Wednesday, January 3, 2018

My Traeger & cook area

Below you see my cooking equipment, my Traeger 07E, to the left is a gas cooker w/cast iron skillet & to the right is a fish friar on the cabinet.
Since this photo I have added a Weber Q100 gas grill. Below that you see a photo of me & my faithful companion. Click on any photo to view larger size it opens in a slide viewer with all the photos in the post.

My Smokin Deck,I can cook rain or shine.

Set up for winter weather

Summer Kitchen 2015
My new Camp Chef single gas burner, a Weber
 Jumbo Joe that I got last year, a Weber Spirit 
2 burner gas grill and my Traeger pellet smoker 
on the deck

All covered up

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Let's Talk BBQ, One Great Forum

Let’s Talk BBQ; no matter what you cook on this is one great forum for discussing BBQ and learning about BBQ. Whether you use a grill, smoker, or other type of cooker, using gas, wood, charcoal, or electric for fuel there is a place for you there.

Their rules are pretty simple; just treat others the way you want to be treated. Leave your ego at home and have fun learning and discussing cooking and food in a family way.

Most members are from the USA but they are slowly getting some international members. I know of two from Australia and one each from Germany and S. Africa. There may be some from England. I like this since we can learn about other recipes and ways to do BBQ than in our own country.

The forum is laid out well; there are different sections for each style cooker, a recipe section, a general section, a place for sausage making and a place for other hobbies. There are a lot of knowledgeable members there now.

If you are interested in Sous Vide cooking there is a section on it with some knowledgeable members using the method.

I do most all my BBQ on my Traeger wood pellet smoker; but can adapt most recipes from other types of cookers. I use it year around and do most all of the cooking for my wife and I.

So; if you want to talk BBQ get over there sign up and join in the fun of cooking and eating some good BBQ.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Instant Pot Baked Steak and Steamed Potatoes & Carrots

Feb 23 2017

After lunch I baked a buttermilk pie using a recipe from my sister. I used a Pillsbury Pet-Ritz crust and for the sugar I tried a ½ cup brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar. It came out great.

Baked steak has been a favorite for a long time. My Mother used to make it with round or sirloin steak. She cut it in serving size pieces, tenderized some with a mallet. Dredged in flour and browned in a skillet. Then she placed the meat in a casserole dish and poured mushroom soup over and baked at 350 deg. for an hour.

Some may call this Swiss steak and you can also use a tomato gravy or sauce to do it. Lately I have liked using Pioneer brand country gravy mix. When doing in the oven I usually used sirloin so I was pretty sure of tender beef. Now with my Instant Pot I can use the cheaper round steak.

I had a 2 pound slice of round steak from my butcher to use. I Jicarded it and then I trimmed the fat and cut into serving size pieces. I browned them with a little olive oil in my Stargazer cast iron skillet. I could have browned them in the Instant Pot but I had two batches and I could control more how much grease went in the pot. While I was browning them I made my gravy and all went into the instant pot along with the deglazed goodies from the skillet.

I set the Instant Pot on meat normal for 25 minutes. I had some Baby Dutch potatoes and carrots in my rice cooker to steam for 15 minutes. When they were done I added butter and fresh parsley. I love those little potatoes!

I made a steak sandwich from my beef and had a side of some sliced tomatoes with blue cheese dressing. My wife had English muffins with hers. It was delicious and the beef was fall apart tender.

The round steak

Browning in my skillet

Meat and gravy in the pot

Side of tomatoes

My supper

Our dessert

Pie recipe:
1 pie shell homemade or bought
Combine sugar & flour, beat in eggs, add butter, and add buttermilk & vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
Bake @425 for 10 min, 350 for 35 min
I used a Pillsbury pie shell and baked @400 for 10 minutes, 350 for 35 minutes and looked good.
Note: I used a half cup of brown sugar with the 1 cup of white sugar and was good!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

BLT's Air Fryer Fries & Corn on the Cob

Feb 22 2017

The warm 65 deg. weather had me hungry for some bacon lettuce and tomato sandwiches. I had almost a pound of Kah Meats thick sliced smoked bacon to use and I found some vine ripe tomatoes that looked decent. I wanted to use just plain white bread. I also had some corn on the cob to steam.

I also wanted to try some Ore Ida fast food fries in my Air fryer. This would be the third time so had to come out good!

I cooked the bacon on my Traeger at about 290 to 300 deg. grill level and took about an hour. I had lightly sprinkled some Savors Pig Candy on it.

When the bacon was done I got the corn in my rice cooker to steam. I preheated the Air Fryer for 3 minutes. I sprayed the basket with some olive oil, added 3 handfuls of fries and sprayed with olive oil.
I had it on Fries at 400 deg. for 13 minutes. I checked them 5 minutes in and stirred then at 10 minutes they were done and the corn was done.

I made my wife’s sandwich with mayo and on mine I had mustard on the bottom slice and mayo on the top slice and had 3 layers of bacon on them.  The tomatoes were not like garden tomatoes but the sandwich was still good. The corn was tender and sweet. I was happy with the fries. If I only use the Air fryer for fries it will be worth it; after I learned how to do them!

Bacon on my Traeger 

For the sandwiches

The fries

My corn

My supper

Monday, February 20, 2017

Pickled pork

Feb 20 2017

I made some pickled pork today to use in red beans and rice. This is an authentic Louisiana recipe I got years ago from Frugal Gourmet. It really adds flavor to the beans along with smoked sausage. To me the red beans and rice are not as good without the pickled pork.


Ready for the fridge


Pickled Pork

2 lbs. boneless pork butt cut in 2” cubes
1 TBS celery seeds                                             
2 TBS tobasco                                                    
1 qt white vinegar                                                  
1 bay leaf                                                             
1 TBS kosher salt
12 pepper corns
6 cloves garlic, cracked
1 pinch of pink salt (optional)

Combine all the ingredients except the pork in a stainless steel pan & boil for 3 min. Cool & place in a refrigerator container ( plastic, glass, or stainless ) add pork. Stir to remove the bubbles. Cover & refrigerate for 3 days. Every since I had red beans & rice with the pickled pork it’s not as good without the pork! I have never tried the pink salt in the pickled pork but plan to soon.
Note: I have used country style ribs, they cut up just right.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Meatloaf and Steamed Potatoes & Carrots

Feb 19 2017

It was a nice day to cook out, a sunny 65 deg. It’s been a few years since I fixed this recipe for Dad’s meatloaf by Tyler Florence. I got it from a fellow LTBBQ member. I did change by using stuffing mix instead of bread crumbs and used buttermilk in place of milk. That was an idea from a follower of my blog.

This is a little different; you cook the veggies making a tomato relish instead of adding them raw. I think it really intensifies the flavor. It comes out rather wet and is really moist after cooking. It has a sweet tomato taste. I prefer a more beefy taste but my wife liked it and it was good for a change. I just had two pounds of meat instead of 2 ½ so I cut back to using 5 tomatoes and I used 6 mini sweet peppers.

I got it all mixed up and went in the fridge for a little over an hour before smoking. I usually like it to set at least 2 hours but I had forgotten I had to cook the veggies. I preheated my Traeger to 200 deg. and got the meat loaf on at 4:20. I had added some of the tomato relish to the top and then topped it with bacon. I planned to eat at 6:00

My side was some steamed baby Dutch potatoes and carrots tossed with butter and parsley. I did them for 10 minutes on steam in my Instant Pot. It all came together about the same time; the meatloaf was at 165 deg. IT.

I had a salad with mine and the wife had an English muffin. We both liked it; the meatloaf was fall apart but tasted great. I had added a half cup plus a handful of stuffing mix and it could have used a cup probably.

Click Here for original recipe

All but the meat and eggs

Veggies for the tomato relish

Relish cooking

Meatloaf ready for the fridge

Ready for the smoker

Done ready to take in and rest 5 min.

Potatoes and carrots

My salad

My supper

Friday, February 17, 2017

Kielbasa & Pierogi Sheet Pan Dinner

Feb 17 2017

Sheet pan dinners have been the craze this winter on food magazine sites and food blogs. I don’t know why I never thought of this before. It’s a simple way to cook a whole meal with very little prep and cleanup. I use nonstick foil on the pan and cleanup is even easier.

I found a recipe to follow for a kielbasa and pierogi dinner. The recipe was for 24 pierogi, I only did 6 and it had chili powder as part of the seasoning, I have never had pierogi with chili powder. My kielbasa was from my butcher Kah Meats, no preservatives, just meat and seasoning.

My ingredients were:
3- 10 inch kielbasa links cut in half
6 mini sweet peppers stemmed and cut in half
1 large sweet onion, cut in sixths and separated
Olive oil for onions and peppers
Garlic herb seasoning for the onions and peppers
Melted butter for the pierogi
Some slivered onion for on top of the pierogi

I got the oven preheated to 400 deg. While it was heating up I laid the sausage around the outer edge of the pan. I brushed both sides of the pierogi with butter and placed them in the middle and added a little salt and pepper. I added the peppers and onions that I had drizzled with olive oil and the seasoning around the pan and topped the pierogi with the slivered onions.

It went in the 400 deg. oven for 15 minutes and then I brushed the pierogi with more butter and turned. I didn’t look like all was browning to suit me so I switched the oven to convection for the last 15 minutes. It all looked good to me so I got it out to serve. If it doesn’t look brown enough just put it back in for a while.

The wife and I both had salads with a hardboiled egg and some tomato. I had some mustard with my kielbasa and it all tasted great. The mini peppers are a lot sweeter than the large ones. This is a keeper recipe for me.

I didn't show pics of the prep, I figure you all know how to clean peppers and cut up onions!

All ready for the oven

After 15 minutes

30 minutes, ready to serve

My salad

My supper