Journal

2019 - Week 6 Cooking Results

Porter Bacon Mac & Cheese

In selecting the porter to use, I was thinking of going to a bells porter, but ended up with the Alaskan Brewing Company Smoked Porter. As I am no longer on limited sauce I was able to finish off the beer myself. Pretty good. So making the sauce I may have added a bit too much butter, but it still came together pretty well. I used more pans then the recipe called for so I could get the sauce started while the pasta was finishing. I used a whole package of (just over a pound) of large black pig bacon from Lucky George Farm. After combining everything in the pan I made the sauce in, I dusted them with some buttered breadcrumbs. Baked it off and it turned out really good. A bit of smokey flavor from the porter, nice cheese and bacon flavor. Good things.

Coconut Apple Ginger Dal

Delayed (went to dinner with the Mattas)!

Beef and Bean Soup

It’s chili, with a lot more chicken stock. We had some leftover corn chips (not Fritos). It was pretty good.

Boogaloo Wonderland Sandwiches

This was interesting. Ground beef, onions, softened up, then add something like a ketchup based bbq sauce. Baked and melted cheese and sauced. Kind of like a sloppy joe, but not as juicy. I couldn’t bring myself to use American cheese, so I topped it with Holey Cow. It went over ok. I think I liked it more than Shannon did.

Fish

So this time around I seared off the tuna steaks after getting them up to almost the right temperature. I may have left them in the pan a touch to long, but I feel like I’m getting the hang of this. So like an extra 30 seconds too long.

2019 - Week 6 Cooking

For the month of January, per Shannon’s a request, I did a sober(ish) January. I had one beer a week at the cheese shop (traditions are important to me). We both agreed that when I went to Cedar Rapids for an overnight for work, that it didn’t count. I started a bit late, so the 5th will be 4 weeks of mostly sober living. Meh. I get it. And it’s important, and clearly don’t need to drink as much as I do at my peaks. But I’ll be happy to be able to add and cook with it again.

2019 - Week 5 Cooking Results

Spaghetti with Carbonara (and chicken)

I guess I didn’t need to add the chicken, but I did anyways. I couldn’t remember at the end of the recipe of what it called for in the way of pasta water. I clearly added to much as the sauce became a bit to runny then I think was intent. It puddled at the bottom rather than clung to the noodles, I also thought the noodles were done, and they were a bit under done, but only a touch. I then made some cookies, for Shannon’s work thing. I think they are allowing a dress down a bit since it’s going to be kind of ridiculous outside.

Weeknight beans on toast

Beans and sausage some garlic toast. It was delicious.

Plov (Uzbek Rice Pilaf) and Chicken?

This was ok. not great, but I used it as an excuse to use some of the saffron threads that I have. It was fine, I cooked and chopped up some chicken to add to it.

One-Skillet Rotisserie Chicken Pot Pie

I had a thought that this was a weeknight meal. It is clearly not. That being said, it was clear and relatively simple to do, just needed quite a bit of time. It was not helped by the fact that I got home from work and laid down on the couch for a 2 hour nap. I did work through the process, and used my 12” skillet to make this. It came out pretty well, nice combination of pastry and sauce and other things. I think they could’ve gone with cutting out circles of the puff pastry dough to layer on the sauce. It was a bit runny when we had it, but really quite good. Pretty good the next day too.

Sous Vide Pork Chop

I really enjoy this. You cook it to just below the right temp and then ba bam! High heat, seared and done. You can hold it at that temp if you happened to have fall asleep, and need a bit of time to wake up. I did catch a little flack when talking about it as a way to cook things with some of my co-workers.

Goat Burgers

I cooked these in butter, low and slow as goat tends to be lean. We had them on little pretzel buns with a triple milk cheddar. Good things.

2019 - Week 4 Cooking Results

Mexican style Tinga (modified) (continued)

i took some of the leftover mean and then actually fried it in a pan, letting the water go away and some crispness added to the meat. It is, what I think this was supposed to be. I short cut it last week. Served on a tostada, quite good. I’m not quite sure how you are supposed to eat it though.

Sam’s Pizza (Make Wednesday, bake Saturday)

The dough is so easy to make. its the rest that gives it more flavor. In my looking for mozzarella, I happened to stumbled across Buf. While I’d prefer to support a local group, this struck my interest. Buffalo mozzarella. So I picked up some. I was pretty happy with that choice. It was quite good, and finding out that it was from Columbia after the Grand Tour episode on Columbia was kind of funny.

The problem was it had more liquid content then I expected. It has been a while since I’ve made my own pizza. I did the steps of stabbing the tomatoes to drain out the liquid and all that, but with that and the it did leak out over the side and sabotaged the browning on the crust. My pizza is very good, I just need to watch the liquid level.

I used, cause I can be excessive, a bit of Salame di Manzo as the meat component.

Chorizo and Potato Stew

This recipe is not quite right. I bought the 2# of Spanish style chorizo (quite an expense). but after looking at what was going on, just cut up 1#. I did axe out the mushrooms and added a bit more potatoes (+1#, finishing off the bag). But even missing the pound of chorizo, it was quite good. With the sour cream to increase the richness, it made for a good dinner, and good leftovers.

La Quercia recommended using Borsellino salami for this I may just have to do that.

Lamb Burgers

I didn’t get a chance to go to the cheese shop, because my wife wanted to drive her through a winter storm, that arrived late. I dug out some leftover cheese and just happened to have some Flory’s Truckle. I pulled out some buns from the freezer and used my experienced 45 seconds in the microwave, and then on top of the toaster with the temp down low (warmed and the insides a little crisp). I cooked up the lamb and it was good. I know at some point I need to make some shepherd’s pie, but I also need to do it on a day where I have time (and the desire to do so).

Spaghetti with Carbonara (and chicken)

As we were snowed in a bit, I didn’t get a chance to go to the cheese shop to pick up the ingredients for this. Instead I pulled some Italian sausage out of the freezer and just made a simple sauce. The only issue was that I apparently ran out of red pepper flakes at some point. I used cayenne powder. It uh, tastes a bit off. Not bad but different. Probably not something I’ll do again, but it did need some heat. It has mellowed out a bit sitting in the fridge for a bit (2 days).

2019 - Week 4 Cooking

It has been a rough week for my brain. I have this long string of notes (763 words so far), a medication change (up) and I’m still…adjusting. Wil Wheaton made a post earlier this week, that is helpful not only to me this week, but to others. As a side note, the meh haiku, was part of my brain distraction technique (not all are, but a lot). I’m still concerned, but less so. I’m functional, if restricted. Thanks to my wife, boss and co-workers for their understanding, help and options.

2019 - Week 3 Cooking Results

Chickpea and Celery Soup with Chili Garlic Oil

So I simplified this a bit, as I couldn’t exactly create the salad that was called for as the leaves on the celery were chopped off. I also added the chile-garlic oil directly to the soup and the lemon as well. I did add the dollop of greek yogurt. It wasn’t to spicy, even though I didn’t de-rib the jalapeño that replaced the red Fresno chile. That being said, it came together pretty easily and tasted pretty good. It was certainly a filling vegetarian option to warm up on a winter day.

Salami and Pickle Grilled Cheese (My last loaf, sigh, its time)

This was the last loaf that I had from my brother’s micro bakery. It was in the freezer for over a year. I let it slowly come up to room temperature and then used it to make little grilled cheese. I used red Rosa salami, alp blossom and some local pickles (on mine). It was a quite good sandwich, and while the bread may have been in the freezer to long, it was still very good. I may have ate the rest of the loaf over the next day or so with butter after it was toasted.

Cauliflower Mac & Cheese

* so the instructions on here are a bit confusing. Where you read the ingredient list and combine the two, you’ll probably be fine, but referring to cheese when you have multiple types as just cheese can be misleading.

“Process cauliflower with cheese, oil, mustard, and nutmeg”

Vs

“top with breadcrumbs and cheese”

There may not have been enough sauce, because I wanted to finish off the box (what does one do with a quarter pound of whole wheat pasta?). The taste was ok. Maybe more spices or heat or something. But as a mom way of sneaking vegetables into a dinner, not to bad. I’ll have to think about this a bit.

Sous Vide Pork Chop (ordered from Lucky George via Iowa Food Coop)

Ethan was at the cheese shop on Tuesday. This worked out well because it allowed me to allow the pork chop to thaw in the fridge over a few days. I still got the other chops and will use them later.

So as a side bar, if I allow more time, do I actually need to thaw meat before I put start the sous vide?

…Perhaps not?

So I got this about 10 degrees lower then the desired.

I heated butter in a pan, on relatively high heat and finished for about 90 seconds a side. It got a nice crust while remaining lightly pink on the inside. I was very happy with the way that it turned out.

What’s next? Steak? I only wish I got a better picture of the crust. I served it with mashed potatoes (butter, sour cream, salt and pepper). Is this better cause it’s harder to mess up? or because of the consistency of the production. Part of me is still thinking about getting an actual vacuum sealer. But more playing before investing more money.

Mexican style Tinga (modified)

I prepped this on Thursday night because I wanted to not disrupt my morning to much on Friday. I put the meat and the onion mix in the crock pot, then added the tomato sauce and mixed it around and left it for 10 hours of simmering.

We had this as a topper to taco salad, it’s pretty tasty, especially for the effort put into it. I kind of prefer the other one thought, to some extent.

Pork Bugers

Good as always.

2019 - Week 3 Cooking

I was able to spend some time with my brother, and it was very nice. I believe the quote of the time, was when I described what we were doing (playing video games), “We are spending time together where we don’t have to talk about anything, it’s a very Kurth thing to do”.

I am about to start to week three of my transition from one anti-depressant to another (not that it’s not working, but due to possible GI side effects). So far things are…well doing okish. I’m uncertain as if this dose is the right amount, but I think I need to let my body re-adjust. In doing a bit of research, I found the one I was on, is one of the harder ones to ween off of, so there is that. Yesterday was the last half pill.

Friday and Saturday were rough on my foot and bone spur recovery. I think with the walks I’ve had through the week, though still very short compared to what I have done (1.5 miles x 4 days this week vs (3.5 + 1.5) * 5 days a week). Yesterday while doing snow removal and loading and unloading the car for errands, it became very clear that the custom orthotics that I was prescribed to help me walk better, disconnect me from the feeling of the ground, or at least feeling it in a way I am used to. I probably aggravated my Achilles tendon, which my bone spur is hiding behind, and have had quite a setback and have to concentrate to walk normally and it’s quite painful.

This morning, I set down my cold brew wrong, and it fell and shattered in the living room. I had to discourage the cats from investigating while I cleaned up, including the shards of glass, tiny and large. It seems relatively odd to me that we’ve had the same set of glasses over the last…decade or so. But in the last year we’ve had 3 or 4 shatter (1 drop, 2 sinks, one set down wrong).

While driving home / waiting in traffic one day this past week, I tried to write a haiku to describe the feelings, and sight of the traffic that is on 63rd. I didn’t finish it. I may have to try again.

2019 - Week 2 Cooking Results

Sous Vide Pork Chop

I uh, didn’t have a pork chop in my freezer. It was surprising to say the least. Check First, then plan. We, instead, modified a pre-made cheese pizza with bresaola. Earlier in the day I used some donated to blood donors bread to make some melted sandwiches. Good meal for a lazy snowy Saturday.

Broccoli and Egg Fried Rice

Leftover rice from the Etouffee, after a mild distraction from work, I prepped all the ingredients, then executed quite qicklky, making adaptations for use of a normal skillet (more oil). It worked out pretty well, a nice quick dinner. I did add some leftover chicken that was to much for the Etouffee.

Chicken and Andouille Étouffée

Made some rice, had the dish come together pretty easily. It was quite good. I did use way more andouille sausage then the recipe called for. it was quite good.

not so (baked not fried) Crispy Chicken Cutlet Sandwich

I made some adjustments, heated the oven. Doused the cutlets in flower, since I wasn’t frying them, then baked them until they reached the right temp. It turned out really good and with the mayo was quite nice. I am never a big fan of using a whole lot of oil to fry a thing (mostly cause I don’t want to dispose of all that oil).

Bacon-Jalapeño Stovetop Mac and Cheese Recipe

I always find it fascinating the methods to combine things into a sauce and the variance in the texture that it provides. Clearly there’s a chemistry to this. I did swap out the American cheese for a very young gouda. It turned out very good. I used sweet & hot pickled jalapenos.