Thursday, April 10, 2014

One moment, please. A bit about this new blog.

 I don't know about you, but online reviews of recipes on celebrated sites like Food Network aren't always very satisfying. Helpful, mostly -- but satisfying, no.

Let's face it, the reviewers rarely get down into the trenches to tell what you really need to know -- about the 12 trips to grocery store to get missing elusive ingredients (even after you checked) and the actual five ZILLION different pieces of cooking equipment used (and must be washed accordingly). 

Because I Said So Kitchen doesn't roll that way. It's the truth, and nothing but the truth. It's all about bad decisions, dirty kitchens and a recreational cook who mostly occasionally bites off more than she can chew with a recipe. And I'll tell you that you should like it -- or run away screaming like it was the food zombie apocalypse. And, of course, my word is final. 

Because I said so.

So, in this inaugural post, we are cooking a 4-pound fresh turkey breast in a crock pot. Look up campylobacter if you want to know how badly this could go.

Turkey Pot Roast, courtesy of Food Network Magazine

Spring is Schizophrenia Season at my house, the Nine One Four. I approach gardening with the same haphazard enthusiasm as I do cooking. As I result, I am constantly conflicted -- do I spend three hours in the kitchen whipping up something supposedly fantastic or do I use the same three hours inflicting bodily pain on myself assuming any number of awkward garden yoga positions to remove pine needles from the flower beds?
I have issues, people.

That's why the headline "20 New Slow Cooker Recipes" on the cover of this month's issue of Food Network Magazine caught my eye in the check-out line a week or so ago. (Well, that and "Deviled Eggs!!! Dozens of fun ideas" Their exclamation points, btw -- and it's 50 ideas to be exact.)

Into the shopping cart the magazine went.

And so, as a result, I found myself trying to wedge a 4-pound turkey breast into a crock pot at 10 a.m. Sunday morning.

Here are the Because I Said So Kitchen take-aways:

BISSK Note #1: The recipe allows for 30 minutes' prep time. Unless you have the knife skills of a Galactic Ninja, this just ain't so. There's a bit of cutting. And a bit of mixing. And, oh, there WAS that one unanticipated trip to store for paprika.

And WHO, aside from a Hungarian Magyar, RUNS OUT OF PAPRIKA in their lifetime?

That would be me. 

BISSK Note #2: This is a bowl-intensive recipe in the prepping stage. It teetered on DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! on the BISSK Clean-Up-o-Meter.
Dorot crushed garlic -- the gold standard of garlics among cooks tired of dealing with thyme.
BISSK Note #3: Fresh thyme. Love the flavor, but, fresh, the herb bugs the crap out of me. Please tell me how TV chefs make it look so easy when they strip thyme leaves off their stems. After one or two spectacularly unsuccessful passes, I just chopped everything together -- stems, leaves AND probably a trace or two of whatever we had for dinner the night before.

Complaint Department is on the 7th floor.
Everybody into the pool -- a rawther crowded pool at that.
BISSK Note #4: Cook time is 7 hours with the crockpot at low. And, despite all camplyobacter alarms my raised eyebrows, sure enough, at about 6 hours, the turkey's internal temp was reading just fine on the good ole' meat thermometer -- well on its way to being done in 7 hours. Take THAT, campylobacter !

 But. The potatoes were raw. Only I could cook potatoes. in a crock pot. for 6 hours. and end up with raw potatoes. Really? I guess that's what the microwave is for.

BISSK Wrap-up: It was a damn fine meal once we dealt with the raw potato situation: Turkey breast, one of the tenderest, juiciest I've eaten (High 5 in the Left-over Department). . . gravy, delicious (the worcestershire sauce/tomato paste combo is a sneaky, inspired idea -- it plays well with the thyme). . . and vegetables, a perfect throw-back Mom's-Sunday-pot-roast days.

BISSK rating: On a scale of 1 (Food Zombie Apocalypse) to 5 (Seconds, Please), Turkey Pot Roast, courtesy of the Food Network Magazine, gets 4.5 Paprika Cans.

Because I said so.


  1. Looks good! Are you branching out, or shutting down bermtopia? DZ

    1. Branching out. Bermtopia lives to fight another day.