Cookin again

Zardnaar

Legend
My plate O food I cooked tonight.

IMG_20220124_185316.jpg

A bit going on. Basically a spicy chicken salad on pita, that falafel with shatta sauce and these new sweet corn and Sriracha Maya poppers.

Pretty damn good don't think the wife liked the shatta sauce or the poppers and it may have been to much food.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Those really good fish places use fat. Terrible for you. Hence why I eat fish 1-3 times per year. Most places use canola oil.
Well, canola oil- any cooking oil, actually- is a fat. But most of the vegetabl based ones are healthier for you than animal ones.

The trick is using the right ones for the task.

For instance, I fry my steaks with avocado oil these days. The high smoke point means it won’t set off your smoke alarms when you’re searing meat at high heat. It’s also a relatively healthy fat. (Then, as noted, I top the steak with a bit of butter…mmmmmmmmmmmmm.)

OTOH, there’s this oven baked diced potato recipe* I’ve loved for years. The potatoes come out of the oven with a nice crunchy exterior and a soft interior. The original recipe calls for duck fat, but I’ve used beef and bacon as reasonable substitutes. I tried olive oil and other veggie-based oils, and got results that simply didn’t compare in texture or flavor. I mean, they’re decent, but if you’ve had them made with one of the animal fats, they’re just not as good. I don’t know why.






* duck fat roasted potatoes from America’s Test Kitchen
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
While I’ve often cooked steaks in butter, I’ve found that cooking with oil, then dressing the steaks with butter as they rest on the plate before serving kicks things up a notch. I don’t know if it’s purely psychological, but it seems more…decadent eating a steak with a pat or ball of slowly melting butter on top. And it seems like you get a bigger flavor punch.
The only time I cook anything in butter is if I'm making a sauce where the browned butter bits in the pan are part of what I want in the sauce. Otherwise I'll cook in oil.

I have not yet gotten to the point of dressing meat with butter, mainly because if I'm cooking the meat in a pan I'm going to make a sauce in that pan--and if I'm not cooking the sauce in a pan I'm in the outdoors somewhere gawds help me, and I'm happy just to be eating.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
The only time I cook anything in butter is if I'm making a sauce where the browned butter bits in the pan are part of what I want in the sauce. Otherwise I'll cook in oil.

I have not yet gotten to the point of dressing meat with butter, mainly because if I'm cooking the meat in a pan I'm going to make a sauce in that pan--and if I'm not cooking the sauce in a pan I'm in the outdoors somewhere gawds help me, and I'm happy just to be eating.
Generally speaking, I try to use as little oil as possible when pan frying steaks, etc.- minimizes waste, looks better on the plate, and so forth.

UNLESS I’m specifically making a pan sauce, of course.
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Generally speaking, I try to use as little oil as possible when pan frying steaks, etc.- minimizes waste, looks better on the plate, and so forth.

UNLESS I’m specifically making a pan sauce, of course.
I have found that 1 tsp of oil is adequate for most of my meat-with-pan-sauce needs, while not being excessive or wasteful. I will admit that cooking meat in a pan and not making a pan sauce ... isn't how I normally roll. That's me, though.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
We use canola and olive oil at home. Don't generally cook steak at home as it's a treat when we dine out occasionally.

We use an aerosol oil in a can as well. Mostly to avoid sticking.

Air fryer gets used for most frying needs anyway.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
I have found that 1 tsp of oil is adequate for most of my meat-with-pan-sauce needs, while not being excessive or wasteful. I will admit that cooking meat in a pan and not making a pan sauce ... isn't how I normally roll. That's me, though.
It’s all about your intended audience.

In my case, I’m usually cooking for my parents and myself. Mom‘s not a particular fan of sauces- especially those based on red wine- soooo…

But even then, I’ll sometimes still make a quick Ne for mr & dad, depending on what else I’m cooking.
 

prabe

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Supporter
It’s all about your intended audience.

In my case, I’m usually cooking for my parents and myself. Mom‘s not a particular fan of sauces- especially those based on red wine- soooo…

But even then, I’ll sometimes still make a quick Ne for mr & dad, depending on what else I’m cooking.
I have the advantage of very much mostly cooking for me and my wife.

Oddly, I don't think I've based any pan sauces on red wine. 😉
 





Zardnaar

Legend
Some Cambodian and Indonesian placed.


First had Cambodian in the 90's prefer SEA food over the more traditional Chinese/Japanese. The Indonesia rendang was similar in price to a large McDonalds combo while the Cambodian is similar to a normal combo plus a cheeseburger.

To hot tonight so we had a cold chicken wrap with kumara rosti in it along with babaganoush hummus.


IMG_20220201_172426.jpg

What was in the fridge. Smokey and caramalized onion hummus as well.
 

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prabe

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@Dannyalcatraz Do you have any problems, professional or otherwise, with advice on a recipe for breakfast sausage? I know you have family connections to sausage businesses and don't want you violating omerta or anything.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
@Dannyalcatraz Do you have any problems, professional or otherwise, with advice on a recipe for breakfast sausage? I know you have family connections to sausage businesses and don't want you violating omerta or anything.
No problems, but no recipes, either. Breakfast sausage isn’t big in Louisiana.

I know I get the best results for sausage making when I have a 75/25 to 80/20 meat/fat ratio in general. With pork, we’ve tried grinding loin, but pork butt seems to be the consensus favorite. Loin, as I recall, was a bit lean, so we had to add fat to get the right texture. Ditto poultry.

And most butchers- even in chain groceries- can do the grinding for you.

Whenever I think about trying a new recipe for something I don’t know that well, I try to look in my collection of cookbooks and online sources.

For something like a sausage, I’d also check the ingredients listed on the packaging of those I like. That will at least get you an ingredient list and relative proportions.

I think The Sausage Maker .com and Sausage Making .org could be helpful for finding stuff or info. YouTube will also have people posting about fat mixes, meat blends, etc.

DIY Sausage, Food Processing & Kitchen Supplies | The Sausage Maker




* We did invest in a grinding attachment for our pro-level mixer, and it worked better than using our food processor. But its meat plunger wasn’t very ergonomic and bruised my hands when doing big batches. (We eventually replaced that.)

We also got the sausage stuffing attachment. It worked well, but there’s a learning curve to actually stuffing the casings with consistency or breaking. And then there’s choosing, storing and prepping the casings themselves… So now we mostly either make patties or 1-2lb chubs of the seasoned meat instead.
 
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prabe

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Heh. I think you might be overestimating my ... ambitions.

I'm seasoning ground pork for the purposes of sausage gravy. We have a KitchenAid mixer, and we could get a grinder attachment, but ... that's a lot of stuff to set up and clean, relative to what we're doing. (Though I guess we could scale up the seasonings and make several batches.)

I was really hoping for your thoughts on what we're going. Even if breakfast sausage isn't your forte, you may still have thoughts.

What I have at this point is ...

1 pound of ground pork (we can get kinda upscale heirloom ground pork, which seems to have (or at least render) about as much fat as storebought breakfast sausage)

(all spices and herbs dried)

1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme and/or savory
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp cloves (scanty)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp shallot powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 chipotle
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

EDIT: I did about what you say you do, when trying something. I checked the couple books I have, and I poked around online, but finding something scaled for 1 pound was ... tricky. I did some picking and choosing among them, and based the total on some sausage seasoning I have in a jar that calls for a tablespoon for a pound of ground meat. Since I'm not making links--or even patties--from this stuff, I'm not stressing on getting the seasonings super well-distributed. I'm wondering if you see anything weird or missing.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Heh. I think you might be overestimating my ... ambitions.

I'm seasoning ground pork for the purposes of sausage gravy. We have a KitchenAid mixer, and we could get a grinder attachment, but ... that's a lot of stuff to set up and clean, relative to what we're doing. (Though I guess we could scale up the seasonings and make several batches.)

I was really hoping for your thoughts on what we're going. Even if breakfast sausage isn't your forte, you may still have thoughts.

What I have at this point is ...

1 pound of ground pork (we can get kinda upscale heirloom ground pork, which seems to have (or at least render) about as much fat as storebought breakfast sausage)

(all spices and herbs dried)

1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
3/4 tsp sage
1/2 tsp thyme and/or savory
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp rosemary
1/8 tsp cloves (scanty)
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp shallot powder
1/8 tsp cayenne
1/8 chipotle
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes

EDIT: I did about what you say you do, when trying something. I checked the couple books I have, and I poked around online, but finding something scaled for 1 pound was ... tricky. I did some picking and choosing among them, and based the total on some sausage seasoning I have in a jar that calls for a tablespoon for a pound of ground meat. Since I'm not making links--or even patties--from this stuff, I'm not stressing on getting the seasonings super well-distributed. I'm wondering if you see anything weird or missing.
We have a Kitchenaid setup. Yes, it can be a pain setting up and cleaning. Basically, we only use it when we have to grind our own meat.

Your recipe looks solid to me. But MY experience making pork sausage was simpler and went a different direction- we worked with green onion/chive, dried mustard, peppers and the like. So you might want to check one of the sausage making forums for tips on refining your recipe.

However, In my experience, sausage is one of those things you really should do in big batches as opposed to small ones. I think the smallest batch of ANY kind of sausage or related products is 3-5lbs, and 10lbs is my default.

It might seem obvious, but make sur you MIX your spices well before incorporating them into the meat.

One other thing: when I make a 10lb batch of the family recipe for hot sausage, one ingredient is 2cups of water. It’s added in gradually as I slowly add the spice mix to the meat. It helps hydrate the dried spices while improving the texture of the mixed meat. (I’m considering experimenting with other liquids.)
 


Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Note: best way to mix spices that I’ve found is clean out a decent sized glass jar- like one from your pickles, maraschino cherries or the like, dump your measured out spice portions into it, seal it and shake it.

I prefer it to Tupperware and similar products because it cleans a little bit easier. Of course, if you drop it while shaking…😲
 

prabe

Aspiring Lurker (He/Him)
Supporter
Note: best way to mix spices that I’ve found is clean out a decent sized glass jar- like one from your pickles, maraschino cherries or the like, dump your measured out spice portions into it, seal it and shake it.

I prefer it to Tupperware and similar products because it cleans a little bit easier. Of course, if you drop it while shaking…😲
When I mix spices, I do so in a Pyrex custard bowl (I have two sizes, and I haven't yet needed to mix more spices than would fit in a 10-oz bowl). If it's something like a spice rub, I put on an exam glove and gently grind the spices, to break up stuff--especially herbs--a little. Then I pour the mix into a (labeled) spice jar--Penzeys sells a number of sizes, and they come with labels.

Even if I'm not mixing the spices--such as some sort of stewlike thing--I'll still often measure the spices into a bowl as part of setting up my space.
 

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