All posts filed under: Ramblings

Do Not Wash Chicken Before Cooking!

A question from a reader: Marinating chicken…contained in a bag, in a baking dish to catch any drips Is it best to wash the chicken off after removing from package or not? I hear conflicting advice on this. Some say to wash off any germs from packing and some say it’s doesn’t matter b/c the germs are cooked off. Should I wash chicken? No! Please, no. Do NOT wash poultry before cooking. (Or any other meat for that matter.) Washing chicken doesn’t rinse away bacteria; it splashes it around. The bacteria is still on the chicken…and now it’s been sprayed onto the sink, countertops, arms, clothes, and anything else nearby. The safest thing to do is take chicken directly from its packaging to the stove. Now, I don’t take chicken directly out of the package and to the stove. I usually have to mess with it first – seasoning, cutting it up, that kind of thing. I treat chicken juices like a biohazard – because they are, until they’re cooked – and try to contain …

Lake Erie Vacation 2018

I’m on vacation, spending a week at my family’s cottage on the shores of Lake Erie. Then, the week after that I’m recovering from hernia surgery. (Fun!) In other words, posting will be sparse for the next two weeks. (Cell coverage and wifi are spotty out here.) I’ll be back to my regular schedule in August. See you then! PS:  Amazon’s Prime Day Instant Pot Duo for $58 deal is still on through the end of the day today. Did you get one? Let me know in the comments.

Amazon Prime Day 2018 – Instant Pot Deals? (Yes, on the IP-Duo)

Looking for a deal on an Instant Pot? You’re in luck – it’s Amazon Prime Day! I’m an Amazon affiliate, and I get a small commission on anything you buy through the Amazon links on my site. Thank you! Why is Prime Day such a big deal for Instant Pot fans? Because Amazon traditionally has a fantastic Instant Pot deal on Prime Day for Amazon Prime members. Their lowest prices of the year are on Prime Day and Black Friday. (Side note: Prime “Day” is now Prime Day-And-A-Half, starting at 3 PM EST July 16 (today), running through the end of July 17.) Which Instant Pot is on sale for Prime Day? I don’t know yet, and I’ll update this post when I find out. The sale is usually on one specific model; 2015 and 2016 were on the IP Duo 6-Quart, and 2017 was the IP Duo 8-Quart. What will it be this year? I think it will be one of these six Instant Pots: [UPDATE 2018-07-16 3PM] The sale is on the Instant …

Grill Smoked Trout: trout on a foil sheet, on a grill, with smoking coals on the other side of the grill

Throwback Thursday: Grill Smoked Fish

My grill smoked trout recipe is suddenly popular! I’m not sure what happened, but I all of a sudden I’m getting questions and comments on a post I wrote years ago. That’s a good thing – I love smoked fish, and grill smoking is easy enough to make this one of my go-to appetizers for parties. Now, grill smoked fish are different from cold smoked fish, like smoked salmon or lox. Cold-smoked fish are cooked at 180°F for hours. Grill smoked fish are a cross between “cold smoked” and grilled – they have a similar taste to cold smoked, but a flakier texture. The grill smoked technique is simple: Brine the fish with salt and brown sugar Lay the fish on a sheet of aluminum foil and pat dry Put in a 250°F to 300°F grill with smoking wood until cooked through and flaky, 30 to 90 minutes depending on the fish thickness. Here are my two favorites: Grill Smoked Trout and Grill Smoked Salmon Recipe: Grill Smoked Trout Recipe: Grill Smoked Salmon What do …

Gnawing on the bone - Tomahawk Ribeye | DadCooksDinner.com

Thursday Throwback: Happy Happy Birthday

How did I celebrate my birthday? With a long-bone ribeye: My birthday present to myself… a tomahawk ribeye! 🎁 . . . . . @CertifiedAngusBeef #BestAngusBeef #SteakHolder #BestBeef #sponsored #CertifiedAngusBeef A post shared by Mike Vrobel – Food Blogger (@dadcooksdinner) on Jun 13, 2018 at 3:34pm PDT I saw the steaks at my local butcher, and could not resist. (At least, I could not resist for me. The rest of the family got (much less expensive) regular ribeyes. Hey, I was celebrating…) This is a honkin’ big piece of meat. Reverse searing is the way to go, with my trusty Thermoworks ChefAlarm probe thermometer telling me when it’s cooked through to medium rare, and ready to sear and serve. Link to the recipe Recipe here: Grilled Tomahawk Steak (Long Bone Ribeye, Reverse Seared) What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts The Best Grilled Steak: Reverse Sear or Sear and Move? Grilled Cowboy Chop (Double Cut Ribeye, Reverse Seared) Reverse Seared Rack of Lamb Enjoyed this post? …

Keep Warm mode and Natural Pressure Release

Throwback Thursday: Instant Pot Natural Pressure Release – Leave Warming Mode On

After Tuesday’s Instant Pot Hard-Boiled Eggs post, a few people asked about Natural Pressure Release and Keep Warm mode: Question: for the 5 mins natural release, do you leave the “warmer” on to count up to 5, or do you shut down the power completely? Reader Warren I had the same question, so I did some testing a few years back. The results: Keep Warm mode does not change Natural Pressure Release time. It takes Here’s the original post, and a video of my testing: Should I cancel Keep Warm mode for a Natural Pressure Release? (No.) [DadCooksDinner.com] Video: Instant Pot Pressure Cooker – Natural Pressure Release – Keep Warm Mode On or Off [YouTube.com] What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below. Related Posts Should I cancel Keep Warm mode for a Natural Pressure Release? (No.) How to fix Instant Pot Overheating What to do if I Dump Liquid into my Instant Pot without the Pot Liner My list of Pressure Cooker Recipes Enjoyed this post? Want to …

Road Trip: Italy Food and Wine Writing Workshop 2018

These are my memories about the Food and Wine Writing Workshop run by Demet Guzey and Dianne Jacob in April 2018. To paraphrase Ruth Reichl, “Everything here is true, but it may not be entirely factual.” I took copious notes during the classes and tours, but not during the writing sessions. (I was too busy writing.) I am sure I confused times and people, so I apologize in advance. Write about our visit to Quintarelli winery. I’ll give you…30 minutes. Demet starts the session with wine writing advice, then turns us loose on our notebooks. 30 minutes? That’s it? I’ve learned to shut off the Editor Voice and write, but I’m not sure 30 minutes will be enough for something I have to read in front of the whole group. Don’t worry, just go. Keep the pen moving on the page. I write about grandpa Giuseppe Quintarelli and his quest for quality. Giuseppe moves his vineyards from the valley to the hillside, making the vines work harder. Hard-working vines produce less wine, but better wine. …

On The Road: Travel Day

  Thirty-three thousand feet above the North Atlantic, thirty minutes west of Dingle, Ireland. Heading home. I hear an opera carrying along the canal. The sleek prow of a gondola glides into view, carrying a singing soprano and her accordionist. A middle-aged couple holds hands in the plush seat in the back, enjoying their own private Venetian concert. Except it’s not private. The gondolier eases his boat along, under the bridge at my feet. The soprano is a pro; she times her finish for the bridge, using the echo to amplify her last note. It hangs in the air for a second, then applause fills the void, from the gondola and all around me on the bridge. The narrow bridge. That I stopped in the middle of, blocking traffic. Whoops. I look around, ready to excuse myself to everyone…but they’re too busy clapping to notice my apology. I wasn’t the only one enchanted by the melody. I’m not ready to go home – there’s so much more to do, so much more to see, I’ve …

Tortelli class in Verona, Italy

On the road again: Tortelli in Verona, Italy

Sorry this post is late; I think I lost a day to travel somewhere. That, or I’m actually relaxing on my vacation – a food writing workshop in Verona, Italy. Today was a tortelli making class in a local restaurant. The staff showed us how, then stood back to let us try. We did OK – we are a bunch of food writers, after all. But we were not the pros. They roll and fold with flair, smooth and effortless. Posting will be a little sparse for the next week or so, until I get home. After that, I apologize in advance for all the “Well, when I was in Italy…” stories.

Fagor America is Closing

Fagor America will be shutting down operations after its parent company in Spain announced it would close, HomeWorld Business has learned. In a letter from Fagor to its retail customers that was obtained by HomeWorld Business, company officials wrote, “Fagor America will be affected by this cessation and we anticipate the company will be closing in the next couple of months.” Fagor America to Shut Down Operations [HomeWorldBusiness.com] I’ve used Fagor pressure cookers for years, and I’m sad to see them go. I switched from Fagor cookers to Instant Pot a while back, but I do still have a couple of Fagor Lux cookers in my collection. They were a good alternative to the Instant Pot, and I always like to see good competition in a market – it keeps the companies from getting complacent. (Not that Instant Pot seems complacent, mind you – they keep coming up with new ideas and new cookers – but I don’t want them to feel too comfortable and take their foot off the gas.) I can’t recommend Fagor …

Nothing is certain except…2017

The wages of sin are death, but by the time taxes are taken out, it’s just sort of a tired feeling. ― Paula Poundstone The good news about writing a successful food blog? It provides a little side income. The bad news about writing a successful food blog? Side income makes taxes complicated. No new post today – I’m busy bookkeeping, sorting documents, and entering info into TurboTax. (I’m one of those weirdos who enjoys doing their own taxes.) Someday the blog may make enough to get someone to do my taxes. But for now, I have a hard time paying for something I can do myself. I’ll see everyone next week with a new recipe!

Throwback Thursday: Double-Wide Pork Chops

Revisiting my Grilled Double Cut Ribeye Pork Chops With Rosemary, Honey, and Lemon Glaze recipe… Late Winter is my least favorite time of the year. The excitement of the holidays is over, and my patience has run out. I am done with cold, gray days. I’m working on my previously mentioned list of Google Recipe Card fixes, and I come across this fantastic-looking double cut pork chop. My mind wanders: “It was 60°F yesterday…maybe I can grill tonight…” [Checks weather app] It is currently 47°F and raining. The forecast calls for mixed precipitation, with 1 to 3 inches of snow today, and heavy snow overnight, tapering off by morning. Tomorrow will be cloudy, with a high of 32°F. [Closes weather app in disgust] Mother Nature is taunting me, lifting my hopes of spring…so she could smash them to smithereens. I will not give in to Seasonal Affective Disorder! The forecast looks better over the weekend – cold (high of 37°F) and clear. Not gray and raining? Close enough. It’s time to light the grill and pretend …

Chicken drumsticks in an electric pressure cooker

Reader Survey: Pressure Cooking Frozen Chicken Drumsticks?

The most common question on my pressure cooker chicken legs and chicken drumsticks recipes: “My drumsticks are frozen. How much time should I add?” My answer is: I don’t know? Five extra minutes, maybe? That answer feels right, but I want to check it. I never cook my drumsticks from frozen. I’m cooking them either fresh or thawed. (I buy family packs of drumsticks. Straight out of the freezer I have a slab of chicken that won’t fit in the cooker. I have to thaw them enough to break them apart…and by that point I might as well leave them in the refrigerator overnight to thaw completely.) I go to the store to stock up on frozen drumsticks for testing. And…neither of my local grocery stores carries them. (They have individually frozen wings, and boneless skinless breasts, but no drumsticks and no legs.) I’m standing in the meat department, staring blankly at bags of frozen chicken wings. “What if I freeze them myself? No – no one would freeze individual drumsticks. They’re not asking about …

Butter Basting a Sous Vide Porterhouse | DadCooksDinner.com

Throwback Thursday: Butter Basted Sous Vide Porterhouse

I’m going on a bit of an “inside blogging” rant here. If you’re just interested in the recipe, here it is: Sous Vide Butter Basted Porterhouse (from the freezer, seared in a cast iron pan) On with the rant! I hate SEO. SEO is “search engine optimization” – in other words, adding things to my posts so Google understands them. I want to write for people, not search engines. And yet… If I want to write a food blog that anyone reads, I have to do SEO. According to my statistics, 75% of you found me through a Google search, so I need to keep The Algorithm happy. (If you stuck around after that original Google search, and are still following me, thank you!) You don’t see most of my SEO work – and neither do I. My recipe plugin takes care of most of it. You see a neatly formatted recipe; Google sees a list of tags: This is a recipe, this is a picture, this is a list of ingredients, and so on. Unfortunately, when …