Sunday, February 28, 2010

Riced Yellow Potatoes

Recorded February 28, 2010. Transcribed and modified from the video recipe on Cook's Illustrated PBS TV program.
4 to 5 medium yellow potatoes (Yukon Gold™, or similar)
1/2 c hot half and half
1/4 c low-fat soft margarine
salt and pepper to taste
Peel the potatoes and cut into eight equal parts. Place in the basket of a steamer over boiling water and cover tightly. Steam vigorously for 20 to 25 min, until potatoes are soft to the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer to a potato ricer (see NOTE), and rice into a mixing bowl, batch by batch. Stir with a spoon, pouring in the hot cream (hot promotes a creamy and not grainy texture according to Alton Brown). Keeps it hot too of course. Mix until well combined. Add the margarine and keep stirring. Season to taste and whip by hand until smooth.
NOTE DrDaddy also likes the ricer identified in tests at America's Test Kitchen as the best around. RSVP™ International SPUD Potato Ricer 13.5-in

General Purpose Seasoning and Dry Rub

Recorded March 21, 2009. In use for many years. Reformulated 2011 to reduce salt by half and later rice starch was added to maintain free-flowing property.
1 T kosher salt (see Note)
1 T dried thyme
1 T ground black pepper
1 T granulated garlic
Combine ingredients by milling a few seconds in a spice grinder. As a rub, season both sides of meat thoroughly (about 1 t per lb) rubbing it in. Apply the rub about 1 to 2 hours before cooking, depending on thickness. Use the rub on pork ribs ribs, pork loin, pork tenderloin and pork butt. Also good on roast chicken, grilled chicken, roast turkey, fried chicken livers, omelets, and grilled beef. 
Variations: Dust a little ground fennel, five-spice powder, cumin, paprika, or cayenne on the meat after applying the rub. Note: Kosher salt is bulkier than table salt. If table salt is used, reduce salt to 2/3 T.

Air-Roasted Turkey Breast

Prepared February 24, 2010. A turkey breast cooks quickly and stays moist in this adaptation of the classic Chinese moist roasting method.
whole turkey breast, about 6 lbs
3 T general purpose dry rub
vegetable oil
Prepare the Roast
To prepare the roast, r
emove any extra skin, fat bodies, membranes, or internal tissues. Rinse well in cold water and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Spread all sides with oil, sprinkle on the rub and coat uniformly. Cover and marinate for 2 hours. 
 
Roasting
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C). Position the roast skin side up directly on the middle oven rack, over 1-1/2 inches (5 cm) of water in a pan on the rack below (see also Air Roasted Chicken on this site). Roast until temperature in the thickest part reaches 160 degrees F, about 80 to 90 minutes. Let stand on a plate to cool for about 20 minutes before carving. Cut slices perpendicular to the skin down to the ribs. Suggested sides: Riced Yellow Potatoes, and Roasted Vegetables.

Beans and Greens

Beans and Greens at Their Wurst
Developed from an Internet consensus. Prepared with chard, February 14, 2009; prepared with escarole, February 22, 2009. A Family Favorite.
3 T olive oil, divided
large head escarole, or
large bunch Swiss chard
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 t crushed red pepper flakes
1 large clove garlic, sliced thinly
2 (15-1/2 oz) cans cannellini (white kidney) beans, undrained
2 T chopped fresh parsley
In a saucepan, heat a 1 T of olive oil over medium heat. Stir in garlic. When fragrant, stir in beans with juices, and simmer until creamy, about 10 minutes. Keep covered off heat. 
To prepare chard, soak and rinse to remove any soil. Drain well. Trim and discard tough ends, cut off stems and slice into half-inch pieces. Slice leaves in half lengthwise and then into 1.5 inch-wide strips crosswise. Escarole: cut head in half lengthwise and then crosswise into 1.5 inch-wide strips. While beans are cooking, heat 2 T olive oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Toss in chard stems, turning to coat with oil, and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the chard leaf pieces. For escarole, add all at the same time. Season the greens with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook, turning occasionally with tongs, until tender (about 5 minutes for escarole, 10 minutes for chard). When tender, stir greens and parsley into beans; simmer about 10 minutes more. Cover, and hold 10 minutes for flavors to mature and to thicken. Drizzle a little olive oil over each serving. 
Pairs nicely with a crisply-fried breaded pork chop, grilled baby-back ribs, or beer-braised sausage. For a vegan or vegetarian meal, substitute a crusty bread (e.g., Tuscan or baguette) or freshly-baked biscuits and butter.  Serves 4 to 6.

Sausage Gravy and Biscuits

Recorded January 18, 2005.
1/2 lb ground pork sausage
3 T flour
2 c milk
1 t salt
1/4 t freshly ground pepper
1 t dry sage, rubbed
1/4 t crushed red pepper 
Thoroughly brown sausage in a 10-inch stainless-steel sauté pan, chopping it into bits with a metal spatula as it cooks. Mix in flour and cook several minutes until 'blonde'. Stir in milk and seasonings, and fast simmer until gravy thickens, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the browned bits. Serve over a freshly-baked biscuit cut in half. Hint: Frozen Pillsbury™ biscuits (17 minutes at 375 degrees F in the toaster oven) are good. Makes 6 servings.