roamin' catholic: karin rosner

Archive for the ‘slow food’ Category

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It’s now the fifth weekend in the Rosner Girls’ Bachelorette Pad without gas after the fire on the other side of the building. The heat and hot water only come on when the super remembers he has to do some manual button-pushing because the furnace has a gas and computerized ignition.

I had planned on going to my office for an all-day, month-end clean up and filing session, but the writing bug bit me and I spent the morning outlining and researching another project instead, and I figured I’d wash a stack of dishes this afternoon, get this chicken going, maybe get in a nap…

There wasn’t any hot water or heat in my apartment building this morning. I got very cold by noon, so I made this chicken, shut down the MacBook, curled up under the covers and took a long nap.  The heat and hot water are back tonight  and I have a zillion dishes to wash.. by hand… we don’t have a dishwasher in this pre-war flat (think, “Pre-Vietnam War)”.  This recipe is an introduction to using the slow-cooker for anything you can think of, including roasting a small bird. The chicken turned out deliciously A-OK, even if the skin was not crispy. I prepared good ol’ reliable Stove Top Stuffing in the microwave, and nuked a plastic package of sprouts with sauce.

However… I am tired of cooking in Crock-Pot. i am grateful I have one, but the meals I’m eating at home are feeling and tasting a little stew-y monotonous. I almost called this one “Ghetto Crock-Pot Chicken” because it cost half of what the last two weekend slow-cooked feasts costs I got the cheapest chicken I could find at the local un-fancy, non-gourmet urban supermarket lurking under the crisscrossed shadows of the White Plains Road elevated train line.  I’m using processed “stuffing”, frozen vegetables… and I had the onion.  And now… dirty dishes await.

Follow my tip on how to store the leftovers, or shred some of the chicken and immediately make a chicken salad. Cooked birds dry out easily in the fridge.

Burnout Crock-Pot Roast Chicken (Serves 4-6)

Software:
1 small whole chicken, about 4 lbs, might be labeled a “Fryer”
1 stick of butter, sliced into bits
1 large yellow or Spanish onion
Poultry Seasoning of your choice

Hardware:
6 quart oval slow-cooker with removable insert
1 mesh strainer
Tongs or lifters to remove the chicken from the crock to cool.
Sharp knife

Directions:

1. Set up your slow-cooker but don’t plug it in yet.
2. Chop your onions in big chunks and create a layer on the bottom of the crock.
3. Dig inside your chicken, front and back, and remove the giblet pack, neck and whatever else the packer stuck inside. Be thorough!
4. Give your chicken a thorough rinse in cold water (I use a basin filled to the brim for a bath, then rinse it under the tap.). Pat dry, inside and out with paper towels.
5. Rub your chicken all over, inside out out with liberal amounts of whichever poultry seasoning or spice blend you like. (I have not tried this with Jerk seasoning… yet.)
6 . Lay your chicken on top of the onions in the crock.
7. Scatter the butter bits all over the chicken.
8. Put on the lid, plug it in, set for HIGH (Six hours)
9. Your chicken will be perfectly done, moist and falling off the bone, I promise you. Remove it to a platter. You will want to remove the backbone pieces because it is ugly and grayish-black, so just split the chicken apart, and then slice down both sides of the backbone and remove it. Clean out whatever gray matter you find – it’s just bones.
10. Pour the juices in the pot through your sieve, pick out pretty pieces of chicken in the sieve, discard the rest (there will be more black-gray bone in there). It’s a light gravy, and very good.
11. Arrange your chicken pieces on a platter You can split each breast side in to two servings. Pour a little of the gravy over the chicken if you want, because the skin is a little on the flabby side… but perfectly edible. Serve!
12. Store the chicken in the fridge with the gravy covering it to keep it moist.

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Slow Cooker St. Patrick’s Day Irish Stew

This description is rated PG-13 for adult language, a bit of over the top blarney, and blatant abuse of a valuable immigrant culture. 😉

This receit has been adapted from many another adaptation floatin’ around the Internet, laddies ‘n lassies. I’ve cooked a lamb stew on the stove in my Le Creuset French Oven for the big Irish American holiday for several years, mostly because I am the only person in my family that loves Corned Beef and Cabbage. As it turns out, I am the only person on my family that loves lamb, too. That means, I will be eatin’ this stew for several meals, so it better be tasty and not taste like shite.

I turned to me untrusty Rival Smart-Pot, which cooks a wee bit too hot and too quickly, to get this meal made on St. Paddy’s Day 2013, because of a bit of a problem: no feckin’ gas, no feckin’ stove, no feckin’oven. There was a gas explosion and fire down the hall a few weeks ago. Thought I was in a fil-m with majestic cinematic pyrotechnics an’ whatnot. Begorah. Anyway, this stew was tasy, to be sure, to be sure. And so, I share it with you.

Times given are typical of slow cookers. Slow Cooker size: 6 qt. Prep time: 30 minutes

A note on using dried herbs in slow-cookers – use more than you normally would on the stovetop. Longer cooking times tend to weaken the potency of the dried herbs and they fade dramatically, like a rainbow leadin’ to a pot of Leprechaun gold….

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 carrots, scraped and thinly sliced into coins
  • 3 onions, halved and thinly sliced
  • 3 ribs of celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, about 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lamb neck pieces or shoulder chops, trimmed of most of the fat and sliced into stew-like pieces if at all possible. Reserve the bones. 
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1.2 teaspoon dried thyme (whole leaves) 
  • finely chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


Preparation

Find your loudest Irish music and start blastin’ it to wake yer neighbors. I like The Pogues

Slice up yer veg. Notice the threes of carrots, onions and celery? It’s fer the Holy Trinity. ‘Tis St. Paddy’s Day. He taught that. No, there are no shamrocks included in this recipe.

Open your package of meat from the butcher or refrigerator case. Look at your lamb. Give thanks to the Maker, the Lamb of God, to be sure, for its life. Try to remember that lambs are food, not friends… even if they were cute and cuddly before…. Don’t cry. Save your cryin’ for slicin’ the onions, ladies and gents. Try and trim up the lamb pieces into stew cubes, which is fairly easy using chops. For the neck pieces, perhaps it’s not so easy, so don’t. Try and trim away as much fat as you can. Do not throw away the bones. They are going into the slow cooker and add body to the sauce. Trust me.

Place the chicken broth into a saucepan and bring to a boil. (I use “Better Than Bouillon” Chicken Base mixed with boiling water. Brilliant!)

Put all the vegetables in the crock; arrange the lamb on top. Take the bony pieces and add them in as well.

Sprinkle the salt, pepper and thyme on top of everything, then dump on the chicken stock. Cover your pot.  Cook for 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours on HIGH or 7 to 9 hours on LOW. (My’ stew was done in 3 1/2 hours on high. I didn’t even have time for a decent nap.)

‘Twill be soupy. Remove the bony pieces. (You may nibble them – cook’s share!) Mix up the mess in the crock a bit. Ladle the stew into bowls. Chop up some of the parsley rather finely, and sprinkle a bit of St. Patrick’s Day green on top. It pretties it up.

Serve with your favorite Irish bread, like a soda bread or a brown bread.

And Guiness.. or Murphy’s or…

Slainté!

And no, I’m not even a bit Irish. I’m an American Mutt of mixed Mittel-European descent. The closest I get is living on the border of Woodlawn, the Bronx. (Look it up.)

I flash my blade fast
My Santoku across board
Veggies cleaved, fingers clear
Moving mindful moment now
No dividing knife and me

Carrot TzimmesWhen the Jewish High Holy Days roll around, the Yiddishe half of my DNA wants the food my Catholic Nana never made. (She did make one slamming version of chicken soup with matzoh balls, which I’ll make next weekend.) Some of my Evangelical friends look to this weekend to celebrate a Christianized version, calling it “The Feast of Trumpets”. Oy.  And it’s Eid, too. Happy holidays to everyone!

Anyway, when it’s time for Rosh Hashana, I get a hankering for brisket, sweet and sour flavors, and the tastes of fall. Part of me instinctively wants to clean before the start of the new year, scour everything to a shining, bright gleam, and fill the apartment with rich aromas that float down the hallway to the neighbors and make them jealous.

Well, I succeeded in the aroma category this year. But my apartment is a still a wreck, an embarrasment,  a shanda!  I should be cleaning now, but I’m launching my blog instead. In fact, I should have been cleaning all week, but I’ve been in stressed-out proposal writing mode for weeks now without a real break.

Last night, starting about 10 pm, I propped a bowl on my lap and started to peel carrots while catching up on last season’s episodes of Fringe. The classic Rosh Hashana stew, complete with carrots, beef and prunes, really wasn’t finished cooking until 2:30 am. I got scared of the results in the pot, stuck it in the fridge and hoped that a chill would resolve the soupiness of the dish. Last year’s experiement was a Weight Watcher’s recipe which was very good, but it had even more stuff in it that my sister wouldn’t like (sweet potatoes) and it was a little sweet for my taste.

I’m going to post and go back to cleaning, but of course there are still more episodes of Fringe to catch up on…

Carrot Tzimmes

Arthur Schwartz’s Jewish Home Cooking, 2008

Serves 6. 3 + hours of cooking time.

  • 1.5 lbs beef, chuck or flanken, cubed for stew
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lbs carrots, peeled and cut into thick coins
  • 1 tsp salt, kosher
  • .5 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 8 ounces prunes, large, with pits (preferably sour)

Directions: Preheat Oven to 250F

In a large stovetop casserole, over medium-high heat, sear the meat a few pieces at a time. When browned, remove and set aside on a platter. When all the meet has been browned, ass the onion to the pan and saute for about 3 minutes, scraping up the brown residue on the bottom with a wooden spoon. In the casserole on top of the onion, layer half the carrots, then half the meat, then the remaining carrots and the remaining meat, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Add just enough water to barely cover everything. Bring to a simmer.

Cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1 hour. Add the prunes, pushing a few to the bottom of the pot. Return to the oven for another hour.

Uncover the pot, and continue baking for one more hour.

Transfer to the refrigerator to cool (two separate containers for broth and meat, prunes and carrots), and skim the fat after it chills. Much better the 2nd or third day.

Variations:
Sweeter: After 2 hrs, stir in up to a 1/4 cup of honey or firmly packed brown sugar, to taste.

Sweet Potato & Prune Tzimmes: substitute 2 lbs of sweet potatoes (approx. four 8 oz. sweet potatoes), quartered. Can also add an additional 1/2 lb of dried apricots.

Sweet Potato and Carrot Tzimmes: 1 lb of each, or vary poundage to taste.


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