ellyssian: (Default)
So fish tacos. Never had 'em.

I know they're popular nowadays, because everybody and their brother's restaurant serves them. I get the impression they take some Gortons fish portions and chuck 'em in a taco and violas and violins, there you go. But I'm probably wrong.

In any case, this dish I've never even seen anyone else eat, let alone taste it myself, was part of the inspiration for How To Use Leftover Ingredients Before They Go Bad, otherwise known as...

Nacho Nacho Feeesh

  • haddock fillets, quantity determined by appetites at the meal
  • blue corn chips, quantity determined by the square inchage of the pan used to cook the fillets
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • basil
  • chipotle chili powder
  • French's Fried Onions
  • Mexican shredded cheese mix, most of a pouch that had been sitting around for a while


Preheat oven to 400.

Put chips in an oven safe pan. I used a small Pyrex and one fillet, as I was making this just for me.

Squirt the fresh (or at least thawed) fillet(s) with lemon juice and then set on top of the chips.

Drizzle the fish with very little olive oil and season with basil and chipotle.

Bake for about 5 minutes or so, maybe more for thick fillet(s).

Pull the pan out and cover the fish with the fried onions. I crumbled them a little, but not too much. I did not use enough to cover the chips, just the fish.

Dump the cheese on top of the fish and spread it out a little.

Put it back in the oven and cook until the cheese is melted nicely, about ten minutes or so.

Serve hot. Would probably go good with salsa or, even better, pico de gallo. I just ate mine right out of the pan, using a fork and fingers...
ellyssian: (Default)
I had a zipped bag of some fresh blueberries I accidentally slightly squished and I had some thawed out catfish. So I thought a little, and I very nearly almost baked them... but I thought "blueberries" and that led to Maine, and that led to maple trees and maple sugar... and I had bacon ends, and bacon naturally goes with maple...

And so here I am, typing this out as I finish off a delicious lunch of that traditional favorite of the Maine blueberry lumber jacks (they often have to cut down the shrubberies with a catfish, of course) that I invented mere moments ago as I cooked it for myself...

Down East Catfish

  • catfish fillets, quantity determined by appetites at the meal
  • bacon ends, quantity determined by the square inchage of the pan used to cook the fillets
  • blueberries, a handful or so per serving
  • water, about 1/8 cup per serving
  • maple sugar, to taste
  • balsamic vinegar, about 1/2 tablespoon per serving


Heat up your cast iron pan.

Cover the cooking surface of the pan with bacon ends (if you're cooking a small fish in a big pan, less bacon ~ yes, I actually said that ~ is in order).

Pour the water into a small saucepan, and turn the heat up high.

Add the balsamic vinegar and melt in the sugar until the sweetness is where you want it.

Toss in the blueberries.

Let the sauce boil a little, turning it down to mid-heat. Stir it fairly frequently.

Cook the bacon until it's about half to mostly done. Think about how much space the fish will take up, and make sure you're not leaving too much to cook once the fish jumps in.

Turn the sauce down to low and keep it warm. Check the sweetness and add more sugar if needed.

Toss the fish in the pan. I like to cook it first with the flat side (inside) up, so that it's more flexible on the convex outer side.

Move any cooked bacon to the top of the fish. You can leave fatty bits on the pan itself so they melt off and deepen the fry.

Cook the fish until half-done, about 3 minutes.

Scrape the bacon off the fish, flip the fish, and get the bacon back up on top.

Finish cooking, about another 3 minutes. If desired, this cooking step can be completed with a 400 degree pre-heated oven. Just toss the pan (which is, of course, cast iron) in the oven for the 3 minutes cooking that the second side needs.

Get the fish on the plate(s), toss the bacon on top of it again, then drizzle the sauce on top of the fish. If desired, you can screen the fruit from the sauce, but that's the best part (along with the whole rest of it, of course) as far as I'm concerned.

Serve immediately.
ellyssian: (Default)

  • ground beef, one handful per burger

  • granny smith apples, roughly one per two burgers

  • bacon

  • gorgonzola

  • extra sharp cheddar

  • maple sugar

  • fresh ground black pepper

  • white pepper

  • asiago cheese bagels



Disclaimer: I didn't use the cheddar. However, next time, I'll use a little bit, in thin strips, to melt into a glue. The gorgonzola doesn't have enough holding power, and the burger falls apart a bit.

Cook the bacon until it is just a little underdone. Drain it.

Slice apples into thin round slices, using the middle of each apple, cutting out the core. About two slices per finished burger. Dice the remaining apple(s).

Mix the ground beef, black and white pepper, about half the gorgonzola, cheddar, and maple sugar in a bowl. Rip up the bacon and mix it in.

Form patties and cook. I grill over an open flame when possible, otherwise I like to broil.

Slice and toast or grill the bagels.

Put the burgers on the bagels, top with the rest of the gorgonzola and two slices of apple each, then put the top on the burgers and serve.

If you use a 70/30 blend of burger, you won't need any sauces ~ it will be moist enough.
ellyssian: (Default)


Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring 2 cups of water, a bit of oil, and a few grindings of sea salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, reduce to simmer and add barley & brown rice, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.

Mix ground beef and a liberal sprinkling of maple pepper, some basil, and ground rosemary in a metal sauce pan and allow to stand.

Prepare one or two pans with foil, and lay out the bacon in a single layer. Bake until desired crispness is reached ~ I like a mix of somewhat flexible to pretty crisp. Drain bacon on a rack, then sandwich in layers of paper towels to absorb grease.

Mix chopped onion into hamburger.

Crumble/tear bacon and mix into hamburger. Bacon will probably still be hot, so be careful.

Add barley and rice and, you guessed it, mix into hamburger. Grains are exceedingly hot, so use a fork to stir things up. Some of the water wasn't absorbed by the barley and rice, and it went into the mix.

Form into loafs in (a) baking dish(es). We used 3 aluminum foil loaf pans, maybe 3x3x9? Press it down to compact it a bit.

Pour maple syrup over the top of each loaf.

Bake uncovered for 40 minutes.

Water remained in each pan after serving, so this was exceptionally moist. I considered keeping the water out of the mix, but I felt it did a decent job of reducing the fat from the beef.
ellyssian: (Default)


Prep the salad ingredients, make the onion straws and cod pieces.

Heat 2 tbsp of the dressing (or so) in a small saucepan over very low (as low as you can go) heat. I simmered it while the fish fried, turned the heat off, and left it there until the onion straws were done, and it was perfect. A bit of heat brings out the sweetness in the dressing; it's not necessarily served hot, though.

This is best done in individual size servings ~ I wouldn't advise putting this in a big bowl and tossing it.

Add a few onion straws, then the lettuce, spinach, and carrots. Mix that up a bit. Add some more onion straws, and a few pieces of the fish. Top with the cheese and drizzle with the dressing.

As mentioned with the cod pieces recipe, beer battered might be the way to go... although the onion straws held up well with the dressing and veggies, the fish seemed to get soggier. A battered coating may prevent that.
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 2 large cod filets (or haddock or flounder or any other white fish, really, although if you use something else, you lose the clever word play in the title, which means a possibly more appetizing title, which means less fish for you)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • chipotle chile powder
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 quart canola oil


And yes - if you make this with the onion straws, the recipe is the same. Next time, I may do a beer battered fish, but this was done to keep the flour mix identical.

~ ~ ~

Mix milk with lemon juice. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Or spend more money to buy fake buttermilk that is made pretty much the same way. Or spend even more money and buy traditional buttermilk.

~ ~ ~

Slice cod filets into narrow strips, cutting each in half at the spine.

Place in a glass dish.

Pour buttermilk over the onion.

Allow to sit for 1 hour.

~ ~ ~

Mix flours together.

Add spices. Go heavy on the black pepper, it's better that way.

I also added some ground white pepper and a pinch or two of tarragon, but the latter was inconsequential and the former works just as well as more ground pepper.

~ ~ ~

Pre-heat canola oil in saute pan, dutch oven, or other appropriate container, to 350 degrees.

Pick up fish from buttermilk, drop into the flour mix.

Shake the extra flour off, drop the coated onions in the oil.

By the time you mix the next batch of milky fish bits in the flour, the ones in the oil will be ready to be turned (unless you use enough oil to cover them).

Cook them a lot less on the second side.

Place on a paper towel to drain.
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup corn meal
  • chipotle chile powder
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 quart canola oil



Mix milk with lemon juice. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Or spend more money to buy fake buttermilk that is made pretty much the same way. Or spend even more money and buy traditional buttermilk.

~ ~ ~

Slice onion in half, root to tip. If you feel you can slice in mid-air, without support, go ahead; I did that with the first onion and it didn't work so well.

Place the onion half freshly-cut side down. Starting at the tip, slice as thin as you can and still have the knife somewhere near the onion. You should be able to see the knife through the onion.

Repeat with the other half.

~ ~ ~

Separate onion bits and place in a large glass dish.

Pour buttermilk over the onion.

Allow to sit for 1 hour.

~ ~ ~

Mix flours together.

Add spices. Go heavy on the black pepper, it's better that way.

I also added some ground white pepper and a pinch or two of tarragon, but the latter was inconsequential and the former works just as well as more ground pepper.

~ ~ ~

Pre-heat canola oil in saute pan, dutch oven, or other appropriate container, to 350 degrees.

Pick up onions from buttermilk, drop into the flour mix.

Shake the extra flour off, drop the coated onions in the oil.

By the time you mix the next batch of milky onions in the flour, the ones in the oil will be cooked.

They go real quick, so keep an eye on them.

Place on a paper towel to drain.

~ ~ ~

Make sure you eat them before anyone else realizes they're ready. Or make two onions worth, which is what I did.

Also, for best results, use one set of tongs in the milk/onion mix, another in the flour, and a third (I used a metal slotted spoon for this one) to scoop them from the oil. I'm thinking of getting some metal mesh screened pans to shake more of the excess flour off before they go in the oil; the excess sludge really drops the temperature of the oil pretty quickly. Any ideas on keeping that to a limited quantity would be welcome!
ellyssian: (Default)
This recipe has been posted before, and to celebrate the inclusion of pictures, there's been a slight variation added in for the occasion.

  • 1 lb. bacon (Hatfield Applewood Smoked, in this instance)
  • 6 medium-largish baking potatoes (adjust to more or less based on size; 7 were used here)
  • olive oil in spray bottle
  • 16 oz. extra sharp Wisconsin yellow cheddar
  • 8 oz. Monterrey Jack
  • 2 bunches scallions
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. tarragon
  • 1 tbsp. chervil
  • 2 tbsp. tarragon vinegar
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 crushed white peppercorns
  • unsalted butter


Constructions and pictures under the cut! )

Enjoy!

Deeper n' Ever - Ready to Serve
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 1 lb fresh ground bison
  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1/4 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • white peppercorns, freshly ground


For all intents and purposes, I could just have written this up as a variation to the parmesan bacon burger in the last post, but I want it to stand out a bit. I also did this at half the scale of the prior recipe. While the parmesan, garlic, and tomato add their own touch, the big feature here is that the cow isn't involved.

A quick word on bison: it's better for you. Simple as that.

This was the first time I cooked bison, but over the last few years I've selected it at restaurants when I noticed it was an option. I like the taste a bit better, but the health impacts are huge. Watching this cook up, far more tender than the beef at the end, yet with no massive oil slick coming off of it, was eye opening. This is good stuff.

Other than the ingredients, the process is the same as involved in the other burger, just sized differently:


Pan-fry the bacon to a crisp and set on paper towels to drain.

In a large metal bowl, mix the ground bison, bacon, and cheddar. Grind some white pepper on to it. Separate out into two big meatballs ~ keeping the round ball shape makes it easier to compare sizes and get roughly equivalent proportions. Once you've got it all divided, and both lumps of mix are the same size, set them, one by one, on pieces of wax paper. Press a bit to flatten, fixing up any fault-lines that may appear. Fold the wax paper over the burger and press down, using a large flat object (a saucepan works good). The burger should be no more than 1 inch thick.

Refrigerate until ready to cook.

While the best method may be to toss them on an open flame grill, it was a bit too cold and windy for that today.

The second-best method is a combination effort:

Set the burgers on a foil lined baking sheet, and broil.

At an internal temperature of around 90 degrees or so, flip them, and at 100 or so take them out of the broiler. To measure the temperature, the probe should be inserted from the side of the burger and extend in to the center, about 2 inches or so.

I used a grill pan to finish them off and put the final sear on them without sending them too far past the medium rare stage.

Ideally, this grill would be superheated, but that gets back to the rant about venting and the lack thereof ~ I had the heat set on medium, and used the thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

The grill pan can be skipped ~ just cook them in the broiler until done ~ but I like that little extra bit of sear.

Serve on crustini rolls with some lettuce.
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 2 lbs fresh ground beef
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1/2 cup parmesan-romano-asiago cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup tomato, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • white peppercorns, freshly ground


This is pretty simple, but worked out very well. While I'd love to use only bison and ditch the cow altogether (sorry, Bessie!), this recipe seems better suited to the flavor of beef ~ in fact I took the ground bison and prepared that differently, and will post that recipe in a little while.

Pan-fry the bacon to a crisp and set on paper towels to drain.

In a large metal bowl, mix the ground beef and other ingredients. Separate out into six big meatballs ~ keeping the round ball shape makes it easier to compare sizes and get roughly equivalent proportions. Once you've got it all divided, and all six lumps of mix are the same size, set them, one by one, on pieces of wax paper. Press a bit to flatten, fixing up any fault-lines that may appear. Fold the wax paper over the burger and press down, using a large flat object (a saucepan works good). The burger should be no more than 1 inch thick.

Refrigerate until ready to cook.

While the best method may be to toss them on an open flame grill, it was a bit too cold and windy for that today.

The second-best method is a combination effort:

Set the burgers on a foil lined baking sheet, and broil.

At an internal temperature of around 90 degrees or so, flip them, and at 100 or so take them out of the broiler. To measure the temperature, the probe should be inserted from the side of the burger and extend in to the center, about 2 inches or so.

I used a grill pan to finish them off and put the final sear on them without sending them too far past the medium rare stage.

Ideally, this grill would be superheated, but that gets back to the rant about venting and the lack thereof ~ I had the heat set on medium, and used the thermometer to keep an eye on the temperature.

The grill pan can be skipped ~ just cook them in the broiler until done ~ but I like that little extra bit of sear.

Serve on crustini rolls with some lettuce.
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 4 filet mignon steaks
  • 4 slices of bacon
  • 1 tb butter
  • 1 tb olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • Béarnaise sauce


Constructions and pictures under the cut... )
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 5 pounds of russet potatoes
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 8 oz Philadelphia original cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup Half & Half
  • Roasted Garlic, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt


Constructions and pictures under the cut... )

As with the roasted garlic recipe, blame credit where credit is due: check out my source for this, Pioneer Woman. She takes photos of all the steps I didn't, so there's more to look at.

By the way, ironically enough, I stumbled across Ree's site while looking for a recipe for onion straws, so I might come one step closer to actually making my Fisherman's Salad ~ a concept meal I came up with when I started drawing up refined plans for my restaurant five or ten years ago... see, I told you I have waves of interest ~ and after checking out her recipe, I strolled through some of her others and came across this double whammy. Prior to that, I wasn't sure how I was going to prepare the potatoes for the Valentine's Feast... thanks again, Ree! =)
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 1 bunch fresh aspparagus, trimmed
  • 1 bunch fresh white asparagus, trimmed
  • 4 tb olive oil
  • tarragon, finely chopped
  • fresh ground pepper
  • sea salt
  • Béarnaise sauce


Constructions and pictures behind the cut... )
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 tb tarragon vinegar
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tb chervil, finely chopped
  • 1 tb tarragon, finely chopped
  • 2 crushed white peppercorns
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup melted butter


Under the cut, with some pictures! )
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 7 garlic bulbs
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper


Constructions and pictures of most steps under the cut... )

Done!

Oh, if you thought I told the story well, or, more importantly, if you felt I flubbed it, go read how Pioneer Woman did it ~ there's better photographs and more entertaining reading there. Besides, I was just following along with her recipe. Thanks, Ree! =)
ellyssian: (Default)
Of course, I tend to much prefer spring rolls, mostly for the difference in wrapper. Funny enough, my sources tell me that the difference between the egg roll and spring roll wrappers involves egg. Yes, odd as it may sound, no egg is involved in the egg roll. The spring roll, on the other hand, is brushed with it. Go figure.

Anywho, without further ado (and yeah, I will get to the other recipes & meal scheduling of the Valentine's Feast... maybe tomorrow? =) here it is:

  • 6 thin sliced center cut pork chops
  • 8 oz plum sauce (Sun Luck Golden Plum Sauce)
  • Eden Organic Tamari
  • Eden Selected Ume Plum Wine Vinegar
  • Ground ginger, to taste
  • 1.25 cups canola, sesame, or safflower oil
  • 10-12 shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 stalks bok choy
  • 1 lg. onion
  • 2-5 cloves garlic
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 ginger root, peeled
  • 6-10 scallions
  • 2 med or 1 lg carrot
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds
  • Ground chipotle pepper, to taste
  • 1 pkg. egg roll wrappers
  • duck sauce or sweet and sour sauce


I've never really tried any other plum sauces or any other brand of egg roll wrappers, so those exact flavors are up to you. I have, however, tried other tamari ~ even other Eden tamari ~ and I can say, without a shadow of a doubt, that the product will be discontinued because the difference between it and other soy sauces is rather like the difference between, say, a Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT and an Edsel, provided the Edsel is rusted out and has been pressed flat by a car crusher. It is the difference between, say, the Berlin Philharmonic and an Edsel, rusted out, pressed flat, and set on a balance so it squeaks. It is the difference, say, between a fine wine and raw sewage. There is just no comparison.

I haven't tried any other plum wine vinegars, but I do have to say I'm impressed with the Ume plum wine vinegar, and it is far superior to the rice wine vinegar I'd used up to this point.

Speaking of points, time to get to it. Here's the recipe:

Pre-heat oven to 350.

De-fatify the pork chops. Slice them into thin strips - maybe a quarter or three-eighths of an inch wide. Cut them in half (roughly an inch long at most). Place them in a glass baking dish. Cover with the plum sauce. Add some tamari and Ume plum wine vinegar. Sprinkle with ground ginger.

Bake until tender, basting regularly with the juices.

The core of the egg roll recipe is to make a stir fry. The only difference is that you chop almost everything finely instead of leaving it in slivers. You can leave some things in slivers and it will work, but it's neater to eat if it's all chopped up.

Set out four plates and two cutting stations - one for the initial prep and the other for the chopper.

The initial prep has some variations depending on the ingredient. The mushrooms should be washed, de-stalked, and thin sliced ~ these were the only ones I left in this form. Everything else should be washed and cut into 1 inch or so chunks, slices, bits, cubes, or whatever's easiest to get them to a size of 1 cubic inch at most. The cloves of garlic just need to be peeled and have the fibrous ends chopped off. The ginger root has to be peeled and then cut into chunks. The carrots should be peeled, if desired, and then cut into chunks. The water chestnuts just need to be opened and drained, possibly peeled if they're in their virgin state (most aren't). The sesame seeds just need to be measured out.

Next stage is to chop everything. For me, I've found that our veggie chopper does great on ten cycles. I lay out enough of one item to fill but not clog, give it ten swats, and then shift the ingredients to one of four plates.

The following is the layout for the ingredients above, plus other possibilities I've used in stir fry but not for egg rolls:

Plate 1: onion, ginger, garlic, broccoli
Plate 2: carrots, cabbage, bok choy
Plate 3: peppers, zucchini, bamboo shoots
Plate 4: water chestnuts, sesame seeds, mushrooms, mung bean sprouts, scallions, snow peas, baby corn

It doesn't matter so much what order you chop it, so long as each bit gets sorted out according to the grand scheme. That's how we're going to judge cook time.

Heat a tablespoon or so of oil in a cast iron wok (first choice) or skillet (needs more oil).

Scoop the pork from the baking dish, draining as much sauce as possible back into the baking dish, and stir fry for a few minutes, until browned.

Return the pork to the sauce in the baking dish. Wipe out the wok.

Heat a similar portion of oil as the first go-round for the pork.

Once it's at temperature (hint: fling a single tiny drop of water at the oil; if it sizzles, it's ready), scrape the contents of plate #1 into the wok and begin doing the stir fry thing, which is to say, keep the contents constantly moving.

Add in some tamari and vinegar ~ more of the former, less of the latter ~ and, if you don't count fresh chopped ginger as an ingredient, be sure to add some ground ginger. Add the ground chipotle to give it a bit of a kick.

After the first plate has cooked for about 2 minutes, add the second plate, and then follow up with another plate about every 2 minutes. Remember, it's stir fry: keep those veggies moving! I've noticed that the bok choy releases a helluva lot of water. You want to cook that stage a bit longer, or, like I did, use a couple of paper towels to creatively absorb some of that extra water. If you don't you'll 1) boil the veggies instead of stir fry them; and 2) end up with soggy egg rolls going into the fryer.

The last plate really doesn't need a full 2 minutes ~ in fact, if you want, you can pull it from the heat before adding that plate. I didn't, but I like those last minute veggies to see a few stirs of the ol' fry, as it were.

If you're making stir fry, you're done: add the pork to the wok, stir one last time and serve. If you're making egg rolls, the part with the eggs will never happen, but the rolling is coming right up. Add the veggies to the pork and sauce in the glass baking dish. Stir in thoroughly.

Clean up your dishes and stuff so far because you need a bit of a break, right? In my case, I also need counter space.

Set out about 4 plates, each with a paper towel, in the prep area. Set 2 more plates & paper towels to the "done" side of the range top. Get out a little bowl with water, a pastry brush, the egg roll wrappers, a serving spoon, a clean dish cloth, and one or two plates. If you're doing this with two cooks, use two plates; if you're doing it solo, get some plastic wrap to cover the egg roll wrappers between uses. You may want to do the latter step even with two, to prevent the wrappers from drying out ~ we moved fast enough, and had no troubles.

Set a single wrapper ~ and double check that it is just one; first time making these we had quite a few wanna-be doubles that slowed things down and made things messy ~ on the plate (or, really, a clean working surface; I suppose the plates only work well for assembly-line style passing of the plate...) so that it's got a point towards you, not a flat line.

Scoop out about 1/2 a cup of stir fry (really, we just used a non-measuring scoop and eye balled it; I have no clue how much it was exactly) and lay it out in a horizontal line, from the left to right corners, about an inch in and no more than an inch or so wide (again, we just eyeball it).

Fold the right corner over the filling so the point is a little more than half way ~ it should just tug at a bit of the filling. Brush the right corner ~ just a single swipe or two ~ with water.

Fold the left corner over the top of the right corner. Brush the left corner and the bottom corner with water.

Fold the bottom corner up, again just tugging at the filling. Brush the bottom corner and the top corner with water.

See, so far all we've done so far is fold it. "Egg Fold" or "Egg Origami" might be more accurate, except there's no egg involved, as I've pointed out so many times the joke's old already. But this is it ~ the turning point.

Starting from the bottom, roll towards that last top corner. That's it. That's the roll.

Set on a paper towel. I do five a plate. Given that there's usually about 20 wrappers in a package, that's the four plates. Obviously, if you have more or less, adapt to it. I didn't do the paper towels the first time: I stacked them in a single dish and wound up repentant and vowing I'd never wind up with another soggy, wet, falling-apart embarrassment of a lump, and would instead find myself in the company of decent, fine upstanding egg rolls from here on out. So if you were thinking of skipping that step, don't. It isn't very pretty, and egg unrolls are much less pleasant to eat.

Wipe the plate clean and start another. Roll 'em all. Or, rather, fold 'em and roll 'em.

Once they're done, get a cup of oil and pour it in a 1.5 qt saucepan. Heat to medium high.

Set the plates with the rolls on them on one side, the empty plates on the other. This step might take more prep if you're doing it solo; with two, one can do the frying while the other takes empty plates of the "raw" rolls, wipes them clean, brings more plates of rolls to be cooked over, takes plates of cooked rolls away, and sets up more paper toweled plates for more finished rolls. This allows one person to focus on the hot oil, a task which takes some care and respect. Because the rolling process ~ and dripping filling ~ can leave the outside wet, I like to give them as much time on the paper towel as possible. Get them to dry out a bit. Less splatter and more staying together.

Using tongs, lower a roll into the oil.

Now, my source specifies 3-4 minutes for the first side, turn the roll, and 1-2 minutes on the second side. My source also specified the medium high heat. I use things on the lower side of medium high, and it's more like 1-2 minutes the first side, 30 seconds on the second. My first batch included some so overcooked it wasn't funny. This batch was much easier. You need to understand the rhythm of your stove and oil temperature. Just watch it, if it looks golden brown flip it. In any case, the second side takes far less time than the first, and it also gets faster as it goes along.

Once they're done, hold the roll over the oil a moment to drip, and then set aside on a paper towel and plate. I'm weird, I do five plates for this stage, four rolls a piece. Give them room to ooze off some of that oil.

Once you're done, get the burner off and get the oil off the burner.

Serve immediately, with duck sauce, once they're done.

You can freeze and re-heat, but they've never lasted long enough to make it to leftovers, so you're guess is as good as mine as to how that will come out.

Clean up tip: before cooking anything with oil splatter, cover the other burners (particularly on electric ranges) with overturned plates of appropriate sizes. Cuts down on the smoking burners next time you cook.

Vegetarinify this by using tofu instead of pork (instead of letting that sit in a sauce like I did with the pork, you're allegedly supposed to let it drain after cooking). You could also use shrimp or chicken, I suppose, although their cooking methods might change.
ellyssian: (Default)
  • 1 lb. orzo
  • 1/2 lg. onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • canola oil
  • 3/4 cup Pinot Grigio wine
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan, asiago, and romano cheeses
  • 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, chopped
  • fresh basil, chopped


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the orzo per package directions (boil to the low side of the directions, 6-8 minutes, drain).

Add some oil to a cast iron fry pan. If you don't have a cast iron frying pan and only use those non-stick ones, think for a moment about what all that non-stick crud is doing when it becomes unstuck from the pan, stuck to the food, and then swallowed so it sticks to your ribs. If you haven't already rushed out to get one, order one, wait for delivery, and then you can heat up that oil on medium.

Add the onion and garlic once the oil is up to temperature. Stir it around until it starts to get lightly golden colored.

Add the orzo, and keep stirring.

You may need to add some more oil to keep the orzo from clumping, and keep stirring.

Add some fresh basil, and keep stirring.

There's some odd reason that stir-fry relates only to certain Oriental cuisines, because, basically, if the name hadn't already been taken, it could apply here. And keep stirring.

As the orzo starts to get a bit of a golden touch, pour in the white wine, and you guessed it, keep stirring.

Stop stirring when the wine has fizzled off and the orzo looks nearly good enough to eat.

Pour the orzo into a glass baking dish.

Stir in the cheeses.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

Stir in chopped tomatoes and serve.
ellyssian: (Default)


Pour approximately 3 oz. of the dressing on fish and marinate for 4 hours, turning every hour.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

When oven reaches cooking temperature, place fish in a glass baking dish, spreading them out into a single layer. Pour remaining 3 oz. of dressing on the fish. Cover pan with aluminum foil.

Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve with a baked potato, rice, or Winey 'Zo 'n 'Zo.

Enjoy.
ellyssian: (Default)
Barley Meatloaf
  • ground beef
  • barley
  • olive oil
  • 2 large shallots
  • 4 small garlic cloves
  • fresh ground pepper
  • crushed rosemary
  • rosemary
  • thyme
  • steak sauce of choice


Roast garlic and shallots for 10-15 minutes under a low-heat broiler. After broiling, pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Bring small saucepan with water and a bit of olive oil to boil. Add barley. Reduce to medium low heat and cook until water is absorbed.

Put meat in a high sided baking dish. Mix it around a bit to break it up. Add spices to taste (although don't taste it - it's raw meat! =)

Squeeze roasted garlic from outer skin. Cut off end bits and any questionable bits. Crush garlic with fork. Add to ground meat. Mix.

Remove outer layer or three of skin from the onion. Cut off ends. Cut onion into pieces - small or large, as desired. Add to ground meat. Mix.

Add barley to ground meat. Mix and smooth out the top. Pour steak sauce over top of meat. Cover pan with foil.

Cook for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove foil and cook for 15-30 minutes (to an internal temperature of 150 degrees).


Cheesy Potato Bake
  • potatoes
  • cheddar cheese
  • monterey cheese
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • milk


Wash potatoes. Remove skin, if desired.

Boil potatoes until tender to the fork.

Roast garlic under a low-heat broiler.

Shred some cheese and chop some cheese.

Whip potatoes with a mixer, adding garlic, milk, and shredded cheese.

Put potatoes in a low sided baking dish. Layer the larger cheese bits on top. Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 15-30 minutes.

Timing Notes

Do all the roasting at the same time, and then mash the potatoes while the meatloaf is in for its first half hour. Put the potatoes in when the cover comes off the meatloaf.

Portion Notes

I didn't measure, why should you? =)

The dish scales easily - I expect I used about a half pound of meat, 1 cup of water for the barley, maybe 1/4 cup barley, and about 527 mostly small potatoes (okay, maybe I over exaggerated by about 500 or so...)
ellyssian: (penguin)
Most of the time, when I experiment with a recipe, I tend to like the results.

One can't say what might have been true long, long ago at the dawn of time - that I don't really try anything new - because that can be disproved when I combined cinnamon, maple syrup, and cheese with sassafras leaves and created Frasadillas or vinegar, rum, and cinnamon to make the marinade for Hair o' the Cow What Bit You.

Still, for the most part, my creations are relatively simplistic, sometimes quite literally, as with the Cattlemen's Ribs or one of my earliest, Ellyssian's Signature Steak Tips, where the core recipe is essentially "cut meat up, pour A-1 on meat, cook in skillet until kitchen is a mess" and only becomes something more when served with Deeper n' Everesque baked potatoes.

A lot of what I do tends to combine bits and pieces of earlier recipes: Rusty Radiator and Dirty Rice Pie are both variations of Deeper n' Ever - substituting a pasta and a rice for the potato, and then adding other variations from there.

Although it may not seem it, there's a definite lineage in what I've done with fish, from Twice-Fried Tilapia Teriyaki to the Grilled Fish: Three Variations on a Theme to Campeche-Style Baked Tilapia and Bacon Wrapped Catfish.

Finally, there can be seen a direct lineage from Hair o' The Cow What Bit You, as well as gathering what I learned in those fish recipes, to Cinnamon Rum Candy Glazed Fish. In that last, I noted that the glaze had some bitter notes when dealing with the sauce that was not on the fish itself. In hindsight, that should have set off a lightbulb of warning. Instead, I ruined some otherwise great ingredients.

See, I combined Hair o' The Cow with Bacon Wrapped Catfish, and it really should have worked. The results looked delicious.

However, I now have insight as to why the Cinnamon Rum Candy glaze didn't work so well.

I had to recall an earlier bout where I mis-made Hair o' The Cow as well.

Problem #1: The balsamic vinegar, accidentally used for burgers once and for the glazed fish, seems to result in the bitter note when it hits the Captain Morgan's a bit too hard.

Problem #2: The Hair o' The Cow marinade and, I suspect, its variation as a glaze need to be cooked over an open fire, where the juices can run down and feed the flames, creating a delicious smoke that makes the meal.

You see, when I had cooked the burgers with balsamic before, I did them inside, under the broiler, in a pan where they sat in their juices. The glazed fish was the same - it cooked in the juices. The original creation had the magical flavoring from the serious amount of smoke that filled the grill and imparted its flavor over and above that of the marinade itself.

Last night, when I wrapped bacon around some Hair o' The Cow-soaked burgers, made improperly with balsamic vinegar, the juices were unable to escape, and those bitter notes noticed during the broiler-cooked burgers and in the glazed fish rendered what should have been a delicious treat inedible.

I barely ate one small burger. [livejournal.com profile] aequitaslevitas, on the other hand, despite declaring them awful, ate three. Teenagers, oy.

I'm not entirely convinced which problem - #1 or #2, above - is the major factor. Given how well the bacon served to keep the burger together and seal it up, I lean towards the second. Given how the balsamic and the rum exist when bitter comes along, I lean towards the first.

Only further experimentation - perhaps in smaller quantities, so I don't render a whole meal entirely uneatable - will tell. I'm thinking the following adjustments might be for the best:
  • Return to the original marinade as per the recipe - specifically, using tarragon vinegar and not balsamic and, I notice only now, using Enova/canola instead of olive oil (problem #3?)
  • Sear the burger on an open flame before wrapping with bacon


For the record, key points in doing the bacon-wrapped burgers directly on the grill:
  • Bacon flares up like woah! on the grill - keep a close eye on it; cook it on heavy-duty foil part of the time (initially, then sear, and when flames shoot back up, get it out of harm's way so it isn't charred until it crumbles through the grill)
  • Long handled implements are the only thing that will save it when its engulfed in flames - I used a long handled spatula, my usual flat metal spatula to add a second hand to help control and guide the burgers, and, for the foil, a plastic spatula
  • low heat and closed lid when cooking on the foil, particularly for the last segment to melt the cheddar; high heat for searing


Stay tuned for futher developments. As soon as I can get that hideous taste - which is still lingering - out of mouth and mind.

~ ~ ~

In other food-related news, you need to read Chris DeBarr's ([livejournal.com profile] chefcdb) post Egyptian Cotton Chef. If it hadn't been for that post, I probably would have kept silent and not made this post. =)

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Everett

July 2014

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