Monday, November 17, 2008

Busy Day in the Kitchen

Yesterday was a very busy day in the kitchen. Rose's favorite meal is breakfast (mine too!) and her favorite food is..... pancakes and sausage. So yesterday I made pancakes and sausage for breakfast. I rarely, rarely eat pancakes, but I do eat mine and mine are the best in town. I use Alton Brown's recipe from Good Eats. As I have said before, I idolize Alton Brown. He appeals to my quirky scientific engineering self. On his show, Alton Brown explains the importance of separating the eggs, which I usually do, but yesterday I decided not to separate the eggs. I don't think I could tell the difference. BTW, do use buttermilk. I found the pancakes to be inedible with regular milk.

Before Rose took her nap I made some cookie dough. The plan was to make cut out cookies after her nap.

While she was napping I made a pot of Brunswick stew. My favorite version is from Spanky's, where I would eat the many years I worked in Brunswick GA. There is an ongoing debate over who owns the rights to Brunswick Stew, Brunswick County VA or Brunswick GA. I'm loyal to the Georgia camp. Another twist on the soup though seems to be in its texture. Dinah prefers a pureed stew which seems to be the norm north of Macon Ga. I stick to the chunky classic.

The first part of the equation was to find some smoked pork. I didn't care for the Smithfield package at the grocery store and I didn't want to use the pulled pork available at the barbecue places around here (maybe next time though). I like to use smoked pork chops cut into cubes. I found some at a local meat shop on the south side of Blairsville. We ordered a smoked turkey for Thanksgiving while we were there and some extra chops for dinner last night.

For those not in the the know, especially all of my fellow Yankee friends, from my perspective, what makes Brunsick Stew unique is that is has a barbecue sauce base. In the past I would make the base, boil the potatoes, cook the chicken, then combine the base, potatoes, meat and vegetables. After the last time I decided to see if I couldn't do everything in one pot, just adding ingredients sequentially. It worked!

I still find my stew to be too sweet and not hot enough (Brunswick Stew should be on the spicy side). This time I halved the sugar addition. I think next time I will leave it out completely. On a side note, this is where weighing some ingredients is genius. It is a whole lot easier to weight out 50g of brown sugar rather than figuring out a packed 1/2 cup. How tightly is brown sugar supposed to be packed? Just weigh it every time.

I started with a recipe I found on the internet for Spanky's version. Strangely it has changed over time and the version on-line is not the same as the one I started with. You know, I thought there were some mistakes when I first started this. For now, I'm keeping my recipe a secret, but Spanky's version is here.

After Rose's nap we made cookies! This was Rose's first time making cookies. The dough was tasty. It was a little on the dark side because I only had dark brown sugar rather than light brown sugar. I'm at a loss as to why we refrigerate cookie dough prior to rolling. I need to research that. On first attempt the dough would just tear and crumble. We had to work it with our hands to get it to soften up a little. Flouring the work surface and rolling pin didn't seem to help much. This is probably why I so seldom make cut out cookies. But eventually we got it going. Rose tried to eat as much as she could in between rolling. She had a blast. I had made some frosting while she was napping and we frosted the cookies after they came out of the oven. Rose would spread the frosting onto the cookie and then scrape it off and suck the frosting off her knife.

The smoked pork chops for dinner were good but not as good as what we used to get from Jones' Meat in Climax GA. These were saltier and I thought had a sweet taste also. Jones' has gift packages for the holidays. Ordering a gift pack of smoked pork chops with their blackberry bbq sauce is well, well worth it. Give 'em a call, 229-246-3700.

1 comment:

Dinah said...

Rose enjoyed playing with cookie dough almost as much as she likes playing with Play-doh. I can't wait til the next time Rose plays with Play-doh and tries to eat it!