Sunday, February 28, 2016
Thursday, February 25, 2016
The 'Great White Hunter' and I were on a Meat Adventure which brought our journey to Jackson California. He suggested we go to Vinciguerra Ravioli to buy some pasta. The Great White Hunter, I can safely say; Has never met a ravioli he has not liked. With his limited garbled interpretive directions we managed to find Viniguerra establishment. This small pasta company is located in a building that most likely at one time was a drive-up burger establishment. It was small and eclectic looking business. There was a line at the take out only window indicating a good sign of pasta to come. We berthed 'Black Bart' our vehicle of mass meat gathering, in there spacious lot.
We took our spot in line and surveyed the small menu. It listed several flavors of raviolis and sauce. There were choices such as meat, cheese, pumpkin with sauces such as marinara or pesto. There was also fresh linguine and angel hair pasta sold by the pound.As we were in line we could here Mr. Vinciguerra giving very detailed cooking instructions to the customers ahead of us. These were very lengthy instructions that I am sure Mr. Vinciguerra has repeated hundreds of time. For some reason his instructions of "boil in water until done' had been expanded too epic portions rivaling the tome 'War & Peace". Boy could he talk. The line took forever because of the repeating of his instructional seminar.
We did finally get to purchase our pasta & ravioli. I cannot wait to get home and try them. Below you can see the man in action. I will talk to you soon because I need to 'boil in water till done;.
Monday, February 22, 2016
Bacon Rub promises 'bacon wrapped flavor", Is this another hollow promise or a food revelation to rock my bacon world? "J&D's" company producers of the infamous bacon salt have come out with another bacon product that has spiked my curiosity. This is a spice rub for meat, vegetables.and has the added bonus of being 'all natural'. I guess all natural is better than all artificial. We are going to test run Bacon Rub on some grilled pork chops. I have my fingers crossed.
Like 'J&D's" bacon salt, no actual bacon is in this product. It has "Natural Smoke Flavoring". The term natural is becoming a little concern to me. The kicker ingredient is yeast extract. I have come across this ingredient in bacon products before. Yeast extract mimics the smell and taste of bacon if you pretend very hard. There is salt, sugar, paprika garlic & mustard powders to add to the mix of this rub. It does have a baconesque like smell. This is a rub and should season our pork chops with some success. The million dollar question, is there 'bacon wrapped flavor'?
Here is the verdict straight from Ms. Goofy. These chops taste great. But!!!!. I did not tell her that I used Bacon Rub. She did like the chops but did not mention or know of the so called bacon wrapped flavor. I also did not notice bacon flavor. This is a good all purpose rub. The ingredients of sugar, salt, and spices do complement and season pork and will work well with other proteins. Bacon Rub is a decent all-purpose rub but fails in bacon wrapped flavor like so many before. It was fun and tasty to give it a try.
Thursday, February 18, 2016
“Savor The Burn"
“Phi Ro Peppers” company, based in the coal regions of Northeast Pennsylvania has created a hot sauce; ‘Dat’s My’En’. This sauce was born out of a passion for germinating, growing, processing, and consuming hot peppers. “Dat’s My’En” is a unique hot sauce name that originates from a local coal miners dialect which translates to a ‘possessive mine’ meaning. The sauce is a combination of habaneros, chipotles and pineapple. Phi Ro Peppers claims this sauce is a burst of flavor and heat that will add tropical flare to chicken or fish. It also goes good on vanilla ice cream. We shall see. Come join us while we try ‘Dat’s My’En” hot sauce.
Pineapple juice (water, pineapple juice concentrate), fresh pineapple, agave syrup, ground mustard seed, vinegar , fresh habanero peppers, modified corn starch, fresh lime, salt, turmeric and spices are the listed ingredients. On the label chipotles are listed as an ingredient but the listed ingredients do not include chipotle.
Aroma & Texture:
A fresh, clean, sweet smell of pineapple nectar greets your sinuses with an opened top. A hint of cinnamon and smoke is in the background of this pleasing smell. This is a very thick puree of ingredients. There are no flow restrictors on this bottle because it does pour slowly. No seeds are present.
Pineapple is the star today. We first notice pineapple goodness. The chipotle flavor demands your attention with the addition of slight smoke. The habanero pepper with it fruity tones pairs well with the pineapple to give this sauce a bold flavor The agave syrup with the pineapple gives it just the right amount of sweetness. The lime gives this sauce freshness. I also taste a little hint of cinnamon. I like the heat level that grabs your attention but does not punish. There is a whole lot going on here. . The all important factor of balance is working today.
The label states that this sauce level ranks a 5 on a scale of 10. This is a little to generous for my heat ranking. This sauce is not mild but will not scorch either. I will give it a click above mild with 2 stars out of 5 on the heat meter.
Who doesn’t love meatloaf on a blustery winter day? A couple of shakes of ‘That’s My’En’ elevated this comfort dish to greatness. The sweet/hot combinations of flavors pair well with our beloved meatloaf. Yummy.
Barbequed chicken wings are our favorites. We added a little melted butter to the sauce and coated our cooked bbq wings. This was a success. The sweet pineapple, the smoky chipotle and a little kick from the habanero made these wings great for any occasion.
Lastly, you know I had to try it on some vanilla ice cream. The things I do in the name of hot sauce research. Granted the sauce is great and I do love ice cream but this may be a stretch in the pairing department.
‘Dat’s My’en’ is a unique name for a fun sweet/savory sauce. This sauce has something for everyone. It has heat from habaneros, smoke from chipotle and the sweet flavor of pineapple to balance and complement flavors. We loved the sauce with our wings. Meatloaf was comfort food elevated a couple of notches. Vanilla ice cream? It was not really my cup of tea. Dat’s My’En will receive this reviewers seal of approval. I know you will like it too.
Phi Rho Peppers
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Do you love falling off the bone, savory and rich decadent beef short ribs? Not everyone has the time or motivation to spend 3-5 hours to slowly cook them to perfection. Ms. Goofy bought herself an electric pressure cooker. This will cut the cooking time down to an hour. Is that even possible? We shall see. Grab a cold one and let’s plug in the pressure cooker.
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 6 beef short ribs (about 3 1/4 pounds)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
In 6-quart pressure cooker, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high. Place flour in a shallow dish. Season beef with salt and pepper, then coat in flour, shaking off excess. Add beef to pressure cooker and cook until browned on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic, and thyme to pressure cooker and sauté until soft, 4 minutes. Add red wine and 1/4 cup water and cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits with a wooden spoon, 1 minute. Return beef to pressure cooker Cook for 50 minutes on high heat. After 50 minutes the beef ribs were removed from the remaining broth.
While the ribs were cooking an aroma of beef and wine permeated the kitchen. Caution! This may trigger drooling. The remaining beef broth was strained and kept warm in a small pan. This fall- apart beef ribs would be served with egg noodles. The savory decadent broth was spooned over the meat and noodles. The verdict was success. Yes you can cook beef short ribs in under an hour and achieve stellar results. Bravo! , Ms. Goofy.
Friday, February 12, 2016
Winter is still here but you would not know it with the spring like weather. The thermometer has broken the seventy degree market. I just wanted to share this image of some colorful vegetables found at the Marin Farmers Market. Spring is just around the corner and you know what that means;Asparagus. I cannot wait.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
It is Saturday morning and it is time to pedal off some calories from last nights feast. I get on my bicycle with the destination of our local farmers market. The ultimate goal is to score more of the delicious Berkshire pork from Hanson farms. Today bacon is on our shopping list. This one pound package set us back 13 dollars. The curing and processing of this sliced rashers of joy were done by the Roundman' Smokehouse located in Ft. Bragg California. The smoke is slight, the sweetness is present and the salt rounds this out to make an all important balance of seasoning. The flavor of this pork is the knockout punch to make this bacon over the top special. It has an almost light beefy like flavor. It is not like any pork you probably have tried before. This is some special bacon.
Monday, February 8, 2016
What a yawner of a game. Fumbles, turnovers and what the heck is a 'Puppy-Monkey-Baby? The highlight of our game was some bacon wrapped stuffed mushrooms. The stuffing was cream cheese and some home made sausage from our friend Jim. Recipe here. Congratulations to the Denver Broncos for your victory and please bring back Prince at halftime.
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Beefy Stroganoff is on the plate today. This is an easy but decadent dish to warm the souls and bellies of a cold Mad Meat Genius who is longing for spring and the beginning of bbq season. This comforting dish will be made with some very special aged USDA choice sirloin steak procured from Willowside Meats of Santa Rosa. In the Mad Meat Genius tradition we do not actually follow a recipe but just wing it following some basic guidelines. I will provide these guidelines below. Please feel to add or subtract ingredients to your whim.
- 1 1/2 pds of sirloin steak sliced into thin strips
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 onion sliced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1/4 cup wine
- 1 1/2 cup beef stock
- 1 pound of mushrooms sliced
- salt & pepper to taste
Season the sliced beef with salt and pepper. Stir in flour to coat beef. We then brown the seasoned and flour dusted beef in a pan heated high with a couple tablespoons of oil. The goal is to sear and brown but not fully cook the beef. The beef is cooked for approximately one minute a side. The beef is removed and reserved.
Turn down the heat of the pan to medium and add another tablespoon of oil. Add onions, mushrooms and garlic and sautéed briefly. You will notice beautiful browned fond leftover from the beef cooking. Watch the color of this fond to not burn. When it turns a very deep brown add the wine to deglaze. Simmer mixture until wine is almost evaporated. Stir in your beef broth. Simmer for six or 7 minutes. The mixture should thicken to a wonderful thin gravy like consistency. Taste and season appropriately. Return the beef and drippings to the pans and simmer for 3 more minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sour cream. It is time to eat.
This wonderful dish was served over egg noodles. This is the perfect dish for a cold, wet, wintery day. I cannot emphasize how wonderful the beef flavor is with our aged sirloin. The sour cream adds a decadence to a beefy explosion of flavors. You are saying to yourself, how rich this dish is when all of a sudden a bite of mushrooms & onions, that have a slightly fresh tang from the wine, will just get up and hit you; BAMM. I am in Beefy Stroganoff heaven.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
We have been having a lot of fun experiencing the intense flavor of Berkshire pork. We returned to the Hanson Family Farms market booth and procured some Berkshire pork ribs. The ribs were St. Louis style cut and frozen. This was a small rack and only weighed in at just under two pounds. I am not sure if this was a small pig or if this is typical of the breed. The cost was 10 dollars a pound and set us back almost a Jefferson. These special ribs would be cooked in our trusty smoker. Let's build a fire.
We used apple wood chunks as our wood flavoring smoke today. The ribs were seasoned with our rub of the day. I did not trim a lot of fat leaving more fat than usual. I was concerned of the small size of this rack. It was thin. The ribs stayed in the smoker for two hours. They looked and smelled fantastic. These ribs would not be sauced. We wanted to experience the true Berkshire flavor with no distractions. We brought them inside for a very long 20 minute rest period.
The flavor of Berkshire pork is something that really needs to be experienced. This was no exception. The tenderness today was not a high scorer. It did fall of the bone but had a little chew to the bite. I believe this was because of the size and the technique of our cook. This rack was devoured and enjoyed. Would I buy Berkshire pork ribs again and would they do well in competition? To have a chance in competition these ribs would have to be bigger with more meat. They would have to be of consistent size to insure proper cooking technique to achieve ultimate tenderness. I personally will not buy these ribs again. We did love the flavor but at 10 dollars a pound a wonderful Berkshire chop would be preferred.