Tag Archives: cooking

milk.and.noodles

My dad has a few cooking specialties up his sleeve and this happens to be one of them – and my mom’s favorite special breakfast. Every other year or so I get the craving to make a batch for myself and today happened to be the day. I’m sure there is some fancy name for this porridge like “soup” but we always called it milk and noodles. 


I like mine a little on the salty side and my husband was dissapointed it’s not sweet. So feel free to snazz it up as you would like. 


Beeakfast was amazing and I hace leftovers for tomorrow. Woo hoo! 

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buttermilk.biscuits.and.gravy

 

I grew up on Jiffy mix biscuits. They were a pretty regular fixture at the dinner table and I still have a soft spot in my heart for those (mom used a cutter for round biscuits, and dad just dropped them from the spoon). However, we don’t buy Jiffy in our house, so when it’s time to make the perfect biscuit, a little elbow grease is involved.

  • Mix 2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp baking soda, 1 TB baking powder and 1 tsp salt in a bowl
  • Cut in 6 TB very cold butter until it makes a mealy mix
  • Add 1 cup buttermilk and mix until just combined (over mixing is bad)
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and press until it’s about half an inch thick. Fold the dough over on itself and press again.
  • Repeat the folding process 4 times (this is how you get all those awesome flaky layers)
  • Cut with a cutter and bake in a 450* oven for 10-12 minutes

 


  

Making the gravy and meaty bits is super easy. Thanks to my friend Colour who turned us on to doing this in the same pan a year or so ago, a process  that was already pretty idiot proof got even easier.

  • Brown 1 pound ground pork or the sausage of your choice
  • Sprinkle cooked meat (don’t drain! Keep the oil and fat because, healthy!! And delicious…!) with 2 TB flour
  • Slowly add 1 1/2 cups milk and stir to thicken
  • Sprinkle with salt and liberally apply pepper
  • Make sure your husband walks by and adds more pepper
  • Add more pepper yourself (we like our pepper)
  • When thick, spoon over your biscuits and unhinge your face

I bet you didn’t think biscuits and gravy could be that easy, eh?

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anticuchos

My dad has talked about the smell of anticuchos on the streets of Lima for over 40 years. So when we went back, obviously we had to have some of these grilled and marinated beef hearts, STAT. Our friends and guides took us to the most famous anticucheria in the city and they definitely didn’t disappoint. For about $5 each you got 2 skewers of meat and a potato. It also came with so many great sauces on the side ranging in heat from mild to melt your face (we liked all of it). Before we left the city, the husband declared we needed more anticuchos lest he ‘pull a Larry’ and talk about them for decades, so we found another joint that specialized in these treats (our first stop was closed on Sundays. Sad face.). In addition to beef heart, we tried a skewer of chicken heart and I found them to be equally as amazing (husband would have preferred them grilled just a bit longer). We are definitely going to be giving these a try here at home and made sure to stock up on some important ingredients like chilis and of course, the recipe. AjiPanca_paste

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chicken.brine

We brined our first poultry for Thanksgiving and it was amazing. Since then we’ve been brining all of our chickens and they are pretty out of this world. It’s the easiest thing to do and basically guarantees a super juicy a delicious bird.

  • Add a gallon of water to a stock pot
  • Pour 1 cup kosher salt, 3/4 cup brown sugar, 3 bay leaves, a handful of peppercorns, 2 cloves chopped garlic and a generous sprinkling of red pepper flakes to the water. If you have a lemon on hand, cut that in half and add to the water (a few squirts of lemon juice will also work)
  • Heat until the salt and sugar have dissolved and allow to cool fully
  • Add bird and allow to marinate – at least 4 hours (I like to leave the stock pot on the deck outside in the winter all day)

 

When the bird is done, remove it from the water and pat dry. Season as you would normally, but omitting the salt (it’s already salted). Cook as you would a roasted chicken and be amazed. Yum.

 

 

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dinner.rolls

I few people asked me if I had any great dinner roll recipes this Thanksgiving. Truth be told, I didn’t. However! I do have a great hamburger roll recipe, and thought, why couldn’t that be used? So I gave it a try myself and omg…..those rolls are so good. Follow the recipe just as you would for the hamburger buns, but form smaller dough balls. Slather with butter. Shove in face. Repeat.

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We did the traditional Thanksgiving spread, including mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, giblet gravy and stuffing (not much of a healthy vegetable to be seen – I’m ok with that), and of course, a giant turkey. Like, 23 pounds of giant turkey. I know – that’s huge. But of course we use all parts of it and feel that if you’re going to go through the trouble of brining and basting and whatevering, you might as well make it a big ass bird. The stock has already been simmered in the pressure cooker, and the meat has been separated for leftovers, etc (I can’t wait for the husbands epically awesome turkey enchiladas tomorrow – homemade enchilada sauce from scratch – with turkey drippings!!).

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sourdough.starter:pancakes

My dad has kept the same batch of sourdough starter going for over 36 years (even he can’t tell you exactly how old it is) and I grew up eating sourdough pancakes. I became such a pancake snob that all other pancakes are considered vastly inferior, if not just gross (except my grandmas banana pancakes….yum). On my parents most recent trip up north they brought yet another jar for me to nurture (in the many moves from apartments to different states etc I have lost or abandoned more than a few jars…) and I immediately threw it into action.

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The first thing I did was make pancakes – duh. I can actually portion from memory but I’ve had the official instructions for years and with a little practice you can do the same thing.

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The sourdough base can be used for anything from bread to pizza dough, to any other sourdoughy thing you can think of. It’s cheap and easy and each “strain” takes on it’s own specific characteristics. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to pull from my dad’s stash, you can start your own starter. Many specialty stores carry the yeasty bits, or someone in a cold sourdough heavy place (like Alaska) could even mail you a postcard with the “just add water” components.

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rice.noodle.bean.sprout.bowl

We have been observing a ‘No Spend March’ this month which means my weekly day off routine of sushi-go-round is on hold for the time being. We’re working through things in the cupboard and the freezer, and getting creative (“They” say the average household has enough food in cupboards etc, to last a month. This house could last for 6…). Today’s non sushi lunch turned out so great, I just had to blog about it.

We sprout our own mung beans and this batch needed to be used asap before it got too “rooty” and asparagus is on the menu for dinner, so it was up to me to put these to use. There has also been a packet of rice noodles in the cupboard being ignored for a very (very, very) long  time so I thought it was time to cook them up as well. Saute the whole bunch with some chopped onion, a little butter and sesame oil, a squirt or two of Bragg’s (you could use soy sauce as well) and viola! So. Good. It made a full pan so there are definitely leftovers which is awesome because it’s so good!

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