Friday, February 26, 2010

Smoked Steelhead

Ok.. this is my 4th post and I'm starting to learn more about "blogging".

The problem with starting a blog about doing fun stuff is that most of the fun stuff has already been started, and you're joining me in the middle ( 0r end ) of projects.

I promise to start you guys at the beginning of my next project, which will be another Lonzino (cured pork loin ). You'll start at the beginning with me and stay tuned in up until the first bite ( then you're on your own ).

Last Monday I had the ball and chain pick me up a Steelhead fillet at QFC ( Shock and Horror!!! I know what you're thinking.. " I can't believe he didn't get his ass out and catch it himeself" ) Well, if you knew my backbreaker of a boss, you'd know that just isn't in the cards this week :-)

I used a simple cure.

4 tbs kosher salt

2tbsp brown sugar

1tsp cure #1 ( quick cure or "pink salt" )

little bit of cayenne, red pepper flakes, and black pepper.

1. Rub the cure into the fillet( both sides ), put in a bag for 3 or 4 days until it feels "hard" ( not that hard JDub, you perv ).

2. Take out of bag and rinse well.

3. Put on paper or in a non-reactive container, let dry in the fridge overnight ( to develop a "pellicle", which you can google for more info, but makes smoking better ).

4. Then pull out your ( or JDub's ) Little Chief smoker.. place fillet in smoker.. fill up with chips and forget about it for 4-6 hours.
I'll attach a pic of the finished filet later tonight, when I pull it out of the Smoker.
This baby will go great with an Oregon Pinot Gris, some great bread ( see recipe below ) and your honey-bunny.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Baby Boule

One of the benefits of living on 20th ave in SE Portland is the proximity of great neighbors.

One of my neighbors, we'll just call him JDub, is quite the amateur baker.

He's been telling me for months how easy it is to make, so I finally decided to take the plunge and try it. I've been making awesome bread now for about 3 months.. and it's all thanks to JDub.

Here's the simple recipe and baking process:

6 1/2 c flour

1 tbsp yeast

1 tbsp salt

3 cup water ( 110 degrees or so )

Dissolve yeast and salt in water.. let sit for 10 mins to give that yeast time to bloom.

Mix liquid with flour. Rise 2 hours, put in fridge.

When you want bread.. reach in the bowl.. grab a handful ( depending on how big of a loaf you want ). - Use flour on your hands and board to avoid sticking.

Form into a round ( boule means ball in in French ). Rise for one hour

Make sure to put down semolina flour or cornmeal on your board to keep from sticking.

Cut 1/4" slits in top, throw a bit of salt on top.

Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Put loaf in ( on baking stone preferably ).

NOTE - For that "crispy crunchy crust" put a pan in bottom of oven, place one to two cups of water in the pan when you put the bread in. The humidity will crisp it up.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Lonzino Win

Wow.. last night I tasted the second best charcuterie I've ever made ( Buttercup's proscuiotto leg being the best ).

This started as an 8lb pork loin, cut in half long ways ( since this was my first one, I didn't want to use it all in case it failed ).

I used my standard mix

6tbsp kosher salt

4tbsp brown sugar

1tsp cure #2 (long term cure with Nitrites and nitrates )

and a mix of spices fennel seed, garam masala, cumin, coriander, cayenne, black pepper, grains of paradise.

I rubbed the loin down with the spice mix, put it in a 100MM collagen casing, and put it in my unfinished basement bathroom to hang for almost a month. ( it's about 55-60Degree F in there, with about 20-30% humidity ).

My wife Amy, loved it... it turned out ridiculously good.

I took some over to my neighbors Walker and Pence, gave some to my buddy Paul at work.

I have about a pound left, which will hold us until the next one is done, sometime around April.

Welcome to PCP!

So here we are.. Portland Charcuterie Project.

This blog, like almost every other one out there, will consist of my musings, ramblings, recipes, adventures and anecdotes in the world of Charcuterie, Pickling, Distilling, and life on 20th ave in Portland Oregon.