Yesterday’s Dinner for two. I should really work on the presentation, but – man! – this was delicious! The sous vide gadget makes sure the duck breast comes out perfectly, pink in the middle and absolutely not overcooked. I really like that thing!
The fat side was seared in the pan and glazed with a mix of sherry and honey. The sauce was a reduction of red wine, balsamic vinegar, garic and honey. This was serious work, but it was absolutely worth the effort.
First, that thing is large. In all the pictures that I had seen before, it looks rather small and handy but in reality it is 35 (!) cm long, so I first had to find a container that was high enough to fit 🙂
This is what I put together for personal use (american ⇒ metric). It’s pinned to my fridge wall and I use it often. You might find it interesting too.
I made a new batch of meat for curing and smoking. This time I will make two sorts: My standard cured pork (right side) like I already did several times. They’re about 700g each, so I’m planning to smoke one of them after curing and dry the other one.
The other type is “Bresaola” – cured and dried beef. It’s been cured with red wine for 24 hours and is now being cured with salt, sugar and herbs in the fridge. After that It’s going to be dried.
Made these little creeps yesterday for dinner. They’re absolutely easy to make but are very flavorful and yummy.
Gnocchi for two (about 200g each)
8-10 leaves of sage, coarsely cut
125 g butter
1 small shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
Salt and pepper
Grated parmesan cheese
I like garlic and besides the fresh cloves, I use a lot of store bought garlic paste for cooking when I’m in a hurry. So why not make some myself, have it fresh and have a little fun? I normally use this brand, it’s tasty, almost non-chemical and I consider it somewhat “original” since my asia store clerk strongly recommended it to me.
So I put Hauke to a use and made a small batch of sourdough yesterday for testing. Following this Youtube Video, I made it “by feel” using a ratio of 3:2:1 (flour:water:sourdough). After letting it sit for one night it almost doubled in size and got really nice and fluffy (and a hell of a sticky substance). Baked it for 40 mins. in my trusty dutch oven and got this nice result.
Now these are a little more complicated… I had stuff like them in a vietnamese restaurant and I was now googling around for some time to find something similar that I’d dare myself. So finally, since I’m neither asian nor a professional, I’ve thrown this together from here, here and here. What can I say? They turned out a bit ugly but indeed really delicious 🙂
As a kid I loved the Bud Spencer & Terence Hill movies! Great stories, even greater comments and… cool food. Just remember them grubbing a full pan of beans and bacon fresh from the campfire and niftily stolen from some starving-ass villains (and occasionally sharing it with their horses). Here’s my (very simple) version – a tradition for the last 20 years:
After one day of rest, it’s day 4 of the sourdough test now. It has a distinct sourly smell, rather fresh and not pungent or moldy and it bubbles. I’ll feed it one last time today and then try it out for baking bread. After all, I can sum up the process as follows:
500g small, round potatoes
2-3 tbsp. butter
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
2-3 big cloves of garlic, minced
Dried rosemary to taste
Salt & pepper to taste
The trick seems to be to “feed” it day by day, until it bubbles. The naturally occuring wild yeasts and lactobacilli in the flour need some time to wake up, reproduce and populate the mixture thoroughly. When this proliferation has reached a certain level, the developing carbon dioxide makes the dough bubble up and the ongoing fermentation produces a wide variety of aromatics – that finally also end up in your bread.
Looking forward to tomorrow evening and on how it is going on.
Let me present to you: Hauke (a somewhat unusual boy’s name in germany), my first homemade sourdough starter – at least my first try. Since I’ve read that they’re living organisms and thus you’re obliged to give them names, I’ll simply call him – well – Hauke. I started him off today with 50g wheat flour (Type 1050) and 50 ml water @ 27 °C (lukewarm). Recipe taken from here.
Part two and more information on how to make a sourdough starter tomorrow, when I’ll have to fill it up.
Since I was an absolute beginner when it came to using a pressure cooker (and I somehow lost the manual…), I looked for instructions on the internet lately. Some were plain BS, some just dramatically told elementary stuff and left out the real instructions and, finally, some (especially the relevant forums!) were very informative. I threw everything together and tried it out (BTW – here’s a good article on what a pressure cooker actually does – I won’t describe the principles of pressure cooking here).
So, here’s my personal “Pressure Cooker How To for Dummies” (tested, illustrated and in full color!):
Super-easy and fast. Oh, I forgot: also yummy!
Salmon for 2 (~350g)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. ginger, minced
½ tsp. red pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup honey
Dug out my slow cooker again yesterday after some time and made some pork neck. I don’t know where I got this recipe from anymore, but I really like it every once in a while since it’s very yummy and easy to make. The meat comes out fork tender and juicy and it has a nicely round and savoury taste.
Since I’ve been asked, this is my standard cooking equipment. Oddly, when digging through my kitchen cupboards I found that it is not so very much. Of course there’s some more, since kitchen utensils have a tendency to accumulate like old socks in your drawer, but I don’t use everything regularly. I do almost everything with a very manageable amount of rudimental, yet essential tools that I use everyday:
I like cooking asian and this often involves the use of dried mushrooms. They can easily be rehydrated with boiling water in a few minutes. While for wood-ear mushrooms boiling water is perfectly ok, some say that it is not for shiitakes and one should rather use lukewarm water (having to accept a longer rehydration time) in order to preserve flavour. I personally can’t find any difference, so I always use boiling water for both.
This video is about 20 minutes condensed to 1. The wood-ear mushrooms are perfectly good after about 12-15 minutes, whereas the thicker shiitake take at least 20 minutes to rehydrate. You can save the flavourful liquid from the shiitakes for later use (the wood ear don’t deliver any), for example as soup stock addition etc. And don’t forget to remove the stems.
I’m not much of “sweets guy” but my SO loves a sugary treat from time to time, so I made her these. It’s actually this “Tasty“-Recipe and it works well. Almost no effort, nearly fool proof and apparently really delicious.
I made beef jerky again, this time Teriyaki-style. Also, meanwhile I have “professional” Dehydrator that does a real good job and that has temperature control as well as a timer for “fill and forget”.
I made a yummy Seafood Gratin these days. Attention: This is serious winter food – heavy, savoury, warming and high in calories… here’s how to cook it.
My sister in law made Spätzle herself (which is, as far as I know, best translated to “swabian noodles”). It’s a traditional southern german specialty made from small lumps of dough cooked in boiling water and then enriched with melted cheese (“Käsespätzle”) and sauteed onions.
I will snatch the recipe from her…
I will reproduce it…
and I WILL eat them… 🙂
Eventually, I seem to get the hang on it. The latest piece turned out beautifully. After smoking it thoroughly with the cold smoker and hanging it in the fridge to age for about four weeks, I recently gave it a try and I really like it. Tasty, not harsh, rather mild and the fat melts in your mouth. Luckily, I wrote down what I did precisely, so I can (and will) repeat.
Mhh, I think I’m on some kind of asian-cooking-trip at the moment… This one is hot, tasty and easy to prepare. Taken from here and adapted to my needs and possibilities.
I had a full pund of ground meat left over yesterday, so in order to not let it spoil I made an Oven Fattie from it. Man, this is Heart Attack Food… Extra juicy, cheesy and frickin’ delicious. Here’s how to do it:
I made homemade veggie stock these days for my SO. I’m not so much into veggies personally but she likes it and I made a batch. It’s really easy and it only takes some time to dry (where you don’t have to give it too much attention). This is not so much intended for making soup (although it will somehow work too), but merely for seasoning, for example for sauces and stews.
You can use leftover uncooked veggies and also kitchen scraps for this, as long as you make sure they’re clean and reasonably free of roots or hard skins. This is what I did:
Teriyaki Sauce is one of the staple ingredients in japanese cooking. It means “shiny grilled” literally (Wikipedia) and while it’s normally just prepared on the fly while cooking, I find it nice to have a small stock of it in the fridge to use.
I tried to find a recipe that is as original as possible because there are so many “western” variations of it to be found on the internet and I wanted the real thing. Eventually, I found a simple and easy instruction in this video (at 4:20 – I generally like that guy and I have already cooked a lot of his dishes) and will follow this, because most “japanese” or at least “original asian” looking sites say mostly the same.
I like these and always make them in advance for a few days. It’s not too much work (let it be 10 minutes) and they reheat in the microwave in 2 minutes in the morning, so they’re easy and convenient. They keep in the fridge for about two days, otherwise I think you could also freeze them. But usually they don’t last very long…
Latest cooking Experiment, yesterday evening for dinner: “Elsässer Flammkuchen” (some kind of french pizza, with a very thin bottom topped with sour cream, onions and bacon). Very yummy, luckily everybody liked it.
My SO is on tour visiting her familiy, so I had the opportunity to make my delicious beef leg stew in the crockpot yesterday. It’s really easy, yummy and filling. Follow this simple recipe and enjoy a real manly comfort food:
Another batch done. Oddly, it took several days longer to reach the 35% of weight loss in the fridge (see here), but, man! This shit tastes great!
Ugly Fotos this time but a great meal! This is the Seafood Chowder we had for Dinner yesterday. 3 hours in the slow cooker made hearty, aromatic, fragrant and filling meal. Almost no work at all, easily available ingredients and a simple recipe. We’ll definitely do that again! Trust me: Do try this at home!
This chinese noodle dish with the exceptional name (basic recipe and explanation here) is fast and easy to cook and yummy as hell. Man, I love that shit!
(BTW: Sake is required, not Oyster Sauce as on the picture). As usual I adapted it a little, aka mixed several recipes that I found on the internet until I liked it best.
As much of a setback the smoking session last weekend was, as heavenly the dry cured meat turned out!
Took ’em off the hook today since they had reached the planned weight. Firm to the touch, dry and with a really delicious scent. It came out almost “creamy” with an unobtrusive taste, the herbs I used come through not too heavy and they have a very pleasant texture.
Pork neck with the surface fat trimmed diligently turned out to be the most suitable piece to use. Only thing I will change is that I will use a little larger pieces next time. O.K. so let’s skip smoking and concentrate on dry curing instead 🙂
So I think I’m starting large-scale production now… 🙂 I have four new pieces of pork here again (belly, neck and shoulder) that I want to cure in different ways and that I plan to cold-smoke next weekend.
The waiting is over now after six days of dry curing in a vaccum bag. So I gave each one a different spice: Coarse pepper, Thyme and Rosemary, corded ’em up and hung ’em in the fridge. Now it’s about waiting for them to dry.
Since the last batch worked out so beautiful, I have started another one but this time three times as much. The procedure is always the same:
Man, this is gonna be a large gallery. I made a new batch of sausages today, following my basic recipe – we hope to have the one or the other grill party here with some friends. Not everything went straight, but in the end, it worked out fine.
Three weeks ago I began curing some meat just in the fridge, without smoking. Today, after 24 days I think it’s done so lets try it. It has lost more than 35% of it’s weight (the goal was 310g, it is 305 g now), it is firm and has no unpleasant odor.
A Simple Ramen Dish made from chicken soup and my homemade chili oil. This is way better than the industrial ramen packages.
The 2.574.956th approach to rub and glaze mixtures on the net. These are my two personal favourites. I like them because they go together really well and are absolutely easy to make. Just mix ’em up and you’re ready to go.
So I made me some of my favourite barbecue short ribs yesterday for diner. Here’s the sequence of events:
So I got myself this new little Garlic-Grinding-Machine-Application-Thingy. Works absolutely great! I like garlic a lot and this really comes in very handy, since it makes cool minced garlic in no time, is easy to use and easy to clean. No mess, no smelly hands and almost no work.
So here’s my standard recipe for curing meat that I mostly use. It can be adjusted to personal needs in terms of herbs and spices, but I strongly recommend to stick to the directions concerning the curing salt.
Recipe (per kg of meat):
30-40 g curing salt (rule of thumb: 3-4%)
10 g brown sugar
1 tsp. freshly and coarsely ground black pepper
1 tsp. dried rosemary
I cured a nice piece of pork with salt and herbs over the last 4 days. Now it hangs in the fridge to age for another 3-4 weeks until it has lost about 35% of its weight (current weight at start is 480g so the goal is about 310g). It’s nicely wrapped in cheesecloth and tied up neatly. I’m curious!
And, oh my god, I’ve got to clean that fridge. (It’s funny how there’s things that you never really take notice of until you take a photo of them…)
I made asian/chinese (whatever) chili oil for cooking again – simple, fast and tasty, and the smell fills the whole kitchen… mhhh…
Found an intersting article in the german Newspaper Die Welt on how to reasonably store your goods in your refrigerator according to the different temperature zones. I’ve taken the liberty of translating it.
Finally had the time to make my first homemade takoyaki trying out my recently made makeshift apparatus. I recommend this strongly to everyone who likes japanese food! They’re multo delicioso!
Very very yummy! Another one that I really wanted to try for some time now, I made it with garlicky, buttery beans as a side dish. It’s easy enough to make even on a workday evening and I think it would also go well with rice or any other greens that you like.
I had Takoyaki some days ago, and I absolutely loved them. Naturally, I want to try to make them by myself, but unfortunately there are virtually no takoyaki pans available for induction stoves 🙁 .
Yeah! Four racks of baby back ribs and two barbecue fatties! I’m going to try out he new “small” UDS that I made last winter. It has worked beautifully for cold smoking bacon, now I’m curious about how it’ll perform smoking a serious load of meat. Some friends are going to come over tonight, we’re going to have some beer for the boys, some wine for the ladies and lots to eat. My mouth already waters in anticipation…
Mentsuyu is a japanese allround dipping sauce and soup base – it seems to be a very common condiment there and it tastes great. I use it as a dipping sauce for cold Soba/Somen noodles. The following recipe is not completely original, since Kombu seaweed and Bonito flakes aren’t available here and I substituted them with plain dashi powder. But I cross-tried it in a japanese restaurant and it does come close enough.
Im ending my field test today, because a.) I’m hungry and b.) I won’t be storing mushrooms longer than 5-6 days anyway.
So every other batch of mushrooms that I buy and that I don’t eat right away is spoiling 🙁 . Having read several hints and tips on how to best store mushrooms for a few days and each one contradicting the other, I have decided to do my own FIELD TEST!
I still have nice piece of rib-eye in the fridge that I don’t want to spoil, so that’ll be tonight’s dinner. Here’s my cheat-chart for the internal temperature. I’ve got a cheap meat thermometer to measure the temps because I’m not skilled enough to eyeball it and I don’t want to ruin a good piece of meat.
I ran out of Rub after my medieval dinner three weeks ago, so I stocked up again and made some of my super secret “Personal BBQ Dry Rub”.
To be (rudely) honest, I don’t like those “Tasty” videos so much, but this one really caught me and I tried it. It’s a cool way to re-use your kitchen scraps by just keeping them in the freezer and – once you’ve collected enough – make vegetable stock from them.
And. It. works. 🙂
This is what I received in the Mail today: My new Lodge™ Cast Iron Dutch Oven. It’s 5 qt. (4,7 l) and it weighs a solid 11.6 lbs. (5,25 kg). And I will mainly use it for… baking bread. I also got a pan from them which suits me really well.
It came pre-seasoned, so I won’t have to do this, but you can read my passage on re-seasoning cast iron anyway if you like.
This is yesterdays dinner. My SO was not so amused, since she can’t eat pork meat, but she always lets me cook things like this just to see me rolling around, completely overeaten and swearing to never do this again… 🙂
Had this for breakfast again today and I still love it. “Recipe” for a Thai-style Omelette, that I picked up somewhere…
- 2 Eggs
- 1.5 tsp. Fish Sauce
- pinch of salt and pepper
- Much oil for frying (this is close to deep-frying!)
Add a generous amount of cooking oil to a pan or preferably a wok on high heat and let it warm up to the point just before it’s starting to smoke. Mix eggs and fish sauce in a bowl, add salt & pepper to taste and whisk together.
Add the eggs to the hot wok and fry until the underside is golden brown. It will produce bubbles and fry up. Turn down the heat to medium-high and flip over. Bake 1 minute or so more, then serve.
This is not where this recipe is from, but it’s almost the same.
My slow cooker really was one of the rather reasonable purchases for my kitchen. Especially when you don’t have too much time for cooking: Throw stuff in. Turn it on. Completely forget about it for a few hours and – bang! – Hearty meal! I love it.
Images from yesterday’s “Medieaval Dinner” with some of my dearest people. I think it was yummy, abundant and tasty. (At least I hope so.)
Basically, this is a simple yeast-dough: Knead all the ingredients to a firm-to-the-touch dough (I use my food processor). Just knead until it doesn’t stick to the surface of the bowl anymore. Cover with plastic wrap and let it sit in a warm place for at least 2 hrs.
Yep. We tried it again and this time we took photos. The new mould (”Oshibako”) has better dimensions and makes more handy pieces. Also, we tried more nori and wasabi mayonnaise. We were so stuffed and happy yesterday evening.
Smoking the cured meats from recently in the new “small” UDS.
Yesterdays dinner. Oyster- and king-oyster-mushrooms, deep fried with some veggies. Man I really need to get hands on some tips on how to properly take photos of food…
The pressed-sushi-mold put to the test and it worked absolutely fine! As usual, I was so excited working with it, that I didn’t take any photos. If my SO hadn’t taken some there would be none at all…
This is a so called “Oshibako“ – a kind of mold used for making “pressed sushi”. I made it today – as usual from the finest scrap-wood that I had lying around… 🙂
The next batch of homemade bacon is on the run. It’s hanging to air-dry now before smoking, In german-language it’s called “brennen” wich literally means “to burn”, but it says no more than to air-dry it for 24 hrs. or so. This time I rinsed it thoroughly to wash off the salt a little that builds up during the curing process.
Homemade Lox and Blinis.
We made spring rolls yesterday evening! Delicious little bastards…
Today morning’s “christmas pancakes” for my SO. Recipe:
Here’s how I make my own bacon (Recipe/How-To):
Finally got my cold smoke box ready, including a cold smoke generator (idea taken from here). Luckily, it’s all made of scrap that was lying around, so nothing is really lost if it doesn’t work. Can’t wait to try it out.
Asian-style fried rice: Easy, delicious, fast. (Serves: 1)
Absolutely delicious and the smell is marvellous. Of course I’ve got this one from the internet, but I don’t remember from where anymore.
So your faithful old cast Iron pan is a little rugged up? Here’s how you can re-season it after cleaning:
The next attempt in sous vide cooking.
Believe it or not: This heap of scrap is my new self made sous-vide cooker! Cost me exactly € 10.99 for the immersion heater, everything else was lying around in the shop. I was not very convinced of the concept of sous vide cooking in the beginning so it was merely a side-project just for fun, but the steak turned out SO delicious I will definitely do this more often!
Had 3 days off because I called in sick with the flu (or at least as much as I could, since I’m the Boss…)
I made my own cookbook!
“Hibachi Noodles”, I LOVE this stuff.
This isn’t some kind of official recipe, it’s just how I do it. I’m german so I use metric measures, not imperial. Work clean and wash your hands and tools frequently! This recipe contains no Ice (and thus: no Water) and no preservatives. It‘s just pure meat, spices, dedication and lots of love.
(What a title…) A new try with the slow cooker. Teriyaki-style honey and sesame turkey breast with mushrooms and spring onions for three persons. Since it turned out delicious, as I promised here’s the recipe. I found it somwhere on the internet and (strongly) adapted it to my needs.
Look at that… Recipe/Instructions from here: Grilled Ribeye With Soy Butter Glaze
Homemade Gyoza Recipe. I love them.