Thursday, August 20, 2009

Savory Chicken Salad


I wanted to make some chicken salad from the leftover rosemary-garlic paste roasted chicken my husband cooked the other night. I’m not a big fan of the fruit-laced chicken salads (apples, grapes?!) so I headed straight for the umami.



This is from my prior batch of pancetta flavored bacon. (My husband suggested the name, but I’m too embarrassed to call it that anymore.) This section was so fatty I didn’t want to eat it as bacon, so I saved it for pseudo lardons.



This is about 8 slices cut into 1/4 “ strips and fried.



I’ll chop and “toast” these pecans in the bacon fat.



Smells real good about now.



Minced shallot and garlic.



The shallots have been “sweated” and I’m adding the garlic for the last 30 seconds.



Draining the lardons and the pecan-shallot-garlic mix.



Shredded rosemary-garlic roasted chicken.



It was too late after work to make my own mayo.



Love this Louisiana Cajun seasoning.



Gotta have some of this.



About 1/2 cup of mayo, 2/3 cup of sour cream, 1 tablespoon of Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, plus Maldon sea salt and freshly ground pepper (not shown).



I over-toasted the bun in the broiler, but it was still delicious.

Thyme Roasted Potatoes

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I’ve often heard that potatoes roasted in goose (or duck) fat are the best. As I had a bit of duck fat saved from the duck confit I used to make the Duck Rillettes,  I had to try some.



I used this recipe for the method. I used small russet potato wedges. These were parboiled for 4 minutes.



The lovely duck fat and some thyme from my garden. I sprinkled the thyme on the potatoes during the last 5 minutes.  The potatoes had a wonderful crunchy exterior and tender interior. They were good, well worth the effort.


My husband had roasted a chicken with a rosemary-garlic paste spread under the skin in our Big Easy infrared turkey fryer.  It made a great sandwich with some homegrown lettuce.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Easy Hamburger Buns | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

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Since my husband was making some lovely pulled pork to make barbequed pork sandwiches, I was happy that I had some Buttermilk White Bread mix from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day already mixed in the refrigerator.


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This is the mix in the bucket.


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I had a hamburger pan from earlier experiments. Sometimes it is good to hang on to baking pans you never thought you’d use again.


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I love the “shooting through glass” option on my camera.


Pulled Pork on BW Buns

The pulled pork with barbeque sauce, homemade mayonnaise, homemade buns, beans from our garden, and fried potatoes.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bacon, Garlic, and Thyme Gougères | Duck Rillettes


I saw the recipe for similar gougères a few days ago on the Cook's Illustrated website. I had some leftover Emmental from the Quiche Lorraine, my bacon, and thyme in my garden; now was the time to finally try pâte a choux. Back in June, Michael Ruhlman had posted about taking some cheese puffs to a friend’s house and eating them with leftover duck confit. I didn’t think ahead to make duck confit, but while I was at one of my favorite grocery stores – Calandro’s – buying the flour, right there in the charcuterie area was canned duck confit. Not quite inventing the universe; but, sometimes, instant gratification is very satisfying. I decided to use the Cook’s Illustrated flavorings with Ruhlman’s Ratio. I watched Jacques Pépin make the choux paste on his The Complete Pépin: Techniques and Recipes DVD for a confidence boost (he uses half the butter compared to Ratio, hmmm).



My bacon, thyme, and the rest of the Emmental.



Minced thyme and garlic cloves.



Diced bacon and minced garlic, draining.



Replaced some of the unsalted butter with bacon grease.



The choux paste. I used buttermilk (had some in the fridge) rather than milk.



I didn’t want to clean my pastry bag after this sticky paste, so I used the baggie trick.



Ready to bake. My piping skills aren’t so good.



Coming out of the oven.



Warming the duck legs.



Lovely duck fat and gelatin (duck goo) in the bottom of the can. After shredding some of the leg meat to serve on the gougères, I made Duck Rillettes (adapted from Kevin Weeks’ – adapted from Charcuterie). I just tried to get the proportions right for the goo and fat to the amount of duck leg meat left and processed it.



Served beans from our garden on the side.



The shredded confit was lovely, but I like the rillettes. For some reason I find it amusing that it looks like devilled ham.



Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Wish I’d Invented This

Plumeria 07212009_04

Lovely Kaneohe Sunburst Plumeria I recently added to my collection.  One of the many things I (used to) miss from my adolescence in the Florida Keys.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quiche Lorraine

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Inspired, yet again, by a Michael Ruhlman post - The Best Quiche; I had to try my hand at it. Especially since I had saved some of my pancetta-cured bacon in slab form to make lardons. As my husband says, “Any recipe (like my sister Peggy’s  famous Baked Potato Casserole) that starts with a pound of bacon, is a good recipe”.


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Well, my mama was praised for her pie crust which she always made using Crisco; so there.


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Good thing I stole her pastry cutter.


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No beans to use for pie weights, but rice works.


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The onions softened, but not too browned.


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Lardons from my slab bacon.


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I shouldn’t have used the microplane for the Emmental cheese. It was so fine, by the time I was ready to sprinkle it, it was almost melted together even though I put it in the fridge. Next time I’ll use the box grater.


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The lardons draining. Crispy on the outside; still tender on the inside.


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Custard mise en place. I love this nutmeg grater; no more knuckle-skin flakes in the food. And, you’d have to pry my Magnum pepper mill from my cold, dead fingers.


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Half the lardon and onion mixture. Then added half of the frothed custard and half of the cheese. Repeat.


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Pooh! Even though I thought I patched all the cracks in the crust, I must have missed some. I think I was being too careful not to overwork the dough.


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My husband said, “It’s ugly.”


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Here it is cleaned up a bit.


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It may not be that pretty, but it was good, very luxurious.