Jack is Cooking: A Busy Year!

Well Hello Internet!

Its been a long time since i posted any recipes, i’ve been very busy formalizing Jackiscooking into an actual company!

As you may know earlier this year i engaged in an Indiegogo campaign to raise some money to build a certified meat processing facility so i could produce my own Salami, Bacon, and Sausage.

There was great success, and i was able to build the facility, tackle mountains of regulatory paperwork, and begin selling my delicious charcuterie!

I now have a backlog of recipes to publish, which i will begin doing in the next few weeks.

A few weeks ago the wonderful photographer B. Docktor came and took some great shots of salami making in action.

That day i was making my French Style Saucisson Sec – a dried sausage with no added spices, so all you get is the delicious flavor of cured pork!

Here comes the meat mixture:

Preparing the casings:

Stuffing Salami (This is serious business!  look how concentrated i am!)

Each Saucisson must be the same size!
The Curing Chamber!  here i am moving some Chorizo around to make room for my Saucisson Sec!  Each batch of sausages is fermented for 48 hours in my greening room (This is a room that is very humid, and quite warm) before heading to the Curing chamber (Below) to hang for 3-4 weeks.
just me and a whole lot of salami!
Check out B’s website here:
so stay tuned here for new recipes coming soon, and for all info on JACüTERIE check out
its going to be big.  

thanks!

Jack is Cooking an (over)Stuffed Baked Potato with JACüTERIE Bacon

Well Hello Internet!

Last night i made an extremely delicious Stuffed Baked potato.  I stuffed it full delicious veggies and also my own No Nitrate Added “Classic” Bacon that will be available to purchase soon from JACüTERIE!  be sure to check out my Indiegogo project so i can get my commercial kitchen running so everybody can buy delicious bacon and sausages from me!

It’s very easy to make, and the same basic premise from this recipe can be modified to use any vegetables or meat.  I find that canned tuna or salmon is also very good in a stuffed baked potato.  The sky is the limit on this one!

Here’s what i used:

2 Large Russet Potatoes
4 Strips JACüTERIE “Classic” Bacon – Diced
1 Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Medium Sized Carrots
1/2 Cup Sweet Yellow Corn
1 Cup Green Beans (cut into 1 inch pieces)
1 Cup Cheddar Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Here is what to do:
First preheat your oven to 400°
While that is heating up take your potatoes and prick them a few times with a fork.  rub olive oil all over them and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

When the oven is hot put them right in the oven.  No need to wrap them in tinfoil or anything, we want this potatoes to get nice and crispy on the outside.  Bake them for about 1 hour.

When there is approximately 20 minutes left on the potatoes you can start cooking up the veggies.
First i fried the diced bacon until it was nice and crispy.  Drain the fat out, and add the onions.  Fry the onions and bacon together until the onions start getting caramalized.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes before adding in the rest of the veggies.  Cook the bacon onion veggie mixture until its all sizzling hot.  Set this aside.

By this time your potatoes will be ready, so take them out of the oven.  While they are still hot cut a wedge that is approximately 1/4 of the potato out of the top.  Carefully scoop all the insides of the potato out into a bowl.  Add some butter and some milk and mash it all, as if you were making mashed potato.  To this potato mash add in all the bacon veggie goodness, as well as half of the cheese.

Now comes the time for stuffing.  Stuff this potato mixture back into the potato.  No it will not all fit, but that’s why they are OVER stuffed!!  you want this to be spilling out of the top, literally bursting at the seams.

(I even put a little of it on the smaller wedge i cut out to make some delicious potato skins.)

Finally sprinkle the rest of the cheese over the potatoes and place them back in the oven for about 20 minutes.

They are ready when the cheese has melted and started to go golden on the top!

Yum!

Jack is Cooking: JACüTERIE

For the past year i’ve been secretly working on this, working on recipes, thinking about it, and now its happening. Premiering in mid 2013 JACüTERIE will provide some of the most delicious dried sausages and other cured meats all locally made in the Hudson Valley. Everything will be made naturally using the best meats from Herondale Farm and other natural ingredients sourced from the best places possible!

Right now though i need some help from everybody i know, from friends, family, and followers of this blog!  i need to raise 10,000 in the next 45 days so i can get some of the more pricey equipment.  If you help me out with this you will be among the first to get to try some of these great sausages and bacon and many many other delicious things!!!

I also have some t shirts and tote bags etc that you can get for contributing to the campaign!

So Check it out here at this link:



Thanks!

Jack is Cooking Sourdough Bread (Again)

Well Hello Internet!
It’s been a while since my last post, but i have a whole bunch of recipes to post, that have been festering for a while somewhere in my computer.  Here is the first of many!
If you have been following this blog for a while you will remember that the some of the firsts posts i did were regarding Sourdough bread.  Back then i had a weak starter that took some time to figure out exactly how to get it to work right.  Eventually though the starter died for one reason or another, and i didn’t ever make a new one.
Recently though for my birthday i was given 1 cup of a starter named Bernie by my good friends Nick and Mandy.
Bernie is tried and true, and has his roots from many generations ago.  So i started again with my bread making endeavors!
Here’s my new recipe for sourdough bread.  This will work with just about any starter, but as always i have notes as to what i might change next time to make an even better loaf.
First I decided to multiply the starter so I always have extra.  
I added 3 cups of flour and 2 cups of water to the1 cup of starter
Then I let this sit for actually almost 24 hours.  (A little bit longer than necessary but that’s just how the timing worked out).  All those Bernie bacterias got to work in there!
I then removed 2 cups for future generations of Bernie… 
To the remaining sponge I added 1/4 cup of olive oil and 1/2 tablespoon of salt.  I folded that in and then added about 2 cups of flour.  At this point I was able to handle the dough I added about stony her 1/2 to 1 cup of flour through kneading.  Knead for 5 minutes then let it rest for 5 and then knead 5 more minutes.  (Next time i think i will knead longer) Form into a ball.
I let it rise for about 2.5 hours.  About halfway through I made a kind of rising box by putting rolling up a warm damp kitchen towel and Putting the towel and the dough underneath a large Tupperware container.  This definitely helped the rising…. But i think it could still be warmer in my kitchen while rising – this would make it even better
I then preheated the oven to 450 with my pizza/bread stone in it.  After it was preheated I out the bread in and sprayed it with water (crucial step!)
After 30 minutes I rotated the bread, sprayed it with water again and turned the oven down to 375. I continued baking for another 40 minutes but it could have stayed in another 20 I think.  It needed a little bit more in the very middle..
Then I let it rest as long as I could manage before I had to eat about half of it…
So that’s what I did, and it turned out pretty awesome!!
stay tuned for more

Jack is Cooking Pizza II

Well Hello Internet!

Pizza is something i happen to make quite frequently, although every time i make it i play around with the dough recipe, constantly searching for the best combination of ingredients and methods.  Last night i finally cracked it.  I made the best damn pizza crust i have ever made, and from here on out i do believe that this is the way i will make my crusts.  After all what is a pizza without a good crust, as you can really put anything you want on it.

This post will focus on the crust mainly, and i will leave it up to you as to what you put on it!  We all have our own tastes, and my personal taste as i mentioned in the previous post is my slight dislike of tomato sauce.  NOT that i won’t eat it! i’ll eat anything.  However given the choice, i’ll just choose something else.  Like fresh tomatoes – in a non sauce state of being.

The trick i found with this crust was to use much less yeast, and a lot more time.  So make this the day before you want to eat your pizza.  the first step is pretty easy, I just through it all together right before I went to bed.  It only took about 5 minutes.  leaving the dough to rise overnight, gives the yeast extra time to ferment, and fill the dough with air.  it leaves you with a deliciously crusty, chewy, light, and bubbly pizza crust, that is soft, yet not overly bread-y.

One note i would have to say, while it is not absolutely necessary i HIGHLY recommend picking up a pizza stone for your oven.  I got one at the Kitchen Supply on bowery for $10.  It make all the difference.

Here is what you will need to make the best crust ever:
Ingredients:
2 cups flour + more for dusting
1 cup (or less) water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry yeast
1.  in a bowl, mix together the flour the salt and the yeast.  Slowly add the water until it comes together in a ball.  don’t let the dough get too wet, but if it does, just add a bit more flour.  you want to be able to pick it up as one ball of dough, without it sticking to your hands, yet without the ball falling a part.  it is a fine balance.
2.  set this ball of dough in a clean bowl, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  let no air inside!  you want a tight seal.  Place the bowl on top of your fridge, or in another area where it is about 75° and not drafty at all.  Let it sit here for at least 18 hours.
3.  when you return, the small ball of dough should have expanded immensely!  mine was more than double the size.  it was also all bubbly on top, and smelled absolutely delicious.   The yeast had done its job well.
4.  turn the dough out onto a floured board or counter, and shape it back into a ball.   That’s about it!  no kneading is required for this dough.   After you have made a perfect looking ball, dust some flour on top and place a damp towel over it for one hour.  During this hour you can preheat your oven (with a pizza stone preferably) to 500° F  or as hot as it will go.
5.  Prepare your toppings.  you can put anything you want on a pizza.  remember if you are going to use fresh greens, or fresh basil, they will not survive the oven temperatures, so put them on after you cook it. anything else is fine.  
For this particular pizza i used:
Caramelized onions,
fresh ham
fresh garlic
cherry tomatoes
goat cheese
and arugula
6.  After the oven is preheated, and the dough has rested for an hour, it’s time to assemble the pizza.  i use a pizza peel since i have a pizza stone, so i find it best to arrange the pizza right on this to make the transfer to the oven easier.  First sprinkle some corn meal on it, this will allow the pizza to slide off nicely.  
Stretch the dough out until it is pizza sized. – You can get it pretty thin, as it will balloon in the oven. 
If you can do the fancy stuff they do in the pizzerias, this dough will work extremely well for that!  At this point with the toppings you are on your own!  arrange them however you want.  
Finally, however, brush the crust all the way around with some nice olive oil.  This will make it really nice and golden on the edges.  
7.  Bake it in the oven, for 10-15 minutes, or until the crust is nicely browned, even getting pretty dark in some spots, as all good pizza will tend to do!  Remove from the oven and put on your final fresh toppings!!
mmm mmmm delicious!