English Bangers

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

I used a 2.5 lb. Picnic roast (Pork shoulder) and ¾ Lb. of a pork steak with a lot of fat.  I’ve also used 3.0 Lbs. pork shoulder blade steaks with plenty of fat.

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
136 grams of rusk (bread crumbs)
204 grams of cold water
Mix the water and crumbs together and place in a refrigerator for at least an hour to soak up the water.

Sausage Casings
I used the standard 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 2.25 teaspoons of seasoning per pound of pork.
3 tsp. sea salt
2 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. mace
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. ginger

Cut the pork into small squares and run through a meat grinder. 

Add the rusk and the seasonings and by hand mix the ingredient well.  Make sure to incorporate the seasonings evenly, or you might get too much seasoning in one section and not enough in another. You can also use a Kitchen-Aid with the paddle and mix on low until it looks

Before stuffing the casings place the pork in the frig at least an hour to let all the ingredients merge and the meat to get cold.  Make a sausage patty and cook it on the stove to see if the flavor is to your liking.  It is far better to go easy on the salt and pepper initially and adjust later after you have sampled the meat.  Once the seasoning is added, there is no way to take it out. 

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 and poked 8 pinholes in the sausage.  This is done to keep the sausage from splitting and popping open.  Fry the sausage 5 minutes on each side in oil to brown.  Bake in a oven 20 minutes on 350º.   Serve over mashed potatoes, sautéed onions in butter and cover in brown gravy. 

As of 3/25/21

Sushi Bake (w/Salmon and Crab)

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I love sushi but locked in the blizzards of the Midwest I don’t get much Sushi.  Here is a tasty recipe.

Sushi Rice

  • 2 cups Mahatma Sushi rice
  • 3 Cups water
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil.

In a rice cooker add the rice and add water.  Rinse the rice about 5 times to get all the cloudy rice water until the water becomes clear.  Drain the water, add the rice and 3 cups water and turn the cooker on.  When the button goes off add the rice vinegar and the sesame oil.  Stir until the water evaporates.  Please the rice in a 9X12 pan and layer it and let it cool.

Salmon

  • 300 Gr of salmon (2 pieces)
  • Olive oil

Place the salmon on a tray lined with aluminum foil.  Add olive oil to the tray and oil on top of the salmon.  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Cook 10 minutes.  Let cool.  With 2 forks shred the salmon and place in a large mixing bowl.

Crab

Open 1 6 oz. can of crab meat and drain through a strainer.  Place on top of the salmon. 

Cream Cheese

Open 1 – 6 Oz. package cream cheese and with a hand blender blend it until it becomes soft and fluffy. Place on top of the salmon and crab.

Shushi Bake

On top of the salmon add ¼ cup regular mayo and 2 TBSP of Sriracha sauce.  Hand mix all well.  Spread on top of the rice. Add lines of Sriracha sauce on top and lines of Kewpie Japanese Mayo.  Then bake 15 minutes.  (Hint:  I found the Kewpie in the mayo section, not the Asian section.)

Toppings

Remove from oven, add thinly sliced ½ cucumber and thinly sliced 1 Avocado. 

As of 2/14/21

Gołąbki (Polish Stuffed Cabbage) (Pronounced Go-lump-key)

I have made this dish several times before but I keep making adjustments.  This one I like b/c it brings me back to my roots in New Orleans’s for meat stuffing.  Instead of a Mirepoix (onion, carrot and celery), I went with the New Orleans Trinity of onions, celery and bell pepper.  Instead of tomato puree or sauce, I went with a tomato soup.  Tomato soup is a puree BTW, with a few extra stuff, it is not as acidic as puree, once again Campbell’s wins.  This all comes back as a favorite of mine for stuffing green bell pepper or mirlitons (aka chayote squash).  Only with mirliton, I like to use ground lamb.  This substitute blend of Trinity offers a little more punch.  I have researched the origins of this dish (the way Grandma made it) but those left me little in want of just a little more flavor.  Don’t get me wrong.  Grandma’s is always good.

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1 head of cabbage

1 cup rice (cooked al dente)

2 TBSP butter

½ Lb. ground meat

½ Lb. ground pork

½ onion finely chopped

2 celery stalks with leaves finely chopped

1 medium green pepper finely chopped

1 large garlic clove minced

3 scallions (Green onion)  finer chopped

1 TBSP dried parsley

1 cup long grain rice

S&P

Water

3 cans of 10 oz. tomato soup

½ cup Sour Cream

1 cup of dry white wine (Chardonnay) or reserve one cup of the cabbage water

Rice – In a 2 quart pot bring 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water to boil, reduce to simmer, cook 8 minutes, place the rice in a strainer and rinse with cold water to stop it from cooking.  You want the rice to be half cooked.

Cabbage – cut the core out of the center of the cabbage.  Place in at least a 7 Qt. pot of boiling water with the core side up.  Boil three minutes and then gently remove the first of three or four leaves with tongs and place on a tray, keep doing this until you have peeled all the biggest usable leaves.  Remove the small remaining cabbage and return the leaves back in 3 to 4 at a time and boil another 30 seconds or so.  With a knife slice the main part of the rib off to make the leaf flexible. Set aside to cool.  Reserve the largest first leaf to place over the rolls later.

Sauté Trinity – the onion, celery, green pepper, garlic and green onion mixed in butter cooked on medium-low for 6 to 8 minutes.  Not to overcook b/c all this will go in the pot for an hour.

Mix everything but the cabbage leaves in a bowl.  Spoon ~a third cup of filling in a cabbage leaf.  Fold the top over then the side and roll the cabbage and place in an iron Dutch oven.  Stack into the Dutch oven.

Mix a can of tomato soup with 1/3 cup of white wine.  Pour over rolls.  Do this for all three cans.  Layer the reserved largest first leaf over the top of the pot.

Cooking – Bring the pot to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook 1 hour.  Ladle in about 3/4 cup of cooked tomato sauce in a two cup measuring cup and add the sour cream.  Mix with a spoon and pour back over the pot and adjust the rolls so the sour cream can rest in between the rolls.  Not to overcook the sour cream.  Just to blend it in the pot and serve.

As of 1/17/21

Bánh mì Dinner Roll (Baguette)

This recipe makes three rolls.  It took a long time to perfect this recipe for my surroundings (outside temps below freezing, kitchen temps of 68º and low humidity).

Scaling (Weight these ingredients using a scale)

250 g. Unbleached Bread Flour
4 g. Quick Rise Instant yeast
2 g. sugar
4 g. kosher salt
170 g. tap water

Mixing

In a KitchenAid mixing bowl combine the ingredients and mix together with a wooden spoon.  Connect the dough hook and on setting #2 knead 5 minutes.  Turn off mixer and let dough rest 2 minutes.  Turn mixer to setting #4 and knead another 3 minutes. 

In a large metal bowl place a couple of drops of vegetable oil to grease the sides.  Put a drop or two of oil on your hands and shape the dough in a ball and place in the greased bowl.  Place a damp towel over the bowl and heat two cups of hot water, I use a Pyrex measuring cup and put both in the oven with only the oven light on.  The atmosphere in the oven should reach 72º.   I use Pyrex so I can microwave the water for 1 minute on high.

Bulk Fermentation (Because of the cold temps here, I have to let the dough initially rise ~2 hours.)

Rise the 1 hour in the oven.  Push the air out of the bread, roll into a ball again, reheat the water and place everything back in to the oven.   

Rise another 30 minutes.  Push the air out, reshape the ball and put all back into the oven for another 30 minutes.  This process may require one more time until the dough gets very elastic.  IN cold temps the dough needs longer time to ferment.

Dividing and Pre-shaping

Remove the dough onto a clean surface.  Place a little vegetable oil on the surface and divide the dough into 3 equal parts. 

Bench Resting

Place a towel over the dough parts and let the dough rest 10 minutes.

Shaping

Slap the dough on the surface to stretch the dough.  Then roll it tight from top to bottom and then shape the ends into a point by rolling the dough using your little fingers to make the ends into a point.  The final roll should be somewhere near 6 inched long and more dough in the center.

Final Fermentation

Place dough on either a pan with parchment paper or on a baguette tray.  Put back into the oven with a damp towel over it and rise 60 minutes.

Scoring

Spray the rolls with a water bottle mist first.  Then take a razor and cut a line in the dough somewhere between the side and the top with the blade level with the table. 

Baking

Place an oven rack to second from the top setting.  On the bottom rack place a metal pan with about an inch of water.  Preheat the oven to 425º.  Let oven get hot for 5 minutes after reaching the desired temp before placing the bread in.  Spray the bread with water again. Place the bread in and spray the oven.  The close the door.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Removed the tray of water and rotate the bread so it will cook evenly.  Bake another 7 minutes.  Turn off the oven and crack the oven door a little and leave the bread in the oven another 5 minutes.  This evaporates remaining moisture in the oven and in the bread.

Cooling

Place the rolls on a cooling rack and give another 5 minutes before eating.

The outer bread should be crispy and the inner bread should be light and airy.  These roll are used to make Bánh mì sandwiches or you can eat them with dinner. 

As of 12/19/20

Acorn Squash Stew

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 10 oz. Chicken apple sausage
  • ½  yellow onion chopped
  • ½ apple cored and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove cut into coins
  • 1 cup Brussel Sprouts
  • 2 tsp. dried sage
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • S&P
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

Cut squash in half and remove the seeds and inner parts.  Pour 1 TBSP olive oil in each half and paint the squash with the oil.  Bake in oven on 400º / 40 min.  Remove, cool, peel off skin off and chop into bite size pieces.

Cut the sausage into bite size pieces.  Sauté the sausage, apples, onions and Brussel sprouts in olive oil.  Add the wine, broth and everything else and bring to a boil.  Cover and cook on Lo for 30 minutes.

As of 12/5/20