Saturday, January 28, 2012

I am going to Start making stock More often!

It is super easy , Relatively cheap , and adds sooo much more body than Store bought!

Making stock helps you practice lots of skills, You can buy a whole Chicken  and part it out  for dinner then  break down the carcass Roast it  put it in some water and simmer it to get a nice chicken stock or ad vegetables for the last hour and get a fuller stock.

 it's a little harder to make beef stock as their bones are bigger , But one of my Fave stocks is Pork stock. I really like the flavor of pork  and it's easy and cheap to get Neck bones from the grocery Roast them and make a stock. It's even better if you can throw in some scraps from Fabricating a pork loin like I did. You end up with a gelatinous broth that you can reduce down  with some thyme or rosemary and make a nice pork Glace to coat a roasted or grilled pork loin . or you can use it as the base of a soup .

It takes a little bit of work to make your own stock at home but Once you do it you'll see and Taste why it's a good Idea , plus you can customize your stock with whatever flavors you want  while it's cooking!

First I took  the scraps from meat fab and browned them in a bit of bacon fat

 Next I put a sheet try with a bit of oil on it in a 400 degree oven as it's preheating

 Take the pan out and place the neck bones on the  tray

 Flip as needed

 When The bones are nice and Roasted remove from oven and place in pot with the browned scrap meat

 Dump off the grease, then put a bit of water in the pan and heat on your stove to Deglaze the pan to get all the tasty bits off the pan and add that to the pot
 Top the bones with cold water
 Bring to a simmer  for about 6 hours

 Skim as needed with a ladle
 Quickly cool in an ice bath , or reduce the stock down to concentrate the  porky flavor

Monday, January 16, 2012

Meat Fab and Utilization part one

I love pork!

so when I get the chance I cook with it, But I also Like  Money so When I find a way to increase my pork intake and Decrease my money output I am stoked!

The best way to do this for me is to go to my local Cash N carry (restaurant supply store/grocery) and Buy a Pork loin and cut it down to size and freeze portions of it for later use

it is a flat 2$ a pound for a porn loin at C'n'C  so I picked up the 7.3 # loin for about 15 bucks

and split it into 3 meals worth of meat for about 6 people each And utilized the Scrap to fortify a stock

so this is a post about how I went about doing that ( sorry for the lact of some process pictures I only have 2 hands and didn't want a porky camera

2/3rd's of the Pork loin
 1 cleaned 1/3rd  to slice into cutlets and  1/3rd  with the chain of meat on the side removed  to be stuffed and rolled
 Cleaned and ready to slice
 Final 1/3rd Cut into chunks fro curry
 Clockwise from left Curry chunks , Chain meat and scrap (you'll see what that's for in the next post) Cleaned , and  roast

 Sliced thin for another Recipe
 Mmmmm Pork

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cheddar Broccoli soup

Ok this is going to be a quick one. I made a lot of  soup! over a gallon for the 3 people that live in my house.  after I made It I split it in 1/3's and froze 2/3rds of it. I am all about making stuff once and enjoying it multiple times. sooo Here is the recipe I made it's mathed out to make 16 portions so  you can always tone it down by making a half or quarter batch.

4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
8 cups half-and-half
8 cups chicken stock or bouillon
2 pounds fresh broccoli
4 cups carrots, julienned
salt and pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
32 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

the procedure of this recipe is gonna fly by! but it's soup, Soup is easy!

Take that first bit of butter and heat it in a pan(or the pot you're gonna make the soup in )

Add The onions and sweat them down with a touch of salt

 add the rest of the butter (if you follow the websites directions they want you to take out the onions and make the rue seperate then add the onions in later... That's silly and this way works just the same )

Add the flour into the butter onion mixtureand stir , you're making a roux to thicken the soup cook this for a few minutes while you stir it

it'll look pasty  This is a light or Blonde roux it a long with the pureed broccoli and cream will be responsible for the mouth feel of the soup and the Fluidity

Add the half and half ( or half cream and half 1% milk like i did)  depending on how rich  you like your soup you can use just milk or all cream or any variation of dairy you also add the stock at this point. (I used Smoked Turkey stock

Bring the soup to a simmer so the roux can start thickening it , and after about 20 mins add the Carrots( the recipe calls for juliennes  but I just cut them into simple uniform shapes there is no point in nice knife cuts when you just puree it all!)

after the carrots have cooked for about 20 mins add the broccoli ( we got a sweet deal at cash and carry 1.97 for 2# of all ready chopped broccoli) I added 3#'s of Broccoli because I like my soup super broccoliy

Cook another 5- 15 minutes depending on how large your broccoli is cut

Next you can use a blender to blend the soup in batches , or use an immersion or stick blender if you have one. ( you should get one they are pretty cheap and awesome... plus no cleaning a huge blender or Spraying hot soup everywhere!)  there was a guy in my class at Culinary school who had a mishap with a blender and a bunch of tomatoes , that ended up with him having tomato juice all over half the kitchen

Don't be a Mark, get a stick blender (name changed for liability reasons) 

add all that Tasty cheese in there! I used a pound of colby jack  and a pound of an all ready shredded  4 cheese blend  because we had it in the fridge.

 After the Cheese has melted, Taste the soup and season it.

Eat the soup !  dip bread in it,  or a grilled cheese or  Eat it Out of a bread bowl 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Marshmallows or mellows however you roll

I have always been Curious how to make these! and last year around the holidays a classmate of mine told me it was easy , it took me a year to find out for myself but  As long as you have a candy thermometer and a stand mixer it is Easy!

I'll apologize in advance for a lack of process pictures, you have to be quick when making these and I didn't have a second person available to take pictures ( but when I cut them people flocked in!)

When I try Anything new the first place I look for a recipe is Alton Brown, so it's no surprise it is his recipe i modified for this batch of mallows

Ingredients:Altons Mallows

  • 3 packages unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup ice cold water, divided
  • 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • Nonstick spray
I really like Chambord and I happened to have gotten a bottle as a gift from my old roomate so I decided to try to make some Raspberry Flavored Marshmallows. I'll tell you about the modifications as They come up in the recipe, I read of somebody using Scotch and having success so i would assume you could use most liquors.

  • Take 1/2 of the water (I substituted 1/4 cup with chambord,  in hindsight I should have used a full 1/2 cup of it) place the liquid in the bowl of your stand mixer(with whip attachment) and sprinkle the Gelatin over it, this will bloom the gelatin.

  • Mix the remaining water(1/2 cup) with the sugar, corn syrup , and salt
  • Heat over med/med-hi (use a bigger pot than you think you'd need the liquid can bubble up and over flow, trust me.... i know from experience)
  • Heat covered for about 4 mins then uncover and place thermometer on the side of the pot, make sure the bottom is in the liquid but not touching the bottom

  • While that mixture heats to 240,

  •  I mixed the corn starch and powdered sugar, I sifted it to make sure there weren't lumps of sugar

  • When the mixture is at 240 turn mixer on low , remove candy thermometer and slowly pour the hot mixture down the side of the bowl.

  • Once all the mixture is in the bowl turn to High and allow mixture to whip for around 10-15 mins  untill it has cooled down ( add vanilla in the last minute of whipping , I added another 3 Tablespoons or 1/4 cup of Chambord at this time)
  • While the mixture is whipping  spray a 9x13 pan with nonstick spray and dust with some of the starch mixture 
  • When the mixture is cool  take the bowl and a spatula sprayed with nonstick spray and put the mixture in the pan , flattening it with the spatula to make a smooth layer (you have to do this pretty quickly )

  • Dust the top with more of the sugar mixture and allow the mallows to sit  for 4hrs to overnight.
  • when you are ready to cut you should be able to just remove them from the pan lay them on a surface dusted with the sugar to be safe and run a pizza cutter through them 
  • After you cut them throw them in more of the starch mixture( I put the starch in a bag and threw the mallows in after i cut each row and shook them about so they wouldn't stick together)

  •  Eat em !!!!!!
 If I were to do these again, I would  just use a raspberry extract or perhaps a puree instead of the Chambord Because they aren't super raspberry tasting

Aside from that I think this was a pretty successful first batch of marshmallows.  give them a try, They are a pretty cheap thing to make and you can cut them and Give them as homemade gifts, maybe after drizzling them with chocolate or perhaps dipping them halfway in chocolate