Marked one off the travel bucket list this week. Mount Rushmore is everything I heard it would be, and more. MUCH more.
I don’t know if it’s because what our country and countrymen are going through (and have BEEN through) but it was quite the emotional experience for me.
Got some good close-ups too:
And some extreme closeups:
The Meaning of Mount Rushmore
The four American Presidents carved into the granite of Mount Rushmore were chosen by the sculptor to commemorate the founding, growth, preservation, and development of the United States. They symbolize the principles of liberty and freedom on which the nation was founded. George Washington signifies the struggle for independence and the birth of the Republic; Thomas Jefferson the territorial expansion of the country; Abraham Lincoln the permanent union of the States, and equality for all citizens, and Theodore Roosevelt, the 20th century role of the United States in world affairs and the rights of common man.
Well, I did my best to bring the Mount Rushmore experience TO you. Have you been? Are you planning to go? My family and I cannot wait to go back. There is SO much to see & do in South Dakota!
I ran across a link to this article on a cooking forum. It describes in great detail everything you’ll need to know about serving hosta shoots as a side dish. Even if you’re not interested in cooking hosta shoots yourself, it’s a good read.
But first, the recipe:
Pan Seared Hosta Shoots with Ramp Butter
Prep Time: 5 mins Cook Time: 3 mins Servings: Serves 4 as an appetizer or side Source: foragerchef.com
8 ounces fresh hosta shoots as young and tightly coiled as possible, cleaned, rinsed and dried if needed
cooking oil, 1 tablespoon
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Ramp butter *see note
1/4 cup dry white wine chicken or vegetable stock can be substituted
Dash of fresh lemon juice for finishing
Heat the oil in a saute pan or cast iron skillet until lightly smoking.
Add the shoots and cook quickly, allowing them to brown lightly, keeping the heat at medium-high. Brown them on both sides.
When the shoots are browned deglaze the pan with the wine, add the ramp butter and melt.
Remove the pan from the heat and swirl it, turning the hostas over in the sauce that forms.
Taste the sauce and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Add the dash of lemon juice.
Transfer the hostas to a plate, mounding them up into a pyramid to hold heat if you can. Spoon the sauce over the mound of hosta shoots and serve.
2 cups + 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (if using frozen blueberries, do not defrost)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
FOR THE GLAZE:
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, packed
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Begin by zesting the lemons.
In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Let sit for at least 10 minutes while you proceed with the recipe. (It will curdle; that’s okay.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the 2 cups flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a small bowl, toss the blueberries with the remaining teaspoon of flour. Set both aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or beaters), combine the butter and sugar.
Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in a third of the flour mixture.
Next, beat in half of the milk mixture.
Beat in another third of the flour mixture, then the remaining milk mixture, followed by the remaining flour mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix briefly to make sure the batter is evenly combined.
Add the flour-dusted blueberries to the batter and, using a spatula, fold until evenly combined.
Transfer the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the cake is golden brown and a tester comes out clean.
Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
When the cake is cool, transfer it to a serving platter and make the glaze. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners’ sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice.
Add more confectioners’ sugar or lemon juice as necessary to make a thick but pourable glaze (it should be a little thicker than you’d think, about the consistency of molasses or honey).
Spoon the glaze over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.
Let the glaze set for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Slice with a serrated knife. The cake will keep on the countertop for up to 3 days; store in a covered container or wrap in plastic wrap.
Wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap, or place it in heavy-duty freezer bag. Thaw overnight on the countertop before serving. (Add the glaze after the cake is thawed.)
Note: You’ll need 2 large lemons for the entire recipe. Be sure to zest them before you juice them.
I know my way around cooking shellfish, but cooking fish in general, intimidates me. That’s why I joined an Alaskan co-op of fisherman last year. You don’t get more land locked than living in Nebraska 😉. Sitka Salmon shares not only sells you the fish, they provide great (easy!) recipes. Tonight I made Teriyaki Wild Alaskan Black Cod (Sablefish) from the vessel known as the Bella Dawn. I’m hooked 🎣😍
1 lb sablefish (black cod) fillets, cut into 4 pieces
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon water
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced to a paste
1/4 cup mirin
MAKE TERIYAKI SAUCE
Combine water and cornstarch in a small bowl to create a slurry. In a small saucepan over medium-low, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and mirin. Stir in cornstarch slurry and simmer until sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Let cool completely.
In a large resealable bag, place sablefish fillets with teriyaki sauce. Marinate for at least 2 hours—overnight is preferable.
Preheat a gas or charcoal grill over medium heat. Place marinated sablefish fillets skin-side down on the grates. Cover and cook for approximately 12–15 minutes or until the fish begins to flake. Serve immediately!
Note: You can use 3/4 cup of your favorite teriyaki sauce mixed with 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger and 4 finely minced garlic cloves to make this even easier.
Move over, sliders. Get ready for burgers on a stick! This bun-less appetizer will be your new favorite low-carb way to eat a burger. They’re so cute and a definite crowd-pleaser. If you’re hosting a party, you should add these burger bites to your menu. If your obsessed with your air fryer as much as me, you will love this and more air fryer recipes!
These mini burgers are a healthy appetizer that don’t skimp on flavor. The bacon is mixed right in with the beef, making it extra juicy. Oh, and did I mention that they’re totally low-carb? There’s no bun – everything’s skewered on an appetizer toothpick. You definitely won’t miss the bread!
To make these bacon-burger bites, start by making the meat mixture. Put the beef, bacon, mustard, salt, pepper, and onion powder in a bowl and combine. Form into about 30 small meatballs. You can prep the beef ahead and refrigerate overnight covered tight in plastic. Prep the remaining ingredients so they are fast to assemble as you want to eat them hot.
When ready to serve, cook the meatballs in batches in the air fryer for 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees.
If you don’t have an air fryer, you can bake the meatballs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in a 400-degree oven for 20 minutes or make them on the grill.
Set out your favorite condiments and let everyone dig in!t
Once they’re done, it’s time to skewer! Add the meatball, jalapeño (if you want some extra spice), pickle, and lettuce on the toothpick and top it off with the tomato. So easy!
Air Fryer Bacon-Burger Bites
Prep Time: 10 mins Cook Time: 20 mins Servings: Yield: 15 servingsSource: skinnytaste.com
2 lbs 90% beef
4 oz center cut raw bacon, minced
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 head butter lettuce
30 cherry tomatoes
2-3 jalapeño sliced in 30 thin slices, optional
30 dill pickle chips or slices
ketchup, mayo and/or yellow mustard , optional for dipping
Using your hands, gently mix together the beef, bacon, mustard, salt, onion powder and pepper.
Form into 30 (golf ball size) balls.
Preheat the air fryer 400F. Working in batches arrange burgers in a single layer.
Cook, flipping halfway to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium.
Place each burger on a skewers with lettuce, pickles and tomatoes and serve with dipping sauces.
Bone broth is everywhere these days. Learn how to make it at home by avoiding the most common mistakes.
We know. We know: Bone broth. It’s almost too hip for its own good. But whether you consider it a miracle cure for all ailments, or just a hearty broth to sip on during cold winter months, it’s a cooking project worth tackling. That said, poorly made bone broth can be about as palatable as, well, a bowl full of bones. Avoid these common mistakes, and your bone broth will be the hottest ticket in town—or at least your kitchen.
1. Skipping the Blanching Step
If you think bone broth is too funky, you’ve probably had to suffer through a mug or bowl that was made without blanching. This step, to be done before roasting and boiling, removes any impurities (read: the nasty bits) from the bones. And if you’re using the right bones, there will be some nasty bits. A real bone broth is made with bones and cuts of meat high in collagen, like marrow, knuckles, and feet. While beef is the meat most people associate with bone broth, it can also be made with lamb, pork, chicken, veal… you name it. A word on these collagen-heavy bones: They make for a stock that’s gelatinous at room temperature. Don’t let the texture of this meat Jell-O alarm you; that’s a sign you did it right. To blanch, cover the bones with cold water, bring to a boil, and let them cook at an aggressive simmer for 20 minutes before draining and roasting (see mistake no. 2!).
2. Not Roasting the Bones
Repeat after us: “I will always roast my bones.” This browns and caramelizes them, and we all know what browned and caramelized means: Better flavor. Don’t be afraid to really take the bones to the limit: Crank the oven up high—a bold 450˚, says senior food editor Andy Baraghani. Lily Freedman, test kitchen contributor, also adds that you have to put in ample oven time. A quick 15 minutes won’t do: Take those bones right up to the edge of “too done.” Once you’re ready to boil the bones, don’t waste the crisped brown bits on the bottom of the pan; loosen them with a little water and a metal spatula, and add those to your stockpot. This adds flavor to the finished broth.
3. Adding Too Much “Stuff”
According to Baraghani, a good bone broth doesn’t need much more than bones and a few choice aromatics, like onions, garlic, and black pepper. “Don’t even get me started on carrots,” he says, which add sweetness. (We won’t dock points if you choose to add them, however; a little sweet can help balance the deeply savory quality of bone broth). But ultimately, this is not the best place to dump all of your compost scraps. Keep the flavor focused and concentrated. Worried about it tasting “one-note”? Just roast the bones to build depth of flavor, and that won’t be an issue.
4. Not Using a Large Enough Stockpot
Those femur bones you’re using? They’re pretty big. This is not a task for your 4-quart sauce pot, says senior associate food editor Claire Saffitz. Use the biggest, heaviest stockpot you’ve got, and fill it up with your roasted bones, plus your (carefully curated) selection of aromatics. Add just enough water to cover, bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cover. “There shouldn’t be so much water that the bones are floating,” Saffitz explains. The bone-to-water ratio should be close enough that the resulting broth is intensely flavored. Adding too much liquid will make it taste, well, watered down.
5. Not Simmering It Long Enough
Q: How long can you simmer a bone broth? A: How much time have you got? Saffitz recently made one that she kept on the stove overnight. Because the bones used are thick and hardy, they have a lot of flavor to offer up. This is in contrast to a simpler broth, like basic chicken stock: Those smaller, thinner bones will disintegrate after hours on the heat, and won’t add much more flavor.
6. Letting the Finished Broth Cool Slowly
Not to alarm you, but hot broth can be a breeding ground for bacteria—and not the good kind. “Cool it as quickly and efficiently as possible,” says Saffitz. This will also keep the broth fresher for longer. Once you’ve strained out the bones, she recommends adding ice and transferring it to a shallow and wide container, where it will lose heat more rapidly. Don’t worry about the ice diluting the broth; it’s so intensely flavored (you did roast the bones and simmer them for a heck of a long time, right?) that a few cups of cubes won’t drastically impact the flavor. One thing’s for sure: Don’t put screaming-hot broth in the fridge. Not only will it invite bacterial growth, it will raise the temperature of the refrigerator and potentially contaminate the rest of its contents.
How do YOU use your bone broth? I like mine straight up or I use it for the recipe in the first image (posting soon). I use it most for (beef) pressure cooking.
Classic Short Beef Ribs with Red Wine in an InstantPot
Practically falling off the bone tender, this recipe made a convert out of me.
INSTAPOT/Pressure Cooking, Meats
Source: Based on the Rootitoot Cookbook Classic Short Ribs recipe
3-5 pounds short ribs
2 TBSP oil for sautéing
2 cups beef/chicken broth (or water)
1 cup red wine (or additional broth)
1½ cups onion in 1” dice
4 cloves of garlic, minced
2 TBSP vinegar
2 TBSP soy sauce
2 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 TBSP brown sugar
1 tsp dried basil
1¼ tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp pepper
3 TBSP flour
½ cup water
Mouthwatering, nearly fall off the bone short ribs
Hit Sauté and when the display says HOT, add the oil. Swirl it around to coat the pan and add the ribs. Brown the ribs well on all sides. Browning greatly improves the flavor. Transfer the ribs to a plate and add the broth and wine to the pot. Thoroughly deglaze it by using a wooden spoon to scrape ALL the browned bits off the bottom. Do not skip this step or the Instant Pot may interpret the stuck bits as burning food. That can result in the dreaded Burn warning.
Add all the other ingredients except the flour and water.
Return the ribs to the pot and turn to coat all sides with the sauce. Secure the lid and make sure the valve is set to Sealing. Push the Pressure Cook (or Manual) button. Adjust the time using the + and – buttons to get to 40 minutes. When it beeps that it’s done, leave it for 15 minutes natural release.
While it’s releasing pressure, whisk the flour and water until smooth. Flip the valve from Sealing to Venting for a quick release of any remaining pressure and when the pin drops, remove the lid. Carefully transfer the ribs to a warm platter and cover them with foil to keep them warm.
Hit Sauté and whisk the flour/water slurry again to freshen it. When the broth comes to a boil, add about half the flour slurry. Bring back to a boil to thicken. Add more slurry if you like a thicker gravy but don’t get carried away. It will thicken a little more as it cools a bit and you don’t want porridge. Taste and adjust seasoning and prepare for Oooos and AHHHs.
One thing I always do is to use a fat separator for any gravy made by a pressure cooker. This one by OXO is amazing and can be put in the dishwasher 🙌🏻