Saturday, January 2, 2016

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

Friday, January 1, 2016

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.

Friday, October 9, 2015

In Out style Burgers and Potatoes

Oct 08 2015

I was hungry for some smash burgers and decided to do them in the style of the In Out Burgers. I did a sirloin roast early today; I did it on my Traeger and took it to 130 deg. IT. I let it cool and then double wrapped in foil and in the fridge overnight. I will slice it thin tomorrow and make some Chicago style beef in the Crockpot.

It looks like In Out uses American cheese on their burgers like most burger joints. I prefer Swiss, Gouda or real cheddar on mine but I got some American for these. It does melt nice and run down making the sandwich look prettier.

It was a beautiful day today to be outside cooking. About 4:30 I deep fried some thin sliced onions for on the sandwich and made up some balls from ground chuck for the burgers. I had one small garden tomato that was ripe and was able to get 4 thin slices from it. I had a small bag of frozen sour cream and onion roasted potatoes to try and they were just right for two servings.

I did the burgers on my Weber Spirit on the backside of grill grates. I browned the buns first and then did the burgers. I threw them on and then smashed after 3 minutes I squeezed some mustard on top and then flipped. After 2 minutes I added the cheese slices and after 2 more minutes I made up the sandwiches.  I put them cheese side down so I could add the tomatoes and onions to the top. I had put the potatoes in the micro wave too.

The wife and I loved the burgers but the potatoes were just so so. You can’t get roasted potatoes from a micro wave!

Frying the onions

Burgers made

First side done and mustard added


Cheese added, ready to serve

My supper

It was Yummy!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Coney Islands and Leftovers

Oct 07 2015

Great weather here in NW Ohio to be out cooking. I am busy this week getting ready for a visit from our daughter who lives in the Chicago area and next Sat. we are celebrating our daughter in law and grandson’s birthdays. Our son and wife are having the party.

Yesterday I smoked 2.5 pounds of pistachios and used a large party size bag of Chex mix using their original recipe. This is for the party and Friday I am fixing a raspberry dump cake to take.

I mowed grass today and for something easy tonight I was having some of Kah Meat’s Coney Islands.
His Coney Islands are really bockwursts and not sure the history of them. Kah Meats are in the third generation now and the one who started it came from Germany so I would say most of the recipes came from him.

For me growing up in the 40’s and 50’s a Coney dog was a hot dog from the B&K Root beer drive-in served on a bun with chili sauce. I figured Coney Islands came from Germany but wiki says they were from immigrants from Greece and Macedonia and got the name Coney Islands because of this “In 1913 the Coney Island Chamber of Commerce in New York had banned the use of the term "hot dog" on restaurant signs on Coney Island, an action prompted by concerns about visitors taking the term literally and assuming there was dog meat in the sausage.[4] Because of this action by the Chamber of Commerce, immigrants passing through the area didn't know the sausage in a bun by the American moniker "hot dog." Instead, the handheld food would have been known to immigrants as a "coney island."

Anyway tonight I had Kah’s Coney Islands (bockwurst) and had some leftover kraut, spaetzel noodles and mashed potatoes thawed to have with them. We had some pickled baby beets and bread and butter. I did the Coney Islands on the Traeger on smoke 180 deg. for an hour and then on the Weber gasser heated to 400 deg. for 3 minutes per side until they browned and burst open. I made some sauce of equal parts of horseradish Mayo, mustard and ketchup to have with my Coney dogs.

We both liked the supper. I think my wife prefers the Bockwursts but I like bratwurst better.

Smoked pistachios

Smoked Chex mix

Coney Islands

An hour of smoke

On the grill

My supper

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Creole Thai Shrimp over Grits w/Bacon Twists

Oct 05 2015

I had some cheesy corny grits left from the other night and some shrimp in the freezer so it was shrimp and grits tonight. I had made my Super Pig bacon twists early and they were perfect to serve with the shrimp and grits.

I have made shrimp and grits a lot so knew the basic ingredients. I always use Penzey’s Cajun seasoning and for this one I decided to add a little Thai red curry paste.  I didn’t want to make it too hot or the wife would not like it.

I did not have bacon for in the shrimp but had the bacon twists to serve with it. I did this outside on my gas burner and used my DeBuyer skillet. Since I was using leftover grits this was a fast and easy meal. The recipe came out pretty good, just a little heat but I could tell I forgot to add a little sour.

Naturally I had to have some good crusty bread with a little butter! We both though my recipe was good!

Click here for printable recipe

For the shrimp

Reducing the sauce

Butter is in

Onions and garlic are in

Tomato sauce is in

Half and half is in

Shrimp is in

Ready to serve

My salad

My supper

Super Pig Bacon Twists

Oct 05 2015

I saw this on the net lately; twisting bacon to fry. I had some bacon left to use with shrimp and grits I was having tonight. I thought these would be good dusted with some Savor Spices Super Pig seasoning.

I would do them on my Traeger pellet grill. A pellet grill is ideal for cooking bacon; it cooks all the slices evenly and you can do them to the doneness you like.

I fired up my Traeger and got the bacon out to twist; I had six slices. I dusted it on both sides with the Super Pig and had a little trouble getting it to stay so I secured with some toothpicks. I was using thick bacon and it was cold so maybe bacon at room temp would stay twisted better.

The Traeger was at 200 deg. grill level when I put the bacon on and eased it up to 270 deg. The last 20 minutes I went to 300 deg. I thought I better pull the toothpicks when the bacon was half done. At a half hour I pulled all but the end ones and pulled all on one piece to see how it would stay twisted. In another 10 minutes it looked good so pulled all the toothpicks. I had two tongs I used to pull them. After one hour they looked good so I pulled them off to cool.

I could not resist it I had to try a piece. It was great and as I looked at the bacon I thought now it’s uneven I better have another piece so it’s even for tonight’s supper; two for the wife and two for me!

I had to go down to the kid’s house to let an appliance repairman in and passed the wife on the way down. I called her and ask her to put the bacon in the fridge. I said don’t eat any; it’s for tonight’s supper. I didn’t tell her I had two pieces!

If you don’t have access to Savor Spices for the Super Pig use some brown sugar and crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper. If you don’t have a pellet grill it might do well making them on indirect heat on a charcoal or a gas grill or in the oven at about 300 deg.F.

This is a great way to kick up the looks of your bacon, serve it as an appetizer or along with soup. It would be good with cheese or tomato soup. You can go light on the Super pig for a good flavor or go heavy for some pig candy. Mine were good with my shrimp and grits tonight!

Seasoning and making the twists

At a half hour

Done after one hour


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Strip Steaks, Muffin Pan Potatoes and Peas

Oct 03 2015

It was a wet, windy, cold fall day here today. I was glad I wanted to do this cook inside. I was out to my butchers the other day and he had some nice strip steaks on special for $8.69 each. I picked out two that was almost an inch thick. The two weighed right at 2 pounds.

I have not had strip steaks in ages. I find them a little on the tough side unless you get good ones and prefer rib eyes. I wanted to do them in cast iron but the steaks were too large for my 10 inch skillet so used my 12 inch Lodge carbon steel.

I have been reading a lot lately on dry brining, marinating, with salt and must say I like the method. I was adding a little coarse salt to both sides and letting set on a rack in the fridge for an hour. I am kind of in agreement with a couple of cooks that say you just need to get them out just long enough to salt and let them set for 20 minutes. That is just long enough to draw some water out to help in the browning process. I don’t rinse the salt off like some do. I don’t use heavy salt seasoning and don’t find them too salty.

I had about 3 cups of leftover mashed potatoes from Bob Evans that needed used. I mixed in an egg, about a cup of shredded cheddar and about 2 tablespoons of fresh snipped chives from my garden. I divided them between 4 muffin pan wholes; topped with some more cheese and chives and added some bacon butter to two of them.  They went into the oven at 370 deg. for 35 to 40 minutes. My other side was some peas.

I had some Weber’s Chicago steak seasoning to use; for mine I mixed in a teaspoon of Folger’s Gourmet Supreme dark roast coffee to 2 teaspoons of the seasoning. I was not going to add the seasoning until near the end of the cook to keep from burning it.

When I got the potatoes in the oven I got the steaks out and salted both sides with some gray sea salt. I heated my lodge CS skillet on medium high, just one notch above medium, for 8 minutes. I then added 2 teaspoons of grape seed oil; enough to just coat the pan.

I added the steaks and after 2 minutes I added the seasoning to the top side; after 3 minutes I flipped them and repeated the process. When both sides were in for 3 minutes I added a chunk of bacon butter and let melt. I tipped the skillet and basted some with a spoon over the steaks, flipped the steaks and added butter to the second side.

I removed the steaks to plates and topped with a pat of bacon butter. I got the potatoes out of the oven and had the peas cooking in the microwave. I served the wife and me along with some bread and butter.

The wife and I both thought the steaks were tender, juicy and just right med. rare. They were without a doubt the best strip steaks I ever cooked. We loved the potatoes in the muffin pan; that will be my go to method for leftover mashed potatoes. We like potato patties but these are a no fuss way while you tend to other cooking.

I am not sure I could really taste the coffee in my seasoning or not but it was good.

Coffee rub

Potato mix

Potatoes ready to bake

Steaks are in

First side seared

Seasoning added to the first side

My supper