Sunday odds ‘n ends

November 13, 2011

This is a chicken crackling.

It’s made from the skin of this.

Read about how to make them (line a baking sheet with parchment, lay the skin out in big chunks (or smaller ones) on it, cover with another sheet of parchment paper and cover with another baking pan that fits down inside the one you’re using. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

It’s ultra crispy, and ultra chickeny. You couldn’t just sit and eat a handful — too rich. I’m thinking it would be good to crumble and use on top of a chicken dish of some sort. Maybe some kid of chicken pasta.

The things you learn.


Pumpernickel. Black bread. You say potato, I'll say potahto....

The Sunday loaf was on Saturday this week and as noted before, pumpernickel. Very nice dense, but soft, bread, taste is a little, well, h’mmm. It’ll be good when I hit on the right spread to go on it; just not sure what that is just yet. I’m thinking some kind of spicy honey mustard, some salami and some swiss would make a helluva sandwich. I can testify it does not go particularly well with Nutella. Oh, and I think it’ll be wonderful with that cured pork loin I’m planning for next weekend.

The recipe, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen blog, is here. She calls it, variously, black bread and pumpernickel bread, so pays your money and takes your choice.


Not too shabby, for a first attempt with the new waffle maker.

Waffles. NS is a devotee of waffles. I like a waffle from time to time, myownself. So when I was in Big Lots t’other day and saw a Belgian wafflemaker for $28, I thought, “Well, why not?”

I used your basic Hungry Jack Complete pancake mix, added the egg and oil that the box called for for waffles. They were good; I prefer a crispier waffle, myself, and so will be leaving mine in the iron through a couple of cyles to achieve that. NS likes soft food, so he was fine with it.


It's nice to see summer here in the throes of fall.

Tomatos. I have about half of that 2 1/2 pound clamshell on a cookie sheet in the oven, roasting in truffle oil and sea salt with a bit of rosemary. They’ll serve for — something, yet to be determined what. They could go on a pizza, or make a pasta sauce, or go in with a roast, or whatever.

 The other half of the box is on the stove, bubbling away in what will become cream of tomato soup.

The dichotomy came about because my feet hurt; I stood there for 40 minutes at the counter, pinching the little green stars off the end of the tiny little tomatos and slicing them in half. Most of them were about the size of your average white grape, but some were little tiny things, and it became faster to cull the little ones out and slice the bigger ones, then dump the little ones whole into the soup pot and let them break down on their own.  Currently, it’s simmering; when I judge it’s done enough of that and cooked down some, I’ll hit it with my immersion blender, pour it through a strainer to pull out all the little tomato skin thingies, put it back into the pot and add a healthy dollop of heavy cream.

It won’t LOOK like tomato soup, because the tomatos, other than three or four that were purple, were a beautiful autumnal yellowy-orange. But they are oh-so-sweet, and oh-so-good that I ate maybe a dozen while I was segregating them into roasting and souping piles. They pop in your mouth and taste like a just-off-the-vine Better Boy you’ve bitten into, with juice running down your arm, while you’re standing barefoot in the garden.

Yeah. Like that.

I put a little tarragon in the soup, figuring the licorice-y flavor would play nicely with the tomato sweetness. If so, the tarragon pesto becomes a big factor in future tomato soups, as long as the co-op will keep providing me with cherry tomatos. Hope that guy is growing them in a greenhouse, although, here on the 13th of November, it is 75 degrees outside as I type.

Well. I’ve got to get busy. You and y’mama ‘n ’em enjoy this lovely fall day, and I will update you later with tomato soup news and photos from the Culinary District open house.




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