This was such a delightful meal to make for friends Krista and Jess – Krista helps weed the flower beds. And she even gave us a beautiful White Daisy plant for the front bed. – A couple of weeks ago, we made breakfast for Donna who also helps us in the garden. The breakfast was Eggs Benedict! – The buffalo was local from Brown’s Buffalo Ranch in Nyssa, Oregon. Phone: 1-(541)-372-5588 or 208-741-5449, 720 Stephens Blvd., Nyssa, OR 97913. Hump roasts can be tough. But this one cooked for 6 hours on low in the crockpot 1/2 cup bone stock and 1 cup sherry and it was awesome! Spring vegetables – baby carrots, baby turnips, spring onions and rutabaga – were placed in the broth at different times. Here are some photos. Enjoy!
Sometimes in touring through the many files and friends we have on Facebook and through many blogs, we come across some interesting recipes and foods. A dear friend of ours, Bonnie Nees from Billings, MT recently went to Quito, Ecuador to visit an exchange student she sponsored several years ago. René Zambrado is this young mans name and he is such a kind and delightful person. He graduated from Facultad de Jursiprudencia at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Ecuador in 2010 with a degree in law. Bonnie posted many photos of her trip, but one in particular “struck my fancy”. Food! And in particular, Humitas. AKA, Ecuadorian tamales. (Left-Click any of these photos to see them enlarged.)
So, just what are Ecuadorian Humitas? Good question. It seems as though there are as many recipes as there are families in Ecuador – everyone seems to have their own recipe. Like stew recipes in our Homeland. Let’s check with Wikipedia, first. “Humita (from Quechua humita) is a Native American dish from pre-Hispanic times, and a traditional food in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru, although their origin is unclear. In Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru they are known as humitas, in Bolivia as humintas, in Brazil as pamonha, and in Venezuela as hallaquitas. It consists of masa harina and corn, slowly steamed or boiled in a pot of water…As in Chile, Ecuadorian humitas are prepared with fresh ground corn with onions, eggs and spices that vary from region to region, and also by each family’s tradition. The dough is wrapped in a corn husk, but is steamed rather than baked or boiled. Ecuadorian humitas may also contain cheese. This dish is so traditional in Ecuador that they have developed special pots just for cooking humitas. Ecuadorian humitas can be salty or sweet.”
And just what does “humitas” mean. Humitas literally means “little steamed things”
It seems as though you remove the kernels of corn from the cob, saving some of the “milk” as it aids in digestion according to some, and grind it in a food grinder to a “lumpy” consistency. (Maybe a food processor if a grinder is not available?) “…Depending on whether you’re in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela or the Caribbean, they’re known as humitas, humintas, tamales, tamalli, tamalitos verdes, chapanas, bollos, choclotanda, chumales, cachapas, chapanas, chiguiles, envueltos de mazorca, ayacas, hallacas, juanes, pamonhas. The filling can be sweet or savory, made with fresh or dried corn, plantains or potatoes, wrapped corn husks, banana leaves or parchment paper, steamed or baked, served as a snack, side dish, casserole or heavy stew…Lighter than the pork and chicken filled tamales… these [are] made of fresh corn pureed with scallions then blended with egg yolks, milk, cheese, and a little brandy. The filling is wrapped in corn husks and steamed then topped with ají criollo, a hot pepper sauce. Most recipes tell you that the water content of North American corn is too high in water and too low in starch. [Some people] solve this problem by adding cornmeal to get the right consistency.” [hungrysofia.com] Some recipes call for steaming the humitas and not to boil or bake. Traditionally, I think from what I have read, steaming is the way to go.
Now I suppose you would like a recipe. Ecuador Humitas Recipe. These are about as traditional as I could find. Don’t forget to grind the corn and don’t leave the kernels whole. The recipe link posted here also has the (a) recipe for the sauce, ají criollo, which can be hot and spicy, but doesn’t need to be. Experiment. Maybe I will be lucky enough to get René’s recipe.
And a good Thanksgiving it was! Marnie had us all down to Marsing, ID for dinner. Robin, Chris, Eric, Emmet, Marnie and me. Beautiful view across the Snake River to Lizard Butte. Sunny and warm. We ate on her back porch. Served dinner buffet style. Much easier.
Eric made some fresh venison summer sausage so we had cheese and sausage to start. And yes, there was a variety of wine and drinks for those who do not drink wine. Emmet made a wonderful Pecan Pie and Marnie made Port Poached Pears. Oh yum! Robin and I made the turkey and some trimmings, including Crockpot Mashed Potatoes, a wonderful and easy way to make mashed potatoes. Chris made the Dried Corn for the first time. Good job, Chris. If you want to see these photos enlarged, Left-Click them.
It seems as though everytime a holiday comes around, Thanksgiving, Christmas or Easter for instance, that those traditional family gatherings arrive with questions. Especially, questions from the kitchen. What shall I make for a special breakfast? Or, is there a different way to make mashed potatoes? Or, how do I brine a turkey?
All are good questions and I suppose there are many, many answers. After searching the web and aking questions from some Chef friends and venders at the Saturday Market, here are three suggestions. I’m going to try each one of these and I really believe that they will turn out really good. So here are the three recipes for “How To Brine A Turkey“, “Mashed Potatoes in a Slow Cooker” and “Salsa Ranchera” for Huevos Rancheros. Enjoy and if you use any of these, tell us how it came out. Cheers and Happy Holidays! Left-Click these photos to see them enlarged.
Makes 1 turkey
4 quarts water
1 cup coarse kosher salt, or 3/4 cup table salt
Aromatics: bay leaf, peppercorns, cloves, juniper berries, allspice berries, orange peels, lemon peels, etc.
1 large pot or bucket with a lid
Measuring cups and spoons
1) Find a pot and make fridge space: Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge your turkey. Next, clear some fridge space and make sure your pot will fit.
2) Place the turkey in the pot: Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to your pot. Add any aromatics you’d like to use.
Mix the brine solution: Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn’t need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt has dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it’s fine if it’s still a touch warm.
Pour the brine solution over the turkey. Pour the remaining 3 quarts of water over the turkey: This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.
2) Make sure the turkey is completely submerged: If necessary, prepare additional brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.
Cover and refrigerate: If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate. Cover the pot and place it in the refrigerator.
3) Brine for 12 to 24 hours.
4) Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Dry for another 24 hours for crispier skin.
Optional: If you have time, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the fridge. Place it on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic bags to avoid cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.
5) Roast as usual, but check your turkey early: You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I’ve found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so cook as usual, but start checking the turkey’s temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.
Serves: 8 to 10
Source: adapted from The Kitchn
5 lbs Russet Potatoes
3 to 4 cloves Garlic, optional
1 t Celtic Sea Salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper, to taste
3 to 3½ c Whole Milk, or a mixture of milk and cream
½ c unsalted Butter
Peel and chop the potatoes: Lightly grease the slow cooker insert with butter or cooking spray. Peel the potatoes and chop into small pieces about 1 inch to a side. The smaller the potatoes, the faster they will cook, obviously. Transfer the potatoes to the slow cooker.
Add the seasonings: Smash the garlic cloves, if using, and drop on top of the potatoes. Stir in the salt and a generous quantity of black pepper.
Pour in 1½ cups milk: Pour in 1½ cups milk and stir the potatoes once.
Cook until tender: Cover the slow cooker and cook 4 to 5 hours on HIGH or until the potatoes are very tender and soft. Turn the heat to WARM.
Melt the butter: When the potatoes are done, melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
Warm the dairy: Stir 2 cups milk, or a mixture of milk and cream, into the melted butter and warm gently over low heat.
Mash the potatoes: If you used garlic but don’t want the potatoes super garlicky, remove the garlic cloves and discard. Use a spoon to scoop out and discard any browned bits on the sides of the pot. Use a potato masher or ricer to mash the potatoes right in the pot.
Slowly stir in the dairy: When the potatoes are as smooth as you like, slowly stir in the warmed dairy and butter. The potatoes will look soupy at first but the potatoes will quickly soak up the liquid. Add an additional ½ cup of milk or cream if you want them to be even creamier.
Taste and season: Taste and season with additional salt or pepper if desired.
Keep warm: To keep the potatoes warm, leave in the covered slow cooker on the WARM setting for up to 4 hours.
(Cómo preparar una Salsa Ranchera auténtica en tu casa)
[huevos rancheros—”rancher’s-style” eggs]
Source: adapted from mexgrocer
Preparation: 10 Cook Time: 1 Servings: 6
2 Roma Tomatoes, diced
½ white Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, diced
1 T Vegetable Oil
Serrano chile as desired
2 1/2 T Oregano
1 t Cumin
Juice of half a Lime
Celtic Sea Salt
Submerge the tomatoes in boiling water for a few seconds. Peel them, dice them and put them in what will be your salsa bowl. Chop up the onion, chili, and garlic and mix with the tomato. Add the oil and the lime juice and sprinkle with oregano.
An Easy Mexican Recipe
Source: adapted from mylatinatable.com/best-huevos-rancheros/
2 lg Eggs
2 Corn Tortillas
¼ Onion, chopped
BlackmRefried beans (homemade or store bought)
2 med Potatoes
Thick cut Ham, cut into cubes
Celtic Sea Salt, fresh ground Tellicherry Black Pepper to taste
Queso Fresco and Cilantro to garnish.
Sauté the potatoes, onion, and ham in a small amount of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Lightly fry the tortillas, and pat dry. Put on a plate. Warm up the refried beans, and spread onto the tortillas.
Fry an egg to your preferred level of doneness, and put on top of the tortilla and beans. Top with salsa ranchero, queso fresco, and fresh cilantro. Serve with the potato, onion, and ham mix.
Ah yes. These were fun meals. Idaho Trout Papillote with Candy Heirloom Carrots and Mashed Potatoes. Served with a delicious 2006 Alves de Sousa Douro Estação (Portugal). From Wikipedia, an En papillote is –
En papillote (French pronunciation: [ɑ̃ papijɔt]; French for “in parchment”), or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper, but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminium foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of aluminum foil and parchment paper and then folding them tightly around the food to create a seal. A papillote should be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.
The moisture may be from the food itself or from an added moisture source, such as water, wine, or stock. This method is most often used to cook fish or vegetables, but lamb and poultry can also be cooked en papillote. Choice of herbs, seasonings and spices depend on the particular recipe being prepared. The pouch should be sealed with careful folding.
We used Apple Brandy for moisture.
To serve the papillote, Melissa d’Arabian says,
To serve, cut open the packets and serve directly in the parchment on a plate or remove the fish to the plate using a spatula, being sure you don’t leave the juices behind.
A good recipe can be found here – by Melissa d’Arabian. If you want to add vegetables, you can use almost anything. zucchini, Bok choy, sliced carrots, sweet onion, green beans and mushrooms to name a few. You can also use chicken, beef, pork, salmon, red snapper or sea bass to name a few. Here are some recipes: Sesame Ginger Salmon, by Kelsey Nixon; Salmon and Vegetables, by Jessica Gavin; Chicken en Papillote; Chicken and Summer Vegetables; Pork en Papillote; Pork Papillote with Apples and Onions.
So there are a few recipes. Use your imagination. You can google “Type of en Papillote” and find many, many more. Be creative. Have fun. Serve with a good wine.
And for breakfast, Try a
and to start here are several different kinds of Eggs Benedict – 17 Twists on Eggs Benedict Recipes, Huffington Post; Here is an awesome twist 13 Eggs Benedict Recipes, Chowhound and Top Eggs Benedict Recipes, Fine Cooking.
To go with the benedict, you need Hollandaise Sauce or Béarnaise Sauce. Here is an easy Hollandaise Sauce from Allrecipes – Microwave Hollandaise Sauce. And here is an easy Foolproof Béarnaise Sauce Recipe.
OK. There you go. Head for the kitchen and have fun. And remember, a Béarnaise Sauce or a Hollandaise Sauce is great on asparagus. Just sayin’.
Ah yes! Life in the kitchen in one of the hottest July’s on record at The Captain’s Shack (The Shack). But so much fun to make and serve. Some of these dishes are “eye candy”, too. Some have recipes; Some don’t. (If you want a recipe, just let me know. I’ll see what I can do.) As with most photos on this blog, Left Click them and see them enlarged. Enjoy these photos and if you make any of the recipes, let us know how you liked them. Thanks and Cheers!
Oh my! Such a good dinner. Loved this lamb. The Citrus and Celery Salad, which is posted in the Boise Foodie Blog Recipe File – along with many more recipes, was a delightful addition and paring to the Lamb with Peppers Ragu. Take a look at this delicious meal. The dinner is not difficult to prepare. Just use good lamb. We got this kabob lamb from Meadowlark Farms in Nampa, ID. (Our normal supply of lamb from Felzien Farms is limited to chops and ground this year.) This lamb is great with a Merlot or Malbec. Great to have Marnie with us for dinner.
I’ve been looking for an acceptable marinara for quit sometime now. Years, min fact. Never was able to duplicate my Mothers, and it was awesome. Took her most of the day. But I came across this recipe from an Italian restaurant in New Jersey. And it is super. Think I’ll keep it. Takes about two hours to make and then dig in. The recipes for both the CS Marinara and the CS Meatballs is in the recipe file on this blog. (The link is in the header and by the photos below.) Here are some photos. Most ingredients used were from local farmers.
Note: I just received this (Sept 8, 2016) from Dave G here in Boise. “Oh my gosh! We cooked these meatballs and sauce up last night for dinner! Amazing! Everyone who loves spaghetti and meatballs has to give this a try. Wow! Thank you so much for posting.”
Actually, it’s not hard. Just takes some patience. And ANCHOVIES! I really don’t think a Caesar Salad is just that without the anchovies in the dressing. A Caesar Salad must have the anchovies! Here is a recipe we use. Enjoy.
Caesar Salad Dressing
Source: adapted from and photo from – http://www.thekitchn.com/
Makes: 1 cup
1 (2-ounce) can oil-packed Anchovy Fillets, drained
2 cloves Garlic, coarsely chopped
3 lg Egg Yolks
1 t Dijon Mustard
2 T Lemon Juice
2 T Olive Oil
½ c Vegetable Oil
2 T finely grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground Tellicherry Black Pepper
Make an anchovy-garlic paste: Mince the anchovies and garlic together until the mixture is mostly smooth and the garlic is minced, about 3 minutes; set aside.
Whisk the egg yolks: Whisk the egg yolks together in a medium bowl until smooth.
Add the mustard: Whisk in the mustard until just combined.
Add the anchovy-garlic paste: Whisk in the anchovy-garlic mixture.
Whisk in the lemon juice: While whisking, pour in the lemon juice, then whisk until smooth.
Whisk in the olive oil: While whisking, stream in the olive oil to create a thick emulsion. Once all of the olive oil is added, whisk for another minute to thicken.
Finish with vegetable oil: Continue whisking and slowly stream in the vegetable oil. Again, once all of the vegetable oil is added, whisk for another minute to thicken.
Season and serve: Whisk in the Parmesan cheese. Taste and season with fresh ground Tellicherry Black Pepper as needed. Serve immediately on Chopped Romaine Lettuce or grilled Romaine Lettuce.
I have been hearing a lot in the past several years about the 3-2-1 Method of grilling ribs. Here is the latest information that I could find. Not difficult at all and some of the pro grillers use this method. In his article, The Controversial 3-2-1 Method for Ribs, Steven Raichlen, Grilling Authority, http://www.barbecuebible.com, says that,
“Competition barbecuers sometimes call it the “Texas Crutch.” In a nutshell, you break cooking ribs into 3 time blocks:
3 hours of smoking unwrapped at 225º F, followed by
2 hours of cooking wrapped in foil (with a little liquid, such as apple cider), followed by
1 hour of cooking unwrapped at a higher temperature, with a generous basting of barbecue sauce
The process gives you meat so tender it virtually slides off the bone, with the multiple layers of flavor most of us associate with great barbecue. And within a predictable 6-hour time frame, too.
It’s relatively fail-proof, meaning that if you follow the directions, you are almost guaranteed you’ll avoid the dual pitfalls of ribs that are tough or dry. And if you serve ribs cooked by the 3-2-1 method, 95 percent of the people who taste them react with delight and will declare you a barbecue genius.” [http://www.huffingtonpost.com]
A couple of suggestions at this point may help. Some people use a spray to baste their ribs throughout the process. This is not really necessary, but it won’t hurt anything. If you use a mister, use apple cider in it. And the “white skin”, that membrane located on the “boneside” of the ribs. “It is nice to remove it but it’s not worth a lot of frustration so try to do the best you can and leave it at that. It’s hard to get a picture of this being removed but you simply lay the ribs with the boney side up. You will notice a thick plastic like skin covering the meat. Slip a knife or other sharp object under it and try to get enough pulled up so you can grab it. Grasp it with a paper towel for good grip and pull it clean off if you can. If it tears, no worries. Just make another go at it. You may have better luck with catfish skinning pliers.” [ Jeff Phillips, smoking-meat.com, Smoked 3-2-1 St. Louis Style Spare Ribs]
What about the “type” of ribs? Baby Back? St Louis style? From Major League Grilling, “Furthermore, loin backs ribs or St. Louis style ribs benefit most from the 3-2-1 method. Otherwise, cook times will have to be modified if cooking with baby back ribs or spare ribs. Also, do not use this technique on country ribs or beef ribs, it doesn’t work as well because the country ribs are too lean and the cook times along with the flavor profile is all wrong for beef.” They also give a little better instruction and definition of the 3-2-1 Method. “What is 3-2-1? This method is a way to smoke ribs from start to finish. 3-2-1 represents the amount of hours the rack of ribs cook at each stage. In other words, the
[unwrapped] ribs smoke for 3 hours [225º F]
wrap for 2 hours and
cooks without smoke for the last hour, [on a hot grill].
Total, the ribs will spend 6 hours on the cooker.”
What is our preference? Robin and I like/prefer the St Louis style ribs. They seem to be a little more meatier and flavorful. And we only use pork ribs. No beef ribs. That is a personal thing and has nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the ribs. We just like the pork ribs better.
And lastly, the rub! Major-League Grilling haas this to say about rubs. “Once in a while, I make my own rubs, but my homemade rubs are not quite as good as the rubs on the market. For this reason, I find so many great BBQ rubs at the store that it’s hard for me to stick with one. Although, the one constant is Plowboys Yardbird rub, for several reasons this is my favorite. Many times I have used the Yardbird rub and combine it with another rub with excellent results. But just for the record, I got 1st place using Plowboys alone. Listed below are more of my favorites:
Dizzy Pig Pineapple
Penzey’s BBQ 3000
Penzey’s Galena Street
Smokin’ Guns Hot
McCormick’s Grillmates Sweet & Smoky
Notice that each one of these rubs have a high concentration of sugar in them. In particular, brown sugar is the main ingredient in many pork based rubs. It is because brown sugar compliments pork extremely well while at the same time, the low temperatures of the smoker or grill caramelizes the sugar and gives it an eye pleasing look and a delectable aroma.”
So. Take your pick of rubs. Choose the rib style you like and get grilling. It’s that time of year! Cheers!