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Everything bagel bread

Topping

Bread

  1. For the topping: Combine all ingredients in bowl; set aside.  - or just buy everything but the bagel from Trader Joes.....
2. For the bread: Spray 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with oil spray. Whisk flour and yeast together in bowl of stand mixer. Fit mixer with dough hook. Add 1¼ cups (10 ounces) water and 2 tablespoons corn syrup. Mix on medium-low speed until dough comes together and no dry flour remains, about 2 minutes. Turn off mixer, cover bowl with dish towel or plastic wrap, and let dough stand for 10 minutes.
3. Add salt to dough and knead on medium speed until dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Turn out dough onto clean counter and form into ball by pinching and pulling dough edges under so top is smooth. Flip dough smooth side down.
4. Pat dough into 6-inch square and position parallel to edge of counter. Fold top edge of dough down to midline, pressing to seal. Fold bottom edge of dough up to meet first seam at midline and press to seal. Fold dough in half so top and bottom edges meet; pinch together to seal. Flip dough seam side down and roll into 8-inch log.
5. Transfer to prepared pan, seam side down. Spray top of dough lightly with oil spray, then cover loosely with plastic. Let sit in warm place until dough rises to lip of pan, about 1 hour.
6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line large plate with clean dish towel. Bring 2 quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Once boiling, add baking soda and remaining 2 tablespoons corn syrup.
7. Gently tip dough out of pan onto counter. Lift dough, gently lower into boiling water, and cook for 45 seconds per side. Using spider skimmer or 2 slotted spoons, transfer dough to prepared plate. Fold dish towel over dough gently to wick away excess moisture on top. Let sit until cool enough to handle, about 2 minutes.
8. Respray now-empty pan with oil spray. Add 2 tablespoons topping to pan and shake until bottom and sides of pan are evenly coated. Transfer dough to prepared pan, seam side down, pushing it in at edges to fit if necessary.
9. Using paring knife, make six ¼-inch-deep slashes crosswise along surface of dough, about 1 inch apart. Brush dough with egg, then sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons topping. Bake until golden brown and loaf registers at least 200 degrees, about 45 minutes. Let bread cool completely in pan, about 2 hours. Remove from pan, slice, and serve, toasted if desired.
I got this recipe from ATK / Cooks Illustrated. The first time I made this the dough was almost soupy because I didn't really do a great job measuring, and we didn't have a kitchen scale...... The dough was ugly as sin, and flopped all around, and then baked up to perfection. Crazy.
This time the kitchen scale was used and we nailed the correct amount of flour to water and the dough came together exactly as described. We lined the loaf pan with a bit of cheese cloth to help lift the loaf and deposit it into the boiling water.  Worked like a charm. However, I did manage to mangle the shit out of the dough when trying to get it back out of the water. I'll work on a better method next time. Currently in the oven. I'll let you know how it turned out.

Pork for the win

Doc S says that if I don't take the food porn photos then it didn't happen. He's to blame for this.

If you recall last week (what is time?!?) Dr. Chop told me that she wasn't going to be satisfied with anything form our repertoire wrt dinner and thus the pork wellington was hatched. No photos, but it did happen. Welp, decadent Saturday seems like it's a thing that is going to keep happening my diet be damned.

This week's entry? Pork rollup with cream cheese, hatch green chili, and pistachios wrapped in bacon. Dr. Chop work shopped this one, and I executed. Oh, mama was this good.

First I butterflied a pork tenderloin, and then smashed it into a 1/4 of an inch thick slab of meat product.

Next comes the cream cheese bath - cooks note I had a half a tub of creole cream cheese which is pretty runny and easily smeared across said meat slab

Next comes the hatch green chilis- canned is fine, jarred (look for 505 brand / young guns brand)is better, or freshly roasted which is optimal. I hear from my old man that fresh hatch chilis have hit the super markets in 'perterville so they're likely around the greater MN metros. (I also used a bit of shredded cheddar to bind things in the heats of the grills). I rough chopped about 1/3 cup pistachios and dumped them onto the pig product.

 

Next comes the roll up

 

I hadn't planned to wrap this in bacon, but as it turns out the roll up wasn't as tight as I wanted. I happened to have a half pound of schmidt's meat market bacon on hand so why not?

 

This is the final wrap up (yeah doc, you asked for this - now lie in your bed)

 

I quick smoked this by lighting ~3/4 a chimney of briquets and dumping them when mostly on fire in a pile on one side of the grill. I choked off the heat by leaving the bottom vent wide open and the top vent 1/8 inch open. While the coals were regulating themselves I started roasting some baby red potatoes and carrots. I added a couple good sized chunks of cherry wood and put the pork on the indirect side.

Once the internal temp had hit 140 I moved the whole shooting match over the coals with the lid off to crisp up the bacon.

The final result was nothing short of decadent. Doc, wish you were here brother. Even if you were here there wasn't enough for three....... Okay there was but I was greedy AF.

Milk Crate Container Garden for the ‘pocalypse

After Doc S (I think) mentioned that we were going to run into shortages of produce as supply chains were stress out by the pandemic Dr. Chop and I got down to business planting vegetables and herbs. We try to grow stuff every year, and every year we lose most the crop to the insects. This year we were able to spend a lot more time in the yard and we were able to kill enough caterpillars to keep the peppers and squash alive. And now we've got peppers for days. We also installed a bird feeder which I think has a positive effect on the insect problem as well.

As I mentioned in the CoC we got an Aero Garden at the start of the year, and we've been able to produce several heads of lettuce, spinach, and herbs. Currently, we've got chives sprouting, a new head of spinach, and bok choi growing to be transferred to the containers. We've always grown food stuff in containers, including our citrus, fig and olive trees, because the soil in New Orleans is suspect to begin with and the flooding from Katrina didn't help matters. We've found that you need to use high quality potting soil, compost, and an occasional fertilizing in order to get enough nutrient into the containers to provide good growth.

While out walking the neighborhood I found several milk crates littered in vacant lots, and the idea sprouted to turn them into square foot garden boxes. I had some stupid expensive dirt and ground cloth delivered for free (I heavily tipped the driver) from the local garden shop. I measured the crates - 12 x 12 x 10 3/4(h), so I cut the 48 inch long cloth into 14 inch wide strips with excess to account for seam allowance.

I laid two strips across each other at their centers and sewed 2 sides together. I decided that doubling the cloth on the bottom would slow drainage, and add an extra layer of protection from weeds and other intruders.

 

 

Then you gather up the corners and sew them face to face to make a box

 

 

Repeat for the remaining 3 corners and you've got a ground cloth box.

Instead of making these cloth boxes to match the actual size of the crate, I made them much taller so that I could wrap the excess over the top to keep the pressure of the dirt from spilling out of the bag.

As a side note, making sweet potatoes from a sprouting sweet potato is the easiest, and one of the most satisfying horticultural endeavors I've ever undertaken. I put the sprouted spud in a clear cup of water and let the roots grow out and alien looking purple leaves and veins multiplied quickly under the grow light of the aero garden. I was a little late getting these into the boxes for them to produce large potatoes, but they'll certainly make a bunch of tubers.

Banana Cream Pie for bananas times

What to do with the just ripe to just over ripe bananas? Pie, of course. The hard way around is to make your own pie crust, but a store bought version will work out just fine. Bake the pie crust til golden brown, and set aside to cool. For the filling you'll need:

5 tbs flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups whole milk (very important it's whole milk...)
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp vanilla
3-4 bananas

Method:
Scald the whole milk in the bottom of a double boiler. Essentially you want to bring the temp of the milk to 180 degrees F. While milk is warming on the stove combine the flour, sugar, and salt in the top half of the double boiler and whisk to combine. Stir the milk to keep a skin from forming, and once the milk is scalded add to the dry ingredients. Rinse out the bottom of the double boiler and fill with enough water to warm the upper half sufficiently. Once the liquid has warmed temper the eggs by adding a few tablespoons worth of milk mixture to the eggs at a time. This will keep the eggs from scrambling once they're added to the milk. Stir in the eggs and reduce the pudding you've made to as thick a consistency as you like - in this case thicker is better so that you don't have runny pudding pie, but it's really dealers choice - When you've just about reached your desired pudding texture stir in the vanilla, slice the bananas into the pie shell, and then fill pie shell with the pudding. Place the whole works in the fridge to chill for a couple of hours.

Harry Chapin – Cat’s in the Cradle

Performed in 1977, but released in 1974

I've been looking back at the Nixon administration for a variety of reasons (most of which are forbidden zone, obvi), but some of those reasons are to understand the environment my folks lived in better. Anywho, thanks for watching, and as always, please remember to like this post on social media.

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