April 29, 2016 § Leave a comment

Well, I’ve had an interesting couple of week.  On Thursday, March 30th I had Rotator Cup and Carpel Tunnel surgery on my right shoulder and hand. Of course I am right-handed to make matters worse.  It certainly up the skids on my cooking.

I have been lucky that my wife has taken very good care of me and that I have listened to both her and the doctor so I am progressing nicely.  I have been in a sling since the operation and fortunately I can lose the sling on May 5th and I start PT on May 6th.  We will see how that goes.

Just to catch everyone up on our goings on, we finished the kitchen remodel just prior to Thanksgiving, 2015. We actually removed everything from the kitchen, two closets, a powder room and the laundry.  Put down an 18 x 18 inch terra cotta ceeramic floor, repainted the cabinets and installed hidden hinges in them.  We added two cherry bar tops, quartz countertops and a new stove.  I opted for a 30″ BlueStar range, which I must admit, is excellent.  I could not have made a better choice.  We also put a pot-filler in beside the stove.  I just could not help myself.  Photos of the remodel are on my Facebook page under Kitchen Remodel.

That about covers it for now.  On to Cooking!



Cooking on a Friday.

February 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

Looks like to day will be a soup day, among other things good to eat.  I found what looks like a good recipe for Bun Bo Hue, a Spicy Vietnamese Lemongrass Soup at “i am a food blog” by Stephanie Le. I picked up some oxtails, beef shanks, pork neck bones and a beef brisket today at market.  I ended up buying a whole brisket flat that will also end up as steak sandwiches, braised brisket, one piece to freeze and a 1 pound piece for my soup.   The stock is cooking now and, with any luck, good soup is my our future. 

For the steak sandwiches, I started with about a 1 pound piece of brisket, dusted it with Granulated onion and garlic along with white pepper.  I then browned it in a skillet and added some sliced onions and garlic.  Then covered with parchment paper and aluminum foil.  Now into a 250 degree oven for an hour or so.  Once done I will remove the brisket and degraze the pan and reserve the sauce.  The brisket piece will go in the refrigerator to cool so it will be easier to slice.  Then onto some rolls and we will have dinner.  

Dried Salted Pork Liver

February 5, 2016 § Leave a comment

I have been reading the book “The Whole Beast” by Ferguson Henderson. One of the easier recipes I found is the “Dried Salted Pig’s Liver, Radishes, and Boiled Eggs”.  Ever up for something different I decided to give it a try.

I acquired the pig’s liver a two weeks ago at the local Asian Market and had at it.

You first mix coarse salt and sugar together and cover the liver with the mixture and, placing it in a plastic container, put it in the refrigerator for 2 weeks.  Once the two weeks is up, you rinse and dry the liver, rub it with coarse black pepper, wrap it in a cloth and hang it is a cool location for at least three weeks.  

This is a photo of the liver after the two weeks in the sugar/salt mixture and rubbed with pepper.  It is now hung down in the basement.  

I will follow up after the three weeks.

Sous Vide Pork Shanks

January 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

A couple weeks ago we went to the Pizza Grill and I ordered their pork shanks.  This was the first time that I had eaten pork shanks and they were excellent.  That being said, I decided to give them a try using by Anova Sous Vide.  

I started with four pork shanks, each weighing around 1 pound 4 ounces each.  I decided to try two different concoctions.  The first is with just salt, pepper and rosemary.  This will be for Sunday dinner with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes.  The second batch is a Chinese Char Siu sauce which is a Chinese Barbecue Sauce.  I suspect this will be shredded and pan sautéed to make sandwiches.

  This is the one with rosemary, salt and pepper.

 This is the one with the Char Siu sauce.

Everyone is in the pool with a small plate to hold the packages under the water and. the temperate set to 131 and time for 23:55.  It need to cook for 48 hours but the timer in the unit only goes to 23:55.  This went in about noon on Friday 1/22.

It is now Saturday morning, the pork as been in for about 20 hours and the snow is coming down in buckets.  Looks like she got over a foot overnight. I was reading other articles about pork cooking in a sous vide and decided to raising the temperature to 140 degrees. I have found that there are numerous time/temperature combinations I have found for this.   going too high will cause the pork to be dry. Undercooking has it’s own issues.  I will post updates as this process continues.

It is now Sunday morning and, after spending 3 hours shoveling snow, the sound vide cooking is done.  Now I need to cool them until it is time to prepare them for the meals.  This means ice or, in my case, snow since we have an abundance of it right now.  I used the bottom of many clam pot since it has a spigot on it to drain the water.    

After they cooled, I dried the packages off and placed them in the refrigerator.  On Sunday afternoon I removed the shanks done with the Rosemary from their packages.  Had I thought about it prior to opening the plastic bag, I would have heated them slightly to return the jelled juices to a liquid state.  Not doing that I really had no “drippings” to speak of.  I placed them shanks on a foil lined baking try, coved them with foil and placed them in a 350 degree oven to heat through.  This took about 30 minutes.  I them sprayed them with some oil and ran them under the broiler to brown the outside.  

 For my fist attempt at this at least the first shanks turned out very well.  The meat was very moist and flavorful.  I did. purchased the hind shanks which, for one shank per person, was a bit much so we have some leftovers.  

Looks like Thursday I will be making the Chinese BBQ’ed ones so stay tuned.  

Thursday came and went and I forgot to post my progress.  I heated the shanks in bag in a pot of water to allow the sauce to loosen and make the pork easier to work with.  Once I drained the juice from the bag I proceeded to shred the pork and, once shredded I sautéed it a medium pan to crisp up the edges. I then added the drained sauce and heated it through.  

Served on toasted buns it turned out very good. No photos on this as I just forgot to take any.  

I will have to say that the pork in both cases was very moist but not as tender as I would have liked.  As I stated earlier there did not seem to be a consensus as to the temperature to cook these. The next attempt will be at 150.

Overall this was a success! 

Crockpot Dressing(Stuffing)

November 26, 2015 § Leave a comment


  • 24 ounces bread cubes
  • 1 cup onion – fine dice
  • 1 cup celery – fine dice
  • 2 tsp marjorium
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter – melted
  • 2 cups turkey stock


  1. Put the bread cubes in a shallow pan the night before you want to make the sutffing and cover with paper towels.  This allows them to dry out some which will help them absorb the flavor and not turn mushy.
  2. The next morning, gather all your ingredients together. Saute the onions and celery, with a sprinkling of salt, in a saute pan until wilted and just starting to brown.  
  3. Add the sauted vegetables to the bread cubes, along with the marjorium and poultry seasoning, and just mix to combine.
  4. Then mix in the eggs and melted butter.  I usually mix this with my hands. Then add the turkey stock until the mixture is moistened but not soggy.  I used two cups but may need to add more depending on how dry the bread is when you start. 
  5. Put the mixture in your crockpot, set to low, and cook for six to eight hours.

Notes: I may need to add more stock if the dressing starts to dry out.  I used a six quart crockpot and could probably add another half recipe to fill it.

Followup: The dressing burned on the along the outside & bottom even on the low setting.  I will have to research this to find a solution.  The center tasted fine so the recipe is a good one.

Thanksgiving – 2105

November 25, 2015 § Leave a comment

Countdown – Day 2 – Tuesday

Picked up the turkey this morning, a 14 pound fresh bird from Giant Foods. I bought a jar of Turkey Brining Blend from William-Sonoma.  I’m not really sure what possessed me to do that but I thought I would give it a try.  It was recommended that I use only 1/2 the jar, in lieu of the whole thing, as the recipe on the jar stated, so that’s what I did. Also picked up the ingredients for the stuffing.

Countdown – Day 1 – Wednesday

Started the morning by making the Raw Cranberry Relish.  With that done it was time to take the turkey out of the brine, rinse it off, pat it dry and put in on a rack in the refrigerator. Letting set in there, uncovered, for 24 hours allows the skin to dry which helps to make it brown and crispy.
Later in the day I washed out the turkey roaster and dumped the bread cubes in to dry overnight.

Countdown – Day 0 – Thursday

Todays the day!

Started the morning at about 7:30 with the Crock Pot Dressing.  We’ll see how that goes.  I may have to add to more stock if it seems dry.  Took the turkey of of the refrigerator at 9:00. It will set out until it hits the oven at about 11:00.  There seems to be a number of opinions on just how to roast a turkey.  I believe that I will combine a couple to get the best of all of them.

At 10:30 I stuffed the turkey with an  apple, onions and a celery stalk all cut into large dice along with a couple leaves of sage and parsley.  Trussed it up, put it on a rack breast side down and put it in the oven at 450 degrees for 1 hour.

I also put the giblets & neck in a 2 quart pot with water, about 6 cups, celery, onion, sage, parsley and black peppercorns and brought it to a boil.  Then reduced the heat and simmered for about 1 hour.

The stock is done and the turkey has been flipped.  Reduced the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Waiting until the internal temperature hits about 155 degrees.

Apple Topping for Pancakes & Waffles

November 14, 2015 § Leave a comment


1/4 cup regular sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp maple syrup

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 cup water

1 apple – small dice

1/2 tsp cinnamon


Place the first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the sugars are dissolved.  Add the diced apples and cinnamon and again bring to boil, then reduce heat and summer until thick and the apples are tender.

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