Stock 101

Aaalrighty.  We all know that the foundation of a great sauce, or soup, is a great stock.  Now, we usually get the stuff in a can or a box, or even worse, cubes, from the grocery store, because making stock?

Ain-t-Nobody-Got-Time-Fo-Dat-sweet-brown-meme-oh-jesus-its-a-fire

 

Well you’re wrong if you think that.  Simply, if you have a slow cooker, or sleep you have time Fo dat.

Here are some basic recipes.  Note: The vinegar is one of those MUST DO  because it helps leech all the minerals from the bones and aids in the dissolution of the cartilage.

CHICKEN STOCK 101

Ok y’all, this is pretty simple. You take 2 chicken carcasses, as in what’s left after you eat most of the meaty goodness off of the birds, and chuck it in a pot with a few carrots, some celery sticks some onions, and garlic all chopped up. Fill with cold water then dump a few tablespoons of white vinegar.

Cover and bring to a boil

Reduce heat and simmer for 24hrs, strain and bottle, voila stock done. Freezes well.

The vinegar leeches the minerals from the bones, and the 24hr cooking time renders the cartilage and collagen (including the glucosamine) into the stock. Creating a cheap glucosamine suppliment.

You can use this for turkey (1 carcass) as well. Btw don’t be afraid if it turns into a glop of gel, that’s good.

Best results are obtained with free range birds.

To remove fat easiest chill in fridge and remove solidified fat

 

 BEEF STOCK 101

A few beef marrow bones, no meat…
A few pounds of meaty beef bones, like the stew ossobucco or short ribs.

First, put the marrow bones in a crock pot and barely cover with water, add vinegar. Let soak for 2hrs, while soaking, bake the meaty bones in the oven for the 2hrs. Remove the meaty bones and put in the water, deglaze pan over high heat with water, scraping all the bits off the bottom, empty into pot.

Add the carrots, celery onion garlic and a bundle of fresh thyme. Cover, and cook on low for 3 days, replenishing the water as needed.

Strain, and chill to remove fat, bottle and freeze

Fish stock:

take the bones and head of whatever fish you want to use (white fish like cod and halibut are best) and put in water with veg and a titch of lemon juice. Simmer for 3 hrs,strain and bottle and freeze. (We don’t do this one due to allergies)

Now:  here’s the fun bit.  For Turkey, Duck, and other Fowl and/or Rabbit, you follow the Chicken cooking method.

For Pork/Ham, you follow the Beef method

Easy peasy!

Sea Salted Caramel Awesome Cookies

These cookies are – in a word – awesome.

I made these for the first time a few weeks ago, and I can’t express enough how much Somebody *really* liked them…so much so, that He seemed to insist on an offering of the first dozen of them as soon as they came out of the oven 🙂

Ingredients

* 1/2 cup butter, softened

* 3/4 cup granulated sugar

* 1 large egg

* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* 2 tablespoons milk

* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

* 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

* 1 package of butterscotch instant pudding mix (3.4 ounce pkg, or 4 serving size pkg)

* 1 3/4 cups of all purpose flour

* 30 soft caramel candies, unwrapped

* 2 tablespoons sea salt

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.  (Please note: If you don’t have parchment paper – which I didn’t – you can lightly grease the cookie sheets with Crisco shortening before putting cookies on the sheet.  Be sure to re-grease with the shortening between batches, though, otherwise the cookies will stick.)

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until creamy.  Add the egg, vanilla, and milk; beat until mixed.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the baking soda, baking powder, pudding mix and flour.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until combined.

4.  Shape the cookie dough into one-inch balls.  For each cookie, flatten one cookie dough ball into the palm of your hand; place caramel candy in the center, and wrap the cookie dough around the candy.**

5. Place the cookies on the prepared cookie sheets about two inches apart. You can either sprinkle the cookies with the sea salt…or you can take each cookie (before placing it on the cookie sheet) and dip it lightly into the 2 tbsp of sea salt that you have poured into a small bowl or dish, before placing it on the cookie sheet.

6. Bake 10 minutes, or until the cookie edges are light golden brown.  Sprinkle with additional sea salt, if desired.  Allow the cookies to cool 5 minutes before transferring cookies to wire cooling racks to cool completely.

Makes 30 cookies

** I used Werther’s Soft Caramels which are long and somewhat rectangular; I had difficulty trying get the cookie dough to completely surround the caramels.  And whatever caramel is exposed during baking will melt out and around the edges of the cookie and burn.  So what I did was before trying to wrap the cookie dough around the caramel, I rolled down the squared edges of a room temperature caramel so that the  caramel was more rounded than squared…and that made for much less caramel spurtage during baking.

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Here is the first batch — which I offered to Loki — because 1.) He seemed *really* excited about these and it seemed that He didn’t want to wait for them to cool; and 2.) He seemed to prefer that most of the first batch were a hot caramel mess. ❤

As well, I made another batch of these, and took the rest of those to a Yule ritual the next day – along with 5 dozen chocolate chip cookies – and these caramel cookies were gone within 15 minutes or so.  They taste incredibly awesome.  I would so make these again 🙂

BBQ’d Rabbit Haunches

I got some rabbit in my CSA this week.  I figure I’ll share what I did with them and ya’ll can nom and drool and try it if you ever get rabbit.

First: Made a dry rub out of sage, paprika, Clubhouse Montreal Chicken Spice, some garlic and onion powders, and salt.  Applied liberally to both sides of the haunch, and wrapped in saran wrap, and left in my fridge overnight until cooking time.

I took some garlic scapes, then blanched them a bit so they were more flexible, I then sliced them down so they made two long pieces of scape, then wrapped two halves around each haunch, THEN I wrapped each haunch in as much bacon as I possibly could (According to my husband’s buddy, it wasn’t enough bacon.. Loki agrees..but there is never enough bacon for  Him) 

THEN, I turned on one side of my BBQ, indirect heat is the key for this meat to remain moist and not burned to a cinder due to the bacon grease flareups, so if you are using a charcoal grill, push all the coals to the side and leave an empty space and put an aluminum pie plate in the space. Indirect heat!

Keep the temperature around 400deg F.  and cook for about an hour, don’t turn! Leave it alone…

Near the end of the cooking time, that’s when you can use some direct heat to do a final crisp of the bacon and use some bbq sauce if you want.  I used Diana’s Smokey BBQ.

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That’s what the rabbit looked like before tossing them on the BBQ.  They were SO moist and turned out so yummy

Whiskey Steak

Every time that I make this, Somebody *loves* it!

I usually use Jack Daniels or Jack Daniels Honey, but I have used Knob Creek, regular Jim Beam, and even Red Stag Honey Tea — any whiskey would prolly work well (except for something strongly spiced like Fireball.  I find that Fireball is best for use in fruity-spicy baking endeavors, but I digress…)

Ingredients:

1/4 cup whiskey (but I add more like a 1/2 cup or more, because…well, Loki)

1/4 cup light soy sauce

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

1 teaspoon garlic powder (or 2 squished/minced cloves of fresh garlic if I have it)

1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

1/4 cup packed brown sugar (or perhaps a bit more if I really went heavy on the whiskey…)

1 teaspoon salt

1 dash Worcestershire sauce

Ground black pepper to taste

Stir together all ingredients, and marinade up to 2 lbs of sirloin or flank steak for about 20-30 minutes before cooking (or more if it’s a thick cut over 1.5″ thick, like London broil)

I suggest grilling the steak on a preheated barbecue grill, but if you can’t grill it, pan-searing this way works too:

If you own a cast iron pan — Preheat oven to 500 degrees (yep) with the cast iron pan in the oven.

Remove pan; add one whole stick of butter.  Let melt.  Add marinated steak to pan.

Cook steak 25 seconds per side.

If done this way, steak should be medium done at this point (still a bit pink in the middle).  This pan-searing really seals in the juices.  Awesome.

Enjoy!

Iced Coffee Yo!

Ok, we all know how Loki loves His coffee, and well the other Gods are pretty keen on it, too.  I know Thor doesn’t mind a cuppa, and neither does Odin, but it’s SOOOOO HOT where I live right now. Crazy hot.  Like stupid crazy.  So, I’ve figured out that iced coffee is great!  Not too hard to make, if you have prep time and a decent blender.

I own a Ninja Blender.  Vitamix will do well, too, it just needs to do a darn good job at crushing/pulverizing ice.

now, my hint.  I make a pot of coffee, then I pour it into ice cube trays to let it freeze!  I do this with whatever leftover coffee I have in the pot at the end of the morning.

I pop about 3 or 4 cubes per person out of the tray, and dump them in my blender.  I add a few spoon fulls of sugar, (I like my iced coffee the consistency of Tim Horton’s Iced Capp btw)  Some chocolate milk, or even better, Flavoured creamer, like, hazelnut, French Vanilla or whatever.  you can use different creamers for different people, just make sure you blend in different batches is all, milk is good too.  Milk and creamer *nodnod* or Ice cream and creamer *nodnodnod*

Well, what you do is you pulse the blender to crush the frozen coffee.  then you add whatever creamy and sweet deliciousness to the coffee slush.  Pour, and serve!  Caffeine on a hot day with no trip to the coffee shop because dude, it’s hot out.

An offering of hearts for Loki

Greetings, gentle readers. July is known as a month for Loki, because in the dog days of summer, Lokabrenna (Loki’s Torch) rises. For those of you unfamiliar, Lokabrenna is another name for Sirius. Himself is active this time of year, and many Lokeans honor Him this month by posting poems, recipes, or other devotional works. I’m starting my month with a recipe for Him – a meal of hearts.

Loki’s lore includes the eating of hearts. Here in the modern US, we don’t do a lot of cooking with organ meats, but for seidhr I experimented with cooking chicken hearts, because it was what I could get my hands on locally. I offered Loki some, and He was positively FERAL and overjoyed to get them, because it is such a rare treat. So I’m gonna encourage y’all to try offering Him hearts, and since people usually don’t know how to cook organ meats (I had to play Hail Lady Google), I will offer my own experience. I started with this recipe, because it involved grilling the hearts, and if you’re familiar with Gullveig in the sagas. you know that He found her heart smoldering in embers and ate it, and barbecue is the closest that I can offer to that experience right now. If I ever get my lungs to a state where I can go camping and not have to worry about campfire smoke messing with them, I’d like to attempt cooking a larger heart for Him the way you do a baked potato, cooked straight on the coals, rubbed with butter and herbs, wrapped in tinfoil.

I did a very Florida marinate for the hearts, with white wine, fresh garlic, ginger, a little mojo, key lime juice, salt, and pepper. I let them soak overnight and then sauteed them for 5-7 min, just long enough to cook them a little and then put them on the grill. As the recipe notes, if you use wood skewers for this, soak them or they will burn while the hearts are cooking. If you don’t have access to a grill, you could cook them all the way through and then put them under the broiler to give them some char. I have a friend who suggests that you cut the tops of the hearts off, but it’s my experience with Himself that He loves the WHOLE THING. NOMNOMNOM. I gather the hearts are more tender if you cut off the top with the aorta and veins. I only ate one to share the experience with Him, because I’m not personally big into organ meats, but He LOVED it, and I think He appreciated the gesture of me trying something that He loves. I’m also a big believer in kitchen witching – the time, love, and intention that goes into preparing meals and offerings is valuable and magical, and can be used to weave intention through mindful work.

Rouladen with potato dumplings

NOTE, I know that there are regional variations of this dish.  This is my dish.  I’m Canadian.  This is what I found through a google search..and I tweaked it to my tastes.

 

This one might be a little complicated so I’ll just do each part step by step, like I’ll start off with the potato dumplings:

Potato Dumplings:

3 whole potatoes, washed, and skin on
a loaf of sourdough bread
butter.
flour
corn starch
I don’t have any measurements for the flour and corn starch because it’s subjective,  you’ll see why later
1 egg.
1tsp of nutmeg
1tsp of salt

Ok,  now, wash/scrub the potatoes, and then boil them whole until they’re done, about an hour.
Cool em off in the fridge and peel.  The peel will come right off. 
cut them into cubes and put them in the fridge until they are cold. 
While you do this you can cook the rouladen which I’ll post later in the post.
Cut the sour dough into cubes the size of regular croutons.  Fry them in butter until they are golden brown.  (Or use garlic butter for extra flavor)  put them in a container to cool.
once the potatoes are cold, mash them up with a potato masher.  Then, mix in:  Egg, Flour, corn starch and do this until they aren’t sticking to your hands.  grab a bit, then put a crouton in the middle and make a ball out of it.  Do this until no potato mixture is left.
Boil in salted boiling water in small batches until they float to the top. keep the cooked ones on a plate under a damp towel so they don’t dry out.

Rouladen:

Inside Round cut for rouladen
bacon
thinly sliced onion
dill pickles
mustard
toothpicks
beer
beef stock
thyme
veggie oil

Step 1: go to your butcher and ask for Inside Round cut for Rouladen.  It’s supposed to be pretty thin.
Step 2:  Place rouladen on a cutting board or something.  It’s easier to do one piece at a time anyway.  so unfold it if it’s folded…sprinkle some steak spice on it, spread some mustard on it, lay a piece of bacon on it, lay some onion slices on it, then lay some sliced dill pickles on it.  Then roll it up.  You start from the wide end, folding in the sides as you go.  Secure with a toothpick.  Repeat with the rest of em.

Step 3:  sear the rouladen in a hot pan on all sides.  Put in a roasting pan (of course if you have a metal roasting pan you can do this in one step)  put seared rouladen on a plate (or in a roasting pan if you are using a glass one) while you make the sauce

Step 4: The sauce:  dump half a bottle of beer, about 1 cup of beef stock, a tsp of thyme and a tbsp of steak spice in the pan where you seared the beef.  (If it’s the roasting pan it’s all good trust me)  scraping up the bits that stuck to the pan.  Now,  either put the sauce in the roaster with the rouladen, or the rouladen in the sauce if you’re using a metal one.  Cover well and put in the oven at 300deg farenheight for about …3 hours.

Once everything is done, take the rouladen out of the roaster,  (If you’re using a glass pan put the sauce in a pot) put the sauce over medium heat and thicken it with a mixture of corn starch and water.

Serve hot, with the hot potato dumplings and some red cabbage.

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