Tuesday, March 29, 2016

PRESSURE COOKER DRIVE BY recipe for what to do with leftover Ham - get peas or lentils and make some soup!

I made a ham for Easter dinner  http://www.tracycooksinaustin.com/2016/03/ham-not-spiral-sliced-we-have-knives.html   In my humble opinion, it was absolutely delicious.

After a couple of meals and sandwiches, there's really not a lot of things that *I* like to do with leftover ham.

The number one thing on my list is soup, split pea or lentil soup with the remains of the ham bone dinner... there are few things finer.

I love my (Nesco) pressure cooker, as we all know, and I will admit, sometimes I buy food thinking about how I can use the leftovers in my pressure cooker.

Ok, back to the ham, here we go, it's quick, easy and delicious....



One bone from the ham you cooked the other day
bay leaf

split peas or lentils

fresh onions, chopped
fresh carrots, chopped
fresh swede or potato or whatever veggie you love, chopped
Throw the bone in the cooker, add water to almost cover, about 4 cups.  Add some onion, with skin, carrots broken up, celery broken up, bay leaf and pepper.  


Release pressure, strain bones and meat out and return clear liquid to the cooker. IF you want meat in the soup, then wait for the bones to cool and pick any meat you want :)  I add meat after I blend the soup.  

Add raw chopped carrots, onions, swede, potato, whatever you like, throw it in the stock.  Add one bag of picked lentils or split peas, add some pepper. 


Release pressure and get in there to taste, add salt more pepper and any green leafy veg, like kale, if you want and cook open till it's wilted.

Serve chunky or blend with a stick blender.  I like it blended and toast a ciabatta roll (that I always have in the freezer) crunchy with lots of butter and, well, there's nothing better... ever... 

Here's the driveby pics: 

Pressure cook the bones and veg in water, strain
chop the fresh veggies and pick any meat off the bones to reserve for later

Strain stock and return to pot with the veggies
Lock and load, pressure cook on high for 18 minutes
  Eat, blend, don't blend, add meat, don't add meat, add croutons, don't :D  See where I'm going here... do what makes you happy.  This soup, blended or not, freezes beautifully so you can have a bellyful of leftover ham bone lentil soup any day! 


Saturday, March 26, 2016

HAM! (not spiral sliced, we have knives!!)

Pet peeve time.  It drives me crazy that suddenly the only ham I can find, easily, for Easter or Christmas or thanksgiving or whatever I want a ham for, is a spiral sliced ham.  Am I the only one who realizes if you cut meat THEN heat it, it'll be dry?  I have never, ever, had decent, moist, juicy, spiral sliced ham.  If you make one, then I apologize, but in my extensive experience, nope, they're dry and weirdly chemical tasting.  I like a smoked ham, a regular old ham.  (truth be told I prefer a RAW ham but yeah, try finding that in Texas)  SO, I'm here to share how I cook a regular old ham for Easter.


Get a smoked ham, I like Smithfield but get what you can, get what you like.  I am a firm believer in buying the biggest ham/roast/steak you can because if you're going to cook it anyway, you might as well cook the biggest you can for leftovers and the freezer.  It's shocking how much extra food you get from a slightly bigger piece of meat.  Go big or go home :)


Line an enormous pan with tin foil, put about an inch of water in the foil,
Put the ham, flat side down, in the foil and water,
Wrap tight
BAKE at 350 for about 10 mins per lb
This ham is 10 lbs so I'll cook it about an hour and 40 mins.  I cook it less than on the packet, which says 15mins/lb because I'm going to glaze and bake it again



Preheat oven to 400
Open the foil and put the ham up on it's side.
IF you have the need, make decorative cuts in the ham, about 1/4 inch deep,
Slather ham with mustard, just use your favorite mustard, there's no rule here.
Sprinkle brown sugar on the mustard.
Put ham, open, back in the oven until it's beautiful
Slice, eat

LOOK!  :)  at the beauty shots.

The skin was sort of fatty today so I cut it off when it came out of the oven, 
then smear it with mustard and brown sugar, back into the oven till it's gorgeous

I didn't take any pics of the first cuts because I cant take pics and cut and there was no one to hold the camera.  Don't even get me started on that... anyway

Slice and eat.  Truly, it's that easy.  There is a easy way to cut this piece of ham.  Put the ham on it's side and you can see a natural line by the bone that if you stick your knife in, and run it along the bone, will remove the whole half of it and you can put it on a board and slice it beautifully.  Flip the ham over and remove the other pieces and do the same.  Save the bone and bits you don't want to eat for stock and split pea soup.  Throw them in a bag and into the freezer to use later if you're not in a soup mood.

I cook all the vegetables, except the green ones, the day before so my "big cook" consists of this ham and some broccoli  The scalloped potatoes, swede, carrots are all popped in the oven to warm up when the ham comes out and the rolls, well, I made those yesterday.  OH and I made individual pavlovas which baked this am and are currently sitting in the oven cooling down.  I'll move them to the laundry room to wait till we need them :)

The ham is moist, tender, flavorful and just lovely.  Now, to see if I can save enough of it from THEM to at least get a few sandwiches and a good feed of egg benedict tomorrow......

Happy Easter to you from me x



Friday, March 18, 2016

DRIVE BY baked eggs with mashed potatoes and hollandaise (if you have it) and hard, crunchy toast

When I was a kid, the number one thing I got when I was sick was a bowl of mashed potatoes with a poached egg on top.  The runny yolk would turn the potatoes a bright marigold yellow and the firm and tender white with the soft sweet mashed potatoes, well, it was culinary nirvana to me.

SO, when mum emailed me about a :new" mashed potato egg dish she'd seen on TV and we laughed about the fact she'd been making it for EONS,  There's no new ideas people, just versions of the same revolving in space.  So, in light of the "new" combination, I had to throw it together, in trendy form, what my mother had made us for YEARS, to share.  It goes quickly so pay attention:


1.  Obtain little pots, use any cocotte you can get your hands on.  i have two sizes of these little lidded pots, I have red minis which are great for an egg with a little cream but to add potatoes, MY new personal favorite is the 8 oz Sur la Table oven to table STONEWARE MINI COCOTTES (I have yellow!)  NO, I am NOT paid to recommend an item


butter the little pots and line then with left over mashed potatoes.  I use a fork to 'grate' the cold potatoes in so they don't clump and stay fluffy when they're reheated

2.  break an egg over the potatoes, into the pot.

3.  Put pot in a pan with room temperature water that comes about half way up the outside of the cocotte.

4.  Put a lid on the sauce pan and turn it on HIGH, when it comes to a boil, turn to low to simmer until the egg is cooked to your liking.  *I* like firm white and runny yellow.  You can lift the lid on the saucepan to look, just jiggle it to see how loose the egg is :)

5.  Make toast, crunchy toast, use homemade bread.  Butter it liberally and cut it into strips (soldiers!) to use to dip through the egg and into the potato, yeah, it's that good.

6.  when the egg is done to your liking drizzle a little hollandaise over it, if you have any, and shove toast in an eat with abandon, joyfully


I make this recipe and put it in a small mason jar and keep it in the fridge up to a week.  Easily.  Take the lid off the jar and nuke gently to bring to room temperature or slightly warmer as many times as you can in the week.  Trust me, I do it all the time and we have not been poisoned.

I use a stick blender to make this version of a quickie hollandaise and it's indistinguishable from the 'classic' stirred over a water bath version.

IN a tall bottle, jar, vessel just slightly wider than the head of a stick blender put:

1 egg yolk (XL or the largest of the eggs you have)
1 Tablespoon water
2 tsp lemon juice (or more if you want it more tart)

Put your stick blender in and whip like crazy

SLOWLY drizzle in one stick of melted butter while you blend continously.

DONE, season to taste with cayenne or paprika or herbs or whatever floats your boat.  Keep on counter to use same day other than that, store it in the fridge and heat GENTLY to loosen to use through the week.

Here are a few pics...  driveby recipes are result only :)


grab leftovers, throw them in a pot, crack an egg over and steam bake till they're done

Thursday, March 17, 2016

RECIPE SHARE, Telera or Bolillo rolls, shared from an online friend, I've tested and tested and they work every single time.

There are some recipes you come across that are easy.  Easy to read, easy to make, easy to decipher and duplicate.  I came across such a recipe for rolls from an Instagram friend "frenchiecooks" (https://www.instagram.com/frenchiecooks)
and he shared this with me and (I asked and he said OK) I'm going to share with you.

These are delicious, tender, rich, light, tasty with a slight chew to the crust and a light but substantial crumb to hold whatever deliciousness you can fill them with.  They crisp beautifully after the fact if you make early and reheat later.

Make these rolls, let me know how you like them...  I'm addicted to them now and fill them with everything from shredded Italian beef to Asian inspired omelettes with fried potatoes.  Anything goes in these...  go measure out some flour.

OH, right, this recipe is in metric weights.  You must weigh, I can't give you converted measurements, it won't be the same.  An electronic scale is a reasonably inexpensive investment and worth it worth it worth it, absolutely.  I use mine all the time and have never regretted the purchase, I think it was $15.00 at Sam's.

HERE is his recipe 

Telera Rolls (Bolillo rolls) 

6 grams instant yeast
14 grams salt
30 grams honey
35 grams melted butter or lard
340 grams water
535 grams (bread) flour BUT I cheat and use all purpose


Mix the wet ingredients until dissolved.  
Add flour an mix for 5 minutes, let rest in bowl, covered, for 30 minutes. 
Mix again for 5 minutes, cover and leave to double in size, 30-45 mins?.
Knead briefly by hand, divide into 8 pieces and prepare for final rise on lightly greased pan.  
You can make the rolls round or slightly oblong, do what you like :)  
Preheat oven to 425.  
Cut or press tops for decoration.  mix egg yolk with water and brush tops liberally. 
Bake 22-25 minutes, or until golden brown. 
Remove to rack to cool completely. 
Fill with your choice of ingredients and eat with joy and abandon. :D 

Here are the play by play pics from the last two batches....  

Mixed for 5, left for 30, mixed for 5, rest for 30.
 Lovely dough onto a floured piece of linen, divide to 8, shape ad leave
Bake until beautiful.  I did 15 minutes then spun then did 6.

Today, worked just the same way
mix, mix for 5, rest for 30, mix for 5, rest for 30-45
 dive into 8, leave to rise,
 egg wash and slit, bake till gorgeous and sexy

Here's a video reveal of the innards, it's glorious this bread... 

I don't post other people's recipes often but when I do it's because I've tested them and love them and think you will too :)