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Sunday, February 14, 2016

A couple of experiments: Sea Salt on Steak, and a makeshift propane grill

Years ago, I tried a method of tenderizing an inexpensive steak using salt.   Unfortunately, I did it wrong.

So tonight, I decided to try again, and do it right.

I took a 7 bone steak, and seasoned both sides with sea salt.  Previously, I had used table salt; Do NOT use table salt!

Since it was only a half inch thick, I left the salt on for a half hour.  The salt stays on for one hour per inch of thickness.  Don't leave it on too long.

After the time is up, rinse the salt off completely.  Then grill the steak.  

This time, the steak did not taste salty, although it did flavor the steak.  I was happy with the results.

I grilled my steak on a makeshift propane grill.

You see, I don't have a propane grill, and I really have no place to put one.  But, I do have a Bayou Classic propane burner.

I figured that I could turn that burner into a propane grill, by putting a cast iron grill pan on top.  I used this one, which fit perfectly on top.

Did it work?  Well, yes, with a bit of a learning curve.

First, be sure you are wearing an oven glove, because at one point the grill pan started to slide, and I had to move it back with my hand.  Which, of course, you cannot do with your bare hand!

Second, the meat stuck to the pan, and I had trouble flipping it.  Which is to be expected with new cast iron, even if it's pre-seasoned.  All cast iron will stick the first few times you use it.

But you can help alleviate the sticking, by applying a thin layer of corn oil, or peanut oil, on the pan before you put it on the grill.  Corn oil and peanut oil have high smoking points; I would definitely not use olive oil.

You could use a Lodge double play pan on top of a propane burner, as well.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

red lentil soup

I never had red lentil soup before.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a pot, along with a tablespoon of minced garlic.  Add 2 tablespoons of flour and whisk.

Add a chopped onion, a chopped red potato, and a chopped carrot.  Saute for a few minutes.

Then add a 2 cup bag of red lentils and 6 cups of chicken broth.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until the lentils and veggies are soft.

Puree the soup with an immersion mixer.

Season with pepper, paprika, and salt.  Add lemon juice if you like.

I made this in a rice cooker, but you can use a pot on the stove.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

boneless pork ribs in the rice cooker

There goes me and my rice cooker again...

Put a little olive oil in the bottom of the rice cooker.  Turn it on.

Coat boneless ribs in brown sugar.  Put them in the pot and dump the rest of the brown sugar from the plate in with them.

Add some dark beer, worcestershire sauce, and barbecue sauce.

Cook the ribs until done.

Next time I'll add less worcestershire sauce, and I also prefer bone-in ribs to boneless.  But the ribs were still good.

parmesan garlic drumsticks

Formerly, I had a tradition of making chicken wings on superbowl sunday, whether I actually watched the superbowl or not.

So I wanted to resume that tradition, but, I did not have any wings, and did not want to go to the store to get some.

I had some drumsticks on hand, and decided that it was close enough.

So I made parmesan garlic drumsticks!

Melt some butter; To the melted butter, add minced garlic, dried minced garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and parmesan cheese.

Brush drumsticks with the butter mixture.  Lay them on a cast iron pan.  Into the oven at 350 until done.

When they are cooked, brush some more of the butter mixture on them.  Add some more parmesan cheese.

Yep, they were just as good as the wings!   

using the hamilton beach breakfast sandwich maker

It's no secret that I love egg mcmuffins from McDonald's.  I always have.

So, when I was lucky enough to find a brand new Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker at a thrift store...

Now, don't expect a sandwich you make on this, to taste anything like McDonald's.  

McDonald's has some type of magic trick, that makes their food taste a certain way, that you and I do not have.

That would be like expecting a hamburger or chicken nugget you make at home, to taste like McDonald's.  It just won't.

But, after a few uses, I finally figured out how to make it taste a lot less "not like McDonald's".  

What the instructions don't tell you to do, is to toast your english muffin in the toaster beforehand, and then butter the outside of it.

Butter the inside of it too, if you want, but outside is very important.

It's a couple of extra steps, but believe me, it's worth it.

When you butter the outside of the muffin, you won't have to use Pam.  The instructions say to spray the surfaces with Pam, and that makes the sandwich taste funny, even if you use butter flavored Pam.  Use butter!

Add a little butter to the plate where you cook your egg, before you drop the egg on it.

Otherwise, follow the instructions that come with the appliance.

The ingredients are, of course, a toasted and buttered english muffin, a slice of cheese, a slice of canadian bacon (or ham), and one egg.

First you plug in the sandwich maker to preheat, and wait for the light to turn green.

Then you put the bottom bun, a slice of ham, and a slice of cheese in the bottom compartment.

Then you crack open an egg and put the top bun on top of the egg.  Close the sandwich maker.

When the light turns green again, slide out the center plate to bring the sandwich together.  Be careful because the appliance is very hot.  Use a metal spatula to serve the sandwich onto a plate.

My guess is, whoever bought the sandwich maker and donated it immediately, had followed the instructions to the letter and decided it was nothing like McDonald's.

Well, if you use Pam, and don't toast and butter the muffin beforehand, you probably won't like the results.