Month: September 2014

My gravlax and smoked tongue issues are not over….

100_9072

Nor is my fetish for little plate and bowls… which is actually functional and serves to amuse.

I like to mix things up as I go, combine this and that and take time, rather than hoover it all down.

Which is notably habitual.. but allows for a nice break, contemplation and conversation should there be a guest.. which there isn’t, I’m just saying…. manners should be kept up even when your alone..

A full dinner with guests can mean a dozen plates of small items, with overtones of tapas and meze..

The honor of the house is in it’s hospitality… and I like some diversity.

Advertisements

Dinner finally arrives

100_9070

I decided to wait for dinner till I could do it exactly the way I wanted it… which involved a strong bread, a cheap deli horseradish mustard, and all the other stuff… marinated olives and kettle eggs on the side… soft cheese and what not sort of filled the spaces..

Horseradish mustard was the right call for tongue..as was the bread..

A couple more dinners are on the agenda…. and after that, the rest get made into tacos de lingua…

But can Mr.Coffee do this..

100_9068

I have two electric kettles, one is for utility purposes… it hits 212 then shuts off and that’s all it does..

It works fine to boil eggs assuming you don’t just kerplunk the eggs in…

Cooking boiled eggs in an electric kettle is ok, scrambled eggs, not so much…

It’s also used for masala tea since it has a built in strainer… it’s glass so I can see where all the cloves and other spices are when I clean it..

It works as a hot water heater for dishes… which are done in the sink, not the kettle..
all other cleaning chores, personal, industrial and household involve cold water..

It’s a humidifier, steamer and ramen machine… I haven’t gotten around to ravioli yet or dim sum… but will at some point, just because I think it’s funny..

Make do is a hold over from dorm life, cramped space, poverty and living in sketchy hotels that ban cooking… Besides that, I like to keep my weirdo skills sharp… cause ya never know..

I’m also a fan of using sticks and and hot rocks as cooking equipment.. But we all have our quirks no?

I blame the coming zombie apocalypse… but I’m ready.

So close.. dinner in an hour..

100_9062

And the smoker is doing its thing… as soon as it slows, out comes the tongue..

100_9065

30 minutes pass and the door is opened..

100_9066

I did a lite smoke four rather than 10 hours…. now its cooling so it can be sliced and prettied up, I already know what it tastes like so I’m happy about the whole thing…

There is wasa bread on hand and I’m ready… watching the clock..

Rum raisins etc..

100_9060

Its talk like a pirate day, which led me to rum, dark Mexican rum to be specific and from there to rum raisins.

At which point the original and simple idea went off the rails…

Currants and dried cherries were added to the mix along with whole spices, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and anise..

The other snap jar has leche de tigre in it from civiche.. but as soon as it’s empty, I have enough rum and raisins left to fill that one also.. the raisins and all should be good to go by December..

Too bad it won’t be ice cream weather on this side of the equator in December… and customs south of that same equator get kind of huffy about jars of hooched up fruit..

I needed a break from cooking critters and wanted to do something different, something that I wouldn’t have to finish off in three days.. I probably could have cheated and used a spiced rum like captain Morgan since its talk like a pirate day.. but $20+ vs $4 won the contest.

Plus I like mine better…Arrrgg

Making progress on dinner

100_9047100_9049

Sometimes the mid-process of dinner is just not a pretty sight.. Even using a larger cooker, the tongue swelled and popped the cooker lid off… so it got whacked in two.

The white is what needs to peeled off once things have cooled…. it’s like shark skin or sand paper.. rough stuff… but comes off really easy..

The second photo is the tongue peeled and ready to go in the smoker, where it’s been for about two hours..

The last photos will be the pretty ones… everything trimmed and on crostini or wasa bread.. (I was pricing out smoked tongue and the supplier noted his product has a %2 fat content)

I snuck a bite pre-smoker.. it was great, and the liquid from braising the thing is an amazing beef stock… which could well become chili or something equally high value on my like list..

Some of the stock will go towards the steak and kidney project… I really can’t think of anything better to simmer the beef and kidney bits in…

Tortilla press…

100_8674

I like home made corn tortillas.. they’re one of those things that can’t be duplicated by an industrial process..

So the options are, 1. Get adopted into a family that makes them or 2. Make them yourself..

There were no takers on option 1.

Which left me with option 2.

I also have a masa grinder because I like the masa ground the same day… and I can adjust for tamales or tortillas depending on what the plan is…

I think the civiche set me off…. and then the tongue added to it, the spices are Mexican and I have a thing for tacos de linua.. disregarding smoking, the tongue could just end up as tacos..

So the press came out… cause ya never know.

About to be smoked tounge

100_9036

One Beef tongue

100_9038

One Beef tongue trimmed, mostly because it wouldn’t fit in my little crock pot as is

100_9041

The tongue ended up in the deep fryer.. which gets used as an emergency crock pot but has better temperature controls any way…

100_9045

And there it abides for a few hours in pickling spices at which point it gets peeled and smoked…the trim went into the pot as well.. waste not want not.. besides Berto likes it when he gets extras.

As a side note…

Smoked tongue runs about $15 per pound and that’s just because its not fashionable..

Beef Kidney

100_9034

100_9035

This is how it happens.. split the kidney, remove the bulk of the core fat, kinda cube it all to about the same size.. then soak it for a couple of hours.

I did change the water a couple of times, just to speed things up and because I was fidgeting..

The last kidney cookery event was grilling, with no soak, just trimmed sliced and onto the grill it went, which was fine.. I think soaking is cultural superstition, not a necessity.. but I have a pretty large tolerance for mineral tastes.. So I’ll give tradition a go.

I’m thinking steak and kidney pot pie.. So once the soaking is done, it all gets rolled in flour or cornstarch then browned, same with the steak, potatoes onions and all that… the pastry hasn’t been decided on yet..but that’s fine because the meat will freeze till there is a decision…