Thursday, January 30, 2014

Artisan No Knead Bread

Jan 29 2014

I had baked a lot of bread in my bread machine over the years; most came out pretty good but was not like crusty artisan bread. The last couple of years I used Jim Lahey’s no knead recipe and baked it in my 5 quart Dutch oven and they all came out good.

A couple of weeks ago I made some that was a marriage of Lahey’s and Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day.
It did not come out real great. I checked out Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois’s book Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day. I watched some videos on it and like it better than the Lahey method since it didn’t take the long rise time of 18 hours. All you had to do was mix it up let rise for 2 hours then in the fridge for up to two weeks and would do four loaves. Baking day all you had to do was take a grapefruit size ball out, form it quickly then let rise for 40 minutes. Then bake at 450 deg. along with a pan filled with a cup of water for 30 to 35 minutes.

I ordered the New Artisan bread in 5 minutes a day from Amazon along with a Danish dough hook for mixing the bread by hand. I mixed a batch up yesterday and was happy with the Danish dough hook. It worked great and had it all mixed in several minutes. I let it set for two hours and it had doubled in size and looked the way it should. It went in the fridge overnight.

I baked my first loaf today. It didn’t go as well as the videos showed. I floured my hands and pulled some dough out; I had it all sticking to my hands before I could form it. It went back in the bowl; I washed my hands and then used olive oil on them.  I was able to get a ball formed and quickly placed it in my 9 inch Lodge steel skillet, I had dusted with corn meal.  It was to set for 40 minutes while you heated the oven to 450 deg.

I was glad I decided not to preheat the skillet; it was runny enough it flattened out but the skillet size stopped it or I would have flat bread! It did not rise any that I could tell but they said not to worry it would rise while baking. I cut slits in the bread in 3 places but they filled in and the center slice was the only one that came out ok. I checked it after 30 minutes and let it bake for 35 minutes.

I was happy with the outcome; it had a crispy crust and about doubled in size while baking. It didn’t go as well as I had hoped for. I will know more after I slice it for supper tonight.

Baking bread is a great thing to do when you can’t get outdoors to smoke or grill due to winter weather. It also helps to keep me from getting into trouble with the wife!

I sliced the bread for supper, some leftover Freezer pork and kraut. It had a great texture and nice crust and the Kerrygold Irish butter was good on it. Even though I didn’t think it went that well it was among the best bread I ever baked.

Go to the link in My favorite sites and you can watch a video of the whole process.

The book and Danish dough hook

Dough mixed up

Ready for the fridge after 2 hour rise

In the skillet and ready to bake

Done baking


Sliced, ready for some butter and eat.

Sausage Burgers, Latkes and Asparagus

Jan 28 2014

The past week a member of Lets Talk BBQ made potato latkes, twice and had me wanting some. Potato latkes (pancakes) are enjoyed in most countries of the world in some form. Potatoes are grated and made with egg and flour, more pancake like, or egg and some form of bread crumbs; other popular additions are cheese, onions, garlic and chives. Some favorite toppings are applesauce, apple butter or sour cream.

I made mine with egg, flour, sharp cheddar cheese and chives more pancake like. I think I prefer them with some bread crumbs instead of the flour. I always hated to grate the potatoes so I found a recipe for using Ore Ida’s frozen shredded hash browns, thawed. You can whip up a batch in no time.

My wife said she was hungry for a hamburger; I had some Amish style sausage patties frozen that would work. For a veggie I had some fresh asparagus. I marinated it in a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and garlic salt then nuked in the microwave for 7 minutes, 5 would have been plenty.

I fried the latkes in olive oil then on a rack and in a 200deg. oven to hold. I did three batches and started the sausage patties when I started the last batch of latkes. I did the sausage patties for 4 minutes per side and melted some of my smoked Kerrygold cheddar on top and served them with mustard on a mini sub bun. We both had applesauce on the latkes.

My wife said that was good; I was getting tired of rice! We had been having comfort food lately and most were made with rice. My wife does not like to have the same thing two nights in a row; but give me good comfort food and I am happy eating it 3 or even 4 nights in a row.

Frying the latkes

Frying the sausage

My supper

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Freezer Pork and Kraut

Jan 27 2014

It’s too cold to cook out and right now almost too cold to be out! This called for some comfort food and I had some of my homemade sauerkraut and meat in the freezer that needs used. I rummaged through the two freezers and all I could come up with was a chunk of smoked ham and ring bologna. I don’t think I have ever used either one for pork and kraut but decided to try it. My favorite pork to use is smoked back ribs, brats and sausage, any combo of these.

For me it would need more than the meat I had so I bought a half rack pack of back ribs to use. I would like to smoke them but I browned them some under the broiler first; and stayed warm doing it!

I got the ribs browned and all in the Crockpot just after 12 noon. We ate at 6 pm so all was in about 6 hours, 3 on high and 3 on low. After 3 hours I took the ribs out and cooled; the bones pulled out clean so all I had to do was slice them up and back in the pot. I cooked some spaetzel and added for the last 1 ½ hours.

I made mashed potatoes to serve it over; I only had 5, on the small side, potatoes to use. I wanted some left over so I added a can of new potatoes, boiled and mashed them with butter. I had some leftover mashed potatoes from Sandman’s; so I heated them and stirred them in too. I had enough now to have left overs.

I got a loaf of bread going in my bread machine to have; you have to have some bread and butter with pork and kraut. I have baked a lot of bread in my machine over 25 years. This was without a doubt the worst loaf I ever turned out. I added some herbs but the recipe was a good one for basic white so I don’t know what happened. It didn’t rise correctly, the crust was extra crusty and it was too moist. I ate a slice and the wife ate the center of hers but the rest will go to the birds tomorrow!

The pork and kraut was great, I liked the ham in it and would use again but I didn’t care for the ring bologna. I suppose it is a texture thing with me since I don’t care for mettwurst either even though I have seen it in recipes for using in pork and kraut. I like to use the coarser ground brats and sausages.
This is a dish that seems better as leftovers.

Jan. 28th This am it was -13 deg. wind chill of -29 deg. F. It looks like zero weather will be with us for another week.


A layer of onions, salt, pepper ad dried garlic flakes

Bologna and ham added

Browned ribs added

Kraut and a bottle of brown beer added

Ribs cooling to de-bone, chop and add

Rib meat added

Cooked spaetzel added

My supper

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Chicken and Rice Soup W/WOW Seasoning

Jan 24 2014

It was not much above 0 deg. and windy all day, it is 2:00 am right now and the temp and wind has picked up. It is 19 deg. 25 mph winds and snowing. Looks like snow and wind all night and tomorrow with 37 mph gusts! It is not weather for cooking out!

I had just bought 8 lb. of Natural Rice’s Texmati rice to use. It is organic and no GMO. I had some chicken thighs so decided to make chicken and rice soup. I had just received some Savor spices I wanted to use to cook out some BBQ. I had tasted the WOW, Way Out West, seasoning and got to thinking it should taste good in the soup. It had sage in it and I had used sage in chicken soup before but I am not big on sage.

I had baked a loaf of no knead bread earlier to have and baked some Philippine pork egg rolls to serve too. Maybe not the standard side with chicken and rice soup but they tasted good. I had Mae Ploys sweet chili sauce on the egg rolls and added some fresh ground pepper to my soup. My bread was a little on the heavy and dense side but was edible and was good dipped in the broth.

What really made the soup shine was the Savor WOW seasoning! When it was cooking my wife said several times how good it smelled! Even though I am not a big fan of sage if you mix it with the right spices and herbs it is good. Savor spices got it right with their WOW seasoning and I can see using it in my next chicken and noodles too. This was a healthy meal with great taste on a cold night.

I added a link to Savor Spices under My Favorite Sites. Everyone at Lets Talk BBQ love their seasonings for BBQ; so go check them out.
My Bread

Soup Ingredients

Onions, celery and carrots sauteing

Chicken and WOW seasoning in

Ready to serve

My supper

Friday, January 24, 2014

Bisquick Classic Peach Cobbler

Jan 23 2014

I am still cooking inside because of the cold -1 deg. right now. Our supper was not that exciting; wife daughter in law and grandson ate carry ins from a pizza place. I fried some of a friend’s home made ring bologna and had a sandwich with mustard and had sides of leftover spoon bread and cheesy potatoes. I had the better supper. We all had some of my peach cobbler for dessert.

I had bought a large can of Margaret Holmes Osage cling peaches. If you can get them in your area they are the closest store bought peaches that are like home canned. A fruit cobbler is an easy thing to make even if you make your own batter. I made it even easier by using Bisquick mix for the batter.

I used the recipe from the Bisquick site for their classic Bisquick peach cobbler. I used half and half cream for the milk and added two ingredients. Basically you mix the batter and pour into a baking dish, drain the peaches, stir together with ½ cup of sugar and spoon over the batter and bake.

When you mix the peaches and sugar stir in a teaspoon of vanilla. Then after you pour the peaches over scatter 3 or 4 large pinches, 3 or 4 tablespoons, of brown sugar over it. I used some organic raw brown sugar but any should work.  These two ingredients took it up a notch.  If you like cinnamon; sprinkle some of that over too. It tasted good to me but would be a little better if heated and served with some vanilla ice cream. That would be good even on a cold winter night like tonight.

Ready for the oven

Done baking

My Dessert

Monday, January 20, 2014

My South Carolina Chicken Bog

Jan 19 2014

I remember talking about S.C. bog a few years back on a forum but don’t think I made it then. I decided to make some and read some more on it. It looks like this is one southern dish that is not popular all over the south but confined mostly to S.C. WiKi explains it better than I can.

Chicken bog is a pilau dish made of rice, chicken, onion, celery, spices, and often sausage. A whole chicken is boiled until tender with the sausage, onion, celery and spices, and then the rice is added and cooked until it absorbs all the liquid. Cooks often pick the bones and other inedible parts out of the pot and discard them before adding the rice to the meat and other ingredients. However, traditionally the cooks leave it all in for the diners to pick out as they eat, similar to many Caribbean meat and rice dishes. It is called "bog" because the resulting dish is very moist but not soupy.

Loris, South Carolina celebrates an annual festival called the "Loris Bog-Off". Chicken bog is made different ways in different places, but it is perhaps found most often in the Pee Dee and Low country regions of South Carolina.”

This is a great indoor cook when the winter weather is too bad to cook outside. I did manage to get some smoked sausage done on my smoker to use. I decided it kick it up a bit by using Zatarain’s garlic and herb rice plus white rice to make about 3 cups, and some green onions. I had some chicken breasts frozen to use instead of a whole chicken. I also diced and browned some bacon to serve on top.

It took me about an hour and half to assemble this and get cooked. I buttered some crusty bread with my gorgonzola chive butter and toasted under the broiler and served a green salad on the side. The wife and I both thought it was pretty darned good. The Zatarain’s rice provided just the right seasoning; the only thing I added was a few grinds from the pepper mill.

Now I am bogged down with bog! Don’t know how I will handle all the leftovers!
Smoked sausage

Bacon for on top

Onions, celery and garlic sauteing

Chickens in

Sausage in

Broths in

Rice is in

About done

My supper

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Wolfgang's Beef Goulash

Jan 17 2014

I had some good store bought spaetzel, (Bechtel farmer’s style) and wanted to make some good beef goulash to serve with it. I found a recipe by Wolfgang Puck. I always thought he was Hungarian but he was born and raised in Austria. I looked it up and found that Austrian goulash was thinner than Hungarian and sometimes served as soup.

I started about 3:45 and finished at 6:30 to serve. I used my Lodge 6 quart Dutch oven to make the goulash. Your cook time will vary according to how long it takes to get the onions caramelized.

Our local Wal-Mart is baking some good bread and had a loaf of crusty whole garlic bread to serve with it. Near the end I warmed it in a 355 deg. oven for 5 minutes to freshen.

I served it in large bowls, the goulash over top of the spaetzel and enough gravy to sop the bread. The gravy had some of the best flavor of any I ever made and the beef was melt in your mouth tender.

My wife said I am watching one of my free movies on M Go and only have so much time to view it, I can eat later. I said no, set up your TV tray and I will serve you in there, I am the boss here! J

She thought the goulash was great too.
Some of the seasoning

Beef cut up

Browning the beef

Deglazed goodies to add

Caramelizing the onions

Seasonings added and pot deglazed

Done and ready to serve

Cooking the spaetzel


My bowl of comfort

Friday, January 17, 2014

Porkiladas with red and green sauce over rice

Jan 16 2014

Enchiladas are usually made with ground beef or chicken. I was using some of my leftover smoked pork tenderloin so I called them porkiladas. It was also a good way to use some of my melted tomatoes and onions for the sauce and some cheese.

I went to the dentist at 11:00 to get a crown and it started to snow. It has been snowin and blowin all day; so it’s great time to cook in.

I made up my red sauce early: I added a good tablespoon of tomato paste to my melted tomatoes and onions. I seasoned it with some oregano and cumin. I cooked it down to a sauce consistency. I used Old Elpaso mild enchilada sauce for the green sauce.

I put some Zatarain’s yellow rice in my rice cooker and assembled my porkiladas. I made up four stuffed with the slivered pork, some shredded Italian and Mexican cheese, and a tablespoon each of the red and green sauce. I sprayed a little olive oil in a casserole dish; a thin layer of red sauce, then the rolled porkiladas. Then I covered with red sauce on half of one end and green sauce on the other half.

I baked them at 350 deg. for 45 minutes. Half way through I added about a cup and half of shredded Kerrygold white cheddar down the middle. I popped some store bought stuffed mushrooms in the oven the last 13 minutes; not typically served with Tex Mex but they tasted good.

It tasted great; I made them mild for my wife. I had some fresh cracked 4 peppercorn blend over mine and some generous shakes of Cholula hot sauce.

The red sauce

Making one up

Adding to casserole dish

Sauces added and ready for the oven

All done and ready to serve

My Plate