Tuesday, January 3, 2017

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

Monday, January 2, 2017

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.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

"The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook"

A new Pellet Smoker cookbook, “The Wood Pellet Smoker & Grill Cookbook” , will be out soon by friend Smokin Pete. Pete has been a fellow member of the Lets Talk BBQ forum and friend for a while. There is a link to his blog here under Favorite sites. I would recommend his cookbook; he turns out some fine looking BBQ and is very knowledgeable using a pellet smoker. I have his cookbook pre-ordered from Amazon.

Coming May 10, 2016, the cookbook is now available for Pre-Orders from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Personally autographed copies of the cookbook are also available for Pre-Orders from this autographed cookbook link.

The ultimate barbecuing tool, wood pellet smokers feature a precisely controlled cooking system that allows you to slow roast, smoke, and grill meats to perfection. Packed with bold recipes, 100 color photos, and techniques unique to a wood pellet cooker, this essential guide will turn you into a master of home barbecue. the Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook guides you step by step through the process of slow cooking roasts to juicy perfection, and even baking wood-fired pizza. A must-have manual for anyone who owns a wood pellet cooker, this book serves up spectacularly delicious dishes that are simply impossible to make on traditional barbecue grills. Featuring recipes that utilize hickory, mesquite, maple, apple, cherry, and even pecan flavor pellets, this combination primer and cookbook will take your backyard treats to the next level.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Rockin Rollin Meatloaf Sandwich

May 04 2016

I found this recipe from Chef John Folse and was anxious to try it. It was a jelly roll style meatloaf with marinara sauce on top. He baked it in the oven with the sauce over top. I adapted it to do mine on the Traeger pellet smoker.

I made up the meatloaf and then in the fridge for a few hours before smoking. I decided to just do the meatloaf on the smoker; make up the sauce to add to the sandwich. I made up the sauce early too and had it ready to reheat.

My side would be salt vinegar roasted baby red potatoes. I sliced up about 2 lbs. of baby red potatoes, and cut in halves or quarters for equal size pieces. They went into a sauce pan with 1 cup of white vinegar, 1 Tbs. kosher salt, covered with water and boiled about 15 minutes. Then they were drained and tossed with about 3 Tbs. butter and sprinkled with kosher salt. I did them in a wire basket on my smoker along with the meatloaf for about 45 minutes. I think they would have been better at a higher temp. like 400 deg. for 20 minutes, but this made it easier to cook and serve.

I did my meatloaf on a perforated round pan and it’s a good thing I did, it sprang a leak and I lost about half the cheese from leaking out. When done I let it set about 5 minutes before slicing to make the sandwiches.

While the meatloaf was cooking I had toasted the buns on my CI griddle and had the sauce heating up. I served my wife then made mine up. I sliced the meatloaf from the end I figured had some cheese left in it and it did.

Chef John compared this to a sloppy Joe, which didn’t seem proper to me until after I ate it! It is almost like eating a super Sloppy Joe with extra taste! We both added a little malt vinegar to our potatoes and enjoyed them with the sandwiches!

Click Here for printable meatloaf recipe

For the meatloaf

Rolled out

Top cut open

Cheese added

Rolled up

Ready to chill in the fridge

Making the sauce


Meatloaf ready for the smoker

Added potatoes after 45 minutes

Done 1 hour 35 minutes


Finished potatoes

Meatloaf sliced

Making my sandwich

My supper

Monday, May 2, 2016

Taco Omelet

May 02 2016

Here is a tasty breakfast and brunch omelet. The other night I was hungry and had some corn tortillas on hand, I thought throw it in a skillet and top with an egg, fold over omelet style. I don’t remember if I saw this somewhere or just a new idea.

I heated a skillet with some olive oil spray on med. high; added the corn tortilla and after a minute turned it over. I added a beaten egg, some shredded cheese, salt and pepper, and covered with a lid until the egg was setting up some then folded like an omelet. I cooked it a little more on both sides. It made a great mid-night snack.

I am waiting to see if it’s dry enough to mow grass, since it rained last night. The wife came home from exercise class at the Y and I ask if she wanted to share a Taco omelet. I made up one and used two eggs, added some chopped onions and red pepper, bacon bits, shredded four cheese Mexican and some garlic salt. We split it and had some salsa on top.

It tasted great and if I was doing several I would just use one egg. If you like the eggs more runny use two but I like the eggs set up more. Two of these and some bacon would make a fine breakfast.

I just checked and it is a misty rain so mowing will have to wait until tomorrow. I just searched the net and there are a lot of recipes out there for taco omelets.

Corn tortilla in

Eggs, onions, peppers and bacon added

Cheese and seasoning added

1st fold

2nd fold

My brunch

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Potato-Onion Soup & Toasted Ham Cheese Sandwich

Apr 30 2016

My wife was off at noon to get her hair done then to eat and see Crystal Gayle sing. It was a cold rainy day so I gave my CI Dutch oven and my chicken fryer an oven re-seasoning. I had some thin sliced ham thawed, enough for two toasted ham & cheese sandwiches so told the wife we would have those for supper.

Some soup would be good too, she likes onion soup and I like potato soup so the cook ruled and I fixed some Potato-Onion soup! I had bought 2 pounds of Baby Dutch gold potatoes. As usual with potato soup I just wing it with no recipe except for in my head.

2 pounds Baby Dutch potatoes, diced to desired size
2 ½ cups diced sweet onions
4 Tbs. butter
2 heaping Tbs. flour
About a quart of chicken stock
Salt & pepper to taste
½ teaspoon thyme
¼ cup chopped parsley
¼ to 1/3 cup of cream or half and half
Browned diced bacon and snipped fresh chives for topping

I used my CI chicken fryer to make the soup. I was doing well with the photos but never got a shot of the finished soup in the pot. I think it was about the time I added the half & half then was getting my wife’s sandwich going; she was talking to me and I remember saying to her, “if you want a burnt sandwich keep on talking”! I do not multi-task well while cooking!

The sandwiches were the sautéed ham, two slices of Swiss cheese, on sliced Italian bread and toasted on my 10 inch CI griddle with some olive oil.

I diced up the bacon and started browning it at 4:30 and we ate on time at 6:00PM. It was tasty, we both liked the soup. I think this is the first time I used gold potatoes for potato soup, I thought the Baby Dutch had a very earthy good taste to them.

Browning the bacon
removed for later

Poured off all but 1 Tbs. of bacon grease
added 4 Tbs. butter

Added the onions

About 20 min. later caramelized

Stirring in the flour

Adding the stock

I added the potatoes and simmered 20 min.
then removed about a cup and mashed to add
back in

I added the parsley and thyme and simmered while
I grilled the sandwiches adding some half and
half cream at the end
Missed a shot of the finished soup but here is the

My sandwich

My soup

Friday, April 29, 2016

Smoked Chicken, Pork & Andouille Jambalaya

Apr 28 2016

I love Cajun and Creole style foods but I can’t remember the last time I made Jambalaya. There are a lot of versions out there to try. It is usually made with seafood, chicken or pork; or any combination of these. The other common additions are onions, garlic, sweet peppers, celery, parsley, rice and some stock and that is usually chicken stock.

I found a recipe I liked from Chef John Folse, a well-known Louisiana Chef. It was for a chicken, pork and Andouille Jambalaya. My butcher just lately started making fresh Andouille sausage. It is probably not as hot as a Louisiana style but better than any store bought I can get around here; and it is fresh without all the preservatives.

I bought a package of chicken thighs; Miller Brothers Amish chicken from IN. I got 4 bone in CS ribs, pork butt, from my butcher. I had a pound of the Andouille froze that I forgot to thaw out. I decided to smoke all the meat first for the Jambalaya to give it a flavor boost.

Wednesday before I did chicken stacks for supper I smoked the meat for my Jambalaya. I seasoned the CS ribs and chicken thighs with some Penzey’s Cajun seasoning. I got them along with the frozen Andouille on the Traeger at 195 deg. for an hour and then went to 225 the last hour. The Andouille was done in about 1 ½ hours and the chicken and pork went to 2 hours. After cooling they all went in plastic bags and in the fridge overnight.

My wife went on a bus trip today so it was just me and the dog! After lunch I went through Sandman’s carry out and got some good beer! You need beer to cook!  I put a heaping cup of Uncle Ben’s rice in my rice cooker to use; when it was done it went in the fridge. I cut up the Andouille, pork and chicken. I removed the skin from 3 of the breasts and nuked it in the microwave until crisp to add it too. I just used two of the CS ribs and some flap meat from ribs I had cooked for the pork.

I wanted to reduce the recipe to about ¾ so I made some adjustments. I cooked it in my 5 quart CI Dutch oven on my glass top stove. By the time I had the rice done and the meat prepped it was 2:30 and time for my daily call to my 94 yr. old mother.

After I talked to Mom I prepped all my veggies and started to cook. First up was browning the pork in a ¼ cup of oil, I used grape seed oil, and then adding the chicken and Andouille sausage. I removed most of the grease and then started adding the veggies and cooking per recipe.

All in and on the last half hour with the lid on; I knew it was going to come out a little wetter than it should so the last 15 minutes I removed the lid to cook down some. It was a little wetter than most Jambalayas I have seen. I had a hard roll and toasted it and topped with butter.

I think it was about 6:30 when I finished and had a big bowl of the Jambalaya. I added some Cholula hot sauce and that was delicious if I do say so myself.

Next time I would cook 1 ½ cups of rice to use along with the quart of chicken stock I used; but then after the leftovers set in the fridge overnight the rice will soak up most of the liquid.

Click Here for link to recipe

Smoking the meat

Andouille sliced

Pork cut up

Chicken shredded

The veggies

Browning the pork

Chicken and Andouille added

Onions, garlic, celery and peppers added

Chicken stock added

Mushrooms, green onions and parsley added

Rice added

Simmered 30 min. ready to serve

My supper