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Everything posted by fifi

  1. Oh dear . . . How to reply to this topic. As to chicken and dumplings, this dish is always the final product of a big baked chicken. Long ago, we figured out that the exquisite sinking dumplings that our Great Aunt Minnie made could be duplicated by using cheap, store brand biscuits, smashed thin in flour. I also have to make Coquille St. Jaques annually for a friend's birthday. Nothing else will do. It is glorious, by the way. After all, the old classics have a reason for being classics.
  2. fifi

    Do I NEED a Bamix?

    Oh dear . . . I do love my Bamix. I am not an unbiased contributor. The story goes that my cheap **s blender gave up when I was into making chile sauce for some enchiladas. The new Kitchen Aid food processor did fine but I decided that it was time to loosen the purse strings and get a Bamix instead of a blender. I have never been happier with such a decision. My son, when he moved out, (finally) took the cheapo stick blender with him since he used it for his disgusting protein shakes. Now I have this new toy. I love it. I use it instead of a Kitchen Aid mixer, that is hiding somewhere in the rented storage locker, to cream butter and sugar for cookies. I use it for soups. I whip cream. I love the darn thing. One failing . . . After a flurry of pickling jalepenos with carrots and cauliflower, I roasted the left over veggies with the intention of making a roasted vegetable soup. It was lovely, flavor-wise. But it did look like barf. I thought of taking a picture of it for the regrettable topic but didn't. Anyway, that is the only time it failed me. Maybe if I had kept at it, the soup would have been a smooth elixir. I dunno. Anyway, I love my Bamix. Get one.
  3. They seem to bring in a flurry of new things once a year about the time they publish the new catalog. Then they put in new things for the summer "outdoor" season and again for the holidays. The "old favorites" hang around forever . . . which is a good thing. I bought a Lack table for a guest room some years ago and would now like to have another. They still have it. I can count on them for the utensils, also. They also have some enticing glassware that I fall for everytime. If they break . . . who cares. I also pick up cutting boards when I am there. When they warp or crack (usually after a couple of years) I just get more. On the cabinets . . . We have a topic here somewhere where we discussed them in great detail. I did a lot of comparison shopping while the house was being designed. If my builder doesn't custom build (he has another company does that kind of work) he says that he would go with the Ikea. He likes them very much. For reasons I don't really understand, he uses the same type of construction as Ikea for cabinetry that he custom builds.
  4. The one thing, kitchen-wise, that I go to Ikea for is the stainless steel utensils. I have done this for my own kitchen and for gifts. The spatulas, whisks, spoons, etc. are high quality and really cheap. We are talking about $3-5 USD for things that would be $15-20 USD in other shops. The glasses that snowangel linked are another foavorite. As to the kitchen stuff . . . The cabinets are tried and true. My builder would use them if he didn't do his own anyway. He actually has studied the Ikea choice of hardware and such to improve what he does. The cabinets are the best value going in the North American market.
  5. fifi

    Freezing Bacon

    I think everyone is making this too complicated. I have done this for years . . . I "fry off" a pound (or 12 oz.) of bacon at a time. I have the half sheet aluminum pans with the racks that fit in them. About an hour or less at 325F usually results in wonderfully crisp bacon. The crisp bacon gets wrapped in a paper towel and put in a zip-lock baggie in the fridge. The paper towel is there to absorb any condensation from taking it in and out of the fridge. The bacon fat gets poured off into a small canning jar and put in the fridge for use in other things. You don't have to freeze anything. The bacon is there for sandwiches or salads and it doesn't really last long enough to need freezing. Bacon fat in a little jar lasts forever in the fridge. I don't think I have ever kept cooked bacon long enough to consider freezing it. Uncooked, yes. When a brand that I like has gone on sale, I have been known to buy several pounds and freeze them (uncooked) forever.
  6. Canned mushrooms! OMG! Oh well. In the interests of domestic bliss, I guess that canned mushrooms have a place. At least, those 'shrooms have a place in our family favorite "muck" so I guess they could show up here. How did mushrooms get into this discussion, anyway???
  7. fifi

    Smoking a Beef Loin

    Well, I would call 238 close enough for gov'mnt work.
  8. fifi

    Smoking a Beef Loin

    Don't worry about minor temperature variations. You regulate the temperature with the bottom vents on the bullet. The critical thing is to monitor the temperatue in the meat.
  9. I have sent a link to your article to my kids. Even though they are dispersed to Chicago and DC, a part of their heart is still in New Orleans. As a veteran myself of many Mardi Gras, I have to say that you have captured the essence. What is so encouraging is that, through your writing, I see that the spirit is still alive and undaunted. Well . . . maybe daunted but getting there. Thank you for sharing.
  10. fifi


    So, this isn't paprika but it started that way so I put the Southwest Chicken Stroganoff into RecipeGullet. It is definitely good enough to do again. And, you could use paprika as well.
  11. Southwest Chicken Stroganoff Serves 4 as Main Dish. This recipe is actually the result of a mistake. I was intending to make Paprika Chicken to try out my newly arrived smoked paprika. My eyes were tearing from cutting the onions, and I was talking on the phone. While digging around in the newly arrived box of spices from Penzey’s, I grabbed the ancho chile powder instead of the smoked paprika. I didn’t notice the mistake until the chicken was already coated. I forged ahead. The sauce needed “fixing” and this is what I came up with. It is a sort of ridiculous fusion type of dish but ended up being good enough to keep and do again. 2 large yellow onions 8 chicken thighs, about 1 ½ pounds, skin removed Salt 1/4 c ancho chile powder 1 tsp garlic powder 1 tsp Mexican oregano 2 tsp ground cumin 1 c sour cream Slice the onions into rather thin half rounds and distribute in the bottom of a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. I use a Le Creuset French oven. The pot should be large enough to hold the chicken thighs in a single layer. Salt the chicken and place in a plastic baggie. Add the ancho powder and toss to evenly coat the chicken. The coating should be rather heavy. Depending upon the size of the chicken pieces, you may need to add more ancho powder. Arrange the chicken pieces on top of the onion slices. Put the lid on and put into a 250 degree F oven for about 2 hours or until the chicken is tender and succulent. Remove the chicken and reserve. Depending upon the onions, you may want to put the pot on the cook top and cook down the liquid. Onions vary a lot as to water content. Add the garlic, oregano and cumin. Transfer the onions and liquid to a blender or use a stick blender to puree into a smooth sauce. Add the sour cream and blend in. Break the chicken into large chunks and return to the sauce. Adjust seasoning if needed. Heat it gently on the stove top, do not boil. Serve over egg noodles or rice. I like noodles best. Note: Consider adding other chile powders to the ancho to vary the heat and flavor. Anchos are very mild and don’t really lend much heat to the dish. You can substitute chicken breast for the thighs. Just be careful not to over cook. Skinless chicken is much preferred for this recipe, as for the Paprika Chicken, so that the flavor permeates the meat. I don’t like the texture of braised chicken skin anyway. Like the Paprika Chicken, this can be done in a crock pot. The tale of the mistake is here. Keywords: Easy, Main Dish, Immersion Blender, Chicken, Dinner, Blender ( RG1632 )
  12. On the crosnes . . . We really like to go hunting for them. The time of year to do that is coming up. However, there has been an extreme drought in the area and we aren't hopeful. Even hurricane Rita didn't bring any rain. If we get anything, I will report here. We do use them in salads almost exclusively.
  13. fifi


    I have a "tragic" story that came out in the end. I had just received my Penzey's order and dug around in the box to find my smoked paprika. There were eight boneless skinless chicken thighs in my fridge that needed using and two big yellow onions in the bin. The weather was gray and cold (for here, anyway) and paprika chicken was now on the menu. What better way to judge the Penzey's paprika. I had sliced the onions and they were particularly potent. My eyes are still tearing when the phone rings. My son is calling from Chicago in a jambalaya crisis while preparing for a Mardis Gras party. I continue working on the paprika chicken while we are discussing the finer points of his recipe. I go back to the box, dig out the baggie of paprika and proceed to measure the quarter cup into the bag with the chicken to coat it. Still talking jambalaya. I decide that the thighs need a bit more paprika and go back to add that. Now I see the label. I had grabbed the ancho powder!!! Oh crap. Now what? I decided to forge ahead. I did the chicken as usual and tasted it. Not bad but it needs something. I removed the chicken, cooked the onions down a bit on top of the stove. Then I got to work with the Bamix. I now have a pretty good onion sauce but not quite there yet. I added some Penzey's garlic powder about a teaspoon of ground cumin and about a teaspoon of Mexican oregano. A bit more cumin. Getting there. Ah Ha! I spy a small carton of sour cream and added that. The sauce is looking good. I put large chunks of the chicken back into the sauce and warmed it gently. Oh man, this is good. Served over noodles, what do I have here? Southwest Chicken Stroganoff? Is that the most ridiculous "fusion" recipe that you have ever heard of, or what? In fact, it is so good, I am going to write it up and I'll do it again. Sometimes screw-ups are a good thing.
  14. I don't see why you couldn't put more than one pot in the oven at a time. To make a bunch of squares for frying, I favor the sheet pan idea. I had just enough leftover to fill an 8x8 pan about 3/4 inch deep. It chilled to a nicely firm consistency that came out of the pan clean. If you do it in a loaf pan, most of the surface will be cut surfaces and may not hold together as well during frying. I would also suggest that you use the biggest non-stick pan that you can get your hands on so that there is enough space between the pieces for good browning and easy turning.
  15. Back in the time that I ran with a rowdy bunch that harrassed pointy nosed fishes in various parts of the world, a wahoo catch was more prized than a big blue marlin. The best I ever had was cooked on a griddle at the hotel in Cabo San Lucas. We actually didn't catch them as it was on the "daily special" when we arrived. The chef turned out perfectly griddled wahoo steaks that had been slathered in ojo de aho. I had had dorado done that way in Cozumel several years before so perhaps that memory intruded. (Ojo de aho is finely diced garlic, very slowly simmered in oil and butter until the garlic is toasted, and the oil is used as the cooking oil.) The steaks were perfectly cooked on the inside and had a delightful brown crust on the outside. I suspect that the crust was achieved by salting the fish and letting stand for a while before plopping it on the griddle.
  16. When I moved into this apartment, the first thing that I noticed was that the whole wall, under the cabinets, behind the crappy electric range is . . . mirror. My first thought was that it was about the stupidest thing I had ever seen and would be a pain to clean. Actually, that hasn't been the case. The range does have that raised shelf thing on the back like FG described and that catches most of the flak. I just clean it with Windex. The good thing about the mirror is that I can see what is going on in the living area when I am at the stove. The bad thing about the mirror is that first thing in the morning I look up and see this really horrifying apparition with a bad case of bed hair. I have a friend that did stainless steel behind hers. She used that stainless steel quilted looking sheet. She hates it and is going to change it. Every little drop of grease spreads out into a big grease spot and is a pain to clean. I am going with tile, that white "subway tile" with gray grout. I have had tile before, find it easy to keep and it will just look right in that kitchen.
  17. Sorry to have skipped out on you guys during "the last smoke" but family business called. I will have to say that you have inspired me. I have now switched to the lower nicotine version of my brand in preparation. Of course, I ate several more packs than usual over the last few days. But, I am on track to quit. I will spend a couple of weeks preparing myself mentally. And, when I finally commit to quitting it will probably be with all of the drugs that the industry can throw at me. But, one of the most effective drugs will be this blog. I can go back and read your heartfelt and honest experience and let it carry me along. It is now in my list of favorites and any friend or aquaintance that even sniffs at quitting, they are going to get a URL to this. This blog does not go away. For all you have gone through the last 12 days, keep in mind that it is forever here and you may not ever know how many people you have touched. My sincerest and most grateful thanks.
  18. That is interesting about the venison stall. I wouldn't have thought there would be enough connective tissue and fat to show much of a stall. I am really curious to see how that comes out.
  19. Sounds like you are right on track for a truly specatcular butt. I think the stall thing is just amazing. When I first heard about it, here of course, it was one of those whack your forehead moments. Of course. It takes energy to convert the connective tissue to gelatin and to melt the fat. The whole thing is just weird. I have had a houseful of supposed adults staring at the remote thermometer in amazement and making pronouncements about every move in temperature. You would think they were watching the Superbowl.
  20. Guys . . . All you guys with smoked pork butt. I urge you. I implore you to keep some of that pork back to make the Barbeque Posole. No, it is not my recipe but one I interpreted from a conversation in my bad Spanish. It is so damn good, you have to try it. I just finished my last container out of the freezer because we had a cold front come through. Do try it.
  21. I think about 8:00. Print off that Minion Method for him. That is the only way I know to maintain an even temperature over the long haul. I load it with about 10 pounds of plain Kingsford briquets and wood chunks. I may or may not add some wood chunks as it goes along. I tried lump charcoal one time trying to be a purist. It was unpredictable as to heat and the ash was so light that it would blow up onto the meat if the wind got gusty.
  22. The last butt I did I used the Southern Succor rub. It was quite good. I don't always use a rub but this one is a winner. Of course, some of the ingredients were a little lumpy, but my favorite kitchen gadget works admirably as a pestle. Actually, we aren't trying to taunt you, Marlene. We are trying to develop a cult and channel to AMCO so you can get a mushroom.
  23. Marlene . . . Is this what you have languishing in the garage? My little jewel is lurking in the shadows. Among afficiandos, the Weber Smoky Mountain is affectionately known as "The Bullet." A few tips for success with your butt: Fire up the smoker using the Minion Method Keep the top vent open full. Put a thermometer there. Regulate temperature with the bottom vents. 250 F (121 C) at the top vent is 225 F (107 C) at the grate. This is what you want. Keep the water pan full. This is probably the only thing you will have to fiddle with. I use a remote thermometer to watch the meat temperature. That is just for fun as much as anything. When you can wiggle the bone and it just about comes out in your hand, you are done. Internal temp will be about 190 F (88 C) to 200 F (93 C).
  24. Am I reading this right? Does Marlene have a Weber bullet in the garage? If so, I can lend a lot of support. My Weber Bullet is my best friend.
  25. While in the apartment, I don't have freezer space to be as weird as it got when I had the one at the house. Yes to freezing garbage. I have always done that. Meat wrappers and anything else that might stink. I also have the allotted portions of chicken carcasses, various fats, though most of those reside in the fridge in canning jars. All of my chile powders are in there as well as jars of kaffir lime leaves and bay leaves from the tree in the cemetary that my sister and I know about. About the most intriguing thing coming out of one of our freezers . . . when cleaning out the really big chest freezer after mom and dad passed away . . . was a gallon container of wild grape juice that dad had processed at the country place. I think it is dated 1972 or some such. The grapes grew down in the creek bottom on the property. He was probably planning to make wine with it as he was in his wine making faze then. It is still there at the house and we are trying to decide what to do with it. Current thinking is to make commemorative jelly and give it to friends and family.
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