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.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Ham, Potatoes and Fresh Green Beans

Aug 31 2014

This is about as simple a meal you can make up and one of the tastiest! Some ham, fresh picked green beans and new or baby potatoes.

I have used smoked ham hocks and smoked ham steaks and new little red potatoes. When using hocks I cook it about an hour with an onion and some chicken broth and water. I let the hock cool some and remove the onion to discard. I pick off the meat then add in along with a small chopped onion the potatoes and green beans. Cover with more water if needed, bring to a boil then simmer at least a half hour.

This time I used a smoked ham steak. I cut out the bone and fat from the center and did some broth with it to get a little fat in. I used some baby gold potatoes too. I made this up Sat. afternoon to have for tonight’s supper with my wife’s sister and husband after going to friend’s 50th anniversary party.  I served it with some pretzel rolls heated up and some good butter.

I like using the smoked ham steaks, a little easier and you get more meat in it. My brother in law said darn this is good Don, it all goes together well and I never had it before. I don’t think he will have it again unless he gets it here. His wife said I think this would be too hard for me to do!

 I like to mash up the potatoes and add butter, salt & pepper. This does not freeze well but I can eat this every night for supper until gone!

Smoked ham steak

My supper

Friday, August 29, 2014

Brats, Carrots and Leftovers

Aug 28 2014

A cooler day, 75, had 91 yesterday! I was glad since I had to trim the back yard. I’ll mow tomorrow. After I trimmed I cooked a pan of tomatoes down to use for sauce.

Tonight’s supper was pretty simple and easy to do. I did 4 brats on the smoker on grill grates. The brats were fresh tomato garlic from my butcher. I did them for 25 minutes at 200 deg. grill level and then eased it up ending at 350 grill level for a another 35 minutes. Total cook time was one hour.

I had nuked some organic carrots in butter and WOW then on the grill the last 20 minutes. I made me some dip for the brats, yellow and hot mustard with some smoky horseradish sauce. We had some of the leftover tomato and corn casserole. I had a little bread with a little butter and a Hopin Helles to wash it all down!

Carrots nuked

For my dipping sauce

Ready on the smoker

My supper

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Garden Tomato and Corn Casserole

Aug 27 2014

I had an overload of ripe tomatoes from my garden to use so I made up this recipe for supper tonight. My wife had to go to church at 6:00 for a meet the new minister’s wife party so I did it up early so she could eat at 5:00. I thought the daughter in law would stop to eat or take some home with her. I will have to see that she gets some tomorrow, there’s a bunch left! My son does not like tomatoes but the grandson will probably eat some. I don’t think it would freeze well.

I had a half a smoked chicken left so I removed it from the bones and sliced to go with the casserole. The wife and I both thought it was pretty darned good. It would go with any BBQ meat or a nice dish if you have someone that is vegetarian to serve.

I was pretty basic with just salt and pepper for seasoning so you could add your choice. Diced sweet or green onions, diced red peppers, thin sliced fresh basil or any mix of these I think would work well. I took my gravy to a medium thickness and next time may let get thicker.

If you brown up the cheese under the broiler at the end like I did be careful. I let mine almost go to the burn stage! I should know better to watch closely as it can go from a nice brown to burnt in about 5 seconds!
Overload of ripe tomatoes

Casserole ingredients

Bread toasted

A layer of tomatoes, seasoned

A little cheese

A little gravy

Corn added

Rest of the gravy and a layer of tomatoes

Baked 40 minutes and added the rest of the cheese

Ready to serve

My supper

Monday, August 25, 2014

Chicken and a salad with Garden Tomatoes

Aug 24 2014

We are just now getting what I call August weather, in the 80’s. The last two days have been humid; I mowed 2/3 of the yard yesterday and finished the back this afternoon.

While I was up my usual middle of the night I put a spatchcocked chicken in brine; ½ gallon of water, 1/3 cup of salt, a scant 1/3 cup of brown sugar and 5 smashed garlic cloves. It had been in the brine 9 hours when I rinsed, dried and in the fridge 2 hours to air dry some. I then seasoned with two pats of butter and dried garlic flakes; a pat under each breast skin. I then rubbed with a TBS. of Hellmann’s mayonnaise, some Penzey’s Galena St. and McCormick’s Montreal Chicken seasoning. It went back in the fridge about an hour before putting on my Traeger.

I had some yellow, red and Roma tomatoes from my garden for a salad. I used about a large bag of baby spinach and baby kale mix and cut up two yellow, two red and 3 Roma tomatoes. I had some fresh basil I sliced thin and a coarse chop and 4 or 5 thin slices of Vidalia onion cut in quarters to add. The dressing was ¼ cup red wine vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil and 1/8 cup Champagne dressing. I added a good pinch of grey sea salt and some fresh ground black pepper. It sat out until supper time, about 1 ½ hours. I had some parmesan and Romano shredded cheese and some bought garlic herb fried onions for toppings.

If I would have stopped there; chicken and a salad would have been a healthy meal. I had some crusty garlic bread that was still good and needed used and I had found some frozen crispy BBQ French fries that sounded good too! I did the fries in a wire basket on my Weber gas grill at 400 deg. about 20 minutes. I toasted the bread sprayed with a little olive oil and had some of my gorgonzola garlic chive butter to have on it.

The chicken went in my Traeger at 200 deg. grill level for 30 minutes and then went to 300-320 deg. grill level for 45 minutes. I went to 350 deg. grill level the last 15 minutes to get a breast IT of 170 deg. I used to go to 160 deg. in the breast but found I still had a little pink in the wish bone wing area. I place the chicken with the leg & thighs to the right; the hotter side and when I have a breast IT of 170 deg. the thighs and legs are at 180 to 185 deg.

I have done enough spatchcocked chicken on my Traeger I can usually get it done in 1 ½ hours and get it to 170 deg. breast IT on time to go with any sides I am cooking.

This was a good supper; my wife and I both thought one of my better chickens. I had a leg thigh and a little of the breast meat; my wife had the rest of the breast and wing. We liked the seasoning and the skin that was on top was bite through crispy. The salad was delicious so I need to write up the recipe and save.

After I gave Sandman a bottle of the Christian Moerlein OTR’s to try I thought I had finished it but found I had a bottle left to enjoy with supper.

For the chicken

Chicken seasoned

My Garden Tomatoes

For the salad

Salad made up

After an hour on the smoker

1 1/2 hours and a breast temp. of 170 deg.

My salad

My supper

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Shrimp Pad Thai with a touch of Cajun

Aug 23 2014

After eating pretty heavy this week it was time for something a little lighter! We love Pad Thai with chicken, shrimp or both. I could never find an ingredient, tamarind that is in authentic Pad Thai. A while back I found a box kit by Thai Kitchen that had the rice noodles and the sauce included.

After doing a lot of low & slow cooking on my pellet smoker wok cooking is almost too fast for me! I have been using my outdoor gas burner for the wok cooking. I am now getting the fire regulated better for the cooking.

I had some wild caught gulf shrimp to use. I poured half the 12 oz. package out to thaw under cold water, when I looked at them I thought we can eat the whole package. When they were thawed I added some Penzey’s Cajun seasoning to them.

I did the egg first and removed to add back in; I was using some flavored wok oil. Then a little more oil and the shrimp went in. I had the noodles softened in some boiling water so drained them and added in along with the sauce.

I stirred to mix well and let the noodles soak up the sauce. I added the egg back in and some bean sprouts. I use canned sprouts since the fresh ones are hard to find here. I put the lid on the wok for a minute and then took inside to serve.

I had some chopped cashews for on top and some lime wedges to squeeze over. I had made up a spinach salad with water chestnuts, bean sprouts, salt, pepper and some Champagne dressing; it went well with the Pad Thai.

The wife and I both loved it. I followed the recipe on the box but did not use any red peppers; I used the Cajun for a little heat. The sauce with tamarind adds a nice sweet touch to it. I could use more heat but then the wife would not eat it. The next time I will add some green onions and garlic too.


My supper