and spread them along with the lemon slices and rosemary on a parchment lined baking sheet.
Toss all with olive oil, as well as salt and pepper.
Squeeze juice from remaining half of lemon.
Roast in oven for 7 minutes, then carefully turn asparagus over and continue roasting for another 8 minutes. Watch for preferred doneness. Add additional time if needed. Total roasting time should be between 15-20 minutes.
Lyn is on a strict diet and I am on my own for meals but she made me promise to eat healthy and none of those bachelor meals eaten over the sink to save on plates. I feel I have done pretty well for the last two weeks. Only once did I go with a meal of prepackage frozen mac and cheese from Annie’s but it was organic and not bad. I think it is hard to cook for one, not sure about you but I tend to get more inventive no creative when I cook for someone else. But on the other hand I am more willing to try something if I know that I will be the only one eating who cares if it was a failure, one learns from them. I started with this grilled chicken, sweet potato and roasted cauliflower on the side. Ok I forgot to take a picture with the cauliflower you caught me.
1 skinless chicken breast split
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. garlic rosemary oil (I had a lot of rosemary from the garden so infused some oil, 1 just rosemary and one with rosemary and garlic)
Some fresh chopped rosemary.
1-Sweet potato and cauliflower
Rinse and dry the chicken very well
Salt and pepper rub with olive oil
Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
Preheat the grill to high and clean off the grates
Grill trying only to turn once until done about 160 degree internally about 4-5 minutes per side.
Cook the sweet potato in the microwave so it is partially cooked then finish on the grill
Against the Grain
I not talking about rubbing someone the wrong way, I’m talking about the way to cut most meats so that they are tenderer a better chew if you will. We read it in cookbooks all the time: “Slice thinly against the grain.” But what does slicing against the grain really mean?
The grain is the most important characteristic: it is the direction which the muscle fibers are aligned, and properly identifying it can make the difference between tough and tender. Take a close look at your meat, and you’ll see that just like wood, it’s got a grain.
Grill marks are probably the lines most often confused with grain. Many a time, I’ve seen some start slicing meat at a 90° angle to the grill marks, rather than to the natural grain of the meat (which may or may not coincide with those grill marks).
Can’t see the grain well sometime if you bend the piece of meat you can see it or a thin slice on the end and then look at the cross section for the direction. I can’t tell you how many times I look at the grain precooking and then after I grill it is sometimes hard to tell.
The longer the lamb marinates in the seasoning paste, the better flavor you’ll have. Anywhere from 1 to 24 hours will work, but overnight is best. Slice the leftovers for pita stuffed sandwiches topped with tabbouleh.
Mike and Laurel came over for Easter but we started them off with Charoseton Matzah and some Matzah (Matzo) Ball Soup. Happy Eastover Day (The Day was for Laurels birthday we had boston cream pie for that.
From Martha Stewart – Mad Hungry, October 2010 Yield Serves 6 to 8 we served with mash potatoes and asparagus and my wife made a nice mint sauce with pomegranate molasses.
2 whole lemons, washed, seeded, and chopped
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed
5 to 6 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tablespoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 boneless leg of lamb, butterflied, boned, and cut to lay flat (about 5 pounds)
Note: I was handed the recipe and rolled this not realizing that it was to cook flat. I found the video today and am red-faced. I thought 45 minutes was a pretty short time.
Place the chopped lemon, rosemary, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. A blender can also be used, if done in batches. If you have neither, finely chop all ingredients together.
Open up the lamb and lay it flat. Spread and massage the lemon paste evenly over the inside and outside of the lamb. Place in a baking dish and cover, or in a large resealable plastic bag. Refrigerate overnight to marinate, turning occasionally.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Remove the meat from the refrigerator 30 to 60 minutes before cooking. Place the lamb FLAT on a rack in a foil-lined roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Place the meat in the oven and after 5 minutes, reduce the temperature to 425 degrees. Roast for 45 minutes (rolled about 1 to 1/12 hrs) , or until medium rare, 140 degrees on an instant read thermometer. Allow the meat to rest for 10 to 15 minutes before carving and serving.
Note: I think besides trying it roasting flat LOL, I would cut the lemon rind down to maybe 1 lemon it just had a little too much of the bitter taste, it was not overwhelming by any means and everyone else seemed to enjoy. I’m just saying.
Lyn had been wanting a stew which was unusual for her she is not much of a stew person. Years ago we had made an Irish lamb stew but for the life of us could not remember where we saw it. So we must have look at a dozen recipes and I came up with this which was heavily influenced by Wholefoods. This stew came together easily, simmering on top of the stove for a couple of hours made another day of growling tummies.
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
2 pounds lamb stew meat, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1 Tbsp. dried rosemary
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 cups chopped carrots
1 pound small red or white potatoes, halved or cut into chunks
1 cup fresh peas or frozen green peas, thawed
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (About 1 scallion)
Double click to enlarge
Combine flour, salt and pepper in a large bowl or plastic bag. Add lamb and toss to coat well.
Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium high heat.
If needed working in batches (setting aside first batch in bowl), add lamb and brown on all sides set all lamb aside for a moment. Add the garlic and cook until you smell about 15 seconds to 1 minute. Add chicken broth, wine, rosemary and oregano. Stir to combine add the lamb and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour.
Stir in carrots and potatoes. Cover and continue to simmer 1 hour longer.
Stir in peas and mustard and simmer 3 to 10 minutes or until peas are just cooked through (frozen peas do not take as long to cook).
Ladle stew into bowls and garnish with green onions.
Note from Steve: The only thing I might change is using fresh springs of oregano and rosemary and removing the stems after cooking.
I love flank steak you can do so much with it tonight we are trying a stir fry, recipe to come. Anyway this is one of my favorite especially around late spring early summer when my rosemary is growing and calling me to run my hands along a sprig. I just love the smell it leaves on them. We tried many different combinations and came up with this but as I said we like to experiment so send me ideas you think might work.
1 ½ to 2 lbs. beef flank steak.
¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary or 1 Tbsp. dried crushed if your house is too dry and it just never last the winter.
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tsp. dried, crushed.
Yes you should see my deck in the height of the summer.
3 cloves garlic, minced about 1 ½ tsp. minced.
1 ½ tsp. paprika (try with the different kinds each adds a slightly different kick).
1 tsp. kosher salt.
1 tsp. crushed red pepper.
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. extra virgin Olive Oil.
Trim fat from the meat. Score both sides of the steak in a diamond pattern by making shallow cuts at 1 inch intervals, set aside. In a small bowl mix the rosemary, marjoram, oregano, garlic, paprika, kosher salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. Stir in the oil until combined. This makes your rub.
Divide the mixture roughly by half, spoon mixture over one side of steak and rub in with your fingers. Repeat on the other side. Come on give it a good massage it is a rub.
I like to wrap it with plastic wrap then put on plate but you can put in a shallow dish unwrapped as long as you can cover it tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 to 24 hours, got better results the longer I waited.
Grilling: Ok I have done both but I mostly use a gas grill but since I am a nice guy you can grill directly over medium coals. Grill 17 to 21 minutes uncovered or until medium doneness about 160° turning once halfway. For gas grill I found preheating grill to high, reduce heat to medium. Place on grill over heat. And grill as above Ha fooled you, both about the same.
Transfer to a cutting board cover loosely with tinfoil let stand for 10 minutes. To serve, slice very thinly across the grain. Some say across and at an angle you try it an let me know which way you prefer just remember across the grain.
I keep tin foil shinny side down on the grill while preheating this really cooks anything that was left on last time and turns it into easy to remove ashes.
Wipe down with veggie oil on a wad of paper towels held by tongs.