Friday, March 29, 2013

Kentucky Hot Brown

Mar 28 2013

I was pretty happy with the way my turkey pastrami came out. I sliced it at lunch time and had the two end pieces and another for my lunch. I think it would be best on rye bread with some good mustard like my German beer mustard and maybe a slice of onion.

For our supper I had planned to use it and make a Kentucky hot brown sandwich. The sandwich was first served at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY in 1926. It was turkey and bacon served on bread with Mornay sauce and baked. I see more variations now using cheese sauce and sometimes including lettuce and tomato. The first one we had was years ago at restaurant in Brown Co. IN and was delicious.

I baked some Texas garlic toast to serve it on; bacon I had fried earlier, used Rico’s aged cheddar cheese sauce for the topping and a slice of tomato. My sides were some canned whole new potatoes browned up and asparagus with a little olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

The fixings

My Plate

Turkey Pastrami

Mar 27 2013

I finished smoking my turkey pastrami and it is in the fridge for overnight before slicing. I thought I better write this up before I forget some of it!

The only turkey breasts I can get here are frozen and all seem to have 20 % solution added to enhance, pre brined. Two fellow forum members from Lets Talk BBQ advised me it’s hard to un-brine; I agreed but I decided to do an overnight soak anyway for a test.

Monday I put the thawed breast in water and added about 1 tsp. ground coriander seeds, 1 tsp. ground pepper, 1 tsp. mustard seeds, 1 tsp. juniper berries and 2 Tbs. brown sugar and in the fridge overnight. I was hoping to remove some salt and get some flavor added.

Tuesday I rinsed the breast and drained while I made up the rub. I used a recipe by Steven Raichlen for a guide. The breast was 3 lbs. but came with a gravy pack, I threw away, so it was about 2 ½ lbs. It was in a mesh stocking. I knew when it was done I would peel off a lot of good seasoning but decided to leave it on. It would have been better to remove it and retie but I was too lazy!

1 Tbs. cracked coriander seeds
1 Tbs. whole coriander seeds
1 Tbs. cracked 4 peppercorn blend
1 Tbs. dried garlic flakes
1 Tbs. coarse Celtic grey salt
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 tsp. mace

I put all the rub I could get on it pressed it in and then in a 1 gallon bag and vacuum sealed. It went back in the fridge for overnight.

It was finally a nice day today; I got my smoker cleaned up a ready to go. I filled my amazen tube with apple wood pellets and lit. I got the turkey on at 12:45 and did 1 hour of cold smoke. I turned the smoker on and let it on smoke mode about 15 minutes. I had the breast on a rack so set it over a pan, added 2 cups of water to it and went to 225 deg.

I put my temp probes in and kept edging the temp up. I ended up at 300 deg. for the last 20 minutes when it hit 165 deg. IT. I wrapped in saran wrap and the foil and placed it in my microwave to rest for an hour. I then cooled it some more and then in the fridge. I can’t wait to slice and taste tomorrow! It had the most fragrant smell, while cooking, of anything I have ever smoked.

Cook time was 1 hour of cold smoke and total hot cook was 2 hours 45 minutes.

The Turkey

Seasoning added before covering with water to soak

My rub

Vacuum sealed

Cold smoking with amazen tube smoker

After one hour of cold smoke

At 150 deg. IT

Ready to wrap and rest

Mar 28 2013

After lunch I sliced up the turkey after resting in the fridge overnight. It turned out pretty good even though I lost a lot of the good crust taking the net sock off.

Sliced up

Monday, March 25, 2013

Chicken and Yellow Rice

You gotta eat up those leftovers and some days I need something quick and easy. I had 4 slices of stuffed chicken breasts from the freezer and a box of Zatarains yellow rice. These done in my rice cooker would be easy and easy on my wife, recovering from the stomach flu. The rice and water went in the bottom of the rice cooker and the chicken in the top basket. The stuffing was a sausage mix. A half hour later supper was ready. A slice of bread and butter and I had some teriyaki sauce on my chicken.

The chicken

My Plate

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Spicy German Beer Mustard

Mar 22 2013

I am still on a mustard kick. I found my pickled mustard seeds were better as a topping for snacks and I wanted a slightly hot & spicy mustard for bratwurst. I found this spicy beer mustard at Food & Wine by Chef Jeremy Nolen. It sounded like it was what I wanted.

We are still not back to normal after a month of getting new toilets and floors in two bathrooms and all new carpet. Yesterday I found time to get my mustard seeds, beer and vinegar ready for an overnight soak.

Our son had given us a gift certificate from Red Lobster for Christmas. We had planned to use it for my birthday last month but were too busy getting ready for the bathroom redo. For dinner Thursday night we all went to Red Lobster. We had their lobster artichoke dip for an appetizer. I had a lobster bake that had a lobster tail, shrimp, scallops, and mussels served over linguine with a butter wine sauce. My wife had stuffed tilapia with a lobster sauce over rice. I don’t remember what the kids had. We had a great time.

My wife has been sick all day today. I don’t think it was food poisoning since she didn’t have cramps. It was too much rich food or a touch of the stomach flu, or both. I got my CD cabinet back in my computer room. I have it anchored to the wall since it’s narrow. This afternoon I took time to finish up my mustard.

The recipe called for a good dark German beer, I used Becks. It also called for brown and yellow mustard seeds; all I had was yellow so that would have to do. I cut back on the salt, just a heaping teaspoon instead of two and used Celtic sea salt. I ground some whole allspice and just used a teaspoon.

I mixed a half cup of the beer along with the brown sugar, salt, allspice and turmeric in a small sauce pan. I brought it to a boil and then set aside to cool some. Be careful since it wants to boil over quick.

I mixed all together with the cup of ground mustard and processed it in a food processor. I had to do it in three batches. I pulsed each batch about eight times leaving some of the mustard seeds whole. The finished product was way too thin for me. There might be something you could add to thicken and not alter the taste but I didn’t know what. I just brought it to a slow boil and then simmered until it was the right consistency. I had to stir it almost steady until reduced.

When it cooled I put it in jars. It made about two and a half pints. After tasting I think this is going to be great on brats!

Link to Mustard Recipe


Soaked seeds and mustard powder

Ground allspice, Celtic sea salt and turmeric

Beer and seasonings boiled and cooling

After reducing to thicken

One Pint

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pickled Mustard Seeds

Mar 20 2013

Mustard is my favorite spread for sandwiches. All the years I have been cooking I don’t know why I never made my own. We had a friend that used to give us a pint of her beer mustard every year for Christmas; and I looked forward to it. The past few weeks we have been moving furniture to the garage, getting all new carpet installed and just now have most moved back and getting back to normal. I didn’t have time to do much cooking but did find time to make this pickled mustard seed.

Mar 17 2013

Browsing recipes while taking a break from moving furniture; I ran across some homemade mustard recipes. I found the recipe at designsponge blog by Ashley English. I had just bought a pound of yellow mustard seeds from Penzey’s and had all the ingredients.

Yesterday, Saturday, my son and wife came over to help move some of the large items to the garage. We had late lunch and I decided I had time to whip up the pickled mustard seeds. I had some organic apple cider vinegar and local raw honey so this will be organic. I mixed the mustard seeds, vinegar and salt to set overnight.

This morning I added the honey and turmeric; heated and simmered for about 20 minutes. I added a few grinds, 6 or 8, of fresh cracked pepper, a mix of red, white, green, and black peppercorns. After it had cooled some I tasted and added a Tbs. of sugar. I put it in a pint jar to save and had a little left over to try for lunch on a sandwich.

It sure is pretty and looks like caviar to me; I guess you could call it mustard caviar.

There are a ton of homemade mustard recipes on the net so I plan to try some more different ones over the summer.

Link to mustard recipes


Simmering vinegar, mustard seeds and salt

Pepper added


One pint plus some to sample

After eating some of this on a bratwurst I would prefer a stronger mustard taste. This to me came out pretty mild on the mustard taste with a slight vinegar flavor, I liked the texture of it. I think where it really shines is on top of snacks. Last night for a late night snack I had some of my Cajun crackerswith baby swiss cheese and a dab of the pickled mustard seeds, delicious.

My snack

I just had another snack; Cajun crackers, hard Salami, a slice of Old Crock Australian sharp cheddar with a dab of the mustard seeds. This was good and I think the mustard seeds will get better with age.

My snack tonight

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Slawsa German style Potato Salad

I don't usually promote products here but this stuff, Slawsa, is good. Slawsa is a sponsor on my favorite forum, Lets Talk BBQ. I found some at a Meijer's store. It comes in original or spicy, but they only had the original. Tasting right out of the jar I wasn't sure I would like it that well. After trying it on a tenderloin sandwich with a little Cholula hot sauce too I loved it.

Trying to think of other ways to use it I settled on some German style potato salad. If you can't find it they have a web site and can be ordered from there. Shipping may be too high for those of you in other countries. Below are photos of it on a sandwich and in the potato salad.

Link to Slawsa's site

On my sandwich

Mar 12 2013

I painted doors and woodwork Monday and was tired so we had carry ins from Bob Evans for supper, country fried steak. I knew I could finish up the painting Tuesday so I wanted to cook something quick and easy. I had just bought some Slawsa and was thinking what could I cook and use it. With its sweet & slight sour taste German potato salad was a natural.

My wife’s aunt used to make the best German potato salad, when she made it that’s all I wanted was a plate full of it! I have her recipe but can never get it just like hers.

Tuesday morning I went to my butchers and got 4 of his fresh brats and a pound of his bacon. I also stopped by Sandman’s carry out to replenish my beer supply.

I painted from 11 am to 3:30, well there were a few beer breaks! The grandson was home from school and I relaxed awhile before starting supper.

I got the brats on my smoker at 5:00 and then peeled and sliced the potatoes and made up the potato salad. I heated a can of sliced beets for another side to have.

The wife and I both loved the potato salad; the recipe is a keeper for us.

Printable potato salad recipe

Diced bacon

Browned bacon

Sauteing the onions and celery seed

My Plate

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Pork Tenderloins and Squeezed Potatoes

Mar 09 2013

I haven’t cooked as much lately, I have been putting some oak baseboard back in a bathroom we just had a new floor installed. I still have some painting to do before they put new carpet in a week from Monday. I’ll be glad when we get it all done.

I was at Meijer’s the other day and they had pork tenderloins on sale for $1.79 a pound. I bought a package of two at 2.7 pounds. I had a recipe I wanted to try but it had a lot of prep work so decided to keep it simpler.

About 5 hours before cook time I rinsed and dried the tenderloins, wet down with red wine vinegar, added Penzey’s BBQ 3000 seasoning, Penzey’s garlic flakes, and cracked pepper. I covered with plastic wrap and in the fridge.

I had potatoes to use up so I did my squeezed potatoes. I boiled 5 med potatoes in the skin until fork tender, drained and cooled some. I then squeezed them out of their jackets into an oiled dish, just mashing course. I added some of Penzey’s garlic flakes, salt and pepper over the top. I then poured ¾ stick of melted butter over all. I had them ready to go on along with the tenderloins.

My wife wanted green beans too so I heated a can, with a couple splashes of white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. If I don’t use fresh, that’s one veggie I like better from the can than frozen. For me the frozen ones have no taste at all.

I preheated the Traeger to 250 deg. I figured on 275 deg. grill temp and about an hour and twenty minutes to get the tenderloins to 148 deg. IT. After a half hour it was running hot so I dropped back to 225 deg. It probably averaged 280 grill temp and the tenderloins were at 148 deg. IT after a total of an hour and ten minutes.

I tented the tenderloins with foil to rest and popped the potatoes under the broiler to brown a little. Tasted pretty good, the pork was tender and juicy. I guess that’s why they call them tenderloins!


Seasoned and ready to marinate

Squeezed potatoes

Seasoning and butter added

On the smoker

Potatoes done

Sliced pork

My Plate

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

My 2nd Beef Tri-Tip

Mar 03 2013

I was getting hungry for some good beef so I bought a tri-tip from my butcher, just under 3 lbs. It was frozen so thawed in the fridge 3 days and seasoned it up to marinate overnight Saturday. My seasoning was a simple Santa Maria style of a tablespoon each, salt, dried garlic flakes, parsley and my pepper was a mix of red white, green, and black peppercorns ground course. I double wrapped in plastic wrap and in the fridge.

This roast looked fattier than my first one and ones I have seen photos of. I trimmed some of the fat cap and some from the meat side. I wanted to do this one at 225 to 250 deg. for the whole cook and sear after reaching an IT of 135 deg.

I fired up my Traeger and on P0 smoke mode it was running at 190 deg. I put the tri-tip on at 3:30 and figured it to be done at 5:30. At 4:00 I went to 225 deg. and it was running a little high, grill temp was about 290 deg. average. At 5:00 it was getting done too quickly so I went back to 180 deg. About 5:15 I put my asparagus bundles on and the roast was at 135 deg. IT at 5:30.

My baked potatoes were done in the oven; I had my Lodge carbon steel skillet ready to sear the roast. I seared it 3 minutes on the meat side then turned it after 2 minutes I removed from the heat and tented it to rest while I got everything ready. I had used a peeler to shred some carrots and sautéed them in some butter. I had a small baguette for bread and butter.

I sliced two slices of the beef for my wife & I; topped one with some of the umami gorgonzola butter and one with some of my chipotle steak sauce. We both had the umami butter on the baked potato too. It all tasted great, we both thought it was delicious. The tri-tip was a nice medium, very tender. I can’t say which I liked the best, the gorgonzola butter or my steak sauce. I thought they were both extra good flavors along with beef and the seasoned crust just added to it.


Seasoned and ready for the fridge



Roast at 135 deg. IT

Sauteing the carrots

Searing the roast


My Plate

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Chipotle Steak Sauce

Mar 02 2012

Here is another recipe from the Texas Beef Council site. I thought it was worthy of sharing. After I got my Umami Gorgonzola Butter made up I made this sauce to use on my beef tri-tip roast.

They gave the cook time as 25 minutes; by the time I got it all made and reduced down it was closer to two hours total time. Chipotle peppers are probably my favorite to cook with, I like the smoky taste.
Instead of using a chipotle pepper I used some of Tobasco’s new chipotle pepper sauce and just used a little over a teaspoon. I also added a heaping teaspoon of smoked paprika that was not in the recipe.

When I got it all cooked down and pureed I thought it had a great taste and was a pretty color. It was the consistency of ketchup. I am looking forward to trying it on my beef tri-tip tonight for supper.


Onions sauteing

Carrots and bat leaf added

Garlic and tomatoes added

Wine added

Wine cooked down to a paste

All done and ready to puree

Finished sauce