"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Summer Squash and Onions

    squash

    One of my favorite squash recipes, this works well for those squash that have gotten a bit large for frying. This is prime time for squash and zucchini, they are making last fruit, in abundance. The pity is that soon they will be gone and the only one we will find are shipped in from every increasing distances, meaning ever decreasing levels of freshness.

    Oh well, I suppose we should make the best of this as we can. This recipe is rather simple, but as most “simple” things quite good.

    Note: I make this with butter, but one can also use other fats, (read this as bacon drippings for the porcine lover, olive oil for the health conscious / vegetarian), this is a basic recipe, some will move this to a casserole, cover with panko / butter and brown, others will add tomatoes, others will use zucchini, or mix them into the pot.

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  • Potato Wedges with Vingear and Sea Salt

    pwedge

    Ok, back in town for another run of projects, work, and recipes. I have a bit of stuff left from the event, but I want something more, with a crisp bite, a creamy center, a hint of salt and the humm of sour…

    Now, potato wedges sound good, but I want GREAT!!! Let’s take those wedges and slap them onto a griddle, for a crispy, crunchy, crust, I’ll pre-boil them to get that creamy center, a little sea salt, some good vinegar and we are done. Now for bit more of a kick, a dollop of bacon drippings to grease the griddle and add that special taste to the wedges. I’ll serve them up with a blue cheese dressing.

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  • Mashed Potatoes V2.0

    bsp
    Ok, it’s fairly chilly today, and I think I’ll do something for a side to what may be one of the last grillings of the year.

    Now, I have several rib eye steaks in the 1″ thick range, and will be doing those on the grill ala Steak, How NOT to do it.. , but I need a good hearty side dish.

    I’m thinking potatoes, mashed, but with a steakhouse flair. Bacon, cheese, roasted garlic maybe….

    This is a idea post, not a developed recipe, so I’ll refer to a number of prior posts to build the final dish.

    Lets start with decent mashed potatoes, and instead of large amounts of dairy I’ll thin / mix with a good chicken stock, maybe add some butter / heavy cream at the end.

    Now I’ll take some bacon, but not just any bacon, my Smoked Carmel Bacon Chunks, and I’ll add a bit of a smooth melting cheese, Gruyere.

    Mix all that, and top with fresh chives from the garden, and you have a rogue chef classic side.

    (Sorry, to be sloppy, about this post, I have a numebr of things happening and must run..)

  • Beer Biscuits – Biscuit Mix

    Biscuits
    Ok, with all those soups and stews, bread, crackers and most of all biscuits are going to play quite a supporting roll, (pun intended.)

    Now I am known to buy store bought biscuits, and biscuit powder, but making your own allows for much better quality control, a lot less chemicals, and a whole world more flavor, texture, and pleasure in making.

    A biscuit is basically flour, levening, shortening, and a liquid. In this case I’m using a dark beer, for flavor and color.

    FYI: Sorry about the photo, I went to get my camera and ….

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  • Taking Stock

    stock
    Yes, it is that time of year, I smell the crispness of the air, it’s there lying just under the humidity, waiting for a temperature drop to break free. Soon it will be soup and stew weather, and that means stocks, real stocks.

    Our grocery stores are crammed with canned, cubed, and powdered soup stocks. (all loaded with enough salt to preserve a side of beef.) Pre-packaged broths have made it quick and easy to whip up a big, flavorful pot o’ soup, rather than an all-day affair. But if time isn’t an issue, why not do it the old-fashioned way and make your own stock from scratch? The flavorful rewards are worth the extra effort involved. Your choices for flavor are limited only by the contents of your vegetable crisper, your leftovers and your imagination. Stock provides a background to soup, so the ingredients you choose should be supportive, not overwhelming. There are several keys to good, basic stocks.

    Best Bets

    Stocks are not compost heaps. If you wouldn’t eat that moldy old mushroom or aging chicken as is, then don’t use them! Yesterday’s, or even last week’s, vegetables are fine, as long as they’re still healthy. The beauty of stock ingredients is that the ideal ingredients are usually the trimmings from the soup you’re about to make (leek roots and leaves, tiny, end-of-the-head garlic cloves, potato parings, celery leaves, parsley stems, etc.)

    More Tips

    Use a stockpot that is tall and narrow to help slow water loss from evaporation. To extract the most flavor from your stock ingredients, start with cold water. Meat stocks benefit from long, slow cooking. Vegetable stocks do not. Quick vegetable stocks should take 25 to 30 minutes; basic vegetable stocks, 45 minutes to one hour. Chicken or beef stocks can take anywhere from one hour to five–longer if you’re using a slow cooker. Certain herbs and vegetables will turn bitter as they steep. Strain as soon as the stock is finished.

    Dos and Don’ts

    Some vegetables should be avoided altogether in stocks. The cabbage family (turnips, rutabagas, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.) does not do well in stock. Nor do most powdered herbs, ground black pepper, artichoke trimmings, or too many greens. Use whole peppercorns and bay leaves, as these are easy to strain out.

    Cool your strained stock by filling the kitchen sink with ice water. Place the pot in the cold water bath, and stir every once in awhile, or until the broth is tepid. Store in the refrigerator for up to five days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

  • Bean and Bacon Soup

    white-bean

    Ok, the marketing event is over, the heat APPEARS to have broken, and I have time to do a bit more cooking…

    Now, fall is almost upon us, I expect we have seen the last of 90 degree with 90 percent humidity for this year. (PLEASE let this be so..)
    As such heartier fare will be needed, also heartier fare will be needed to be needed to offset the torture / damage done to digestive systems prepping for and conducting the event. Also I’ve not had my fix of bacon, bread, and beans, maybe a white bean with bacon soup. I’ll serve with a tossed salad, crusty bread, butter and maybe a drizzle of olive oil.

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