"It IS all about the TASTE"
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  • Chili Sauce

    It is the end of summer, and even though we have a few more days of warmth, the trend is growing cooler. The local farmers market stand had quite an arrangement of of fresh peppers. I so want to capture the taste, heat and goodness in them. Perhaps not canning or pickling, but a fresh sauce that I can freeze and use in the dark months ahead to add a taste of summer to my meals

    A nice bit of spice. Sweet, savory, with more than an hint of heat, the perfect garnish for BBQ, SeaFood, chicken, even a table spoon tossed with a bowl of popcorn.

    Guaranteed to “fire up” your cooking. One can modify the number of chilies, and remove seeds to render a less spicy sauce

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  • Tenderloin Patties for the Grill / Grill Pan

    Due to a number of events / crisis, I shall be onsite at the lair this weekend. Time to consider some serious food. I have noticed that the local no-so-mega mart has beef tenderloin on sale.

    Wikipedia says:

    The tenderloin is a cut of meat. It is often sold as prepackaged products by large grocery stores. They are available plain (not seasoned) and with a marinade.

    As with all quadrupeds, the tenderloin refers to the muscle along the central spine, ventral to the lumbar vertebrae. This is the most tender part of the animal, because these muscles are used for posture, rather than locomotion.

    What they don’t say is that this is the quickest cooking cut of meat in existence, I’ve grilled entire loins in 15 minutes with a 5 minute rest. There is no bone and very little fat, and it will accept flavors like a sponge. It can be brined, (a method used here many times), it can be butterflied and stuffed, it can be glazed, it can be marinated but one needs to take care not to dissolve the meat in the marinade.

    The one method I’ve not done is a spice rub.. So perhaps a herb rub, and wrap with plastic wrap overnight, perhaps with a bit of olive oil to help the fat soluble flavors liberate and penetrate. Then I’ll cut to say 1″ thick medallions, lube season and grill to ~ 150F, (~ 4 – 5 minutes a side). Serve up on a bun, sauce with a mustard bbq sauce, add a bit of Asian Slaw, and perhaps some grilled aubergine or peppers or both, or maybe just treat it like a burger and add lettuce and tomato…

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  • Slow Cooker Pot Roast

    While shopping I came across the most wonderful small beef tenderloin roast. While this is normally used for steaks, I am considering a pot roast with a rich gravy and mounds of vegetables..

    As it is still warmish, perhaps the slow cooker will provide the perfect method of transporting this hunk o’ meat to a proper temperature and texture.

    Since we are going to use a moist heat cooking method in a slow cooker oven this is technically a braise not a roast. Then again who is counting…

    Since we have the star of the show all planed out, we need a supporting cast. By that I mean veggies, and basically root veggies, potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, maybe some portabello.

    And last but not least we need a liquid, one can use water, but it does nothing for flavor, since this is a pot roast, I’ll use beef or brown stock.

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  • Sweet Saturday – Strawberry Ice Cream

    The local megamart had a nice sale on strawberries, and while looking at them, my shopping companion asked about ice cream…. Hmmmmm….

    A whole quart of strawberries to really infuse the ice cream with amazing flavor. Using this large amount of strawberries you are guaranteed many chunks of those juicy red berries with each bite. The strawberries are hulled, sliced, and pulsed in a food processor with a bit of sugar and lemon juice and then left to macerate in the fridge while the ice cream base is made.

    For the base I’ll use my french vanilla base, a custard based “french style”, and those like it tend to be sooo rich and smooth.

    Maybe a fold in of something to extend the luxury, perhaps an add in of really good bourbon, or perhaps some way to intensify the vanilla taste….


    Ice cream can be made with just cream, sugar, and a flavoring (usually fruit) is sometimes referred to as “Philadelphia style” ice cream. Ice creams made with eggs, in the form of a cooked custard, are “French” ice creams. This mixture is stirred while cooling to prevent large ice crystals from forming; the result is a smoothly textured ice cream.

    An overview of this operation:

    1. Make Custard
    2. Add Fruit
    3. Turn Ice Cream
    4. Harden Ice Cream in freezer for an hour
    5. Eat, and die of pleasure

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  • Meatless Monday – Roasted, Toasted, Smashed Reds

    While in the farmer’s market this weekend, I happened upon a table of new (small) red potatoes. Once again these are memories from my youth. Usually boiled and prepped in a milk sauce, these are truly good, but I want a bit more flavor, and a lot more texture.

    Suppose I dice / boil them in a veggie stock, and roast garlic, onions, perhaps a carrot or two, and then mash with a fresh cream, to form a a dish similar to roasted bubble and squeak. But just so people do not think I’ve gone totally health nut, I’ll grate Parmesan cheese over and finish with a drizzle melted butter.

    A little trick I picked up on my last trip to the U.K, was to roast a medley of vegetables, and then mashed them with potatoes for a variety of textures and tastes. This will make a side dish that will compete with the main course for the dinner’s attention, they are just that good.

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  • Chicken in Honey Mustard

    It has been a long day, I am tired, and I really do not want to stand over the stove.. Now tossing stuff into a pan and roasting is quite a different item. The local provisionary had a sale on cut roaster chickens and in perusing the cold storage locker I have various dribs and drabs of assorted dijon, honey and yellow mustard, the pantry yielded an assortment of mostly used honey jars.

    Perhaps chicken pieces in a simple honey mustard sauce, and baked / roasted to a golden hue will yield a fast simple dish to feed the ravaging hoards.

    Wikipedia Says:

    Honey mustard, as the name suggests, is a blend of mustard and honey, usually 1:1. It is most often used as a topping for sandwiches and as a dip for chicken strips, french fries, onion rings, and other finger foods. It can also be combined with vinegar and/or olive oil to make a salad dressing. The most basic honey mustard is a mixture of equal amounts of honey and mustard; however, most varieties include other ingredients to modify the flavor and texture. Combinations of English mustard with honey or demerara sugar are popularly used in British cuisine to coat grilled lamb cutlets or pork chops. Peppers and spices are sometimes added to give honey mustard a distinct spicy taste.

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