Lengua (Tongue) in Mushroom Sauce, Filipino-Inspired

Contains:  Offal, dairy. 

tongue, filipino, recipe, lengua, cabbage, mushrooms

The inspiration recipe for this one is Filipino-based, and is a Lengua in Mushroom Sauce.  Although I doubt it is traditional in the Philippines to use canned condensed mushroom soup – but just as everywhere, people do adapt for convenience and time constraint reasons.  But the idea was intriguing, so I went with the flow!  

I had a very small calves’ tongue from a butcher specializing in finding locally raised meats (and quality olive oil).  I bought this small one (0.685 ounces), planning to come up with an appetizer recipe using it.  Well, I found the Filipino idea instead.  Had mushrooms, a can of semi-condensed golden mushroom soup (Amy’s brand), and some veggies.   

Pig tongues are also about this size and can be used instead.

For a 3-pound ox tongue, simmer the tongue for 3-4 hours.  I decided to use 1.5 hours of simmering for this little lengua.   I wanted to be sure the skin would peel off nicely once cooked. Removing skin is far easier after cooking – allow to cool down to a warm, finger-friendly temperature before peeling. This recipe source tells me if you still have trouble, a vegetable-peeler can be used.  Good to know!

Prep Time:  20 minutes.
Cook Time:  3-4 hours for an average 3-pound tongue, which is 50-60 minutes per pound.  But if one pound or less, go with 90 minutes. Plus another 25 minutes. 
Rest Time:  Enough to cool for skin removal.  Chill for another hour or so for ease of slicing.
Cuisine:  Filipino.
Serves: 2 – 4.
Leftovers:  Yes.

Lengua in Mushroom Sauce, Filipino-Inspired

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ox (beef or bison) tongue or 1 pork tongue.  I will give different measurements for two sizes of tongue.  
  • 3 bay leaves.
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns (for small tongue).  1 teaspoon for large.
  • 1/2 medium onion, or 1 large onion for a larger tongue.  
  • 5-6 good sized white button mushrooms, chopped coarsely; or 15 for large.  
  • 1/2 can semi-condensed mushroom soup (I used Amy’s Golden Mushroom Soup), or 1 full can for large.  Campbells would work, too, adjust liquid volume.
  • Two or three good handfuls of coarsely chopped cabbage (green, Savoy, Napa, bok choy,..)  

METHOD:   

Bring the tongue to boil and reduce temperature to a simmer for about 15 minutes.  Drain and wash out pot and then re-add the tongue along with onion, peppercorns and salt.  Cover with water again.  Bring to a boil again, reduce to a simmer and allow to simmer for 90 minutes – 4 hours – (3-4 hours for an average 3-pound tongue, which is 50-60 minutes per pound.  But if one pound or less, go with 90 minutes.)  

Remove, allow to cool enough to handle, peel off skin – fingers usually work fine, but a vegetable peeler isn’t amiss here.  Set in the fridge to cool and stiffen for about an hour or two.  Do reserve the onion (or feel free to add more).  Also, reserve a cup or two of the boiling water (depending on the size of the tongue used).  

Meanwhile, prep the rest of the mis en place.  

In a suitable skillet or pot, simmer the bay leaves, mushrooms, and soup, along with any onion, and the cup or two of broth from the tongue.  Simmer for about twenty minutes allowing the liquid to reduce, meanwhile slicing up the chilled tongue very thinly.  Add this to the pot, along with the cabbage.  Simmer another five or so minutes.  

Remove from heat, fish out the bay leaves to discard, and serve, tasting to add more salt or pepper as needed   

recipe, lengua, tongue, mushroom, filipino

This recipe is shared at:  

Fiesta Friday, with Co-Host Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook.

Full Plate Thursday.

 

 

Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Mushrooms, Offal | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Roman Cabbage Repast from Antiquity

Contains:  Seafood, alcohol.  Is: Quick and easy, Paleo.  

roman, antiquity, cabbage, fish sauce, recipe

This one sounded really good, especially since I had everything already in the house.  Makes life easier when you live 35 minutes from the nearest supermarket, and you get tempted by something you just watched or just read about.  

It’s a recipe from “Tasting History with Max Miller”, an excellent YouTube channel that cropped up in March 2020, and took off because Max Miller had a lot of free time on his hands, being furloughed from his day job due to a certain virus.  Long-term I’ve been interested in old, as in very old, recipes – I also follow “Townsends”, a channel largely focusing on colonial era food in eastern North America – although Jon Townsend also discusses non-food related 18th century life.  And brings in British and continental sources of recipes that probably also made their way over to the US.  

The link to the video itself.

Miller’s recipe was adapted from the Roman, Apicius’s “De Re Coquinaria”.  

The cabbage that the original recipe used was a leafy one, not a head-y one.  Cabbage (Brassica oleracea) was well-valued by the Romans, who generally seemed to sing its praises a lot, both for flavor and medicinally.   In his variation of the old Roman recipe, Max Miller went with baby bok choy – which is indeed a Brassica plant but is rather Brassica rapa.  Pick a leafy Brassica – broccoli or cabbage just aren’t going to work, nor would Brussels sprouts.  He used the bok choy because it was to hand.  Likewise, here.  

Garum – for the sake of simplicity, simply use Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce, Red Boat being a reliable brand.  (If you can’t eat seafood, a bit of tamari would be fine.)  Miller does have an early video (from which I first discovered this channel) explaining how to make garam yourself.  Haven’t done so yet, but I enjoyed watching….)  

Just as a potentially-bragging note – the leeks used were from my own garden.  They did quite well, so I’ll grow them again in 2022.  A shallot would also work, or a green onion stalk.

Most recipes from antiquity don’t deign to discuss quantities.  Miller came up with workable suggestions, but leaves the garnish amounts up to the viewer/reader.  This will be YOUR recipe, modify and make it happy at your home!  

Prep Time:  5-10 minutes.
Cook Time:  Less than 10 minutes.
Rest Time:  Not necessary.
Serves:  2-4, depending on what else will be served.
Cuisine:  Ancient Roman.
Leftovers:  Sure.

A Roman Cabbage Repast

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 pounds / of your choice of a leafy Brassica.  Remove stem.  Separate leaves.  Clean as necessary.  If really large leaves, cut or break them to more manageable sizes.  
  • 1.5 tablespoons fish sauce (garum if you can source it, or wish to make it yourself), but if not, use a Thai or Vietnamese fish sauce).
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 cup / 60 mL white wine (not too dry).
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste.
  • 1 thin leek, chopped.  Use the white/light green parts.  It is probably best to use small-diameter leeks, and chop finely.  Onet thin one should suffice, or a portion of a larger one.
  • Caraway seeds, to taste.
  • Cilantro aka coriander leaves, to taste.

METHOD:

Bring a pot of water to a boil, and add the cabbage.  Blanch for about 90 seconds.  Remove, drain, and set the cabbage to the side into a serving bowl.  

In a pot, add all the liquids together along with the cumin.  Whisk, and set over heat to cook at a simmer. Do this for a few minutes to blend all this together, and to drive off the alcohol..  

Then, remove, and pour over the cooked cabbage.  

Top with the ground pepper, leeks, caraway seeds and cilantro.  Serve and enjoy.  And, perhaps, enjoy whatever medicinal benefits Brassica can endow.  

roman, antiquity, cabbage, recipe

Shared with:  

What’s For Dunner:  Sunday Link Up.
Fiesta Friday, with Co-Host Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook
Full Plate Thursday.

 

Posted in Cooking | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Trekking to Semi-Distant Chickens and Poultry in Winter, Zone 5 or Thereabouts

Note:  This post is a re-blogging of an older post (January 2019), with some edits from as I developed more experience, from those older days.   

The location of my hen houses are perfect for most the months of the year, but in Winter it can be a bit of a challenge to tread to, here in the northerly snows of Zone 5 B.  This year (December 2021 and early January 2022) we had a smattering of snow, and mostly annoying levels of freezing rain which left its residue as slippery ice.

I didn’t place the coops closer to the house for a couple of reasons.  One, the flat area just outside the back door needs to be reserved for vehicles going back and forth, and also I plan to put up a greenhouse back here.  Possibly this coming summer. Another reason is that these chickens are frequently out on Free-Range during the day, and while they’ll often walk up to the house, I do want to limit the quantity of droppings in what is also a recreational zone.   My quail condos landed directly behind the house, but they take up little space, and they don’t free-range.  Well, a couple or so did, inadvertently – but quail don’t tend to come back home…. :(.  For the quail, it was best to keep them where my house could provide something of a wind-break.

I’ll note that these procedures detailed below are great for poultry and small livestock, where you can carry what you need to them.  For larger livestock, you need to have facilities closer to a plowed drive, and preferably a dedicated well with the potential of heating the water in situr.  You will also be best served with at least a small tractor or UTV (with its own housing) and the ability to run through or push aside snow.

Winter, chicken coop, commentary

I had certain constraints when laying down the location for the hen house and run:  the hen house, coop and run had to be on a flat surface, reasonably close to the solar panels — the coop WILL BE connected to electric in the near future.   The set up had to be in the back yard, just for aesthetics.   The solar panels had to be closer to the house (the longer you run the line, the higher the price.

So… my birds are way out there in the back, which feels just right in the summer but not so all-right in winter with a layer of snow.  And, snow which varies in texture and walkability with type of snow, or ack, ICE!  There’s a slight downhill slope at one point, too.  So, let’s say it’s about 350 feet from my back door to the coop, since I can’t walk it in a straight line, such as a crow allegedly flies.

So, this one year, sans electric at the coop, but still having Winter, me being in my 60s, with some relatively minor but long-term physical issues, this is how I cope:
*Note*:  for me this is NOW for 20 chickens, located around 350 feet as the crow won’t fly, from my back door.  Scale up or down as required.

Hiking Poles.  I have two non-optimal knees, and one bad ankle with pins and a plate.  There is a slight slope in one location on the way down.  I bought my first pair of hiking poles from LL Bean, and they were very useful for various purposes over the first winter.  However, one pole did snap in half not long ago.

Chickens, chicken coop, winter access, hiking poles

The new hiking poles. Sized up and ready for use.

SO, I bought a second pair.  I will note that I usually manage well using just one pole, and it strictly depends on the type of snow/ice or how/where I want to hike, if I really need both.  (Or, either.)  Backups, however…  one cannot say too much about back ups, whether on hiking equipment or on computer dalliances.  Anyhow, the second pair:  TrailBuddy’s Ultra Strong Aluminum Cork Trekking Poles (Amazon).  This pair is still going strong, but I have a third in waiting!

Homesteading, winter, poultry, hiking

The new pair, when I pulled them out of their packet. They seem more  sturdy than my older pair.  Various tips are supplied with them, depending what you are walking on!

Backpack.  One that will hold what you need it to hold.  I will get a larger one next year, but this seems satisfactory overall for now.  (This one was pre-existing for day hikes.)  One added benefit:  the hot tap water you carry down twice a day is nice and warm against your back, as noted again below!   No, I don’t see the need to get an Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers pack… But I will want one larger than the one I have now when I get more livestock – a subject to tackle physically (much) later on, though I am planning anyways.  (I will also have vehicular access most days – a UTV or a small tractor, as mentioned above.)  

Gallon jug for water.  I’ve re-purposed a Poland Springs gallon water jug for this purpose.  The brand will matter – Poland Springs is one of the few brands that apparently has a screw top lid, and can be effectively re-sealed after each use.  The plastic also seems a bit more sturdy than some other brands I’ve seen.  Yes, I use tap water.  I run the hot water tap and fill and re-fill the jug with it.  Even when I get electric to the coop, I WILL HAVE to refill winter water daily, or twice daily, and very occasionally, thrice daily in winter, since the hose won’t run to the chickens in winter.  Temperatures depending.  The hose won’t be heated from the source sufficiently enough to keep this from freezing, considering the distance.  Unless I want to spend buckets of money on this…  One good thing about using hot tap water… in your backpack it really nicely keeps your backside warm on the way down and while you provide other chicken maintenance, prior to water dispensing!  (Can’t mention this often enough!)

In case you are dubious about your own winter water (ie, oncoming storms and potential power failures) have a good stock of drinking water available for both yourself and them.  I try not to deplete groceries of pre-bottled water – if I plan ahead, I can find plenty of food-safe containers in the house, and when I absolutely do have to buy some, I save those containers, for needs such as this.

(I admit I am also considering a second well, but… We, and the budget, shall see how this plays out, but it should be do-able for my future four-leggeds.  Assuming they are still on the plans.)

Pans for water down at the coop.  I started by using smaller kitty litter pans (virgin, of course – besides my cats would never keep their bizness inside a small kitty litter pan, anyway).  Unfortunately, at very low temperatures (one demolished itself at 17 degrees F / minus 8.3 C), these pans have a habit of cracking when you try to remove ice so you can add more water.  Nipple buckets and standard hanging buckets will freeze at the ports of exit for drinking, and while excellent in non-freezing seasons, aren’t optimal for those of us who get Real Winter. 

Because the newest coop and run has a very small interior coop, the kitty pan option is not an option there.  I have two or three hanging chicken watering units of a small size, that I switch out as needed.  I always DO need to keep some water in each coop, as the water will take longer to freeze in that protected space than down in a run.

Large jug for food transport.  I’ve re-purposed a plastic container once containing kitty litter for this.  It holds more than the water jug, but won’t be as heavy, since it’s not carrying water,  when full.  It is severely better than manhandling 25 to 40 pounds of chicken feed to them at a time on icy surfaces.  (Note my aforementioned knees and ankle, please.)  I would not use this for water, as it is probably not food-safe plastic.  I will bring down loads of food in the jug at one time, and store the food in the bin associated with the run, and return the empty container to my house until I need it again around a week later.   Note, if the ground isn’t slippery, I just manhandle down the 25 lb bag, or put half in a bucket that I use for storage in the bin and carry that down.  Non-winter or muddy months, I just drive the stuff down, but I need a tractor or UTV for further farm growth!  (

Egg collection apron.  For 1-4 eggs, I can carry them in my jacket pockets, especially if I remembered to bring a few sheets of paper towel along.   Both as buffer, and as a way when some eggs were dirty… my pockets could survive the mud or poo.   These seem to hold 12 eggs total (and there are still always your jacket pockets anyway for back up).  

Homesteading, poultry, egg collecting, winter

Winter apron, 12 slots for 12 eggs, none have dropped out when I bend over, to date. Safe also when I did a “slip and fall” in the snow, which fortunately damaged nothing more than my dignity.  Paper towel (hard to see) to upper left is divvied out for dirty eggs, so I don’t have to wash this apron as often.  

Yes, there are some great baskets for egg collection, but for winter with certain types of snow/ice/mud, I want my hands on my hiking poles.  Sometimes I am bringing things back and forth leaving me with just the right-hand pole, but for everyday use?  Give me a good apron!  If I’ve slipped on my dignity, it’s been my backside!  Cackleberry Home Egg Collecting & Gathering Apron 12 Pockets, Bright Garden (Amazon).  They do have other apron patterns, but this one was chicken-themed.  

Paper towels/face cloths.  Nice to have, I keep them in my jacket pockets.  They are also fine in the back pack.  If you only have a couple or so of eggs each time, you can separate them from clinking against each other with a paper towel.  Or a face cloth, which is more bulky.  Your choice.  (Face cloths are too bulky to fit with an egg into those apron slots.) Wrapping them also keeps poo’d -on eggs from contaminating the others or your apron slots, within reason.  You may also want to store extra paper towels or face cloths in your chicken storage bin.  

Snow shovel.  Get an extra that you keep AT your coop/run.  You don’t want the ability to access your coop or run to be ruined by snow that turns into frozen nastiness.  Go out early and often, clear your entryways to the coop and run.  I like the ergonomic shape, do as you will.  On the small scale this clearing is, ergonomic need not be a consideration and a regular straight pole for a handle should do just fine, but I had an extra ergonomic one, so that’s what’s there.  My back thanks me.

Ice Chopper.  This is a piece of metal at the bottom of a tall stick, and you use it to chop away any ice that keeps you from opening the coop or run door.  My main coop had the problem last winter of a bolus of ice droppng off the roof right in front of the run door, and freezing solid there overnight.  I had to access the run, and fortunately I already had one of these items from my pre-homestead life (living on a steep driveway there).  This year, so far, I’ve used it to break away the ice layer on the garage driveway pad, so even if you don’t have livestock, consider it for yourself if you live anywhere that things might truly ice up.

Broom.  I’m using the broom I also use to sweep out the coop.  I also use it to brush off the top of the storage bin… turns out too much snow weight on the lid makes the hydraulic mechanism that keeps the bin open when I’m poking around in there, not work so well.  Not crazy about the lid crashing down on my head, despite my winter head gear!  The coop broom I use is has a 12-15 inch sweep, which for its main purpose (cleaning out the coop proper), is why I bought that size.  It works with snow as well as with coop clean out.  You may well find other uses… knock that snow that is turning into icicles off the coop roof, that sort of thing.

De-icing spray.  This is the thing you keep around for your car lock especially back in the day when cars had to be opened with a manual key.  This spray/spritzer is handy for getting into your coop if icing occurs.  Even if icing occurs, you won’t always need it, but GOOD to have on hand, just in case.  Or you could do what I had to do about twenty years ago to my car sitting in my driveway to get into it so I could get to work one morning after the entire driver side (and passenger side) doorway was iced over… a half liter of vodka…  Yep, don’t laugh, although that car probably should have been pulled over for its own severe inebriation.

Head Lamp This is something you should have anyway.  Winter, summer, spring, fall.  Chickens, four-legged livestock, getting lost in the woods, DIY in the dark, checking the outdoors for whatever, or just for anything!  The back of my house does have lights, but you will want directed light, and why tie up the use of one arm in the dark holding a flashlight, lantern, or your truly awkward mobile phone to light your way?  If you really have to go visit your chickens at night, it’s usually something you’ll want quick directed light to access.  Full moonlight is cool, but hardly ever around when you need it.  Also, it may not be good enough.

The head lamp I bought, Atomic Beam, is awesome. It uses LED lighting, and you can set the light to either of two levels of brightness (I’m sure the lower level will go through the battery slower), as well as to a strobe light, for which I’m not certain how I’d use that feature, but others may certainly find applications.  Hopefully not for the induction of epilepsy, but if you are susceptible, I can see where this setting would be a trigger.  There are straps so you can adjust it to fit your bare head, or over whatever winter or hard-hat needs you may have.

Poultry, winter, atomic beam, head lamp

This is the beam on the lower intensity setting, simply so I could get a better photo. Love it!!!

I am planning on buying a second one to keep in the car.  Just in case.  Y’ never know!  Atomic Beam Headlight by BulbHead, 5,000 Lux Hands-Free LED Headlamp, 3 Beam Modes (Amazon). 

Yes, keep a stash of extra batteries for anything you might ever need to use that requires them!

Footprints:  Especially if you are on a slope of any nature, and need to access your chickens or any other livestock on a regular basis, having defined footprints in your landscape can be a lifesaver.   Back in the day around 20 or so years ago, when I only had ONE bad knee, I lived in a home atop a super-steep driveway, and if my car couldn’t climb up (it could have been plowed, but if it were icy, I still couldn’t always drive up…), I parked at the bottom, and hiked up the side of the drive.  I left footprints and followed them both directions.  I didn’t have hiking poles then, but had a couple good sturdy wood sticks (aka tree branches), and they kept me from falling.  One day that 20-year-ago winter it suddenly reached 50+ degrees F, rained, and froze solid to 20 degrees F… and for the next five days the weather dropped to about 9 degrees F.  Stayed there.  I had to use those footprints, and those sticks, to get back and forth from my house to the car (and work) and back again.  I remember the only thing I could purchase and get into my house during that time was canned cat food for my feline companions, because I could carry them in my pockets.  (I lacked a backpack then.)   Fortunately, I had plenty of human food there.  So… hey, I maintain footprints as a fail-safe.  And a backpack.  Unless you can plow the area (and on a steep driveway, even that local plow could not make it non-icy and safe that week, and at that level of cold, salt just sits there and laughs at you), maintain a set of footprints.

Raising Chickens, winter, laying hens, chicken coop, commentary

While this picture doesn’t demonstrate the slight slope I have, there is one, and those footprints can be awesome to follow, especially at the slope. In this photo, to the left they lead to the food bin, to the right to the coop itself. A shovel near the run door.   The run is dark in back because I’ve tarped that area to keep excess winds and snow out.

Yes, you can plow out a path, but DO keep tracks for yourself so as not to slip.  Because, as noted above… snow plow paths do NOT necessarily keep you safe from secure footsteps, even if there is any sort of slope involved.  I KNOW this.

Boot or shoe crampons.  Yaktracks is the popular brand, but Unigear traction cleats dig into ice even further.  Choose your brand depending on your needs, and on the access you have to your coop.  I’ve had a broken knee, and another knee where a benign tumor was  removed the year prior to this, and  a really bad ankle that now has pins and a plate.  I’m working on trying to figure out how my XL-sized Unigear will fit with support on a hiking BOOT, rather than just the running shoes you see in these pics.   (I wear 10.5 sized footwear… men’s, US sizing, although my boots are size 11.)  Unigear Traction Cleats Ice Snow Grips with 18 Spikes for Walking, Jogging, Climbing and Hiking (Amazon). 

Winter, coop, chickens

With my seriously bad knees, I am best off if I can hoist myself off in this footwear, by going up from a chair. The backpack contains water, and can also contain other supplies as needed. The crampon-adapted shoes have spikes that are best not worn indoors, or on the epoxy surface of my chicken coop.

At any rate, you shouldn’t need to wear these every trip you take to the coop in winter.

winter, homesteading, chickens, coop

Here’s a slippery slope, overly crunchy occasion… IN this case, we had a load of snow, then lots of rain but not everything melted away… and the residue rain settled into the remaining snow… Temperature plummet… ICE!  This was seriously worse the day prior to the photo.

Here’s the spikey base of the cleats I am using.  Step down solid as you walk.  

Winter, chickens, poultry, access

The spikes dig in somewhere between a quarter inch to a half an inch.

Winter garb.  You should already know what works for you.  I do try to keep two pairs of gloves, one regular winter wear for the cold, and another pair that I can switch to, which has more finger flexibility but protective capability should a chicken, especially a rooster, object to a procedure.  Hopefully said procedures won’t be necessary, but one never knows.

Ski Goggles.  One reminder:  On really bright sunny days with snow on the ground, “snow blindness” is a thing.  Get ski goggles.  Prescription, if needed.  Or simply something to cover over glasses you may already need to have.  In my case, I just take off the glasses and wear the goggles as my bad eyes are good enough for what I might need to do at my coops.  (Yes, I now have several coops.)


We’ve had three-four days to date where temps dropped to about 0 degrees F.  I kept the chickens cooped up in their coop.   They are able to keep each other warm, and if you have winter-hardy birds and have a properly-ventilated coop you should do just fine.  You’ll need to provide them with liquid water more frequently, but that’s fine.  Add ample pine shaving or hay bedding, and allow the poop by the roosts to accumulate… this will provide more warmth.  But if it smells bad when you go in there, it means your ventilation system is inadequate or overloaded, and you will need to remove some of their droppings.   

If the ground outside is snow-covered, the chickens will nearly always not wish to go outdoors – at least in my experience.  After all, nothing for them to eat out there!  I am sure there are exceptional birds.  At any rate, I only bring onto this farmstead chicken breeds that are winter hardy.  Do your research!

I understand that some breeds of chickens who are otherwise winter hardy may be susceptible to comb or wattle frostbite.  I understand that Vaseline rubbed on their combs will protect them from said frostbite.  Fortunately, my Wyandotte roo, Tiny Dancer, is likely not susceptible — which is good, because I don’t think he’d stand still for frequent applications of the stuff.


Winter Garb Addendum, for -10 F and Worse: 

January 19th through most of the 20th (2019) we had a snowfall of about a foot here.  Then, late Sunday (the 20th) our temps just simply plummeted, to a low of -13 F / -25 C on Monday.  Temperatures struggled up to about -7 by the end of that day.  Wind chill factors hovered around minus 25 to minus 30 (probably lower here) all day.  The 12 chickens were fine enclosed in their coop (no wind chill, decent ventilation, shared body warmth, some poop warmth, and I’d given them a third of a bag of extra pine shavings before the storm).  Their water froze, but that’s why I had to go down and replenish.

Normally, a good pair of thermal gloves suffices.  Mittens are hard to work with, and for certain tasks you WILL have to remove at least one of them for dexterity purposes.  BUT, if you get winter weather this cold, BUY A PAIR of thermal MITTENS!  You can remove one quickly if you need to have fingers at the ready for half a minute.  Most times, warmer weather, thermal gloves will suffice.

But, best yet!!!  My friend Kat sent me information about two styles of convertible mittens/fingerless gloves.  They seal up as mittens, and unseal to bring your fingers to the ready when briefly so needed – for instance, the picking up of eggs.  I am ordering NOW.  My choices:  TrailHeads Power Stretch Convertible Mittens – Women’s Fingerless Gloves  or Beurlike Women’s Winter Gloves Warm Wool Knitted Convertible Fingerless Mittens (both Amazon).

I was only down there about 15 minutes or so, but on the way back, I could feel my gloved fingers growing numb.  I will also get a heavier-duty insulated hat (make sure any hat you have covers your ears, which mine did, but it was not heavy duty enough…).  By the time I got back to the house, I was feeling that unpleasant “brain freeze” you can get if you eat too big a spoonful of really cold ice cream all at once.

I will also note that those effective temperatures around minus 30 F / minus 35 C wind chill factors will exhaust you.  Wind out of one’s sails, and other metaphors… Or maybe it’s just me, at age 65?  A good scarf and/or ski mask may also be in order.  

Keep a stash of Vaseline or similar around in case a rooster or hen needs the protection from frostbite on their comb or wattles .  (ATM, mine seem to be fine; as noted my rooster, Tiny Dancer, resists handling, so I’m glad he doesn’t need it.  Some breeds are more susceptible than others to frostbite. In this region, I’d made a point of choosing breeds that were not.)


At any rate:  Don’t let Ole Man Winter get you DOWN!


Past Posts in this Series:

  1. Raising Chickens Part I: Intro & Overview
  2. Raising Chickens Part II: Welcoming Baby Chicks
  3. This one.  Updated.
  4. Raising Chickens Part IV: My Chicken Run and Coop
  5. Raising Chickens Part V: The Bin, or Storage at Your Coop
  6. Raising Chickens Part VI: Feeding Those Layers
  7. Raising Chickens Part VII: Predation!
  8. Raising Chickens Part VIII: Is Organic the Way to Go?

This post is shivering, but warming up over at the following Link Parties:

Fiesta Friday.

Homestead Blog Hop

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Wisconsin Style Beer Cheese Dip

Contains:  Alcohol, dairy, wheat/gluten (most beer contains gluten, and may have wheat).  Is:  Quick and easy, Vegetarian.

I tested this for the recipe as a small personal batch.  I’ll upscale for visiting with friends, or for having them in.  

recipe, wisconsin, beer, cheese, dip, mozzarella, cream cheese, cheddar

I used sliced veggies for the dipping.  Tortillas or chips can also work with this dip.  Use what you / your guests would like!  

I used a white cheddar.  A yellow cheddar should provide a more vibrant color.

Source recipe used here:  https://sweetandsavorymeals.com/beer-cheese-dip/

Prep Time:  10-15 minutes.
Cook Time: Around 15 minutes.  Or, less.
Rest Time:  Not long, ideally serve warm.
Serves:  It’s a dip, so who knows?
Cuisine:  American.
Leftovers?: Yes, see below.

Wisconsin Beer Cheese Dip

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature.  Cube the cheese for easier melting.
  • 1/2 cup beer. 
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, shredded and packed down.
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded or ripped apart.  Pack it down to some degree.
  • 1/2 teaspoon no-salt garlic powder.
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, hot or mild.
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder.
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of Kosher salt and ground pepper.  (Note:  cheese already has lots of salt; you may be advised to taste before adding ANY!)

METHOD:  

In a saucepan on your cooktop, turn heat to medium.   Add the cream cheese, and allow it to melt, using a spatula or a wooden spoon.   Then, add the beer slowly, with continual stirring, until the two ingredients are incorporated together.  

Now, add the garlic powder, paprika and mustard.  Stir further.   Turn heat down and slowly add in the two other cheeses, with continual stirring.  Stir until all cheeses are fully melted.  

Taste and add salt and pepper as described above, or to taste.  Allow to thicken somewhat over very low heat if needed – it will thicken more in the serving bowl as its temperature decreases.  

Pour into that serving bowl and serve wam – with whatever you choose to use to dip into this.  

Apparently, you can re-heat on low, again on the cooktop, with continual stirring so that the cheese does not burn.  

Beer, cheese, dip, recipe, mozzarella, cheddar, cream cheese, vegetarian

This recipe is shared with:  

Full Plate Thursday.   Fiesta Friday.   Meatless Monday.  

 

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

A Korean Breakfast: Gyeran-bap with Avocado

Contains:  Eggs.  Soy.  Is   Quick and easy, vegetarian, gluten-free if you use the proper tamari.

Bap is rice in Korean (think Bibimbap).   Gyeran is eggs.   (Someday I think I’ll know a bunch of words in a variety of languages around the world, but they’ll all be food-related.)

Korean, avocado, breakfast, Gyeran-bap, recipe

This recipe comes from Aaron and Claire’s You Tube channel, from a video named “4 Quick and Easy Korean Breakfasts that even a College Student Can Make”.  For a breakfast, I generally prefer not to get too complicated.

In this recipe the rice is listed as already cooked.   You can cook it in the morning (use a rice suitable for sushi), which in itself will take time – use that time to prep for work or whatever — OR, if you have a rice cooker with a warming function, cook it up the night before, and leave it on the warming setting overnight.  This will avoid the texture that says, “make me into fried rice!” that comes from rice refrigerated overnight – which is the perfect texture for fried rice, but not for this dish.     Granted, this rice will be even better if you can cook it fresh, but sometimes schedules may make it a bit more tenuous for you.  The difference is not so severe if you can keep it warmed in a closed rice cooker overnight.  And it will still be warm enough to use.

Prep Time: 10 minutes, assuming you’ve cooked your rice!
Cook Time:  5 minutes.
Rest Time:  Not needed.
Serves: 1.
Cuisine:  Korean.
Leftovers:  Not recommended.  None of it will age well.

Gyeran-bap with Avocado

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 cup of finished cooked and warm sushi-style rice, cooked with a little salt, nothing else. Yes, should be the cooked volume.  (yes, only one half a cup!  Repaired due to a typo and my ageing eyes.)
  • 1 egg.
  • 1-2 teaspoons cooking oil.
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced.
  • 1/2 green onion, the green parts, cut into thin slivers.
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce or tamari.  (Or coconut aminos to be soy-free.)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.
  • A sprinkling of handy young greens, of your choice.  I chose cilantro, but it doesn’t need to be a seasoning.

METHOD:

Prep the rice as noted.  Cook the egg in a skillet in the cooking oil, to the done-ness you prefer.  Sunnyt side up is traditional.

Slice the half an avocado.

Assemble the dish:  Lay down the rice, then drizzle over the soy sauce. tamari, or coconut aminos.

Lay on the avocado slices, the cooked egg, and the sprinkling of greens and/or cilantro.

Drizzle on the sesame oil.

Serve immediately and enjoy!

recipe, Korean, breakfast, gyeran-bab, avocado

Recipe shared with:

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Meatless Monday.

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Happy New Years!

Welcome to 2022! 

homesteading, cockerel

Let’s hope this year works out better than the last couple of them.  Not that there hasn’t been good days and moments and events in the last two years, but overall, there was a level of distress going on.   On the positive side, my cat Serenity turned 20 years old this past November; I’ve enjoyed my farm, now having something like 19 chickens.  I’ve learned to raise quail – they’re all gone now, but I will be starting up more later this year.  No, not as personable as chickens, but rewarding in their own right.  Also, some great connections with good people.  And I’ve been active in online book club discussions via Zoom – which since the pre-COVID meetings were in person in Norwalk CT, I wouldn’t have been able to drive to from here, anyways.  I also remain in decent health – age 68 now, and no prescription meds.   My knees are shot, and I have frequent insomnia, but I get by.  Oh, I gave a workshop on maple syrup making as a beginner back in October.  We did this on Zoom, and people seemed to enjoy it.  Wrong time of year for hands-on, anyway!

Looking forward:

Sad to say I have been slow on the last few months of recipe making.  I did have a couple I wanted to make but they just didn’t turn out as expected – and there were occasions that I simply was under-inspired.  Hence, only two recipes posted in December (there is a third that will show up late this month, but I figure two recipes in the same month with the same variety of offal is too much of a good thing, so I space that sort of idea out).

I am planning for a few thematics this coming year, and I’ve decided on ones for the first half of 2022.  Two months will have themes:   February will be vegetarian and vegan; and May will be Mexican, South American and Tex Mex, with an emphasis on genuine dishes of the former two cuisines.

As for homesteading, I plan to kick up the syruping sessions this March (or whenever the sap decides to run), and plan to include a bit of birch syrup making, too.   I now have an additional coop, a small one from Tractor Supply, with three chickens in there at the moment.  It could hold a fourth.  There’s a new batch of chickens here, too – and I acquired an extra hen of uncertain parentage from someone a friend of mine met.  The newest pullets-turned-hens are starting to lay, which is nice, as the older ones have dried up for winter.

I’d still like to do lambs, goats or alpaca, but won’t happen this year.  I have to evaluate knee health and see if this will be feasible – which means an MRI and consultations later this spring.  If I have surgery again it cannot be in winter.  While there are people willing to take care of my animals while I recuperate, I cannot in good conscience ask them to slip-slide all over the snow and ice to the backyard coops.

Looking backwards some more:

homesteading

A trellis at Art in the Orchard in Easthampton, a fun installation a friend and I visited early last fall. Took some close up photos as well, for ideas for trellis construction this coming spring.

As far as crops go, potatoes, parsley, leeks and turnips were total successes.  Cherry tomatoes do well, but full sized ones still fail by and large.  Various greens are great.  The onions this year were great, but were not in stock when I went to order the new onion sets (which are to be planted in fall).  I want to focus on all of those again.  I’m going to amp up the herbal component here, and work hard on asparagus, which while it comes up remains spindly.  I may also have better luck getting the greenhouse up and going this year.

Time, I think, to go over my favorite recipes of the past year.   I am limiting myself to ten.

Cooking Artichokes the Simple Way

The best artichokes aren’t stuffed, or done complicated at all.   We grew up with these, and I will enjoy forever!   Well, as long as globe artichokes and I still exist on the same plane of reference.

Chinese Silken Tofu, Quick, Easy, Uncooked, Vegan

Another simple dish.   This is to date the only dish I have made with cold, uncooked tofu.

Filipino Kare-Kare with Tripe

Tripe (stomach lining of ruminant animals) is not the unpleasant thing some folk think of it as being.  I am looking forward to making more tripe dishes for my audience.  (Well, for me.)

Bison Bone Marrow on Crumpets, with Garlic, Lemon, and Balsamic Reduction

The crumpets were commercially bought, and probably Americanized, but this was a really good item.

Another BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato) Salad

Another tasty, simple one.  BUT you do need to do this when tomatoes are in SEASON!

Almond-Breaded Tapenade-Stuffed Trout, with a Mushroom Sauce

A very different recipe here.

Coturnix a la Española: Adaptation of a Spanish-Style Quail Recipe, circa 1898

Delving into pre-retro recipe concepts.  Using home-grown quail, too.

Eggplant (Aubergine) Breakfast Fritters with Shawarma Seasoning

Extremely delicious!!!

Tomagoyaki: A Japanese Rolled Omelet (Dashimaki Variant)

Another way to prepare eggs.

Kamut (Khorasan Wheat), Veggies and Duck Legs

Made this to share with a friend for a post-Christmas lunch.  Very successful duck, and my first time using Khorasan wheat.

woman in brown coat standing on brown concrete floor

Photo by SYLVIA ELIGI on Pexels.com

TO ALL, I WISH A VERY HAPPY 2022, GOOD HEALTH, PRODUCTIVE OCCURENCES AND CONNECTIONS OVER THIS COMING YEAR!

Shared with:  Fiesta FridayFarmstead Friday.

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Kamut (Khorasan Wheat), Veggies and Duck Legs

Contains:  Gluten, nightshades.  

I apologize for the lack of photos of this dish… I plumb forgot to take any.  I brought it to a friend at her hip re-hab facility.   I intended to make this for Christmas Day lunch (especially as she describes it the food they serve there hardly deserves the word “food” or even “sustenance” beyond barely, but we had significant icing outside, so I went over on the 26th – Boxing Day in certain parts of the world.  (As a child, when I first heard the term, I pictured it a day when Mohammed Ali and some other boxer would be celebrated ringside!)

If you like farro, you’ll probably like Kamut.  Like farro and emmer, this is another ancient grain.  I find it a bit “harder” and “nuttier” than farro.  There are a few people who cannot tolerate today’s wheat who can tolerate ancient grains (but not if you are Celiac).

Kamut is also known as Khorasan wheat or Oriental wheat (Triticum turgidum ssp. turanicum also called Triticum turanicum).  The grain is twice the size of modern-day wheat.  It is grown in the Middle East, and in Europe.  In Europe it is made into bread. In Iran a primary use is for camel feed!  The production and sale of this cultivar under the commercial name of Kamut in the US is strictly regulated and must be certified and comply with a series of rules established by the US company, Kamut, based in Montana.  Okay, mine was named Kamut, but maybe in the future I’ll be looking for Khorasan wheat!!   I don’t mind complying to this sort of principle for certain foods, but in this case, I mean, this grain is not remotely native to Montana!!!

Khorasan, wheat, kamut, duck, recipe, vegetables

It is high in protein, dietary fiber, many of the B-vitamins, and manganese.

I wanted to have a grain as a major component in this dish; and I didn’t feel this one called for rice.  Not finding the farro (I think I’d finished it off), I decided to try the Kamut, taste (to me) so far un-tasted.

Here’s a good web page for how to cook this (I used my rice cooker):

I’d fully intended to make sous vide pork tenderloin for the occasion, but hitting the frozen meats section at Guido’s while waiting for some folks ahead of me to pick out seafood, I saw they had duck legs.   No brine added, no water added – just simply DUCK.  And meaty enough that I wondered if these appendages were really mis-labelled breasts instead.  So…  I never got around to looking for that tenderloin!

Duck, kamut, Khorasan, wheat, recipe

Photo by Shay Wood on Pexels.com

To cook duck right, you need to render out the fat.  All seafowl are fatty – they need this fat to help them thrive in a watery environment. Makes them more buoyant for one.  Extra insulation, for another.

Veggies in this dish revolved around what felt “right” and happened to be in my refrigerator.  I had actually planned on roasting about half a pound of Brussels sprouts, but those little guys had decided to go moldy on me, and so…  not this time!  At any rate, add what works for you!

Prep Time: 15 minutes, mostly while the Khorasan wheat is cooking. 
Cook Time:  90 minutes.
Rest Time:  Rest the duck for 10 minutes, covered.
Serves:  2.
Leftovers:  Yes, refrigerate.

Kamut (Khorasan Wheat), Veggies and Duck Legs

  • 0.75 cups Kamut (Khorasan Wheat) berries, ie the whole grains.  You can sub in farro, emmer or freekah if desired, but you will have to prepare them according to those specific grains’ needs.  
  • 3 stalks celery, diced.
  • Chicken bone broth, home-made preferred but boxed low sodium broth or low sodium “Better than Bouillon” reconstituted with water can be substituted.  See Methods for amount.
  • Salt and ground pepper as needed.
  • 1 whole white or yellow onion, chopped. 
  • 1 whole bell pepper, preferably colorful.  (I used four mini-peppers).
  • About 4-5 ounces of cabbage – I used Savoy but any good green cabbage would work.  Slice into slivers.
  • Feel free to add more of other vegetables, or substitute in items you have at hand to the above.  
  • Two duck legs (or two breast halves).  
  • 2 heaping teaspoons of a Barbeque Rub.  (I used Penzey’s BBQ of the Americas).  
  • 1 heaping teaspoon of Adobo powder.  

For the Kamut / Khorasan wheat, I used a rice cooker, but you can cook in a stovetop pan just as well. The ratio is 1 part Kamut to 3 parts liquid.  If using a rice cooker, put the setting on “brown rice” if your cooker has that option.  Regular actually worked fine.  As for the liquid:  with a highly concentrated chicken stock such as I’d made, using about 1/3 chicken stock to 2/3 water worked fine.  Otherwise, you can go up to full boxed broth or a full “Better than Boullion” broth, should you wish.   Add the celery to the Khorasan wheat, and only add salt in, if your home-cooked stock lacks much of this.  (Mine does,  as I never know where or how I’ll be using it!)

Set the rice cooker to go, and turn your attention to the rest of the meal.  (Same true if you are doing a cooktop rice cooking method – but check to stir occasionally – otherwise keep covered.  PS the stovetop Kamut I understand needs about 45 minutes cooking time, but I have not tried it this way.  Read your package!

Meanwhile, prep the veggies.

You can always roast some specific vegetables in your oven (coated with a bit of cooking oil and seasonings).  But here:

Onions and pepper:  Sauté in an oven-ready skillet for about ten minutes, or until vegetables grow translusent, and a little early stage of browning occurs.  Set aside.  Bring the cabbage to them.

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

The Duck:  Be sure this is duck with no added water or brine – said briny duck will NOT cook properly.  Whether legs or breast parts, score all fatty areas with a criss cross pattern, about 1/3rd inches apart.  Cut all the way through the skin and fat. If you nick into the skin, that’s okay, but don’t plan on it. happening often.

Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on both sides of the legs (or the breasts, if you have those).  I don’t care what those “professional” chefs say, don’t go overboard on salting!  I think they’ve burnt out their salt taste receptors!!!   Yes, some salting is desired and is indeed important, but… please!  (This isn’t even a blood pressure issue, it’s a taste issue.  Flavor is so much more than sodium chloride!  It’s a balance of herbs and spices, and yes, some salt!)

The veggies you’ve cooked in your skillet are now removed.  Don’t add more oil to the skillet.  Turn to medium high heat. The duck will render out plenty of oil/fats.  Place duck parts fat side down in the hot skillet.  Cook four-five minutes each of the two sides.

In a casserole dish, add the khorasan wheat – you may find there is still liquid at the bottom of the cooked grain; so use a slotted spoon to remove the grains and celery to the dish.  Add in the sauteed veggies and any vegetable you may have roasted.  Also, add in the cabbage.  Mix in with the BBQ rub and the adobo seasoning.

Sprinkle a little more seasoning (either the rub or the adobo) over the duck legs (or breast).   Place both the casserole dish (covered) and the oven-ready skillet with the duck (uncovered) into the oven together.

For the legs, cook 45 minutes.  For the breast, cook about 30 for medium rare. – up to 40 if you wish well done.  Cook the casserole 40 minutes.  Remove and let the duck rest 10 minutes, during which you can plate the grain and veggie portion of this meal; two servings.

Lay a leg over each serving.  If you cooked duck breast instead, optionally slice it on a bias. (or leave each breast half whole).

Do reserve all fat drippings from the duck!   Very useful in a variety of future dishes!

kamut, khorasan wheat, duck, recipe

Yes, I’ve been a bit sparse (and mostly uncreative) this month.  But, I am back.  I hope everyone had a merry Christmas, a beautiful Yuletide, and any and all holiday traditions that are important to you!

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Ox Tongue Steaks, Japanese Style (from Beef or Bison)

Contains:  Offal, soy (legumes).  Is:  Japanese, gluten-free, with the proper soy sauce, can be Paleo/Whole 30, if using coconut aminos.

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything offally-inclined.  But here we are, once again, in the waste-not, want-not aspect of a homesteader.  Plus, I really like most (not all) offal, aka “variety meats”.   I grew up with it.  Familiarity breeds acceptance.  And it was a LOT cheaper, then.  If you have your proper sources: location-dependent, it is still somewhat cheaper now.

This recipe is from Chef Saito‘s video to this effect.  Unfortunately, he hams his presentation up in an overblown way that fails to engage me, but I was really interested in seeing if one can cook this meat up as steaks or not.   Yes, you can – you have to use the softer back end of the tongue (the part that roots into the animal’s throat) and reserve the tip region for more of a longer braising or boiling method).

tongue, ox, beef, bison, buffalo, recipe, steak

Medallions or steaks as they start to cook. Carpet with scallions/green onions.

(I’ll post any potentially “offending” pictures of tongue that looks like what it came from, at the bottom of this recipe.  I don’t “get it”, as I grew up with mother’s ox tongue as a staple dinner item, but I’ve gotten called out on this sort of thing in the past.
In addition, I got around people’s visual food phobias about what I brought into work for lunches by chopping the “offensive” bits into small fragments unrecognizable as heart or tongue.  This didn’t work with squid tentacles however, and I just had to let that specific individual who couldn’t stand looking at them on my plate just go sit somewhere else, if she arrived after I was already seated.  While my aim is never to offend, but educate, and enjoy meals, there’s only so much one can do!)

recipe, beef, ox, bison, tongue, offal, rice, mung bean sprouts, pan fried

The accompanying items today. You can also add in colorful veggies such as carrots and red bell pepper slices.

One can use either beef or buffalo tongue for this recipe – they taste and cook the same.

Because you are cutting off the skin of the tongue prior to cooking, there will inevitably be some wastage of meat that will adhere to the skin.  This won’t peel off, when raw.

Chef Saito cooks this in the Japanese manner, and uses mung bean sprouts, a couple longitudinally slices of pre-steamed/boiled carrot, shredded daikon radish, and his homemade ponzu sauce (essentially just soy sauce plus citrus, as in lime juice).  I will be adding a splash of sesame oil to this.  I’m not normally a fan of carrot, but if I over-cook that vegetable, I can eat it.  As for the daikon, my last trip to the supermarket failed to turn this up, but go ahead anyway!

The tricks are NOT to use the tip section of the tongue, to remove the skin prior to cooking, to slice fairly thick steaks (looks like about an inch thick at any rate), cook on a low to medium heat – there’s some sizzle there – rather than high, flip after three minutes, cook another three, then let rest for five.  He adds way too much salt to the tongue – I may just baste this in low-sodium soy sauce (San-J is my go-to brand, in the absence of any real Japanese food markets remotely near me).  San-J also has the benefit of coming in a gluten-free option which I use – and it tastes REAL, anyway.  Or sprinkle a hint over the tongue, all sides, and let pre-“marinate” for 15 minutes.

I didn’t cook in the suggested sesame oil, as I’ve now been entrained to use this as a condiment instead.  But since the temperature is NOT very high heat, choose your own path forward!

Vegetables are a suggestion.  Any good batch of Japanese veggies can be a great base for this dish.  And nothing says you can’t bring the basic principles of this dish into other cultural paradigms of seasonings and accompanying vegetables.  I could see cooking, say, a hangar, flat iron, or flank steak this way.

Prep Time:  25 minutes.
Cook Time:  The meat/veggies:  10 minutes.  The rice will depend on cooking method, but longer – adjust them concurrently.  The rice can stay warm for quite a while.
Rest Time:  5 minutes.
Serves:  2
Cuisine:  Japanese.
Leftovers:  Yes.

Ox Tongue Steaks, Japanese Style

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tongue, front portion, ie, the tip, removed (saved for another dish).  Use the back, more tender area, instead.
  • 1/2 cup sushi rice
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (unseasoned)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu sauce (or to 1/4 cup of low sodium tamari sauce, add the juice of half a lime).  You can make a Ponzu sauce with coconut aminos instead of tamari, for Whole30 compliance.
  • Optional shredded daikon radish – to add to the Ponzu sauce.  
  • Salt and pepper to taste.  
  • Cooking oil, about 2-3 tablespoons.  (I used grapeseed oil).
  • Sesame seed oil, around 1 teaspoon.  Toasted or hot is up to you.

METHOD:

Prepare the rice according to the package – I use a 1:2 ratio of rice to lightly salted water, after rinsing the rice about three times in fresh running water.  I use a rice cooker for convenience.  If the rice is cooked before the rest of the meal is ready, let it sit on the “warming” function.

Meanwhile, take the portion of tongue, and cut off all the skin. This will not remove easily from the raw tongue, and you will lose a little bit of meat in the process.  Cut away any excess bits of fat that appear at the hind end of this tongue, and discard as well.

Slice the tongue into medallions of about an inch (2.5 cm) thick.

You can score the medallions if desired.  I skipped this step.

Salt and pepper the steaks, and let rest 15 minutes.  

If you need to make your own Ponzu sauce, you can make it now.  If you do have shredded daikon radish, add this to the Ponzu and set aside.  Or, omit.

Heat up a large skillet and add your cooking oil.  Heat to a medium heat level – too hot will turn the tongue terribly tough!

Cook about 3 minutes each side.

At the end, drizzle the sesame seed oil over the medallions.

Remove from skillet, and rest for five minutes, covered.

While the tongue is resting, add the rice vinegar and the sugar to the rice, gently stirring with a knobby rice spatula, or a wooden spoon, to avoid mashing the rice.

Also, stir fry up the bean sprouts or other vegetables you will be using with this dish.  (If something needs a longer frying time, start that item while the tongue is cooking, and just simply add the less-needy veggies in later.)

Slice the medallions.  These should be pink inside.  Yes, I know, if you like well-done meat, this dish will NOT work for you.  That alternative would be chewy like shoe leather.

Plate everything.  You can use the Ponzu sauce as a dip, or pour portions over the meal.

tongue, ox, beef, bison, buffalo, recipe, rare, steaks

The back half of a bison tongue. It has been cleared of skin, and is ready to be sliced into medallions (or, steaks, if you prefer).
tongue, ox, bison, beef, Japanese, steaks

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Chinese-Seasoned Country Style Pork Ribs

Contains:  Soy (a legume), nightshades.  Is:  Gluten free.

country style ribs, pork, recipe, Asian, Chinese

One of my favorite cuts of pork – beats out bacon, too.

Oh, and these aren’t ribs after all.  They are cuts from the shoulder of a porker.  If you see any bones in there, those are from the shoulder blade bone region.  This will be why some of these cuts have bones, and many don’t.  Some cuts of this can be very fatty, but others indeed less.  Do look at the meat you pick up! They are hard (not impossible) to overcook.  They do benefit a lot from “low and slow”, but they are also great on the BBQ.

country style ribs, pork, recipe, Asian, Chinese

I had a batch of small bell peppers, so I used one red and one green.  The onion came from my garden.

Prep Time:  10 minutes.
Cook Time:  1 hour.
Rest Time: 5 minutes.
Serves: 1 or 2.
Cuisine:  American.
Leftovers:  Sure.

Country Style Pork Ribs, with Asian Influences

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 or 3 country style ribs, optional bone-in. (Lightly bone-in, in this case)
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced and then coarsely chopped.
  • 1 large bell pepper (or two small ones), de-seeded, sliced and chopped. 
  • 1/2 the juice from a lemon.  A lime would work even better. 
  • 1-2 tablespoons Asian oyster sauce. 
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium Chinese dumpling sauce (if you can’t find, use low sodium tamari or soy sauce)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder.  
  • Ground pepper and garlic powder to taste. 

METHOD:

Pre-heat the oven to 325 F.

Add the slices of onion and bell pepper to the bottom of a baking dish.

Add the slices of short ribs above – meatiest side up-most.

Drizzle the lemon or ime juice over the meat.  Drizzle the oyster sauce over the meat.  Add the Chinese dumpling sauce, especially over exposed portions of vegetables.

Sprinkle the five spice powder on, both meat and exposed veggies.  Same with a little ground pepper and garlic powder.

Cook in the oven for 60 minutes/1 hour.  Remove, let rest 5 minutes, serve.

country style ribs, pork, recipe, Asian, Chinese

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Posted in Asian & Asian Influenced, Cooking, Meats | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Simple Open Face Melted Cheese Sandwiches, with Bell Pepper, Green Onions, and a Little Herring

Contains:  Gluten/wheat, fish.  Is:  Quick and easy, keep it simple, optionally vegetarian, option to use GF bread.

This is one of those simple dishes I really shouldn’t include right now, but it is basically a standby for me when I don’t have a lot of time (and I am eating at home).  Optionally, you can use a gluten-free bread, if you wish and/or have some slices to hand.  This came about from having practically no breakfast and not cooking until 12:30 – right after our time change, which meant my system thought it was 1:30 pm,  (So, yes, a couple weeks back here…)

Melted cheese sandwich, recipeAs I think I have mentioned before, I am not fond of THICK slices of bread.  I consider “food to bread” an important ratio to consider.  Although I was fairly Paleo for the past decade, it was  nearly always a consideration of my taste buds, although health was sometimes a part of my thoughts.  At this point, my thoughts lean to the idea that bread is okay for me (I have no known gluten-intolerance) but I 1) don’t really like eating a lot of bread, and 2) I want to cook for gluten-intolerant friends, who will remain gluten-intolerant no matter what my own cookings may change towards.  So, sandwich recipes will always lean towards lower (and sometimes, no – because there ARE lettuce wraps) levels of bread.  Thin-slicing is a wonderful concept to me!

The herring came from one of those jars with pickled herring (no cream) you can find in the odd corner of many supermarkets.  Sub with mushrooms, or anything else you care to sub with.

The photos are of one slice at a time – when I took a cooked cheesy slice out of the (toaster) oven for photography and gnoshing, I left the other in to eat without getting cold or congealed.

Here’s a quick open faced melted cheese – adapt as you will!

Prep Time:  10-15 minutes.
Cook Time:  15-20 minutes.
Rest Tune:  Just enough to serve.
Serves:  Two slices of melted cheese toast per person.

Very Simple Open Face Melted Cheese Sandwich, with Bell Pepper, Green Onions, and a Little Herring

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two slices of good quality bakery bread per psrson, these will be open face.
  • 1/2 small bell pepper, no seeds, and chopped.
  • 1 scallion/green onion, chopped.
  • 2-3 segments of herring, from a jar of pikled herring (without the cream sauce) .  You can also add in a piece or three of the pickled onion from that jar.
  • Several slices of your favorite melty cheese – enough to cover the intended sandwich two-fold. Choose your favorite.

.METHOD:

Preheat a regular oven to 350 F, or simply wait to heat up a toaster oven when you are prepared to cook.

Dot everything around on each slice of bread at whim, except the cheese.

Now, add the cheese slices.  I am in favor of a double-thickness for nearly any type of cheese, and recommend  your covering this to the edges.  .

Place in the regular oven, and  set your timer for 10 minutes.  Or, add the makings to your toaster oven, and turn this implement on – setting this for 10-12 minutes.

When probably done, check the cheese – if it is nice and melty, you are ready to eat.  Otherwise, add another 2-3 minutes of cooking time.

Options:  Add mushrooms instead of herring.  Try putting the finished open faced sandwiches under broil for 30 seconds, to crisp up the cheese. Use a pepper jack cheese for an extra bite.  Oh, add in anything you love to eat!  What is good about these is that it is not hard to make them responsive to a variety of taste buds and flavor inclinations.

melted cheese, sandwich, herring

.Shared at:  Fiesta Friday, Full Plate Thursday, What’s for Dinner: Sunday Link-Up,  

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