Category Archives: Cooking

Meatballs

Love meatballs.  Been having fun making Gordon Ramsey’s Meatballs for a while.  Up here, we’ve been making the meatballs from a mixture of beef and pork – boar when we have enough of it.

I much prefer the mixture of pork and beef because the pork adds more fat to the entire dish, making the meatballs a bit tastier rather than plain beef.  I also generally use paprika instead of black pepper – smoked paprika as far as I’m concerned is a much better product.

In addition, I’ve taken to using finely minced onions as well as garlic.  Other than that, I ignore parsley too because the yuck.  I don’t mind adding basil or summer savory depending on what I have on hand, but plain works quite well.

The major trick though is the milk and breadcrumbs – it keeps the meatballs pasted together nice and tight if you get the consistency right and gives a nice ‘springy’ texture to the meatballs.

 

 

 

We Bought a Bread Machine

So, we bought a bread machine on Boxing Day.

It’s been fun, used it a ton.  Made everything from normal white(ish) bread to raisin bread to pizza dough so far.

Amazing how much more bread we’re eating now that I can make fresh bread easily and that it tastes so good.  Like, seriously good bread. Nom, nom, nom.

In other news – it’s not worth adding banana’s to the bread ’cause it just becomes banana flavored bread.  Raisins work well though and I’m sure cranberries too.

Overall, bread is good!

Cooking Tips

Things I’ve learnt about cooking recently. Writing as a gentle reminder to brain:

Kosher Salt

  • It’s salt, just with larger grains.  Makes spreading easier.
  • With salt, if doing a dry-rub; marinade with salt and dry-rub overnight (or a few hours before cooking, usual deal).  Salt will draw moisture out and then eventually ‘push’ marinade and moisture into the meat.
  • Incredible with roasts. So-so (i.e. easy to over-salt) with chicken.

 

Browning

  • Ignore idiot 4-hour workweek writer. Browning is very important. Take the time to cook it properly – it’ll make a difference
  • Browning requires a high temperature; so pre-heat the pan a lot before you toss the meat in
  • Also, don’t crowd the meat.  And make sure meat is dry(ish) when you brown, it’ll make sure you get the nice chunky brown bits.
  • Deglazing is good if you aren’t using really good pans; it’ll get you the nice crunchy bits to add.

 

Stock

  • Make your own. Seriously. Keep bones in refrigerator till you get enough, then boil.
  • Slow-cookers are amazing for this.
  • Add onions & salt. Anything else you want to season your stock with; I generally prefer just plain bones, water and onions.
  • Freeze extra stock.  Makes anything you’d add water to so much better

Wine

  • Remember to buy some cheap wine and keep it around.  Doesn’t have to be amazing wine – I can’t taste the difference.
  • Use it for braising or stewing (red wine for beef & pork and other red meats). Adds a ‘layer’ beneath the meal; makes it so good…
  • Make note – try adding black molasses instead next time to see if it makes a difference and removes need for wine