The Briney Waves

Just how long can you brine Cornish game hens before they shrivel up like prunes? On Monday I set out to cook two of them for our supper and started brining them, as the recipe I was attempting suggested.

Then Fred pipes up: “Can we eat now?”

“No problem,” I think. “We’ll have them tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow” we went back to Ikea for more furniture and ate pizza at a place where we had a coupon.

So our hens still sit in the refrigerator in their salt water bath, 48 hours later.

Results later today!

Oh Lard II

I am too tired from Easter “vacation” to write much. After working all day Friday around the house, trying to get our lives in something resembling order, Fred and I went to Elberton, Georgia on Saturday, where he preached on Sunday. I am pooped.

But feeling energetic on Friday morning, I used the lard to make biscuits. Results were not quite as satisfactory as with the soup. The biscuits were tender but too salty. I used Mrs. Dull’s recipe, which calls for “shortening.” Below is a modified version that should work better next time:

Sift together:
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tsp. baking powder

Cut in:
4 tbsp. lard

Stir in until just mixed:
1 cup buttermilk

Knead on well-floured surface until just mixed and smooth. Roll or spread out to 1/2″ thick. Cut with biscuit cutter or glass into size you like. Bake at 450 for 10 minutes or until brown.

Oh Lard!

I made the most spectacular soup I have ever had last night. It approaches Paul’s famous sandwich, The Hef.

The key ingredient was the LARD, mentioned in the Lardy Yellow Yard Sale post, rendered from a hog raised by a friend’s son-in-law. If you are able to find home-(killed? rendered? made?) lard you can easily replicate this at home. If not . . . too bad. I’m not sharing.

In large soup pot saute in 1 tbsp. lard and 2 tbsp. butter:
1 chopped onion

Add and saute for about 5 minutes:
2 thick slices Prague (or any not-too-salty) ham, cut in 1″ pieces
2-3 carrots, sliced

Add and saute for a few seconds:
2 large cloves minced garlic

Add salt and a generous amount of pepper.

Add 1 quart chicken stock. Cover and bring to boil. Add 1/2 head of coarsely chopped cabbage (1″ pieces or so). Reduce heat and cook until cabbage is just soft, about 10 – 15 minutes.

Tasty Trout

Sunday at the Farmer’s Market we saw a local chef buying trout. So being clever we got some too.

I am discovering that I don’t like fish pan-seared in oil, after a recent trout incident I did not bother to report because the fish was not very good. Instead I turned to the Great Broiler (Fred). Though he doesn’t really cook, his innate love of meat and his Southern upbringing seem give him a sixth sense about how to broil and fry things.

We salted and peppered the filets and marinated them for about 15 minutes in two gigantic cloves of garlic (minced), the juice of two lemons, and about a teaspoon of dill. We broiled on high for 2 minutes on the skin side and 3 on the side with skin. They were fabulous. Thank God for that chef.

Next time, though, I may just leave the skin side up the whole time to make it even crispier and tastier.