Hungry Visitors who came to play

Monday, January 11, 2016

There are few things so lovely as the smell of a pork roast on a Sunday.  This is how I do mine.  

This is a method rather than a recipe so it goes fast and easy.  It takes longer to type out the method than to actually get this roast set up to work it's magic without you.    

It does take loads of time to cook but it's not time where you have to DO anything so it's the perfect Sunday roast.  It's the perfect any day of the week roast actually but for our purposes, it's for Sunday. 


I found a pork shoulder, with skin, at HEB for $.99/lb, this is what $7.00 gets you.  FABULOUS

PREHEAT the oven to 425
Place the pork in a cold, dry, pan and season liberally with salt and pepper on the meat side, flip skin side up and slash the skin in 1 inch intervals?
Rub the pork skin with vinegar, generously but you don't want puddles in the pan.

When the oven is hot, bake for 30 minutes then turn the oven down to 275 and walk away.
I cook my pork shoulder roasts, with skin, for about an hour a pound at 275.


After the roast time, it looks sad BUT don't fret.  Crank the broiler and drain off all the liquid in the pan, that's going to be you gravy or sauce if you want it. 
Put the roast under the broiler until it's puffy and dark and crisp crisp.  
I pull off the crispy bits and snack on them while I prep the rest of dinner
This meat is happy happy to wait till you make the rest of the meal.  I just let it sit there then I start my veggies and gravy. 

OH, the gravy.  OK, separate the liquid you took from the pan and throw some of the fat in a sauce pan, fry it up with the same amount of flour until it's dark!  Add the rest of the pork juices and enough water/stock to make a gravy the consistency you like.  You do NOT have to add the liquid slowly, geez, people trying to make an easy thing difficult.  When the roux is dark, add loads of liquid at one time and stir or whisk, it'll be fine.  I've never had a lump.  Let it bubble while you cook the veg, adding stock, water, as needed, as well as salt and pepper.  I think gravy is best after it's cooked a while but do your own thing. :)

mmmmm  CRISPY blistered crunchy skin!

Make some mashed potatoes, peas, gravy if you want and rip off chunks of this roast.  It's tender and moist and flavorful and tastes like pork!
Try the high then low and slow method and let me know what you think.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cheap Roast plus Fancy cooking method equals killer delicious tender meat! Who knew?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you took a cheapie old hunk of roast like an eye of the round (euww) and cooked it as though it was a $150.00 prime rib??
I did so I did and I was shocked.

Eye of the round, perfectly pink, perfectly tender...every.single.time.  I promise.



1 3lb eye of the round roast, room temperature!!!
butter, salt, pepper.


Bring roast to room temperature (I leave it out overnight)
Preheat oven to 500 for at least 30 minutes.
Slather, thickly, the roast with butter then seriously season it with salt and pepper.

Roast the meat for EXACTLY 5 minutes per pound.  Use a calcuator and round up!

After the time, turn the oven OFF and do not open the door, DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR, under penalty of culinary failure for at least 2 1/2 hours.

Trust me.

After 2 1/2 hours, remove meat, slice THINLY and eat, eat, eat.


Here is my tester hunk of cheapie eye of the round, weighed in at 2.13 (x 5 = 10.65 which rounds up to 11 minutes of cooking)

Even I can handle 11 minutes of cook time :)

I slathered with butter and seasoned well.  The pan is dry and the oven screaming hot
After the 11 mins, set timer for 2 hours 30 minutes

After the time in the oven, door closed, this emerged!  I transferred to a board and stared at it, not entirely confident... then I sliced it.  paper thin.  I sliced it and found the most perfectly tender pink interior.  I piled it high on homemade bread with fresh aioli and snarfed it.  Joyfully.  I didn't get a picture, I was so shocked and delighted :)

Yeah, I'm not lying!  can you BELIEVE IT?  I'm going to test with other cheapie cuts but if it works with this, I have total faith. 

let me know how much you love this method!! 



Friday, December 25, 2015

ROAST BEEF for Christmas Dinner... or any day of the week!

OK OK OK OK OK, I have diverted from my Nana's "milwaukee" method of roast beef and have altered it somewhat.  I found that it's similar to many methods out there, there are no new ideas.  THIS is my version...

How to cook a no fail, 

I promise, I absolutely promise, 

Standing Prime Rib Roast Beef

Here's the instructions,

Any prime rib roast beef, bone in, ANY size

Take the roast out of the fridge and leave it on the counter, uncovered, to dry, for at least 5 hours. You want it to get to room temperature, whatever your room is :)

Preheat oven to 500 degrees for at least 45 minutes.

Slather the roast LIBERALLY with butter, all sides.
Cover the butter LIBERALLY with salt and pepper, all sides.

Place roast, bone side down, in a dry roasting pan.  Put it in the oven. Cook the meat for 6 minutes per pound of meat.  Calculate from the weight on the package and round UP to the nearest minute.
Set timer for that length of time.

At the end, turn off the oven and leave for 2-3 hours, the oven is cold after 2 but I Take it out of the roasting pan so I can have the juices which I separate and use for beef fat in the freezer and to make the gravy.  I put it back in the cold oven in anothr pan and leave it another hour to just sit there and do meaty things.  I make the gravy, cook the veg and generally get dinner ready.

Remove from cold oven, slice, eat, slice, eat, slice, eat.  I slice it by removing the bones in one swipe and then slicing down on a cutting board.  Add any accumulated juices to your gravy.

I promise, on my honor, this is the best you'll ever eat.

Here's the beauty shots, I did it for Christmas dinner today:




Merry Christmas from me to all of you, Thanks for your support, here's to fun cooking in 2016! 



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The turkey. In a countertop roaster. It shouldn't work but WOW, it does.

I did the turkey, in an electric roaster.  There are ups and downs to this roaster, I'll detail later BUT in the mean time.....

AT the moment, I am not going to tell you WHICH roaster I have.  As I said, I am hoping to test different brands and offer you a real option as to where to spend your money
I tested with a pork roast.  Perfectly juicy.  Perfectly tender.
I tested with rolls, they say you can bake in these things.  You can!
I tested with muffins and cookies and biscuits.  You CAN!

Finally, I tested with a turkey breast, delicious, juicy, tender.  I did 30 minutes/lb at 450 then reduced to 325 for another 30.  Turned the roaster off. Left it to rest an hour and sliced.  Gorgeous.

THEN the main event, 14 lb bird, 1 hour 52 minutes. Juicy, tender, delicious, tender.  Best gravy made from the turkey juices.  Wow. After the holiday I'll write out long winded details so you can do this for Christmas.  BUT this is how I did it this time: PREHEAT roaster to 450PREP the turkey, dry it, salt, pepper, sage, poultry seasoning (just a bit) inside and out.PUT a carrot, onion and celery and the neck in a foil pan. PUT on a rack in the preheated roaster.DRIZZLE olive oil on the bird and add about a cup of water to the hot roaster, around the foil pan. ROAST at high temperature for 45 minutes.  Do not open the lid.REDUCE temperature to 325, leave to do it's thing for a total of 8 minutes per pound, INCLUDING the 45 minutes hot roast time.  I did mine a total of 1 hour and 52 minutes.  Temp the bird if you must at this point, 165 in the breast, it'll increase while it rests.TURN the roaster off and leave it closed, leave the bird for 45 to an hour to rest. OR you can take it and out and tent it, resting is key.  This makes the best gravy of my life, really intense flavor.  IF you remove and tent, be sure to drain of all the juice and make gravy!!!  CRAZY delicious, crazy tender, crazy method that should dry the bird out but just doesn't.   You need one of these roasters.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Love me some counter top appliances. I'm hoping to test the Nesco, Oster and/or Rival roasters so we can all turn off our ovens!

I've received a load of requests for recipes, reviews and insights into the countertop electric roaster.

I'm in the process of trying to put hands on different brands to test, review and develop recipes.  I will find groovy ways to use these things for more than roasting a massive bird for a holiday. When I get going, I will start inundating you with great ideas for Holiday cooking.

No, I don't think you need to be a crowd to use one, to need one.

Just a quick note to let you know what's in the works. I'm borrowing a friends right now but think there's got to be a better version than this...

Although.....  look at these birds!

Pretty?  Hell no
Delicious, OH grief YES YES YES

I'll share my recipes and my techniques when I get my own roaster.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

BAGS! Wine bags are up on my Etsy store TracyMakesIt and you need them :)

The coolest part of this food blog gig is the blatant self promotion.  Ok it's not, the coolest part it cooking with cooking types and talking food with food types and sharing what I do  BUT the other cool part is blatant self promotion.

On top of cooking and writing about it, I sew.  I LOVE to create stuff and I've been called a fiber artist but that title seems too hipster, I sew, let's leave it at that.

I sell quite a few Bread Bags and if you haven't had a look, go take a peek.  I use them all the time for everything.

I am in a Maker Faire next week, it's a private sale so I am putting the cool bags I've made on my Etsy shop so everyone can buy them.  At the moment, I only ship within the USA but I am looking into finding cheaper ways to ship worldwide so all of you can inundate your friends with wine in my bags.

Here they are, take a look, see if there's anything you dig and then head over to my store.  IF you message me that you saw the link here I'll cut you a deal because we foodie types have to stick together.

Check out what came out of my head.  They are linen or ticking and I printed the images onto them.

OH and I'll get back to food now, thanks!!  

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, my stovetop version, Easy, Cheap, Delicious and they taste like chicken!!

Let's begin.  Firstly, I will acquiesce that yes, there are a zillion ways to cook chicken.  There are even more ways to cook boneless, skinless, chicken thighs.  *I* cook chicken thighs a thousand ways.  I usually use thighs with both skin and bone BUT I have been known to divert and go both skinless and boneless. This is one of my quickie 'go to' versions.

It's stove-top but you can easily shove it in the oven if you don't want to look at it.  Looking at it is really the only involvement you have after the initial cook so that's why I keep it on the stove-top, so I feel involved and as though I'm doing something :)  Love food that deals with itself.  That being said, let's cook it.

My easy Chicken thighs, stove-top version 

A pack of chicken thighs, I found boneless skinless thighs on sale for $2.99 for 8, seriously you can't beat that.

whatever herbs or spices you like (I use thyme and sometimes sage)
plain oil

chicken stock (or water, Truly, don't not make this for want of stock)

Quickie instructions; 

Season, flour and fry thighs in batches.  Drain out most of the oil and fill pan half way with stock, bring to a boil.  Scrape up any stuck bits, that's the flavor there baby. Return chicken to pan, lower heat, cover and simmer till cooked, up to 45 minutes, you can't really overcook this and the longer is better because the chicken just gets more tender

I serve with mashed potatoes and something orange or something green


LONG version with the photographs and play by play instructions 

I don't like to wash dishes, yes I have a dishwasher, that doesn't matter, I like few dishes.  SO, to that end, I marinate, season and prep all of my meat in my sink.  Yes, I wash it.  Yes, I disinfect it.  Yes, I hear you telling me not to but I am going to anyway.  So, now we have that out of the way, let's cook this.

Take thighs and put the in your clean sink, season liberally and sprinkle, also liberally, with flour.

Let them fry, on a pretty high flame until they are crispy and beautifully brown.  Do not touch them till you're going to flip them,
When the batches are done, put them on brown paper to drain a bit.

Drain off most of the fat left but leave the bits!  Long live the bits!!  Add some stock to the pan and bring to a boil, scrape your bits!  Bring it to a hard boil and return the chicken to the pan.  Turn the pan to low, cover it and leave it to simmer and do lovely happy things.  I leave it a healthy 30-40 minutes.  The chicken just gets more tender and succulent.  Use the time to make veggies or have a glass of wine, that's my go-to.

IF you can't cope with a pan on the stove, toss it in a low oven for 45 minutes or so.

When it's done, it looks like this, lovely and soft and juicy and unctuous.  All the right food words, all the right flavors. You can cut it, for samples, with a spoon!  I live for samples, you can probably imagine.  It's pretty important to sample.  You will want to sample this, over and over.  Truly.  It's so gloriously pure in it's chicken flavor. 

I don't give any excuse or explanation to not adding onions or other flavors here.  This is meant to be easy and delicious and it is.  It tastes more like chicken than most of the chicken dishes you make, I promise you. 

Now, when it's done and you want to eat, you can take the lid off and let the sauce reduce a bit, you can take the chicken out and add a little cream and nutmeg to make it richer (that's what I am about to do) or you can simply serve it up and eat it. 

I will post update pics later today but I wanted to get the basics down for you in case you have chicken thighs in your fridge, or freezer and realize you have to have this for dinner. 

I hope you enjoy it, let me know what you think...