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What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

Pulling out all the stops, are we PC? Lolz. <3.
I went simple too. I did leftover pizza last night, and since the oven was on went all Betty Crocker on it. Oh yea. . And I organized the pantry at the same time.

Chocolaty chip cookies that went flat because the kitchen was so hot. Even keeping the the dough in the fridge. Ugh.

They rocked with French vanilla ice cream though.

Odd ID situation: when is "Valid" considered not valid enough?

This bar/resto better check itself because this has descrimnation and ACLU lawsuit written all over it.

First you are descriminating against people who don't drive and thusly perhaps have no drivers license. BUT the State will still offer you a valid ID to act as legal age proof instead. Which leads to...

Even bigger, you are descriminating against people who CAN'T drive. Let's say I am legally blind, have a VALID State issued ID card that I obviously need to get a job, do banking, etc., but I go out with friends who drive me or take a bus to this establishment but am denied a alcoholic beverage because I CAN'T drive? No shit! I'm ^&%&^ blind.

And descriminating against handicapped persons is soooo god for business P.R.. Lolol.

Even better if the patron was a non-driving wheelchair Army bound veteran. Thank you for your service and the loss of your legs, but you can't drink here because you don't have a valid drivers license. If they let them slide, again, it's still descrimination for those with valid ID but no handicap. Lose-lose for the bar.

Restaurant CAN choose to not serve those who have had too many, but picking and choosing due to their ability to own or operate a motor vehicle screams siscrimination to me.

I'd call the State liquor agent, the regions ATF and shoot a letter off to the state AG with my above scenario and see what happens.

It's like trying to pay your bill in quarters and the owner and cashier says they only take paper money.

I love peeling legality of polict onions like this.

Sep 02, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Not About Food

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

I haven't made it in a while so let me dig up the "chicken simmer sauce" portion of the recipe.

I make my own black beans and refritos from scratch and any good red salsa fresh, containered or jarred will do for the other component .
Stay tuned.

Sep 02, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

Yep, The chili powder to me means the "blend." hmmm...
The corn starch and that much sugar also gives me a bit of hesitancy.

In a pinch I'd use banana peppers (could be either Hungarians or Anaheims) but I see them mainly canned.

I'm now halfway thru a salsa/picante batch (I need a break) where I roast i/2 the onions and being so soft they impart flavor but little teture. Then I use raw but whizz them down to almost unrecognizeable. It's just the way I like most salsas.

I use the ATK quick salsa bust roast the onions (1/2) and jalapenos under the broiler, and if in the mood, some of the tomatoes. Add gaelic, janes crazy salt pepper some grond ancho chile powder and lime and lemon juice. And cilantro if I have it.

Cooking will soften the same as roasting but with loss of some flavor. But the heat will help meld the vinegar. The book I have is Mark Miller's "the Great Book of Salsas." I bought it back in 1994.

It 100 salsa recipes. I also have his coyote Cafe cookbook.
Between him and Rick Bayless I am never out of direction or inspiration.

Too bad you're not local. Otherwise I'd demand you back up your SUV to my garden and take gobs of my tomatoes home and do a "do-over." And over, and over. Lololol.

That sure is an interesting recipe though.

Sep 02, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

GIO, we used to have a small burrito/taco/Mexican lunch spot that did what they called "Mexixcn lasagna".

Flour tortillas, poached , grilled or roasted chicken which was pulled and simmered in a red chile sauce likely made with onions, poblanos, tomato sauce, cumin and other items and spices , but is was lighter than an enchilada sauce but far more cooked than a salsa. Then they used refried black beans (make sure they are loose or a bit runny) and a mix of grated monterrey jack and cheedar along with their fresh house tomato salsa.

Layer like a lasagna. Some of the red sauce from the chicken (or Salsa), flour tortillas, black beans, chicken mixture, salsa, then cheese. Make a few (ormore) layers ending in cheese.

Bake until bubbly and I serve with sour cream, black olives, green onions and pickeled jalapeno bottlecaps.

I do small runs using a loaf pan and small flour tortillas to use up roasted chicken, black beans and fresh salsa wheen I make too much.

You can add sauted onions in the lasagna or anything else you like.

I love it and was forced to recreate it after the restaurant closed years ago and the owner went AWOL.
Dang I miss that place. :-(

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

MTT, could you post the recipe you used or at least the gist of it?

I don't mind a quick cooked salsas, but I find overcooking can dull the tomato taste. Add in tpp much chile powder to that and the balance goes wanky. Did you use ground one type chile powder or the mix known as chili powder?

I got a book long ago that has over 50 salsa recipes which kind of takes you down a path of many cooking and fresh salsa making methods.

I do a copycat of a local restaurant that uses gobs of rehydrated ancho chiles, roasted tomatoes, poblanos, jalapenos and onions as well as green onions with fresh garlic. But roasting the tomatoes is as far as Igo unless adding finle groung sundried tomatoes or such. Some restaurants add fire roasted tomatoes or rehydrated chipotles which tend to overwhelm the tomato flavor.

It is said that Chi Chi's used to do a cooked salsa that even used stewed tomatoes. And I always found that salsa meh but the masses loved it.

Different strokes for different floks! lololol.

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

They are the bee's knees.

Johnsonville makes a version and sells nationally, but I have several local butchers make their own. Usually chunks of sharp cheddar added to the ground meat before putting in the casing.

Be carefull when eating hot off the grill as the cheese tends to squirt all over the place when molten hot.

It's kinda like a "juicy lucy" but in casing on sausage form.

One of the few tube meats I can pound down several of.

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

I'm about two days behind life this week so several quarts of Sunday Gravy are now a Tuesday fare made on a stove that needs one hell of a cleaning.Took a couple of tomatoes from the garden, x'd them and did a quick hot water blanche and shocked and deskinned. Whirrled in food processor to a puree'. It's going to make for a very bright sauce.

Ice cream vendor was back at the other Fearmers Mkt.

Seems he runs things out of his house with FIVE home edition Cuisinart ice cream makers running 12 hrs a day and a sixth condenser unit taht has a bigger chiller to do his low fat offerings.

It's a heck of a list but requires a week before pre-order so I;ll pull the trigger next week. All look good though.

Now...what pasta shape for dinner?

Oven shut off while pork butt was cooking - now what?



I did get a bit of foof poisoning from a couple of deviled duck eggs I made with local duck farm eggs and I still need to talk to the duck farmer to see if it occasionally happens. (and all the rest of the deviled egg ingredients were from my fridge and fine.)

I travel a lot and do international runs and my many trips to India means I always keep Cipro around to nuke most issues.

Iwould not serve iiffy food to others, but I trust my own food ang insticts 99% of the time.
Or to put it succintly--I ain't skeered. LOL.

Oven shut off while pork butt was cooking - now what?

I would have done the same thing and continued to cook the meat and have done so. I once smoked a 10lb butt on the smoker until midnight then meant to slap in the oven to finish overnight.

I forgot about it on the counter and went to bed.

I woke up with a "Oh shit" and then threw it in the oven until 200 to 205F internal. I never thought twice about it after the initial faux pas.

As for your oven, modern ones come with a default safety turn off for safety after a certain amt. of time. MANY a chowhounder has faced this problem doing overnight cooking of butts as well as when drying/dehydrating foods.
Look at your owners manual for workarounds or look for Sabbath mode.

Good luck.

Sep 01, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Problem when boiling chicken

I do one of three things:

1. Put pot back on stove after cooking, fill with water and add either Dawn or Baekeepers friend to the water. Brin to low rolling boil for a few minutes to loosen protein scum.

2. Break out the Scotch Brite and used a liberal amount of kosher salt and lemon juice on the food deposits . Helps if you run under hot water to get pan warm prioer to scrubbing.

3, Since I do a lot of metal tool restoration, I keep both copper wool and bronze wool around for ligth cleaning without marring Unlike steel wool can do. It is very gentle but effective. Both can be found at Home Depot and Lowes and is inexpensive. Can use with soap and water and unlike steel wool, neither rust once wet.
And I face the same scum all the time when poaching chicken.

Sep 01, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Cookware

Linguine and white clam sauce for a crowd.

hoytoy, you make the perfect point why this and most pastas unless baked are so hard to cook and hold for a crowd.

The sauce is a no-brainer make ahead. The pasta on the otherhand, is a canundrum.

Maling a'la minute is too time consuming for the host. Cooking pasta ahead and holding using some oil or other item to keep clumping down leads to not nice pasta.

I guess you could do pasta in small batches and then turn it out for quick service, but linguini does take some time to cook.
You could cook the pasta half or three quaters of the way and then just toss in water to finish, but you may lose some of the starch cling.
You could also cook and toss the pasta will a little of the clam sauce to keep the pasta non-clingy and let guests add more sauce at time of plating, but will that lead to mushy or underwhelming pasta?

If you're trying to turn out hot and ready and perfectly cooked pasta catering style, there is no perfect way to do it I seem to find when I've done it.

The closest was to drain the pasta as normal then dump into a wire strainer whick was suspended above steaming water in a crock pot. Steam kept pasta moist and warm without more cooking and you could use the crockpot lid to keep warm and insects out.

Sep 01, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

BBQ Rib help needed

Yes on using liquis smoke as wet rub to hold dry rub.

You can slow cook immediatly or overnight in the fridge.

I have also added liquid smoke to my injection mop and injected with this that I own:

I have a (actually 2) smokers but I use the liquid smoke in the winter oven bake ribs.

Again, everyone has their own method.

As for the finising , I just toss on a HOT grill or under a broiler to finish. You want to throw chips on the flame while doing so, have at it. It can oly help.

But once ribs are cooked, the high heat is only to sauce and crisp for me. I do NOT want to cook any further thus looking, fat, moisture and texture.

Sorry. I tend to zig when most zag. It's a design and engineering backround thang. LOLZ.

Aug 31, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Epic prosciutto fail..

Ha! I thought the same thing!

Cut into matchsticks or half matchsticks and pan fry in EVOO until crispy and not tough. I do the same with honey baked ham and even salami pieces.

A friend makes pepperoni pasta that this would work i too,
Pan fry unyil crispy. Remove. Saute garlic and shallots in oil, add in spices, add fresh basil and heavy cream, add in grated parm at the end after cream has thickened aling with fresh peas. Warm all and serve with penne.

So decadent but yummy.

I'd also toss in lond cook pasta red sauce and chop, cook and add to braciole stuffing.

NONE of that would go to waste on my watch. LOLZ.

Aug 31, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

BBQ Rib help needed

Ban you make the ribs a day before and toss them in the fridge until the next day?
Absolutely. Some will balk but I've NEVER had an issue doing that. Like never ever. Like never ever ever.

As for reheating on grill o9r under broiler, if cold, I do 5 minute for the meat side down and flip and do 3 to 4 minutes bone side down. If warm or room temp, I do 4 minutes meat syde 2 to 3 minutes bone side.

You just want to crisp and warm them quickly as they are already cooked.

For low and slow, grill indirectly in foil or oven bake them, they just need to go to 190F either way.

Easy peasy.

As for chips, I have a cast iron smoke box I set in the grate. A foil pan works too.

For the liquid smoke, I rub the ribs with it before adding a dry rub. Some add it to the liquid in the foil pack prior to cooking but I don't "braise" my ribs that way.I roast covered in foil in a pack/pan dry.

Aug 31, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What to try at the Cincinnati Oktoberfest next month

jmckee has steered you well as I know both him from and the establishments from my on and off time in Cincy.

My tried and trues are:
Busken Bakery-schnecken - $6 (schneken is German for snail and it is a dessert sweet roolup with icing and REALLY good)

Schmidt's of German Village
German Potato Salad - $3
Jumbo Cream Puff - $6
Bahama Mama - $7.00
Bratwurst - $7

Servatii Pastry Shop-ANYTHING

Beckhart German American Cuisine
Goetta Bier Cheese Slammer - 6.00

If I'm in town, I'll go down for Saturday afternoon.

As for beer, Cincy is RIFE with local breweries. In fact the originator and owner of Sam Adams grew up in Cincy.

Local breweries include:
50 West
and many others...

Here's a list:


Aug 31, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Great Lakes

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

I've been melting in montery jack cheese to my white chicken chili for decades.
Most folks don't even know it is in there but it really helps to cream up the chili.
And most recipes do not call for it, which is why they look and taste more like chicken soup.
I add ancho powder, a couple of bay leaves and Goya recaito sauce to mine as well.

TI'm not a fan of corn in any chili but I'd use sweet white shoepg corn if I did. I bet addind spinach sauted in a bit of oil and garlic in at the end would help boost the flavor as plain wilted spinach will require you to readjust your seasonings.

Looks yummy.

What's for Dinner #384 - The Isn't it Labor Day Yet? Edition

Rain toaday so it's time to work inside.

Another day of "Seriously tomatoes, can you please &^%$ stop growing for at least for 24 hours and let me catch up with you. Pretty please?"


Also traded tomatoes for baby cukes so I did around 3 pints of salsa/picante sauce and 2.5 pints of sweet,sour and spicey cucumbers and onions.

Salsa was a combo of roasted (under the broiler) and plain fresh tomatoes, jalapeno, roasted onion quarters, lime juice, cilantro, salt pepper and some Jane's crazy mixed up salt to taste. Way too hot so I had to whirl in another tomato.

Cucumber side I'll used to eat along some BBQ is thin sliced cucumbers and onions. Thinly sliced garlic , a pinch of dill and little chopped jalapeno too. Vinegar mix was apple cider vinegar, splash of water, sugar, salt, red chili flakes and a splash of lemon juice.

heat up the non-veg stuff to dissolve sugar and salt. let cool to room temp . pour over veggies. I like to let it sit in the fridge at least two days and longer is better to help mellow the onions.

Likly leftovers tonight along some chicken of some sort. I have black wild rice, mac and cheese and steamed broccoli to use up.

Happy weekend.

free range chicken from the farm, never frozen

If me, I'd truss the legs, slap a quarter or half of obion or lemon slices in the cavity, rub on top and under the skin lightly with butter and sprinkly on some salt and pepper.
Cook either Zuni or Thomas Keller method on a raised rack sitting in a 9x13 pan to catch the drippings.

My local butcher only sells local free range birds from a farm down the road.

Just make sure you get bird to 165 F internal at thickest part of the breast and you and your chicken will be golden.

Aug 28, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Sunday Gravy

I got mine from my now ex in-laws who were second generatin immigrants.

I make my own meatballs.
I use canned san marzanos or romas I can myself boosted by a can, jar or tetra of tomato puree.
I use tomato paste and briefly pan fry it in the pot in olive oil (orthe meat fat) to take the rawness out.
Red wine. Spices. Pork or veal chop(s). Fresh basil from the garden. Italian sausage. Garlic. Sauteed fine diced onions in olive oil.Etc.

I like to cook for at least 90 minutes to 2 hours but it has gone as long as 4. Just make sure your meatball do not overcook in the sauce.
I may or may not add sugar depending upon the tomatoes.
It's not a fussy dish. Really just time, patience and the sum of its parts. Low and slow on lowest burner setting partially covered to keep slatter down untill it all becomes one.

I've weened many a home off of jarred sauce by teaching them how to make it in big batches and freeze.

Aug 27, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Anyone have a good cheddar potato soup recipe?

If you are NOT going to mash oe puree at least some of the potato cubes to help thicken the soup overall, then you are going to need to boost up thickeners like adding flour once your onions (and carrots and celery for me are sweated) to help thicken a little while the chix stock cooks the potatoes. Then you'll need a hefty dose of cream or half and half and a BUNCH of semi soft cheese like monterry jack or mild chdder. Even better would be to split the cheese with some Velveeta to add the creamy factor and helpand rea cheese not to break. Then you still may need a flour slurry at the end unless you keep adding cheese.

No real way around it if not using more of the natural thickening agent of the potato itself.

I use the PW recipe and fuss with the spices a bit but I have no complaints.

And cream soups for me are one of the hardest to knock down the calorie count while retaining the flavor and consistancy. Thus why I do it in small batches aand not overly often.

Good luck.

Aug 27, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #383 - The Shank of the Summer Edition! [through August 28, 2015]

littleflower, back when crock pots used to have dials that actually regulated the temp., my mom made a mix of stew meat (beef), onions,8 oz. sliced button mushrooms water and campbells golden cream of mushroom soup. Cook in the crockpot for 6 to 8 hours on low and serve over egg noodles. Nirvana. Salad as a side.

Made it last year in a modern crock pot with epic fail. Beef was livery and over cooked.

Meat has changed, Soup has changed. Crock pots have changed. So sad.

THus why it's vintage, so bad, but so good. :-)
I only do a few condensed soup recipes and none but a few times a year. Life's about balance. And nostalgia.

Do you use garlic powder?

I keep both garlic powder and granulated garlic in the pantry in the huge restaurant supply sized tubs.

I think garlic salt, which is of course garlic powder + salt that gets the bad rap.

I use garlic powder all the time in dry rubs for meat and fish and for long cook dishes like chili.

Same with granulated garlic except to me it brings greater potency.

And I keep a wreath oh garlic heads on the back door.

It's like saying you only need one size of screwdriver and type to fix anything with a screw. Nope. Very untrue.

What's for Dinner #383 - The Shank of the Summer Edition! [through August 28, 2015]

Pic of Sunday's 1960's style canned soup Swiss Chicken bake.

Low brow food that looks like Lobster Thermidor in the pic. LOLZ.

The black wild rice and steamed broccoli with fresh garlic paired wonderfully.

My neighbor knows my great disdain for green peppers thus we wagered to see if I can bring a broken branch pepper of his caused by a pesky deer back yo life. I'm away a few days for work so we'll se when I return. Just a soak on Sunday got the leaves happy and many of the wrinkles out of the pepper.

Green Pepper Botox anyone...

If it continues to return to health, yes, I will stuff it and eat it. But being the sane man I am, I refuse to name it. Hey...I know my limits. :-P

Dinners out for me until tomorrow.And I'm OK with that. :-)

Storing cooked pork shoulder, longish-term

Ziploc will work.

I smoke 8 to 12 lb butts and puul, pack in 16oz lidded food service containers (plastic type normally found served with Chinese soup carryout) and squirt a dose of my vinegar/apple juice mop on it to help with moisture and thenn cill and freeze.

The tighter the pack and less air the better.

Pulled pork fairs well in the freezer easily for six months.

Mine seldom lasts 3.

Food saver bags keep even longer, but I smoke year round. Even in the snow.

Creme Fraiche replacement?

Ding ding ding!


I do what sandylc does.

Aug 25, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

What's for Dinner #383 - The Shank of the Summer Edition! [through August 28, 2015]

MC, please post if you can your smash-up carnita recipe.

I've had to do that with sauerbraten, cochinita pibil and chicken and dumpling recipes when I went down that road for each. While the web is full of information, it's also full of a lot of empty noise and crap.

There's a reason most restaurants seem to put out very good food via in house recipes while and still seem to pull out redundant crap from their cesspool of user submitted recipes.

An amazing, but NOT suprising fact. LOLZ.

I wish more folks used cotija cheese. I grate and keep in an empty Kraft parm green lid sprinkle container. I love it when new guests come to my house and can't figure out what it is.

Where to buy Squirt?

Odd you right coasters don't get Squirt. It's very common throughout the Midwest.

I just bought a 12 pack of cans Sunday and my bagger looked at me and said, :What is this? Soda? I've never seen it before."

I've been drinking itsince a kid.

I've seen it in most of the Kroger owned stores throughout the country.
They own Ralphs and many of the big chain grocers.

Odd Lasagna Question About Acidity

I was in the shower this morning thinking about this problem and I pulled up my Mom's lasagna recipe which I now recall suffered the same acid problem (I confess, I use my own lasagna and red sauce recipe, not hers).

If made or stored once cooked in aluminum baking pan, that can definately cause a reaction, but my mothers lasagna sauce was mainly two large 14oz. cans of tomato paste, water, red wine and a 14oz can of tomato sauce, plus onions, spices, etc.. As a kid I liked it and knew no better, but now I understand why the acid balance was off. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off.

Now it all makes sense. LOL.

Aug 25, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking

Odd Lasagna Question About Acidity

What red sauce recipe do you use for the lasagna? 1000+ sauce recipes out there. What ya use ?

Every sauce varies due to tomato base, ingredients.spices and cook time.

I've never had an acid issue in 30+ years rosemary. Thyme and ricotta? Yep. Then go no tomato sauce. If I can make one, anyone can.

As mentioned, look at your baking pan. If aluminum.. then I agree.

Aug 24, 2015
jjjrfoodie in Home Cooking