Salt-Grilled Meat

Salt-Grilled Meat

I’ve done salt-grilled prime meat but it’s summer, which means I want to grill like crazy.  So while that mood lasts I made salt-grilled meat.  Instead of choosing just a choice cut of steak instead of a prime cut of steak I tried to think about what Link actually eats in the game.  There’s a lot of birds and a lot of wild pigs.  So it came down to chicken and pork.  Now, if any of you grill you know that you never, never, ever grill chicken.  It is incredibly difficult to get cook through without drying out.  However, if you do cook pork, you know that you fell victim to one of the the classic blunder, the most famous of which is never get in a land war with Asia but only slightly less well-known is this, never grill pork unless death is on the line…  But we have a few tricks to help you build up an immunity to grilling pork.  Follow these steps and you should come out the victor.

Salt-Grilled Meatsalt grilled pork meter

If you are going to use fresh herbs first wash and then mince the herbs.  You want to make sure you have a really sharp blade to mince greens.  If you don’t, instead of cutting they tend to bruise.  Mix both the thyme and sage together and set aside.

The most  important thing is the very next step.  If you skip this step we may as well quit now…  We have to tenderize the meat as much as possible so the pork doesn’t dry out while we grill.  It’s called a brine, bro.

slicing the pork fat

The pork you purchase should be at least 1.5 inches thick.  Any thinner and it will cook too quickly.  Take your pork loin out of the fridge.  Pat each piece dry.  Now we gently slice the fat at 1 inch intervals.  You want to slice the fat but do not slice the meat.  If you have a thick piece of fat along the side slice about 1/4 inch in.  If you have a thin strip of fat cut all the way through but do not cut the meat.

 

seasoning the pork

Brush or rub the pork on both sides with oil, preferably olive or avocado.  Then rub the pork generously with salt, pepper and the herbs.  Now we let them sit for at least 30 minutes.  Don’t get impatient.  Remember, 30 minutes is the minimum for how long we want to brine.  Closer to an hour and the pork will be even more tender and juicy.

Since not everyone has an outdoor grill I decided to make this using our stove-top grill.  Heat on medium high when the pork is nearly ready to cook.  When the grill is hot lay the pork down away from you.  Allow to sear and cook for 8ish minutes.  Along the side you’ll see how far up the pork is cooking.  When you can see that the cook of the pork is nearly to the middle but not quite (maybe 1/3 of the way up) render the fat by holding it fat-side down on the grill for 30 seconds to 1 minute if the fat is thick. When that’s done flip it over and cook on the other side.  It should be nicely and beautifully browned.

lay the pork on the grill

Cook for about 8ish minutes on this side as well.  This is where you have to start using your judgement.  It should be mostly cooked.  You have a 10 minute minimum rest time so you want the pork to be cooked medium so it can finish up while it’s resting.  This means pulling it off when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F.  You want the final temperature to be 145F.  If it’s not quite ready flip over and cook for a minute or two, then flip again and cook for a minute or two.  This will prevent it from over cooking on one side and still cook through.

grilling pork

Take the pork off the grill and place on a plate to rest.  Cover with foil and let it sit for about 10-12 minutes so the juices can equalize.  If you try and skip this step it’ll be a little tough and the juices will all run out.

 

 

pork close-up

Uncover and serve with whatever you’d like!  If you want to wait till next week’s recipe this pairs really well with that!

Link’s Salt-Grilled Meat

    • Raw Meat or Raw Bird Drumstick
    • Rock Salt

Salt-Grilled Pork

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes brine, 20 minutes cook
  • Difficulty: moderate
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Salt-grilled pork with thyme and sage


Filling

  • 4 pork loin, 1.5 inch thick
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons oil
  • 1-1.5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh thyme (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1.5 tablespoons fresh sage (or 1-1.5 teaspoon dried sage)

Directions

  1. If you use fresh herbs wash and then mince the herbs. Use a very sharp blade to mince in order to prevent bruising. Mix both the thyme and sage together and set aside.
  2. Take your pork loin out of the fridge and pat each piece dry.
  3. At 1 inch intervals gently slice the fat but do not cut the meat.  If you have a thick piece of fat along the side slice about 1/4 inch in.
  4. Brush or rub the pork on both sides with oil, preferably olive or avocado. Rub the pork generously with salt, pepper and the herbs.
  5. Allow the pork to sit for at least 30 minutes. If you choose to brine for longer start them in the fridge and finish the last 30 minutes out of the fridge.
  6. Heat your grill on medium high when the pork is nearly ready to cook.  When the grill is hot lay the pork down away from you.  Allow to sear and cook for 8ish minutes.  Along the side you’ll see how far up the pork is cooking.  When you can see that the cook of the pork is nearly to the middle but not quite (maybe 1/3 of the way up) turn it and render the fat for each chop.
  7. Flip the loin and cook on the other side for another 8ish minutes.
  8. At this point your chop should be mostly cooked.  You have a 10 minute minimum rest time so you want the pork to be cooked medium so it can finish up while it’s resting.  This means pulling it off when it reaches an internal temperature of 135F.  You want the final temperature to be 145F. If it’s ready remove from the grill and place onto a plate.
  9. If your pork isn’t quite ready flip it over and cook for a minute or two, then flip again and cook for a minute or two.  This will prevent it from over cooking on one side and still cook through.
  10. Take the pork off the grill and place on a plate to rest.  Cover with foil and let it sit for about 10-12 minutes so the juices can equalize. Uncover and serve!

Fish Pie

Fish Pie

Guys- I’m sorry about the whole “no post thing” yesterday.  I’m currently preparing for a vacation on top of several fires at work and I completely forgot it was Tuesday…

Link sure has some serious pastry and cooking skills.  This recipe, while not exactly difficult, was a bit strange.  I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve never had fish pot pie before.  I’ve never had fish anything pie before.  And while I learned that a lot of people make seafood pie, hardly anyone uses fish – it’s typically crab, shrimp, or a combination of both.  And if they do make fish pie, it’s made with a puff pastry crust, which isn’t quite as malleable and shape-able as shortcrust.  But, from past general experience and a whole lotta luck, I bring you fish pie.

Fish Piefish pie difficulty and time meter

This recipe gets a involved kinda fast.  It feels like it starts off easy and then all of a sudden food is ready to be turned, you weren’t paying attention to correct cooking order and you’re dirtying extra pans just to make it all work, your crust starts to get too warm and difficult to roll out, and children start crying.  At least, mine did!  But you got this – because we are going to do this together.

Fish Pie ingredients

First, in order to make things easier in the future, put a large cookie sheet in the fridge.  Having something cold to put your crust shapes on while you roll everything else out will make sure they stay nice and flaky!  Then we start with the filling.

all the veggies on a plateDice carrots and onion and get those peas thawed.  You can do this by either microwaving for a minute or simply running them under water.  The peas don’t need to be cooked, or even warm, since they will go through a few more heat steps before you eat them!  Heat your pan on medium and then add your oil.  Add your onions and saute (a fancy word for cooking in a minimal amount of fat over relatively high heat) until slightly tender and they turn translucent.  Add your carrots and cook for a few minutes or until the carrots are tender.  Add the peas next and cook until warm and mixed thoroughly.  Remove your veggies from the pan to a plate or bowl and put your pan back on the heat.

poaching white fish in milk

Make sure your fish is thawed properly if it was frozen and, for the first time ever, we don’t need to warm it up to room temp or even pat it down!  Add all your milk, your fish, and half the thyme, oregano, and dill to the same pan you cooked your vegetables in.  Keep the heat on medium and allow to come to a boil.  Once it’s boiling drop the heat a bit so it simmers.  Simmer your fish for 2-3 more minutes on this side and then flip them and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.  You don’t want to overcook it or the fish will get rubbery and gross in the pie.  Remove the fish to a plate, and, if you did it right, it’ll be flaky and beautiful and still a bit glistening on the inside.  Break the fish up on the plate into bite size pieces.

Now we start the roux.  Roux can be seriously hard, especially if you’ve never done it before.  I became really good at it when I was determined to make homemade mac and cheese.  It took me a long time to get it right and I had to throw out a lot of batches before I really nailed it down.  Here are my tips for a perfect roux:

Melt your butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat.  You could probably use a regular saucepan, but I always use my enamel dutch oven since it keeps the heat nice and even.  Wait until the butter is completely melted and bubbly.  Once it is, whisk in half the flour.  This is important!  If you try and do it all at once it probably won’t melt back down.  Once all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again add the remaining flour.  Whisk is continually until it starts to melt again.  At this point start timing – you’ll want to whisk continually for at least 2 minutes or until you reach the blond stage of a roux (a little darker than when you added it. you want all the flour taste to be gone!).  Once the butter/flour mixture is melty and blond start slowly adding the milk that you left in the pan.  Add about half the milk – the flour/butter may ball up on itself but just keep whisking.  Just keep whisking, just keep whisking, just keep whisking, whisking, whisking…  It’ll sort itself out!  Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous and slightly thick.  Add the remaining milk and repeat.  If the mixture is too thick you may have added too much flour.  Add regular milk until it reaches a nice, gravy-like consistency.

If you are unlucky and screw up your roux this is how you’ll know:

  • The flour and butter never reach that nice, melty stage after any flour addition
  • The flour/butter balls up when you add the milk and never mixes properly.

Don’t worry!  If one of these things happen just throw it out and start again.  Especially the first one – you can sometimes come back with even more vigorous whisking from the second but it’s very difficult to fix the first.

add veggies and fish to sauce

Once you have nice sauce add veggies, the remaining spices, and the fish.  Stir until combined, adjust spices for taste, and remove from the heat.  This we will set aside until the crust is ready!

Phew – all done with step one.  Now on to step two… which is just as long and just as rough.

Start by adding ice cubes to a cup or two of water.  You want the water to be as cold as possible!  Add all the flour and salt for the shortcrust (which, for those of you who are normal people, is pie crust) to a large bowl and whisk to mix.  Use butter flavored shortening (for a better flavor) and cut it into large chunks.  Mix in the shortening, using your hands, by rubbing the shortening into the flour until it’s combined into a nice, crumbly texture with some pea-sized clumps.

From this point forward you’ll want to handle your crust as little as possible.  The more you fiddle with it the tougher and denser the crust will be.  And we want a light, flaky crust because that’s the delicious way!  Slowly add the water 2 tablespoons at a time and combine it with the flour mixture.  I mix by hand because I have a better grasp on how the dough is actually doing.  Only add water until the mixture is just combined with some flour mixture not perfectly mixed in.  Too much water and you’ll be left with a tough, dense crust.  Take your cookie sheet out of the fridge and lightly flour a surface.  Take about 1/4 of the dough, mash it into a ball, and roll it out.  You’ll want it to be nice and thin, at least 1/8-1/4 inch, or it won’t cook evenly and your distribution of crust to filling will be weird.

fish template on crustAt this point I took a knife and, using a template I made before I started, cut out the base of the fish.  If your rolled out piece isn’t big enough just tack on more from the bowl and roll it out with the piece you’re working with to make it bigger.  Place this on the cookie sheet, gather up the scraps and lay them to the side, and repeat for another 1/4 of the dough.  Repeat two more times until you have 4 base pieces, which will be enough for two pies.  Take all the scraps, mash them into a ball, and roll them out together.  From this there should be enough, if you angle properly, to cut out all your designs perfectly.  Lay them to the side (or leave them where they’re at).

filled pie shapes

Fill two of the fish shapes to within 1/2 inch of the edge – don’t fill them too high and don’t fill that gap or your pie won’t close properly and it’ll leak.  Wet the edges with water (I use my finger because I’m super fancy), place the other fish shape on top, and press down along the edges.  Crimp each edge with a fork to help seal the dough.  Repeat for the second pie.  Wet the back of each of the designs and place it down on the fish shape where you’d like it.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top crust, ensuring it pokes all the way through to the center.  This will help the steam escape and keep your pie from exploding!  Beat and egg and brush the tops of each pie with it.  Place in the oven and bake for 40 or so minutes until the crust is golden brown!

fish pie

If you want my honest opinion this pie #1) tastes way better with tartar sauce smothered on top, and #2) is more work than it’s worth.  Unless you want to make something extra special and pretty I’d just cover a pie dish with your shortcrust, add the filling, cover the top, seal, and bake that way!  It’ll be much easier!  But this way definitely turned into a show-stopper for looks!

Link’s Salmon Meunière

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Goat Butter
    • Rock Salt
    • Any Seafood

Fish Pie

  • Servings: 2 large pies
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Difficulty: moderately difficult
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White fish pot pie with vegetables


Filling

  • 3/4 lb white fish of any kind
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1.5 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2-1 tsp dill
  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Shortcrust

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
  • 4-9 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten, for egg wash

Directions

  1. Put a large cookie sheet in the fridge or freezer.
  2. Dice the carrots and onion.
  3. Thaw the peas by microwaving for 1 minute or running them under water for 1 minute.
  4. Heat the pan on medium. Add the oil and onion and saute until slightly tender and translucent. Add the carrots and cook for 3-5 minutes or until tender. Add the peas and continue cooking until warm and mixed thoroughly.
  5. Remove your veggies from the pan to a plate or bowl and put your pan back on the heat.
  6. Add all your milk, your fish, and half the thyme and oregano to the same pan you cooked your vegetables in.  Keep the heat on medium and allow to come to a boil.  Once boiling, drop the heat to a simmer.  Simmer your fish for 2-3 minutes on this side. Flip the fish and simmer for an additional 3 minutes.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat, leaving the milk in the pan, and place the fish on a plate and break it into small pieces.
  8. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is completely melted and bubbly whisk in half the flour. Once all the flour is incorporated and the mixture starts to melt and become a bit liquidy again add the remaining flour.  Whisk continually until it starts to melt again. Continue whisking for about 2 minutes or until you reach the blond stage of a roux (a little darker than when you added it but not brown).
  9. Once the butter/flour mixture is melty and blond start slowly add half the milk from the pan.  Whisk until the mixture is homogeneous and slightly thick.
  10. The flour/butter may ball up on itself but just keep whisking.  Add the remaining milk and repeat.  If the mixture is too thick you may need to add an additional few tablespoons of milk. Whisk until the mixture reaches a nice, gravy-like consistency.
  11. Add the veggies, remaining spices, and fish to the sauce and stir until combined. Adjust spices for taste and remove from the heat.
  12. Add several ice cubes to a cup of water and set aside.
  13. Add all the flour and salt for the shortcrust to a large bowl and whisk to mix.
  14. Cut the shortening into large cubes. Add it to the flour and, using your hands, mix them together by rubbing the shortening into the flour until it’s combined into a nice, crumbly texture with some pea-sized clumps.
  15. Make a small well in the center of the flour mixture and slowly add the water 2 tablespoons at a time. Using your hand mix the water and flour together until combined. Continue adding water until the mixture is just combined but not perfectly mixed in. Don’t add too much water and don’t overmix or the crust will be dense and chewy.
  16. Take your cookie sheet out of the fridge and lightly flour a surface.  Take about 1/4 of the dough, mash it into a ball, and roll it out to 1/8-1/4 inch thin. Using a template (or freehanding it) cut the base of the fish out with a knife. If your rolled out piece isn’t big enough just tack on some more from the bowl and roll it out with the piece you’re working with to make it bigger.
  17. Place this on the cookie sheet, gather up the scraps and lay them to the side.
  18. Repeat step 14 3 more times to make 4 fish shapes.
  19. Take all the scraps, mash them into a ball, and roll them out together.  From this there should be enough, if you angle properly, to cut out all your designs perfectly.  Lay them to the side (or leave them where they’re at).
  20. Fill two of the fish shapes to within 1/2 inch of the edge – don’t fill them too high and don’t go in that 1/2 gap or your pie won’t close properly. Wet the edges of the pastry with water, place the other fish shape on top, and press down along the edges.  Crimp each edge with a fork to help seal the dough.
  21. Repeat for the second pie.
  22. Wet the back of each of the designs and place it down on the fish shape where you’d like it.  Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top crust, making sure it pokes all the way through to the center.
  23. Beat and egg and brush the tops of each pie with it.
  24. Bake for 40 minutes at 425°F. Allow to cool for several minutes before serving.

Salmon Meunière

Salmon Meunière

I learned a lot while making this recipe.  Here are my top three – and then on to the food…

First: it is very important to choose your butcher carefully when you get seafood.  I mistakenly used a grocery store butcher that I usually trust.  Apparently the betray you when it comes to seafood.  The salmon wasn’t scaled properly and still had all it’s pin bones.  And, not only that, but the cut was uneven.  I wound up slicing off a decent amount of fish that wasn’t really usable to get even portion sizes!  I was pretty disappointed.  So make sure you choose a reputable seller, double check that they scaled and removed the bones prior to purchasing, and then hope you have a very sharp knife if they don’t cut evenly!

deboning a salmon filetIf you do get unlucky enough to have to debone the fish yourself it’s really easy.  Just annoying.  Wash a pair of pliers with hot water and soap.  Carefully push the flesh of the salmon in and grasp the tip of the pin bone.  Pull it as carefully as you can to prevent the flesh from ripping.  It’s not bad if it does, it just isn’t as pretty anymore.  Make sure you get all the bones – you’ll be able to feel them if you gently run your hand down the length of the fish.  If you are doubly unlucky and they didn’t remove all the scales just flip the salmon over to skin side up.  Run the blade of the knife down the fish and watch all the clear, inedible scales pop off.  But you can always skip both these steps by choosing a better store!  Which I will do for all my fish from now on.

Second: experimenting with a very basic, traditional recipe turns out sub-par results.  I tried really hard to fiddle with this this recipe a bit and make it my own.  Turns out this recipe is so straight forward it doesn’t do well with a lot of tweaking.  I tried the sauce twice before I finally gave up and realized sometimes the old school way is the best way.

Third: no matter how many times I try it I really, really hate salmon.  It’s very fishy, even fairly fresh, and fatty.  The flavor is just… not my favorite.  If I’m going to spend this much on a protein you can bet it’ll be something I actually want to eat.  Unlucky for me, there are still a handful of salmon recipes left in the official Breath of the Wild guide…

Salmon Meunièredifficulty and time meter

salmon meuniere ingredients

You’ll find a lot of themes in these recipes.  One of them is to allow the meat to warm up to room temperature and to pat it dry before seasoning.  I explain why in my Meat and Rice Bowl recipe.  And that’s exactly how we are going to start salmon meunière – take the salmon out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking and allow to warm up to room temperature.

While it’s warming up wash and pull the leaves off the parsley.  It’s pretty easy, actually.  Just grab the stems and line up the leaves, place the knife edge down right at the base of the leaves, and gently but firmly pull the parsley through the knife blade.  It’ll get most of the stems off and leave you with a nice pile of leaves.  And no, it’s not one of the piles that hides a korok seed.  Sorry.  Roughly chop the parsley into pieces, they don’t have to be perfect.  You’ll want a small handful of parsley.  If you’re using fresh lemon cut it in half and squeeze the juice of one of them.  You only need 3/4 tablespoon so no need to go crazy. Smash the garlic by placing the flat of a knife blade against the garlic clove and smash your hand into the blade.  Never do this on the edge of the knife and never smash the knife down – both these could result in some serious cuts and I refuse to be held responsible for that.  When the garlic is smashed peel off the skin.  Get the butter cut and ready to go and play a few rounds of Splatoon 2 until the salmon is ready.

dreding salmon in flourWhen you’re ready to cook pat the salmon dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.  Turn your burner on to medium, add your oil, and get your pan nice and hot.  When the pan is hot add the butter.  Be really careful, the butter will splatter and pop as the water cooks out of it!  We add the salmon when the butter stops popping so when the mixture starts to calm down spread the flour out on a plate and dip and pat the salmon into the flour to completely coat it.  This is called dredging and it’s a pretty awesome technique to get a nice, crispy, almost fried skin.  Make sure you don’t dredge too early or the flour just gets soaked into the fish and it doesn’t fry quite as well.

pan fried salmon filet

Add the fish to the pan, skin down, laying it away from you to prevent any oil splatters.  Let it cook for 3-4 minutes on this side then flip the fish and allow it to cook for 3 more minutes.  Take it out of the pan, place it on a plate, and cover with foil.  You’ll want to do this next part quickly – the longer the fish sits under that foil the less crispy it gets!

Using a few paper towels rolled in a ball and a heavy duty oven mitt pour out the oil into a heat safe container and wipe the inside of the pan.  We don’t want to keep any of the old mixture since it’s likely to burn if it cooks too long.

melting butterbrowned butterAdd the new butter and smashed garlic and wait for it to melt and cook down.  It will take 2-3 minutes to turn brown and nutty and delicious.  Remove the pan from the heat (don’t follow my photo example and just turn off the heat.  It’s not good enough!).  Add the lemon and parsley and stir to combine.  Again, use caution, this mixture may splatter as well.  Uncover the fish, pour the sauce over, and serve immediately.  PS- if your pan is still really hot your parsley may brown pretty quickly and it’ll make your sauce look a bit burned.  I promise, if you use this recipe it won’t burn and will still taste good!

salmon meuniere close up

Link’s Salmon Meunière

    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Goat Butter
    • Hearty Salmon

Salmon Meunière

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

Salmon drizzled with a meunière butter lemon sauce


Salmon

  • 2 8 oz portions salmon
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup flour

Sauce

  • 3/4 tablespoon lemon juice (juice from half a small lemon)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed

Directions

  1. Warm the salmon to room temperature.
  2. Using the blade of your knife pull the leaves off the parsley by gently but firmly running the blade along the stems. Roughly chop into small pieces.
  3. Cut the lemon and juice one half, making sure not to get any seeds in the juice.
  4. Using the flat of a knife blade smash the garlic and remove the skin.
  5. Pat the salmon dry and season with kosher salt and pepper.
  6. Heat a pan over medium with the oil.
  7. When the oil is hot add the butter. Be careful, as this will splatter and pop until all the water is cooked out of the butter.
  8. When the butter mixture starts to calm down add the flour to a plate and dredge the salmon by patting it into the flour. Immediately add the salmon to the pan, skin down, by laying it away from you.
  9. Cook the salmon for 3-4 minutes, turn, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  10. Remove the salmon and cover with foil.
  11. Acting quickly pour the remaining oil mixture out of the pan and wipe out with paper towels. Be careful not to burn yourself and use proper heat proof equipment.
  12. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter and garlic to the pan and allow to melt and brown, about 2-3 minutes.
  13. Remove the pan from the heat and add the lemon and parsley. Again, use caution when you add the lemon because it may splatter and pop.
  14. Immediately pour over the salmon filets and serve.

Carrot Cake

Carrot Cake

It’s came! It finally came!  The recipe you’ve all been patiently waiting for (I’m looking at you, Later Levels).  Since I had a little more time with this recipe I decided to experiment a bit and go a little different route than your traditional “carrot cake”.  Most carrot cake, at least in the U.S. is more of a quick bread than a cake – it’s dense and crumby, though still good.  Instead I combined a few different recipes I found and made a much more light, airy crumb texture, that had plenty of height and reminded me much more of an actual cake.  But, by doing this, I made it a bit more complicated.  So bear with me and let’s dig in!

Carrot Cakecarrot cake difficulty and time

Carrot Cake ingredients

Start by mixing together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and most of the sugar.  Put it in a bowl, use a whisk, and get it nice and evenly aerated and blended.  Oh, and make sure you pull out the eggs.  You’ll want them to sit at room temperature for at least 20 minutes before you whip them.

Grate the carrot using a fine grater.  It’ll take about 4-5 large carrots to get enough for this cake.  That seems like a lot, but can you imagine a better way to eat your veggies?  I usually don’t peel my carrots.  I feel like the skin has the potential for being good for you and is not, at the very least, not bad for you.  And it saves you that extra few minutes in time and clean up.  Win-win.  And, because we aren’t using Endura carrots, anything that shortens the time is worth it. When the carrots are ready slightly squeeze handfulls of them over a sink to get a little of the juice out. This will help keep it from falling to the bottom of the pan and from letting the cake be too wet.

whipped eggNow here comes the different part and the reason this isn’t an “easy” recipe.  Add all the eggs to a bowl and whip on high, using a whisk or electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, until they start to get bubbly.  Stop and add the rest of the sugar and all the oil, and continue whisking until the eggs get light in color, start to get fluffy, and can almost double in volume.  This will take at least 5 minutes.  If you’re lucky enough to have a stand mixer like a KitchenAid you can do this while grating the carrots and save yourself even more time!

All three bowls of mixture

Once the eggs are ready slowly fold in the carrots.  This mixture will be really thick and you’ll wonder why on earth we spent all that time whipping eggs, but trust me.  It’s worth it.  Slowly add the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

 

Butter a cake panButter a 10 inch round cake pan, making sure you get all the cracks and crannies.  I prefer a springform pan because they are the easiest to get a cake out of.  If you don’t use a springform you may have to flour the pan as well as butter it.  Just throw in some flour after you grease it, shake it until the butter is covered, and dump out the excess.  It’s pretty easy.  Add the cake batter and stick it in the oven.  The entire bake process is an adventure, like completing a shrine.  Depending on the oven, the type of oven, how old your oven is, etc… your baking time will be different from someone else’s.  But my oven bake time was about 45 minutes.  Yours will be pretty close to this, but just watch starting around 40 minutes.  Getting a perfectly domed cake is all about timing.  Take the cake out to early (or even check on it too early) and the whole thing will collapse on you.  Take the cake out late and it’ll be so dry you’ll regret eating it.  So if you open the oven door to check on the cake and the center wobbles a bit close it quick and wait another 5-10 minutes before you even try again.  A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean when it’s ready!

While the cake is baking feel free to make some good, old fashioned cream cheese frosting.  Make sure the butter and cream cheese is at room temperature and add them to a bowl with the vanilla (again, a stand mixer comes in really handy right about now).  Beat them together until they are well combined.  If you use a stand mixer make sure you scrape the bowl at this point with a spatula.  Add the powdered sugar 2/3 cup at a time until it becomes spreadable.  How much powdered sugar you add is really up to your taste preferences.  I prefer a more sharp, tangy frosting (if I eat it at all) so I was good at 2 cups.

When the cake is done take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely before frosting.  I take the springform sides off after about 5 minutes so it doesn’t keep cooking.  If you use a regular round cake pan take it out of the pan after 5-10 minutes and let it cool on a wire rack.  This will prevent the bottom from getting soggy.  No one wants a soggy bottom.

Make sure you wait until the cake has cooled completely before you frost. If you don’t the entire top layer will peel away into the frosting and become a big, giant mess. When cooled, frost and enjoy!  Oh, and I don’t recommend garnishing with a raw carrot.  But I won’t judge if you do…

Close up of carrot cake

Link’s Carrot Cake recipe:

    • Any Carrot
    • Tabantha Wheat
    • Cane Sugar
    • Goat Butter

Carrot Cake

  • Servings: 1 10 inch cake
  • Time: 1 hour
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting from Breath of the Wild

Carrot

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 cups finely shredded carrot (about 4-5 large carrots)
  • 3/4 cup cooking oil

Frosting

  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F
  2. Whisk together flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together until aerated and combined
  3. Shred carrot with a fine grater. There is no need to peel beforehand but you may if you desire.
  4. Slightly squeeze handfulls of carrot to remove excess moisture.
  5. Using a stand mixer or electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment whip eggs together until frothy. Slowly add the oil and remaining 1/2 cup sugar and whip together until light in color, fluffy, and almost double in volume.
  6. Gently fold carrots into the egg mixture. Be careful not to deflate the eggs.
  7. Slowly add and stir in flour mixture until just combined.
  8. Butter and, if not using a springform pan, flour a 10 inch round cake pan. Make sure the butter gets in all the cracks. If you need to flour the pan add a handful of flour and knock the pan in circles until it’s covered in flour after buttering. Dump out excess flour.
  9. Add cake batter to the pan and use a spatula to smooth down and even the surface.
  10. Bake for about 45 minutes. The cake will be done when a toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Make the frosting while the cake is baking by adding the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla to a mixer or bowl.
  12. Mix until combined and slowly add powdered sugar, 2/3 cup at a time, until you reach a spreadable consistency and desired flavor. This, for me, is 2 cups powdered sugar.
  13. When the cake has cooled for 5-10 minutes remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling.
  14. Frost and serve! This cake will store well at room temperature for a few days tightly covered.

It’s Poll Day Again!

It’s poll day and I’m not cancelling!  Things are finally calming down around the house – our stove and oven are fixed (the motherboard fried the first time we tried to use the oven), we are down to 3 rooms that remain mostly unpacked, and the rest of the unpacking is finally leaving us room to do things like walk around.  So, without further ado, lets see what everyone wants for next week’s recipe!

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

Thank you all for you patience as I sort through the latest episode of “Extreme Home-Ownership”.  This last one, if you missed my live-tweet recipe extravaganza, involved a fried motherboard on our brand new range the first time we used the oven.  Apparently it’s an incredibly busy week in the appliance warranty repair business this week because the earliest they can come fix it is Friday.  Which is the worst for a cook/baker like myself.  I’ve definitely learned all the weird work-arounds like cooking pasta in a rice cooker (it turns out mushy… I don’t recommend it) and the benefits of an electric fry pan (thank you parents for that one).  But come Friday we should be back in business!

In the meantime I tried a new thing!  I did a live-tweet of this Salt Grilled Prime Meat recipe.  And yes, I know on twitter I called it a live-twitter.  I’m still new to the social media game – an embarrassing thing to admit for a 20-something like myself.  There were a few people who stuck around and checked it out.  Did any of you blog followers think this was cool?  Is it something you’d be interested in seeing again?  Or, instead of live-tweets, would you rather see a twitch stream showing the entire process start to finish?  I’ve been thinking about starting one and maybe the comments on this post will help me finally make up my mind on the matter!  But now, without further delay, here’s the reason you came to my blog today:

Salt Grilled Prime MeatSalt Grilled Prime Meat Difficulty and Time

We start with purchasing the meat.  After a lengthy discussion with the butcher yesterday I finally learned that prime meat is, indeed, a thing.  Apparently there are 4 major types of meat – Select, Choice, Prime, and Prime Aged (least to best from left to right).  As you would expect the higher the quality the higher the price, with this particular butcher charging about $20.00 a pound for prime New York strip steak.  I had him cut 1 inch thick steaks for me and 4 cost about $40.00 total – a very pricy sum for a single part of a single meal.  It’s definitely something to save for special occasions!

Salt Grilled Prime Meat Ingredients

We start by taking the meat out to warm to room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.  As I mentioned in my Meat and Rice Bowl recipe it makes a huge difference in the evenness and the time it takes to cook if you do this!  Make sure you keep it covered – as a microbiologist I promise you don’t want flies on your food!

With about 10 minutes until grill time heat your grill. I have a charcoal grill so this recipe is how to work with charcoal.  If you have a gas grill I think you’d want the setting at about medium-high.  You’ll have to play with it a bit to be sure…  If you are lucky enough to have a charcoal grill, like I do, start your briquettes.  I use Kingsford Match Light.  I have found they are the easiest and best quality – it’s what my dad, the master griller, uses.  Stack the briquettes in a pyramid and light in several places.  Leave them to burn and turn ashy for about 10 minutes.

When the coals are almost ready pat the steaks down with a paper towel to remove the excess liquid.  This is especially needed if the steaks were frozen and have been thawed.  Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and season generously with kosher salt and pepper.  We use kosher salt because the large crystals make for a better flavor.  Using ground salt makes it much more difficult to control the quantity and taste of the salt on the steak.

Lay the steaks perpendicular to the grillOnce the coals are ashy spread them out along the bottom of the grill until they are evenly distributed.  Lay the steaks cross-ways along the grill – you want really pretty sear marks and it provides the best support for your steaks.  Cover your grill and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the heat of the grill and thickness of the steaks.

Before they start to look cooked on both sides turn the steaks over.  Cover and cook another 5-7 minutes, depending on how well done you’d like them.  Remove them from the grill and leave the cover off to allow the coals to burn out faster.

 

steaks smoking on a grill

Place the steaks immediately on a plate and cover with foil to let them rest.  This rest period is very important – it allows the juices to equilibrate so they don’t ooze out the steak the minute you cut into it.  It makes for a more tender, juicy bite!

Garnish and serve just the way it is – if you did it right it’ll be delicious!  And trust me, if you do splurge and get prime meat, it’ll be the best steak you’ve had in a long time!

steak on a plate

Link’s Meat and Rice Bowl

    • Any raw prime meat or bird thigh
    • Rock salt

Salt Grilled Prime Meat

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
  • Print

Prime New York Strip steak charcoal-grilled with salt and pepper


Ingredients

  • 4 Prime New York strip steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons oil
  • 40 or so Kingsford Match Light briquettes (This quantity is based on the size of my grill. You may need more or less based on yours.)

Directions

  1. Warm the steaks to room temperature.
  2. 10 minutes before cooking your steaks build a pyramid of briquettes in your grill. Light them in multiple places and allow to burn until ashy.
  3. Dry your steaks with a paper towel, especially if they were previously frozen.
  4. Brush the steaks lightly with olive oil and generously spread kosher salt and pepper. Gently rub this in to the steaks.
  5. When the briquettes are ashy and grey, but still hot, this means they are ready. Spread them evenly across the bottom of the grill and replace the grill top.
  6. Add the steaks perpendicular or at an angle to the grill lines. Don’t place them parallel because this won’t give your steaks the support they need.
  7. Cover the grill and allow to cook for 5-7 minutes. This time is dependent on several factors, including the heat outside, retention of heat in the grill, and thickness of the steaks. Keep an eye on them so they don’t overcook!
  8. Before they steaks look cooked on both sides flip them, cover, and cook for another 5-7 minutes. This time will be determined again, by lots of factors, including how well done you’d like them.
  9. Remove from the grill and cover with foil. Allow the steaks to rest for at least 5-7 minutes. This will allow the juices to equilibrate and will make your steak more juicy.
  10. Serve with whatever you’d like but enjoy these steaks just as they are! You won’t regret it.

Monday’s Poll has (yet again) been cancelled – and a surprise for tomorrow’s recipe!

Bad news, folks.  Monday’s poll has once again been cancelled.  This is due to some very unexpected, unappreciated, and unbelievable events happening over at my brand new house yesterday… I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.  P.S. – they aren’t good.  This has made it impossible for me to hold to my last poll and make carrot cake tomorrow… I’m so sorry!  Especially for those of you who have been waiting weeks for this!

Since I haven’t had the capability to cook/bake for the last 2 days I am going to try something new tomorrow!  Over at Instagram and Twitter, starting tomorrow morning-ish, I will be live-posting a recipe for Salt Grilled Prime Meat!  I’ll start with why I can’t post what I meant to create, show you how to shop and choose a good cut of prime steak, and walk you through all the steps to grill your own perfectly seasoned and grilled steak, all in time for Independence Day here in the U.S.!  So if you haven’t already head over to @sheikahplate and follow to get photos and a live feed of the recipe.  If you feel so inclined follow along!  It’ll make the perfect meal to enjoy with fireworks… or your favorite form of random, middle of the week, not a holiday – not my country, entertainment!

See you all tomorrow!  I’m pretty excited!

P.S. – the full recipe and photos will be posted on the blog Wednesday for those of you who can’t follow tomorrow.  But come on, you want to be there.  It’ll be awesome!