Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Rant: Supermarkets Must Stop Drowning Our Veggies. How to Fight Back.

Supermarkets these days commonly display fresh vegetables such as parsley, lettuce, spinach, and the like moistened by overhead sprayers triggered by timers. Customers who see that think unwittingly that it is done to maximize the 'freshness' of the veggies. Oh no. Their purpose is perverse. Their true purpose, as we know it from its inevitable effects, is to shorten shelf life after purchase by maximizing spoilage due to bacterial and fungal growth. Water is life. Without 'free' water microorganisms, can't grow.

And so, water can be the great destroyer. What to do? When you get a bunch of parsley or a head of celery home, remove the rubber bands that kill cells by reverse osmosis and stand them up to dry in your dish drainer. When dry, wrap loosely in dry paper towels (paper is sterile) and then in a loose plastic bag. Check every few days. Replace wet paper with fresh. Let the veggies breath. They are alive. Because plants are loaded with water (up to 90%) and because of gravity pushing reverse osmosis, the paper will need replacement from time to time. Manage your foodstuffs and minimize spoilage!

Leg of Lamb Roasted with Potatoes and Garlic

Developed December, 2019. Adapted from a method shown by Ira Garten on Food Network TV.
Roast Lamb with Potatoes and Garlic
5 to 6 lb (2.5 kg) boneless leg of lamb, tied or netted
1/4 c (half stick) butter
2 T fresh rosemary leaves, finely minced
2 T kosher salt, divided
1/2 T coarsely ground black pepper
3 T minced garlic
4 lb (2 kg) yellow or red potatoes, whole or quartered, skins on
1/4 c olive oil
8 garlic cloves, unpeeled
An hour before roasting, rinse and dry the roast. Place it in a large roasting pan. Melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave, stir in half the salt and the other seasonings and spread all over the top of the roast and let stand at room temperature. Preheat the oven to 450 F (230 C) and position the rack to midway. In a bowl, combine the potatoes, the oil, half the salt, and mix well. Surround the roast with the potatoes and place in the oven uncovered. Roast for 75 to 90 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 135 F (60 C). Tent with aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes. Cut thin slices horizontally along the roast. Arrange on a platter with the roast potatoes. Serves 10 or more. Roast asparagus are a good side dish.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Quick Radish Pickle

Developed December, 2019. Ideal when you want to add something tangy and colorful to a plate.
1 large red radish
1/2 t red wine vinegar
1/2 t water
1/4 t sugar
1/8 t salt
Shave the radish paper thin on a mandolin or V-slicer. Combine the other ingredients in a small bowl. Stir in the radish slices and hold 5 minutes. Drain and pile like petals as a garnish or accent. Serves 1. Increase proportions as needed to make more servings.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Greene's Onion Burgers

A Detroit tradition, once operating at many busy corner grills across the region, now reduced to a single suburban outlet. Greene's cranked out thousands of simple, tasty cheap onion burgers with a very limited set of sides. No deep fryer. DrDaddy made his supper from these 'trefedick' sinkers on the nights after public school when he attended Hebrew school as he pursued his Bar Mitzvah status, just 70 yards from the Greene's white-tile walls. Counter service and carryout only. Years later, he would return to take away burgers. Now, to simulate the experience of carryout and the drive home to deliver the goodies, the sandwiches are wrapped in wax paper, bagged, and held 10 minutes before serving.
8 1/6 lb (75 g) ground chuck, formed into balls
plentiful white onions, thinly sliced into rings on a mandolin
8 soft white buns (toasted, optional)
pickle chips
ketchup
yellow mustard
12x12 inch wax paper squares
paper bags
Heat the griddle to 325 F (165 C). With a stiff spatula, press a large raft of onions into  each ball of meat and flatten them together. Salt well, and press again. Open each bun and put the top on the bottom. When juices appear on upper surface of patty, flip and place bun on top. After a minute, lift patty and turn top of bun over, and put top on bottom. Flip and drop. Lift top of bun, add three pickle chips, a squirt of ketchup and of mustard. Wrap each burger in wax paper and groups the sandwiches in a bag. Pour a beer if you like. Wait. Reheat the bag in µwave if you must.