Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunday Meatloaf, Corn Pudding and Potatoes

July 28, 2013

It was a cool and windy day today. After I had my corn and meatloaf mixed up I was sitting on my smoking deck with a cold one. It kept looking like rain so I dropped the north wall canvas. When I started cooking the heat from the smoker felt good.

It was fun cooking since I was trying two new recipes. When I was getting the ground chuck at my butchers I spotted some fresh kraut brats and got two of them to add. I was thinking ketchup base does not sound good but mustard and sour cream does. I used some Saucy Sows sauce for the mustard.

My wife wanted to eat at 6:00. I knew the 2 pound meatloaf would take 1 ½ hours on my Traeger at 300 deg. That gives me 325 deg. at grill level. I always do them to an IT of 160 deg. I got the meatloaf on at 4:30.

My corn pudding recipe was adapted from Katie Lee at Food & Wine. It said to bake at 350 deg. for a half hour. I figured 45 min. at 325 should do it. I had mixed it all but the shredded cheese and eggs, so I added those after I got the meatloaf on and put it in the smoker at 5:15. I nuked some baby gold potatoes for 4 min. with some butter and seasoning. I got those on the smoker at 5:25 in my wire basket.

At 6:00 the meatloaf was almost done but my corn was not. Time for plan B; I turned the smoker down to smoke mode and heated my inside oven to 400 deg. I put the corn in the oven and brought the meatloaf and potatoes in to rest. In 8 minutes the corn was nice and brown and set up.

I served it up with some bolillo rolls and my gorgonzola butter. I had made some brown gravy with a packet of Pioneer brand mix.

My wife said the meatloaf is good! I liked it too; I had the gravy over the meat and potatoes. We were just done eating and our daughter in law came in. I said there is food if you’re hungry, she took a sample of the meatloaf and said that’s good. When she sat down that veggie girl had a big slice of the meatloaf on her plate! The meatloaf recipe is a keeper for me.

Printable Meatloaf Recipe

Corn simmering in 2 cups milk and 1/2 cup cream for 10 minutes

Corn removed to cool and 1 stick of butter added, then cooled

Medium onion sauteed for 8 minutes

Corn, onions and 1/2 cup cornmeal added then in the fridge

Meat loaf ingredients

Ready to mix up

Ready for the smoker

Corn mix at room temp, 6 egg yokes and 1/2 cup cheddar added

6 egg whites beaten and folded into the corn mix

All in the smoker

Meatloaf resting

Corn is done

A lot of pics but had to include one of The Third Shift

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bacon BLT's and Stuffed Portobellas

July 27, 2013

Sandman had given me ½ pound of his buckboard bacon and I had a fresh tomato from my garden to make BLT’s for supper. Sandman is a fellow member of Lets Talk BBQ.

This AM I went to Sutters little red barn and bought two baker’s dozen ears of bi-color corn to do up and freeze. It is picked fresh daily and you can tell it when you husk it out. The ears break easily from any stem left on. I saved out 4 ears for some corn pudding and did the rest on my gas cooker outside; 4.5 minutes in rapid boiling water and then in ice water to cool down. I cut it all from the cob and my wife bagged it up. We got 6 one pound bags to vacuum seal and freeze.

After I got all cleaned up from doing the corn I had about an hour rest before getting supper ready. I must have been tired; I didn’t get any pics of the bacon and stuffed Portobellas on the smoker.

I did the bacon on the flat side of my Grill Grates at 300 deg. I had to do two batches and then got the mushrooms ready. For the stuffing I had some chopped artichoke hearts, topped that with some Panko bread crumbs and then dotted it with my gorgonzola chive garlic butter.

I did the portobellas at 300 deg. cut side down for 5 minutes then added the stuffing and in for another 15 minutes. I didn’t get the top looking like I wanted so under the broiler for a while and I almost burnt them.

I served the BLT’s on wheat bolillos with Hellman’s mayo. The BLT was great and the mushrooms were pretty good even almost burnt. The bolillos are a Mexican bread roll and make a great sandwich bun, crusty on the outside and light tender insides.

Lettuce and stuffing mixes

Mushrooms just off the smoker

My BLT, mushroom and a Yuengling

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rib Eyes on my Grill Grates

July 26, 2013

Yesterday I bought two nice rib eyes at my butchers, Kah Meats, to fix tonight. I also cut some chives from my garden and made four sticks of my gorgonzola chive garlic butter. It would go great on the steaks and on some fresh corn on the cob.

This morning I got a dozen ears of white corn from Sutters, picked fresh this morning. After lunch I shucked the corn and saved out 4 of the smaller ears for supper. I boiled the other 9 ears for 4 minutes and then in ice water to cool. I cut it off the cob and had 3 one pound bags. It went in the freezer and I’ll vacuum seal it tomorrow. I will get two more dozen bi-color tomorrow to do up for freezing. That will taste good a few months from now.

For the first time doing steaks on my Grill Grates I placed a probe at grill level to check the temp. I don’t have an IR gun so that’s the best I could do. I fired up my Traeger and eased it up to 375 deg. I let it warm up for about a half hour. I had 378 deg. on my RTD and 433 on the grill level probe; 55 deg. hotter.
I put the rib eyes on for 5 minutes per side, adding some of my gorgonzola butter the last two minutes. The steaks had nice grill marks.

I had the corn in my steamer and some marinated cucumbers, tomatoes and onions for a side. The steaks were delicious, a just right med-rare, and nice and juicy! The corn was good along with the gorgonzola butter and some ground pepper. I think the white is more tender than yellow or bi-color.

Corns on

Rib Eyes

Comparing temps

Marinated Salad


On the smoker

Just right for me

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bloomin Onion on My Traeger

July 24, 2013

Our daughter in law signed up for a weekly produce basket at work and brought me the largest onion I think I have seen from a local garden. The first thought was make a bloomin onion. I did not want to deep fry it so looked up how to bake one. Anything done in an oven I can usually do on my Traeger. I got some ideas how to do one. I told the kids to come over for supper; we would get our favorite pizza from Sandman and I would do the bloomin onion.

Years ago Sandman’s Dad gave me a hint when I told him I wanted to do one at home. He said soak it in ice water and it will bloom easier. That works well. An easy way to slice the onion is cut the top off and remove outer layer. Slice some of the root off so it will set level. Place it cut side down on a cutting board. Then starting an 1/8 inch from the root slice straight down through.

After I got the onion all bloomed, spread out, I beat an egg and brushed it on and then sprinkled on Panko bread crumbs I had seasoned with some Penzey’s old world seasoning. I pre-heated the Traeger to 325 deg. and as soon as I put the onion on went to 350 deg. It was done when the pizza was ready about a half hour.

Everyone liked this, Sandman’s pizza and my bloomin onion! I had some Benedictine cheese spread and some ranch dressing to dip the onion petals in. My son said after having this one he wouldn’t want one deep fried again.It is healthier too.


Sliced and bloomed

Egg wash and seasoned

On my Traeger

Pizza and onions with dip

Smokin Don

Italian Sausage Patties on Grill Grates

July 24, 2013

At about 10:00 am I was getting hungry; I had some bulk Italian sausage so I would do them on my Grill Grates. It was the first meat patties I have tried. If any of you have a Traeger or other pellet grill and want to sear or brown meat; I recommend the Grill Grates they do a nice job.

The Grill Grates worked great, I used the bottom, flat side. It was the best browning I have ever had from my Traeger. I did them at 325 deg. 15 minutes and then flipped for another 10 minutes.

I had just made some Benedictine spread; it’s a cucumber and cream cheese mix. I had it and a slice of Vidalia onion with the patty on a flat bread bun. It tasted great for a good brunch.

My Sandwich

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Fermented Dill Pickles and some Marinated Salad

July 22, 2013

I am doing some fermented dill pickles for the first time. I have done sauerkraut and Kimchi before and wanted to try some dill pickles. I read through a lot of recipes and used one from Melanie at pickle me Her recipe looked good; all except for putting the lids on tight during the 3 to 5 day fermentation. If she does she is lucky she never had any explode; you need to let the gases escape. I covered the jars with cheese cloth and used the canning rings to secure and will keep it wet when I check for scum on top each day.

I liked her bit about using grape leaves or oak leaves that contain tannin and it keeps the pickles crisp. I read if you couldn’t get the grape or oak leaves to use about a teaspoon of black tea. That is what I used.
I had some dill from my garden to use and used 3 heads in each batch.

I had a pickle plant in my garden; that were supposed to be for pickles but the pickles got fat; almost like a gourd. I sliced up one for on a salad and it tasted good. I had enough to do a half-gallon and found some local grown pickles to do another half-gallon.

For each half gallon I used about a Tbs. of pickling spices, about 1 Tb. dried garlic flakes, a tsp. of what I thought were mustard seeds. Oh well; they would work being a little lemony and my pickling spice had mustard seeds in it. I also used 3 fresh dill heads.

The two quarts of brine were enough to cover the pickles in both jars. I added two dried red chilies in the jar of local grown pickles I bought for a little heat. In about a week I should know if I have some good dill pickles or not.

Marinated Veggies seasoned

Ready for overnight in the fridge

Monday, July 22, 2013

Chicken Brat Skillet Meal and Steamed Cabbage

July 21, 2013

My supper for a Sunday was pretty simple and an easy prep; I had leftover chicken, a brat, potato and onion skillet meal with steamed cabbage and some toasted cheese bread.

The chicken was leftover broasted chicken from my favorite carry out, Sandmans. Saturday was our Case family reunion and I took 24 pieces of chicken. My one grandmother was a Case. We had been having about 20 people attending. This year there were only 10 so we decided this was our last one. The family is too scattered around. I had plenty of chicken leftover.

I diced up some baby gold potatoes, a little olive oil and seasoning and nuked them in the microwave for 5 minutes. I sliced some Vidalia onion and had my Trager and Lodge steel skillet preheating to 325 deg.
I added the potatoes and onions to the skillet and did for about 20 then added the chicken and sliced brat.

I had some cabbage wedges steaming in my rice cooker. When all were done I buttered some cheese bread and toasted under the broiler. All was pretty tasty for a quick and easy meal.

Cabbage in the steamer

Potatoes and onions


In the smoker

Cheese bread

My Plate

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ham Salad Sandwich and a Salad

July, 19 2013

I smoked a ham shank the other day to make ham salad. It was some good smoked ham from Kah Meats.

My wife makes the ham salad and used hard boiled eggs, Hellman’s Mayo, sweet pickle relish and some mustard. She does not have a recipe; she just mixes it up and adjusts until she gets it right. It always comes out good. I ground up about 2 ½ pounds of the ham and added three eggs to the grinder too. I use the coarse grinding die; we don’t like it too mushy.

I vacuum sealed the ham bone and some of the meat to use with green beans and potatoes next week.

I had a loaf of Italian bread for the sandwiches. My wife had the ham salad on bread with tomatoes on the side. I made myself a salad, toasted the bread, a thin slice of Vidalia onion, ham salad and a slice of tomato! I had a second sandwich on the bread untoasted.

It hit the spot on a hot summer day. I will take some of it to my Mom and we will have lunches or snacks the next few days.  I like it on crackers or pita chips too.


Grinding meat and eggs

Ready for my wife to add her touch

Ready to serve

My Salad

My Sandwich