Monday, December 27, 2010

Onion Rings and Other Stuff

Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

Homemade onion rings are a real treat at our house and have been for thirty years. They are simple to make and the mess is not too bad.
Okay – here is what you need.
A big ol’ soup bowl & a Fork - That’s it
If you are new to the old chef’s blog I try to explain everything as I go, and never too fast.
Ingredients means the stuff we will be using and today the ingredients are—
Flour, salt, baking powder and milk (that’s it four things and they are all white)
I throw in stuff like they are all white just to make this blog not only informative but interesting and memorable.
Oh—you will need an onion –I like white onions but red or yellow will work
• Mix one cup flour (in the soup bowl)
• One teaspoon of baking soda
• ½ teaspoon of salt
• Enough milk to mix, should be about the consistency of a raw egg white ( or not quite so much)
Slice onion into ½ inch rings—separate the rings
Dip until well coated – make sure it sticks – but don’t let it fill the hole in the middle (rings)
Drop into a pan of hot oil –this is what you need the fork for— (I turn the burner to a bit past medium heat, 360 if you have a fryer with a thermometer) CORN OIL, nothing fancy
If using a pan or skillet or a big chunk of aluminum foil the oil needs to be about ¾ inch deep.
Fry one side then flip –once again using the handy fork (each side will take about 30 seconds)
Fry the other side and lay on a paper towel-shake on a little salt or your favorite seasoning salt.
When finished they should be about the color of a pancake and boy do they ever taste good.

Have some of the coating left? Roll some chedder chunks in and fry as above--much better than you can find in your favorite cafe.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas With Only One Mishap

Merry Christmas to everyone. I hope you all over ate (I did) and baked and cooked untill you were happy. (We did at our place)
Christmas is over and I am sitting in my recliner playing with my brand new Kindle. All four kids and all seven grandkids made it. BUT as always there had to be a mishap and this one was a dozy. Our four year old granddaughter broke her leg sledding. It was our second day on the hill (yesterday) she is a tough little kid but when she said she needed to go to the doctor we knew it was hurting. Now it is all cast up (hip to foot) and in about eight weeks she will be as good as new. Thank God for grandkids, good doctors and quick healing for four year olds.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Yea Christmas Vacation

My first day of Christmas vacation-two weeks before I go back. First day and I already over ate. How can I do that--well Grandma (my wife) and two young (6&4) grand kids made Christmas cookies today. I became the designated taster. Then Pizza tonight. Remember those old Alka-Seltzer adds from years ago? I look and feel like one of those guys -- think I will go get some exercise. Maybe watch a football game on TV.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Food Quiz

What food item, eaten by thousands of soldiers, needed only two ingredients?

Answer - Hardtack

Here is the recipe

Flour and Water – That’s it!

Mix to a consistency you like and can work with – anywhere from three to six parts flour to one part water

Roll out and cut into ½ inch thick four by four squares

Poke holes into each square - some old timers said 13 in each square, nowadays (does anyone really use the word nowadays anymore not sure it is a real word and my spell checker is not sure either) it is four rows of four, believe that makes 16 – use something like a chop stick or end of an artist’s paint brush to poke holes

Bake at 350 degrees twenty to twenty-five minutes flip them and bake the other side.

There you have it – shelf life of 50 years

Modern hardtack often contains salt but salt attracts moisture and brings mold. Mold means no more shelf life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

My Dad's Peanut Brittle

By Neil Waring
Revered Wyoming Chef, outdoor cooking expert, admired woodsmen and honored citizen.

I just read another recipe for “Old Fashioned Peanut Brittle” made with dry roasted peanuts in a microwave. THIS IS NOT OLD FASHIONED-THERE IS NOTHING REMOTELY OLD FASHIONED ABOUT MICROVAVES OR DRY ROASTED PEANUTS (dry roasted peanuts are tasty but not old fashioned).
So with thanks to my dad, who really made, “old fashioned peanut brittle” here it is the real stuff.

Here’s what you need – we will call it the Ingredients

1 ½ cups of white sugar - I try to find beet sugar instead of cane sugar. It might not matter but I live in Wyoming where farmers grow sugar beets, a tad too cold here for sugarcane.
½ cup of white corn syrup – this stuff pours out really slow, use your finger to wipe out the excess. Lick excess or let grandkids have it (I favor the grandkid approach but it tastes pretty good)
¼ cup water – Tap water only –do not use the bottled stuff – REMBER –OLD FASHIONED
1 ½ cups of raw peanuts- raw –never been cooked or freeze dried
½ teaspoon salt – Sorry but if you are on a low salt diet you must still put this in – my wife says, “don’t change it, and don’t leave anything out.”
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda – Soda not powder, they do look alike but soda is often in a bigger container. I remember one time when I switched (accidentally) soda and powder. It was before I had become the famous cooking expert that I am now. Anyway it was six or seven years ago –NO—wait a minute it was yesterday. At any rate, don’t mix them up. (Sorry for the bad joke)

How to do it - “ie” - Directions

(Ever wonder what “ie” means and why people use it? Well this is not only a great tasting candy recipe it’s a bit of an English lesson also. It can mean a lot of things but in this case “ie” is from Latin "id est" meaning "that is" or "in other words".
It is widely used to speed up writing because it takes such a long time to say, “in other words or that is.”
So here we go –“ie”- here we go


1. Rub some margarine on cooking sheets – coat them good (old fashioned no cooking spray – Okay use it if you must I do. Ever wonder why no one calls margarine oleo anymore?
2. In a 4 quart saucepan (the big ol’ pan no one ever uses) over medium-high heat, dump in the sugar, corn syrup and water and stir um up. Heat to boiling (lots and lots of bubbles) toss in the raw peanuts. Cook until peanuts turn kind of gold in color and syrup mixture beads off peanuts when raised out of pan. (Use a spoon to make this check, if you stick in your Jack Horner thumb it will blister).
3. Now real Quick mix in the salt and baking soda until well blended. (But don’t overdo the mixing) This is so cool it foams up volcano like and you need to be ready to pour or it will come right out of the pan—please do not think that this has happened to me, but be ready.
4. Pour it onto the prepared cookie sheets. (I love to say prepared cookie sheets like the TV fake chefs). Allow mixture to spread on its own. (Don’t use a fork – took me a while to get the hang of this). Cool completely, and break into pieces. Store in plastic bags. Freeze if you want to save it for awhile before use. Plus when I freeze it I will stay out of it and that can be good.

This is a great recipe – true old fashioned Peanut Brittle –Try It! –Can we say Yum here?