Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Pullet Surprise

Since the deadline for our Pullet Surprise is March 26th.....thought I would get this in now. We will post all our entries on March 31.

Hard boiled eggs have always been a nemesis of mine. I could never get it right. At times the yolk would be gray around the edges and terribly unappealing, other times I couldn't remove the shell without tearing up the egg, terribly frustrating.

While having friends over one nite for dinner the subject turned to food and in particular egg salad. Mr Doodles mentioned I love egg salad but Doodles never can boil an egg good enough to make one of my favorite lunch items. So the male friend piped up and said I have a fool proof way to cook eggs, I'll tell you how and you can make us egg salad for lunch. You're on I say.

My method of boiling on egg...............
  • place eggs in cold water
  • put a good handful of table salt in the water bring to a boil and boil eggs for eight to nine minutes
  • turn off heat, put lid on pot and time for eight to nine more minutes
  • remove eggs from pot and put in ice water
  • Salt hardens the shell making it easy to remove.
  • Larger eggs require the nine minutes.
I learned this method from my friend the cop, so now Mr Doodles is happy getting his egg salad once in awhile.

Now I'm sure you have your very own foolproof method but this is mine and it works for me.......but please share yours if you care to.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Made with Love

Recently I decided to participate in the Taste & Create Event this month where you are randomly paired with another food blogger and you have to pick one of the recipes in their blog to make yourself. I was lucky enough to be paired with Robin who is the creator of Made with Love... let me tell you this was not easy. When you go see her blog you will know why. It’s like paint samples way too many good ones to choose from. But when I came upon the following.........you'll understand why this one caught my eye.

The following is the recipe copied from my partner, Robin's blog

Skillet-Baked Chocolate Chip Cookie

(from MarthaStewart.com)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (about 9 ounces) mixed milk- and semisweet chocolate chips
the chocolate chips I had on hand were the teeny semi-sweet and I also added chopped pecans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Transfer dough to a 10-inch ovenproof skillet (I actually used my 12-inch skillet and cut down the cooking time to about 30 minutes........in my oven it took 40 minutes just remember to watch after 30 minutes), and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Don't overbake; it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven. Transfer to a wire rack to cool, 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve warm; top each wedge with a scoop of ice cream and maybe drizzle some chocolate fudge sauce on top......decandent!!!

Now when a recipe says you can serve with ice cream how can you go wrong, hardest part is trying to decided what flavor.

Thank you Robin for a wonderful, easy dessert item that company would certainly enjoy.

If you have never participated in this event, go take a look . leave a comment with Nicole the creator of this event. You will have a blast and meet a lot of new friends with some terrific recipes/ Now that's what blogging is all about.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

It's all in the rub

for roast chicken that is.
The dry rub I used:

1 T salt

1 T fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp smokey paprika
1 tsp
Tom's Chipotle seasoning this is sister Moon's favorite seasonings

After rinsing and drying your bird rub the chicken with olive oil and butter. My bird was approximately four pounds.

Then the baking...it was cool enough today to turn on my oven. Follow these direction for baking and you will have the most tender, juicy bird. I found this method of baking over at foodtv.com

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Wash the chicken in hot water and dry thoroughly. Season the cavity with salt and black pepper and stuff with the onion, lemon, and celery leaves. Rub the chicken lightly with softened butter and season all over with salt and pepper. Tie the drumsticks ends together and set the chicken, breast side up, in an oiled v-shaped rack or on an oiled roasting pan in the oven.

I stuffed halved lemons and six whole cloves of garlic

Roast for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F, then reduce the heat to 350 degrees, baste the chicken, and roast for 15 minutes. Add the chopped onion and carrot to the pan, basting them and the chicken. Continue roasting the chicken until the juices run clear, for a total of 45 minutes plus an additional 7 minutes for each pound. (In other words, a 3 1/2 pound chicken would take a basic 45 minutes plus an additional 25 minutes, for a total 70 minutes or 1 hour and 10 minutes of cooking time.)

Remove the chicken and spoon the fat out of the roasting pan. Into the pan, stir in the herbs and blend in the broth and, stirring constantly, boil for several minutes on the stovetop to concentrate the flavor. Correct the seasoning and strain the sauce into a warm sauceboat. Carve the chicken and serve with the warm sauce, which is perfect for oven roasted potatoes.

Now with this large of a chicken and only the two of us, we have a lot left over, so I am off in search for a new chicken salad recipe.

Stay tuna'd for a new dessert I am about to undertake....

Friday, March 14, 2008

The clock is ticking

for the Second Annual Pullet Surprise

Read the rules HERE

Knowing what a creative bunch of readers we have here, we look forward to seeing y'all s egg dishes.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hobo Fish

What if you didn't have an pots or pans to cook the lovely fish you just caught? What would you use?

This, again, is a method rather than a recipe from me and I'll give the credit to Giada de Laurentiis. My husband likes fish but I'm allergic. Cross contamination is a fear so I'm always looking for ways to cook it on the grill away from anything I'm cooking. This works great with the add bonus of keeping any fishy smells outside.

For this meal I needed:
  • large square of heavy duty foil
  • one thick cut of halibut (or any thick fillet of fish)
  • fresh baby spinach
  • lemon
  • sesame oil
  • salt and pepper

  • Place a good amount of spinach mounded in the center of the foil. Season with salt and pepper and at least a tablespoon of lemon juice.
  • Season both sides of your fish and place on top of the spinach.
  • Sprinkle with sesame oil and a bit more lemon.
  • Seal the foil into a packet.
  • Grill should be hot but don't put packet directly on burner. I put them on a rack above the main rack. You can also put on a cookie sheet and bake in a 425 oven. Either way it only takes about 12-15 minutes. Fish should flake when poked with a fork.
Place in flat bowl, open foil and serve. The clean up is quite tidy. There are quite a few variations you can do with different fish. Get creative. Just remember you are only cooking this for a short time so spinach is the perfect base. The fish should be at least an inch thick but if thinner adjust the cooking time.

Enjoy! My husband likes all sorts of fish done this way but his favorite is Salmon.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Food Bloggy Pets of the Month for March

Buddy Dog needed a special treat. Since he's such a good camper I mixed up a batch of his favorites. I thought I'd made them too thin but he seemed to enjoy the crunchiness. There are a multitude of pet treat recipes out there, just Google. Here is a fun site, The Poop. Do remember that there are many human food that can poison your pets.

Here are our Food Bloggy Pets for March:
The Candied Quince has a good explanation of her dog Milo's name and a dynamite recipe for ice cream.

Sisters of the White Rose have a people recipe and their dog dressed appropriately. Check out there post for Chinese New Year. (Sorry, we didn't get a pix of the dog, maybe next time)

Pretty birdy! Ripley, a Cockatoo knows the importance of a good breakfast. Visit Little bits and you can learn, too.

Here are a few non-food blog friends from Hometalk that read PBE.

This is Buster, an Australian Shepard, waiting for his treats. His momma, Lenie is in the kitchen dishing up a bowl.

Second is Halo. Here she is with her bib all ready for a meal. Halo resides in the snowy tundra of Hoosierland and is waiting for Spring.

This is Wilbur waiting for a walk or maybe a cookie

And now, the women of PBE Pets!

Dude, hurry up! Well, that is what Buddy Cat would say if he could. This curious cat lives with our own Doodles and Mr Doodles and loves water, he just can hardly wait to get in.

Here's Buddy on the latest camping trip. He likes to head off to bed early so he has enough energy for the next day.

Last, but hardly the least, is a video an pix from lil bird. This is Multi, one of her sweet Maltese, who is quite the chow hound.

Here is Max, hiding. He must have been watching primary election returns.

Thanks to all the sender-inners for this month. We'll give this another try in April. Deadline-April 30. Roundup sometime the next week. We are still working with a broken wrist.

Need more info? Check this post. How to get on Food Bloggy Pets of the Month.
Don't forget to include:
  • Link to your post
  • Small photo of your pet
  • Link your post to PBE
  • FBP for April in your e-mail subject line

Saturday, March 08, 2008

why you must brine

pork loin with grits
Originally uploaded by lornababy
one of the reasons i never used to cook pork that much was that it always turned dry and tough. alton brown taught me how to brine a turkey, but ming tsai taught me how to brine a pork loin. and now there is no other way for me to cook a pork loin.

here's my take on ming's recipe. i get a simple one pound pork loin from trader joe's, then throw it in a ziplock back with some kosher salt (maybe 1/4 cup), some soy sauce, some peppercorns, a knob of peeled ginger, some star anise and enough water to cover. let it soak overnight, then take it out, dry it off (pick off the peppercorns), rub some canola or olive oil on it and then roast in a 400 degree oven until the internal temperature is about 135. take the pork loin out of the oven, cover in some tin foil and let it rest about 15 minutes (the temperature will go up to about 140 or 145, which is what you want for medium). slice and serve. it will look a little pink in the middle, but that's because of the brine.

it's simple and flavorful and sure to impress. you could make a sauce to go over it to dress it up, but you really don't need to, because the pork is so flavorful. if you do want to make up a sauce, be warned, you won't be able to make a pan gravy with the drippings, because the pork is so lean and it doesn't give up any fat. with the asian flavors in the brine, i like to serve it with asian style vegetables with some soy sauce to pick up the soy sauce flavor in the pork. sauteed baby bok choi or, in this case, snow peas, work great. roasted potatoes, mashed potatoes (regular or sweet) or rice are also great sides, but this time i tried some grits with white cheddar (i wasn't thrilled with the result on the grits, for the record).

i got to meet ming at a book signing for his blue ginger cook book in december 1999. ming's brined pork recipe is in that cook book, btw. i generally don't like to post pictures of myself online, but it's pretty cool to have met one of my favorite chefs, so here it is...

me & ming

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Asparagus...a great side dish

This is easy and so good especially now that asparagus is coming into season. Well at least it is in my area...it will in your area soon I'm sure.

I got rid of the woody ends of the asparagus then blanched the asparagus. Julienned a red pepper, then sauteed the pepper with some thinly sliced garlic in a bit of olive oil. Make sure the asparagus is well drained. Put asparagus in the same pan that you sauteed the pepper and garlic and a bit more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste... Voila!!!

Monday, March 03, 2008

What to do with leftover pork

One of my favorite things is to make stacked enchiladas. There is not a recipe just a method.

Gather together the following:

your leftover pork or even beef
grated jack or cheddar or both if you so desire
green enchilada sauce (I like green sauce with pork and red with beef but that is just my preference)
sauteéd onions
cilantro, chopped

No salt because there is plenty of sodium in the green sauce or you can make your own green sauce for future use.

I like to crisp up the pork by heating it up in a skillet then adding a bit of the green sauce.

Start layering first place a corn tortilla on a cookie sheet.
Add the pork, a few of the onions, a few tablespoons of the green sauce, cheese, cilantro, another tortilla.
Repeat those steps until you have reached, oh maybe five tortillas in the stack; top off with cheese.

Bake in a 350* preheated oven for about 20 minutes and the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

This method was first originated by my sister Moon and it's a real favorite with Mr Doodles

Please don't give me bad marks for this photo I know it is awful

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Calling All Pets

It's time for Food Bloggy Pets of the Month for March.
This months deadline will be Thursday, March 6. Look for the roundup by Friday, March 7.
  • Post your photo of your pet on your blog, hopefully with a food related entry
  • Have a link to PBE on that post, http://pbetouffee.blogspot.com
  • E-mail us the permalink; the link that goes just to that entry
  • Send a small photo of your pet for our page
  • PBE will post all these links and photos together for all to see
  • Visitors to our site click to find a wonderful new Food Blog
  • You get to share the furry love of your life and add some new visitors
  • We get to see some furry faces, or feathered, or scaly. We are still waiting for someone to produce a reptile photo.
E-mail, pbetouffee@gmail.com if you have any questions about how to send your files.