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Showing posts from November, 2020

Skirt Steak

Witty dropped off two huge chunks of skirt steak. I cooked them on the PK Grill. I didn't do a perfect job of keeping the fire even across the grill but they came out just fine. My initial meal coupled themn with home fried potatoes, roasted brussel sprouts, and Christmas-style red and green sauce. The green sauce was made from Hatch chiles. This made for a delicious, hearty meal. I vacuum packed the rest of the meat for later enjoyment. Thanks, Witty!

Smoked Turkey from Patak

I've enjoyed Patak's wonderful smoked turkeys before. I didn't realize until this year that they can ship a turkey, eliminating the need to pick up the bird in Austell. As always, a wonderfully enjoyable feast. Thanks, folks!

Banana Cream Pie

I picked up a graham cracker crust on sale and let it sit for a couple of weeks as I pondered its fate. I decided to make a banana cream pie. I coated the inside of the crust with chocolate ganache. I made the pudding and loaded the pie with it and sliced organic bananas. The meringue isn't that hard so long as you don't mix up your yolks and whites. Browning gives the pie a nice flair. I gave the pie to my friends Lance and Julie.

A Thanksgiving Bounty

My smallish turkey came from Leon's in Lincoln and their excellent meat counter. I roasted it on my PK Grill. The temperature was around 300, a moderate heat. After cooking all day I was hungry. I started with this huge, delicious wing. I brought out the fine china for dinner. I also made corn pudding, carrot souffle, and roasted brussel sprouts. I cut up the bird for series of vacuum packed meals that will remind me of this day. After letting things settle for a couple of hours, I finished the day with a slice of pumpkin ricotta pie, made with a blind-baked crust. In between cooking operations, I spent the day talking with family and friends. I am grateful for this meal and for the time I was able to spend talking with people who are important to me. I very much appreciate all the food workers who made this bounty possible. And I am well aware that many people were not so fortunate.

A Thanksgiving Breakfast

I wanted something a little different to kick off my Thanksgiving. I decided to make the yeasted apple cake from Classic German Baking . Once it was done, I put together a pair of omelets. Since it is Thanksgiving, I also drizzled a little honey on the apple cake. I am very grateful for this meal and for the time I was able to spend preparing it. I am also grateful for you, gentle reader. I hope that you have a peaceful Thanksgiving wherever you are.

Porterhouse Steak

Porterhouse steak from Loeffer Meat Shoppe grilled on the PK. Carrot souffle from the freezer. Home fried potatoes. Salad. A simple, wonderful meal for which I am very grateful. I know that not everyone has the ability to eat so well.

The Take-Out Lifestyle: Lan House

I ventured to downtown Lincoln for the first time in months. I used the opportunity to pick up lunch at Lan House. Their take-out table was front and center; one group ate inside at a table. I grabbed my bag and took it home to eat. My kung pao tofu lunch was excellent, as always with great flavors and complementary textures. The soup was a great as was the egg roll. Thanks, folks!

A Hearty Dinner

I made eggplant parm for a crispy treat. I paired it with small shells in my homemade tomato sauce. The softness of the pasta complemented the crispy eggplant very nicely.

Whole Wheat Sourdough Cinnamon Rolls

I haven't made cinnamon rolls in awhile. For this batch, I went with sourdough and freshly ground whole wheat flour. The dough came out a little wetter than it should have been. As a result, the rolls didn't stand up as well as I would have liked. Even so, they tasted great. The combination of whole wheat and less sugar made the entire experience more subtle than your typical mall cinnamon roll.

Roast Chicken on the PK Grill

I enjoy the versatility of the PK Grill. I roasted a chicken to great effect. I used the extra room to cook some home fried potatoes, too. Add asparagus and sourdough bread to make a delicious, healthy meal for which I am very grateful.

Sourdough Bread

I made some sourdough based on the basic recipe in The Bread Baker's Apprentice . I split the dough into two pieces to give to two friends; the smaller size also simplified handling. I think that the loaves could have used a little more rise time for structure but overall the bread was very tasty. These times remind us of both the importance and joy of simple things.

Fussy French Toast With Simple Syrup

Sourdough whole wheat with freshly ground flour, omelet, simple syrup...a simply wonderful breakfast.

Banana Bread With Sauce

I was in the mood for a small treat. I pulled some banana bread out of the freezer and added a simple syrup on top. Easy and delicious, something to appreciate.

Steak on the PK Cooker

I've found the PK Cooker to be a versatile and easy-to-use outdoor cooking machine. The only thing here that I didn't cook on the PK was the brussel sprouts. Not only was the food great, I had a lot of fun making it, yet more reason for me to be grateful.

Sourdough Baking in the PK Cooker

I decided to try baking some sourdough bread in my PK Cooker. This is a whole wheat sourdough ready to go. I decided to try baking in a cake pan---one that I was willing to sacrifice, of course. The fire was charcoal with some aromatic wood chunks thrown in. I should have let the cooker temperature rise more before I loaded the bread. Temp rose from 350 degrees to 450 over the course of baking. It took a little work to get the bread out of the pan once it was done but the pan did escape from the fire unscathed. A long rise gave me great texture. The loaf came out very, very smoky. Tasty, indeed. I'm not entirely sure, however, that baking on this type of fire gives enough benefit to be worthwhile.

Eat Nebraska Beef

A Nebraska steak, a few mushrooms, a baked potato. Who needs more? I am grateful.

Sourdough Gingerbread Pancakes

I decided to make something different for breakfast---gingerbread pancakes. I used the recipe from the King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion, substituting some of my sourdough starter for the chemical leaveners. This was also an ideal opportunity to use some of the candied ginger that had sat on my shelf for too long. They baked up beautifully. I added some ricotta, which provides a wonderful creamy balance to the gingerbread. Quite the breakfast for which I am thankful.

The Take-Out Lifestyle: Lunch from Mr. Hui's

In the mood for a little variety, I ordered tofu with vegetables and brown sauce for lunch. I picked it up promptly thanks to Mr. Hui's very efficient service. I took it home and enjoyed. Thanks again, folks!

Pasta With Cheese Sauce

I try to use what I have and, time permitting, make it interesting. A proper cheese sauce takes a little more time but is well worth the effort. I made a quasi-bechamel sauce with pepper substituted for nutmeg. To this I added the cheese I had in my refrigerator. I added pasta shells and baked for a few minutes to add character. The result was satisfying in a very homey way. I am grateful for my pantry; I am grateful to Mom for teaching me how to cook.

Homemade Yogurt Update

Practice makes perfect. My yogurt straining skills have improved. The results after straining are pretty thick. Taking advantage of the natural separation between solids and liquid helps.

Taco Spicy Mexican Food

I was in the mood for something a little different for lunch on a cold, damp day. As I drove through town considering my options, I spied this truck in the parking lot of a grocery store on 27th Street. This was my ticket to a warm, satisfying lunch. I parked, ordered at the window, and returned to my car to wait. Ten minutes later, this freshly prepared food was ready for me. My cheese pupusa was excellent: flavorful bread, warm, rich cheese, sauce that tweaked my mouth just enough. I am a huge tamale fan and this was an excellent specimen. Savoriness and corn sweetness were perfectly combined. Thanks so much, folks!

Lincoln NE: Suji's Indian Grocery

I finally made it to Suji's Indian Grocery on O Street. The store stocks a great selection of spices, ingredients, and prepared foods. The owners were very polite and welcoming to me. I bought a few vacuum sealed meals for my Indian lunches as well as the treat of pickled mango. Thank you!

Spare Ribs

I haven't made spare ribs in quite some time. I picked up a pack from Loeffel Meat Shoppe and got busy. The result was meaty and tender. And spare ribs make the process just challenging enough to make dinner interesting. I paired it with Italian braid bread to sop up the gravy. I am grateful for such a wonderful meal.

Roast Chicken Dinner

A roast chicken dinner is both comforting and healthy. A good chicken has crispy skin, succulent and tender, juicy meat. I spatchcocked my chicken to help it cook evenly. I ate my chicken with green beans with almonds and olive oil. Truly satisfying. I am grateful to be able to eat such a meal.

Eggplant Parm

My eggplant parm skills are improving. I can more consistently hit crispy outside, tender inside. I pulled some of my tomato sauce from the freezer. It brings a spring taste to the eggplant's heartiness.

The Take-Out Lifestyle: Cool Basil in Des Moines

I've tried several Thai restaurants in Des Moines but Cool Basil had escaped me. I decided to use a quick dinner stop to try it out. I parked in the parking lot, ordered, and waited while enjoying the evening. My masaman tofu was tasty, rich with coconut milk and spices. I find tofu to be very comforting. This meal put me in good shape for my drive. Thanks, folks!

On The Road: Dinner from Panera

I had been driving all day. I didn't need a lot for dinner but I wanted something. Soup and salad from Panera fit the bill and I knew where in Paducah to find one. This meal is simple and satisfying. Panera's tomato soup is pretty brash, which I find plays well with the subdued Caesar salad. I spent a few minutes enjoying my meal and the evening before I returned to the road.

Cascade Hollow Distilling Co.

Once I was off the interstate, I decided to keep going. I made a 20-minute drive to Cascade Hollow Distilling, the home of George Dickel. The entire drive was beautiful, leading me to a secluded spot with beautiful trees and a quiet stream. People sat outside enjoying themselves and the very gracious service of the staff. A very pleasant stop.

Montgomery TN: Jiffy Burger

I discovered Jiffy Burger, about two miles off the interstate in Montgomery, on an earlier trip. That was a Sunday and the restaurant was closed. I vowed to return. This is an honest-to-goodness drive-in restaurant complete with speaker in the menu and car service. As you can imagine, the place was packed, even well after lunch. I was lucky to find a parking spot. The food was outstanding. My burger was meaty and full of flavor with just enough bun to balance. The onion rings were very crispy on the outside, hot and tender on the inside. What a great meal, well worth the detour. Thanks, folks! I will return.