Archive for May, 2016


The best stew

One of the best stews I’ve made recently (when the weather was cooler) required a variety of meat. Over several weeks of shopping I accumulated the required ingredients.

Otherwise known as a cassoulet,  a classic french dish, the melding of the flavors is fantastic. I made sausage and duck a requirement along with smoked pork shanks.

It could also be constructed as a Baeckeoffe,

a recipe from Hubert Keller here:

The process and assembly is more or less self explanatory.


Main ingredients

Duck quarters, carrot, mushrooms, livers, sausage, pork shank, beef, chicken necks, onion, bay leaf, Brussels sprouts.









The cooking vessel is sealed with dough


I didn’t have a large enough pot so it was split between two, keeps well in fridge.


Done, the dough seal is a crunchy treat.




I’ll collect ingredients for another baking, already have some chicken feet and pigs trotters in the freezer.


Peasant’s plate

Some black eyed peas prepared from the previous day.

Bacon, onion, garlic, brocolli , mushrooms. 

Prepare and combine with flour, oil, butter, stock, milk.

Heat through adding grated cheese along the way.

Season as required.


Stir it up

A simple stir fry served with gnocci. 

Boil water as you fry some diced bacon. 
A couple of medium potatoes, microwaved, removed from skins, mixed with flour and egg, salt and a bit of oil. Combined in a small food processor so I had 2 batches. Save one for another meal. Added additional flour as needed and gave it a quick knead. Roll out to ropes and cut , nothing fancy here. Roll off a fork if you want the ridges.

Remove the bacon from the pan, leaving bacon fat,  add squid, fry till curly and browned. Remove from pan. 

Add the gnocci to the boiling water.

Add sliced veggies to the pan stir fry and season to your liking . Here you can be creative as to what you have on hand. 

Return the bacon bits and squid to the pan mix all.

Scoop out the gnocci with a slotted spoon to plate , top off with the stir fry veggie mixture.

Garnish as desired , usually grated parmesean , or I was thinking of a sauce , bechamel, cheese etc. 



Oriental Style egg drop noodle soup.

Most will say it was a gorgeous day to be outside. I tackled a few technical details indoors, finished tranferring some files from an older computer to a new/old replacement. A Windows 7 upgrade for the wife, it was easier and cost effective to purchase a refurb machine than it would be to buy Windows 7 alone and worry about system requirements.  Very satisfied with what was available for the cost. The computer looked like it had not been touched since manufacture. For the techies ,3 gigahertz processor, 4 gig ram , Windows pro 64 bit, optical drive in a small form factor case. I’m not in the habit of dropping names ,HP Compaq. Tiger direct.

While this was going on made some veggie, chicken stock and utilized for soup.


Chopped carrot

Chopped onion

Chopped celery


Rice noodles

Chopped chicken livers, gizzards

Slight dried hot red pepper addition

De canting some of the soup, and stirred in a beaten egg.

Plated with additional soup and toasted spent grain bread.

A good finish to the day.

Addendum: Windows 10 installed flawlessly. Also there is no bloat ware on the computer.


Saturday AM

One egg omelettes served this morning. 

One , Egg , a bit of milk, sweet onion, garlic, tat soi, kale, cheese, mushrooms. Side of orange.

One just sweet onion.

Coffee is a blend of Mexican and Columbian , roasted together , very good considering it was roasted just before brewing.


What’s on your plate today ?


stuffing for breakfast ?



maybe a new series,  “Keyboard Meals” or “Opening the Kitchen”

a recent email, news letter, from Bon Appetite  cooking without recipes, inspired this dish for first meal of the day.

In your saute pan, which may be a permanent fixture on your stove top,  add diced kale  stems, some garlic and the seasonings of your choice. (Himalayan Sea salt and  pepper medley flakes)

I add butter and/or oil, once the mixture is fragrant, add torn bread, brown and then the kale leaves rough chop.

Plate and garnish with grated Parmesan and dried thyme.

brew up the coffee, and log on ! watch the sun rise, or go to your studio;


The original recipe calling for Tempe sounds good I’ll go in that direction soon, but for now, there’s enough on my plate !





could be considered sort of a a simple salad !

a quick light breakfast that I enjoyed !

Addendum : added fruit as a side dish (not shown)



Craft beer Vertically Roasted chicken

A modified recipe from the book, Steven Raichlen’s Beer Can Chicken and 74 other Offbeat Recipes for the Grille,

Brined Big Boy.

It’s the standard brined chicken, albeit, a bit smaller than recommended, around 5 lbs, on a vertical roaster  in a pan vs. the beer can and utilized with IIPA beer.

Note: Actually the beer in the brine was a canned commercial variety of a light beer, nothing fancy.

The pan that the vertical roaster was placed in on the grille was a suitable diameter cake pan covered in foil.

In that pan, Off the Topper IIPA was poured in to about an inch depth. Had I more home brew IIPA, it would have been utilized in the brining solution, plus it gave me some use for the light beer.


The chicken and the brine was in a plastic bag refrigerated overnight for slightly over the 12 hour recommendation.

IMG_0178Charcoals getting up to temperature in the grille, foreground.


The bird is done.

Note: About the last 10 minutes of cooking, confirmed with a meat thermometer, a small amount of mesquite wood pellets were added to the charcoals, for a slight smoky finish and color.

IMG_0181Removed from the vertical  roaster.

Now you will probably realize that I am biased, but this was the best vertical roasted chicken I’ve had in a while.

It’s an even tie between the juiciness, and the flavor, even though the bird was mostly served cold, the meat was succulent.

Usually we grille for a meal, but lately I’ve learned that cooking and grilling a day before or just grilling to refrigerate for use later in the week is a more laid back approach than cooking for a deadline while  juggling other meal preparation tasks.

All in all if time permits, brining is thoroughly worth it.



May 2016
« Apr   Jun »

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