Jims Galley

Jims Galley

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Bacon and Eggs. The Diner Way, the Healthier Way..... Could it be?

This may see like a ridicules recipe to post. But believe it or not, many people do not know how to get that diner quality bacon and egg breakfast at home. When you cook eggs at home, do you sometimes wonder why they never seem to taste as good as they do at the local diner? After all they are just eggs, so what could they be doing differently than what you do at home? The answer is, plenty. However you can re-create that awesome fried egg experience you get at the diner right at home.

At home, a lot of people will use some sort of Teflon frying pan to cook eggs. The reason is of the non stick surface. Like lot of products we Americans like for convenience, are not necessarily the best quality for cooking. Some are, some are not. In the case of Teflon, I am not sure I can think of one reason to use it. If you have one, do yourself a favor and go sell it at a yard sale!

For proper eggs, and for a lot of other things, you need a WELL seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. Something you can be proud off and pass on to your children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
Just like a fine strand of pearls that absorb the oil and essence of the beautiful lady who wears them, a cast iron skillet absorbs the oils and essence of the chef that masters the pan.

The cast iron skillet does an excellent job at re-creating the type of platform used a diners and that is a flat seasoned cooking surface that maintains even heat very well. Usually stainless steel, these commercial diner grills get a well seasoned coating on them that is similar in a way that cast iron does. The more you use it, the better it is.
 Typical Diner Grill
What a lot of people don’t know is that at the diner, in the morning they cook slabs of bacon on the grill to season it for the day, and use the bacon for other dishes and the oil will be used in cooking all day on the grill. The bacon grease is usually kept near the back of the girl in a stainless steel bowl. You can do the same thing at home.

So the first trick before cooking your egg is to get out some bacon, just like they do at the diner (but you don’t usually see it) and cook the bacon in the cast iron skillet on medium to medium low. Cook until nice and crispy and remove then drain.

Reduce the heat to the skillet to low medium. Dump out all the grease except for maybe three Tablespoons. Immediately slide in the eggs. A good tip to keep the yolks in tack is to pre-crack them into a bowl then pour the bowl of eggs at one time into the skillet.

Now, cook to desired preference and serve. When done, simply wipe the skillet clean.

You will never have a better egg in your life, or it will taste at least as good as your local breakfast diner.

Most folks think that cooking with bacon fat is unhealthy, well all good in moderation. I only cook bacon and eggs maybe once or twice a month if that. For me it is usually yogurt and fruit. But on occasion it is a nice change to have bacon and eggs done proper.

The fact is that using real bacon fat or lard is better for you than processed fats that are hydrogenated. Actually unprocessed lard (pig fat) can be fewer calories and better for you than the trans fats and hydrogenated products you get on the shelves at the grocery store.

Either way, you are probably health wise better off using a little bacon fat rather than hydrogenated butter solids or something from a spray can. The bacon we use is uncured bacon with minimal processing, and apple wood smoked. Very delicious holds up well and excellent bacon fat when you need it.

Now I would like to continue with how to properly poach an egg, but I think someone would start throwing eggs at me.

GOOD HEALTH INFORMATION and why to dispose of Teflon and use Lard. Excerpts from research and story by Colleen Story.

In 2003, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) released a study on non-stick cookware (Teflon). Results showed that the cookware reached temperatures that produced toxic particles and fumes potentially dangerous to human health long before manufacturer DuPont had previously admitted.

According to the study results, in two to five minutes on a conventional stove top, Teflon cookware was found to exceed temperatures at which coating breaks apart and emits toxic particles and gases linked to pet bird deaths and potential human illnesses.

In 2007, the journal Environmental Health Perspectives they noted the following about PFOA: (Teflon)

  • It hangs around in the body, eliminated after 3.8 years.
  • Animal studies have shown that high doses can cause cancer, physical development delays, endocrine disruption, and neonatal mortality.
  • In older animals, the compound can cause liver and pancreatic tumors.
  • Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University found PFOA in 100% of 297 serum samples collected in 2004 and 2005 from the umbilical cords of children born in Baltimore. The study also revealed a correlation between the babies’ PFOA levels and decreased birth weight and head circumference.
  • Other research has suggested that levels of these chemicals may be impacting the immune systems of bottlenose dolphins, which are believed to have the highest levels reported in any wildlife species

Some other great benefits about using Cast Iron. NO TOXIC FUMES! Cast Iron also…

  • Evenly distributes heat: Cast iron creates an even, intense heat that makes it really flexible and effective for all sorts of cooking. That means it helps seal in juices and keeps food moist and delicious.
  • Versatile: You can deep fry in it, sauté in it, and bake in it, as it easily goes from stove top to oven. You can sear a steak and bake a pie in the same skillet.
  • Inexpensive: Compared to other high-quality pots and pans, cast iron is a great deal, averaging about $25 a piece. One pan can take the place of a large bread pan, soup and stock pot, searing pan, and cornbread pan and griddle.
  • Long lasting: Cast iron lasts a really long time, often passed down from one generation to the next. Old and worn pieces can be refurbished with a little scrubbing, making this a great eco-friendly option.
  • Naturally non-stick: Once it’s seasoned, cast iron, used correctly, won’t cause foods to stick, and it does not emit the toxic fumes that non-stick pans do.
  • Easy to clean: Simply use a stiff brush and hot water. No soap necessary, so you’re using fewer resources. (Soap is not recommended since it erodes the seasoning.)
  • Healthy: Emits small amounts of iron into your food, adding needed nutrients that boost energy and help strengthen the immune system. Totally chemical free.
  • You can use less oil: A well-seasoned pan is virtually non-stick, which means you can use less oil in your recipes, cutting down on the fat where desired.
  • Sturdy: You can use your silverware without fear, since cast iron does not scratch. You can drop it and it won’t be damaged. Cast iron takes abuse and still lasts.
  • Emergency-ready: You can use cast iron over any heating source, so even in a natural disaster, you’ve got a way to cook your food even over a fire.
  • AND WILL NEVER WARP! ITWIL ALWAYS MAINTAIN ITS SHAPE. Very important in aid in in even heat distribution

Lard versus all those wonderful trans fat products, Cisco, liquid vegetable oils, etc.

Jennifer McLagan points out in her celebrated book, “Fat a misunderstood ingredient”

Lard’s fat is mostly monounsaturated, which is healthier than saturated fat. And even the saturated fat in lard has a neutral effect on blood cholesterol. Not to mention that lard has a higher smoking point than other fats, allowing foods like chicken to absorb less grease when fried in it. And, of course, fat in general has its upsides. The body converts it to fuel, and it helps absorb nutrients, particularly calcium and vitamins.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New restaurant feature, review by Jim Baugh & Donna Bozza coming soon!

Just in time for Valentines! Donna and I will be doing a full restaurant feature on the historic Eastville Inn. Chef Brent Schmidt has been making new waves on the Eastern Shore as being among the finest dining anywhere. We will interview Brent and sample some of his favorite offerings. I have a feeling this is going to be the number one place to go for Valentines Day dinner, you may want to make your reservations soon! We are looking forward to writing this feature!

Monday, January 27, 2014

“Casey’s no name Hens”

Cornish Game Recipe, the BEST! It is called “Casey’s no name Hens”

Small bit of history here.

Over 25 years ago Nancy Baugh got an AWESOME recipe from her good friend named Casey.  We liked Casey and her husband Walter a lot, just great folks. Casey gave Nancy this recipe for game Cornish Game Hens and it is wonderful!!

When Nancy was pregnant with or second child, we could never agree on a name at all. The only name I really liked was Casey. I just thought it was a great name for a girl. But, Nancy said that she could not do that because she said her best friend is named Casey, so that name was taken.

The truth is our daughter was born and sitting on Nancy’s lap in the hospital without a name. So I said, “Casey is the only name I still like, what do ya think?” Nancy caved in and said yes, she would be a Casey. Sweetest girl ever! We love our Casey Baby!.

Turns out that 25 years later, my daughter Casey’s boyfriend is named Walter, just like the Casey and Walter of yesteryear. Pretty cool.

Here is the recipe for the best Cornish Game Hens you will ever have.

1\2 cup butter room temp
2 dry packs of onion soup mix
1\4 cup fresh chopped rosemary
1\4 cup brown sugar
1\4 cup walnuts
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large sweet potato
2 apples cut
1 box wild rice

Mix the butter, rosemary and soup packet into a paste. Rub the mixture inside and out of the Hens. Coat a deep pan also with the butter rub. Add the chopped apples and sweet potatoes into the dish then place the Hens in the center

Save some of the butter mix for basting while the Hen is baking.

Then take the walnuts, cinnamon, brown sugar and sprinkle all over the hens and potatoes. Bake at 375 for one hour and baste with butter sauce while cooking.

Serve hen overtop of wild rice with apples and sweet potato mixture on the side.

Never had a Hen taste so good in my life.

Thank you Casey, Casey, and Nancy. GREAT recipe!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Jim’s southern style homemade gravy for any poultry and beef

Jim’s southern style homemade gravy for any poultry and beef

The secret is out! Here it is folks. Hate to say I did not invent homemade gravy, someone else did hundreds if not thousands of years ago. However homemade gravy is a little bit of a lost art due to pre-packaged and bottle gravy. If you’re a conscience shopper like myself, you most likely will only spend 50 cents or maybe a buck on a package of instant powdered gravy. If you make it yourself homemade, not only does it taste unreal, but you save the buck!!! Here we go!

Basically what we are doing is making a Roux.


3\4 cup drippings, chicken or beef depending on what your cooking
1\2 cup wine
1 cup of water
1\2 cup of flower
Sea salt and pepper to taste.
Pinch of Onion and garlic powder
Cast iron skillet well seasoned.

Fist off, this is chicken gravy because the dish I made is a braised cast iron skillet pan seared leg quarters stuffed with apples and lemons seasoned with jerk seasoning and ginger mandarin orange dressing.

After the quarters are well braised on both sides I put all the liquid from the cast iron skillet into a large pan and then added the chicken to bake for an additional 25 minutes. To the pan I added one cup of wine.

Half way through baking the chicken, take out 3\4 cup drippings from the pan and start your gravy by putting the drippings back into the skillet, heat on medium and add the flour and wine stir constantly and then add the water salt and pepper.

Move the heat to high for a moment to get the sauce to begin to boil, stirring the entire time, then bring down heat to a simmer. Add more water if necessary until you get the thickness in the gravy you desire. If the sauce is too loose, just dust it with four to re- thicken.

Stir until there are no lumps in the gravy, let rest on low covered.

Use this same recipe for beef also. (use drippings from the beef) To the beef gravy I will add sautéed mushrooms and onions, truly fantastic!!!!

NOTE FOR MAKING SEAFOOD SAUCE: You can make a delicious seafood shrimp sauce by using he same recipe however for the drippings you would use water that you steam the shrimp in and add 1\2 stick of butter for the oil. Also juice of three lemons and pinch of fresh parsley. This sauce can be used with any seafood dish.

That is it, enjoy!!!!!!

Jim Baugh
Jim Baugh Outdoors TV