Friday, July 26, 2013

more potatoes

Everyone who reads here knows i love potatoes and i do many styles and this is one that got rave reviews:

Spicy Mashed Potatoes

10 medium potatoes
1 Chipolte pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon Sweet Green and Red Pepper, diced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup Half and Half
Instant dry mashed potato flakes

Cook the potatoes by your favorite method (i use the microwave potato setting)
Melt the butter with the garlic, Chipolte pepper, sweet peppers and salt
add the milk and Half and Half and bring to a simmer
Remove the Chipolte pepper and mix with the cooked potatoes
USE a FOOD MILL to add the potatoes to the simmering mixture
turn off the mixture and mix thoroughly.
Loosen the mixture with more warm half and half
or thicken the mixture with instant dry potato flakes

Thick Pork Chops

You know those inch plus thick pork chops that most people tell you to stuff?  I do not like to stuff them, but this is what i do to keep them moist inside.

Thick Pork Chops

4 Equally Thick (1" or more) Pork Chops
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/2 teaspoon Fresh Rosemary, minced
1/2 cup apple juice
1/2 cup rose wine

Mix Juice and wine and pour into a large baking pan
Mix dry ingredients and rub the chops
place the chops in the baking pan with liquid

Broil on high for 10 minutes (or till browned) and flip to the other side
Bake at 300 F for until the internal Temperature is 160 F (about 1 hour)
Serve with the cooking liquid (which has thickened a bit)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Capturing Summer

To start this post, a simple apology because it has been to hot for me to be my normal self
and so i have not posted here recently, but there has been a lot going on.

I could have titled this port: " A some what technical dissertation about tradition", but it is about drying spices and preserving summer made more sense.

So, i love traditional flavors and use them often.
I often "tweak" them to my style, but the traditional flavor is there.

The "traditional" way to dry spices is to cut the branch and hang it up side down until the leaves dry and them capture the crumbled leaves for later use.

When i first tried it, i questioned it, sure hanging the branches upside down was helpful, but flavor seemed to not be retained in the leaves, so i tried something different...
I removed the leaves and dried them separate and it seemed i had much more flavor.
This is not definitive so i decided to a chemist.
The easiest compound for me to analyze was chlorophyll, but chlorophyll degrades to phenophytin as vegetation dies...
I separated the mint leaves into 2 groups, one i removed the leaves immediately, the other left on the stem till they dried.
I did take a sample of each first to measure chlorophyll, to insure they were approximately equal and they were.
The dried product was the checked and yes the phenophytien levels were higher in those leaves that were taken off the branch.  I make the assumption that the same happens to the flavors.

I know take the leaves off before dring herbs.