Kitchen Renovation Project: Day 1

Doing some remodeling this weekend. Tearing out the old 1950s sink and cabinets.

Before

Before

 

 

No Top

No Top

 

Old Cabinets Gone

Old Cabinets Gone

 

Cleaned up with Wall out

Cleaned up with Wall out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is an old cabinet.  Which means it is built well, and very sturdy.  I had planned to attempt to remove it intact, if at all possible.  As a custom built item, I had no idea if it was built into the wall or not.  After hours of working at it, I did finally get the whole thing loose.  I had to saw it in half to get it out of the kitchen, due to the island that I had already put in.  I will try to install this cabinet + sink into the “Garage” (has been remodeled into a functional free-standing room) as part of the craft/project section of the room.

As is always the case with any project, there is always some wtf moment.  This is a pic of several hundred really old razor blades that were in the wall space:

Surprise Blades

Surprise Blades

Texas Meat Smoothie (yum!)

This is how we do breakfast smoothies in Texas.

The List:

  • 2 slices cooked crisp bacon (I am using my home cured/smoked pecan maple bacon)
  • about 6inces of cooked sausage (using pecan smoked venison)
  • about 1/2 cup of corn
  • 1 small portobello mushroom
  • 1 seeded jalapeno (best to use cooked or from a jar)
  • 2 oz fave BBQ sauce
  • 1 oz shot of whiskey

Blend to desired consistency.  May become frothy if over blended.  Enjoy!

 

TX_MeatSmoothie

TX_MeatSmoothie

Just kidding.

Jambalaya [UncookedWhiteRice Recipe]

I have done jambalaya posts in the past, and I have been evolving my own version.  Jambalaya is great because it is an easy 1 dish meal.  It needs some prep work, but little effort beyond that.

The List:

Cooking Jambalaya

Cooking Jambalaya

  • 1 1/2 cups stock
  • roux to your desired darkness
  • 2 small tomatoes or a can of diced (I like to get fire roasted)
  • small onion
  • 1-2 pieces of celery (chopped)
  • 1 sm bell pepper (for color reasons its good to use a non-green variety)
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • choice of meats (I use 2 andouille, and 1/2 lb shrimp in this recipe)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • ground pepper to taste (I don’t add salt because of sausage and stock content is usually high in sodium)
  • splash of Cajun hot sauce and/or cayenne powder to taste

The Method:

Make your roux in a large pan.  Dilute with the stock, stirring well. Add all other ingredients, stir to mix and bring to boil.  Reduce heat, cover for 20 minutes.  Fluid should be sufficiently absorbed, remove from heat and serve!

Jambalaya

Jambalaya

Quatro de Mayo [Tamales]

We had our Cinco de Mayo party yesterday (4 May).  It was just my wife and I making tamales, so we did it it in two batches over two days.

We made 3 types of tamale:  Chicken and Cheese, Jalapeno and Cheese, and pulled pork.  Tamales are a time consuming affair (much like making dumplings), but they are very simple to make.  As such, it is important to make sure that you use good stuff for the ingredients.

One of the biggest things you can do to intensify your tamale flavour is by making your own stock for the masa (the dough).  I used a store bought Rotisserie chicken for the chicken and cheese tamales (using the chicken carcass + vegetables/herbs to make the stock for the masa).

For both the chicken and jalapeno tamale I used a combination of shredded CoJack cheese and crumbled Queso Fresco.  We made both of these sets the night before, putting them in a sealed container to keep the corn husks from drying out and splitting.  Before going to bed, I put the pork into a slow cooker for the pork tamales.  I have used a variety of pulled pork recipes in tamales and they have all been excellent.  This particular case was a traditional Chinese BBQ (the type of meat that ends up being dyed red on the outside).

Putting a tamale together is simple.  You take a flexible (soaked in water) corn husk, spread the masa on it, then put the chosen ingredients in the middle (like filling a burrito), then roll it up.  Traditionally, spicy tamales are tied up with string/twine/corn husk strips.  Then, throw them in a steamer for an hour.

Jalapeno/chz and Ckn/Chz Tamale

Jalapeno/chz and Ckn/Chz Tamale