A star spangled dinner

July 4, 2016

Simple, not holiday-ish, but good.

Simple, not holiday-ish, but good.

Well, not really. And while there wasn’t much in the way of prep to it, nor was it traditional Fourth of July fare, it was good.

Even if I finished up the evening’s cooking by dropping a fresh-out-of-the-oven loaf of banana bread upside down on the floor, a practice which does not a damn thing to the benefit of your bread, and will make you cuss.

But I have learned the Best Way Ever to cook new potatoes. And it’s easy, even if it does involve two pans. Line one with foil and roll with it.

Making good use of the dog bed and TV stand

Making good use of the dog bed and TV stand

Amazing Grandchild 1 was here Saturday night and last night, so I didn’t do a lot in the way of weekend cooking. beyond my annual hot dog. I’d taken a notion while at the grocery earlier this week, and picked up a package of Nathan’s Coney Island franks, my dog o’choice, and some buns. Didn’t feel like firing up the grill (for 5 minutes or less cooking dogs), so I seared mine off real quickly in a skillet skimmed with olive oil, plopped it on a toasted bun with homemade spicy mustard, ketchup and sweet pickle relish.

Dog , with accoutrements.

Dog , with accoutrements.

Worked. And I’ve had my dog fix for the year.

Other than that and the previous post’s veggie dinner, the only meal I’ve really cooked is tonight’s pork chop and potatoes. The pork chops have been thawed in the fridge for the better part of a week, so I figured I’d better go on and cook them (that will be the case for the ribs later this week sometime), and I had new potatoes from the farmers’ market. Decided to just sear off the pork chops and then simmer them in some hard cider, which left the question of how to fix the potatoes.

I contemplated a warm potato salad, and then I thought about potatoes in a cheese sauce, but in the end, I decided to just par-boil them with salt until barely tender. I drained them, then tossed in about 2 tbsp of butter, let it melt and tossed them in it. Poured them out on a foil lined baking sheet, sprinkled with a little seasoned salt and freshly ground black pepper, and ran them in a hot oven (475 or so) for about 10 minutes before finishing them up on broil.

I highly recommend this method of cooking new potatoes. It gets the potatoes uniformly tender, which can be an issue when you’re roasting from raw. It highlights the sweet creaminess of a new redskin. My potatoes ranged from ping-pong-ball sized to a little bigger than a golf ball, so I either halved or quartered them, so’s to get a relatively uniform size, and boiled them with about a teaspoon of kosher salt for between 10 and 15 minutes before transferring to the oven.

Do this. I recommend it.

We will not speak of the Great Banana Bread debacle. Just let it be known I was well and truly pissed when I smushed that hot loaf upside down on the floor. I salvaged the majority of it (Lucy enjoyed the crumbs), and I’m contemplating trying a banana bread pudding tomorrow.

My planned blackberry dessert did not materialize, as I did not find a can of condensed milk in the cupboard. That’s a striking oversight on my part, and one I shall not let occur again. I’ll be off to Kroger tomorrow for condensed milk. Better late than never.

We also have kraut to can tomorrow. You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em come on by.



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