More brewing

Since the mead post, I have made rice wine, and have hard cider sitting in the closet. I have also started up a Russian Imperial Stout, and am planning to get a Hefeweizen started this upcoming weekend.

IMG_0404Here is the stout getting ready for the boil

 

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Rotisserie Chicken Mac n Cheese Bake

I tossed this together earlier, and it turned out incredible. Here you go!

  • Cook up about 1 cup of macaroni noodles, I used shells but elbows are great. Drain when done and set aside.
  • In a saucepan, melt some butter or bacon grease, and drop in 2-3 cloves of minced garlic.
  • Add in 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup milk (you can use all milk if you want)
  • Stir in 1tbsp of sea salt, some parsley and thyme,  and some cayenne and black pepper
  • Add 2 egg yolks and 2 tbsp flour and stir till combined, then take off the heat.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar, medium cheddar, two Kraft singles (if you want to) , and about 1/4 cup Parmesan until melted (honestly any cheddar or mozzarella will do fine).
  • Grease a baking dish, and put in your noodles. Pour the cheese over them, and mix in whatever meat (cooked) you want to use. I used leftover chicken, bacon is great too.
  • Top with a little more cheese and some parsley, and bake for about 20 minutes at 375 F.
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Coming Soon, Mead!

I’m a week away from starting my first batch of mead (honey wine). I’m very excited, and can’t wait for it to be ready (December). I’ve been gathering all of the equipment, materials, and advice that I need to make my first batch a success. I’ll post pictures and updates as the process goes on. 

Fesenjoon

My latest culinary area has been the Middle East. From delicious Assyrian Jajik, to today’s recipe, the Persian Fesenjoon, I’ve been having a lot of fun lately. This is certainly not my first foray into the region, but I have to say, I keep coming back. Over the last few years I have been making Dolma, Shawarma, Hummus, Kebab, Quateyef, and Tagine, as well as a few other recipes that didn’t turn out so well.

Today I’ll go over making Fesenjoon. In Iran, this dish is known as a khoresht, which is a meal like a stew or a casserole, having a rich sauce. Unlike a Biryani or a classical curry, Fesenjoon does not employ an army of exotic spices to conquer your taste buds. The dish relies on strong, savory flavors, which are at the same time both sweet and sour. My one word of caution regarding this dish is the following: if you are not patient in the kitchen, do not try this recipe. You will be standing over the pot for a very long time.

As usual, my recipe comes from several sources, but the basic ingredients and process comes from (http://www.savorychicks.com). There are countless ways to prepare this dish, but I didn’t like the look of any of the quickie recipes I ran into while putting this together.

Ingredients: (about 9-10 servings)
olive oil
2 onions
2 1/2 cups shelled walnut
3+ cups water
3 lbs of chicken (cube if you want, really up to you. this is also made with duck)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup pomegranate syrup/pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup sugar
pinch saffron or a dash of saffron water

Preparation:
Finely dice your onions, and fry them in some oil in a large pot. Remove them from the pot once they start to get golden in color, be careful not to burn them.

Grind up your walnuts in a blender or food processor, I like mine pretty fine, but rough chopped would work too. You can toast them a minute first if you like.

Add about 3 cups of water to a pot, and mix in your ground walnuts. Bring this to a quick boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir this mixture regularly for about an hour, making sure it does not scorch. If it gets too dry, just add more cold water. The mix should be like a runny oatmeal appearance.

After about an hour, add your onions to the mix, and stir them in. Next, add your pomegranate syrup and 1/2 tsp of salt. Let it simmer for another 2-3 hours, stiring every 20 or so minutes to prevent burning.

Add the sugar to the mixture, and keep it at a simmer. Add s little water if it seems too dry.

In the large pot you used for the onions, add a little more oil, and cook your chicken pieces on both sides, about 5 minutes. Just cook until they are approaching browned on either side, don’t worry about cooking through. Sprinkle the chicken with the rest of the salt and the turmeric and saffron while you are cooking it.

Add the walnut mixture to the chicken pot, put in a little more water, and stir. Let the stew simmer, covered for another 45 minutes to an hour. Taste the sauce and add more sugar or salt to taste. Take off the lid, and if your stew seems way too watery, let it simmer a few more minutes with the top off.

It’s done! You can serve this on plain basmati or Persian rice, or even eat it on flatbread. I
served mine with some lettuce and rice Tahdig. If you’re feeling creative, top the meal with fresh pomegranate seeds or crushed walnuts for a little flair.

Walnuts toasting

Walnuts toasting

Cooking the chicken

Cooking the chicken

IMG_0112

My Tahdig

My Tahdig

Finished!

Finished!

Delicious!

Delicious!

Shōyu style homemade ramen

Well, I wasn’t planning on posting this, but I cave to peer pressure when it comes to food I guess. I openly admit to stealing the core of this recipe from Mamie Nishide, but I never like to leave a recipe alone, so I made a few changes. So here you go:

2 servings ramen style wheat noodles
2 cups pork stock (I used beef)
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup vegetable stock
2 stalks + 1 stalk green onion
handfull bean sprouts
1 to 2 leaves cabbage, chopped
1 egg, hard boiled
4 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp sliced fresh ginger root or 1 tsp powder
4 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
*my additional ingredients, to taste*
mirin cooking sake
rooster garlic chili paste
gochujang Korean chili paste
rice vinegar

Boil the stocks, 2 stalks green onion (chopped into large pieces), garlic,
pepper and ginger, and simmer 20 minutes.

Skim the liquid. Add soy sauce (and additional ingredients) to the pot, and
then remove a small amount of liquid to a smaller pot to cook the cabbage
(about a minute) and set aside.

Strain the soup, and return to pot. Boil your noodles in another pot until
done. Drain the noodles, and add to the soup.

Cut egg in half, and top ramen with the egg, cabbage, remaining green onion,
and bean sprouts.

Serves two to three (add another serving of noodles)