Blue Cheese Straws
October 30, 2010, 2:53 pm
Filed under: Nibbles, Quick and Easy

I published this on my other blog a while back, before this one was started. They make great Christmas gifts!

Blue Cheese straws, people, O yes.

5 oz blue cheese (one of those smallish tubs of crumbles= exactly one cup)
1/2 stick butter
3/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons hot sauce (I used Texas Pete’s)
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
Blend the butter, cheese and sauces in a food processor until homogenous. Add the flour and blend, scraping the sides a couple of times. Dump the dough on a countertop and knead until all soft and good. Pat out into a 1/4 thick whatdayacallit and slice into sticks or bites, or however you like. Put onto a greased cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.

David and I played around with the seasoning. First, we tried with none except the worcestershire sauce. it was good, but lacked spark. Then, we tried a bit of paprika on top. Ok, but not there yet. Then, red pepper, hotter, but lacked depth. Chili powder was good, had more interest than straight up red pepper. Then, due to Buffalo Wing Fantasy, and how one dips them in blue cheese dressing, I tried Hot Sauce. Texas Pete’s, specifically, but I’m thinking Your Favorite would work That’s what’s on wings, right? of course. Perfect! The tang of the vinegar and the heat from the sauce was terrific combination with the blue cheese and butter. O Yes. We have a winner.

*update the next day* The blue cheese straws went over with a big HUZZAH from the gentlemen of the household. This recipe is definitely a keeper.

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How To Cook For A Man
October 27, 2010, 3:39 pm
Filed under: How To Land A Man, Meat

You know what they say, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” so now and then I want to put up a recipe that the menfolk around here dearly love. I caught my man with potroast…fixed it up and put it in his apartment when he wasn’t paying attention and 24 hours later we were engaged to be married, without ever going on a date! True story.

So here’s the potroast:

3 pound chuck roast
a little bit of oil
brown the meat in the oil. If you have a deep oven safe pot, do it in this.

1 yellow onion, cut into 1/8th
several cloves of garlic, or a couple of tablespoons of minced from a jar
Coarse black pepper
2 packages of brown gravy mix, the kind that takes 1 cup water per pack
2 cups water
Put the onion and garlic in with the meat. If you have some rosemary, add about 2 teaspoons of dried or a tablespoon of fresh. However, if you don’t, that’s ok. Add however much black pepper you like. I like alot (like a tablespoon) but you might not want so much. Mix the gravy mix with the water and pour it over the meat. Put the pot in a 250F degree oven (or in a crockpot set on low) if your doing this in the morning, or in a 300F oven (or a crockpot set on high) if it’s noonish. Let it cook AT LEAST 4 hours at 300, or 6 at 250.

4 or 5 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
3 or 4 carrots, cut into chunks
2 or 3 hours before you want to eat, add the taters and carrots.
However, if you must, you can add the vegetables when you put the meat and onions on to cook. They’ll be kind of mushy but will still taste delicious. You can also not cut the potatoes up and let them cook a couple of hours then fish them out, put them in the oven with a bit of gravy, and roast them at 350 to get kind of crusty and brown. If you don’t want to, that’s fine. Just leave them in there.

About an hour before you want to serve, add 1/2 cup red wine to the sauce/meat and all. This is also optional, if you’re wanting to come home to a completed meal and not have to do anything. It is, however, delicious.

Serve with hot crusty rolls, or those cheap brown and serve things (Terry loves them), and a salad.



A Contest (not mine)
October 17, 2010, 12:15 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Attila the Mom at Cheaper Than Therapy is having a Food Contest! Go check it out and enter! I can attest that the prize is going to be really lovely because I already have 2 of them. Go! Look! See! Enter!

I’m not entering because it would be UNFAIR. The rest of you, GO! Look! See! Enter! Win a lovely, lovely ornament!



Cornbread!
October 8, 2010, 3:35 pm
Filed under: Quick and Easy, Technique

I love cornbread. Do you? A hot piece, slathered with butter and drizzled with molasses…yum. Anyway, here is my recipe for cornbread. After the basic recipe, I’ll put some things you can do to fancy it up!

First, I want you to throw out the recipe as it is listed on the package. trust me! Oh sure, the listed recipe is fine, but do it the way I’m telling you, and it will be crispy on the outside and soft, moist and tender on the inside. Trust me! It will be wonderful!

Cornbread
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Then put 1 stick of butter (please, not margarine…ok if you must…but butter is better) in a 9 inch cast-iron skillet. Don’t have one? Ok you can use an 8 or 9 inch square pan, but next chance you have, get a 9 inch cast iron skillet. You can get them a flea markets or second hand stores. The heavier the better. Anyhoo…Put the skillet with the stick of butter in the oven while it’s preheating.

Stick o' butter in a 9 inch skillet


While the skillet is heating up, mix together the following in a big bowl:
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
Ignore the instructions on the cornbread mix package. Just Do It.

milk, eggs, sour cream


When the butter is melted in the skillet, pour most of it in the milk/egg mixture.

put in most, but not all of the butter


Leave about 2 tablespoons of butter in the skillet, and put the skillet back in the oven to get good and hot. Really hot.
Stir 2 cups of cornbread mix (not cornmeal) into the milk/egg mixture until it’s smooth and a nice medium-weight batter.

Start mixing


all ready to bake!


Now, pull the really hot skillet (with about 2 tablespoons of butter that ought to be almost smoking by now) out of the oven, and pour the batter into it. It will sizzle a bit, and kind of fry around the edges. this is GOOD!

look at the crispy edge and the bit of butter around it!


Put it back in the oven, and bake for about 30 minutes. It should be golden brown all on top, and if you stick a knife in it, it will come out clean. It will also smell AMAZING.

mmmmmTasty!


Run a knife around the edge, and flip it onto a plate. It’s ok if the bottom kind of sticks and pulls off…but eh, it happens. If you’re REALLY good, it won’t stick at all and will drop right onto the plate. Let it cool just a few minutes, then cut into wedges and serve with butter and honey and molasses. MM mm MM MM MM!

ooo Tasty! Can you smell it??

Now you have a basic cornbread recipe. You could use buttermilk if you want to, instead of regular milk. That’s fine!
Add a cup of corn after you mix the batter together!
Add a chopped onion and a chopped bell pepper, but saute them in a little butter or olive oil first, until the onion is translucent.
Or! You could add the corn AND the onion and bell pepper, AND about 1/2 a pound of cooked sausage! And a handful of shredded cheddar or colby cheese! Now you have what my family calls Mexican Cornbread and it’s a tasty meal! You could also do all that AND add about 1/2 a cup of salsa- right in there in the batter! Just mix it all up, and bake it like I’ve said up there. You could just put cheese in it and nothing else. Or chop up a green onion, or some chives and add those! It’s a great foundation for playing around with…go ahead and fool around with it. Have fun!



Plans
October 7, 2010, 6:12 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I has them, yes. A post on chili, because opinions run strong. Another tutorial, this one on making biscuits, because if you have a gravy tutorial you must also have a biscuit one.
More James Beard, I promise. His recipes run toward the rich and tasty, and now that it’s getting cold I’ll feel more like fixing them. I’m thinking, since there’s chili cooking tonight, and I like cornbread to go with, I’ll do a cornbread tutorial, because there really are some tricks to getting it tasty.

Do you have any requests?



Coming Soon
October 6, 2010, 6:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

The Gravy Tutorial. because once you know how, you’ll impress the socks off everyone.



Dijon-Tarragon roasted chicken
October 6, 2010, 2:08 pm
Filed under: Philosophical, Poultry, Supper, Technique

Sometimes life just kicks butt, and you have to step back and rely on the simple stuff in the kitchen. A roast chicken, pan gravy, mashed potatoes…comfort food. Last night I found a recipe involving several of my favorite things, and since the battery was dead in the camera, pictures didn’t get taken but I will tell you that it was a lovely sight, that meal was. Simple, too! So here it is:

Roast chicken with dijon mustard and tarragon

1 whole chicken, rinsed and patted dry
Some dijon mustard (maybe 1/4 cup? or a bit more? I don’t know…)
some dried tarragon…probably a couple of tablespoons
Smear the chicken with the mustard and pat the tarragon all over it.
I put a rack over a large ovenproof skillet, because I wanted all the drippings from the chicken and am kind of fond of crisp skin and kind of grossed out by flabby skin. Anyway, the chicken roasted at 450 degrees for about an hour (roughly 15 minutes per pound is the rule here, when the oven is that hot. If 450 degrees scares you…it did the first time I tried it…get over it. It’s awesome.) All the drippings caught in the skillet. When it was done, I set the chicken aside, skimmed out all but about 2 tablespoons of the fat in the skillet, and save the juices (I have one of those fat skimmer-juice saver thingies…it’s got a hole in the bottom so you can drain the juice and save it and keep the fat in there, however much you want without it getting in the juices and you can feel virtuous). So, in the fat in the skillet I mixed in a couple of tablespoons of flour, until all the lumps were gone, added back in the juices and about a cup and 1/2 of hot milk, to make a gravy. Seasoned to taste with salt and pepper…ok just pepper because I can’t have the salt, but people at the table can salt. Stir it the whole time with a whisk until it gets thickish, add more milk if you want it thinner.
So now you have a roasted chicken YUM with pan gravy YUM and you need something to put the gravy ON, right? RIGHT! Rice is good, love chicken and rice together, but last night was chilly and called loudly for MASHED POTATOES! YUM!

6 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
a pot full of water.
Put the potatoes in the water, bring it to a boil and turn down to simmer, cook for 30-45 minutes until the taters are soft. It’s forgiving, so time isn’t critical.
Drain the water, put the taters back in the pot. Heat up about 1-1/2 cups milk and 1/2 stick butter. (I do this in the microwave) and pour into the potatoes. Using a hand mixer, or a potato masher, blend the stuff all together until it’s as smooth as you like. I like lumpy potatoes. Season with pepper (and salt if you can, which I can’t, but most of you can so go ahead) and serve hot with the chicken and gravy.

You do know how to cut up a whole chicken, right?