Bourbon Sweet Potato Casserole

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3–4 pounds sweet potatoes
6 tablespoons butter, divided
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 tablespoons bourbon
1¼ cups packed light brown sugar, divided
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans (Optional, but please use)

Preheat the oven to 350°.

Scrub the sweet potatoes well. Place on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until very soft when you press the skins. Remove from the oven and let stand until cool enough to handle. Slice in half and scoop the flesh into a large mixing bowl, discarding the skins.

Beat the sweet potatoes with a wooden spoon to mash them well. Stir in 2 tablespoons butter, the cream, the bourbon, and ¼ cup brown sugar. Beat in the cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and allspice. Spread in a 1½-quart baking dish.

In a small bowl, combine the remaining 1 cup brown sugar and flour. Cut in the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, using a fork to blend well. Stir in the chopped pecans, if using and you should. Sprinkle the topping over the sweet potatoes.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the topping is light brown and a little crisp and the casserole is bubbly.

 

 

Shichimi Tōgarashi – 七味唐辛子 (seven-flavor chili pepper)

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2 tablespoons sanshō or finely ground Szechuan pepper
2 tablespoons dried yuzu peel or orange or lemon peel
4 tablespoons chili powder (the Korean variety if possible)
2 tablespoons aonoriko (nori seaweed flakes)
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds
2 tsp teaspoons hemp seeds
2 teaspoons garlic powder

Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.  These amounts are just a guideline and adjust seasonings to your taste.

 

Traditional Pie Crust: All Butter Dough

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2½ cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
½ teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons butter, cut into tablespoon-size pieces
½ cup ice water + 1–2 tablespoons more as needed
Additional flour for rolling out dough

Add all the ingredients but the ice water in a large bowl.

Quickly work the mixture together with your hands until the ingredients look like cracker crumbs with lumps the size of peas.

Sprinkle ice water over the mixture and stir lightly with a fork.

Squeeze a handful of dough to see if it holds together. Mix in more water as needed.

Divide the dough in half and make two discs about 5 inches across.

Wrap the discs separately in plastic wrap, and chill for about an hour.

Roll the dough until is is approximately 1 to 2 inches larger than your pie pan, brush off the extra flour.

Lay the dough in the pie pan carefully.  Don’t worry if the crust has cracks or even a small hole. Brush a little water where it needs to be patched and glue on the patch piece.

Put the filling in the pie and repeat the process with the other piece of dough.

Alaskan Salmon Purse Seining

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A purse seine is a large wall of netting deployed around an entire area or school of fish.

The seine has floats along the top line with a lead line threaded through rings along the bottom. Once a school of fish is located, a skiff encircles the school with the net. The lead line is then pulled in, “pursing” the net closed on the bottom, preventing fish from escaping by swimming downward.

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  • Purse seines can reach more than 6,500 ft (2,000 m) in length and 650 ft (200 m) in depth, varying in size according to the vessel, mesh size, and target species.
  • Finding a school of fish is one of the most difficult steps of this fishing technique and include:
    • Natural cues such as a congregation of seabirds, ruffling of surface water and/or fast moving groups of dolphins.
    • Helicopters scanning the water for natural cues from the air to direct boats toward schooling fish.
    • Using radar fish finders to help identify the exact location and size of a school.

There are other types of catching salmon such as gill netting and trolling employed in Alaska and other American coastal waters.

 

Refrigerator Cucumber Pickles

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  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 2 onions sliced thin
  • Cucumbers, sliced thin

Stuff jars with cucumbers and onions. Add sugar, vinegar, salt and celery seeds together and mix. Add liquid mixture to the top. This recipe makes 3 quarts.

Store in refrigerator and they will keep for months. Do not heat liquid, just stir vinegar, sugar and salt until dissolved and pour over the cucumbers and onions.

Schmaltz Mit Gribenes: Ashkenazic Rendered Chicken Fat with Cracklings

Schmaltz or schmalts in Yiddish (from the Middle High German smalz, “animal fat”) is the generic Yiddish term for animal fat, but more specifically and colloquially, it denotes melted and purified poultry fat. Schmaltz became to Ashkenazic cooking what olive oil was to Mediterranean food, indispensable for frying and cooking, and as a flavoring agent.”

~ Gil Marks, “The Encyclopedia Of Jewish Food

  • Skin and fat from 8 chicken thighs (or 2 cups reserved chicken skin and fat) *
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 onion, cut into medium dice

Chop chicken fat and skin and add to a small amount of water to begin the rendering at a gentle temperature.  Once the water and the moisture in the fat and skin have cooked off, the fat can rise above 212 degrees and the browning can begin.  When the skin is lightly browned and plenty of fat has been rendered, add the chopped onion.

Be careful not to overcook. It should remain clear and yellow, not brown with an overly roasted flavor.  The browned skin and onion, called gribenes are delicious.  Strain the fat and reserve the gribenes. The schmaltz is ready to use, to refrigerate for up to a week, or to freeze. The gribenes should also be refrigerated or frozen

* Where do I get the chicken fat?

Make roast chicken once a week. Before you roast it, pull off all the fat you see and trim all the skin you won’t need. Store the fat and skin in the freezer, until you have plenty to render for schmaltz

 

Bread & Butter Pickles

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  • 6 pounds cucumbers, unpeeled
  • 8 onions thinly sliced
  • 2 green peppers thinly sliced
  • 2 red peppers thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 quart crushed ice
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric & mustard seed
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 quart white vinegar

Slice cucumbers very thin.  Place in two gallon container with onions and peppers. Mix salt and ice.  Pack on top of vegetables. Cover with weighted lid, and allow to stand for 3 hours. Drain.  Mix remaining ingredients and pour over vegetables in a large pot.    Bring to a boil over low heat. Stop cooking immediately, do not overcook.  Ladle into hot sterilized jars and seal.