I’m looking at something called “Monkey Butter”. Do you really think I’m here for my health? LOL
While doing a little online grocery shopping in the fish market section, I came across this:
Let’s not even get into the fact that I don’t even know what a moonfish* is. I mean, did they bring it back on a space shuttle? It sounds like something aliens created for humans to eat to make it easier to enslave us all.
*Actually this dish looks pretty tasty
Had a hankering for another pumpkin orgasm tonight. It was tasty, but I think I used too much pumpkin. The top of it was cakey-crunchy but underneath it was pure pumpkin pieness. Not a speck of cakiness in sight.
Now that’s not a bad thing, but it just seemed like a waste of the cake mix; like any effect it had was minimal, at best. Think I’ll play around with it to come up with some more ideas to adapt the texture to other cooking avenues.
I was actually more jazzed by the beautiful hills and valleys and texture of the dish. Almost like some strange crackly orange lava bed planet surface.
Or some weird funky food stylist, caterer decorative carrot rose
And I wasn’t even trying to make it look nice. All I did was pour it into the dish and bake.
Since I let you in on my little brining secret yesterday, I figured I might as well show you the results. Since this 2nd brining-related post was kind of an afterthought I don’t have a picture of the chicken draining after I dumped it out of the brine (Sorry).
But anyway – after I drained it from the brine, I rinsed it off. It wasn’t a deep cleansing, wipe-off-all-traces-of-everything-that-came-before-it rinse. I just ran the water over the chicken in a colander, shook off the excess and dumped it in a roomy bowl in prep for the oven.
On to the olive oil rub down, and then the spice rub:
This is basically what I throw on everything, in greater or lesser amounts depending on my mood that day. For this chicken the largest concentration tends to be paprika (trust me – it’s not just for looking pretty on potato salad and deviled eggs)
Then into the pans (Don’t want to crowd anyone):
Set oven between 325 and 350, Bake/roast/apply heat for an hour or so, depending on the thickness of your pieces. Check for doneness then remove and marvel at the color and lovely crispy skin:
The result? Crispy, moist, juicy, tasty, super flavor-packed chicken thighs. A yummy nom-nom time was had by, well … me!
Brine my chicken, of course! What else would I be doing at 3 am? Certainly not sleeping, you silly goose.
Now – what is brining, you ask? Well, it’s similar to marinating, where you basically soak something in a seasoning mix. It could be a liquid mixture or it could just be a mixture of herbs and spices. You let it sit on the meat for a few hours or even overnight. It makes things more flavorful.
Brining is basically salt and water that you sit your meat in to draw in the moisture. (There’s some big technical concept that happens called osmosis that occurs, but let’s not even get into that). It jusr makes whatever you’re cooking incredibly tender and moist, which is great since I have this horrible tendency to either ever so slightly undercook something, or grossly overcook it. As with a marinade you can also add in spices and herbs to season the brine.
I used to just marinate my chicken overnight or mix up some spices, rub them on, then shove it in the oven. Then I decided to explore brining. [Cue angelic epiphany music] I will never. Ever. EVER! not brine my chicken.
If you haven’t tried it – you should. Really. It’s so simple, even I can’t screw it up. I put my seasonings in the bowl, add some cold tap water, whisk it together to dissolve the salt, pour it over the chicken and let it sit in the fridge. When I’m ready to bake the chicken (I haven’t tried frying it or using a grill pan yet). I drain it, rinse off the brine (so it won’t be ridiculously salty) then I coat the chicken in some extra virgin olive oil, throw on a spice rub* (nothing specific – just whatever I have in the house at the time), lay it in the pan and into the oven it goes.
So, so good. Oh my gosh. Haven’t tried it on pork or on a steak, but I will eventually. And eventually – I may actually get some sleep too.
*As the chicken’s already been swimming in a saltwater brine, I use a minimum amount of salt on the rub. Had to learn this through trial and error.
Went looking for a recipe to make teriyaki sauce.
Found one on Cooks.com:
If I already had teriyaki sauce,
why would I need a recipe to make
What could be more Jersey than rich, creamy Jersey cow’s milk cheese? Cherry Grove Farm raises mostly Jersey cows for its insanely tasty cheeses. Located in the Lawrenceville area, the farm has been all about sustainability from the get-go. Almost half of its grazing area is certified organic. The apple butter is from Wightman’s Farms in Morristown, which grows its own apples and make its own fruit butters. Many “pick-your-own” farms preserve their surplus this way, giving you a chance to enjoy the fruit of summer all year long.
SERVES EIGHT AS AN APPETIZER
(Recipe can be doubled or halved)
1 sheet puff pastry dough, thawed and cut
into 16 squares
1/2 cup apple butter
6 ounces Cherry Grove Toma Primavera cheese (similar to an Italian mountain cheese), grated
1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, then coat it with non-stick spray.
3. Place squares on baking sheet.
4. Spray square tops with non-stick spray.
5. Top with another layer of parchment.
6. Place a second baking sheet on top.
7. Bake about 30 minutes until pastry is golden.
8. Take top baking sheet off, as well as parchment.
9. Top each square with apple butter and a good-sized pinch of cheese.
10. Return to oven and bake about 7 minutes until melted.
11. Allow to cool slightly — 4 minutes