Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday celebrated mostly in the US and Canada. It is the 2nd Monday in October for Canada and the 4th Thursday in November in the US. Some other countries have similar holidays.
Here in the US most families all get together and have a feast of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes, vegetable dishes, cranberry relish and some type of good bread. For dessert pumpkin is the traditional pie to serve.
I am not that crazy about turkey but usually have it for Thanksgiving. Being married for 47 years the wife and I have eaten a lot of turkey dinners over the years. Early in our marriage it was spent mostly with either or both parents, so some years we had two Thanksgiving meals. My favorite way for turkey was getting a turkey roll from a fellow worker. He de-boned a whole turkey tying it in a roll with seasoning in a cooking bag. It was the best tasting turkey I ever had, moist and tender. It was also easy to slice and serve.
Most cooking blogs are busy showing their favorite method for doing a turkey or their favorite side dish.
I took the easy way out this year and just ordered our feast from Bob Evans restaurant; a Farmhouse turkey feast for four. It is a slow roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings. Our son and wife and the grandson will be here with us. It will be nice to just sit back and relax and enjoy for once.
Hope all of you who celebrate Thanksgiving have a great time and enjoy some good food!
Monday, November 25, 2013
Nov 24 2013
Posole actually means foamy but most have come to know it as a Mexican stew usually made with pork or chicken, hominy, peppers and seasoning.
With it not getting out of the 20’s all week-end called for some soup for Sunday’s supper. I had pulled pork left over and thought hominy. I knew a traditional posole soup would be too spicy for the wife so I came up with this mild version. I added some heat to mine at the table.
After lunch I made some cornbread baked in my old Wapak cast iron skillet. You can mix up your own but for convenience any more I use Miracle Maize sweet box mix. The box says bake at 400 deg. but I find 380 deg. for 25 minutes is just right for me. I pre-heat my skillet with a good teaspoon of bacon grease while the oven is heating. I mix up the batter, pour the excess grease from the skillet and pour the batter in and bake. When I check it and the top is starting to crack and the edges are a nice golden brown, pulling from the sides of the skillet it is done. I let it cool 5 to 10 minutes then invert into a dish to serve; that shows the nicely brown bottom.
It only took an hour to throw the soup together. It came out a lot better than I thought. The wife not being a big soup person thought it was extra good too. I added some Cajun seasoning and hot sauce to mine. It tasted great with buttered cornbread.
Printable Posole Recipe
Printable Posole Recipe
Inverted to serve
Ready to serve
Saturday, November 23, 2013
Nov 22 2013
I wanted to use some of the Super Pig seasoning that a freind gave me to try on a pork butt. After using it on bacon I thought it would be good on a butt and give a good bark. I found one on the small side at Walmart; just shy of 7 lbs. It was a Tyson and I am not crazy about Tyson products. The package said 100% all natural then in fine print it said 4% marinade added; probably salt water.
Wednesday evening I got it smeared with mustard and some of the Super Pig and in the fridge overnight. In the photos it doesn’t look like much seasoning but I had plenty on there.
I didn’t want to be cooking all day so I decided to cut the butt in half; it would cook faster and I would get more bark. This morning I fired up my Traeger with 100% apple wood pellets. I cut the butt in half and applied mustard and Super Pig to the cut sides and added more Super Pig to all. I got them on the smoker at 7:45 at 180 deg. for an hour then 225 deg. for another ½ hour. Then I went to 250 deg. for most of the cook. Grill level temp was running 280 to 290 deg.
I planned to wrap in foil when the butts got to 170 deg. adding some apple cider. I had the foil and the apple cider ready; but when I looked at them they looked plenty moist yet so decided to do without foiling. I drizzled some apple cider over several times.
At 2:30 one was at 198 deg. and one was at 190 deg. IT. I checked more with my hand held and did a probe test. They were done so wrapped in foil and in a warm oven for an hours rest. I preheat my oven to 180 deg. then turn off after the butts are in.
While the butts were resting I laid down for a rest! At 3:30 I took the butts from the oven to cool some before pulling. It pulled nice and most of the fat was rendered out. The Super Pig bark tasted good and the butt was plenty moist. I ate so much while pulling, I almost didn’t want supper! We ate carry-ins with the kids for supper.
Nov. 23 2013
We baby sat with the grandson last night so he ate supper with us. He and my wife had the pulled pork plain and sides of mac and cheese (Bob Evens) and some coleslaw I made. I had a sandwich on a toasted whole wheat boullilo. We all thought the pork was extra good.
Note: Super Pig seasoning by Savor Spices was made for bacon but to me it worked well on the pork butt. Anyone interested can get it at savorspices.com along with their other flavors. Their MoRockin Chicken seasoning is popular among members of Let’s Talk BBQ.
Pork Butt w/mustard and seasoning
Ready for the fridge overnight
Split and re-seasoned
At 4 hours
Bone came out clean
Some of the nice bark
Nov 19 2013
When my friend Sandman gave me a pound of his home cured apple wood smoked bacon he also gave me some Savor Spice’s Super Pig bacon seasoning to try. He said it was a little sweet for him.
I am not a good one to rate this seasoning since I have tried other pig candy recipes and didn’t like them.
I think the first pig candy I tried was a recipe called millionaires bacon and was mostly as much brown sugar as you could get to stick to the bacon and doing in the oven. I made some bacon jam and didn’t like that.
This morning I fired up the Traeger, seasoned some bacon with Super Pig and on the frog mat. It was at 250 deg. and I eased it to 300 deg. It looked done and crisp at 50 minutes total cook time. I tasted a slice warm and thought it was so so. After it cooled in the fridge I liked it better. To me if anything maybe it had a tad too much salt.
I did eat all seven slices though; so for one who would rather just have plain bacon should rate it high for people who like a little sweet and heat on their bacon. If I wanted to fix some pig candy for guests I would use Super Pig.
On my Traeger
Reday for snacking
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Nov 17 2013
The other day Sandman gave me some of his home cured apple wood smoked bacon. Sandman is the user name of fellow Let’s Talk BBQ forum member, and friend who runs the Beer & Wine Depot, a drive thru carry out. We exchange ideas and sometimes samples of food we BBQ or cook. I fried some up for our lunch today, just got finished eating. Fried mush and cheese omelets complimented it.
I only have bacon and eggs every couple of weeks. If I want to indulge I fry my eggs in the bacon grease and use a spoon to baste the top with the bacon grease. Then some fried mush just makes it all better! Mush is simply cornmeal cooked up as thick porridge then placed in a loaf pan and cooled in the fridge. Then it is sliced thick or thin and fried. I like mine sliced thin and fried in the bacon grease until golden brown and crisp.
I used to make my own mush but now to save time I buy it from the grocery. Yoder’s brand is the best, an Amish family company that sells Amish food products around the area. Here in the US fried mush is mostly popular in the mid-west and north-east. Some people like it with maple syrup but I like a dab of butter, salt and pepper on mine.
I used some four cheese shredded Mexican cheese in the omelets. My wife had a one egg omelet, a slice of bacon and a slice of mush; she eats a little lighter than me! I had a two egg omelet, 3 slices of mush, with butter, salt and pepper, and 4 slices of bacon.
That was a good breakfast, (lunch)!
Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Nov 16 2013
I needed a simple supper for Sat. evening so this crockpot beef pot roast worked well for me. I needed to install a new blower fan in my Traeger and mulch up some of the leaves in my yard. It was a nice day about 60 deg.
I followed Pioneer Woman’s recipe pretty close. She did hers in the oven and I did mine in the crockpot for about 8 hours on low. With just a beef chuck roast, carrots, celery, onions beef broth and a little salt and pepper it makes a fine meal. Add some mashed potatoes and rolls or bread and butter and you have a comforting meal. Homemade mashed potatoes are better but as a time saver I used some Bob Evans and toasted some garlic knots in the oven.
I browned the onions and carrots in some olive oil then seared the roast and in the Crockpot with two stalks of celery. I deglazed the skillet with some light beer, ¾ cup, and in the pot, you could use some wine or if you don’t want to use alcohol use beef broth. I added some beef broth to almost cover the roast. I turned on high for about a half hour then down to low.
I got the new fan in the Traeger, changed the pellets out to some 100 % apple wood and recharged, ready to do some apple wood bacon Sandman gave me. I got my leaves mulched and then some rest before supper time.
An hour before supper I took the roast out to remove the fat, had to use a slotted spoon, it fell apart.
I added the meat back and turned to high. I added slurry of a tablespoon of flour and a little water, and a tablespoon of kitchen bouquet the last half hour. Kitchen bouquet is a browning and seasoning sauce for meat, gravy and stews. I skimmed some fat off the top and then I toasted the garlic knots in the oven, nuked the mashed potatoes and served it up. That hit the spot; I was hungry for some good beef and gravy!
Browning the onions
Browning the carrots
Searing the beef
Deglazing the skillet
All in the pot
After seven hours
Ready to serve
Friday, November 15, 2013
Thanks to all who follow and view. I started this blog knowing it was a good way to keep records of my cooks to go back to for reference. Google blogger keeps track of the number of page views I get and the countries they come from. After a while I noted I was getting a lot of page views from all over the world. I have had this blog for over 3 years now. It has slowly built up to over 100 page views a day and 200 plus a day on week-ends. Last month I had over 4000 page views and a total of over 70,000 since I started the blog.
I hope I am spreading a little good will to all from other countries and you enjoy my cooking and some of my recipes. Thanks to my 24 followers and hope you enjoy it too. I don’t get a lot of comments but I kind of like it that way; I don’t really have a lot of time to answer them. I hang out at Let’s Talk BBQ and do a lot of posting there. They don’t have a translator on site so if you don’t speak English you would have to translate it somehow online.
My photos are not as fancy as some food blogs but I do the best I can. After cooking I am ready to eat and want my food hot so I take the photos pretty quick. Being 71 and every year now I don’t take the cold weather as well as I used to. I may not cook out as much this winter so I probably will post some of my indoor cooking.
I think all people the world over are alike and their main goal in life is to raise their families in peace and make enough to provide them with good food. I hope all enjoy my cooking and recipes!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
Nov 12 2013
What a name for a steak; but that’s what the label said! I got these at Sams Club and my thoughts were probably not as tender as good sirloin. They looked good with a little marbling and at $3.88 a pound I bought a package of five.
Today was my wife’s birthday; for nine months of the year she can say she is younger than me but now for three months she is the same age as I am! A trip to Sams Club was not a great outing for her birthday but I did take her and the kids out last night for some good Mexican food. One trip around Sams pushing the cart was pretty darned good for her since she just had both knees replaced Sept. 9th.
We woke up to a good 2 inches of snow on the ground this morning and looks like cold weather all week. I think our Canadian friends want to share some of their cold weather! It is a little early for here our leaves are not all down yet.
My wife’s birthday supper would be the steaks, some Ore Ida olive oil and sea salt potato wedges, a salad, and some Walmart garlic knots.
I seasoned the steaks with salt, fresh ground pepper and some dried garlic flakes about two hours before cooking.
I did the steaks my favorite way when cooking inside; a quick sear in a skillet and then in the oven at 350 deg. for four minutes for thinner steaks and eight minutes for thicker ones. This usually gives me the medium rare we like.
The steaks tasted good, not quite as tender as good sirloin but better than round steak.
Taken after lunch
Steaks and seasoning
Ready to serve
Just right for me
Monday, November 11, 2013
Nov 10 2013
I can’t do all my cooking on my smoker and some good soup would taste good on a cold windy day.
All my cooking life I have loved to try new dishes from around the world. I am always searching recipes for some new flavors to try. I think this is the first time trying Burmese. I found the recipe at Food52 by nykavi and thought the ingredients would make a tasty soup. Living in a small town in the mid-west I cannot always find the right ingredients for Asian style food.
I could not find shrimp paste (belachan), so I had to substitute oyster sauce and only used ½ teaspoon but think a teaspoon would have worked well. The closest noodles I could find were Udon stir fry noodles. I think they are a wheat noodle instead of rice but I thought they were good in the soup.
I had to debone the chicken thighs but if you can find them already done it would save time assembling the soup. I think this is the first cook I have done where you make a paste from the onion and garlic base. Once you get that made the soup goes together pretty fast.
I had a fresh salad of baby spinach and kale with bean sprouts, water chestnuts, chopped hard boiled eggs, and choice of salad dressings. I had chunky blue cheese on mine. We also had some crusty bread and butter.
Our daughter in law ate with us; her and my wife thought the soup was good. I loved it; I had chopped eggs, a little lime juice, a sprinkling of chili powder, cilantro and some crispy fried shallots for garnishes. I am not a cilantro lover but with this soup it worked and for me the best was the crispy fried shallots.
I will be making this again; sure tasted great on a cold fall day. I think I would stick with the oyster sauce I used but would like to find some good rice noodles to use.
Ingredients, (oyster sauce not shown)
Onions, garlic and oyster sauce paste
Onion paste in a little oil sauteing
Chicken and seasoning added
Coconut milk and water added to simmer 20 minutes
My noodle bowl and salad
Friday, November 8, 2013
Nov 07 2013
I have wanted to try this for a while; at least try something with some Korean red pepper flakes and some Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce. I get it at Walmart so it should be widely available in any market with an Asian section. It is sweet and I would say just mildly hot and smells of garlic. I love that stuff.
I saw some pork wing tips at Walmart for the first time. My son likes hot stuff so I told him to come down and have them with me if he wanted to. I bought some Stouffers frozen lasagna to fix for the women and grandson. I would make some cheesy scalloped potatoes to have with the ribs and we all could have a salad and some crusty bread and butter.
I wet the rib tips down with a little red wine vinegar and sprinkled on some of the red chili flakes and dried garlic flakes and in the fridge about 5 hours before smoking.
My plan for the rib tips was one hour on smoke, one hour at 225 deg., wrap in foil with some of the red chili sauce for one hour at 250 deg., unwrap and then back on the smoker and baste with more sauce the last 45 minutes. Total cook time 4 hours.
I did most of the cook on smoke mode and used the P#’s to get the grill level temp I wanted. All went well, I wrapped the ribs after an hour and 45 minutes, I wanted the ribs wrapped a full hour. I un- wrapped them at the 3 hour mark and back on the Traeger. I basted them and went to 225 deg. for the last 45 minutes which was giving me about 270 deg. grill level.
In the mean time I was getting my cheesy scalloped potatoes done, one hour at 350 deg. with lid on then a half hour with lid off. I nuked the Lasagna with meat sauce for my wife and got her eating at 6:00 pm. Our son, grandson and dog arrive. Our daughter in law gets here from her work at 6:15 so I get her five cheese lasagna in. At 6:30 I take my potatoes from the oven and bring in the rib tips. Through some miracle we are all setting down eating about 6:40 and somewhere in there I got the bread sliced!
The ribs were good but not as hot as the son and I would have liked. They were plenty done; meat came from the bones clean but next time I think I would extend the foil time to 1 ½ or even 2 hours. I like my ribs more towards fall off the bones and I think the longer foil time would render out more of the fat. For some more heat I would marinate with more red pepper flakes or add some hot sauce during the foil time.
Rib Tips and seasoning
Seasoned and ready for the fridge
After 1 3/4 hours ready to foil
Sweet chili sauce added
After an hour in foil
Ready to serve
Meat sauce lasagna and meatless 5 cheese
Nov 07 2013
Bacon eggs and fried mush is one of my favorite breakfasts. It always brings memories of Mom frying up some of her homemade mush. She sliced it about a ¼ inch thick and fried it crispy in bacon grease and did the eggs in bacon grease too; basting them to get the tops done.
Most southerners grow up on grits for breakfast. I never had grits until I got away from home and now they are a favorite too.
I used my Wapak skillet and fried two batches of bacon then did 4 slices of mush. I dust the mush with flour, it helps keep them from popping. The Yoders brand I buy does not pop that much, some I have bought really pops from the water left in. I used to make my own but this is much easier.
After I fry my bacon on med. I turn it down to med. low and do the mush. Put it in the skillet and don’t mess with it for 8 minutes then turn it. I do mine for 10 minutes each side for crispy mush. My Wapak skillet did well with the mush and egg; neither one stuck any. I had an English muffin and a glass of buttermilk with my breakfast. Tasted great!