Fudge version 2. (Version one wasn’t good enough to write about).
This is a cross between two recipes that I learned about. I made use of some of the techniques but did not follow the recipe that Alton Brown explains so well in his episode “Fudge Factor” at https://www.foodnetwork.com/shows/good-eats/episodes/fudge-factor
… start with …
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/4 stick butter
1 cup milk
… and later …
1/2 stick softened butter
1 tbsp real vanilla extract
… and if you want…
Cocktail peanuts (or walnuts or whatever)
Put the “start with” ingredients in a saucepan over high heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon until boiling. I tried covering it as Alton Brown said, but it just tried to boil over, so maybe I did that wrong?
Turn heat down to medium low and DO NOT TOUCH IT. As soon as the temp hits 232F, turn off heat and just let it set there. Place a small amount of butter on the top to prevent it from drying out. Let it sit undisturbed until it is 110F…. then…
Dump in the “and later” ingredients and stir it AS HARD AS YOU CAN with a wooden spoon. When it starts feeling like it’s time, maybe losing it’s sheen, maybe starting to get stiff, it’s time to dump it into a parchment paper lined 8×8 pan before too late.
I then poured the peanuts on top and worked them down in with a spatula. I though it was ruined, because it just wasn’t setting up.
But I got up the next day and sure enough it was perfect.
Ezra cured pork belly and after 9 days vac-packed in the fridge, smoked it. Every time he does this it reminds me how good bacon can be.
We cooked it in cast iron along with some eggs and pancakes for breakfast.
Lodge Cast Iron makes some nice products. They are quality cast iron, made in the USA, and sold at incredibly good prices. Here is a link http://shop.lodgemfg.com/
I was at Walmart the other day to restock up on Corelle dinnerware (which is also great – they just don’t play nicely with a tile floor – and my numbers were dwindling). I noticed this Cast Iron Grill pan:
I never saw the point in these before, but then again, never used one… But the price was less than $20, so I figured I’d get one…. well I liked it so much I ended up with two :)
So far I’ve cooked Pork Chops and Chicken Tenderloins. Here is a picture of the chicken from lunch today. I must say, some of the best chicken I’ve ever eaten. Perfectly seared, drizzled in salt, pepper, lemon, and butter, it was cooked completely but soooo tender and juicy.
This deserves a longer post, but I’ll put the rundown here for reference:
- Rinse tenderloins in sink and shake off excess water
- Liberal amount of kosher salt and pepper
- Get grill pan(s) screaming hot (starting to smoke) and lay the chicken on it for about 3-4 minutes until the underside has nice grill marks.
- Turn chicken over, turn burner to LOW, and let other side also get grill marks (another 3 minutes or so).
- Turn over every 1-2 minutes brushing butter on the freshly turned up side and drizzling fresh lemon juice on each side. Continue this until internal temp reaches 165+ in the thickest part.
- Let rest for 5 min in a pile on a plate.
Another “experiment”… Thanks again to Ezra, I had some fresh KC BBQ Rubbed Smoked Chicken Breast in the fridge.
Frozen, sweet white corn, in seasoned cast iron on high heat until perfectly done (stirring constantly). Chopped up smoked chicken breast in. A little Adobo (which is made from salt, pepper, garlic, spices) for seasoning and a few tablespoons of heavy whipping cream to meld it all together.
Served with On The Border corn chips and fresh salsa. Mmmm. It was outstanding.
Being in the possession of some freshly smoked chicken breast (Thanks Ezra!), I made a smoked chicken and cheese wrap. Chunks of smoked chicken and chunks of Boar’s Head Munster cheese into a cast iron skillet until sizzling. Flour tortilla into another skillet with a dollop of butter until browned on both sides. A little bit of mustard and mayonnaise wrapped up with the sizzling chicken and cheese mix…. it was divine.
This is our second go at beef and broccoli (with peppers, sugar snap peas, and carrots).
For the first try see: https://blog.gahooa.com/2018/03/12/beef-and-broccoli-recipe/
- Beef was cut a bit smaller.
- Soaked 4 cups water + 1/4 cup baking soda + 1 tbsp salt for 13 minutes.
- Veggies were boiled slightly less – they were not quite done when we drained them. This way when mixed and heated again with the meat and sauce they ended up about perfect.
Also first try at fried rice. I thought for sure I ruined it but it turned out okay. Looking forward to doing this again.
So the other day we cooked up a couple of pounds of macaroni, strained it, and added a little bit of butter to keep it from sticking together. Then into a pot with milk, several bags of shredded cheese, some bbq seasoning, salt, pepper, and a can of cream of celery soup. Then it got baked for about an hour with cheese and breadcrumbs sprinkled on top.
It was pretty good. Not bad at all, but not amazing.
Leftovers went in fridge. A couple of days later, I needed a quick dinner for some of the kids, so I threw some of the leftovers in a well seasoned cast iron skillet and heated it up on high heat until it was nicely sizzled.
In my whole life I never had better mac ‘n cheese. I’m not sure exactly what made it the best, but here is a picture, and we’re going to have to try this again sometime.