Friday, December 20, 2013


Roast pork, Potato Enchiladas

How To Make Delicious Sandwiches

We all love sandwiches and have them often - why not go all out to make them the
best they can be. Actually that's just sums up the way I feel about cooking in general.
 Every little detail improved upon just helps make something turn out better than just so so or a ho hum kind of meal, even if it's a sandwich. You will find plenty of people that just don't feel that way and any way of making a sandwich works for them as they were really just out to curb their hunger and they don't care if it's exceptional or not.

Broccoli Casserole

Broccoli Casserole

This recipe took First Place in the Vegetable Side Dish category at the 2004 American Royal Barbecue Contest and it is THE best veggie casserole you will find.

2 bags frozen broccoli florets
1/2 cup butter
1 small onion chopped
2 cups cooked rice
2 cans cream of celery soup
1 jar 15 oz Cheese Whiz

Cook the broccoli in the butter until just thawed. Combine broccoli mixture and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour into a 9x13 pan.. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Top with French friend onion rings and bake for 10 more minutes (watch closely so the onion rings don't burn).

BBQ Chicken

I have just one way I will do BBQ Chicken for Sandwiches.  I smoke breast (bone in) and later pull the skin off and cut it in ribbons, melt the fat away and crisp it up in a non stick skillet on LOW heat stirring every few min for even cooking.  Shred or pull the meat and add to the pan of crisp skin and toss.  Add BBQ sauce (Williamson Bros) and heat through.  BBQ Chicken Sliders never get better than this...

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pot Roast Re Do

I was trying to think of something different to do with these leftovers and came up with the idea of Hard Toast using some fresh Rye Bread and heated the meat and veggies and a pan with tight fitting lid.  I had plenty of the broth the meat was cooked in and to that added 1/4 cup red wine.  After the broth reduced and flavored the meat and veggies, I minced the meat a little before covering the bread with it and pouring the broth over it.  This was a good idea.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Granny's Sunday Pot Roast

Just about every sunday morning while getting gravy and biscuit with all the trimmings ready my Grandmother would also be getting a Pot Roast in the oven to be ready right after church.  It was always great and I wanted mine to be good as well so here's what I did.  First I got some bacon fat and garlic ready...

The poked holes and stuffed the fat and garlic inside
Next I rubbed with real butter and seasoned with Cavenders and course salt and pepper
I put it on my smoker @ 325 just long enough to get a nice bark and color along with the smoke on the meat
Green beans from our garden and some rolls was all I had planned for sides but I wanted them to be good too, so I sauteed some onion and smoked ham before adding the beans
Next I added the potatoes, onion, and carrots and covered the pan with foil and continued to cook in the oven at 325
Real good meal but probably still came up short of my Grandmothers

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Black Forrest Ham

This is how I like to buy sandwich meat.  3 lbs on sale for 7.99 - not per lb - the whole 3 lb piece was 7.99.  With a inexpensive meat slicer you can shave it and enjoy.

Chili w/Pasta

I have always loved my Chili but I never knew it could be this good this many ways.  I think it's up north where they serve it over spaghetti but I like elbow mac and it seems to be a better fit.  Tobasco has a Smoked flavor Chipotle Sauce and it is the perfect match for this chili and many other things.  In fact I substitute it for hot sauce for tacos at times.  Pimento cheese sandwiches have always been the perfect match to go with chili for me but these Tortilla strips are even better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Philly Cheese Steak

They are so good just about any old Philly Cheese Steak will do but home made is better.  You get to make adjustments that way, like pile on the veggies or select what kind of cheese goes with it.  I always use the fake processed cheese and just cover the individual portions like you see in the bottom pic with a couple of slices and slide the oven proof pan into the oven till it melts then scoop up the individual portions with the hoagie rolls.  Don't forget that the handle of that pan is HOT.

Monday, December 9, 2013

New Twist On Chili

I was in the mood for a pot of chili yesterday and thought about the recipe the Cook's Ilustrated guy had where they blended the veggie part of the recipe along with a big handful of chips to add to the meat once it was brown.  I like my chili fine but thought I would try this and it did turn out to be a nice pot of chili with a ton of flavor.  I like all my chili, soups, and stews to have a lot of broth and for chunks of tomato, and onion floating around in that the way I normally make it.  I also wouldn't give two cents for a beanless chili.  I must have been craving anything hot because I wound up making some salsa to go with the chips as well.  The great thing about making the brothless chili is that those things like cheese and sour cream really provides a nice touch to it and this was the first time I ever had chili with sour cream on top but it will not be the last.  

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Reverse Sear

Cooking steaks at a low temp until it is about 10 degrees short of your final internal temp and then finish over very high heat is called the Reverse Sear Method.  It is a really good way to be sure you lock into that internal temp on you finish product.  The only thing I don't like about it is the simple fact it includes an additional step and with my set up that means the use of 2 cookers.  You could also bank your charcoal to one side of any old grill and do the low temp cook on the opposite side and finish directly over the coals.  I don't think this Tri Tip could have been any better but I doubt the Reverse Sear mehod had anything at all to do with it.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Friday Night Pizza

I've been talking about our Friday Night Pizza for some time now and I bet your going to think that a guy going crazy over frozen pizza is nuts and maybe I am but I'm still a frozen pizza advocate to the max.  Not just any frozen pizza works though.  We buy Mama Cozzi (?) from Aldi's or California brand from Walmart and always choose whatever they have with no meat of any kind.  What we do is add our meat and a sprinkle of Pecorino Cheese.  Other add on's are: Anchovies, Mushrooms, and always have a little Sriracha Sauce at the table.  Usually try to have a nice salad just before the pizza is ready.  With all that said the pizza in the pic was a simple 4 Cheese Pizza (California brand) and the meat was finely diced ham and the Pecorino Cheese.  What made this one so different and GOOD was the addition of the Cajun Candied Jalapeno Peppers instead of the Sriracha.  Can you imagine the Candied pepper flavor with the ham and cheese?  So so good.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ham & Bean Soup

I was determined not to waste that last little bit of ham and thought this soup would be good and something I had not done before or at least not this particular way.  To start with we had a pint of white beans cooked from dried in the freezer and they are always a lot better than canned, but I knew that would not be enough and was hoping to find canned white beans but all I could find was pintos.  Of course I used the pintos but I boiled them hard for 30 to 45 min with a can of water added and then added 1/2 diced onion and 3 smashed cloves of garlic - cooked about 10 min more - let cool a few more min - pureed with the boat motor.  It was a little thin so I added a crumbled up hard roll and pureed again before added 2 diced carrots that I had par boiled along with the made from scratch white beans and the diced ham from Thanksgiving.  Served with grated pecorino cheese and cornbread.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sausage Balls (One Dish Meal)

I don't think I could have found a better use for these leftover Sausage Balls.  I started with a little evoo and added about a cup of chopped onion, 1/2 cup chopped bell pepper, 1/4 cup chopped celery, and 3 cloves of minced garlic.  After it cooked down a little I added about a cup of chopped button mushrooms, after they had cooked a few min, I added about two cups of fresh spinach and cooked that a few more min and added about two cups of cooked pasta, and fresh mozz, grated sharp cheddar, and pecorino cheese.  After the cheese was melted and combined with all the rest I nestled the sausage balls on top and poured about 1/2 cup of heavy cream in and covered the pan and let simmer until the sausage had time to heat through.  Served with yeast rolls.  

Friday, November 29, 2013

Calhoun Family Potato Salad Recipe

 Potato Salad (Calhoun Family Recipe)
6 med    potatoes (2 lbs)  
1 cup    finely chopped celery  
1/2 cup    finely chopped onions  
1/3 cup    chopped dill pickles  
1 1/4 cups    krafts mayonnaise  
2 tsp    sugar  
2 tsp    celery seed  
2 tsp    white vinegar  
2 tsp    prepared mustard  
1 1/2 tsp    salt  
4 or 5 large    hard boiled egg, chopped  
Boil potatoes in salted water 25 to 30 min or till tender. Peel and cube potatoes while still hot into a large mixing bowl. Add celery, onion, pickle. Add mayo, sugar, celery seed, vinegar, mustard, and salt in a separate bowl and whisk. Add mayo mixture to potato mixture. Toss and stir paying attention to hard hard to stir and if necessary stir hard enough to break up the pototes for a more creamy potato salad.
 Recipe Source
Author: Chet Calhoun
Unless you really under cook the potatoes you should be able to make this as creamy as you want or less creamy by how much you stir it once it is made.  I doubt I have ever seen a single Thanksgiving that this was not on the table.
Recipe formatted and exported by Living Cookbook from Radium Technologies, Inc.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A Different Kind of Apple Pie

This makes it easy and at the same time provides just as good a tasting pie as any you can have.  Same filling, just roll it up in a flour tortilla and bake.  Add Ice Cream and you will be in A la mode la la land.

Good Old Southern Cooking

Talk about South In Your Mouth!  This is it up one side and down the other.  Fresh out of the garden Turnip Greens and Turnips cooked together with some seasoned meat.  Fried Taters with Onion right at the end, and Black Eyed Peas, Cracklin Cornbread to die for and what ever else makes a supper like this special on the plate like pickled jalapenos, sliced onion and all you need is some buttermilk.

Monday, November 11, 2013

BBQ (Butt over Brisket)

I never do one without the other as I like that Pork Fat dripping on my Brisket when I cook one.  This Brisket was cooked using my own Injection of beef brother and other seasonings and my own Rub which was heavy on the black pepper.  It was really tasty.  I have used large disposable pans in cooking both these meats after they have cooked long enough to have a nice color and bark on them and decided that I need to wrap with foil first to get that braising / steaming effect to penetrate into the meat more and I think I will stick with that idea from now on but I have to do a better job on these big Briskets and not loose my broth.  The Pork Butt was not injected and I find them to have a better flavor that way.  I did finally find a Misto Spray container I really like to spritz the meat with (pump it and it sprays a real fine mist).  So our BBQ Stash is now replenished and we are in good shape to barter meat and enjoy sandwiches for awhile.

Friday Night Pizza

We have been having Frozen Pizza every friday night for a long long time now and never tire of it.  Aldi's brand Mama Cozzi? or the California brands are the two we think are the best.  What makes it work for us is that we always buy either just a cheese pizza or veggie pizza and put other topping on it that we might have on hand.  This pizza was as you can see the veggie pizza and we were very lucky to have just cook a turkey and had that nice turkey breast and added plenty of anchovies along with extra Pecorino Cheese which is an amazing cheese and we are never without a large wedge that takes the place of so many other cheeses.  We use it for everything.  We like all the different crust but Thin seems to be what we like best and we never ever leave off the Sriracha.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fried Turkey - New Thoughts

Just wanted to be sure I said how well this Waring Pro Rotisseri Turkey Fryer worked.  It was easy to use and did a great job and cleaned up nice as well.  As far a the turkey goes, I am like everyone else and really sold on how good they are but with one difference.  I find that after they are held over you get about the same turkey that I do when I smoke a turkey.  That could be that I just do a better job on turkey by not over cooking them which is what I think most people do.  That is important to me because I just don't like the pressure of carving a turkey or anything else at the table and like to feed a crowd by having all that done ahead of time.  They are very good though and we will still use ours this Thanksgiving.  Here's a pic of a little leftover breast meat that I made Turkey Melts with and mine had Cajun Peppers and her's had dill pickles.  Oh how I love those Sweet n Hot Cajun peppers, these are hot as hell fire but I can't resist them and they proved to be a perfect addition to this Turkey Melt.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I have wanted to try Fried Turkey for a long time because I hear about how good they are all the time and not once have I heard anyone say a negative word.  Sooooo, Waring Pro Professional Rotisserie Turkey Fryer / Steamer was on sale at Sam's for 199.00 and I had to have one.   It makes a lot of sense to have this thing set up the way it is and be able to cook with much less oil due to the rotisserie.  Any frying a big bird has always seemed to make sense to me as well, and I must say I am not disappointed.  Now I have had plenty of good reviews on my turkey cooked the conventional way and never dried one out, but this frying effect on the outside of the bird is worth it all.  I won't say that my smoker will never see another turkey but this fried bird is probably better but just different.  I had absolutely no problems with my first cook but will tell you what to look out for if you ever find yourself using one of these cookers.  First, it takes around 45 min for 2 1/2 gal of oil to come to 350 and you may need to plan on that amount of time but you can expect the cooking time to be right on with the recipe included in the book, i.e. about 3 min per lb.  Another thing I was not expecting is the skin on the breast was not crispy and I guess that might be good because I don't know how you would slice it if it had been.  The skin on the legs and wings were super crispy and very good, they were also my fav part.