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Scratch Cooking Archives


We were at Trader Joe's and Kelly saw some chicken marinating in pesto and Kelly maintained that this was something we needed. But the idea of buying soaked chicken in a bag was something that I couldn't cope with so I tried to remember ... who made pesto recently that didn't use a lot of out of season expensive basil. Oh yes. +Hilah Johnson  did a kale pesto a while ago. So I totally used her recipe instead of reinventing the wheel. Here is her recipe:

About 1/3 cup of this is currently sitting in the fridge getting to know three chicken thighs so that I can make some pasta tomorrow and make the rest of the magic happen.
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So here we have the final version of of the grits casserole I made just last night. Ladies and gentlemen we have a winner. 

I am happy to report I had no problem eating this two meals in a row so that I could get the recipe right for you fine folks. 
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+Alton Brown is filming again.  The problem he is fixing here isn't a problem if you, like I, make your mustards from scratch and stick them in wide mouth mason jars.  Of course then you have to use a knife.   Six of one, half dozen of the other. 
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Food science isn't all about which cheap chemicals taste like expensive foods or finding ways to keep something like cheese shelf stable for two years.  Sometimes it is just finding the best way to cook some bacon.
Bacon is delicious, and keeping it from shrinking when cooking is a popular topic. Instructables user craftclarity wanted a more scientific, rigorous approach to keeping bacon from shrinking, so he put a number of popular tricks to the test. Which was the best? The good old oven.
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I've made this a few times but am still searching for the perfect picture. But this time I even took a picture of the mise en place (see the picture in the link).  Your spice grinder can supply you with fresh oat flour in just a few seconds. Don't buy it. Make it.
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Just for the record I served this a la mode with the last of the blueberry gelato.  It was okay if you like food.
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By the end of this week I will have made a Bloody Mary from scratch. Everything but the vodka will have been made in my kitchen. I won't make the vodka because there are some pesky laws about distilling and I would rather avoid that hassle. I will, however, be making the horseradish, pepper sauce, tomato juice and a worcestershire substitute. Well I already have the pepper sauce covered so I just have to make the rest.

Maybe I will take some of that tomato sauce and some of this horse radish sauce and make some shrimp cocktail.

Here is the recipe:
Here is the pepper sauce:

The rest will be available over the course of the week.
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Did I really make a casserole?

Some corn grits with a side of asparagus. Oh, and a side of animated gif. Recipe needs more milk, more cheese and maybe dash of red pepper. But it has potential. And it's a casserole thingy which is something I normally avoid like the plague.
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From the to-do list: "Make dark chocolate". It has been on the list for a while now but I wasn't finding coco nibs anyplace so kept putting it off. Then I found cocoa nibs in two different places and decided to make it happen. I'm not going to post a recipe at this point because this was just a test batch but I can offer up some tips.

The local homebrew store might have them for far less money than the local exotic spice shop. They also tend to have good prices on vanilla beans. Support your local homebrew shop. 
Don't make too small of a batch. I made a tiny one ounce batch because I didn't want to waste anything. Because of chocolate loss that happens in processing I didn't get as much as I would have with a larger batch of say 5-8 ounces. 
The inefficiency of a mostly empty spice grinder means it wasn't as smooth as it could have been. 
You should do the temper process in a pot but because I was making so small an amount of it I did it in the microwave at medium heat. 
The recipes you find out there will tell you to use a marble slab for tempering. Corian works just fine.

The result was a perfectly estery 70% cocoa dark chocolate that made me very happy and I will do this again with a proper sized batch.
I look forward to making some custom flavors down the road like ghost pepper and, per the request of someone else, almond and raisin chocolate.
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Remember to save your apple peals so you can make pectin.  You can put them in a ziplock and toss them in the freezer until you need them.   They don't care if they get freezer burn. 

Here is how you can make pectin from skins and cores:
This one has cremating the rounds online. I thought I would post it too. Now this is how you peel an apple. LOL

#ChefTechniques #ChefLife 
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Nice tip +Scratch Cooking Archives ;-)
Part of my freezer is turning into a waste bucket already with more smaller bags of things like this that wait to get multiplied for processing. 
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The AMY1 gene produces the alpha amylase enzyme in your saliva. This enzyme breaks down long chain carbs into short chain sugars and is pretty slow acting at below 145f. Above 165f the enzyme starts to denature and fall apart. Our body temp is only ~98f so how does it compensate? Volume! It has lots of copies of the gene and cranks out a lot of enzyme in the saliva. This study looks at the effects of the number of copies of the gene and how it relates, or doesn't, to obesity.

For more fun with alpha amylase and other topics like beta amylase find a resource on homebrewing. You can learn a lot of organic chemistry right in your own kitchen when you make your own beer.
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All things related to scratch cooking.
You can make all the foods. Ever make a PB&J from scratch? The bread, the jelly and the peanut butter? This is the place dedicated to bringing back the foods that are the home made back bone meals of the cultures of the world.

If you have a request, especially something that can be used for breakfast foods, let me know.  I will ferment, bake and can anything I can go get this done right and while I have a long to-do list I am always looking for new ideas.   If you know other people doing scratch made things let me know about them too.  

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