Roaster Ovens

RoasterOven_IMG_0725I have had a Hamilton Beach roaster oven for quite a long time, using it mainly for pot roasts when the need arises to cook two roasts when company is coming over.  That usually happens a few times every 5 or so years, so the oven does not get much use.  A few months ago I decided to cook a couple of chickens in the roaster oven and they were fantastic.  I just added a can of chicken broth, an onion and some garlic, and cooked the chickens at 350 until done, about an hour and a half.  Tender and juicy.  Did the same for a turkey and it also came out great.  So, on to ribs…

I found a recipe on the Hamilton Beach site for Honey Roasted Spareribs:

  • Ribs – one rack
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp hot pepper sauce (I used chili sauce)

Coated the meat with 1 cup of the marinade and cooked at 350 for an hour.  Then I added the halved potatoes and the rest of the marinade and cooked until the meat registered 160.  Again, the meat was moist and very tender.  Not quite as good as smoked or BBQ’s, but fairly close.

The pictures are of the ribs at the start, and of the finished meal:

RoasterOven_IMG_0726        RoasterOven_IMG_0728

Brewing, Cooking, and Chickens

Buns_12Feb11_IMG_0712Decided to make Sticky Buns on Saturday. The recipe makes some of the best sticky buns that I have ever had.  They are light, not too sweet, and have a hint of lemon in them.  The topping is a mixture of sugars, butter, with a sprinkling of nuts and raisins.  The buns are cooked on top of the topping and then the whole ban, buns and all, are flipped making the bottom become the topping.  Surprisingly, the whole thing works very well.  The only problem with them is that I eat too many of them – but, they are good.

I do think that I cooked them about 5 minutes to long, as the caramel was a bit chewy, but 13 seconds in the microwave cures that.  I actually prepare everything, including forming the buns and placing them on the sugar/nut mixture, the night before and then retarding the buns in the refrigerator until the morning. I usually wake up at 5:00 AM to allow time for he buns to warm up and rise for 4 hours, them cook them.  As you can see from the picture above – Perfect!

Pictures of the buns before baking:

Buns_12Feb11_IMG_0704          Buns_12Feb11_IMG_0703

On Saturday, full of butter and sugar from the sticky buns, I brewed a Belgian Tripel.  The recipe calls for light Belgian Candi Syrup, and I had no motivation to pay $8.00 a pound for the stuff, so I made my own by adding 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of lemon juice to 1.6 pounds of sugar.  I heated it up on medium until it turned a nice golden yellow. 

Recipe was basically (hops were a bit different but I do not have access to my other computer which has the recipe as brewed):

12.50 lb     Pilsner (2 Row) Bel     
1.50   lb     Munich Malt 
0.50   lb     Cara-Pils/Dextrine    
2.00   oz    Hallertauer Mittelfrueh [4.00 %]       
1.00   oz    Styrian Goldings [5.40 %]       
1.00   oz    Saaz [4.00 %]       
1.60   lb     Candi Sugar       
Yeast         Belgian Abby II Wyeast 1762 – made a 2 L starter   

Before and after pictures of the Belgian Candi Syrup and first runnings:

BelgianSyrup1_12Feb11_IMG_0715          BelgianSyrup2_12Feb11_IMG_0717          Tripel_12Feb11_IMG_0719

I received some chicken eggs that I ordered.  Light Sussex – a larger gentle chicken that lays large light brown eggs.  If the post office did not ruin the eggs, in 21 days I should have some chicks.  The incubator is a Brinsea Mini Advance – has an automatic egg turner, and is basically full auto otherwise.  Should be interesting to see what happens next.

One of the reasons for getting the Light Sussex is that the roosters are supposed to be quiet birds, rarely crowing.  But, if they decide that crowing is their thing, then they will be off to freezer camp immediately. 

Pictures of the incubator and of the future chicken run and where the coop will be:

Eggs_15FFeb11IMG_0723          FutureChickenRun_12Feb11_IMG_0720

Beer, New Class, and Cookies

Beer_Wit_29Jan11_IMG_0691The image on the left is of a Belgian Witbier that I bottled this past week.  It was started on the 8th of November, 2010, and spent almost two months in the primary.  I had six Coke bottles, so I thought it would be nice to have some smaller “sampler” bottles of the Wit to taste.  I also bottled a Cream Stout last week, again spending two months in the primary.  Both batches tasted exceptional when I bottled them.  The stout, make with 2 ounces of coffee beans, was quite drinkable as is.  They are now carbonating, and hopefully will be ready soon.

My next beers will be a Gruit and a Braggot.  I ordered the Herbs (Sweet Gale, Wild Rosemary, and Yarrow) yesterday.  This is the good kind of Wild Rosemary (Ledum palustre) with terpenes and all.  The Braggot will be a simple one, but the recipe is not quite set yet.  I will post the recipe when I decide on one.

On Friday, I sampled 5 of my beers: a porter – which is terrible tasting; a Belgian Blonde – which is very good; an Belgian Specialty Ale – which is good; a Robust Porter – which is also good; and a Belgian Strong Ale – which is exceptionally wonderful.  I must have had a bad water day or something similar regarding the essentially crappy tasting porter, as there is a huge band-aid taste that is not present at all in any of my other beers.  I am going to continue to bottle condition it until the end of February, and if it is not good by then, toss it and free up some bottles for my next batch.

I just started another patch of Washington Merlot – It is in the garage fermenting away.  Smells good.  I ordered a Pinot Noir for my daughters graduation.

In school news, I just registered for my first of 4 research classes – not quite sure about this…….  I may change from the Ph.D. program to the Ed.D. program – not sure about this either……. 

Some pictures of the Witbier, and of some Burnt Butter Pecan Cookies – now on my top 3 favorite cookie list:

Beer_Wit_29Jan11_IMG_0689Beer_Wit_29Jan11_IMG_0688Cookies_29Jan11_IMG_0694Cookies_29Jan11_IMG_0697

The March to The Gallows:  I have decided that every once and a while, I would write some thoughts about the people “running” America.  The people, that when the events in Egypt happen here (and they will happen here), will be dragged from their respective houses, taken behind and wall, given a fair but speedy trial, and shot. 

Fun times for all!