My Weekend Cooking Project – Sous Vide Pork Ribs

As you may or may not know, I enjoy cooking. I consider it a primary hobby. I have been working on mastering the Sous Vide Cooking technique. My weekend project is to cook pork spare ribs for Memorial Day. I started on Saturday night. Following are a few pictures of the the beginning process.

The ribs seasoned and vacuumed sealed ready to go in the water. The Sous Vide techiques requires a vacuum seal to make sure all the meat comes in contact with the water.

The 9 packets of Ribs in the water bath. The ribs will cook at 138 degrees. I’ll leave them in for 48 hours. I’ll let you know how they turn out.

The Perfect Thanksgiving Turkey

One of my passions is cooking. Last year I posted a video on how to smoke a turkey on a gas grill. My friends and family loved it so much that they’re begging me to do it again this year. (I just might!)

I thought it would be the perfect time to repost that video to show you how easy it really is to make. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did. Let me know how it turns out for you.

Sincere wishes to you and yours this holiday season!

 

Making Ricotta Cheese

I was inspired by a blog post on Smitten Kitchen on how to make homemade ricotta cheese. I always like to experiment with new things and have never made cheese so decided I just had to try it.

We had some friends over to celebrate the 4th and figured this was as good a time as any. As has been tradition for several years, I made a Grilled Turkey for the main course, so ricotta bruschetta for an appetizer seemed like a good idea.

As with any good cheese, you start with good quality, high-fat content milk. I purchased whole milk and fresh cream at our Franklin Farmer’s Market on Saturday. Making the cheese is a simple four-step process and does not take very long.

Step 1 – Add 3 cups whole milk and 1 cup cream to a non-reactive pan. Heat over medium heat until a candy thermometer or instant read thermometer shows 175 to 185. Do not let it boil. The above recipe calls for 190 degrees but, after some research, I found that this range worked well for me.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Step 2 – Off the heat, add 3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice and stir twice slowly and gently. Set a timer for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – After 5 minutes pour the mixture into a colander lined with cheesecloth set over a large bowl. Leave undisturbed for 1 to 2 hours to allow the whey to separate from the curds.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Step 4 – Serve. (I put the cheese in an airtight container in the refrigerator until I was ready to serve.) The cheese should be good for a couple of days.

I allowed guests to make their own bruschetta, serving a very good olive oil, wildflower honey from Whole Foods, and Balsamic Vinegar with sea salt. The salt does improve the taste. I also made shaved baby zucchini and shaved asparagus dressed with olive oil and salt and pepper to use as an additional topping.

Homemade Ricotta Cheese

People were skeptical at first but changed their mind after the first bite. This will definitely not be the last time I make homemade ricotta. My next experiment will be to use it with homemade pasta. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

How to Grill a Turkey

One of my passions is cooking. I have been chided for not adding or updating the recipes on this site. I will do my best over the next few months to correct this omission. I do have quite a few new recipes to share with anyone that likes to cook.

Karen loves turkey at any time of the year, not just Thanksgiving. I perfected smoking a turkey on a gas grill a number of years ago but have never documented the process. It really is quite easy. So, I decided to create this video to show you how. I hope you enjoy Grilled Turkey as much as we (and our friends) do.

What are some of your favorite things to cook on the grill?

Grilled Stuffed Flank Steak

Cooks Illustrated is one of my favorite cooking magazines. It does not have a lot of recipes in each issue but what is included is well tested and generally very good. This month’s issue has a grilled stuffed flank steak that just looked fun so I had to try it.

Here is the recipe.

Depending on the steak’s size, you may have between 8 and 12 pinwheels of stuffed meat at the end of step 2. Freezing the steak for 30 minutes will make butterflying easier. You will need both wooden skewers and twine for this recipe.

Ingredients

2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)

1 small shallot , minced (about 2 tablespoons)

2 tablespoons fresh parsley leaves , finely minced

1 teaspoon sage leaves , finely minced

2 tablespoons olive oil , plus extra for oiling grate

1 flank steak (2- to 2 1/2-pounds) (see note)

4 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto

4 ounces thinly sliced provolone

8–12 skewers soaked in water for 30 minutes

Kosher salt and ground black pepper

Instructions
  1. Combine garlic, shallot, parsley, sage, and olive oil in small bowl. Following illustrations below, butterfly and pound flank steak into rough rectangle. With steak positioned so that grain runs parallel to edge of counter and opened side faces up, spread herb mixture evenly over surface of steak. Lay prosciutto evenly over steak, leaving 2-inch border along top edge. Cover prosciutto with even layer of cheese, leaving 2-inch border along top edge. Starting from bottom edge and rolling away from you, roll beef into tight log and place on cutting board seam-side down.
  2. Starting ½ inch from end of rolled steak, evenly space 8 to twelve 14-inch pieces of butcher’s twine at 1-inch intervals underneath steak. Tie middle string first; then working from outermost strings toward center, tightly tie roll and turn tied steak 90 degrees so seam is facing you. Skewer beef directly through outermost flap of steak near seam through each piece of string, allowing skewer to extend ½ inch on opposite side. Using chef’s knife, slice roll between pieces of twine into 1-inch-thick pinwheels. Season pinwheels lightly with kosher salt and black pepper.
  3. Turn all burners to high and heat with lid down until very hot, about 15 minutes. Scrape grate clean with grill brush. Dip wad of paper towels in oil; holding wad with tongs, wipe cooking grate. Leave primary burner on high and turn off other burner(s).
  4. Grill pinwheels directly over hot side of grill until well browned, 3 to 6 minutes. Using tongs, flip pinwheels; grill until second side is well browned, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Transfer pinwheels to cooler side of grill, cover, and continue to cook until center of pinwheels registers 125 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 to 4 minutes (slightly thinner pinwheels may not need time on cooler side of grill). Transfer pinwheels to large plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 5 minutes. Remove and discard skewers and twine and serve immediately.