Cooking Stuff

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Sunday Critters #6

Still have a cold, no energy to be amusing. So here is Thing 4 trying to get the Real Bob to play with her then just giving up and molesting him. He’s a good sport.

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Filed under: cats, children

Double Garlic, Egg and Blue Potato White Pizza

From the Vault: There are no imminent weddings that I know of coming up, but still, here is something old, borrowed and blue. Does it count if I borrowed it from myself? Plus I’ve been told that the potatoes aren’t really blue, although I’m colorblind so I don’t really care. I’m not ever going to be a bride either. Does any of this make sense? I would like to submit that it does not. I blame it on cold medicine. Whatever, time to drink tea and watch cartoons.

-herbed pizza dough
-1/4 cup olive oil
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-baby blue potato, sliced thin
-red onion, sliced thin
-shredded mozzarella and Dubliner (or whatever you like)
-eggs

Heat the oil and garlic on low in a small sauce pan for 10-15 minutes. You don’t want the garlic to brown. Roll out the dough and dock it. Brush it with just the infused oil, then top it with the cheese, potatoes, onions and bits of garlic from the oil. Bake in a very hot, preheated oven for 10 minutes then pull it out, crack the eggs onto it and get it back in the oven. Let it cook until the eggs are as done as you want, 5-10 minutes.

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You heard right, double garlic. There’s some onion on there too, so I don’t suggest making this for a date. Unless of course you’re both into garlic breath, then hey, have at it. Heh.

This was quite possibly the strangest looking pizza I’ve ever made, but I guess that’s not too surprising considering there are blue potatoes on it. The potatoes in question came in a “baby potato medley” and I didn’t feel right mashing them up like I was doing with all the others. So I decided, completely out of character, to make a pizza with them. I had some herbed dough and figured I’d make a white one, since the crust would have so much flavor already.

I don’t have a mandolin or particularly awesome knife skills, so I figured I’d slice the potato on the large slice side of my box grater.

Worked alright, even if the slices aren’t particularly pretty. Then I rolled out my dough and docked it.

For those who don’t know, docking is when you stab the dough with a fork or something of the sort to help keep air bubbles from forming. I find I get many less mutant pizzas when I do this. While the oven was preheating I had left a metal measuring cup with a quarter cup of olive oil and two cloves of minced garlic on the stove top.

See, my oven is wicked inefficient, lots of heat escapes while it’s going. Over the course of the half hour or so that I preheated the oven the oil got nicely infused. You could also just do this over the stove on a low heat, if you have a quality oven. Anyway, then I brushed on some of the garlic oil (not the chunks, just the oil).

That’s garlic number one. Then just a whisper of cheese.

Heh. I know, I know, it looks like an awful lot. And it is. That’s just how I get down sometimes. It’s a mix of mozzarella and Dubliner, the latter of which I’ve been enjoying a lot lately. Goes great with tuna salad.

Then I put on the potatoes, which had soaked for a while in salted water.

I’m told that removes starch and a little moisture, letting them brown better. I wanted some onion on there so I sliced some red onion into thin slices.

Thin enough to see though slices, even. And that was by hand, kids. Although they weren’t all that thin. Heh. Then I took some of the oily garlic chunks

and dolloped them around.

That would be double garlic.

Then I stuck it in the oven for ten minutes or so, pulled it out and cracked a couple eggs on top. None of that got photographed though, I wanted to do it as quickly as possible.

But these are the eggs,

they’re really small and really fresh. I got them from the same source as last time I got fresh eggs and they were just as awesome. I left it in for another five or ten minutes, I don’t remember exactly I’m afraid, I pulled it out when the whites were set.

And this shows you how bad my oven is. See the egg on the right?

The yolk is cooked solid. See the egg on the left?

Yeah.

Slightly less so.

This is why I don’t bake a lot of cakes in this apartment.

But solid or runny, it was awesome. The garlic crisped up and mellowed out really well, the potatoes didn’t brown much, but they softened nicely and added a good earthy flavor. I did prefer the runny egg, I love runny yolks, but both added an excellent richness. That I suppose it didn’t really need, what with all the cheese. But hey, it was most of what I was eating that day. Heh.

So who else has had eggs on pizza? What do you think of them?

Filed under: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, eggs, garlic, pizza, potato

Skillet Flatbread

Just a quickie today kids but an essential one in my kitchen.026  I make this flatbread constantly and use it for any sandwich I feel like. Sometimes I call it naan, but it’s not really naan since it’s made in a skillet.

039 (2)Whatever, it’s awesome. All you do is preheat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat, take a fistish sized chunk of bread dough (I use the Artisan Bread in 5 stuff), stretch it out like pizza dough and toss it in the skillet with a little butter, oil, bacon grease, whatever. Cover the pan and let it sit for ~3-4 minutes, then flip and re-cover. After a couple more minutes pull it out and that’s it. Flatbread.

007Eat it with stuff you enjoy. I love it with falafel which I’ll be posting about later this week since I have a recipe for it that freezes really well and is low fat but crunchy and awesome.

Filed under: Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day, bread

Sunday Critters #5

A few weeks ago Thing 2 came over and we made honey chicken and doughnuts. Because really, once you’ve gotten set up for deep frying you might as well do it up. Here she is separating an egg, which she enjoys doing. I enjoy her enjoying it since I hate it.

002 (2) - CopyAnd here she is trying to convince the Real Bob that she isn’t as intimidating as Thing 5 (toddler) or Thing 4 (5 year old). 056 He is not yet convinced.

Filed under: cats, children

BBQ Pulled Chicken Open Face Sandwich

Here’s a quickie but a goodie and my new favorite thing to do with pulled chicken (or beef, pork or whatever).039 - CopyI didn’t used to like open face sandwiches and I still have a problem with the name, I mean if you can’t pick it up how is it a sandwich? But this totally won me over. The secret, other than using good pulled chicken, is garlic bread. I like to use Texas toast (which you can buy loaves of here) because thin bread just can’t hang. I use this pulled chicken although I have to admit to being a little embarrassed posting that link. Not just because it’s almost five years old and the pictures are terrible, but the method has certain flaws.

044

For example you really don’t need to braise boneless skinless chicken breasts for an hour or more. But what did I know, I was just starting at this blogging thing and still refining my cooking skills. Of course I’m still refining my skills, but that’s an endless journey. Heh. And anyway, the concept is sound, chicken, bacon and BBQ sauce are awesome together. They’re even better slathered on thick garlic bread with sauteed onions, covered in cheese, tossed in the oven for melting goodness and then topped with some scallion. Seriously.055 - Copy How can you not want to eat that wicked bad? Unless you’re a vegetarian, although I doubt I have too many of those following me. Heh.

Filed under: bacon, barbecue, bread, chicken, sandwich

Ancho Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Holy crap people, words aren’t enough. I mean c’mon, look at that.033

Grill marks, huge flavor and check this:

037

perfectly medium rare. I know it’s not the best lighting for that pic but I assure you, these were perfect. I can still taste them as I’m writing this, I just couldn’t wait to share. I’m so stoked to have a grill again, it’s insanely exciting for me. I even built a DIY chimney starter, although I need to adjust it. 017023024I’ll do a full post on it once I’ve made one that works how I want it to.

Anyway, the chops. Simplicity itself, salt, pepper and ancho chili powder. I did grill them over 50/50 charcoal and mesquite coals which lent a marvelous flavor, but however you choose to do it would be delightful.   028 - Copy  One of the great things about lamb is that it’s almost impossible to overpower them so you don’t need to be shy with the seasonings, even when it’s something like ancho chili powder. And it’s perfect for the grill just trim the excess fat to reduce flare ups, season to taste and slap it on there. Even if you cook it past medium rare it’s still going to be enormously flavorful just because it is what it is.

So please, if you like lamb grill some soon, I know I’ll be grilling more asap.

Wicked. Good.

Filed under: lamb, on the grill

Sunday Critters #4

This does not bode well.

088

Or maybe…

094

Yeah, it’s fine.  100

Filed under: cats, children

Souvlaki

027 - Copy

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix it all together, marinade chunks of meat in it for several hours. Skewer and grill.

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I finally paid attention and measured things when I made souvlaki! It’s wicked simple and frigging awesome. All you do is take the ingredients and mix them up.006Then pour the resulting marinade onto some kind of meat and let it sit, refrigerated of course, for a couple hours. 009Oh and here’s a tip, don’t throw out those squoozen lemons. That zest is still good so toss them in the freezer. 011

You can also zest the lemons first and just freeze the zest, but I never think of that. Anyway, souvlaki. You can use pretty much any meat that can be cut into cubes, lamb is my favorite but pork is pretty traditional I’ve been told. Beef and chicken also work well, this time I’m doing chicken because that’s what I have. Heh. And sweet merciful crap I finally have a grill! Words can’t express my joy adequately. It’s been something like 6-7 years since I’ve had a grill of my own. So expect to see lots more grilled stuff from now on. I’m also building a smoker in my sisters back yard, if that works I’ll definitely by talking about that too.

Anyway, back to souvlaki again. I didn’t have pita or tzatziki unfortunately, but I did have rolls, Greek yogurt, lettuce and onion. So that’s what I did.038 - CopyI could have gussied up the yogurt some, but I didn’t think of it until after the souvlaki was cooked and by then I just wanted to eat. It was still wicked good. Now I need to find some ground lamb and make grilled gyros.

 

Filed under: chicken, Greek

Homemade Wonton Wrappers

From the Vault:  I’m spending today first cleaning and then making pizza for my sister, Thing 2 and Thing 4 so here’s something awesome from the old site. To be fair, I was going to be posting this at some point soon anyway, it’s just too cool not to if I do say so myself. And I do. Heh.

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1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup water (or more)

-Beat the egg with the salt and a 1/4 cup water.
-Put the flour in a mixing bowl, make a well and add the egg and water mixture.
-Mix it as much as you can with a spoon.
-Add as much water as you need to get a dough.
-Knead for a couple minutes, until it forms a smooth, pliable dough.
-Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a half hour.
-Roll small (about thumb sized) pieces very thin on a well floured surface or use a pasta machine.
-Use it for whatever you wanted wonton wrappers for. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.
(I got the recipe from here)

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Ok, I know I had said I was going to post about that casserole this week. But I’m wicked excited about making my own wonton wrappers, so it’s getting posted first and that’s just the way it’s going to happen.

I decided to make them kind of spur of the moment. My girlfriend is away for a few days, so I’m bored. Which usually means I make some kind of bread, since it takes some time. I don’t know if wonton wrappers really count as bread, but the concept is the same. There’s kneading and resting and all that. Now, I had always heard that making wonton wrappers was hard, but I didn’t think it was that bad at all. I think the main issue people have is getting them as thin as they want and I’ll admit that’s a problem. But I just let them be a little thick and didn’t worry about it. It made them a bit chewy, but I liked it fine. If you have a pasta machine you can get them really thin, but I don’t have one. They’re one of those things I’d love to have but just don’t really have the room for. Anyway, rambling aside, wonton wrappers are easy. You should make some. Here’s how.

Take an egg, three quarters of a teaspoon of salt and a quarter cup of water and beat them together.

Put two cups of flour into a bowl and make a well in the center. Add the egg mixtureand mix it together as well as you can with a spoon.

It will look really dry.

That’s because it needs more water.

I’m sure it’s my keen grasp of these kinds of details that keeps you guys coming back. Heh. I wound up adding almost another quarter of a cup. That turned it into a lump of sticky dough.

I left it sticky since I would be working more flour into it as I kneaded.

Which is what came next.

It took a few minutes (maybe as many as five like the recipe called for, but I don’t think quite that long) before it turned into a good, firm, cohesive dough.

The dough is firmer than bread dough, so it’s a little tougher to knead, but you don’t have to do it for as long. Now you just cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for a half hour.

What you get is a soft, pliable but not very elastic dough.

This means you can roll it out but it doesn’t snap back much.

I just cut chunks the size of my thumb off and rolled them out as thin as I felt like. I just barely made this stuff today and the thing I had planned kind of fell through, so I haven’t done too much with it yet. But I did make a little something that I’ll show you. I rolled out a chunk of dough and put a big chunk of pepper jack cheese on it.

Then I just rolled it up

and twisted the ends like a tootsie roll wrapper.

And deep fried it.

This is the first time I have ever deep fried anything.

It was wicked good.

A little ham and mustard in there would have been nice. I’m going to do some actual Asian style stuff with the dough too, I just need a little time to get the stuff together. But I still have a bunch of the dough left and several days of only cooking for myself ahead of me.

Filed under: asian, cheese, deep fry

Sunday Critters #3

I lost several folders worth of pictures, which pisses me off, but while trying to find them I did find a bunch of other ones. Like this one of the Real Bob snuggling with Thing 5 when she came to visit me back when I lived in Boston.

DSCN3409And this one of that same Thing being comforted by Thing 3 while he played on the computer. I don’t remember why she needed comforting, but he’s good about it when she does. It’s very sweet.

231And this one of Thing 5 again, eating an apple.

465  She put her brothers Spiderman shirt on herself, can you tell? Heh. She’s awfully photogenic, too.

Filed under: cats, children

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