Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Brunch Today

Aug 26 2013

I had some smoked chorizo left from yesterday’s cook. What could be better for brunch than some crispy fried potatoes, onions topped with the chorizo, some 4 blend Mexican cheese and an egg?

I browned the potatoes in some olive oil; added some sliced onion when they were getting crisp and flipped over. I sliced and heated the chorizo in another skillet. When the potatoes were getting crisp on the second side I made a row around the outside with the chorizo; topped that with the cheese and cracked an egg in the center. When the egg started to set up I seasoned with some salt and cracked pepper then set the top under the broiler.

Now that was a tasty brunch!

Ready for the broiler

My Brunch

Tapas Sunday

Aug 25 2013

It was a nice day to cook out and we had Tapas style food for lunch and supper. It was also quiet without the kids or our grandson popping in, kind of too quiet.

I had smoked a batch of my Cajun crackers Friday so we had meat and cheese on those for lunch. My meats were some summer sausage and ring bologna from my butcher Kah’s, and some chorizo from Meijer’s grocers. The cheeses were some Benedictine cucumber cream cheese spread, wild garlic Gouda, bacon white cheddar and baby Swiss.

I studded the ring bologna with some slices of fresh garlic and smoked it along with the chorizo. I did it on smoke mode for an hour then went to 275 deg. and finished to 165 deg.

My lunch tasted great along with some Victory Festbier to wash it down.

Garlic Ring Bologna and Chorizo

On the smoker

My Lunch

My supper was bacon wrapped asparagus, artichoke hearts and two pieces of chorizo for me. I knew my wife would not want the chorizo. My side was some Minute multi-grain medley, made of brown, red and white rice and quinoa. This is something new and very tasty. I boiled it in veggie broth then cooled and added some small diced carrots, celery and some Italian dressing for a salad.

Supper was great and love the bacon wrapped artichoke hearts.

Veggie wraps made

All done

My Supper

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Leftover Beef Sandwich and Roasted Veggies

Aug 24 2013

It’s too busy a week-end for me! Our son had an annual golf outing in Bowling Green. The grandson was having his first soccer game of the season in Dayton, OH. His Mom and grandma would take him to his game. Ole grampa would stay here with the dogs, just me and the dogs! The grandson will have some home games so I will get to see him play.

Our daughter in law has been overloading me with veggies from her weekly basket she gets. Can’t waste those; she gave me a head of cabbage, an acorn and a yellow squash. I found a recipe that used both cabbage and squash that looked good. I fixed that for my wife and her for their lunch today about 1:30 before they took off for the game. The grandson ate summer sausage.

I had 4 nice chicken breasts, bone in, to cook. They air dried in the fridge for a couple of hours. I got them on the Traeger at 11:00, on my grill grates and seasoned with Lawry’s seasoning. I did them at 275 deg. While they were cooking I cut up the veggies and got them in the oven. The chicken breasts were done earlier than I thought, just over an hour. The grill grates do seem to get hotter than my stock grate.

The veggies were done after 50 minutes with the lid on then another 20 minutes with the lid off. I sliced up one of the breasts and my wife had that along with the veggies at 1:30for her lunch. The daughter in law came about 20 minutes later and had some of the veggies and some bread and butter for her lunch. The grandson came about an hour later and had some summer sausage for his lunch. They all got left for the ball game about 4:00.

Whew! Just me and the dogs now; kind of nice to slow down a little! I got the other 3 chicken breasts from the fridge and sliced it all up. I vacuum sealed and froze individual servings for the grandson’s school lunches. He likes to take his lunch instead of eating in the cafeteria. I got 10 packages.

I had a little time to relax before fixing my supper. I had some leftover Italian beef thawed out and a pretzel bun for a sandwich. I heated the beef and melted some Swiss cheese over it and on the toasted bun with some mustard. I heated up some of the roasted veggies too. It all tasted great, a lot of goodness going on in the veggies; cabbage, acorn and yellow squash, carrots, celery, onions and veggie broth.

After supper I watched a little TV, the food channel! Then me and the dogs went to bed! The daughter in law dropped my wife off after the game and then they headed up to Toledo to meet our son and spend some time with her parents.  They will be back sometime tomorrow. I plan on a lazy afternoon tomorrow fixing some tapas style food.

Printable Veggie Recipe

Chicken ready for the smoker

About done



Ready to freeze

Veggies ready to bake

Veggies done

My Supper

Friday, August 23, 2013

Steak Fingers and Spaghetti Squash

Aug 22 2013

I have not fixed these in over 20 years. When the kids were still home I could hardly get them to eat steak. Now ole Dad needed steak once in a while so one day I cut some round steak in strips. I dusted it lightly in flour with salt and pepper then browned them in a little oil. The kids loved these.

I bought a 2 lb. round steak at my butchers that looked like it had some nice marbling. I cut it in half and vacuum sealed half and froze, it will make some good baked steak later. I trimmed the fat and sliced on a bias about ½ thick slices. I splashed some Worcestershire sauce over and a little salt and pepper. It was in the fridge about an hour before cooking. I didn’t season too heavy since I wanted to try my #5 Umami dust on it at the table.

Our daughter in law had given me a spaghetti squash that would go good with the steak. I cut it in half and removed the seeds; brushed with butter and sprinkled on some Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle. I preheated the Traeger to 325 deg. and put the squash cut side down on my grill grates, smooth side. The squash was on the small side and would normally take about 1 ½ hrs. in the oven at 350 deg. I checked after 45 minutes and it was almost done so turned them and placed on the smoker grates.

I did the steak fingers on the grill grates about 5 minutes per side. I served it with a salad and some of my fresh tomatoes and blue cheese dressing.

It all tasted pretty good. My steak fingers were a little overdone; 2 to 3 minutes per side would have been enough. The #5 Umami dust was good applied at the table but not worth the $10 I paid for 3.5 ounces.

Steak fingers are something you can do many ways; use sirloin, round, flank or skirt steak. Cut them any size you want. Use your favorite seasoning, marinade, or even BBQ sauce. You could even bread them and do like country fried steak; when I searched on them I saw where they are a favorite in Idaho and they have a fast food chain that does them.

Round Steak, I use the right half



Squash ready for the smoker

On the smoker

Steak and Squash done

My Salad

My Plate

Monday, August 19, 2013

Chicken, Asian slaw and Fried Green Tomato Stacks

Aug 17 2013

Last night I mixed up some of Kimmie’s, the wife of a fellow LTBBQ member, Asian slaw to marinate overnight. It would go well with some chicken and fried green tomatoes. I had a large tomato that fell off the vine and was just starting to turn red. That’s what I like to use for fried green tomatoes, they are sweeter than using all green ones.

About 20 years ago we celebrated an anniversary by going to Ruth’s Chris Steak House in Columbus, Ohio. We had fried green tomatoes for an appetizer; the best I ever had. It was alternated layers of fried green and red tomatoes 5 or 6 high with the best cheese sauce over. I tried a couple of times to duplicate the sauce but didn’t succeed. I would try again.

I did two fried green tomatoes, a fresh yellow tomato in the middle and the cheese sauce over for each stack. The sauce was a can of Campbell’s cheese soup, a teaspoon of Worcestershire, a ½ teaspoon of white pepper and a few drops of Cholula hot sauce. It’s getting close.

I sliced the tomatoes, a little salt over, and drained for an hour. My breading mix was some flour, crushed saltines and cornmeal with a little pepper. I dipped the green tomatoes in plain flour, some egg and cream wash, and then in the flour mix. I let them rest in the fridge at least an hour.

I had a split friar to do but wanted to try some Korean red pepper flakes and some Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce so I cut it in quarters. I seasoned one of the leg quarters with the Korean red pepper flakes and let all air dry in the fridge about 4 hours.

Our daughter in law dropped off the grandson and had some of Kimmie’s Asian slaw before going to work. She loved the slaw.

When I was ready to do the chicken I rubbed on a light coat of Hellman’s mayonnaise and some Lawry’s seasoning on the 3 quarters without the red pepper flakes. I put the chicken on my Traeger at 325 deg. leg quarters on the right, the hotter side. I figured at least an hour and 15 minutes but the leg quarters were getting done early and about 25 deg.  ahead of the breasts so I swapped sides to finish them. I brushed my quarter with the Mae Ploy sauce the last 15 minutes.

When the chicken was done I started frying the tomatoes and brought the chicken in to rest. I made up the two tomato stacks, we were going to share with the grandson but he didn’t want to try them. He ate chicken and the slaw which he liked.

My wife said the chicken was tender and juicy and we both thought the tomato stacks were very good.

I liked my Korean chicken and the red pepper flakes and chili sauce will be great on wings.
Chicken ready for the fridge

Sauce ingredients

Flour mix

Tomatoes draining

Tomatoes breaded

Yellow tomatoes

Tomatoes frying

Seasoned chicken ready to smoke

Chickens done


My Plate

Friday, August 16, 2013

Chili Dogs and Potato Salad

Aug 15 2013

In 1958 I was 16 and lucky enough to be able to buy my first car, a 1947 Ford Coup. A favorite Friday and Saturday night was to cruise in & out of the B&K Root Beer drive inn, in Van Wert, Ohio. I had to have a couple of chili dogs with onions, French fries and a mug of root beer and flirt with the car hops. That drive inn still opens every summer.

My oldest daughter had given me a can of Rudy’s chili dog sauce; she said it was their favorite. I looked them up and it’s a local place in Toledo, Ohio at two locations. I was getting hungry for some chili dogs!

My wife and grandson were going to meet his Mom after her work and go out to eat; a good time for me to have my hotdogs. After lunch I made a batch of Justin Wilson’s picnic potato salad to have with my dogs. Justin Wilson was a Cajun story teller and cook. He had one of the earlier cook shows on TV that I enjoyed watching. I loved his Cajun accent and his recipes; the potato Salad is my favorite.

I opened the Rudy’s sauce to heat up, and added about a cup of some cooked ground beef I had. I did
the dogs on my Traeger on Grill Grates. I like them charred and cooked until they burst and no matter what else goes on I have to have a little mustard. I thought I had shredded cheddar but only had some Swiss and 4 blend Mexican so I had one of each.

The hotdogs tasted great and satisfied my hunger for some chili dogs. Rudy’s sauce was good; not the best I have had but had some nice heat to it.

Printable Potato Salad Recipe

Potato salad ingredients except the celery

All in but the eggs

Mixed and eggs added

Ready to chill and get Happy

For the hot dogs

Dogs are done

A little mustard and chili sauce

Some onion and shredded cheese

Ready to eat

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Beef Sirloin Steaks and Baked Potatoes

Aug 12, 2013

Last Friday I bought a package of thick cut sirloin steaks at Sam’s club. The 3 larger ones would be good for the wife and I and son and the small one for our grandson. I had trouble getting all together to fix them; too many things going on. So Monday for lunch our son came down and fixed his on my Weber Q100, he did it 4 minutes on a side and looked med. rare. He said it was great.

I had also just bought some Taste 5 Umami Dust. A taste test said it would be great on the steaks. I was going to fix the steaks for my wife, me and the grandson. Our son had to work and his wife would eat a baked potato and a salad. I put the baked potatoes with potato rods in the oven 350 deg. at 5:00 and told the wife we would eat at 6:30. She said can’t we eat at 6:00; our grandson has soccer practice at 7:00. I said ok and turned the oven to 375 deg.

I preheated the Traeger to 375 deg. and did the steaks on grill grates for 5 min. then flipped for another 4 minutes. They looked great, nice grill marks. I served all at 6:10.

The steaks were rare instead of the med. rare I wanted. I should have used a temp probe. After cooking the Umami dust seasoning had lost most of its flavor. I think you need to use your favorite seasoning and use it to enhance. The baked potatoes did not have as crispy a skin as I usually get. The salad was good. It was not a disaster but not my best cook.

About the only positive about this cook was I now know I can sear steaks with great grill marks on my Traeger if using Grill Grates.

The Steaks

Tied and seasoned

Potatoes for the oven

Steaks are ready

My Salad

My Plate