Archive for January, 2014


Eggplant Grinder

Sometimes it seems the collection of brochures increases exponentially of small take out restaurants that arrive in the mail. New places, under new management, or new revised menus are reasons that these establishments publish them. Not to mention the ones that arrive when a household member brings in a take out order.  But stubbornness of the DIYer continues. When food is a phone  call or mouse click away, why go through the trouble ?

The eggplant was in the fridge, purchased by my wife, typically I would bake it with cheese in a casserole but a sandwich was in order.  When was the last time I made a sandwich, who knows ? as grinder shops and takeout food  restaurants surrounds us. Do it yourself obsession becomes the reality as the taste of fresh baked bread enveloping breaded eggplant comes to mind. The plans come to order, simply bake bread and prep and cook the eggplant.

Water extraction is something that I’ve done with the eggplant, easy peeling, now sliced fairly thick. Generously salt and place within an absorbent surface with a bit of pressure.

IMG_4463The sliced and salted eggplant is between the napkins topped by a rack with the weight of skillets over them.

Now on the the bread, I do have bread available but in a standard squarish loaf, not grinder type and shape, so out with the bread pan.


One single loaf recipe later the ball of dough is placed in the pan to rise while the eggplant gives up it moisture.

Flour (with a touch of spent grains), eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs are plated for the assembly line process of coating the eggplant with the crunchy-ness I require. Yep…. you make a lot of dishes to clean up, not a factor with this cook !

IMG_4464 IMG_4465BTW if you need breadcrumbs don’t fret, get some frozen rolls from the freezer that nobody wanted and were saved for this purpose, crack them into pieces, place them in the food processor with some Italian herbs and process into crumbs. Sequence , flour, eggs and crumbs. Normally fried in oil at this point but broiling and baking was an option I employed. A heavy cast iron griddle on the oven rack in the top most position with the broiler on high.

IMG_4466A bit charred and well done crispy. (photo is cropped as to not show the condition of my oven) Also to get the fried effect give each patty a spray of cooking spray, like canola oil or gently brush with oil being careful not to disturb the coating. It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyways) that you’ll flip each one to toast both sides.

IMG_4470The eggplant is light and has a well defined coating to each for crunch.

IMG_4471While the bread continues to rise and the eggplant cooking progresses… you’ll need a bit of tomato sauce for the grinder too…. !

Diced tomatoes, a bit of tomato soup mix processed/blended with seasonings and heated up.


Tomato sauce… DONE !

Back to the bread…..

starting to resemble a grinder roll, the speckles are a small amount of spent grains added to the flour, slit the top , because that’s how it’s supposed  to look I guess.
IMG_4468bake the bread , you can also place the eggplant in the oven while the bread bakes to insure that it’s done.

IMG_4473Done ! that pan gives a nice rounded bottom to the loaf. Crisp crust and nice light crumb for a sandwich.

All the pieces of the puzzle are coming together,  time for the final assembly. Configure your oven back to the broiler configuration and put on high.

IMG_4474Trim end of the loaf, taste it and then slice off a section as big as your needs. then slice it horizontally.

IMG_4476Next up add sauce…….

IMG_4477a couple of the eggplant patties……..

IMG_4478shredded mozzarella, and Romano added, now run it under the broiler….


Smelted and brown…..

IMG_4480top with a bit more sauce and the top of bread.

IMG_4481The final product before consumption….

IMG_4482Slice and take a picture…..  after your first bite, ask….. was it worth it ?

Reward the chef (you) with a glass of wine. Perfecto !!!



2013 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,600 times in 2013. If it were a cable car, it would take about 27 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


Thanks WordPress for the report !



Breakfast pizza

Another pizza recipe, this dough is simple to prepare and stores in the fridge. Like the 5 minute bread recipe.
Mix the ingredients in a bowl and store the dough in the fridge, due to the fast acting yeast by the time you form the pizza or bread it’s risen and ready to go.
Lets go !

Dough is sticky, flour a surface and oil or flour hands, turn out the dough and knead, wow the dough is cold at this point.

Ready for panning.

Oiled and pushed into skillet , a small amount of spent grains in the bottom of skillet.

Mild Italian sausage links cut into small chunks.

Beat two eggs , season with salt and pepper, shred cheese, here mild cheddar is used.

Bake it up in a hot oven about 400 plus for about 15 to 20 minutes, remove from the skillet and place directly on oven rack to crisp crust , another 3 to 5 minutes.




rolls and bread

life goes on here, dough a regular staple, I took the time to form 1/2 recipe into buns, placed into muffins tins , a traditional form that is usually reserved for special occasions and to accompany Boston Baked Beans which I had previous made.

a small addition of spent grains accounts for the speckled appearance.  Some spent grain is also used to coat the bread pan giving the bottom a dark color.

The conditions must have been very right as the bread was first placed in the pan to rise, as I formed the buns the bread was “flying out if the pan” as they say. Even while baking the dough continued to climb. very light airy textures for this batch.

Follow along !

oh, just a brief explanation, would be hard to photograph this process while doing: divide the dough into 12 portions, now each portion into 3 each. Grab the dough ball and pull it with your fingers stretching the top down the sides and tuck under the bottom. Do this several times to produce a smooth ball. Place the dough ball in the muffin tin smooth side up and tucked in portion at bottom. Repeat 36 times, 3 to a  muffin cup, for a dozen. Let rise, bake and serve. Next day treat is leftover buns pulled apart and toasted with butter, incomparable !

IMG_4366 IMG_4367 IMG_4368 IMG_4369 IMG_4370 IMG_4371 IMG_4372 IMG_4373 IMG_4374 IMG_4375 IMG_4376 IMG_4377



noodles, again

again, making noodles, this recipe came out close to perfect, smooth and shiny noodles cut wide, for turkey soup.
I kneaded this recipe and let the dough sit an hour, fantastic.
2/3 cup flour,
drop into it 1 egg
barely combined with 1 tablespoon water,
1/2 teaspoon of salt
and a teaspoon of oil.
mix with hands till it comes together and knead for about 10 minutes, yes a lot of work for tired hands but worth it.

cover and let it stand for about an hour.

Roll with pasta machine.
hang and let dry out 30 minutes.
dust the lengths of dough and fold loosely on the lengths, cut into desired widths.
cook and serve or add to soup.

IMG_4349IMG_4352 IMG_4351 IMG_4350

time for a break….


IMG_4357 IMG_4358rolled out and drying…..

IMG_4359 IMG_4361

IMG_4360pictures of the soup are missing. but it was damn good !

OH here is a picture of the soup, less the noodles….



hot cocoa, or chocolate

Again, if you have the basic ingredients (sugar, cocoa, and of course milk) around for baking make some hot cocoa as desired. Skip all those packaged mixes, of course if your a slave to the mini marshmallows, then have some of them on the shelve.

Now the basics;

*optional ingredients

1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
Dash salt
Slight grind of nutmeg *
2 or 3 whole all spice *
Small piece of cinnamon*
Stir in 1/3 cup hot water to the above ingredients in a pan.
Cook and stir till mixture boils and stir for 2 minutes.
Add about 4 cups of milk and
Small cup of strong coffee*
Heat to short of boil, do not boil
Add Vanilla, a couple of drops,
Whisk till frothy and serve

now for the pics….

dry ingredients in a pan

IMG_4341mix in the hot water……..

IMG_4342boil and cook….. you could stop at this point and save it as chocolate syrup….

IMG_4343add milk…..

IMG_4344heat till almost boiling and froth with a whisk….

IMG_4345mmmIMG_4346 mug it !!!

IMG_4347dust with coffee, cocoa powder or a ground spice like cardamon. Add a chocolate liquor if desired. Happy Winter !



Orange Ginger Glazed Turkey with Cornbread Stuffing

Hopefully, this will tie together recently posted recipes.

Orange Marmalade

Orange  Ginger Glaze

Corn Bread Stuffing

I complicated the recipe by making Orange Marmalade required for the glaze and making cornbread for the stuffing versus prepared cornbread cubes and buying orange marmalade.

Basically stuff the bird with the cornbread stuffing. the recipe calls for about 5 hours of cooking stepping the temperature. The instructions with the turkey discourages against stuffing the turkey. WTF !


Usually I get up at the crack of dawn to get the bird from the fridge so it’s close to room temp before cooking along with the stuffing.

Roasting pan and rack are ready also.

IMG_4227pop up indicators should not be relied on as they can stick and not pop up.

Rinse out the turkey and pat dry.


The giblets and the neck were removed previously of course.

the recipe calls for the juice of one orange in the main cavity of the bird with liberal salting and peppering.


Carefully stuff the neck cavity first, the neck is actually the back of the bird when roasting in a conventional orientation.


The flap of neck skin is pulled up and secured with a small metal skewers.

The turkey is propped up in the sink to ease stuffing the cavity.

Go lightly with the stuffing don’t jam it in tightly.


the rear cavity, actually the front now get stuffed in the same manner.

The flap of skin is secured with a skewer and the legs brought together and secured by driving a skewer through them.


Complete with the butter massage and salt and pepper.

IMG_4234insert the temp gauge.


covered with foil and in to 325 oven

use 2 cups of giblet broth* in the roaster pan
cover loosely with foil and roast for 1 and 1/2 hours.
remove the foil and roast 2 and 1/2 hours basting every 30 minutes.
now raise the temp to 350 from initial 325 degrees and roast fro an hour. during the last 15 minutes brush on the Orange ginger glaze.
go for just about 160 , less as the turkey will continue to cook when removed from the oven. At least 20 minute rest.


A break in the action , the place setting favors are being prepared.IMG_4239

Temp gauge indicating close to done.



What I have done in the past to clear the oven for side dishes to be cooked is to get the turkey done ahead of time , wrap in foil and a towel and place it in a cooler to rest. You never know when inviting guests how the timing will go and it gives the guest time to mingle before calling them to the table. The turkey stays piping hot for a reasonable amount of time. Here I lapped seamed some lengths of foil together to make one large foil  sheet to enclose the bird.IMG_4246

The glaze with honey gives the bird a crisp texture.IMG_4248

Encapsulating the turkey, an old towel serves as additional insulation an when brought together forms a sling to place in and remove  from the turkey from the cooler.IMG_4260

The final presentation with side dishes.

With and electric knife, the turkey can be cut to order.

Were not done yet !

use about 28 ounces of broth (either what you have available or prepared chicken broth) 2 cups water,celery ribs, 2 onions and some parsley sprigs with the giblets and neck. Simmer for at least and hour while the bird is cooking or retrieve the giblets and neck from the cavity of the bird before hand and prepare ahead of time. cool and strain reserve the giblets, chop fine and shred the neck meat, you can use a food processor or finely chop. refrigerate till needed.

Now for the gravy: from reserved pan juices,add two cups back  to the pan and de-glaze.
In a separate pan melt butter and whisk in flour about 2 tablespoons each. cook till brown slightly.
Add the pan juices and bring to a boil to thicken and add 1/2 cup orange ginger glaze.
add thyme,salt and pepper to taste and reserved giblet and neck meat. simmer and thicken and/or thin as required.



Baked Beans

This is a re-Pete of a  former recipe;

The former recipe lacked pictures;

the beans were covered with water and soaked overnight.


Salt Pork

scored down to the rind in a grid pattern.


Layer in onions and garlic


Add some of the beans, brown sugar


Add some of the molasses, mustard, also included some molasses based barbeque sauce.


Repeat the layering process

My brown sugar was lumpy


More of the white beans


finished the layers


Add water, I use the water the beans soaked in overnight


325 to 350 degrees or as low as you as you want to go. This is usually an all day or night affair, 8 hours or more.

Chefs bonus : thinly slice some of the salt pork and fry for cracklings tasting.

the finished product is pictured




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