Scrambled eggs on toasted croutons, avocado and tomato, bacon

The most important thing is prevent the eggs from overcooking. 

Says chef Ramsay in this excellent video of his showing how to whisk cold butter into eggs on and off the heat. He does not say this but he is making a sauce. 

The curd in scrambled eggs is the fail in sauce.

Different parts of egg, two types of white and the yolk, various proteins, denature at different temperatures ranging from 145℉ to 180℉. You'll notice below boiling water temperature. Prolonged cooking at boiling water temperature causes molecule strands to tighten and squeeze out water and they keep squeezing and squeezing until all the water is out, in a small pot like this the water evaporates, in a larger pot with greater volume the water separates.

Homemade tater tots

They are fried gnocchi made without egg. 

You cannot have soft moist interior and crunchy exterior because eventually moisture makes its way to the surface and there goes the crunch. 

Potato is already starch, it already makes a fine paste on its own. It needs no additional adhesive, even so, scant flour is added for additional adhesion and to absorb leftover moisture. 

Potatoes are cooked in such a way as to dry them out as much as possible so as little flour as possible is used later. Stabbed all the way through like a vicious murder victim, multiple times as if by psychotic release of personal vendetta. Stabbed thoroughly, to allow moisture to escape in its mere five minutes cooking in there.

Riced with the large-hole attachment to retain small rustic chunks.

Seasoned however you like, with flavorful moisture-absorbing powders, chile, garlic.

Either pressed in the palm as Nigiri sushi, or rolled as gnocchi, like a snake by separating the fingers while rolling, then divided by cutting with knife or with bench scrapper. Kids would be good at this part.

Fried in oil. I read all over the place how to tell when the oil is sufficiently hot. A favorite is see if a chopstick bubbles when inserted, or a wooden spoon. That is for poor people who live in huts. You know how to tell? You stick a thermometer in there and see that it reads 350℉, that's how. Honestly, why would you not have one?  

Green chorizo spaghetti in cream sauce

Chorizo made previously and frozen. These are better than I thought they'd be. Next time I'll add a lot more fat. 

Hearty winter pot roast breakfast, Brussels sprouts side

Everything usual except speeded with pressure. 

After all that Brussels sprouts transformed separately by pressure, gravy the liquid for the pot shoved directly into the sprouts, they cannot hold up to the pressure and heat in there so they submit and allow flavors in, they are softened in one minute, up to the first notch then off the heat, the pressure climbs down and waah-laah, I mean, voilà.

And I wonder, "Why do I not use this pressure pot more often?"  It is one of my better implements. I should have two. The pressure pot really is the way to go, the best option so often, and useful for things you would not even consider like adding chickpeas dry and hard assured they will cook with the meat and absorb all the beef flavor as they swell.

And it is nothing at all to check by depressurizing, unclamping and looking and testing instead of guessing one long cook period and risk getting it wrong. It is no problem to bring the pot back to pressure to finish the job. It's fun bringing the pot to pressure then shutting it down completely. It is definitely energy saving device.

Butternut squash, parsnip, leek soup with duck

This is a repeat of the soup made a few days ago. It is the best soup I've ever eaten. It was gone too fast. I was happy to eat it every day, yay more supremely excellent soup, but then forlorn when it was gone so I made it again. 

That this is not the most famous soup in the world proves just another of those inexplicable harsh injustices that occur on a massively confused world.

Vegetable roasted with duck legs and thighs. Everything smeared around in rendered duck fat once it gets going.

Boiled together in real chicken broth, that is the key right there, and with favorite spices. 

Duck legs and thighs removed and shredded. The thick vegetable mixture puréed, shredded duck added back. 

Bratwurst snack

This is not the work of the brilliant famed Wisconsin artisan charcutiers, no, this is regular ordinary run-of-the-mill non-brilliant sausage for regular people and so it is jazzed up in ways ordinary sausage does not deserve, braised for a long time with malted beer and roasted garlic to become so soft as pậté, and the garlic spreadable.  

Hazelnut toffee


I regard this batch of hazelnut toffee a failure.

The most delicious, slow to get rid of, ashamed to share failure.

[original photographs here lost due to hasty careless deleting. This and at top is what remains of the fail-toffee I haven't got to yet.]

The thing is, a lot of nuts is good so a superabundance of nuts is superabundantly good innit. Not so. Compacted and structurally unsteady, too thick and not so easy to eat or keep together, this has too much hazelnuts by 100% making it twice as expensive and unnecessarily making it worse instead of better. Therefore I must make it disappear.

I made heavily nut-loaded toffee once before and it came out perfectly so I thought myself expert right off, why not, and now I experience a knockback to novice status and to be frank about it I never did have any idea what I'm doing.

Conclusion. For me, not you: * use one of my medium pots, not a larger pot. The toffee bubbles up to the top of medium pots but sits there flatly in a large pot. * use less than 8 oz each sugar/butter for slightly thinner layer poured into bread pan. The cashew toffee is 8 oz regular bread pan size and that is a bit thick. * use another bread pan to release. So it doesn't drop out, to keep it in one piece before coating. * Into a larger pan to contain the mess of coating with powder nuts. It is a three-pan deal.

Buffalo shrimp

* cayenne
* blue cheese sauce

Duck and butternut squash soup

Gather 'round little darlings, collect yourselves. Let me help you out of your suffocating plastic wrappers there. 

There. Doesn't that feel better?

))) whap (((

Roasted. Why? To impart layers of flavor. 

By heat and by time starches denature to less complex sugar that caramelizes, the whole lot undergoes Maillard reaction and that contributes depth and complexity by layering vegetable flavors. It makes the difference between a superficial soup and one with depth and mystery and full-body satisfaction. That is my opinion and I'm sticky wicket.

I'm already finished with a large bowl of this soup and I want MOAR!

I walked back to Tony's for chicken stock. I was hoping for cartons and they do have them there. A nice selection too. They are all about $4.00 or $4.50 thereabout, I think. 

Tony's also has frozen broth I noticed but I mistook beef for chicken and got the price wrong. I thought it said $6.90 something like that, and I decided to go for it. But I was wrong, chicken is half that.

I met a woman right there and mentioned all this. She latched on conversationally eager to engage. She mentioned something about a television show, America's Kitchen, I think, and I responded with a similar anecdote. Then she went on about meringue cookies, showed them to me and other items in the specialty aisle and followed me around where I pointed out the duck legs on the way to the checkout. We puzzled over that and I bought more but she did not. Some salesman, I.  

This chicken broth of theirs that comes frozen is an excellent deal. It is the base of this soup. If I had used water the soup would be wan. 

You'd think the strong flavors would be the thing that makes all the soup-satisfaction, duck, roasted garlic, habanero, and they do, but without the base of stock they are all just various flavors in suspension and in faint competition. They never do manage to satisfy and you cannot add enough salt or MSG to compensate.

So for a vegetable soup first start with vegetable stock, that is the same thing in concentration to provide the soup a backbone as it were around which cooked vegetables are packed to provide body. That is, layers of vegetable flavors, roasted, boiled, and fresh. 

Man is this good. I feel guilty, actually, for eating the whole thing and not sharing. I have a whole pot and it is mine, mine, mine, all mine. 

I walked down to Tony's twice for this soup. I earned it.

Blog Archive