Hotteoks Or Korean Donuts in the Park for After An Inline Skate Workout

Yeah.  I’m an Outlier.

One of those people who enjoys something you personally don’t or something you don’t expect that person should.

You know, the one person who listens to Classic Obscure Disco but not Bee Gees or Donna Summer in 2019.

Who is inline skating and regularly has workouts that burn a measured 1600 calories.

I’m the guy who prefers food from other cultures as well.

Heck, I’m driving a 16 year old Manual Transmission Jeep Wrangler because I LIKE it!

I could go on but I wear that Outlier tag with pride.

The thing is that I went out skating and found that while I was burning all those calories, I needed something to bring my blood sugar back to normal quickly.

So I made Korean Donuts again.  Hotteoks.  Again.

I think it is safe to say that I was probably the only person in my city plus some of the surrounding cities who makes these things.

I had “extra dough” when I was making Pizza for Memorial Day, so I thought this would be a perfect time to tame the Post Workout Blood Sugar Crash.  After all, food left in the car has to be temperature stable, won’t spoil, won’t spill, and so forth.

“Energy Bars” would work but they’re usually chock full of weird preservatives to make them “Shelf Stable”.

Hotteoks could sit on my Jeep’s passenger seat inside a plastic bag with my Skates and Pads while I go to my workout, and wait for when I need them there or inside my pack.

If you reduce it to the absolute minimum it’s a Cinnamon and Brown Sugar filling inside of a dough ball that is pressed into an oiled skillet until it is cooked, then flipped.  Two ingredients.

Sure, the dough has to be a good one.  Like almost everything here, I use my sister’s Pizza Dough recipe that is linked here.   I made that recipe on the dough cycle of my bread maker with 10 ounces of water.

The filling was a “common” teaspoon of packed Brown Sugar plus 1/2 measured Cinnamon. Cinnamon Sugar is traditional but you can use Jelly or Custard if you wish.

Consider it a way to make a Hot Pocket and stuff it with Pizza Fillings or your favorite Sandwich Fillings.   PB&J anyone?

I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Process:

  1. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Oil the cookie sheet so that the dough balls will not stick.
  3. Prepare your Pizza Dough.  Pat’s Pizza Dough works well in a Bread Machine.
  4. Divide the Pizza Dough into eight pieces.  This was 90 grams or about 3 ounces measured.
  5. Roll each piece of dough into a ball, then flatten to a palm sized disc.
  6. Spoon into the center of each dough disc One Teaspoon of Brown Sugar.
  7. Spoon on top of the Brown Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon.
  8. Turn the Hotteok into a dumpling by pinching the sides closed and rotating.
  9. Set the Hotteok onto the oiled cookie sheet with the pinched side down.
  10. Oil a skillet generously and heat to Medium.
  11. Put the Hotteok down onto the oil and press down with an oiled spatula allowing it to spread out.
  12. Cook the Hotteok until it is golden brown, then flip and repeat until both sides are done.
  13. Re-oil the spatula and skillet as needed and repeat for the rest of the Hotteoks.

Enjoy while warm or reheat in the microwave!

Oh and have a good workout, meet me on the trails and I’ll tell you the story of when …

Just found out I’ve got a twin brother… I’m beside myself.

See, this is the kind of thing I would have done.  It’s my weird sense of humor.

Little Johnny

Little Johnny’s next door neighbor had a baby. Unfortunately, the little baby was born with no ears. When they arrived home from the hospital, the parents invited Little Johnny’s family to come over and see their new baby.

Little Johnny’s parents were very afraid their son would have a wise crack to say about the baby. So, Little Johnny’s dad had a long talk with Little Johnny before going to the neighbors. He said, “Now, son…that poor baby was born without any ears. I want you to be on your best behavior and not say one word about his ears, or I’m really going to spank your butt when we get back home.” I promise not to mention his ears at all,” said Little Johnny.

At the neighbors home, Little Johnny leaned over the crib and touched the baby’s hand. He looked at it’s mother and said, “Oh, what a beautiful little baby!” The mother, who had braced herself for Johnny’s comment, was pleasantly surprised and said, “Thank you very much, Little Johnny.” He then said,” This baby has perfect little hands and perfect little feet.

Why, just look at his pretty little eyes! Did his doctor say he can see good? The mother a bit bewildered, hesitantly replies “Why, yes… his doctor said he has 20/20 vision, why do you ask?”

Little Johnny said, “Well, it’s a good thing, cause he’d be stuffed if he needed to wear glasses.”

If life gives you melons… You’re probably dyslexic.

A clean joke that is a bit edgy? Oh yeah, just read on!

 

An old lady decides to go to the new butcher shop that just opened in town

So she walks in, the butcher welcomes her with a big smile

– “Welcome, what can I do for you today”

– “I’ll need 400 grams of ham please”

The butcher goes to his ham, get his chopper, does a clear cut in one go, put it on the scale : 400.0g. The old lady says :

– “You got lucky here”

– “Please ma’am, I’m a professional”

– “Ok then, next I’d like 582 grams of lamb leg.”

The butcher smiles, goes to the lamb legs, chose one, rise his chopper and BAM, clear cut, put on the scale : 582g.

The old lady is impressed. At this moment, a man runs in the chop with a newborn in his arms and says :

– “My wife just gave birth in the car, and we need to know how much the baby weighs…”

– “I’d say 3.451 kg” says the butcher.

– ” No he is much smaller than that, I’d say 2.9kg max” replies the old lady.

So the butcher offers : “We’ll ask my apprentice to weigh the baby on our high precision scale, if he is under 3kg, you’ll get your meat for free. That way it will be fair”
He calls his apprentice from the back and asks him to take the baby to the scale outback and come back with his weight.

The apprentice takes the baby and goes to the back shop. He comes back 5 min later and says
– “882 grams !”

So everybody is like “Wait that’s impossible”
– “I swear ! 882 grams, emptied and boned !”

A Smart Dog to Knows What To Do With a Drunk

There is just something about having a smart breed of dog.

No matter what, they learn. If you allow them to, they will learn you.  They will focus on you like a laser.  They’re adaptable.

When I got my dog, Rack the McNab SuperDog (TM), his spirit was crushed.

His fear level was over the top, and the first time I ever moved a trash can with him along, he flattened on the ground and shivered.

He’s past that, well past that.

In fact he did something I saw my Lettie, the McNab and Border Collie cross do before him that shows just how well they watch.

You see, there are some breeders of dogs that have a closed mind.  A dog is for a task they will tell you.  If you don’t exhibit what their definition of that task is, then they won’t recommend that dog to you and may not sell you the dog.

Many herding breed dog breeders are that way.  I don’t agree with that at all.

Yes, a herding breed dog needs a job.  Actually, scratch that, ALL dogs need a job.  After all, deep down, a dog is a wolf in fancy clothes.

In our case, Rack’s job is me.  He treats me as a pack leader, or rather his pack leader, and his job is to watch over and support me in what I do.

Never sell a dog short, because if it does not live up to your expectations, it’s probably because you aren’t making your needs understood.

I’m at the point where if I speak to him in English, I simply expect him to understand.  I just have to make sure I use what I personally consider Dog Command Words and he will get them right.

He also speaks English.  As in, if I am saying to someone that I want to go to a specific place next, he goes there without being directed.

I was out walking him and we needed newspapers.  I said “Lets go to the drive and get them then”.

He did.  No muss and no fuss.

One of his favorite things in the world is a Ride In The Car!  As in I can’t say it strongly enough in text how much he likes a Ride in The Car.  He loses his mind.  I have to tell him “Sorry, you get to stay home and watch the house, Rack” to get him to calm down if he is not coming along.  Otherwise he does “math” to figure out whether he’s included if I go out.

The other morning, we went out for a walk an hour before sunrise.  That’s normal.  I have a set route.  I have a set routine.  We know it well.  If I say “you need your leash” he goes to his crate and waits for me to get the thing or he will come back there if I am standing there and flip the harness over his nose in order to get me going.

We left the block and headed into the darkness to the little M.E. DePalma Park near the house.

I’m walking in my pre-dawn haze and all the sudden Rack is in front of me and won’t move.

That is the herding dog signal for “Human, stop, danger is ahead”.

Lettie did it once and there was a wild animal up ahead.  She would not allow me to go until danger was past.

In this case, Rack spotted something very strange.

A Foot.

In the flowers.

Yes, a foot.

He told me I was not going somewhere until I acknowledged it.

“What the actual hell is this?”

Rack went Off Duty.

I realized it wasn’t just a disembodied foot.

It was a body.

Then I realized from 10 feet away, literally, it wasn’t a body, it was a person.   Male, under 40, about 5’10” in “Bar Clothes”.

Snoring.

Smelling a thick haze of alcohol from down wind, I realized that it was a drunk who passed out in the flowers in the park.  He was about 1000 feet from the bars, staggered off, found the park and collapsed into a drunken heap.

Don’t light a match, there will be an explosion level of Alcohol on the Wind.

I muttered to myself “All a part of living in a tourist area”, and then I touched the instep of his foot with my right boot.

Yes, bare foot.  His shoes had been knocked off and ended up somewhere else.  Maybe even back in the bar, who knows.

I have been trained in First Aid and maintained my certification for about 20 years.  There are courses for that and literally the first thing they tell you is that “You are under no obligation to act”.

So I acted.

Actually the drunk groaned, pulled his foot away, and rolled over.  Made a rather nice pillow out of the flowers there and went back to snoring.

Sheesh, yet another drunk.

Rack realized the danger had passed, and I was just… well I realized I wasn’t able to help him any more.

I left the guy to sleep it off.  It was an hour and a half to sunrise and I really didn’t want to try to help hoist some guy to his feet so he could sleep it off.

Besides, the sprinklers are scheduled to come on shortly in that park.  If he hasn’t awakened by then, the ground water would make sure he did.

“Rack come on, let him sleep it off.”

We left.  Rack had gotten bored with it all.  The drunk was in what I felt was a safe place for the time being, and we had our own drama to finish with.

After all, you can’t fix stupid.

If you want to live your life like a Jimmy Buffett song where you “threw off your flip flops” in a park in South Florida, just make sure it’s a safe spot to pass out.

We went on our way.   “Come on Rack let’s go”.

Off we went.

My morning walk is a 30 minute loop around town.  We came, We saw, We watered a tree or three, and We came back.

But Rack, knew what I was saying when I said “Let’s go to the park”.  He took me right there.

The drunk tourist had moved on, as did the sprinklers.

When I said “Ok, we’re done, lets go home and get you your food.” He looked up at me.

“Hungry, boy?”  With a wag or three, he knew where to go.  Back home.  No more drunks, we’re done.

Don’t you hate it when they put a movie in between my TV adverts.

I seem to have picked up a couple food-oriented followers since lately I’ve been on a food bend. The method and technology behind it all can be quite interesting, after all.

Just tweak your process just a bit and you have a totally different dish. That is especially obvious when cooking pork.

You can go from BBQ Pulled Pork, which is one of my favorites, to shoe leather just in a matter of degrees of cooking.

It used to be that you always had to cook pork well because the production methods in the US meant you had to cook out any nasties that were in the meat. Since the farmers cleaned up their act, even the government has dropped the recommended temperature for cooking lean pork depending on the cut.

I was researching recipes and found one that recommended 110F for a first cook of a pork chop in a crock pot, then follow up by a sear to bring internal temp to 135F and a rest to serve it at 140F.
A bit surprising to me when you consider that I come from the generation that thought that a pork chop was meant to be shoe leather, and therefore we would pass.
A bit of a long lead in for a story about a pig farmer isn’t it?

My buddy, who’s a pig farmer, was having some marital troubles. His wife was threatening to leave him.

He called me up and asked my advice. I said “look I’m a chef, why don’t I come over and cook you both an incredible breakfast from the produce from your farm, and we can talk things through over a delicious meal”. He agreed and I headed over.

The breakfast was perfect, and the conversation was long but cathartic. They seemed to iron some issues out and I left the room a couple of times so they could be alone.

He eventually came out and said “thanks so much, I really think we’ve turned a corner after today. I don’t have much to give you as a thank you, but as a token of my appreciation, please take this bag of salt-cured pork. ”

I’m happy to say I saved his bacon.

When someone says hold your horses… They’re telling you to be stable

I grew up in a large suburb. It felt a bit sterile at times.

I moved to a large city. It was nice but most certainly what you make of it.

Moving to what I consider a small town, It can be interesting. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

 

 

Tom, fresh out of law school, got a job in a small town

The first day on the job he was shown around the town by his boss Paul. At the end of the tour he asked his boss where he could buy alcohol should he want any to which Paul replied: “Well, around here we make our own, have you ever tried moonshine?”

“No, but that’s illegal, aren’t you afraid of being caught?” asked Tom. “Everyone here does it, so we don’t worry to much about that” Paul said.

Tom nodded to the grocery store where the manager was out front, “You’re telling me he makes moonshine?” “Of course” replied Paul, “Where do you think we get our supplies?”

Tom pointed to the carshop nearby with a mechanic taking a smoke outside, “And he makes moonshine as well?” “Of course” replied Paul, “Who do you think sets up and repairs the equipment for us?”

Tom pointed to the bakery where a sweet old lady was making cookies, “What about her?” “Of course” replied Paul, “Who do you think made the recipe perfect?”

Amused, Tom pointed to the priest who was watering the front lawn of the church, “Surely the priest doesn’t make moonshine?” “Of course” replied Paul, “Sunday School is where the young ones learn it. They’re the biggest producers in town”

At that moment the Sheriff passed them in his patrol car, and Tom looked at Paul and asked “Of all people, the sheriff doesn’t make moonshine does he? “No no no… Of course not.” replied Paul. “He buys his from me”.

Skip The Stone, You Really Need a Pizza Steel For a Crispy Crust

I’m on a pizza “jag” lately.

Yesterday, Saturday, I made a pizza.  That in itself isn’t all that out of the ordinary.  It was so good that I was requested to make yet-another one.

I tell people that I make the best pizza on the island, and that is not me breaking my own arm by patting myself on the back.  Of course it is a bit of a Co-Evolutional comment – I make what I consider the best pizza because it is what I like.

But.

I have also been making this since I was a teenager and constantly refining the results.  The first meal I ever made for someone else after moving out of Mom’s House was a pizza for my then college roommate in the dorms at the university.   It’s been onward and upwards ever since.

The crust and the sauce have their own recipes here on my blog.  A proper Neapolitan pizza is simple.  Crust, a sauce made of reduced tomatoes with minimal seasoning, mozzarella cheese, and cooked in a high temperature oven until the cheese just begins to toast.

Anything else is embellishment to your own personal standards.

But that temperature is important since you have to get the heat up high enough to basically toast the bottom, even fry it, and get a crispy bottom.

I hate a soggy bottom.

I have tried Pizza Stones and they don’t stand up to my own abuse.   Since they are usually an un-glazed terracotta, the second time you use them, the water you used to clean it the last time begins to boil, expand, and it will begin it’s journey to cracking.   I get about 3 uses out of a stone.

Living in Florida, keeping anything sterile is imperative since you don’t want creatures coming in and dining off your cookware.   Ants, and worse.

So that Pizza Steel?

Yeah, that.

If you don’t have one, or have an idea what it is, you can substitute an old school cast iron skillet.  I would say a minimum of 9 inches, 22 CM or so.

If my math is right.  Bigger if you have it.

The skillet must not have anything other than bare metal and “seasoning”.  Plastic, Wood, non stick coatings are all forbidden.   You will be cooking your pizza as hot as you can get the oven, 500F/260C or more.   Even a backyard grill can be used.   Anything THAT hot will catch fire, burn, scorch.

Leave the “Teflon” and other coatings alone.   Oil your surfaces well.

But what is a Pizza Steel?

Simply put it is a cookie sheet sized sheet of cast iron that is as thick as grandma’s cast iron skillet.   It is “bigger” than the skillet and that is the benefit.   It gives you the room to grow.    Room to roam and roll out your dough.

They are flexible, this isn’t just a kitchen gadget that sits rusting in a corner until you want a pizza next month.  If they are large enough, a proper pizza steel can be used to make eggs, pancakes, and other items as a griddle.   They even benefit from the use since they need to be seasoned like any other cast iron implement with oil.

How I use mine?

First, I cheat.  I lay out aluminum foil on the steel to give me a work surface.   Removing the foil that is now marked up to size, I oil up the steel and the foil.  It’s a bit overkill but I want to make sure the bottom of my crusts are nice and crispy, like a cracker.  If I have done it right, the pizza and the foil slide off the steel when I need them out of the oven, then the foil will allow the pizza to simply slide off the oil and corn meal like a cushion.

Second I use corn meal.   I dust the oiled aluminum foil with a generous layer of corn meal to give it a nice non stick surface.  That allows the pizza to roll off the foil like it is on a bed of ball bearings.

Third, I roll the crust out to size.  This is important because since I use a yeast-risen dough I have to give it time to rise.  Once to size, I slide the foil and crust back on top of the steel, close the oven and turn on the light.   Yes, cold oven.  One or Two hours later, the yeast has risen, the oven is a warm day by the sea for them, and you get a nice thickness.

Finally to cook the thing.   Slide the risen pizza crust onto an inverted cookie sheet and build your pizza.   Sauce, Cheese Mix, and Toppings.  My cheese comes premixed but I add more freshly grated Parmesan and a little Feta for sharpness.   Typically I add only Mushrooms and some chopped Basil on top but that varies.

The Pizza is now done, waiting to cook on the cookie sheet and foil.  The oven is closed and heated as hot as I can get it.  500F is the marking on the oven, but the oven’s thermostat stopped being accurate well before we bought the house in 2006.

Allow the oven time to come to temperature, and the thermal mass of all that cast iron in the Pizza Steel will take time to warm.   Allow a little extra time since you want that steel to be “good and hot”.

When you are ready, you can put the Cookie Sheet next to the Steel and pick up the “leading edge” of the foil.  Slide that soon to be pizza onto the very hot pizza steel making very sure not to burn your hand.

At this point I have found in my own oven that 6 minutes at 500F Plus will give me the results I want – slightly caramelized and toasted cheese, a crispy bottom, and a wonderful meal.

Yes, I’m obsessed, but I do make the best pizza in town.  Yes, better than that shop.  And the one on the corner.  Oh and the sauce is better too.

So there.  Good luck.  It just takes prep work.