Let’s Look At Sourdough


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I know. Its been a while. But it has been a learning session. Making sourdough starter, bread and pancakes. But it has been an exciting adventure and a real learning experience. Started out with a basic

Sourdough Starter https://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Sourdough-Starter.pdf, then Sourdough Bread https://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Mixer-Sourdough.pdf, and finally Sourdough Pancakes, made from the discarded starter, https://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Sourdough-Discard-Pancakes.pdf

16Mar20-23_1_Captains Shack_Sourdough Starter

The starter, in my opinion, must be active, bubbly and smell somewhat “sour”. It is the starter is what gives the bread it’s name – Sourdough Bread or Pancakes, Cookies, Bagels or a host of other baked goods their name. The starter pictured here is my starter and you can see how it has doubled in size and is nice and bubbly. Thee rubber band around the jar marks the level at the start and then one can “see” how the starter has grown, or not. The starter is not especially difficult to do, but it does take some time and persistence to create. Check the recipe above to see how it is done, but don’t be intimidated by it.

23Mar2023_CaptainsShack_Mixer Sourdough from Oven

This is the bread right after it came out of the oven. The recipe link above has two different baking techniques listed. Personally I like the 500 degree F temperature best, but either one will work fine. See the recipe above. The crust could be a little browner, but not much more.

23Mar2023_2_CaptainsShack_ Sourdough Crumb

Here is the loaf after it has cooled and is partially sliced. Notice the crumb – the “holes” – in the surface and the color of the crust. Love the flavor from the starter. The interior is soft, but not gummy.. The crust is crunchy, but you won’t break any teeth on it. It is somewhat crunchy. However, it could be a little more crunchy.

And finally, we have one, of many uses, for the starter discard. Sourdough Pancakes. But you can also make cookies, bagels, rolls, etc. There are many recipes on the web, but the one I like is PantryMama, http://www.pantrymama.com. Many recipes there, but more importantly, much useful information and help in solving sourdough problems. You can also find help on Facebook.

So there you go! It was a long 5 weeks or so to gather, read and then produce this bread. It was a long process, but well worth it. And then too, I had a lot of personal help from friends and relatives. I want to Thank each and everyone who gave me assistance. Have fun with these recipes. It might be a new adventure, but a fun one. just remember – Temperatures are extremely important, so follow them closely. And please don’t use cups or ounces. Rather use an inexpensive digital scale that reads in tare and grams. They range from about $20 to well mover $100. The brand I use is Escali, for about $30 and it works just fine.  And please too, use a 10 quart Cast Iron pan with lid.

A Little Variation of Eggs Benedict


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(Click on the image to see it enlarged)

Every once in a while, one comes across a variation to a classic recipe or style. This one I was dubious of. Who wants to tamper with a classic Eggs Benedict? It took me about a week to build up the courage to do so and I was pleasantly surprised. This really isn’t bad. A change.

Using a basic and classic Hollandaise Sauce (https://www.rockinrs.com/CIA-Basic-Hollandaise.pdf ) some lightly toasted Jewish Rye or Marbled Rye can be used also, some ham – I used a thin sliced Black Forest Ham – poached eggs and asparagus with diced caramelized spring onions and their greens (put uncooked diced green onion and greens on the Hollandaise, which I forgot to do, so I put them with the asparagus).

Just a note on making a Hollandaise Sauce – Use fresh eggs, the fresher the better from your local farmer – and I used large or jumbos, which ever is available. But most important is to keep the temperature in your double boiler to 130 degrees F or lower!!! The sauce is likely to break making scrambled eggs if you don’t watch the temperature.

Have a good time with this if you make it. You can vary your Eggs Benedict anyway you want.

Saint Jacques au Saffron


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Saint Jacques au Saffron (Scallops with saffron)

We had an awesome experience this past week and that was we had an awesome dinner at Bacquet’s Restaurant in Eagle, Idaho.We have been there before and it was superior then. It still is. We had more than the scallops pictured above, much more. But these, at least in my opinion, stood out. The food and the restaurant is easily deserves a 5-Star rating. Service was outstanding as was the food. If you  are in the Boise area, Google the restaurant to find it and make reservations! (1117 E Winding Creek Dr, Eagle, ID 83616  (208) 377-6238) I asked for permission to use the recipe, and Michele Holly, Manager, was happy to give me permission to use the recipe. So here is a link to the recipe. https://www.rockinrs.com/St-Jacques-Scallops.pdf  This recipe is not for the faint-of-heart home cook, but it is doable. Just take your time and follow the recipe.

The recipe calls for U10 scallops, so here is an explanation of just what that means. U10 size: Jumbo scallops are a dry scallop. All cold water ocean scallops have a succulent sweet texture and are 100% white meat. What does u-10 mean? It means that there are less than 10 scallops in a pound, and they are perfect for sauteing and broiling! These wild, jumbo sized Sea Scallops are harvested off the coast of Chatham, Massachusetts. Their size ensures a tender, succulent texture with loads of sweetness and just enough briny salinity to be both refreshing and satiating.

3 Delicious Meals


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captains-shack-pipe-signed-Walkway-LMPOver the past several weeks, we have made some really good meals. Potato Latkes for one (https://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Latkes.pdf), Hopping John, aka Hoppin’ John, (http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Hopping-John.pdf) and an East Coast style Crab Dip (http://www.rockinrs.com/Marges-Crab-Dip.pdf). Potato latkes are a traditional Chanukah dish,Hoppin’ John is a traditional southern, New Year’s Day meal with ham hocks and black eyed peas (cow peas) and a superb East coast style crab dip. I do hope you enjoy these.

30Dec2022_1_Captains Shack_Latkes Frying

From Chabad.com we learn that,

“Latke (pronounced LOT-keh, LOT-kah or LOT-kee) is Yiddish for “pancake.” On Chanukah, it is traditional to serve latkes (most often potato) fried in oil to celebrate the Chanukah miracle, which involved the oil of the Temple menorah lasting for eight days instead of just one. Those of the Jewish faith, eat foods that reflect the significance of a holiday—such as matzah on Passover and apples dipped in honey on Rosh Hashanah and Chanukah is no exception. For at least the last thousand years, Jews have traditionally eaten oily foods on Chanukah.” In other words, it’s tradition.

5Jan2023_1_Captains Shack_Hoppin John Cooks

Hoppin’ John, on the other hand, is a traditional southern United States dish that is usually eaten on New Year’s Day to bring good luck. The recipe, although not totally like this one, dates back to the early 1800s and is made with ham, or ham hocks, black eyed peas (cow peas), rice, bacon and collard greens, or if you want spinach or rainbow chard. The first written recipe appeared in “the Carolina Housewife” in 1847. It was written by Charlestonian Sarah Rutledge.

5Jan2023_1b_Captains Shack_Marge Crab Dip


This third dish is actually an appetizer. We originally had it at the home of my brother and his wife. I love it! Full of blue crab and I have added the salad shrimp and green onion. It is probably best to make it and then refrigerate it for a while so as to let all the flavors “marry”. Chilling after making, brings out the sweetness and flavor of the blue crab. Chilling brings out the Taste of The Sea, Goût de la mer.

I hope you try some, or all, of these recipes. All are good and fun to prepare, even though the Hoppin’ John is a little involved to make, but not impossible.

To Chew or not to Chew? To Peel or not to Peel? Those are the questions.


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So now I am confronted with a dilemma. First, how many times do I chew a bite before I swallow? 5 times? 10 times? 20 times? 30 times?

And the second part of the dilemma is do I peel potatoes, carrots and tomatoes before I use them in a recipe?

My sources for this article are varied and it has taken a while to research the questions. My sources include, but are limited to thekitchn, healthline, intestinal.com and others. Most of the many resources reiterate

the answers, so I have chosen and condensed the articles to create this post. I do hope you find the information helpful and healthy.

Let’s start with chewing.Chewing creates more digestive enzymes in the saliva and are helpful in breaking down food further and to aid in digestion. Chewing also triggers the stomach to produce more hydrochloric acid and regulating the pH to assist in food breakdown. When you chew your food properly, the food gets broken down into smaller pieces and mixes with saliva to extract the greatest amount of nutrients,

If you are not chewing your food thoroughly, you are likely eating to quickly which can lead to over eating. The metabolic syndrome is marked by obesity, high cholesterol levels, blood pressure problems and glucose levels to high. Metabolic Syndrome can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain cancers. (Dr. Supriya Rao, MD, Gastroenterology Consultants)

If you don’t chew your food enough, it could lead to bloating, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux, cramps, nausea, headaches, skin problems, irritability, malnutrition and a over production of gas. Eating more fermented foods, sauerkraut and pickles for instance, will produce more digestive enzymes and beneficial bacteria. They can reduce symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, gluten intolerance, allergies and asthma. 

It is strongly that you chew your foods a minimum of 32 times! When I site in restaurants and around our table at meal time, I count my chews and everyone else. Mine, and my wifes, are right around 30+ chews before we swallow. I can’t say that for the people I am watching. 5 times, 10 times and swallow. So my question is: How can they possibly say they enjoyed their meal? They can’t! It’s your choice. Choose wisely.

Tomatoes, Carrots and Potatoes. To peel or not to peel?

By leaving the peels on the listed vegetables, and there are others too, The peels contain soluble and insoluble fiber, and both are important components of a healthy diet and add to the flavor of most dishes. Those vegetables that should be peeled, the peels are tough and hard to eat, are kabocha ( a sweet squash variety in the Cucurbitaceae family, related to gourds and pumpkins). Professional and home chefs cherish Kabocha for its exceptionally sweet flavor. Kabocha is considered to be even sweeter than butternut squash), red kuri (Red kuri squash is a small or medium sized winter squash with a hard, orange skin that can be used in all kinds of sweet and savory recipes), celery root and kohlrabi. Generally, unpeeled produce contains higher amounts of vitamins, minerals and other useful compounds, whereas peeled vegetables have had these compounds removed. Interesting to know that potatoes that are boiled or cooked with the skin on contain 332% more vitamin K, 142% more potassium, 111% more folate and 110% more magnesium and phosphorus than peeled potatoes. And fruits can contain 328 times more antioxidants in the peels than in the pulp. The peels can increase your intake of these nutrients when eaten with the pulp.

Tomato peels contain flavanols, a plant-based antioxidant and are linked to age related complications, i.e., lower risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Lycopene, a major source of antioxidants, is found in the tomato skins. If the skins of tomatoes are offensive to you, that is bitter, use a submersible hand blender to completely grind the skins into fine “bits”. The liquid will then be like a passata. 

So there you have some information on fruits and vegetables. Use the information as you wish. If you question anything related to this article, please contact me and I will answer your questions. Thanks.

Tri-Tip Grilled


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We had a great time this past week, developing some recipes and grilling. Never have done a Tri-Tip, so it is time to dive in! And this one was superb. Great grill taste and smoke that did not overpower the beef, as smoking does. Good smoke ring and cooked, I think, to perfection. Juicy and succulent and medium rare. Here is the recipe we came up with. Enjoy! http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Grilled-Tri-Tip.pdf And to go along with the BBQ, one needs to have a good BBQ Sauce. I prefer a KC Style sauce and here is what I came up with. Enjoy with your BBQ. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-BBQ-Sauce.pdf

BP-9Sept2022_1e_Captains Shack_Tri Tip

Here is the Tri-Tip on the grill with some roasted corn.

BP_16 Sept 2022_1a_Caaptains Shack_Tri Tip Sliced

This is the sliced Tri-Tip. Good color and smoke ring.

BP_16 Sept 2022_1b_Captains Shack_Tri Tip Plated

Dinner is plated with the Roasted Corn and the BBQ Sauce.

I know from our FB page and from the emails I have received, that folks are interested in some information about a Tri-Tip. So here is some. From steakschool.com,

Tri tip is a triangular cut of beef cut from the bottom of the sirloin. Named after its triangular shape with a tapered “tip”, tri tip might just be one of the most flavourful cuts of meat that you’ve never heard of.

Often confused with brisket or picanha, tri tip is most popular in southern California, so you can be forgiven if you’ve never come across it before. It is also called a California cut, a bottom sirloin butt, a Newport steak, a Santa Maria steak or even referred to as a “poor man’s brisket”. But unlike brisket – which comes from the front of the cow, below the chuck – tri tip is actually considered a steak.

Tri tip dates back to early 19th century America, where it was a write-off and ground up to be used in hamburger meat. It wasn’t until the 1950s when Bob Schutz, the then-owner of Santa Maria Market, upon receiving an excess of hamburger meat, decided to prepare and eat it like a steak. The result was well received and the rest, as they say, is history.

Hope you enjoy this. Please let us know. Thanks.

Some Meals to Contemplate


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Sorry it has been so long since the last post. But things have been hectic. So now here are some meals that we have been working on. Some are using leftovers and therefore no real recipe. Others have recipes and posted with the photo of the meal. Hope you enjoy these. Let’s start with breakfast.

bp-12Aug2022_1_Captains Shack_Eggs Polenta

We had some Idaho produced polenta in the refrigerator so why not some Fried Polenta, Sausage Linjks and Basted eggs? That’s what we had. All very basic, except you might want to prepare the polenta on medium low heat to prevent burning. The eggs were basted – fry until whites are set then add water and a clear lid to steam the eggs. Only takes a minute or too. Found it works best with butter in the pan and not an oil.

Then there were what we like to call Eggs on Pillows. Basted eggs on “pillows” of fresh made hash browns.  And then served with sausage links. Again, not difficult to make.

Now. Let’s move to dinners.

Nothing says one can not have a salad for dinner. Try this modified Caprice Salad, for example. Basically, a Caprice Salad -tomato, mozzarella cheese and lots of fresh basil. Then I added black olives and I had to use mozzarella string cheese – all I had. Then added celery and hard cooked eggs. and olive oil for a dressing. It worked. Different, but yummy!

And for dinner, a Tuscan Fried Chicken using Italian herb mix and some  of our Herbs de Provence, http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Herbs.pdf Topped each piece with some fresh basil. It was really good.


And then how about a Native American dish I called Totanka Stew. Totanka is Sioux for buffalo. The stew is a great one and we like it better than a beef stew. The buffalo was a sliced hump roast and the cut to bite sized pieces. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Totanka-Stew.pdf Not difficult to make, just takes a little time.

And for dessert, Robin loves the Shortbread Cookies. Again, not hard to do, just takes a little time. Sometimes I even add roasted pecans, but not always. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Pecan-Shortbread-Cookies.pdf

So there you go. Some fun meals to try. Enjoy!

It’s Been A Good 2 Weeks


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First of all. I made it to 80 the first of April and I thank all who helped me make it an awesome day! Parma Ridge Bistro and Winery for a super great dinner as always and the German Chocolate Cake! And Marnie and Eric for opening their house and the Open House. Thank you one and all!

The kitchen has been slow and moderately successful. If I must throw away “leftovers” then that tells me that it was not especially liked. But that’s just my opinion. So lets start with the German Chocolate Cake and homemade Cupcakes. Thank you Stephanie and Michelle. And a very special thank you to the Love of My Life, Robin – you always make these time so special!

German Chocolate Cake from Parma Ridge Winery and Bistro http://www.parmaridge.wine/
Special Occasion Sweets by Michelle Smith, our Granddaughter-In-law Anna Shanner’s sister.

Now for the dinners. One of the better ones was a Salmon Papillote. Eric caught the Kokanee 2 days prior ton the meal and it was delicious! Moist and succulent.

Salmon Papillote right from the oven.
Salmon Papillote plated with a Green Salad and Carrots and Broccoli cooked in the papillote

And next there was an Indian Style Butter Chicken, a Rachael Ray treat that I “tweaked” somewhat. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Butter-Chicken.pdf. I added Kashmir Curry Powder that we make ourselves, which cuts the heat spice, somewhat. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Kashmir-Curry-Powder.pdf I also added some Sake. Here it is.

Indian Style Butter Chicken

And finally, we had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs leftover from the Butter Chicken, so I made some Chicken Rice Soup and I really liked it.

Homemade Chicken Rice Soup

So there you have some of the menus we had in the past week or so. The “not so popular” ones are not included. But enjoy these. I did. There is no recipe for the papillote. From Wikipedia, “En papillote (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ papijɔt]; French for “enveloped in paper”), or al cartoccio in Italian, is a method of cooking in which the food is put into a folded pouch or parcel and then baked. This method is most often used to cook fish or vegetables, but lamb and poultry can also be cooked en papillote. It is a combination cooking method of baking and steaming.

The parcel is typically made from folded parchment paper but other material, such as a paper bag or aluminum foil, may be used. The parcel holds in moisture to steam the food. The pocket is created by overlapping circles of paper or foil and folding them tightly around the food to create a seal.

The moisture may be from the food itself or from an added moisture source, such as water, wine or stock. The choice of herbs, seasonings and spices depend on the particular e being prepared.

The parcel can be opened at the table to allow people to smell the aroma when it opens.”

“Chopped” In the Kitchen


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It is always fun to see what is in the refrigerator or in the kitchen, in general. This week was no different. No particular recipe, “Just Do-It!”. And I don’t usually post an advertisement within a post. But there are exceptions. This is one of them. “Oma & Popies” is very local to Boise, and is very good. But, Swiss Hibiscus, https://swisshibiscus.com/made-in-portland-oregon is a superb dressing and is totally produced in Portland, Oregon. You can call them at (503) 477-9224 and place an order, or use the link. If you are in Portland, or in the area, their address is 4950 NE 14th Ave, Portland, OR, 97211. This dressing is great on salads, but I like to dip French Fries in it or use it on baked salmon. Yum-O! OK. Enough of the ads (They don’t know I have this blogged!)

BP_30Mar2022_1d_Captains Shack_AF Fried Chix and Cabbage

Daughter Marnie, said she had some chicken and would make dinner. There was some cabbage that needed to be used so she made this delicious AirFryer Chicken with steamed cabbage. It was delicious!

There was some sea scallops – those are the big ones – and large, 16-20 count, shrimp, parsley and parmigiano that was begging to be used. So how about making a Scallop and Shrimp Alfredo. Easy one pot meal. Made it with fettuccini and and some white wine and served with chopped parsley.

Wife Robin asked for Chicken Fried Steak one night. Had some steak that needed to be used and some crushed saltines (won’t use saltines twice for this!), but they did not adhere to the steak like I wanted. Served with baked potato and peas and carrots. Good, but not Earth shattering.

And finally, meatloaf. Hard to find a good meatloaf. This was good, but a little too loose. This is what the crushed saltines were originally used for. A cup of milk in the mix is a little to much. Need to cut back to a half cup. Flavors were good. The salad was some canned beets from last summer, spinach and lettuce blend and had cooked eggs. All-In-All, a good, flavorful dinner. http://www.rockinrs.com/CS-Meatloaf.pdf

Some More Dishes to Try


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Here are two really good meals we made. At least they’re good in my humble opinion. I liked them. The Fettuccini Alfredo our daughter found a basic recipe, but it looked a little bland, so I “adjusted” it a little. Added dried morels that were rehydrated in some white wine and added basil and fresh garlic. It was tasty. And the 2nd dish was Stuffed Peppers and i do like a good stuffed pepper. But Robin can not eat them. The last dish was 5 Hour Roasted Duck, which we all love! Take a look.


Fettuccini Alfredo

This was really a good dinner. As I stated above, I adjusted it. I used Half and Half instead of milk and added some white wine to the Alfredo. It was rich and smooth. Awesome flavor levels. Just be careful when adding the Half and Half that you don’t scorch it. Keep stirring gently. And I have never cooked pasta like this either. It worked fine.. (See the recipe) And too, I broke the dry pasta in half before adding to the pan. Easier for all to eat. Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Stuffed Pepper

This was a great pepper. The pepper was cooked, but still somewhat “crunchy”, but not raw. The flavor levels were great. Not over powered by the herbs or a strong green pepper taste. If you are making one, and use a larger cooking dish, try using different colored peppers – green, red, orange or whatever is available. And then serve them in the cooking dish. There was just me eating this, so I cooked it in a Pâté pan, as pictured. Worked well.

5 Hour Roasted Duck

We all like duck. But it can be greasy. So if you like duck, try this one. 5 Hour Roasted Duck. It definitely is not difficult to do. Just takes a while. 5 hours! So plan ahead! Stewed the neck and any leftover vegetable parts and reduced it down to create the gravy. Use some pan drippings and wine, too. An awesome gravy. Serve with peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy and thinly sliced fruit, left from stuffing the duck. While the duck is resting, cover it with aluminum foil to keep it warm. And as a note, we have tried this with a goose, but it was not as good.

So threr you have it. Try them all and let us know how it turned out. Guten Abend!