Saturday, September 07, 2019

The Ongoing Corned Beef Hash Experiments

     Current-production corned beef hash benefits from sprinkling a thin layer of flour in the skillet before adding the hash on top and carefully smoothing it out; there's enough grease* and water in the stuff that the flour naturally forms a nice, crunchy not-quite-piecrust.

     I have been wondering how cornmeal might do for that, or cornmeal and a little flour, that being the usual thing.  This morning, having found some actual cornmeal† on a shopping expedition, I resolved to try it.

     It works!  Cooks up just fine and goes very well with my hash, supercharged today with some snipped-up pickled cherry peppers and dehydrated minced onion.‡  An egg cooked on top and a little sprinkle of Italianate three-cheese mix before serving makes a nice treat!

     Cornmeal -- or even cornstarch -- might help tame the Mary Kitchen Sausage Hash, too; it's good but the sausage spice has a bit of an edge that could use some moderation. Anyway, it's another kitchen trick that comes in handy.
* Even with the flour substrate, I find myself applying paper toweling on edge around the hash several times during cooking, to soak up the excess grease.

† Our not-too-far-away Meijer stocks it.  Serving an interesting assortment of neighborhoods, they have four or five times as much shelf space devoted to flour as they do to cornmeal and cornmeal-containing mixes.  The flour sections were stocked almost to the edge; cornmenal was down to the last two or three rows, way at the back of the shelf.  That's what we call a "hint," Meijer; Indiana might be "up North" but an awful lot of our cookery isn't.

‡ Say what you will, dehydrated minced onion and celery are secret weapons in the kitchen, filling in flavor when fresh is unavailable or would require too much time or effort. Paprika will sub for sweet or slightly-hot peppers in a pinch and that's the "trinity" of Cajun soup, stew and sauce bases.  Throw a little filé at it and you're halfway there.

1 comment:

pigpen51 said...

I have never seen dehydrated celery. I will have to look for it. I use celery seed at times, but only when the texture won't be a problem. I think that perhaps if I got a mortar and pestle, and crushed them up, it would be a decent substitute. And that would probably help encourage me to experiment with other spices as well.
I actually went to one of our 2 Meijer stores Thursday, for a grocery trip. It has been awhile sense I have done an actual shopping expedition. My wife can shop, but she has bad knees and it is harder for her than it is for me, and so we make a list, based upon sales and then I do the actual grocery run.
We had some coupons for Meijer's and also she had a prescription there to pick up, and so I went there. I usually do our main shopping at our local Walmart, since it is at least 10 minutes closer. We noticed that the cost at Meijer's was noticeably more than at Walmart. I know that the proper thing for gun people is supposed to be to boycott Walmart, but the thing is, in the first place, I am on a fixed income, and I try to avoid spending more money than I have to. And as for boycotts, I am sort of ambivalent about them. I don't know that they do any good, and I don't figure that it is the best way to protest an action like Walmart just did. What they did is, in my opinion, not really going to have much effect on the gun debate as a whole.
While out there, I drove over to my local Dunham's store and bought 2 boxes of my carry ammo. I use Hornady XTP 9 mm. I thought it was on sale for 17.99$ per box of 25, but at check out, they were only 14.99$ per box. I was pretty happy. I saw that they have a box of 250 bulk rounds of Remington UMC fmj 9mm 115 grain for 44.99$. I just got the email today about that, and I am debating driving out there to pick up a bulk box of that. I know that I said I am on a fixed income, which is true. But I have a savings box in my dresser drawer that I add to each month, to allow for things like ammo, fishing licenses, hunting licenses, and other such things. I was able to buy a beginners model metal detector in July, with money I had saved up, I think I paid just short of 100$. I have a couple hundred saved up, but I usually try to plan before I buy anything with my mad money. I think that another 250 rounds will put me close to 1000 rounds total and then I that I will hold off for awhile.