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 Crustless Quiches (Ingredients for one, easy to scale)
Ingredients (per quiche – if you have a calculator or basic math skills, scaling up is pretty easy)
Nutritional Breakdown if that matters to you:
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.
Eggroll Stir Fry Bowls (makes 8)
Nutrition Breakdown (per 1/8 recipe)
36 g protein
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 (makes 6 servings – photos show a double recipe)
Ingredients(one pie plate):
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
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.
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)
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.
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
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’.)
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.
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