Sunday, September 25, 2011

Chicken Tacos

A little hung up on this boneless / skinless Chicken Kabob thing but we're just enjoying it so much we're finding more and more uses for it. I used Mojo Grillo marinade for 3 hours and I credit the marinade for keeping the meat moist. I cooked it on the grill at 425 for about 30 min turning a few times. We never ever order chicken tacos anywhere when eating out and considering that what we make at home almost always is better than the top restaurants, doing these tacos would be a good choice for us. I grilled the chicken to 165 and chopped it before frying it in a little olive oil. Cooking meat twice is common in Mexican cooking around here and it sure adds more flavor especially cooking with wood, as you might imagine. Something else we learned a long time ago is that lightly sautéed onions as opposed to chopped onion on your tacos is a nice change and you want them to still have a little crunch to them, so you need to start with hot skillet. These were served with Salsa Verde, Cilantro, avocado, and Lemon (we like it better than lime). A good crumbling cheese like Feta would have been a great addition.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cheesy German Potato Casserole

This is ABSOLUTELY the BEST potato dish I think I've ever had and that's coming from a long line of Potato Salad lovers. I like the flavor of German Potato Salad so I guess that's why I like this dish so much. You just can't beat a potato casserole with cheese, boiled eggs, onions, garlic, apple vinegar, and BACON! Here's how to make it: just boil potatoes the same as if your were going to make regular potato salad and instead of the ingredients you normally add use a large onion, 6 or 8 boiled eggs, 1 lb of bacon (fried, drained, and crunched up). Make your dressing with a cup and half of mayo (Krafts please - there is a reason it's called REAL Mayonaise), 3 or 4 tbs of apple vinegar, couple tbs of Worchestershire, splash of tabasco. Mix it all up and pour half into a casserole dish and add a layer of white Velvetta cubed or sliced (1/2 lb) then the rest of the potatoes, then another 1/2 of the cheese. Don't forget to season with salt and pepper where needed like I do sometimes and bake till heated through and browning a little on top. It's easy as can be and you don't have to chop celery. For the real recipe google German Potato Casserole.

Meat Loaf

This was supposed to be the best meat loaf I ever cooked. Everyone experiences a disappointing cook sometimes I'm sure, as I was with this Meat Loaf. I was impressed with the results of Cook's Illustrated All Beef Meat Loaf and used their method. I rounded up the recipe by doing a search of copycat recipes, as Cook's Illustrated requires you to pay for membership to their site. What I liked about it and why I wanted to cook it this way was mostly the way they did their glaze. Instead of putting a thick layer on at the end of the cook that generally just sits there much the same as when you brushed it on, they started with a thin glaze when the meat first went in the oven and then several more glazes as it cooked which made it cook into the meat. The recipe also had a large amount of onions and used bread and eggs and they cooked the onions, I never do any of that with mine. I do use onions but don't cook them nor do I use bread or eggs. Bottom line is my next meat loaf will be MY meatloaf with the only difference being that I glaze throughout the cook.

Chicken Kabobs

Yeah I know, I know, I'm hung up on the Mr Yoshika's Sauce / Marinade, but not really - it's a big bottle. Seriously I love the flavor on a lot of things and besides doing breast as Kabobs was a nice change. You get a lot more flavor that way and you know how hard it is to do that with boneless skinless chicken breast. Besides think of all the things that can be done with it - serve on speghetti, subs, salads, etc. The directions on this product suggest marinade time to be 30 min to 1 hour, I suggest 12 hours or overnight for anything I've used it on and with these Kabobs I also basted them with it while they were on the grill. Try it sometime.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I've said it to myself many times and I'll say it here "I'd give up cooking on a grill / smoker at home if I didn't have a Traeger" (or some other Pellet cooker). I have always loved Hot Wings and they turn out so good in the pellet cooker. The method I use now is to let them sit out on the counter about 45 min then season them with any old bbq rub, and put them in the cooker indirect with the temp at about 350 for about 45 min. I actually checked these whole wings with the wiggle test to see how done they were based on how loose they were at the joint. A second test for doneness provided a treat for the cook when I pulled one off and tried it. When cooked to my liking, I then used half margarine and half Texas Pete heated enough to mix well and dipped the wings in the sauce and returned to the cooker for another 15 to 20 minutes.

Mr Yoshidas

Here's a product I can recommend that will provide a unique flavor and a beautiful color to your grilled chicken, beef, pork, etc. These Tri Tip roasts were marinated in Mr Y for 12 hours, wiped off the excess, sprinkled with a steak rub and cooked on high (475 - 495) on the Traeger Pellet grill for about 25 min. Use one for Steak Night and refrigerate and shave the other one for the most wonderful steak sandwiches you will ever have. Note: I have found that simply refrigerating is not enough to facilitate shaving beef and about 15 min in the freezer makes all the difference in the world.