Category Archives: That’s Life

What’s going on in my little world.

Stuffed Baked Pumpkin

Ingredients:

  • 1 decent sized pumpkin with lid removed and inside cleaned
  • sauté
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 1 red bell pepper chopped
    • 12? cloves garlic chopped
    • handful of dried bing cherries chopped
  • deglaze
    • 1/4 cup? pomegranate molasses
    • 1/4 cup? white wine
  • remove to mixing bowl (leaving liquid behind)
  • sauté after reducing retained liquid
    • 10 maybe mushrooms (let them fully wilt)
    • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • remove to mixing bowl
  • 1 cup black rice with 3.5 cups chicken stock 5 minutes boil and simmer to finish, then add to mixing bowl
  • finally add the rest to the mixing bowl
    • 1/4 cup? Asiago
    • coriander, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg
    • 2 apples chopped
    • lemon juice
    • cream
    • sage
  • mix everything and stuff the pumpkin

450f for 30 minutes and then 350f for another 90 minutes

I ended up with too much liquid after cooking and would reduce the amount of liquid used (or reduce the rice liquid more) for the next cook.

Pumpkin seeds

  • sauté in olive oil
  • add salt, cayenne, and butter
  • 300f oven 45 minutes

These turned out amazing for being so simple.

Gutting the pumpkin (and then salvaging the seeds) was a bit of a pain in the ass.  I used an ice cream scoop for gutting the pumpkin which did a fair job for most of it.  I may try using a serrated knife for removing the lid next time, though I suspect my dreams of sawing around are folly.

The flavor combination of the stuffing was amazing and I wouldn’t hope to alter it one bit.  Just maybe reducing the final liquidity some.

Have fun!

JamesIsIn

Sous Vide Ropa Vieja

I cobbled together some recipes from the Internet and sort of followed Guga’s (Sous Vide Everything) technique.  I also made some substitutions based on what I happened to have here.

Get some flank steak, maybe 50 oz, and flame sear the flank as quickly as possible over very licky flames.  Set this aside (I refrigerated it overnight).

Get your biggest cast iron skillet hot and start sautéing or wilting this stuff:

  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow or white onion
  • 8 cloves garlic (add after the others are well along)

Once that is nicely done start adding your liquids:

  • 1 C white wine
  • 1 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 lime juice
  • 2 t soy sauce
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1 T adobo

Once that is integrated and bubbling add your dry stuff:

  • 1 t annatto seeds ground
  • 2 t coriander
  • 2 T paprika (Spanish aka smoked)
  • 1 t cayenne
  • 1/2 t allspice

Into the bag with everything plus (probably easier to let the sauce cool for a while):

  • 1/2 C Spanish olives
  • 1 T oregano fresh (or 1 t dried)
  • 2 bay leaves

Seal that bag and sous vide at 185f for 24 hours.

It’s recommended by literally everyone to let it rest overnight after cooking to punch up the flavor even more.

I tasted this at every stage and each tasting kept getting better.  Crazy!

JamesIsIn

Val Mr Mustache Kleitz Taken by Cancer

I used to build and repair bicycles for Velocipede at 10th or 11th and Pine on Capital Hill many years ago and I worked with this crazy hoot of an enthusiast named Val.  Turns out he was struck down by cancer, but as you know when you get struck down it only makes you more powerful.

RIP: Val Kleitz helped us all stay “rubber side down”

Here are a couple of images of ol’ Val sporting his signature mustache and dressed as he fucking pleased (taken from the above linked article).

Val Kleitz
Val Kleitz
Val Kleitz
Val Kleitz

You can find more pictures of Val here.

One time this old dood brought us his bike for some minor service.  The bike was an old hulking steel monstrosity already destined to destroy your spine should you take a second floor walk-up.  But what really made it the talk of the shop was the fact that everything was connected to this frame using hose clamps.  Dozens of them.  Good times.

Rocket Pizza!  Ciao, Val.

JamesIsIn

Approximately Salmon

I mostly sort of follow a recipe.  Sometimes I do follow a recipe more strictly.  I tend to be more strict when I’m doing a Paul Prudhomme recipe for whatever reason.  Perhaps it’s because those recipes of his I work tend also to be longer and more complex.  Reasons.  They always exist.

Anyway, I made some sous vide salmon tonight.  I fucking love salmon.  It’s amazing.  I do what I am able to support the wild salmon market.  It’s really unbeatable.  After 122f bathing for 30 minutes a very quick grill over an open fire made for an excellent evening delight.  And, borrowing from Chef Paul, just salt, black pepper, and cayenne.  What can I say?  Life is good.

Mostly I followed this recipe as my guide.

Sous Vide Salmon @ ChefSteps

I didn’t bother with the curing step.  Why bother?  You can almost eat the salmon raw it’s so good.

As for an accompanying beverage, I made a little something appropriate to this excellent summer weather.  I took some of my homemade limoncello and put that in a tall glass of ice with one of these flavored (but unsweetened) seltzer waters that are so popular now.  Lemon, of course.  Very light and refreshing and certainly nothing to interfere with the salmon.

Now I’m sitting next to the fire I cooked with and eating my simple meal.  Eat a nice green salad after.

Am I missing out on something, do you think?  Is my life somehow incomplete?  Maybe.  But I’d say I’m doing pretty well.

JamesIsIn

Friends of the Jackson Reinhardt Urinary Traction Fund

The great Jackson Reinhardt, friend to many and beloved by all, has encountered some blockage in his urinary system.  It is unclear at this moment how serious this is, but the current projections place the expenses at around $2500.  This could rise if more complicated surgical procedures are required.

Action Jackson
Action Jackson

He is spending the day at a small veterinary surgical clinic here in Ballard.  This evening I will need to transport him to an overnight surgical facility in Shoreline where he will spend another half a day.  At that point we will know whether the expenses rise above that $2500 mark.

Pensive Jackson
Pensive Jackson

Jackson, as you have probably guessed, is not a rich cat.  He comes from humble beginnings and largely stays out of the limelight, with only brief forays across the lighted stage.  He wears a simple harness, and his leash retracts just like anybody else’s.

Alert Jackson
Alert Jackson

If you are able, please consider donating to the Friends of Jackson Reinhardt Urinary Traction Fund by sending money to that aloof baffoon who feeds Jackson.

PayPal donations accepted.
PayPal donations accepted.

Thank you for taking the time to read this plea.

(Please feel free to share this page.)

JamesIsIn

Black Rice, Sausage, and Peas

Mostly one pot…

  • package forbidden rice (about 2 1/4 cups)
  • 4+ cups chicken jello (or your own weak-assed chicken stock)
  • salt, black pepper, white pepper, and cayenne
  • package frozen peas
  • several dried mushrooms
  • garlic confit
  • four link sausages (sliced)

You can find my garlic confit recipe in another Ink.

I cooked my sausages sous vide (which you can find in yet another Ink), but you can cook your sausage any way you’d like.  (You could even try cooking the sausages in the rice cooker).

I cooked the peas in the rice, but they turned purple (everything cooked in the rice turns purple).  Next time I will cook them separately and add them after.

I put everything in the rice cooker (except the sausages), mixed it thoroughly, and started the cooker.  Once the rice was cooked, I stirred in the sliced sausages.

Fucking delicious.

Have fun!

JamesIsIn

Sous Vide Lamb Taco Night

Tacos

  • lamb
  • salsa
  • vanilla-honey yogurt (also goat cheese available)
  • cabbage
  • shallots
  • chopped mint (in case the salsa is too hot)

Lamb

  • sous vide 135f for ~48 hours, shred (go longer next time as shredding was challenging)
  • cumin
  • cardamom
  • cloves
  • thyme?
  • garlic
  • lemon
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • salt

Salsa

  • onion
  • tomato
  • mint
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground and black)
  • garlic
  • lime juice
  • salt

Black Bean Concoction

  • black beans
  • chilies (serrano, jalapeño)
  • peppers (dried ground)
  • onion
  • garlic
  • salt

Also made some garlic confit for fun.

 

JamesIsIn

Meatloaf and Baked Mashers

mom’s recipe modified:

  • 1.22 lbs beef (“stew meat” ground)
  • 1 cup oatmeal blend
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can tom paste
  • salt, pepper (white, black, and cayenne)
  • 1 T sage (fresh)
  • 1 t Worcestershire

bake 350f 60 minutes

potatoes

  • 4 russets boiled and riced
  • butter (less than half cube)
  • cream (heavy heavy)
  • pepper
  • salt
  • spread into greased cookie sheet

bake 350f 40 minutes (share oven)

I finished the potatoes for maybe 6 or 8 minutes under the broiler because I wanted more browning.

Timing is useful.

JamesIsIn