English Bangers

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This is a Cumberland style banger owing to the mix of seasonings. 

I use 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder with plenty of fat. Run through the meat grinder on the largest blade. Put the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes and then grind again through a small die.

Rusk (Bread Crumbs)
I made rusk from scratch with baking powder and no yeast.  Using rusk is the traditional way of making bangers.  However, a coarse panko can also be used.  The purpose for the rusk is to bind the meat and fat and retain the juices in the sausage.

Rusk Recipe
135 gr. flour
80 ml. cold water
1.5 tsp. baking powder
dash of salt

Mix all in a bowl and form a dough ball. Roll out the dough to ¼ inch. In 450° oven bake 10 minutes. Slice the dough in ½ lengths, lower the over to 375° another 10 minutes. If they aren’t dry enough bake another 5 minutes on 275°. Run bread through a food processor grating blade and then the processor blade to make the rusk fine.

Add the rusk 45 g. per pound and 3.5 tsp of seasoning per pound to the meat in a KitchenAid mixing bowl with the meat and 67 g. of water per pound. Mix one pound at a time for 3 minutes and then by hand until the meat gets like a stringy pate. Place it in a 1 Qt. freezer bag and leave in the frig overnight.

Sausage Casings
Standard 32-35 hog casings packed in salt.  Two casings covered three lbs. of pork.  Soak the casings in cold water and change out the water several times.  They should soak at least an hour. 

Seasoning
In a jar mix these seasonings.  Use 3.5 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
4 tsp. sea salt
3 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
3 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. mace
1 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

You will have extra but it is better to have more to adjust the taste the next day during the second mix.

Stuff the casings and then twist the stuffed casings into sausage lengths ~4 inches.  Place them in the frig overnight.  They need a baste in the seasonings overnight and maintain the form of the casing.

Cooking Bangers

I used a corn holder to poke 6-to-8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Either slowly boil then fry or slowly fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 30 minutes at 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 10/12/2021

Leek and Potato Soup

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Serves 2

1 leek, keep some of the green leaves for color, slice long ways a couple of times and rinse the dirt from the inner parts of the leek and chop
1 ½ Lbs. Russet potatoes with skin on and coarsely chop
½ yellow onion chopped
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
Salt & White pepper
Dash of Tarragon
1 TBSP Olive oil
2 TBSP butter

Sauté the leeks, potatoes, and onion in olive oil 10 minutes on medium heat.

Add the chicken stock and reduce the liquid 20 minutes.

Ladle the soup into a food mill with a medium milling disk.  Mill the soup removing the stringy parts of the leek and return the milled soup to the soup pot.  Add the butter and with a hand blender blend the butter and the soup.  Return to the heat, add the Tarragon and heat until hot and serve. 

Serve with dinner rolls.

Vichyssoise: Serve this soup cold with a dash of cream. Vichyssoise is an American invention in America in 1917 and named after the French town of Vichy.

As of 9/29/21

Chicken on Salad

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Dressing:

6 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar
1 TBSP Worcestershire
1 TBSP French mustard
1 tsp capers
Salt and Pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk.

Chicken:
2 chicken thigh with skin or breast (boneless/skinless)
2 TBSP olive oil
3 TBSP white wine

Season chicken with McCormick’s Montreal seasoning. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and cook the chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until juices run clear. Add the wine and deglaze the pan. Pour the pan drippings into the dressings and whisk one more again.

Remove chicken, cut into pieces, place and cover with dressing.

Can it be that easy?
(Someone says yes.)

As of 9/27/21

Jambalaya

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No historically important cook blog – such as mine – in the entire world – and on some parts of the 837 planets outside our solar system can be without a Jambalaya recipe. There are many myths and legends as to the derivation of the name. As is the case with most things here, there is always a larger than life story about it. There are certain elements that can be assumed.

It started out Spanish near the Mediterranean where it was a rice dish using the ingredients of local seafood, meats and spices (saffron). Jambalaya can be considered the grandchild of what is commonly referred to as Valencian paella or a rice casserole made in a paella or a pan. The French word poêle means a frying pan or a stove. The Latin word patella is a pan as well. I know this because I looked it up on the Internet. I, for one, believe everything I read on the Internet.

So let’s break down Jambalaya and remove all the myths and legends behind the derivation of the name. Knowing what we know, and going with what we know, “Jamba” is a Haitian Creole word which means jamba. It is also a Croation word meaning jamba. Jamba is all over the place. It jambas around. “Laya” is a Spanish word meaning laya. It is also a French word meaning laya. So when we merge these two important multicultural meanings together what we get is, and you guessed it – Jambalaya. I looked it up! Don’t doubt me on this.

There are two flavors of Jambalaya. One is with tomatoes, the other is without tomatoes. I’m making the one without tomatoes. Why? Pretty simple, really. Those people in New Orleans like to dump everything into a pot, add tomatoes, hot peppers, broth, grab a beer and call it a day. People like me who live near New Orleans in the rural regions, drink wine with our pinky-finger extended and cook this dish in stages because it is better that way. We brown the meat and cook the veggies gently. We don’t need hot peppers and tomatoes. Because, that’s the way we roll.

Down here, the one thing we all agree on when making Jambalaya is the rice, everything else is pretty much up for debate.

Simply, what you need to know is Jambalaya is a tasty meal, with or without tomatoes. And, if all we have to worry about is whether or not to use tomatoes in Jambalaya, we’re going to be just fine.

So, let us build a dish around 2 cups of rice. (Rule of thumb is one cup of rice to every pound of meat.)  This dish will serve 2 to 4.  I say 2 b/c we have some hearty eaters around here.  BTW, after I served this dish I had two more servings it was so good.  The third serving, a smaller serving, was pure binge tasting.

~~~

The first decision is the meat. I use 1 pound of pork shoulder picnic roast, 1 stick of andouille sausage, 2 strips applewood smoked bacon and ½ pound of shrimp. I have deer sausage in the freezer and since this is deer season here, there is plenty of it around, but I won’t use it in this recipe today. Andouille is the local sausage of choice originating in France but later perfected as it is today by German immigrants. There was a very large in-migration of Germans into Louisiana in 1722 in case you didn’t know that.

The next decision is the vegetables. In this one I will use onions, green onions (scallions), green bell pepper, orange bell pepper, garlic and celery. To me, orange bell pepper is sweeter than red.

The seasoning profile will be sea salt, ground pepper, paprika, bay leaf, Worcestershire and Tabasco pepper sauce.

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Meat
1 Lb. pork shoulder picnic roast
1 stick Andouille (cut in slices)
½ Lb. shrimp tails
2 strips of apple-wood smoked bacon (chopped)

Veggies
½ green bell pepper (chopped)
½ orange bell pepper (chopped)
1 stalk celery (chopped)
1 small onion (chopped)
1 clove garlic (chopped)
3 green onions (chopped)

Seasoning/Oil/Fluid
Sea Salt and ground pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1 bay leaf
1 dash Worcestershire
1 dash Tabasco pepper sauce
1 TBSP olive oil

3 cups chicken stock
1 cup shrimp stock (from the tails)

2 cups long grain rice

Cooking:

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Chop the pork shoulder into small squares. Season with sea salt. Pour the olive oil in a Dutch oven and get the oil hot. Add the pork shoulder one hand full at a time and brown. The idea is to avoid putting too much of any ingredient in the pan and creating extra liquid. If there is too much liquid, the food won’t brown into what is referred to as a “fond” or a foundation. The meat and veggies will sweat. Not until we add the chicken stock will we begin to “deglaze” the fond.

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When the pork is browned add the bacon. Move the meat to one side of the pan and then add one handful of chopped onions and sauté.

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Move the onions to one side and add the rest of the veggies a handful at a time and sauté.

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Add the rice and stir for about 5 minutes so it can pick up the flavors in the pan .

Now add one cup of chicken stock and with a wooden spoon begin to deglaze the pan. I have a black cast iron pot so I try to make sure to scratch the bottom and hope I get most of it.

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Add the rest of the stock and the rest of the ingredients. Stir. Bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to simmer. Cover. Cook 45 to 60 minutes. Let rest and serve.  Apply Tabasco on top of serving.

100_5419As of 9/26/21

Thai Spicy Curry Noodle Soup

1 TBSP vegetable oil
2 deboned chicken thighs (~1 lb.), skin fried cut into 1-inch chunks*
1 TBSP Garlic, run through a small grater
1 TBSP fresh Galanga or Ginger, run through a small grater
1 red bell pepper, diced
¼ red onion, thinly diced
1 small shallot, thinly diced
3 scallions, chopped
1 cup cubed eggplant, salted and sweat, then rinsed**
1 green Serrano pepper chopped
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1 (13.5-ounce) can chicken broth
1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 (8-ounce) package vermicelli rice noodles
1 tsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. sugar or Shoaxing Wine
3 green onions (Scallions), thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped fresh Thai basil leaves
Cilantro for garnish
2 slices of lime
S&P

*Boneless Chicken Thigh – trim the skin.  Slice the meat above the bone on the back side.  With poultry shears cut the knuckles.  Remove the final small piece of bone.  I use a sharp curved boning knife. 

** Eggplant salted and sweat, then rinsed.  Each year I grow Eggplant.  Cut several slices.  Add salt to both surfaces to sweat the eggplant to remove the bitterness. Then rinse in cold water to remove the salt.

Salt and pepper chicken.  Brown in veg oil.  Then fry the chicken skin side up for 3 minutes then skin side down for three minutes.  This releases fat from the skin.  Remove the skin.  Cut chicken into cubes.

Add onion, shallot, red bell pepper, garlic and galanga (or ginger).  Sauté ~2 minutes on medium low.   Add a dash of Shoaxing Wine to deglaze the pan.  Add the red curry and stir in and cook another 2 minutes.  Add the can of coconut milk.  Use that can to fill it with chicken broth and add that. 

Add the chicken, eggplant, Serrano pepper and scallions.  Bring it a nice gentle boil.  Reduce about 15 minutes. 

Meanwhile boil the noodles separately 12 minutes.  I once tried cooking the noodles in the soup, but the soup got too thick from the starch and the flavor was reduced from the boiling. 

Add the noodles, Thai basil, soy sauce, Shoaxing Wine, fish sauce to the pot. Stir.  Cook covered another 5 to 10 minutes on gentle boil.  Serve in a bowl with slices of lime and cilantro.

9/18//21