Showing posts from November, 2012

East Texas Thanksgiving 2012

We traveled to the Dutchess's family farm, Porterville, in Nacagdoches, Texas for  Thanksgiving this year.  We took on a lot of the cooking duties, but didn't go too crazy  cause some of the country folk, not all, aren't too crazy about fancy fooding.   We did do a few things that we've never done, so I thought I would share.

First thing I did was make homemade cream of mushroom soup to  use in our green bean casserole.  I had to try a bowl of this on its own and it was awesome!

I have recently seen the light in the brine vs no brine debate...I now BRINE! It goes against all physics but the salt, instead of drying it out like you would think,  makes the turkey so very juicy and tender. I put chicken stock (homemade + some store bought), salt, brown sugar, allspice berries, ginger, bay leaf and peppercorns into a stockpot and simmered it to melt the salt and sugar, and incorporate all the  flavors.  Then I let it cool down to room temperature. I put our 14 pound turkey…

Meatloaf, Tomato Duxelle (stuffed with mushrooms) and Cheesy Mashed Cauliflower

I made tomato duxelle in culinary school and wanted to do it for the flock. We tossed around a few ideas and came up with meatloaf and mashed cauliflower (with cheddar & parmesan cheese) to complete the meal.  Duxelle is a fancy, culinary word for "stuffed with chopped mushrooms and onions". I started with whole button mushrooms and used the stems too.

You want to get the mushrooms SEVERELY chopped, so I utilized my pizza slicer to help me chop the mushys small.

How cool is this photo?

This is what I ended up with.

After sauteing the mushys with onion until brown and dry, and mixing in some parmesan cheese, I stuffed it into these roma tomatoes.

The meatloaf was ground beef, raw bacon, onions, bread crumbs, tomato paste,  chili paste, the tops of the roma tomatoes, ketchup, parsley, an egg and a packet of ranch dressing!

I chose to cook it formed on a baking sheet, instead of in a loaf pan. I put a little ketchup and parsley on top and baked it in the oven.   I alternat…

Chicken Cacciatore with Rosemary Rice

I like a recipe that call for red wine, cause thats an excuse to  get the big bottle.  So I was happy when Dutchie showed me this recipe in Cooks Country magazine. I have somewhat of a past with chicken mom liked to  cook this ALL the time.  The first time she did, I got some of the gristle/fat from the chicken and it made me gag.  It took about 35 years for me to get over that.  Every time I even heard someone say cacciatore, I would  immediately remember that I DID NOT LIKE IT, and I WON'T eat it. Then, after 35 years, I realized that it was a fluke and not cacciatore's fault that I had a bad meal.  So I've done it a couple of times, and now welcome it.
First, as always...mise en place! Chicken breast, onions, red pepper, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, olive oil, chicken stock and fresh rosemary were prepared and ready to add in order. Portabella mushys were also involved, with the gills removed to  make sure they didn't alter the texture of t…

Pork Chops with Chanterelle Mushroom Israeli Couscous

I haven't posted in a while so I went to the store with the idea of smothered pork chops so I could use my new Le Creuset deep cover saute pan.
I got the chops, shallots, tomatoes and dried chanterelle mushrooms. I already had cucumbers, carrots, celery, dates, italian parsley and garlic. First I brined the chops for a few hours in a mixture of salt,  sugar, peppercorns and bay leaf.

I then created my mise en place! Hey, I'm in culinary school so I may start using some fancy words here. Mise en place, simply means everything in its place, or get all your ingredients prepared before you start cooking.

I reconstituted the mushrooms in boiling water. I plan to use both the mushys and the mushy stock.

I started by sauteing my mirepoix in clarified butter, accept I used shallots instead of onions, I also added the garlic.  

I took this mixture out and seared the chops in the same pan. I par boiled the Israeli couscous and added the mirepoix, mushys/stock and dates.  After the chop…