Friday, December 31, 2010

Fish Sandwich w/a Twist

Battered and deep fried Flounder Fillets served on a nice roll with dill pickles, mayo, tomatoes, avocado, and Tapatio hot sauce. At least a 9!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Simply The Best Beef For A Crowd

What would your choice of beef be if you were cooking for a crowd? The BEEF CHUCK SHOULDER CLOD is always what works for me and the good news is it usually only cost a couple bucks a pound and weighs in at around 20 lbs (38 bucks for this one). You just can't beat fork tender ROAST BEEF and plenty of it. Here's a step by step including times (I hardly ever succeed in making myself keep notes but this time I managed to jot it down on the "things we're out of" list on the fridge. I cook this just like a brisket and injected it with Kosmos beef marinade and rubbed it with Traeger Prime Rib Rub just before starting the cook. At 10:00am Christmas Eve I put it on the Traeger after a 30 min hot sear on the grill I have called the Portable Kitchen. The searing was just something I wanted to try and although this beef was the best so far I'm still not really sure if that sear is necessary. The cooker was set to 225 and I waited till 12:30 to insert the remote probe, the meat was at 104 at that time. The cooker cruised right around it's set temp until 6:45pm when it finally reached 165. I see no reason to burn pellets, charcoal, or wood when finishing meat wrapped in foil when I'm a few steps from them kitchen so after adding a couple of cups of beef broth and foiling it was into the oven to continue cooking at 225 until it reached 185 at 10:00pm. Rested for 3 hrs while I napped and then I separated it into parts that I thought would make nice slices and let it cool a little more before slicing. Btw the only thing I have found to worry about when slicing this is the flat iron which you can see on the left front of the first pic which needs to be separated once the roast is cooked and sliced cross wise. After getting it sliced and into a serving pan I strained the broth into a container and put that and the meat into the fridge till morning. A couple of hours before time to serve I skimmed the fat off the Au Jus and added worchester sauce and black pepper while heating, then drizzeled about a qtr cup over the meat reserving the rest for the table, re-covered the meat and heated at 275 till warm. In addition to the Au Jus I made some FLUFFY HORSERADDISH SAUCE with heavy whipping cream. The meat was so fork tender and beefy good you just did not want to stop eating it. I asked at the table if anyone would rather have it cooked more rare and it was unanimous that they preferred it just like it was.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Lamb & Shrimp Kabobs w/Cilantro Gremolata

This is one of the very few times that I made something and didn't like it. I didn't like the Kabobs or the Gremolata. The lamb was a couple of thin shoulder steaks and that didn't lend well to cooking it rare and that's the way I like lamb. I like wrapping Pork Loins and Tenderloins in bacon but will never wrap Kabobs with bacon again, shrimp or lamb. Thankfully I only wrapped a portion of the lamb and shrimp. I think I could get into Gremolata but it would have to be with Parsley and not Cilantro as this just didn't do anything for me at all. I also rushed it off the grill and that did not help things either.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Homemade Speagetti Sauce

I made this from home grown and canned tomatoes and I plan to try to remember during the hieght of tomato season next year to make large batches to cold pack. I had forgotten how easy making your own can be and how much better it is than store bought. We used some of the fantastic Benton's smoked bacon and several anchovie fillets. With fresh from the garden tomatoes and fresh rather than dried herbs, plenty of onion and garlic it should be so good you could put some on a piece of bread and be happy. OBTW ths brussel sprouts are fresh from the garden and we just added them to the pasta pot - just didn't want them to go bad.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New To Me Fish Sandwich

I'm always looking for something easy to fix for supper that I have not tried and this certainly fit the bill and it was real tasty. I don't know why but just having fish at home anytime is unusual for us, and a fish sandwich even more so, and a baked fish sandwich even more so still. I can blame the Haystack Onions for all this because a few days ago I saw some kind of sandwich served with those on top and I knew I would be fixing some kind of sandwich with those on top but never thought it would be fish. Home made tarter sauce with sweet pickle, onion, capers, and lemon and those addictive onions made this sandwich kinda special.

Now I want another one. Click the pic for full screen view.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Chili Stuffed Peppers

I decided to take some leftover brisket and make chili with it then mix it with rice and stuff a couple of bell peppers that were about to go to waste. I baked the peppers in a pan of water and let them cool first, while they were cooling I put the meat in a non stick pan and got some browning on them before pouring a cup of expresso in the pan to cook the meat till it was very tender. Added the usual chili ingredients (always include several chipotles in adobo) and let simmer while the rice was cooking then mixed in the rice and stuffed the peppers and topped each pepper with pepper jack cheese. Since it was time for breakfast and not a thing in the kitchen for breakfast, I decided to take some of that chili and rice and add an egg on top and call that breakfast and it worked just fine for me.

Stuffed Pork Tenderloins

This was what I was asked to cook for the hen party, I mean baby shower the other day. They must like it a lot cuz I think this is the third time I've done these for them. I take some home made dried apples and spice em with some cinnamon, brown sugar, and balsamic vinegar and lemmon juice first and use Pepper Jack for the cheese and then wrap with bacon. Smoked them at 325 for about an hour till they hit 155. Easy peasy.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Sue's niece Samantha (Sam) is having a baby shower tomorrow so Sue's sister Joanne visited from Alabama and spent the night. I thought these boneless skinless breast would be good and it would be something she had not tried before. I had some good cheese on hand and fresh spinach and smoked ham and that was what went inside then I wrapped in bacon and used tooth pics to hold together. I grilled them with pecan wood in the Traeger at 350 to 375 for about 45 min to one hour turning occasionally. Served it with baked potato, yeast rolls and a nice salad with homemade balsamic vinaigrette.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

So Industrious

Sue gets things done. A lot of mornings when I leave early she has plans to can some things before time for her to go in to work if it's garden season and I'm told most of this is this years and last years with a little left from the year before. The boxes all have this years in them and it's mostly green beans and maters. She gets mad if I forget and grab a store bought can of something instead of hers. Also the freezers have a lot of corn okra in them as well.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Stuffed Onions

These are really good and you won't even realize your eating your leftovers. Not at all hard to do except using the melon baller to hollow out the onions. The recipe only calls for the onion but I wanted to try one or two with the onion inside a bell pepper and those were good too. Not having any mashed potatoes we decided to use rice and although it was just as good it did take away from the visual effect since you could not shape it or brown it like you can potatoes. Click Here for the recipe.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgiving Cooking

I really like cutting up the turkey to cook it. Just never liked carving at the table with 40 or 50 mouths to feed and this way you can carve ahead of time and cook the white and dark meat both to their proper doneness without a problem. No more shaking hands with Mr Turkey, unless you just want to. A big bonus with doing it this way is being able to take the bone out of the thigh meat and with some string tie it up to cook - beautiful slices and cooked evenly. This bird got a 3 to 4 hour brine after I got it cut up in a couple of 2 gal zip lock bags with some of Jose's Apple Sqeezens,lemon,and herbs - it then air dried overnight in the fridge. Bringing the bird to room temp before cooking is important to me and then just before going in the smoker I gave it a handful of herb butter under the skin of the breast. The double smoked ham came out better than usual just because the glaze was a last minute on the fly concoction that I made up and it turned out as good as any I've ever had on a ham. I had planned to make the coffee infused glaze that comes with the famous Dr Chicken's Double Smoked Ham recipe but forgot a few ingredients and didn't think about making it till it was too late so I had to come up with something quick. It was a simple mixture of No Sugar Raspberry Jam, Fresh Lemon Juice, Maple Syrup, Honey, and Cider Vinegar. Nice thing about this glaze is, if I add some crushed red pepper and a little more vinegar it might just make some really good bbq sauce. Maybe something in here will make you want to try something new for Thanksgiving next year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Two Soups In One

Well this is about the dangedest thing I ever done. I made pork Posole the other day out of some left over spare rib trimmings and seriously miss judged the broth vs how much meat I had and we wound up with a big pot of nice chili broth which consisted of about 5 bucks worth of dried guajillos and no meat. We saved the broth not knowing what we were saving it for and next day the thought came to mind that all I had to do was add more meat. Since we just needed enough for one meal I headed to the nearest meat counter that I could just buy one or two chicken breast, took them home trimmed all the fat and added to the pot along with another can of hominy and a few minutes later we had Chicken Posole. I cut the chicken into large pieces so you could have a Chicken Taco with your Posole.