Tried an entirely new method today, going back to the basics.  I’m becoming obsessive about baking bread.  Going to bake a thousand loaves until I become the Hattori Hanzo of home bread bakers.  I look forward to cracking this loaf open and seeing how I did.  What does the crumb look like, how is the taste, texture?  What is the crust to crumb ratio?  I will enjoy every step of this journey.

Tried an entirely new method today, going back to the basics. I’m becoming obsessive about baking bread. Going to bake a thousand loaves until I become the Hattori Hanzo of home bread bakers. I look forward to cracking this loaf open and seeing how I did. What does the crumb look like, how is the taste, texture? What is the crust to crumb ratio? I will enjoy every step of this journey.

Roasted poblano peppers with refried beans, jack, cheddar and chorizo.

Roasted poblano peppers with refried beans, jack, cheddar and chorizo.

Why yes, my house does smell like freshly baked bread.

Why yes, my house does smell like freshly baked bread.

My wife’s stuffed shells. Fresh, airy ricotta from my buddy’s shop on Arthur Avenue marinated in garlic for a day inside pasta shells made by Grandma Borgatti. The best.

My wife’s stuffed shells. Fresh, airy ricotta from my buddy’s shop on Arthur Avenue marinated in garlic for a day inside pasta shells made by Grandma Borgatti. The best.

Moe had some nice dry-aged prime strip steak for dinner.

Moe had some nice dry-aged prime strip steak for dinner.

Tags: food dogs moe

Leg of Lamb, farm fresh corn, fresh mozz, bread I baked myself this morning and an heirloom tomato salad. Did I mention that summertime is the best time?

Summertime is the best time.

Summertime is the best time.

Tags: food summer

Sausage and Peppers

It’s a difficult dish to cook on the grill but I finally cracked the code.  If you grill sausage you get dry, tasteless meat.  I dabbled with poaching the sausage in wear first and finishing on the grill but something was missing.  Today, my friends, we broke on through to the other side.  Sausage nirvana was achieved.

I cooked my peppers and onions down on the stove in a dutch oven first.  Separate batches with a healthy splash of olive oil.  Mixed them in an aluminum tray and piled my raw sausage on top.  Grilled on medium heat for twenty minutes, turning once.  I then removed the sausage and crisped it directly on the grill grates, 2-3 minutes a side.  Wound up with juicy, moist, crispy and flavorful sausage.  Oh yeah, the onions and peppers simmered in olive oil and sausage fat weren’t half bad either.

Sausage and Peppers

It’s a difficult dish to cook on the grill but I finally cracked the code. If you grill sausage you get dry, tasteless meat. I dabbled with poaching the sausage in wear first and finishing on the grill but something was missing. Today, my friends, we broke on through to the other side. Sausage nirvana was achieved.

I cooked my peppers and onions down on the stove in a dutch oven first. Separate batches with a healthy splash of olive oil. Mixed them in an aluminum tray and piled my raw sausage on top. Grilled on medium heat for twenty minutes, turning once. I then removed the sausage and crisped it directly on the grill grates, 2-3 minutes a side. Wound up with juicy, moist, crispy and flavorful sausage. Oh yeah, the onions and peppers simmered in olive oil and sausage fat weren’t half bad either.

Chicken Done Right

I normally disdain chicken as a proper grilling meat but by the time I’m done it is amazing. Recipe includes:

olive oil
red wine vinegar
basil
chopped garlic
powdered garlic
kosher salt
turbinado sugar
sweet paprika
smoked paprika
ancho chiles
hatch chiles
apricot preserves
mango preserves
pineapple preserves
tomatoes
butter
oregano
old bay
apple cider vinegar
soy sauce

Braised Chicken

Made a super simple and delicious dish last night. Enjoyed it even more this morning.

Take eight bone-in chicken thighs. Toss them with flour, salt, pepper and a healthy dose of old bay seasoning. Brown them in butter over medium-high heat, about four minutes a side. Start with the skin side down to render out that delicious fat. Set aside. Cut a half dozen vidalia onions into quarters, toss them and a half dozen cloves of minced garlic into the butter and cook until translucent, about ten minutes. Add a healthy squirt of dijon mustard and a cup of dry white wine, whisk til mixed. Add chicken back to pot along with a quart of chicken stock. Bring to a boil for five minutes. Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for an hour. Serve over rice and thank me later.

Tags: food recipes

Mâcheroni with homemade lamb ragu and cave aged Parmesan.

M√Ęcheroni with homemade lamb ragu and cave aged Parmesan.

Tags: food pasta

Look at the striations in that cheese. That’s three year cave aged Parmesan there. Oofa.

When I was young I bought the shakers of preground Kraft cheese laden with preservatives and chemicals.  Eventually I graduated to grating my own chunks of Parmesan.

In time I discovered aged cheese. The edges of this stuff are candy.  The striations illustrate breaking points in the progression from creamy to crunchy. The taste progression follows suit.

Christ I love good food.

Look at the striations in that cheese. That’s three year cave aged Parmesan there. Oofa.

When I was young I bought the shakers of preground Kraft cheese laden with preservatives and chemicals. Eventually I graduated to grating my own chunks of Parmesan.

In time I discovered aged cheese. The edges of this stuff are candy. The striations illustrate breaking points in the progression from creamy to crunchy. The taste progression follows suit.

Christ I love good food.

Sunday Dinner

I am terribly blessed in that I have a wonderful Mother-in-law who not only loves to cook but also has no problem with letting me do the work sometimes. We brought back a cooler full of goodies from Cleveland including several pounds of traditionally made beef kielbasa from my favorite Polish butcher and a couple dozen handmade potato pirogies. I fried the pierogi in vidalia onions and Buerremont pastry butter (83% butterfat. Oof.) and crisped the kielbasa on the grill in their backyard. It’s as good a meal as I’ve eaten this year and Harper got a taste of both. Next week my Mil is making her veal and vinegar peppers and I honestly cannot wait to taste it again.

Tags: Food family

First time tasting sausage. She takes after her Daddy.

First time tasting sausage. She takes after her Daddy.

Making baby food.  Completely organic, made-from-scratch chicken soup.  Perfectly seasoned, I might add.  Seems a shame to puree such a delicious dish but the kid deserves the best and hey, I got my taste.

Making baby food. Completely organic, made-from-scratch chicken soup. Perfectly seasoned, I might add. Seems a shame to puree such a delicious dish but the kid deserves the best and hey, I got my taste.