Home In Disarray

August 23, 2016

Custardy Sous Vide Crustless Jar Quiches

Sous vide jar quiche
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Whoa nelly, that is a mouthful.  It has been hot in the Seattle area.  Hotter than most of us are equipped to deal with. With many stretches of days in the 90s, the idea of turning on the oven, and frankly even using the stove has been far from appealing.  I have set up shop on our covered back deck and doing the vast majority of my cooking out there. We have a little plug-in induction burner that I’ve been using extensively.  We also have the Weber grill and my somewhat ghetto fabulous styrofoam cooler lined with a black trash bag that I’ve been doing sous vide cooks in.  It’s super efficient so we’re using a lot less power to cook stuff.  As is my true summer style, I’ve been slacking pretty phenomenal at avoiding meal planning, and that has resulted in pretty sad improvised dinners and lots and lots of breakfast sandwiches (I haven’t told you about the new chickens yet, but we’ll get there).

I really needed to get back on the wagon and start pretending to be a grown up who is actually capable of managing their own life and feeding themselves and their family, so I came up with a meal plan for the week. One of my favorite make-ahead breakfast items is quiche.  Crustless if I’m being lazy or otherwise avoiding extra carbs.  Unfortunately, part of making quiche involves turning the oven on. Sometime last year I read post about making personal sized cheesecakes in jars.  Makes sense, you use a water bath to regulate the temp of cheesecake in the oven anyway.  I imagine that you’d get an even more even perfectly silky texture with a sous vide style water bath.  That got my wheels turning and I decided to try my hand at making personal size crustless quiches in the water bath, and damnit, they are fantastic! They are creamy and custardy (totally set) but not dry or runny.

Sous vide jar quiche

Sous Vide Crustless Quiches (Ingredients for one, easy to scale)

Equipment:

  • Sous Vide temperature controller, immersion circulator, etc
  • 1/2 pint wide mouth jars
  • immersion blender (useful but not necessary)

Ingredients (per quiche – if you have a calculator or basic math skills, scaling up is pretty easy)

  • 22g frozen broccoli florets, defrosted & drained
  • 27g mushrooms, sautéed (just a few slices)
  • 15g shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 slice thick cut bacon, fried then chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • 30g heavy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Prep your jars – for easy cleanup, spray or rub with a neutral oil of some sort.  This isn’t necessary though.
  • Portion out broccoli, mushrooms, cheese, and bacon into each jar.  Everything can be capped and refrigerated for up to 3 days at this point if you’re not going to have the time to do your cook right away.  My poor little Anova has a heck of a time getting my water bath up to 172F, so I did this on separate nights.
  • Preheat your water bath to 172 degrees.  While it is heating, crack your egg(s) and add in cream.  I made a batch of 6 quiches, so used 6 eggs and 180g heavy cream.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Either whisk thoroughly or just blitz it for a few seconds with your immersion blender. The IB will give you a more consistent texture.
  • Divide your egg mixture evenly among all jars and cap them.  You want to tighten the lid finger tight.  Firm but not so firm that extraneous air can’t escape.  If  you’ve ever canned anything, think that tight.
  • Place your jars in the water bath at 172 degrees F.  Bubbles will likely escape as they sink.  If they don’t sink, let them float and cook.  No harm no foul. Cook for 1-2 hours.  Remove from bath.  To do this, I use my canning jar grabber, and with the depth of this bath, I also use a dishwashing glove so I don’t burn my hand.  Verify that your egg mixture is set.  I tilted my jars to pour off the water that’s accumulated on the lids and keep an eye on the filling to see what it does.
  • Allow to cool for 15 minutes on a towel on the kitchen counter, then transfer to a bowl with ice water to cool more.  Refrigerate overnight.
  • I imagine that these are actually pasteurized and as such would last some time in the fridge, but since I am no scientist, and frankly, they’re delicious, mine aren’t going to last all that long.  Safe refrigerated for a week.

Sous vide jar quiche

Nutritional Breakdown if that matters to you:

Per Quiche:

320 calories

25g fat

4g carbohydrates

2g fiber

16g protein

Posted in: Food, Low Carb, Paleo, Sous Vide
March 24, 2016

Eggroll Stir Fry Bowls

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I totally stole this idea from another blog.  It sounded pretty legit, so I fussed with it to suit our tastes and not depend on leftovers. I am well aware that this is one of the least photogenic foods that has existed.  I’m comfortable with that.  It’s delicious.  If you’re not being so strict about watching carbs, adding shredded carrots or thinly sliced red bell pepper would be really nice.  Really anything can be modified, this is just what I put in mine.

egg roll stir fry

Eggroll Stir Fry Bowls (makes 8)

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz boneless skinless chicken thighs – trimmed & marinated in a little tamari and white vinegar, cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 chub “hot” style breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium-large head green cabbage, cored and shredded (about 24 oz)
  • 12 oz crimini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 container firm tofu, drained, and extra moisture pressed out (if you freeze and thaw, the tofu can be rung out kind of like a sponge) – cut into 1/4 – 1/2″ cubes
  • 3 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 2 tsp ginger root, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp hot chili oil

Instructions:

  • If you have a super hot stove burner and a wok, please, I defer to you.  I don’t.  Everything was done in batches and mixed together in a bowl off the heat.  If you are a mere mortal, follow my instructions.
  • Make sure everything is prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.
  • In a large skillet, brown your sausage.  Once browned, pull the sausage out of the pan into a large bowl but try to leave as much of the rendered fat in the pan.
  • Add your tofu and cook over medium heat to allow the tofu to crisp
  • Once tofu has crisped, dump it into a large bowl with the pork.
  • Reheat the pan over high heat, and add your chicken thighs.  Cook until browned, add to bowl.
  • Pour a little avocado oil into the pan, reduce heat to medium high and add your sliced mushrooms.  Cook until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms begin to turn golden brown. Add them to your bowl.
  • Add the rest of your avocado oil and cabbage.  Cook over medium high heat until the cabbage begins to darken or char a little on the bottom.  Stir/flip the cabbage until it all begins to soften.
  • Add your ginger and garlic to the cabbage.  Stir.  As soon as it begins smelling really great, add the tamari, vinegar, sake, sesame oil, chili oil mixture.  Shake/stir until cabbage is coated and remove from heat.  Add to the bowl.
  • Thoroughly mix everything in the bowl and split the mixture into 8 portions.
  • Enjoy

egg roll bowl assembly

Nutrition Breakdown (per 1/8 recipe)

462 calories

36g fat

10g carbohydrates

4g fiber

36 g protein

DSC_0243

Posted in: Cooking, Food, Low Carb
March 20, 2016

Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche

Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche
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This is as ridiculous as it sounds.  But it is also delicious, filling, and if you’re keeping an eye on your carbohydrate intake, low carb.  It also gives you all the flavor of a bacon cheeseburger without the bun.  Either eat this on its own, or have it over a simple salad.  I like to double the recipe, make 2, and freeze one of them for a few weeks later.  In my experience, when eating a restrictive diet, the easiest way to set yourself up for success is having tons of “premade” stuff that is ready to eat – which is why I usually have already peeled boiled eggs, string cheese, salami, and jello in the fridge.  This bacon cheeseburger quiche is one of those puzzle pieces.  It keeps in the fridge for a full week easily, although we’ve never had it last any longer than that, if you know what I mean. 😉

bacon cheeseburger quiche

 

Bacon Cheeseburger Quiche (makes 6 servings – photos show a double recipe)

Ingredients(one pie plate):

  • 1lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon dry chopped onions (or fresh if you like chopping a tiny amount of onions)
  • 5 oz shredded kerrygold cheddar
  • 4 thick slices bacon, fried till fairly crisp (I use Fletchers from Costco)
  • 71 grams mayonnaise (a few tablespoons)
  • 5 tablespoons sour cream
  • 4 eggs
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  • Cook your bacon (I trust you’ve done this before and know what you’re doing)
  • In a large skillet, brown your ground beef.  Add the dehydrated onion to the skillet as it’s cooking.  After the beef has browned, drain and remove it to a bowl to cool.
  • Shred your cheddar, and chop the bacon.  Once the beef has cooled, mix in the cheese and bacon.  Transfer beef mixture to a pie plate. It doesn’t need to be greased. There’s enough fat in this that it doesn’t really stick.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, eggs, salt & pepper in the bowl.  Whisk until they’re homogenous, and pour the mixture slowly over the beef.  It takes a while for the egg to seep down into the beef mixture.
  • Bake the quiche in a 400 degree oven for 25 -35 minutes, until the center is no longer jiggly when bumped.
  • Remove and allow to cool to room temp.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, or place into a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months(I made that number up, freeze for however long you’re comfortable freezing)
  • Slice into 6 slices, reheat in the microwave, and enjoy!

Bacon Cheeseburger QuicheBacon Cheeseburger Quiche

bacon cheeseburger quiche nutrition copy

Posted in: Cooking, Food, Low Carb, Meal Plan
January 27, 2016

Brats with Bacon Braised Cabbage

\Brats with cabbage
By

This is a goody.  Simple and satisfying as a small meal, or add a side of some sort and serve it as a “normal” meal.

Makes 5 servings, takes 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • Pack of 5 Trader Joes uncooked bratwursts
  • 4 strips thick cut bacon, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 10 oz shredded cabbage
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1.5 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

  • In a large skillet, crisp your bacon. Allow it to cook over medium heat until it is starting to crisp up but isn’t destroyed.
  • Remove the bacon to a plate and set aside, but leave the fat behind. Add your brats and brown them on each side. Once you’re satisfied with their color, add the bacon back to the pan and remove the brats. Add your cabbage, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes.
  • Saute for a few minutes until the cabbage begins cooking down. Add your ACV and chicken stock, plus a large pinch of salt and allow to come to a simmer, still over medium heat.
  • Add your brats back to the pan(nestled into the cabbage) and allow to simmer gently for 10-20 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Taste a little of the cabbage and adjust the seasonings.
  • To serve, place 1/5 of cabbage mixture on a plate and top with one bratwurst.Brats with cabbage
May 28, 2015

Jimmy Dean Style “Hot” Pork Sausage

Jimmy Dean HOT Sausage copycat recipe
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Jimmy Dean sausage is ubiquitous in many recipes that those in the cooking community aren’t necessarily “proud” to have made.  These include cheddar-sausage-bisquick balls,  queso dip utilizing Velveeta (I still don’t have a workable replacement for this yet), chiles, sausage, etc.  You can also cook it up and combine with taco meat, make into patties, or add to a pasta sauce.  Overall, it’s a versatile meat product, but as with any kind of commercially prepared sausage, the origins of the meat are dubious and the additional ingredients are somewhat shrouded in secrecy/full of unnecessary stuff.  There’s no reason why both corn syrup and sugar need to appear on the ingredients label, and what exactly are the “spices?”  Better to just spend a little time making your own sausage, out of actual food.  That’s my mantra – Why take a cheap and easy route when you can do it in way more time at a much greater expense? This recipe calls for MSG.  If you have adverse reactions to MSG, substitute salt, but otherwise, it’s yummy.  Just use MSG if you can.  It can be found in the spice or Asian foods section of the grocery store.  The brand of mine was Accent Flavor Enhancer.

Jimmy Dean HOT Sausage copycat recipe

Ingredients:

5lbs pork shoulder, cut into chunks small enough to fit your meat grinder’s feed tube

5 tsp kosher salt (16g)

1.25 tsp MSG (3 g)

1 Tb cayenne (9g)

1 tsp black pepper (1.8-2g)

1 tsp fresh or dried sage (1g)

1 tsp red pepper flakes (2.5g)

 

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients and chill thoroughly.  This can be left for up to a day in the refrigerator prior to grinding.
  • Set up your meat grinder with the small die, pull the sausage out of the fridge and get to grinding!
  • Once all of your meat has been ground, measure out 1 cup of very cold water(you can use any type of liquid here, but to stay true to style, use water.  If you’re up for an adventure, try a cheap beer like Coors or Budweiser.
  • Start mixing your sausage.  You can use your stand mixer, but mine always manages to get meat all up in the connection area, so I stopped using it.  I just use a stiff spoon or spatula.  The goal here is to get it a little gluey.  Pour in part of your water, mix it in, and continue adding water until it has been fully incorporated.  Once the sausage beings looking sticky, you can do a test bite.  Cook a little sausage in a pan and taste it for seasonings.  If it needs more of anything, it can be added at this point and mixed thoroughly.  Continue mixing and tasting until you’re satisfied.
  • Once you are happy with the flavor, you can get to the portioning part of this.  I decided to freeze it in 1 pound sections, as the Jimmy Dean stuff comes in 1 pound chubs and most recipes that use it call for it in 1 pound quantities.  I just vacuum sealed it and immediately stuck all 5 packets in the freezer.
Posted in: Cooking, Food, Low Carb
May 15, 2015

Garlic Aioli with an immersion blender

homemade garlic aioli
By

This is a quick, down and dirty rundown of my garlic aioli.  A more in-depth discussion of the various methods of assembly and ins-and-outs of the process can be found here.  This is how I go about making it on a regular basis.  It takes under 5 minutes from start to finish (including cleanup) and I get so many compliments on it, it even surprises me (and I freaking love this stuff).  A couple months ago friends came over for BLTs, and one of them said “I kind of just want to eat this on some toast without the lettuce, tomatoes or bacon.”  So she did.  Last night, another friend, having a little bit extra in her dish after dipping some incredible spot prawns in it asked it it would be weird to just eat it with a spoon. (It’s not.  Craig and I have both done it.)  Anyway.  People don’t seem to believe just how simple it is to make.  So I made a really low quality video of the process.

Ingredients:

1 egg

1 tablespoon dijon mustard

3 cloves garlic, run through a garlic press (microplaning them is also an acceptable alternative)

2 tablespoons acid – this could be vinegar, lemon juice, lime juice, or whatever you have floating around

1 large pinch salt

1-1.5 cups avocado oil

 

Special equipment:

2 cup jar.  I prefer a wide-mouth pint jar, but a narrow mouth one works OK as long as your immersion blender fits in.

Immersion blender (Did you know you can get a vintage bamix for like $30 shipped on ebay?  Just sayin’.)

 

Instructions:

  • Get your egg out of the fridge. Put it in a bowl with hot water from the tap (you’re not trying to cook it, just to warm it up to room temp)
  • Spoon your mustard into the jar (this is not a science here, just get some mustard in there.
  • Get your garlic pressed or grated into the jar
  • Put your acid in the jar
  • Put your salt in the jar
  • Crack your egg into the jar
  • Get your immersion blender in the jar, and start it running to break and mix up the egg with everything else.
  • Start streaming your oil in, and get the blender going.  Allow the oil to go into the jar as fast as it wants.  The finicky streaming method isn’t necessary when using an immersion blender.  You can even fill your jar with oil and then start blending, but I find that this takes an extra 30 seconds to fill the jar and then blend. Doesn’t benefit me one bit.  Move your immersion blender up and down in the oil column to agitate and emulsify the oil.  My bamix’s chopping blade is faster than it’s whipping blade and generally results in a slightly stiffer mixture.  Your mileage may vary.

May 8, 2015

Ginger Sage Breakfast Sausage

ginger sage breakfast sausage
By

Ok, so this stuff is delicious.  I have had a tenuous relationship with sausage casings in the past, but I have since made peace with not making stuffed sausages, and just being satisfied with making sausage patties  and using it as a loose sausage, not in casings.  And so we come to my ginger sage breakfast sausage, which is based on Michael Ruhlman’s version, but has been modified to suit my tastes.  It’s a little less salty (I don’t reduce the salt in recipes without serious consideration, but Rhuhlman has a very heavy hand with salt) and tweaked all of the ingredients until (at least to my palate) everything was more harmonious.  Please, feel free to adjust to your specific tastes.  These are great in breakfast sandwiches, or in paleo “sausage mcmuffins with egg.” This recipe does require the use of a meat grinder, but you can use one for all sorts of things.  Otherwise, you could always spring for pre-ground pork, but that kind of takes away part of the allure of having used distinguishable parts of the animal in your sausage (pre-ground meat kind of creeps me out).  And for your sanity (and the sake of consistency, I recommend the use of a scale.

ginger sage breakfast sausage

Ingredients(makes 80 1oz sausage patties):

5lbs fatty pork – shoulder/boston butt is preferred – cut into pieces small enough to fit down your meat grinder’s tube

29 grams or 1 oz salt

4 grams (or 2 tsp) black pepper

22 grams grated or pressed garlic

10 grams finely minced fresh sage

3 grams red pepper flakes

5o grams grated fresh ginger

 

Instructions:

  • Combine all ingredients except ginger and chill thoroughly.  This can be left for up to a day in the refrigerator prior to grinding.
  • Set up your meat grinder with the small die, pull the sausage out of the fridge, mix in your ginger, and get to grinding!
  • Once all of your meat has been ground, measure out 1 cup of very cold water(you can use any type of liquid here – I like wine in many sausages, but this is a little over the top in a breakfast meat)
  • Start mixing your sausage.  You can use your stand mixer, but mine always manages to get meat all up in the connection area, so I stopped using it.  I just use a stiff spoon or spatula.  The goal here is to get it a little gluey.  Pour in part of your water, mix it in, and continue adding water until it has been fully incorporated.  Once the sausage beings looking sticky, you can do a test bite.  Cook a little sausage in a pan and taste it for seasonings.  If it needs more of anything, it can be added at this point and mixed thoroughly.  Continue mixing and tasting until you’re satisfied.
  • Once you are happy, you can get to the portioning part of this.  I used my 1oz disher scoop on this batch.  As an aside, I have tried so many different ways to portion this sausage out, from handmade patties (always lumpy and inconsistent) to rolling it into logs and slicing into “coins” (creepily squared off edges – the patties look offputting).  This is definitely the least messy and simplest method in my opinion.  I’m feeling a little proud of myself for developing this method.
  • Scoop your portions out onto a silpat or waxed paper lined sheet pan, leaving space between each scoop.  Once your pan has been filled, place another sheet of waxed paper. (I really recommend using only waxed paper instead of silpats, it separated much more easily than the silpats did!) Then place a second pan on top and push down to flatten.  Line the top pan with waxed paper or silpat and then dish your next batch of patties onto that, top with another layer of waxed paper, then flatten with an additional pan. This should handle about half of your sausage.  You can do as many layers of this as you need.  I only had 3 sheet pans available for this ordeal, so I stuck with the 3 and refrigerated my additional sausage until the next day and did the whole process over.  When you remove the frozen sausage from the freezer, peel off of the liner, place in a freezer baggy, and put back in the freezer.
  • To cook: preheat a pan over medium-low heat (I like using 4/10) and cook just until the side starts browning a little, turn over, and cook until that side has browned as well.  The sausage should be thin enough with the sheet-pan method to cook fully in this time, but if it’s not, allow to cook over gentle heat until no longer pink in the center.

breakfast sausage portioning