Sausage stuffing with kielbasa and chicken sauce

The sauce is liquid that came off of four thighs that were roasted earlier. 

The stuffing was prepared a long time ago when that young man came around and delivered Thanksgiving items. 

Nappa cabbage, shrimp


And then an hour later I'm hungry all over again.

Seven magical Asian ingredients that along with the liquid that sweats from the cabbage turns into an outstanding sauce. Each thing by itself is all, yuk, but together they're quite incredible. 

Beef bourguignon, mashed potato

And milk.

Corn starch and sausage slices.

The beef stew was frozen.

Roasted chicken thighs, pineapple and raspberries

Olive oil poured into a steel pan with salt and pepper. The chicken thighs rubbed all over top and bottom. Cooked skin side down anticipating the skin will fry but the chicken released a full cup of liquid. 1 hour at 350℉

The liquid poured out and reserved for gravy later. The thighs turned skin side up and returned to the oven at higher temperature to brown the skin. 20 minutes at 450℉.

Kielbasa and cole slaw

A 1/3 portion of this is cut off and heated in the microwave.

It's a very small plate the size of a saucer.

Pizza, overload

My favorite pizza. I have sausage my traditional favorite, and I also have ham but they're both not so good on pizza as this thick smokey bacon. And I bought pepperoni but I like it better uncooked straight out of the package. And I have onions and mushrooms and olives, all the usual things that you put on pizza but for my own personal taste so far nothing has topped pineapple with jalapeño and thick smoky bacon. It's always my preference. So that's what I'm stuck on. For now.

And when I buy them from vendors they never do it justice. I'm always disappointed. I can see why people are against pineapple on pizza. They're skimpy on the bacon bits and sparse with the tinned pineapple, and never enough jalapeño. They're just lame and gross.

They need me to show them how to overdo it a bit.

Five slices of thick smoky bacon. They cover the entire top of the pizza.

This turned out to be a little bit too much cheese. It bubbled off the pizza while baking.

Half a pineapple turned out to be a little bit too much. So I ate it.

This turns out to be three meals of two large slices each.

The remainder is re-heated in the oven. Not the microwave. The oven brings it back to original greatness.

This pizza would cost you a fortune outside of home because you'd have to triple up on side ingredients to a cheese pizza. And it's big as their largest. 

Cheese X2
Pineapple X3
Bacon X3
Jalapeño X3 (I used serrano this time) 

Cost: 1 million dollars. 

Possibly fifty dollars. 

White rice, sausage gravy

Regular short-grain white rice is cooked the usual way. Twice as much water as rice, twenty-five minutes steam, ten minutes steam with the heat off. So, covered and steamed for thirty-five minutes, the last ten minutes with the heat off.

This post is about sausage gravy cooked in the microwave. The technique is inspired by instant gravy packages. But there is hardly an advantage over stovetop. You end up with a bowl to clean instead of a pot and there is no advantage in time.

Regular gravy cooked stovetop in a pot or a pan cooks the flour in butter and seasoning. Then liquid is added while whisking to a boil. It's done soon as the mixture boils. Same thing in the microwave.

This is a disc of sausage sliced off from a tube of frozen breakfast sausage such as Jimmy Dean's. The discs are frozen separately in a plastic bag just for things like this.

Forty-five seconds in the microwave. Removed twice to stir.

The sausage is smashed and cut into the smallest pieces possible.

Half the milk. 

Microwaved for forty-five seconds, stirred twice. 

The rest of the milk. 

I made a mistake based on judgement. I used only 3/4 cup milk and drank the remaining 1/4 cup because it seemed the right thickness. But it got a lot thicker as it cooled.

Now my gravy is too thick.

To get a dome of rice I use a small ramekin and rinse the inside with water and dump it all out. Even with no drops of water inside the rice doesn't stick.

That's okay. I like super thick gravy. But it would be better had I used the whole cup.

That's the thing with gravy:
* 1 tablespoon butter
* 1 level tablespoon flour
* 1 cup liquid.

potatoes au gratin with bacon, shallots, jalapeño and cheddar.

Thick applewood bacon from the deli makes all the difference. 

And I mean it.

Yukon Gold potatoes.

I blew it big time.

I put this in the oven and set the timer to one hour. Then I set myself on the sofa (because I still cannot make out lay vs lie past tense and I just give up using that ridiculous impossible word) but didn't know how exhausted I was. I fell asleep. And not just regular sleep either. I fell deeply asleep and did not hear the bell ringing. I guess it rings for one minute then quits. I'm guessing.

So the the whole thing cooked w-a-a-a-a-a-y longer than it should have. 

And while I was sleeping I dreamt the most incredible music. Emotional music that pulls on your heartstrings. Nostalgic and sad. And in the dream I was thinking, "Man, those advertisements sure do get emotional." When I woke up I realized the t.v. was on Netflix and they don't have advertisements. The show I was watching was Dark, an import with dubbing and exceeding slow dialog but also a vehicle for a wide variety of music. It's a ridiculously complex story about time travel and now I'm interested in watching again for the bits that I missed. 

My potatoes were ruined. 

But not totally. They cooked at least twice as long and possibly three times as long as they should have, but on medium 350℉. The tops are extra crispy and somewhat burnt but not black. 

I ate one third the baking dish. It is delicious. OMG, this cheese/bacon/jalapeño combination is good with everything. I had added 1 cup of milk and imagined that might be too much but it was completely absorbed or evaporated. My potatoes came out dry. Now I reheat them with additional milk. And they're still very good. 

I don't know why I don't do this more often. The dish is spectacular. 

White rice and steamed vegetables

These are the vegetables I have on hand. They're fried in a dry pan added sequentially, say, a minute apart then water is added to steam the beans. The residual flavored water cooks the shrimp and finally the cabbage.

High quality short-grained rice cooked not rinsed so that it's sticky as possible.

The original idea was to make fried rice then at the last moment the plan was changed and I added the seven magical Asian flavor ingredients minus the mirin. 

This is fantastically good. I must say, the sauce that forms from steaming the vegetables and from sweating out of them post-cooking blends exceedingly well with the plain rice. They're made for each other. 

Serrano omelet, zucchini and tomato, cheese sauce

Cheese sauce:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour 
     cooked to roux
salt / pepper / chipotle chile powder
I used sake to form a sludge
1/2 cup milk whisked in until it boils
another 1/2 cup milk to thin the sauce.
handful of grated cheese off the heat thickens it back. 

The zucchini is cut at an angle and rolled between each cut to make irregular wedges. The wedges are fried in a dry pan turning so the sides sear somewhat evenly. This goes quickly. The zucchini is removed before it is fully cooked through so there is still some original texture. 

The tomatoes are raw.

Generous cheese sauce is spread on the plate before the vegetables and omelet are placed on it. Both things are sitting on sauce. 

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