Stir Fried Rice

stir fried rice

I try hard to get the buffet look with my stir fried rice. In this guy, we have in this order

ground beef browned and set aside

load of duck fat with butter nub in the pan
onions

when the onions are looking sexy

garlic
carrots
celery

then the pre-cooked rice, Uncle Ben’s style yo.
then the ground beef back in

fish sauce
soy sauce
salt
pep

after it’s all cooky cooky, push it to the side

scramble two eggs in the gap

add the eggs to the rest

yell, ” dinner is ready!!”

heat some more and serve

oh merde! don’t forget to add some frozen peas!

Advertisements

My First Beef Sausage!

DSC_1420

I made some beef sausage last night.  I should have asked or read or followed somebody.  I had beef.  I had casings.  I had the drive.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with the casings.  Brent passed by on his way to pick up Lucy, “Brent,” I say, “what do I do with this shit?”  “You soak them,” he says, like he has made sausage.  I actually don’t know.  Maybe he has made sausage.  Hopefully this won’t come up when we’re on The Newlywed Game ( T.V. game show ).

My first sausage:

DSC_1422

It was a bit fatter than I was expecting.  Things got a little heated and I had to stop.  I was doing it wrong.  Brent came back in from picking up Lucy from school.  “Here’s my sausage!” I say, “I think I did it wrong.”  “Stop.  I know where you went wrong,” he says in an even tone.  Evidently, I needed to roll the intestinal condom on the hoob-a-joob completely, then let the sausage unfold into slinky sausage magic.

I got the hang of it.  A bit tough juggling the raw meat, toddler, casing, sausage spooge and glass of wine, but I managed.  No toddler was used in the making of this sausage.  She screamed and cheered and wondered what the heck I was doing.

DSC_1432

We cooked it up for a taste.

DSC_1433

It was a bit crumbly at the fat end.  I might need to add an egg or something.  The skinny end ( we have a nickname for this, but I’ll hold it in ) was not as crumbly.

DSC_1434

A little Dijon and it tasted not bad.  There is a lot of work ahead arriving at the perfect beef sausage, but this one was edible and almost enjoyable.

DSC_1436

Two out of four Curtis children approved.  Zélie loved it and wanted more.  Though, maybe she would do anything to avoid going to bed.  A sausage good enough to delay bedtime.

Lucy:

  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you …. Dad? what’s the friendly word for criticism?
  • Brent: Feedback
  • Lucy: Mom, I need to give you feedback.  It needs sauce.

Otto detested it.  He’s sick, so perhaps another go.

Minty:

  • Minty: Mom, I don’t like this sausage.
  • Me: Okay, Mint Mint.  Don’t eat it.  No worries.
  • [ sigh ] [ pause ] [ sigh ]
  • Mom, what’s for dinner?
  • Me: [ inner growl ]

Beef Curry

DSC_1319 I made four kilos of beef curry.  It took most of the day to cook, but a little part of the day to prepare.  It warmed the kitchen while cozying you up inside with a fantastic aroma.  I used a recipe given to me by a friend and fellow beef eater.  It’s Peter Kuruvita’s Sri Lankan Beef Curry.  I’ve made it so many times that I have a few variations to reduce labor, pots, pans and availability of ingredients.

First, some beef.  I used the “beef bourguignon” cuts from our meat box.  I cut the chunks a bit smaller as I have young kids with cute, little teeth.  It’s easier for them this way.

DSC_1104 I marinate over night in all the spices and the ginger.  For a 1 kilo batch, the spices are:

  • Sri Lankan Curry powder, 5 tsp
  • ground cumin, 2 tsp
  • ground coriander, 2tsp
  • chili powder
  • cloves, 8
  • fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp
  • cardamom pods, 4
  • cinnamon sticks – crumbled, 2
  • tumeric powder, 1tsp

Everyone gets acquainted in the fridge.

DSC_1152 When I’m ready to cook, I chop a pile of onions and a load of garlic.  That goes in “Big Red,” our big pot that rules them all.  The onions and garlic bubble gently in butter waiting for the meat.

DSC_1150 In a butter-lard fat mix, the beef gets colored.

DSC_1154 I don’t brown it.  There will be enough flavor with everything else joining the beef curry party.

DSC_1158 The meat goes in Big Red with the onions and garlic.

DSC_1159Then the tomato paste, a little can ( not the little, little can. The tall, little can ).  Add some pepper.

DSC_1162 Then some water.  It looks watery, but don’t worry.  After some patience, it will turn all curry like.

DSC_1178

On this day, award winning food blogger Anneli Faiers from Delicieux was around picking up some beef and met Big Red.  She gave him a stir and a sniff.

DSC_1175 This is her “hungry face.”  I think the curry was progressing nicely.

DSC_1169 A few hours later, beef curry magic.  I cooled it down and stuck it in the fridge for further infusion.  Curry the next day always seems to taste better.

DSC_1199 Some chutney, some Substance P perhaps some creme fraiche … lovely.  I thought my four kilo beef blast would last and I could pull some out of the freezer when I felt like an easy “chuck it in the pot” day.  It went.  All of it.  I managed to freeze a bit for later, but later came so soon.  It’s beef day today, maybe I’ll pull out Big Red and do it all again.

Spaghetti with Meatball, Says Minty

DSC_1004

Minty uses her Jedi mind tricks to do many things like buy Cadbury Dairy Milk, dried sausage and choose what we eat for dinner.  Well, technically, fettucini or linguine or very flat noodles with meatballs. No matter, you make, you boil, you eat with sauce and stuff, ’nuff said.

I didn’t think to write up Spag with Meatballs until I was well on my way. Mostly because I’m sick. I feel like resting as this old dog would do.

DSC_0981

or sun bathing like this young barn cat.

DSC_0983Yet people need food and our kitchen needs to keep on keeping on.

Noodles ready.  I made them with spelt.  In French it’s called “épeautre.”

  • 1 1/2 cups of spelt
  • two eggs

mix and knead. roll in a pasta roller

DSC_0974
Sauce on. Very simple. For kids, I try to avoid too many notes.

  • 1 small onion
  • a bit of garlic
  • tomato paste
  • big can of toms
  • duck fat
  • salt
  • pep

DSC_0987

 

Balls frying.

  • Ground beef
  • salt
  • pepper
  • dash of allspice
  • duck fat

DSC_0975

 

Start the sauce.  Defrost the beef.  Make the noodles.  Boil the water.

DSC_0978When things magically converge on a meal, boil the noodles.  You can warm your balls in a low oven.

DSC_0989 Wet your noodles with a bit of sauce and plate.  Scoop some sauce and on go the meaty balls.  Top with some parm.

DSC_0998Minty loved her Spaghetti with Meatball.  Zélie said, “NO!”  “NO! PEGGY MEAT BALL!!”  That’s how she rolls.

Bavette, Gets ’em Wet

DSC_0876A  simple cut for a fry pan.  I’ve sizzled up many a bavette and each time I wonder if maybe I could have finished up in a hot oven.  Yet each time, after a quick hot fry, it comes out juicy and tasty.

This is before:

DSC_0852It’s a Bavette.  100% grass-fed beef bavette from our farm.  In English, we call it a flank steak.

DSC_0854

Hot pan a go-go.  A minute or so on one side,

DSC_0855

Then introduce the other with the hot heat and some gros sel.

DSC_0860

The hot duck fat gets that beef to be yum with a few flips.

DSC_0864

DSC_0865

After a rest, some pepper and a pat of butter, dig in.  I had no veg with this guy because I’m preparing Bambi.

DSC_0884

DSC_0893

Bambi is soaking.  The kids had manchons de canard or Gascon Buffalo Wings as I like to call them.

DSC_0899

Kevin fell victim to the black seat of nap.

DSC_0895

Then we had cheese.  The kind of cheese that needs pink Champagne to make it real.  Though, lacking in pink bubbles, this bavette was big enough for the both of us and oh what cheese!

DSC_0901Chaource

Veal T-bone

DSC_0760We recently sold out our veal boxes.  Thankfully, we managed to grab a t-bone to assess our quality.  Every time we sell meat, the fry pan goes on and we sample to make sure the work put in for tasty meat is going along smoothly.  Tasting a veal t-bone is a perk of farming grass-fed beef.

DSC_0737In France, it’s called a “cotes/filet a griller.”
DSC_0735In any language, it looks delicious.

DSC_0738I fried in a fat that can take heat.  Grass-fed tallow was ready to go.

DSC_0740After a gros sel, in to the hot pan for a right browning.

DSC_0743Then a flip.  And another flip and another flip.  I don’t eat veal rare, but I suppose you can.

DSC_0742Onions, shallots and garlic are ready to mop up the fond.

DSC_0747As the t-bone is resting, butter goes in for a meltdown.

DSC_0748The OSG absorb the butter as they mail-it-in as sauce.  I think I added a dash of water, but wine or stock would seal the deal.

DSC_0768As we tasted, we had our best friend to the left of us.

DSC_0770Kitty to the right.  Stuck in the middle with veal.  A great lunch.  It came out nice, this.

DSC_0767

Meatballs For The Pub

DSC_0499

If you’re at the pub and someone shows up with hot meatballs, a rush of happiness fills the air.  I love to make meatballs.  Pair that with the Irish pub in Jegun to watch a lovely evening unfold. It’s so easy and straightforward.  These babies are technically “Swedish Meatballs.”  Though, after chatting to the two Swedish people I know, I’m guessing there is room for some artistic Swedish creativity when it comes to making balls out of meat.

When the balls were ready, they looked like this.  I then rushed over to the pub for a giggle and some night life.

DSC_0489It is very simple.  You need:

  • Mince or ground beef for the American crew ( I hear those crazy kids at Grasspunk do some mean mince )
  • Allspice
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Beef broth
  • Dash of flour

No chopping required.  Put some mince into a big bowl.

DSC_0373You could ball them up like so, but first, add some spice.

DSC_0434And an egg.  I added four eggs because I did a lot of meatballs.

DSC_0500

DSC_0409Then a dash of Allspice.  In France, they call it “quatre-épices.”  Everything sounds great in French.

DSC_0426And some nutmeg.

DSC_0430And some pepper.

DSC_0431Duck fat in.

DSC_0442Ball them babies up and start browning.

DSC_0444If you do a lot of meatballs and your pan looks sad, change out the oil and start anew.

DSC_0450You could chuck in some beef broth and cream to let it bubble in an average oven.  I’ve had bad luck with that, so I made a cream sauce instead.

Butter in.

DSC_0455A little flour to brown.

DSC_0463Then the beef stock.

DSC_0467Slowly. Nice and creamy.

DSC_0468Then the cream.

DSC_0471It’s a bit white at first, but when it snuggles in with the meatballs, it gets all browny browny.

DSC_0473The cream sauce is poured in with the browned balls.

DSC_0477In the oven for thirty minutes or so. Then, voila!  Yummy meatballs for the pub!

DSC_0487

Mince: Chili Edition

chili

This is actually a Heston Blumenthal chili recipe lazily executed by me.  I customized it to suit the family.  We use grass-fed beef from our farm Grasspunk.  I actually don’t even remember the recipe.  It goes a little something like this.

Chop some onions.

I finely dice my onions if I’m making this for my son Otto, otherwise he’ll pick each and every onion out griping at me the whole time.  Tonight’s chili was for grownups, so I did big fat chunks as quickly as possible.

chili

Then prepare some garlic.

I’m not a garlic basher.  I think that’s a sad way to go if you’re a garlic.  I like to chop off the top and peel.  It falls off similarly to the garlic bash method.  Then I thinly slice.  One could crush the garlic into the chili.  Mr. K will tell me that crushing is the best way.  I will say, “no it’s not.” He’ll say, “yes it is.” Me, “no it’s not.” He, “yes it is.” “No it’s not.” “Yes, it is”  We were in our late thirties at the time of that conversation.

It’s a matter of preference.  For this chili, I like the subtle garlic flavor with the thinly sliced texture.

chili

Duck fat in.  Butter nub in.

Ready to gently bubble the onions and garlic into translucent bliss.  Onions and Garlic go in the pan you want your chili to end up in.

chili

A star anise is added.

I quadrupled the recipe, so you will see a few stars in there.  I think you can over anise, so one is sufficient.  Two is too much.

chili

While that works, brown your mince.

chili

Our mince comes in burgers.  Two pack is .250 kg.  Crack ’em open and put them in your browning fry pan that is full of duck fat.  We love our duck fat.  Tallow or lard will also be lovely.

They look like this at first.

chili

Then after a bit of a tonging.

chili

Then the duck fat is doing its job.

chili

Then when it’s brown, add the wine.

chili

The Madiran is for the chef.  The bucky-fiddy Cahors is for the chili.

DSC_0289

Onions look lovely.  Time for tomato paste.

chili

Add pastechili

Mix it all about.  Let that make friends until the paste goes “brick red.”

I believe that’s what the original recipe said.  Because every time I get to this step I start singing, “she’s a brick [beat beat beat] house. Shake it down. Shake it down. Shake it down now!”
chili

Add the meat.

chili

Stir it up.  Little darling.

chili

Add toms.

chili
chili

Add heat.

I used a little diddy I call Substance P.

chili

Add beef broth.  Do some salt and pep.  Then, partially cover and let it be.  Let it be chili for some minutes.

chili

Give is a taste.  More salt.

chili

Scoop or slop into a bowl.  Add some cheddar cheese, some creme fraiche, some more Substance P.  Sit down.  Enjoy.

This is the recipe I follow:
chiliI need to know the quantities of stuff and then the order they go in.  The rest I remember.  You can also add beans.  Beans don’t go well in our family.

For whatever reason or in a quick dash for a piece of paper, on the back of my chili recipe is a recipe for cement.  I think that making cement and eating chili are a nice combo.  You can also read some French lesson I failed.

chili

Shake it down now:

Mince: Gascon Spring Roll Edition

DSC_0260

I suppose these are technically Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, though beyond using Vietnamese rice wraps and Vietnamese rice noodles, I sort of went with it Gascon style.

Get the filling started.  Boil the water for the noodles.

Filling:

  • Local Grass-fed Mince
  • Duck Fat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fish Sauce
  • Grass-fed beef broth, what, like two cups?

Load up the pan with some duck fat and chuck in your mince.

DSC_0234

DSC_0233Add verte-blanc-orange when things seem all browny.

DSC_0231

DSC_0242

After the mirepoix gets acquainted, add a splash of fish sauce, the beef broth and begin prep for the wrapping.

Pull out a galettes de riz sized bowl and fill it with warm water.  By this time, your noodle water should be ready.  Get the colander ready and then boil your noodles.  Quick! take them out.  They don’t need long.DSC_0248

With the noodles done and the filling done, you should be ready to roll.

DSC_0249

Rice wrap has a quick bath in warm.

DSC_0253

Then, put on a plate for beef-noodle innards with a roll to follow.

DSC_0254

First beef filling.

DSC_0255

Then, some noodles.

DSC_0256

A snuggy roll.  Snug it in nice and tight.

DSC_0257

Another flip.
DSC_0258

Then a tuck on both ends.  Line them up on some parchment paper ready for frying.  This time, in duck fat. Ah yeah!

DSC_0279This sort of food works much better when friends and family help out.  I found it to be a lot of work all by myself.  I imagined this dish coming about in a time when family members lived close and popped by for some tea.  They see you cooking and start mumbling criticisms about how you’re doing it all wrong.  You look around for something to distract the taunting, see rice wraps, tell them, “hey! why don’t you stuff it!”  Then the afternoon unfolds in merriment and gossip with a lovely fried dumpling at the end.

DSC_0270We served with Yummy Sauce and Substance P goob.  Yummy Sauce is something that involves most of MSG’s friends and neighbors, namely, fish sauce, anchovy and tomato pastey, that I picked up at the market from the Asian stall dude.  Substance P goob is: soy sauce, Substance P and a dash of Yummy Sauce.

I was going to finish with a lovely shot of Gascon Spring Rolls on a perfectly photo fluffed plating with garnish.  When I turned around to grab a roll for its plating, they were gone.  All I have is this little buddy I sampled before frying the lot.  Noodles hanging out, next to day old Einkorn bread, snuggled against fish sauce, P goob all over the place.   It was fantastic!

DSC_0278

I Love Pounding Meat

20130824-183346.jpg

Take a little steak. Pound it like you just don’t care. Egg it then bread it and mark it with a ‘b’ and serve it up warm for kiddies and me.

Fried in tallow, you can take a tasty steak and make it accessible to children. Looks like chook, tastes like a chook finger. But it’s so much better for you.

20130824-183357.jpg

After the steak is cooked, chuck in some veg. Tonight we have mushies and pepps with some shallot, garlic and surpeez.
20130824-184348.jpg

… And for zee adults, foie gras. Our freezer is running down and … well … it’s all we have. Salt, pep, a bit of sweet, a dash of nutmeg. Sure to be yum.