Burgers On The Grill

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I know I don’t need to tell you that it’s Burger time.  I’m very pleased that, at last, I dusted off my grill and got back to what this blog was about. We sold beef burgers to our customers and I thought I should try out our burgers on the BBQ.  I’ve only ever tasted them in a hot pan.   So we got the grill going to see how our burgers held up.DSC_0891 Someone gave us a classic Weber Grill without legs.  The grill is in great condition.  I’m not sure what happened to the legs.  Sometimes what happened in ‘Nam, stays in ‘Nam.  Brent found some bricks with rounded tops that held it steady.  I think I shall call our new BBQ “Timmy.”

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I’m used to lighting the charcoal with a chimney deal.  A bit of paper in the bottom and charcoal on the top.  Things get hot and then action pours onto the scene.  Instead, we lit it with a fire starter and made a little pile.DSC_0873

That seemed to do the trick.DSC_0882

After the burgers were about ready, we popped the cheese on.  Yes, yes, “American Cheese.”  We like the irony of living in the land of cheese and using milk product spread in plastic.  We also enjoy Comte, so don’t you worry.DSC_0892

Buns toasted.DSC_0899

Potatoes baked.DSC_0905

And an experimental pepper with Cantal Jeune and duck fat melted inside.DSC_0901

Peppers were okay.  Still need a bit of work.

The burgers were great.  I loved the charcoal touch to the flavor.  Below is Kevin’s burger.  Plenty of sun and bun.  Not a fan of the bun, he did the best he could with the French “Maxi Bun ”  by filling in with lettuce and condiments.DSC_0904

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Pavlova

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It’s very hot right now and the fruit is abundant.  Time for Pavlova!  Pavlova is my FAVORITE dessert.  I’ll spare you how much I love this food.

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I use a recipe from a blogger friend of mine at The Kitchen’s Garden.  She shared with us Mama’s Pavlova.  This is a no fail Pavlova shell.  Though I’ve had variations on the outcome ( all my fault ), I’ve never had a disaster. 

You should read her recipe, but here’s what it looked like when I followed along.

I whipped my egg whites and friends until it could hold a spatula to attention.

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Chucked it into a parchment lined round tin.  Smoosh it around with the idea that you will eventually put cream and fruit on it.DSC_0822

Placed in a preheated oven which is then turned down.  It cooks and puffs.DSC_0824

After it cools, I put some whip cream on it and peaches.  Any seasonal fruit will do.  Kiwi fruit, strawberries, nectarines ….

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If you have friends in Australia, ask them to bring out some canned passion fruit syrup.  This acts as the area rug and pulls the pav together.  It is impossible to find in France, so I am very careful with each drop we use.  Hopefully you have better sources.DSC_0840

I added some grated milk chocolate.  It’s supposed to be crumbled Cadbury Flake, but we are in the land of Milka.  DSC_0842

I thought grated Flake was the tradition, but apparently after sample size n= 2 Australians, this is some fancy ass addition.

This Pav was a bit sloppy, but I was very pleased.DSC_0846

Mama’s Pavlova has never let me down!  Thanks Celi!

Duck Fat Toast and Shtuff

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We don’t eat a lot of bread, but when runny cheese is on offer, it’s time to make some toast.

We were given a day old baguette, perfect for toasting.  I loaded up the frypan with duck fat and chucked some rounds in.

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From there, you can add melty, runny cheese or other cheeses and paste ( pâté ) to top you off for the evening meal.  It’s hot again, you see, so evening meals tend to be light.

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The vacherin was nice, but a bit bitter.  Next runny cheese shall be my favorite … Chaource.  Matched perfectly with pink Champagne!

Chili Sauce

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Emptied out the freezer today.  People throw hot peppers at me.  Peppers everywhere.  There are these pepper people who pass peppers around because people of France don’t use hot peppers in their food.  So us pepper people peddle peppers.

When I get enough peppers, I make chili sauce.  It all started with Substance P.  Substance P is a neuropeptide and an important element in pain reception in the brain.  Thus, my sauce.  I wanted to make something very, very hot.

Substance P wasn’t all that hot.  I took out the seeds.  It is important to wear gloves when you seed hot peppers.  I didn’t.  For a week my fingers were very sensitive to hot water.  My NK1-receptors were on fire.  Totally burnt out.

But the sauce was not that hot.  So I made other sauces as follows;

  • Substance P
  • P-Funk
  • P++
  • Cement Shithaus
  • and The Mothership

Each with their own ingredients.

Today, I share with you The Mothership.

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Chuck this into a pot:

  • all your hot peppers without the tops
  • apple cidre vinegar, 1 cup
  • ginger nub
  • garlic
  • pepper corns
  • brown sugar, 2 tbs
  • water, 1.5 cups
  • salt

boil for thirty minutes or so

let it cool

blend it

You need to taste it to make sure it’s rounded out.  It will need more salt and maybe a dash of sugar.  I add a special ingredient, but I couldn’t possibly share.  For this is the Mothership.

Ameoba blender shot:

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Big Ass T-Bone, Grass-fed!

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It’s good to know a grass-fed beef farmer.  Even better is to be a grass-fed beef farmer.  We farm and sell grass-fed beef direct and as such, we need to taste a steak from everything we sell.  This is how we get better

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Today, we tried a 1.146kg T-bone steak.  I like my steak rare, but not everybody does.  With a big steak like this, you can accommodate everyone.  I did this

– preheat oven 180C

– brown the steak in duck fat, I gave it a good few minutes on each side, then did a few quick flips

– stick the pan with the steak in it, in the oven

– after five minutes, I flipped the steak and put it back in the oven

– after another five minutes I pulled it out and let it rest

Those who want medium, got the first cuts.  Those who want medium rare got the inner bits.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve cooked one of these babies.  It fed two men, me and our small four-year-old.  We also have some leftover for a breakfast fry up.

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Lazy Man’s Foie Gras

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I’ve had my fair share of fancy sauces.  I’ve made foie gras in jars to be served cold.  But by far, my fav is seared foie gras served with chutney.

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Secure foie

De-vein

Pre-heat oven to hot

Salt, pepper and nutmeg the foie

Take raw garlic and smear on cast iron pan.

In a cast iron pan, sear that baby.

Remove foie

Empty fat …. save for foie gras fat potatoes for breaky tomorrow

Put foie back in and stick the chunky bits in the oven. ( if there are smaller bits, like in the photo, set those aside cuz they is done )

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Slice in slices. serve with chutney.  Mango would be great or French man said fried fig, but we had a bunch of green tomatoes last year, so Green Tomato Chutney paired with our foie gras.  … easy peasy.  yummy yummy.

Saves you making sauces.  Sear a liver and chuck a chutney at it.

Friends With Ruminants

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We went to see a guy about a lamb.  He has a few on his property and one was sent off for our family.  Lunch today: lamb chops, sweet pots and mushies ‘n’ onions.

Chops: fried in duck fat and a bit of tallow, then salted an pepped

Sweet Potatoes: oven baked with the oven fan on … in duck fat.  The fan cooks them quickly and give a crunchy outer and sweet mooshy inner.  lovely.

Mushies ‘n’ onions: bubbled away slowly in butter until they shimmer and shine.  a little salt and pep.

I had a feline friend join me for lunch.  He’s a big fan of lamb.  Reminds him of the time he spent in Siam.

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Then some cheese with walnut pieces.  Counter-clockwise:

Cantal entre deux, Saint-Nectaire, Roquefort.

Though this Roquefort is welfare Roquefort.  Similar to Champagne, Roquefort can only be called Roquefort if it is actually from Roquefort.  That means the generics are lovely and half the price.  Though a non-mass-produced Roquefort will be worth the money.  Don’t tell Société or Papillon that.

Walnut pieces were local and in pieces because my son deconstructed the nutcracker.

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We use a meat tenderiser to access the nut meat.

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Cat finished his lamb fat.  After a kitty Purell, he snugged in for an afternoon snooze by the fire.  Today was the magic day the metal box of warm went on.

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The dogs got their bone.  Not cold enough to sit by the fire, they retired outside to finish their treat.

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T-Bone Steak As Captured By My First Generation iPhone

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Lunch today, T-bone steak with brussels sprouts and sweet pots.  Every camera in the house was out of batteries, so I jumped back to old faithful, my iPhone 1.  Still in great condition.  Were it not for the battery life, I’d use this beauty baby as a phone today.

This T-bone was to go to a customer, but it wasn’t as good looking as the rest of the steaks, so we kept it.  Then, I ate it.  I was to share some with my husband, but then, I ate it.  Take one for the team, as they say.

After a brief pat and air dry, into the bubbling duck fat it went.

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The sweet potatoes, also cooked in duck fat, went in while the steak was warming and drying.  iPhone 1 was dropped after this capture.  Duck fat fingers.  As my faithful buddy descended on cold, hard French tile I shrieked these words, ” OH SHIT!! NOOOOOO!!!!!”

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She was fine.  iPhone 1 ( home name iPhonee ) was recovered without shatter ( unlike evil iPhone 4 ).  A slow butter bubbled, thick cut onion awaited the brussels sprout.  I’m sure duck fat was used in this dish as well.  Out loud, I say “brussel sprouts” because “brussels sprouts” doesn’t flow for me.  Why isn’t it Brussels’ Sprouts?  I could probably roll with Brussels’ Sprouts.

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I rested the big boy on the veg and took a few photeez.  I was so hungry, I didn’t wait out the proper steak resting time.

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oh but it was just fine.

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I had a few fans pitching ideas on what to do with that bone.

lunch with iPhone 1

Chicken Fried Steak

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Chicken Fried Steak, a dish so American, you’d think it came from Germany.

With a milky gravy.

Here’s something to do with those steaks you have no idea what to do with.  With the “Gite a la noix” cut, which translated by google is “Cottage has nuts” … now my new favorite nickname for the Gite / Noix cut … you can do one of two things:

1) warm, fry and rest.  The flavor is there, but a bit chewy.  Perhaps with a nice sauce.

2) Pound the crap out of it – a la Chicken Fried Steak.

At a glance:

–  pound flour into beef with salt and pepper

– start some rice

–  chop onion

–  fry beef in hot duck fat

– while beef rests, gently cook onions

–  add flour for gravy

– add milk, make magic gravy

–  grab wine and serve

 

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Behold the Cottage Nuts cut:

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Pound in the flour.

I’ve pounded then floured many times.  This is the first time I’ve pounded the flour in.  I highly recommend this method.  It serves you well when you fry.

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My Ikea countertops can’t handle a pounding, so I use a step stool and a sturdy chopping board.

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Pound the flour into the meat.

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Salt and pepper after.

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Prepare the onions for the milky gravy.

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Take a moment to snap a photo of a cute three-year-old.

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Fry those babies hot hot.  Get the pan hot before the steak goes in.  Otherwise, it will get all melty man.

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After the steak has been fried, dump out most of the fat.  Add a lump of butter and add the onions.

When the onions go all soft, add some flour to make a roux.  Then add a cup and a bit of milk.

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Stir and thicken.

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Serve in strips or cubes or whole. Just don’t forget the gravy!

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