I bought 10 pounds of carrots this morning as I was sure we were almost out, but then stumbled upon a 5 pound bag on top of the fridge as I was scrounging for the dehydrator. Whoops. Carrots have a tendency to give me heartburn if I eat too many, and I knew the bag on top of the fridge needed to be used asap, so using my clever thinking cap (and 4 trays not being used to make more of the delicious faux smoked salmon) I chopped most of them up to dehydrate too. The little carrot kernels they become are great when thrown into soup or just munched on their own (in trail mix? why not!). Cut them into 1/4 inch discs and spread on the tray so they don’t touch and let them do their thing (at about 145*) for approximately 6 hours. Some of the smaller pieces were done around the 4 1/2 hour mark, but at 6 hours I’m still weeding through some of the thicker ones.
I used the remaining pound for some amazing and delicious roasted veggies. Peel and cut each carrot into thirds, and throw 2 heads (yes, full heads) of peeled garlic cloves in with a handful or 2 of brussel sprouts and 1 quartered onion, into a lasagna pan with the carrots. Drizzle with olive oil, some salt and pepper, and ‘roast’ for 25 minutes in a 425* oven. I can’t believe how good it is. All of it. So simple, so good for you (as long as you aren’t too heavy handed with the olive oil), and delish.
(image via onehundreddollarsamonth.com – an awesome blog)
We have a bit of an aversion to fire around here, so setting a smoker on the deck to take care of our needs wouldn’t go over very well. But it’s all good as I actually prefer to use our dehydrator when it comes to ‘smoking’ fish. We did a batch of bits after our huge haul earlier this summer (bellies and parts that don’t work on a full filet) and have already munched our way through. However, considering we still have a good 100+ pounds of salmon in the freezer I pulled a few filets out today to brine and ‘smoke.’
- Rinse your filets and cut into 1/2 inch wide strips as long as you would like (after pulling the bones of course). I leave the skin on to process and we just pull the meat off as we eat.
- Mix 1 1/2 cups soy sauce, 1/2 cup brown sugar and 3 tablespoons lemon juice together and pour over your 1 – 2 pounds of cut pieces.
- Allow to marinate in the fridge for 2-3 hours shaking occasionally.
- Pat each piece dry on a paper towel and arrange on your dehydrator rack, making sure the pieces don’t touch.
- Set at 145* for 5-8 hours, depending on the desired doneness (we like ours still a little fresh ie: not full jerky.
This makes great snacking food and tastes just like some of the best smoked I’ve had without the fake added liquid smoke some recipes call for (which I always burp up – gross). What you can’t eat now stick in the freezer. It comes back to life amazingly fast after being frozen!
I have been hearing about how life changing kale chips are for what seems like years now. So I was sure to pick up a *huge* bunch of kale from the Spenard Farmer’s Market this past weekend for a whopping $3 to give it a go myself. The internet and even my local sources seemed torn in the debate: oven or dehydrate. So I figured I would do a little of each. After 8 years (It’s not that much of an exaggeration) my chips in the dehydrator are still a little chewy, where as the ones done on the oven were crispy and (would have been delicious had I not had some sort of stroke when salting them) ready in 20 minutes.
What to do: wash and rinse kale and rip into bite sized (think potato chip) pieces and mix in a bowl with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, a dash of vinegar and not nearly as much salt as I used. Make sure all pieces are coated with the oil mixture and spread out on either your dehydrator rack or cookie sheet. Now, like I said, for the sake of the power grid in your neighborhood, expediency and anything else you can think of, I would avoid the dehydrator (or as the little Einstein in training who recorded it on our house inventory sheet post fire spelled it: Dyehediator), but to each his own.
After all of this, I have to say I’m not sold. Maybe I’m just too much of a junk food addict or not quite creative enough to get past the “this is so green and healthy and tastes so, well, green” but the kale chips didn’t do it for me. If you have some sort of suggestion to make them awesome, I’m all ears. Because really, I want to be one of the cool kids. I want to be a crunchy kale loving hippie….it just hasn’t happened yet.