⅔ fancy vinegar of some sort, balsamic, red wine, etc
½ cup brown sugar
1 chopped chili
2 TBSP Fresh diced rosemary
1 chopped apple
1 # browned ground venison and any other meats you feel like adding
S&P to taste
Slice the cabbage, remove the tough stem and thinly slice. Place in a large pot with all the other ingredients but the meats and add 1 cup water. Bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat, cover and gently cook for 1½ hrs, stirring frequently. Add water if needed - the fresher the cabbage the less this is needed. Add the meats to the cabbage gently simmer for 10 mins. Remove the lid and cook for 10 mins.
In Tennessee, wild raspberries taste much sweeter than the blackberries to come in July. They tend to grow right by one another and locals often call any wild growing berry that is black a "blackberry" but don't be fooled. These little treasures have a short season and are well worth fighting the poison ivy and chiggers over.
After the first sets of berries start to arrive, it is a good idea to take along a tupperware on evening country walks and collect what is ready. What can;t be eaten fresh preserves well in the freezer.
This year, it took about two weeks from the first glimmers of wild raspberry goodness to a yield that would support the baking of a pie.
A quart of wild raspberries is where you start for seasonal summer pie.
Confession: If you know you will be adding some sugar and baking it in a crust, you can harvest some not less ripe, tart berries. These go well in a pie, keeping it from being sickly sweet.
Thanks to the modern world, my favorite berry pie recipe is housed online. It has all the elements a busy hobby-farmer needs: simple ingredients that are on hand, no weird pre-cooking undulations to make a filling, a presentation that is pleasing and highlights the flavor of the fruit without the need for trendy cooking channel flair.
The 1-2 process is like all pies: Make a crust, pour in the filling.
Don't forget the ventilation if you want to avoid a marvelous pie explosion.
Always remember to poke your fork through the crust a few times to ensure that air pockets can boil out, keeping your pie from exploding
The key to any pie is getting the crust right, and keeping the edges from burning. After wasting tons of foil crafting my own each time we make a pie, I discovered this $8-10 option on Amazon. Yesterday was the first test of this new device and it worked! A simple, reusable option that is not made from silicone, is easy to wash, reduces the amount of foil headed from my home to the landfill, and will ultimately save me a bit of money that would have gone to yet another kitchen consumable.
Unlike cake which responds will to the toothpick test, the best way to know your berry pie is done is a visual test. Is it bubbling happily both on the edges and in the middle? Is the crust golden brown? Then - success. The early summer/late spring wild raspberry goody is a great way to get vitamin K and C and provides some hard-t-absorb magnesium to boot!
Only a week or two left in the season for wild raspberries in our area. Happy hunting!
Driving to the store for a carton of sour cream is not economical when the nearest store is 12 miles away. Yet green chili rellenos (baked from the frozen stock of the summer) just don't taste as good without the creamy additive in the rice.
A few weeks ago, when faced with this problem, I started wandering around the Web looking for recipes. After testing a few, I found that the half and half, plus the last few tablespoons of sour cream method is the easiest. The biggest surprise was that the resulting homemade sour cream tasted much better than the very batch that supplied the "sour cream start."
The way I do this is as follows:
2 cups half and half
1 quart-sized mason jar
2 tablespoons sour cream
Put all into the jar. Cover. Shake it! Wait 12-24 hours until it is firm and enjoy.
My theory is that it tastes better because the half and half that we put in our coffee is of a better quality than the cream used in commercial production of sour cream. Or maybe it is just fresher.
WARNING: Don't used ultra pasteurized half an half - I get mixed results with it.
I had a little fun with my new Storm and shot a casual video demo - not bad video quality for a phone.
Last weekend, we wandered to Austin for a visit. Along the way, we got very hungry and stopped at a Chevron gas station on Highway 71. Hruska’s was the name of the food and trinket store attached to the Chevron, and it harbored a surprise: Kolaches.
Not alone in my opinion, these kolaches were fabulous. Freshly made and in many varieties, the bread covered meat (or vegetarian filling) pocket is served hot upon order.
Apparently, kolaches were originally a sweet treat , but they have morphed into a savory meat filled snack in the Austin area. It was hard to find a meat filled recipe, but here is one.
After 9 hours in the air, and still recovering from walking pneumonia, all I wanted upon arrival in Japan was miso soup. Luckily, we were invited to a Japanese household for dinner. We ate at a special low table with a quilt for warmth called a kotatsu, something that would fit very well at our holler home during the winter.
This was the menu:
Other various western dishes
Japanese people can be excellent hosts. I was polite, but a little disappointed.
As things were winding down for the night and we were sharing cultural stories, my host asked if there was any traditional Japanese foods I would be interested in trying. Not wanting to impose, I simply asked questions about how different dishes were made and what Japanese people traditionally eat. When miso soup came up, my host got very animated.
My host explained that miso is the solid by product that is produced when soy is fermented for soy sauce production. His family made their own miso and he jumped up to show me what it looked like. His wife then showed me how to make it and we all had a round of miso.
Instead of making it like most of the on line resources say you should, they made it as follows:
2 green onions diced
2 ounces tofu, cubed
a handful of dices seaweed
2 tablespoons seaweed
2 cups of water
1 dash of fish sauce
Place water and seaweed on the stove and bring to a near boil. Whisk in the miso, add tofu cubes. Add a dash of fish sauce. Pour into bowls and garnish with green onions.
Most on line sources recommend that you use dashi instead of water, as shown in the video below. I suspect that the above method was used because there was no convenient way to produce dashi on a whim.
Recently, I have eaten more miso soup (sans tofu) because it is only 40 calories per serving and thus makes an excellent snack for a woman with a cooking blog who wishes to maintain a certain BMI. It was nice to not that miso soup is not only a yummy low calorie snack, it also has health benefits.
Rolling, rolling, rolling... Keep rice moist and joining...
For a successful roll, you merely need to:
Not use too much wasabi - wooowa - unless you need to really clear those sinuses.
Keep your rice the right consistency. Lannae Long recently went into much more detail on this than I do.
Make the roll thickness consistent the whole length of the roll.
Have fun with it - no need for perfection unless you want it - we're doing this at home for kicks. If you want to be a sushi chef, you will need more than my little blog posts on the topic.
We decided to do "California Rolls," but with a few personal alterations (like the addition of carrots because I need more vitamin A .
We sliced stuff up as thin as we could.
We coated our bamboo roller in plastic wrap to ease cleaning.
We moistened the Nari and patted down a layer of rice over about 2/3 of the area of the Nari - just the right consistency, carefully added a tiny amount of wasabi for flavor and carefully laid out the veggies and crab in neat rows.
After that, we rolled the stuff by putting a bit of extra vinegar water on the still exposed seaweed, carefully turning the rice filled part of the roll until the exposed seaweed meets, pulling back on the roller to really compact all the contents, and finishing the roll. Here is where people have the most trouble - the compacting part. You just can't compact a roll too much - the more compact, the prettier and better it will hold together. I usually ruin 1-2 rolls if I have not rolled in a long time because, guess what? I don't compact them enough.
Another key to success is a sharp knife for cutting the contents and the rolls into bite-sized pieces. Alas and alack, we are in a furnished rental in Houston and there is not a sharp knife to be had, so our pieces ended up a little "frayed" They still taste the same though...
We set the table, had a toast and began our meal. BTW - It was grrrreat! Thank you to Jim Kidwell who taught me to do this.
Since the key to great sushi, besides finding the fish, is getting the rice just right, I usually start the day by making Inarisushi. This is a fried bean curd pocket stuffed with rice.
The folks over at Electric Gourmet actually explain how to do this from scratch, but I just buy the pre-seasoned, fried, canned version. They also have some interesting rice preparation tips, but I try to keep sugar out of most things and make my rice as follows (No steamer here):
Making Sushi Rice
Read the package to find the proper ratio of rice to water.My package calls for 1.25 cups of water to 1 cup of rice. It also says that one cup of rice yields enough rolls for two people. After rolling most of the yield from cooking two cups of rice, THREE of us decided that they meant two large and very hungry railroad workers. The leftovers fed me lunch AND dinner the next day.
Wash and drain the rice until no more milky white liquid pours off.
Combine rice and proper amount of water in a sauce pan.If you feel like adding 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar to each cup of rice, put the vinegar in the measuring cup first, then finish off the measurement with water.
Cook rice and water on high until it boils, stir it to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pan, then reduce heat to low and set time for 20 minutes.On some electric stoves, I turn the burner off because it retains so much heat that simply bringing the rice to a boil, then turning off the burner is enough.
Cool rice by running it under cold water or cooling it in the fridge.Some people warn of cooling rice in the fridge, but I have never had a problem. I just make sure it is well covered so it doesn’t dry out.
Fluff the rice. Once the rice is done, check it for consistency.
Good sushi rice is sticky, but not gummy or TOO sticky. If it is gummy, you probably cooked it too long. If it is too sticky, reduce the amount of water you use.
Inarisushi the easy way
1 can of pre-made bean curd wrappers
1 cup rice
¼ cup rice vinegar
Mix the vinegar with the cooked rice. Stuff rice into the bean curd pockets, fold the flaps in to close the pocket, and place on a tray with the fold side down.
Tip: If I am going to refrigerate these for later use, I drizzle the extra bean curd marinate over them to keep the moisture in
Fried Bean Curd Pockets
Stuff the rice into the pocket - do not press too hard or the pocket will tear.
Fold the flaps down.
Place the Inarisushi on the tray with the folded side down.
Bellaire Rd. Home to Houston’s Chinatown. In this part of town, even the road signs are translated.
Richard (my temporary roommate) and I hit the Welcome Market, which caters to the Chinese population here and found enough stuff to try a Japanese favorite: Sushi.
The Basics for Rolling Sushi
Sake (Sushi is just no fun without it)
Nori (The roasted seaweed sheets you roll sushi in)
Sushi rice (Always best to have the right kind of rice)
Wasabi in a tube (I am too lazy to make it from powder this weekend)
A bamboo rolling pad
Cheap Nori is harder to roll than expensive Nori, but the most expensive Nori is also not the best to roll with. Get smaller amounts of different brands and decide for yourself which you like best.
If you coat your bamboo roller in plastic wrap, it is way easier to clean later.
There are many flavors of Sake and some are served warm, others cold. If you have the change, get several small bottles of different grades to try them out.
Sushi really is best made with Sushi rice – and you need to cook it right or you will have a rolling challenge. A rice steamer gets the best results, but following are instructions for making it in a pot since I have no steamer in our temporary Houston dwelling.