Pot roast with broad noodles

Pot roast from here. I'm realizing this is the best pot roast I've ever had.

Cashew toffee


In imitation of Enstrom out of Grand Junction, Colorado. Enstrom uses almonds. Their candy is addictive, I must say, so warning about that. 

I wanted to use hazelnuts but I did not have enough of those onhand. This candy I made is delicious. It hits the spot exactly as I remember Enstrom's. First try too and without an actual recipe, based on what I think I know about toffee; 50% butter / 50% sugar, thereabouts, maybe a little less butter, I had too much and poured it off afterwards,  to 285℉ -- 300℉, the point where it suddenly darkens, points actually, it becomes increasingly dark. The process can be arrested by dumping in nuts.

Conclusion: win

Rib-eye pot roast

This is a 2.5 LB roast picked up Christmas eve right before the store closed. The place was packed, although there were no vehicles out on the street. It was one of some half dozen packages I threw into my cart because the meat was discounted deeply, a lot of it just at that moment because they were closing for Christmas and did not want all those meats around an extra idle day. The grocery is usually open twenty-four hours. 

This roast caught my eye in the heap of steaks because I had just been impressed with the standing rib roast presented at Oliver's. I thought it was a bone-in steak at first and it was a thing of real beauty but it turned out to be a lot deeper when I looked closer and my angle of sight changed. The price was $18.00 LB for bone in, that seemed like a lot and that is about what I paid there for two rib-eye steaks. It was an extravagance. And the steaks were tremendous

That is what these steaks cost originally at a regular grocery store and it certainly is not worth it. $32.00 for 2.5 LBS rib-eye roast, forget that, UDSA Choice, ridiculously lean, but then marked down to $20.00 for quick sale, and that is not so bad if you can see a need for such a big steak, and now marked down further to $12.00 to urgently get it out of the store. It went into the cart without even thinking. Not bad, eh?

It was crowded with people all around, but not around me, so I raised my voice to a nearby gang of three tall men perusing the other side of the cabinet, "Hey Dudes, look at this. All these meats are marked way down to get rid of them. It's like Christmas over here." 

"Very funny." 

They did not join me. So I loaded my cart with the best of the heap and wheeled off.

Then they converged on the spot that I vacated and examined the cabinet but too bad I took all the good stuff.

But so what because the butchers came right back out and loaded the cabinet again with urgently discounted meats. 

I went in for a few last minute emergency things, milk eggs and such, and so did everybody else. My bill at the end, the very end, they closed behind me, came to $230.00 and I was quite happy about all of that.

Kale, cannellini beans

Dadgumit, I thought it was chard. Chard is better than this crap.

Beans already have arbol chile pods and if you bite off the tip of one of those cooked pods and chew it separately you go, "Wow, this is ace! I could do a whole thing based on this taste alone,"  and now the beans also have bacon. Tomato added last and not cooked. 

Feta cheese crumbled to impart...

...white dots!

Conclusion: too salty, kale -- ick, no me gusta.

Banana, pineapple, pound cake

With pecans and raisins. Sauce based on Bananas Foster

The original ratio for pound cake, 1:1:1:1 is still useful today. It works well and readily accepts adjustments like vanilla and lemon, but I recommend avoiding leaven. The eggs do that and any other changes bring it closer to regular cake and that would defeat the whole point.  

Banana cake experiment part 2

The cake is insufficiently dense at banana cake experiment part 1. It was made to be lighter but it is too light so the idea for part 2 is fill the air holes with dense custard containing cream cheese. Below is what the cake crumb looked like before being saturated with custard, much like bread pudding except heavier than that and with cake.

The custard is made with egg yolks and no egg whites for extra richness, a lot of those for such a small cake pan and the liquid did fill the holes nicely and this cake is now much denser and heavier and still very moist. The second time baked to internal temperature of 140℉ because that is the temperature yolks in the custard will cook through and low enough for the custard to remain soft. Then re-chilled for the whole thing including the cream cheese melted inside to set back up into firmer state that will hold up to being portioned. A lot of temperature control back and forth with this cake, extra care with bain Marie.

Conclusion: good, close, but no cigar. Needs refinement.

Soda cracker

For chili. Saltine type. Once cup flour makes two trays. Butter instead of shortening, so fuller, water, baking powder, salt. That's it. Two sizes. One tray for bocas grandes and the other tray for bocas normales. 

They are boring but perfect but boring but buttery and perfect but boring and perfect and buttery and boring and perfect and tender and delicate and better than yours. 

Beef steak chili

This is USDA Choice, for Prime usually one must go to a butcher shop but not always. Due to low information shoppers it is possible to buy meat at deep discount at regular grocery stores, but not at butcher shops where proprietors take time to inform their clientele patiently face to face. The reason is low information shoppers insist on meat being red, bright red and they will not buy if it is not hearty bright red. Beautiful appealing red. Red and white. But that is not the color of natural beef when in contact with oxygen unless something is done about it beforehand to keep it red as possible. And pure white is not the best color for fat, and lean is not the best for steaks. So here we go, a $12.00 steak for $7.00. Thank you very much, low information shoppers, I do appreciate that.

I'm showing how good this would be by itself, before making it so tender it dissolves when compressed in your mouth.

Chile de arbol. Tree, because the plant is shaped like a tree. With pendant chiles. If you see the chile pods standing upright then the plant is most likely chile japones (Japanese).

I should mention when dry chile pods are in packages like this and they have not been roasted then the seeds can be planted and plants will grow and produce chile pods that can be used with seeds that can be planted. These absolutely have not been messed around with genetically, save for the usual farming techniques of selection. The seeds need warmth to get started, 90℉, I believe.

Pressure cooker. I got this down, Daddy-o. This is a larger and softer bean so less time. If the beef cooked the whole time with harder beans then the beef would turn into mush. And if the potatoes were cooked the whole way as these softer beans they would disappear altogether and thicken the liquid. So this pot is cooked for less time and stopped half way, cooled, opened, potatoes added and resumed for remainder of time. 

* Paprika. Lots of that. For its smoke and its color. So that's one type of chile.
* Habanero powder. That's two.
* Chipotle, in powder form, that's three.
* Poblano, roasted here at home, that's four types of chiles.
* cayenne, that's five.
* chile de arbole dry pods, that is six chile types and each of them does contribute unique chile characteristics. 

Banana cake experiment part 1

The idea is a super moist cake that is made heavy by being married to cheesecake. Banana flavored.

This experiment is a success in that it produced a delicious banana cake.

This experiment failed in that the texture is nothing like cheesecake. I want it to be at least half that heavy. It is too light. It is moist and airy. Too airy. It is good but not what I'm looking for.

The larger portion baked in spring form will be operated on to make it more robust. More on that later if it is worth showing. 

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