Monthly Archives: January 2016

Beef Jerky

I am currently sitting next to the Caribbean sea. The wind is blowing the sun is shining and we are getting ready to head out on one of the biggest adventures I think I have ever been on. Sailing on a 39’ catamaran with another couple and we are the captain and crew. Only one of us has actually sailed a boat so wish us luck!

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This will be us tomorrow!!!

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A few years ago I was golfing with some girlfriends I was a last minute fourth so one of them packed me a lunch; how cute is that. Well I can’t remember what kind of sandwich it was but I do remember the homemade beef jerky. It was AWESOME and while I am not a connoisseur of jerky this was something I really wanted to make for myself; and to share with my family. While my daughter is not a huge jerky fan the guys are another story.

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I have never owned a dehydrated and really never looked into them to purchase. My son asked me what I wanted for Christmas this year so hesitantly gave him a list of kitchen appliances I am interested in getting. My hesitance is he is the one that pitches a fit when I buy something new for the kitchen; his first comment is always “OK so what are you going to get rid of?” I have a lot of storage space but it is all pretty full. And I do purge every so often; I can justify pretty much everything in it so it’s hard to let go sometimes.

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Back to my list, I sold him on my purchases as stating they didn’t need a “home” in the kitchen I could store them on the shelf in the garage. Voila I now have a dehydrator in my arsenal of cooking tools. The reason he picked it was purely selfish reasons; he knew he would be eating yummy homemade beef jerky.

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Beef Jerky

 

3 lb angus round tip

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup worcestershire sauce

2 tbs ketchup

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp onion salt

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Trim off all the fat you can, it will not dehydrate and is not something you want to eat.

Slice or buy sliced beef into ¼ inch pieces. If you are slicing it it is best if you freeze the beef overnight, it cuts SO much easier. If you are lucky enough to find it already sliced at your butcher.

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You can put ingredients 2-6 in a ziploc bag and add the sliced meat, take out as much air as you can and marinate overnight moving the pieces around so they all get yummy.

Dry the beef and place on the racks of your dehydrator leaving plenty of space between each piece so the air can flow all around.

155’ for 4 hours – check and if needed add some more time. Do not over hydrate

Clean out the fridge frittata

I mostly blog the day my posts come out which is every Sunday. I am getting ready to leave for vacation and will be away for two Sundays and I was worried that I would not have Wifi where I am going so yesterday I wrote 3 blogs; just in case. Honestly I really want to be able to write while I am gone. How cool; for me anyway; to write while sitting on a beach or for one of the Sundays we are sailing with another couple on a 38’ catamaran which we are captaining ourselves. It sounds glorious and it might be, but I will admit I am a little nervous; we’ve never done anything like this before and only one of the four of us has ever sailed. Wish us luck!

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I was going to use one of the blogs I already wrote but inspiration struck this morning and I just can’t help myself. I am making my grocery shopping list and taking fridge inventory. I pulled out both vegetable bins and put them on the island. There was a summer squash and zucchini on their way out, half an onion, one lonely clove of garlic; not sure how that happened, some fresh thyme and a few scallions. I also took out a few of the leftovers in containers and had some leftover ham and extra chopped up cooked bacon and a frittata was born. My daughter said “haven’t you written about frittata’s before” Yes but I just felt compelled to do it again. Sorry if I am repeating myself but these are a great way to use up some less desirable or not enough for a whole meal items from your fridge. 

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I chopped everything up and starting building flavors in my cast iron skillet. You can see by the pictures I left my wooden spatula in most all the pictures, that is kind of a nod to my son; he made it for me when he was in middle school. I’ll have to show him the pictures since he was not here this morning to see me using it. I was pretty proud of my creation this morning and the look on my daughter’s face confirmed it; plus she took a picture of her plate and posted or sent it somewhere!

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This mornings Frittata

1/2 onion diced small
1 clove of garlic smashed and chopped
1 small summer squash chopped – I also peeled mine because it wasn’t pretty
1 medium zucchini – I peeled this one too again it was on it’s way out
1 small broccoli chopped
4 small tomatoes chopped
3 scallions sliced
chunk of ham chopped
crisped chopped bacon
2-3 sprigs of thyme stemmed removed and chopped
6 eggs – I only had 5 so that is what I used
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheese
kosher salt and black pepper to taste
I also put some siracha in a few spots just to add a little heat you can see it in the last picture, there’s not much but it adds a little love.

saute the onions just till softened, add heartier vegetables first and the tender ones last just so they don’t breakdown to nothing, the meat I used was already cooked so a quick toss around was fine for them, beat the eggs and milk together and and pour over the ingredients, add a little cheese and just a quick mix in. Top with scallions and a little more salt and pepper.  Cook on top for about 3-5 minutes and then place under the broiler with the rack a rung or two below the top to set the eggs and brown watch but it should take about 10 minutes.

Bon Voyage

Corned Beef Hash

It is another crazy weather day here in NH it is pouring and close to 50 degrees out there. What little snow we had should be pretty much gone before tomorrow when it is supposed to get cold again.

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My husband and son are working on a very large job with a tight deadline and headed off to work this Sunday morning; just for a couple of hours thankfully. One of his workers mentioned since they were getting out early enough; around 10ish that he was going to head home, make some brunch and watch a movie.  That totally worked into my plans; I was thinking of making a corned beef hash so I am glad the guys were going to coming home; I wouldn’t have made it for just us girls.

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I kind of recall having hash a couple of times when I was a kid but I guess I didn’t care for it? Only because I have never made it and have never ordered it out. Side note my husband is watching football and just asked if I was blogging about hash. He said that it was wicked good and mentioned he doesn’t recall ever having it before.  Hash also doesn’t sound like the most appealing item on any menu; at least in my opinion.

SO I just googled history of hash; first funny thing that caught my attention was that September 27 is national corned beef hash day; who knew 🙂 the next thing is it is derived from the French verb hacher (to chop). Yes everything is chopped and it helps that they are similar in size so they all cook up around the same time. It also said that it became popular during world war II as rationing the limited availability of fresh meat. It makes total sense and I am now on board with hash, I might even order a side of it next time we go out to breakfast.

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This morning my hash consisted of potatoes, onions and corned beef. It probably should have had beef stock but I had some open chicken stock in the fridge so I used that instead. A few weeks ago our WWW World Wide Wednesday meal was from Finland and my daughter made a sausage hash that we all loved which was why I was interested in trying corned beef hash.

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It really is simple so feel free to adjust to ingredients you have on hand and that your family will enjoy

Corned Beef Hash

1 medium onion chopped
2-3 medium potatoes chopped
Several slices of corned beef chopped
1 tbs butter
1-2 tbs olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper
½ cup beef broth or whatever you have on hand

My favorite type of egg is poached but you can do whatever kind you like or leave the egg out entirely.

In a hot fry pan melt the butter and olive oil together, add the potatoes; salt and pepper to taste. Add the onions and then the beef. Saute till the potatoes are cooked and a nice crust forms on the hash.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

I’m guessing it is the cold weather or maybe it’s the extra days off over the holidays but there is nothing like having something cooking on the stove, in the oven or even in a crockpot all day long that just brings a smile to my face.ham hock and lentil soup 030

I think I would be lost without my Dutch oven; I fry, brown, stew and braise in it. I feel very strongly that every kitchen needs to have one or if you are really lucky maybe two of them. There is just so much you can create with it and it can stand up the long hours in the oven.

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I think the first time I tried braised short ribs was in a local restaurant and that was it, I had to make them and I have several times since, they do take some time on the stove top but the rewards are well worth it and it makes the house smell just amazing. They end up super tender; no knife need, and surround them with flavors you love, you just can’t go wrong.

I do love braising short ribs to use up the leftover red wine, I know right how does that happen; on occasion we do have leftover red wine and this is a great way to use it up. While you don’t HAVE to braise in red or white wine you will need some liquid an acid and lots of flavor. You can use beef or chicken stock, you can use tomato sauce or vinegar or even lemon for acid and flavors can come from herbs, spices or even fruit, plums would work for instance. Just be creative as you want with things you have at home.

Braised Short Ribs

6-8 whole beef short ribs
kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 cup flour
diced pancetta
2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion diced
3 whole carrots peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, peeled and minced
2 cups red wine (your choice of acid here)
2 cups beef broth (your choice of flavor here)
2 sprigs thyme
2 springs rosemary
2-3 cloves minced garlic

Salt, pepper and flour ribs set aside

In a large dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat until crispy and all the fat is rendered. Remove pancetta leaving the grease in the pan and set aside.

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Add olive oil to the pan with the grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides; about 1 minute per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots, garlic and shallots to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour liquid, in my case my leftover red wine and scrape up all the yummy bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and cook for a couple of minutes.

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Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and some fresh cracked black pepper. One thing to remember that flavors will intensify while it cooks down, so be careful not to over salt. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add whole thyme and rosemary sprigs to the liquid.

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Put the lid on and place in the oven. Cook at 350’ for about 2 hours. Then reduce heat to 325’ and cook for additional 30-45 minutes. Ribs for be fork tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit at least 20 minutes, with the lid on before serving. Make sure to skim off the fat from the top of the liquid. You can also refrigerate so the fat becomes a solid and is a lot easier to remove.

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Serve over mashed potatoes or polenta or even noodles. Spoon the liquid gold gravy over the top