Friday, January 2, 2015

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

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.

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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Flax Seed meal Focaccia Style Bread

Sep 19 2014

I think it was after seeing friend and fellow LTBBQ forum member Ahron, africanmeat, make some bread using linseed, (flax seed meal) it looked good so I wanted to try some. I bought some flax seed meal and found a recipe for flax seed flat bread. I baked a loaf and liked it. My wife didn’t like it.

Then Ahron made some pita bread for a cheese burger on National Cheese burger day. He used coconut flour for the pita bread. That got me interested too; the pita bread looked good. Now he had me looking for some coconut flour! I did find it online and ordered some.

While looking for a recipe for coconut flour pita bread I ran across a recipe for some Flax seed meal focaccia bread. I had the meal so I baked a loaf today. When I made the flat bread it was pretty dense and didn’t raise much since flax seeds are gluten free. The recipe called for 2 cups of flax seed meal so I wanted to add some flour to it. I had some rice flour so I used 1 ¾ cup of the meal and ¼ cup of the rice flour. I later found that rice is gluten free too but I think it helped give it a fluffier texture.

After mixing and pouring the dough on a sheet pan to bake I added oregano and thyme on top then baked it for 20 minutes. I thought it looked like a nice loaf and had some with my supper; with a little butter! I don’t think it has a focaccia crust and texture but looks like a focaccia loaf. I may try another loaf using half meal and half rice flour. I think I will try oregano and rosemary for the herb topping; somewhere between reading the recipe and getting the herbs out I got it mixed up. Oh well oregano and thyme go well together!

This bread is healthy alternative bread and good for anyone who is gluten intolerant. To me flax seeds have a taste that you either like or dislike. I just happen to like it.


Baked and cooling


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Brats in a Blanket and Haluski

Sep 17 2014

 Today I felt good enough to cook. I was getting tired of eating my wife’s cooking, carry ins; and ready for some home cooked food. I have seen recipes lately for brats wrapped in refrigerated crescent roll dough. They looked good and I was hungry for some haluski, fried cabbage and noodles that would be good with them.

Most of the brat recipes called for some mustard and sauerkraut in the brat roll. I used a tube of Pillsbury’s roll that was 8 rolls in triangles. I used two of them for each brat; folded together then rolled into a rectangle. It’s best to roll them out a little larger and then cut into nice rectangles. On one half of the dough was a layer of mustard and about a TBS. of sauerkraut; then lay the brat over. In the other half make about 5 cuts and fold strips over the brats. Wet both sides that will go together when folding the strips over the brat to seal well. If you want to get fancy you can cut thinner strips and crisscross for a braded look. Then you bake them in a preheated 375 deg. oven for 15 to 20 minutes until browned some.

If you use fresh brats you will have to cook them first. I used four green onion brats from my butcher and smoked them on my smoker. They were on smoke mode, 200 deg. grill level for 45 minutes then eased up until a grill level temp of 325 deg.  They were up to 155 deg. after a total of 1 and ¼ hours. I let them cool some then in the fridge until time to cook.

For my haluski I used 8 oz. of kluski noodles, ½ head of cabbage sliced like slaw, 3 slices sweet onions diced, a clove of garlic minced, salt and pepper. I did it all in a little olive oil and butter. At the end I added a cup of sweat peas. I would have liked to fry up some bacon, use the grease and add in the bacon later but I figured the daughter in law and grandson might stay for supper tonight so I didn’t use bacon.

It took me awhile to make up the brats in the dough, me and rolling dough does not do well. I had the oven heating up and the water on for the noodles. When the water was boiling I added the noodles then sautéed the onions and garlic in a skillet on med. heat until just getting brown, added in the cabbage and cooked about 10 minutes then added in the drained noodles, I only used about ¾ of the noodles.
I checked the brats and looked like another 5 minutes so I added the cup of peas to the haluski.

We all liked it but needed a little more cabbage and we agreed it was better if the cabbage was cut in 1 inch squares like I usually do instead of shredded. Our veggie daughter in law ate a half a brat and liked it and she liked my dilly green tomato salsa too. I had it and some mustard to dip the brat roll in.

Brats are done


Making a brat roll

One made up

Haluski ready to serve

Brats ready to serve

My supper

Dilly Green Tomato Salsa

Sep 16 2014

I have been out of commission for a few days. Last week my hip and leg started to hurt. Thursday I thought it was better and I managed to cook Friday but by Saturday I could hardly walk. I almost went to the hospital emergency but waited until Monday to see my Doctor. It is something agitating my sciatic nerve and we decided to try meds for two weeks to see if that helps. I started the meds today. All of our friends know I do most all of the cooking and when it’s my wife’s turn we go out or get carry ins! We have been eating carry ins since last Saturday.

I felt good enough today after starting on my meds to make some salsa from my jar of pickled green tomatoes. They set fermenting for 8 days and tasted good so they went in the fridge for two days.

I cut the tomatoes up and removed most of the seeds and water; added a handful of chopped flat leaf parsley, two slices of garlic diced and two slices of sweet onion diced. I did add a small piece of the jalapeno from the pickled tomatoes and a pinch of sea salt. It was pretty sour so I added a tsp. of sugar.

I liked it for a different salsa and it won’t last long. My wife did not like it so if making again I would do half cilantro, half parsley and some more jalapeno for heat.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Grilled Flank Steak, veggies and couscous

Sep 12 2014

Yesterday I had 5 flank steaks to fix. A small thick one I trimmed up and marinated in some Whistle Stop Marinade. The original Whistle Stop Café was the basis for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, in 1992. The café was located in Irondale, Alabama. The family that owned the café has sold it but their son Bill still sells products made from the recipes of the café.

The steak had marinated in the fridge for 12 hour, I removed it from the marinade and on a wire rack in a covered dish in the fridge for several hours before grilling.

My sides were some Israeli couscous cooked in chicken stock and about 1/3 cup of shredded parmesan, Romano and Asiago cheese and I stir fried some frozen Japanese vegetables I had. I had some Terry Ho's Japanese steak sauce over my steak.

I had my Weber Spirit heated with the flat side of grill grates to 450 deg. I seasoned the steak with a little salt and pepper and sprayed one side with some olive oil. It went on the grill oil side down for 8 minutes then turned for another 6 to 7 minutes. The IT of the steak was from 135 to 140 deg.

I had my couscous made and tented the steak to rest while I did the stir fry of veggies. I served it with some bread and butter. This supper was kind of a hodgepodge of different cultures but it all tasted good together. Note I did get my bread and butter in there!

The marinade is Kikkoman soy sauce based with no MSG. It says to marinade for 2 hours. I thought my   1 ½ inch thick steak needed longer so went with overnight. It might have been a little overdone so next time I would do for 4 hours. I did like it though and it gave the steak a good flavor.

Steak ready to marinade

Grilled and sliced

My supper

Friday, September 12, 2014

Backyard Food?

Sep 12 2014

BBQ is not the only food in my back yard. Here is a Coopers Hawk that flew in hoping for an easy lunch! I saw it fly in and land on the neighbors shed. I quickly put my telephoto lens on my camera. I opened the door quietly and was expecting it to fly away before I could get a shot of it.

It was perched on my fence right next to my finch feeder. I was able to get about 10 shots of it on the fence and one on the high wires where it flew to. They are a pretty bird. I was shooting in burst mode; its back was facing me, after the first shot it turned its head to the right to see me then stood up and looked before flying up to the wires.

I used to see these hawks in my yard more often when I was feeding all the birds and got some nice photos of them over the years. I haven’t seen one for a while so was glad to get these photos of one.