Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sweet Child O' Brine II

This week on the Rouxde Cooking School Podcast we talked about salt. It's the most important ingredient in the kitchen as far as I'm concerned and it's transformative properties make it easy to see why it was used for centuries by apothecaries, witches and warlocks as a main ingredient in their wares.

We have covered brine before but this one is different.

Yes, there is more than one recipe for brine. They can go from fairly complicated (like the holiday brine to very simple (this one).

This recipe will be considerably less complicated and as basic as you can get. It will also change your life. Yeah....... I said it!

This basic brine will make you the Acme of your friends meat cooking masters.

While this brine will make it easier to put color on whatever chop or thigh you are cooking, be sure to constantly flip your food. The sugar in the brine mix makes it easy to burn  the food. Be careful and flip the meat as much as you can. Flipping the meat more than you think helps to keep the meat from

Like I said this is a basic brine. If you want to get more complicated, you can add things like  sage, thyme, rosemary, onions, celery, cinnamon, bay leaf and other spices, fruits or vegetables to steer your meat into the flavor profile you need to match your recipe.

Ready for a crazy simple recipe? Let's do it dear reader!!!

Rouxde Cooking School Simple Brine

1 gallon water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar

In an extra large container to hold a gallon of fluid, place ingredients together in the bowl and whisk or stir until items dissolved together into a clear liquid.


Yup, that's it. Dead simple right?

you're now ready to use it for chicken, pork or vegetables (yes veggies, it's basic pickling).


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Crosby's Bird's Nest Breakfast

John Houser III
This week on the Rouxde Cooking School Podcast we took a crack at eggs (see what I did there?) and I talked about how I make a dish for my son Crosby called a "Birds nest". I also said I would post the recipe. Well dear reader, here we are.

The podcast episode link can be found here: Liquid Chicken
I came up with this idea (I'm sure I'm not the first) when Crosby was first starting to eat real solid food (not cereal mush) and thought this was a cute idea.

It kept him interested with the novelty of the food, and it also kept me interested with making something fun instead of a making a bowl of Cheerios.

It turned out to be a household favorite that Cros, my wife and I all love to eat. It's basically a more involved version of soft boiled egg and soldiers, a special comfort breakfast my mom made a few times for me when I was young. I loved it every time.

I use whole wheat multi-grain bread because my wife cares about how my kid eats. If it were up to me it would be whatever good crusty bread we had on hand. You can use whatever you want. Yes...... plain ass white bread is fine but lets work on getting you off that shit later.

I usually cut the bread to look like the picture about but I have cut them super thing to really look like a nest. It's up to how playful you want to be. The above pic was literally one of Crosby's breakfasts and we were in "get ready for school mode".

As for the butter in this dish, try to use the good European stuff. There aren't many ingredients in this recipe and it makes a difference. If you don't have the good stuff don't hang yourself, just use regular butter (I do most of the time).

Luckily, this recipe is super easy to make. The problem though is the peeling.......

I fucking hate peeling eggs. Especially soft boiled eggs.

I had a shit time peeling the eggs for the photo above (which is why it's broken). The problem was I forgot a trick I learned about egg peeling.

If you add a teaspoon of baking powder to the pot before you cook the eggs it changes the pH of the water and somehow affects the peelability of the egg. It works better than not doing it at all.

So my friends, let's do this!

Crosby's Bird's Nest

1 slice of bread
1 soft boiled egg *see below for cooking instructions
butter- get the good stuff for your first time
Maldon salt- if you don't have this use kosher or table salt
freshly ground pepper- it makes a big difference

• Heat your soft boiled egg up by pouring the hottest tap hot water you have into a big container (I use a plastic quart Chinese take out container) and place the egg into it. Let it sit in the water until you are ready to assemble.

• place your bread into a toaster or toaster oven. Toast until your preference. I prefer mine a little blackened in spots, but for Crosby I toast it until it gets a bare brown on it so it is a bit easier to eat for a child.

• Once your toast is done, spread butter over it to your enjoyment and then cut it into strips long way and then into thirds cross-way to make your branches. Place onto a plate in a circular pattern.

•Peel your egg. Place on top of the bread branches and then top the egg with Maldon salt and pepper.

• For a kid- Let them break the egg open and then chop the egg up and mix thoroughly so egg and bread and with each other. serve to a happy child.

• For an adult- Cut your own shit up and eat it before it gets cold fool!!!


* For soft boiled eggs:

6 eggs (or more if you want)
a pot to hold six or more eggs
1 teaspoon baking soda

• Set a timer for 5 minutes and 20 seconds

• Place enough water to cover eggs by at least an inch into a pot big enough to hold at least six eggs

• Drop a teaspoon of baking soda into the water

• Bring the pot of water to a vigorous boil

• Add the eggs

• Boil for 5 minutes and 20 seconds

• Transfer to a bowl of ice water

• After five minutes, dry the eggs off and refrigerated until needed

Friday, March 17, 2017

Rouxde Onion Soup

Last week's episode of The Rouxde Cooking School Podcast, Knife to Know You, saw us covering knives. It was a fun time and I said that I would put up a recipe that would get people to practice their knife skills.

Well, here it is.

It took a little time because I wanted to make sure I had the recipe dialed in to where I was happy with it but I have successfully tested it on humans and they liked it (providing they weren't lying of course).

Baltimore got a few inches of snow and ice the other day and we all had the day off. After a few hours of hanging out on a hill sledding with the kids I invited a bunch of friends over to the house to test out the soup.

This recipe easily fed six adults and four children with enough left over for seconds a few times over.

So lets get to it.

Rouxde Cooking School Onion Soup

4 red onions- thinly sliced
4 white onions- thinly sliced
2 yellow onions- thinly sliced
1/4 cup canola oil plus extra for rubbing on the bagutte
1 baguette- sliced into 1 inch thick rounds
 12 cups of chicken stock
2 tablespoons chicken base (optional, but worth it- I use better than broth)
2 tablespoons shiro miso (optional but makes a big difference)
3 bay leaves
2 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
1 cup apple cider
1 pound cheddar (mild melts better)- shredded
3 tablespoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh finely ground black pepper

Halved Onions
©2017 John Houser III
©2017 John Houser III
 • Heat your oven to °375F.

• Rub both sides of your baguette slices with canola oil. Put them onto a sheet pan and bake in the oven until golden brown.
©2017 John Houser III
• In the largest pot you have over high heat, add the 1/4 cup of canola oil and heat until smoking. Add the onions and cover. Let cook for five minutes and then begin stirring them. Be sure to keep the heat high and to stir them every few minutes to keep from burning. DO NOT ADD SALT!! cooking onions for 45-60 minutes to develop a good brown color. You don't want them darkly caramelized, but a nice medium brown is good.

• While the onions cook, bring the stock, chicken base, miso, bay leaves, thyme and salt & pepper to a simmer over high heat. Turn the heat to low and keep hot.

• When the onions are looking brown and a little dry, deglaze the pot with the apple cider. Add the stock and simmer the soup for another fifteen minutes.

• Turn the oven onto the broiler setting

• Ladle soup into an oven-proof crock. Top with a couple baguette slices and then the cheese. Place under the broiler until the cheese is melted, bubbly and if you're like me, a little burnt.

• Enjoy!!!!
©2017 Leana Houser

Friday, March 3, 2017

Taters GonnaTate

©2017 John Houser III
So episode three is out. You can find it here:


It's a super funny episode (if I may be modest), but it's also very informative and entertaining as well. 

We covered potatoes this week and talked about their history as well as the reason potatoes became popular across Europe and then the USA. 

We hope you like it. If you listen to it, I can't see how you won't. I'm that funny (Bex is terrible as usual). 

At the end of the episode, I talked about the recipe I was going to make and that's why we're here. To learn how to make the following:

Hasselback Potatoes Au Gratin

3 oz Parmesan cheese- finely shredded
5 oz cheddar- finely shredded
1 tablespoons thyme- finely chopped
6 sage leaves- finely chopped
2 large cloves of garlic- finely microplaned or finely chopped and mashed into a paste
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg- finely grated
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons miso paste
2 cups (1 pint) heavy cream
3.5 pounds of Russet Potatoes- sliced thinly (1/8 inch thick) on a mandolin or by hand (you're a beast if you do it this way)

• Preheat an oven to 400° F

• Mix the first eleven ingredients in a large bowl until combined.

•Fold in the potatoes and using your hands, make sure every slice is covered with the cream sauce

• Place the potatoes up in an oven-proof pan like dominoes. Regrdless of shape, make sure they are all up and not flat

• Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes

• Uncover and bake for another 30 minutes

• If it is not crispy or brown enough, finish under the broiler until your desired crispness/ color

• Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before serving

• Enjoy!!

©2017 John Houser III

If you have questions, please feel free to ask me through here or at or at