Mr. Hawthorne loves his new stove top smoker
and looks for any occasion to use it.
First he soaks his hickory chips ...
... then spreads them out in the bottom of the pan.
He fills the pan with water ...
... and puts 1 1/2 pounds of wild-caught Alaskan salmon in the pan.
He smokes this at 210 degrees for about 45 minutes.
I thought you'd like to know who caught my salmon.
Rick Bray, a second generation fisherman
caught this sockeye salmon on the Coghill River in Alaska.
Remember, I do not like salmon ... yet,
but I love Mr. Hawthorne's smoked salmon dip.
Mr. Hawthorne's Smoked Salmon Dip
3/4 pound salmon
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
3 TB sour cream
3 TB mayonnaise
juice of a whole lemon
Mix all together.
That's some smokin' love on a tostito.
I love a good stir fry.
And that's exactly what I have in mind for lunch.
I'm only using one pork chop for the two of us.
The vegetables provide the bulk for this meal.
Slice into thin strips.
It helps if the pork is slightly frozen.
Makes it easier to slice thinly.
my pork was past the frozen state.
First, I'm making a marinade for the pork.
I took one of my frozen 1-inch cubes of ginger,
nuked it, and squeezed it to get out the juice,
then minced the ginger.
Add in three-four cloves of minced garlic.
Oyster sauce and soy sauce,
with the garlic and ginger complete my marinade.
I prefer to mix by hand.
Veggie ingredients for my stir fry:
red and green peppers
I need a chicken broth or stock.
Lately, I've been using this McCormick's Chicken Base.
A teaspoon in a cup of cold water.
Stir to dissolve,
then nuke a frozen 1-inch cube of ginger
and press the juice in
along with some garlic cloves.
Add the cup of cold ginger broth
to a heaping tablespoon of corn starch.
The cornstarch is the thickening agent
for this light, flavorful sauce which
will envelop and coat the rest of the stir fry ingredients.
Stock and cornstarch in the ramekin.
Add in a couple tablespoons each
of mirin and soy sauce.
My mise en place.
Marinated pork strips.
Finely chopped garlic.
Sliced red and green pepper.
Heat up your wok on high.
Add a few tablespoons of peanut oil.
I like to use peanut oil
for the high smoke point.
Add in the sliced shrooms.
Stir fry for about a minute or two.
That's my personal taste.
I like my mushrooms browned.
By the way,
never salt your shrooms before or during cooking.
This releases water and they will steam, not sear.
Now start adding the rest of the veggies.
Onions and garlic.
A touch of sugar.
Just that fast over high heat.
Stirring the entire time.
Transfer veggies to a bowl and partly cover.
I added a little bit of sugar to my marinated pork
to help in caramelizing.
Add a few more tablespoons of peanut oil in the wok
and add the pork strips individually.
Add in the chicken stock/ginger/Mirin/soy sauce/cornstarch
down the side of the pan, very slowly,
allowing it to cook and thicken on its way down the hot wok.
Goodie bits of ginger and garlic going in.
Add the vegetables back in and toss to coat.
Serve stir fry over a bed of rice
and top with bean sprouts.
This is a whole lot better than what is served
at the local fast food China buffets.
And that's just wrong.
While rummaging through my freezer,
I found this little chicken
I'd bought on sale.
I'm thinking individual chicken pot pies
for the little Hawthornelets.
$2.80 for a whole chicken.
For the pastry:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup shortening
1/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
about 2/3 cup ice water
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Freshly ground salt and pepper
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder.
Drop in diced butter and coat with flour.
With a pastry blender,
work in the butter and shortening.
When you're making a pastry dough,
you want different sizes of butter flakes in the dough -
from bread crumb to pea size.
The smaller pieces make the dough tender.
The larger pieces make the dough flaky.
Gradually add in water ...
... gathering the dough in a ball.
Do not overwork the dough.
Just gather and roll around until
Cover in plastic and refrigerate for a couple of hours.
Ingredients for the filling:
1 carrot, diced
1 celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
red, green, yellow, and orange pepper, diced
handful of water chestnuts, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
about 3-4 cups cooked chicken
I added maybe 3 TB butter to my pan
and sauteed all the veggies for about a minute.
Then I added in about 1/2 cup flour.
Cook, stirring, for a minute.
Slowly add in 1 quart of chicken stock ...
... stirring and allowing the mixture to thicken.
Add in 1/2 cup heavy cream.
Stir in the chicken ...
... and the peas.
It needed more peas.
If your filling is not as thick
as you would like,
you could sprinkle in some Wondra quick-mixing flour
to thicken it up.
Don't sprinkle regular all-purpose flour.
It will clump unless you make beurre manie (bur mahn-yay)
which is equal parts flour and butter.
Knead the flour and butter together
and whisk into your liquid.
Parsley and thyme from the garden.
Chop the parsley
and strip the leaves off the thyme.
Add herbs to the mix.
Season if necessary with freshly ground salt and pepper.
I filled 5 1-cup ramekins and a 6 1/2-inch Corningware
dish with the filling.
Dust a little flour on your board,
cut the dough into pieces,
and roll out.
Using an egg wash
(1 egg mixed with 1 TB water),
brush the outside of the ramekins
so the pastry will seal.
Cover the pots with the pastry,
brush with the egg wash,
and put a few slits in the top to vent.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes -
until the pastry is golden brown
and the filling bubbly hot.