Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Feb 25 2014
This was my birthday supper; having had 72 it’s just like another day to me! But fellow Lets Talk BBQ member flyingbouchman helped make it a little more special. He had sent me two beers from Belgium, Maredsous 8 and Westvleteren 12. The Westvleteren is rated by many as the #1 beer in the world.
I saved it to have for my birthday, Thanks FB for a chance to try the #1 beer, it was a taste treat!
I was also going to try some Tatonka dust on some beef tenderloins I buy at Sam’s Club. Tasting the seasoning out of the bag I thought pretty hot but it tamed down some after cooking. I can’t wait to get outside to use it on some steaks but for now inside would have to do.
I baked a loaf of the bread in 5 in the morning; and made up some twice baked potatoes early so just had to reheat. I had some raw wild shrimp thawed and would do a Cajun shrimp fry. I drizzled some olive oil and lime juice over, Penzey’s Cajun seasoning, dried chives and dried garlic and let marinade about an hour before fixing.
The filling for the potatoes had some butter, sour cream, Hawaiian red sea salt, Penzey’s dried shallots and dried garlic all mashed up. I browned some onion rings to use on top of the steaks; they would hold some shallot garlic butter I added when the steaks went in the oven.
I had my two skillets ready and the potatoes went in a 350 deg. oven for 40 minutes. The steaks I seared 3 to 4 minutes on each side and then in the oven for 12 minutes. While they were in I fried up the shrimp. The last time I did these steaks I did for 10 minutes in the oven and was a tad rare for me, at 12 minutes these were too but I am more and more liking good steak on the rare side.
For me this was a perfect birthday supper, surf and turf. I tried some great new seasoning for beef and next time will go a little heavier on the Tatonka Dust as it was not as hot as I thought. It really compliments beef. On top of that I got to try the #1 beer in the world, thanks to FB!
The photos should explain themselves
The #1 beer
Monday, February 24, 2014
Feb 23 2014
I had two pork tenderloins thawed to cook. The last time I did two with maple syrup brine and wanted to do these the same way. I had them in the brine for 20+ hours.
I had some sweat potatoes to use; I always like them with pork. I didn’t know what else to have. I got to thinking that people liked waffles with chicken so why not with pork. I thought it would need a good sauce other than just maple syrup.
After looking at several recipes I came up with one I could use Savor Spices WOW seasoning in I thought would complement it. I thought it turned out great.
After lunch I took the tenderloins out of the brine, rinsed well and dried. I tied the two together to make one and seasoned well with Penzey’s Cajun seasoning. It went on a rack and in the fridge for several hours. I made up the sauce and it went into the fridge after cooling some.
I washed and scrubbed a sweet potato; sliced it into about ¼ inch slices, poured a little melted butter and maple syrup over then double wrapped in foil. I preheated my Traeger to 250 deg. grill level temp and got the tenderloin on. I did it a half hour at this temp and then went to 280 deg. grill level for an hour. I got the sweet potato on the last hour. I went higher the last half hour the last time I did this but the IT temp was coming up nice and the grill temp was about 300 deg. for the last half hour.
I had my sauce reheated and tented to pork with foil while I toasted my waffles. Sorry I was lazy and used frozen Eggo waffles; it would have been much better with homemade. We had a side of salad and I had blue cheese dressing. The blue cheese complimented all the flavors in the meal. For me the sweet potatoes could have been a little more done but the wife said she liked them that way. We both had my sauce over the pork and waffle and maple syrup over the potatoes and I added salt and pepper. I like the sweet salty taste.
We both though this was extra good and it is a keeper recipe for me. It covered at least 4 of the basic 7 tastes, sweet, sour, salty and savory.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Feb 23 2014
Naan flat bread from India is great bread to have with dishes you have good broth, sauces or gravy to sop up. I used to get some good Naan at Walmart then like usual they quit having it. Our daughter in law loved it too.
I am starting to get the hang of working with my Artisan no knead Bread in 5 dough so I thought I would try some Naan. The recipe is in the book and the flat breads you fry in a skillet are the fasted breads you can prepare. I used my 12 inch Lodge steel skillet.
I made two and was done in just over a half hour. If you decide at noon you want some bread with your evening meal and you have dough in the fridge you can do it up fast. It tastes a lot better than if you ran to the store to buy some.
I still do not have them thin enough but not bad for the first time. My first one is on the right below; though the picture does not show it well my second one was thinner and came out better. I will give one to our daughter in law and try the other myself.
2nd loaf frying
Saturday, February 22, 2014
Feb 21 2014
I had some dried mushrooms, shitake, oyster, porcini and wood ear. I had some brisket vacuum sealed from the freezer and some mushroom gravy would go great with it. The brisket was from one I did inside in the oven. I bought some Yoder’s mashed potatoes and would make some skillet corn with some fresh corn I had frozen.
The Ciabatta I had baked earlier today with the last of my bread in5 dough and it was on the small side but just enough for us. I mixed up another batch of dough and it is in the fridge now to have over the next 2 weeks.
I re-hydrated the mushrooms and saved the soaking water for the gravy. I have found a coffee filter in a canning funnel and held in place with clothespins works great to strain the soaking liquid. I rinsed and strained twice and the water was nice and clear.
I made up the gravy first with 2 Tbs. butter and two Tbs. flour stirred until thick and then added about a cup of beef broth slowly until all was in. I added the soaking liquid and the mushrooms I had chopped up. I added a couple splashes of Kitchen Bouquet for a little flavor and color, a little salt and pepper. I let that simmer slow.
I added some butter to a skillet and the corn on medium heat. Added the beef to a skillet on med. high and poured the gravy over; brought it to a boil and then on low to simmer. I sliced some of my Ciabatta bread to serve the meat and gravy over. I served the wife and then me. I should have made a little more gravy; I almost didn’t have enough for myself after serving the wife.
Making the gravy
Ready to serve
Feb 20 2014
I decided to try some Ciabatta from my dough. It’s not too much different from making the standard loaf. You keep your hands wet and don’t use flour when forming the bread. You form it into an elongated loaf about ¾ of an inch thick; I use my hands to do this. The book said to let it rise for 20 to 40 minutes. Going longer will give you more holes, the good nooks and crannies, in the bread. I let mine rise for 30 minutes and that worked well for me.
You dust it with a little flour just before baking. I was having trouble getting the bread off my metal peel and the book says to use parchment paper. That works great and after about 12 minutes the bread is set enough you pull the parchment paper out so the bottom browns well. If it sticks some just use a spatula to help.
I checked this loaf after 25 minutes and let it go another 3 minutes. It came out good and went well with our supper; a chicken stir fry.
Ready for the oven
Ready to slice
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Feb 18 2014
I thought I was doing well enough with my Artisan no kneed bread in 5 that I was ready to try a pizza with the dough. In the past I was doing well with some store bought pizza dough. I could form a pretty good round pizza by going around the dough and letting it stretch and using my knuckles to stretch it. Then the grocery quit selling the dough.
With this dough I never could get a good start and ended up just placing it on a stainless pizza pan and spreading it out with my palms. After putting my toppings on I could not get it picked up with the peel so just put the pan and all in on top of the griddle.
For my sauce I used Classico, the best store bought I have found. I then put a generous amount of Mexican 4 cheese blend on. I topped it with some Italian sausage, peppers and onions I had browned up and finally some chopped fresh basil.
I had the oven and griddle preheated to 500 deg. It was about 12 minutes when I took it out, thought it was done. Some of the crust in the middle was not done enough but it was edible and did taste good. I served a side of some coleslaw I made up. My wife and I both thought the crust, what was done well was extra good. I will use the dough again for pizza but think I will just form and bake on the pizza pan.
I will save the peel and cast iron griddle for bread.
Sausage, peppers and onions browning
Pizza's done, well almost!
Monday, February 17, 2014
2nd loaf from 2nd batch
Feb 16 2014
I had made up my second batch of dough Feb. 07 so the dough had been in the fridge for nine days. I am getting better at cloaking, forming the ball; I did not have to stop and wash my hands while making the ball.
I was also using my stainless steel round peel. I wanted to place the ball right on the peel for the 40 minute rise before baking so I do not have to handle the ball any more than I have to. The first time I had trouble getting it to slide off the peel onto the cast iron griddle to bake. This time I added some flour and a little more cornmeal and had no trouble.
I have baked quite a few loaves of no knead bread using the Jim Lahey method of baking it in a cast iron Dutch oven. I think that with this method you do get a bit harder crust on the bread but the taste and texture is the same to me.
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Feb 13 2014
I am sick of the cold and snow; we have snow on the ground from the first of the year and have only had a few days above freezing. In spite of the winter blues I had some fun today making some skinless sausages with my new stuffer I made. I always have fun when trying something for the first time.
I used a recipe from a fellow member of Lets Talk BBQ, for Mititei, Romanian kabobs. The sausage mix sat in the fridge overnight and I made them up early this morning. The stuffer worked pretty well other than being a little messy. I think if I am going to make them for sandwiches though; I will make one with 1 ¼ inch PVC. I forgot being skinless there would be more shrinkage.
I did up the 16 short ones right after lunch. I was going to vacuum seal and freeze them for later. After a taste test there were not enough left to save! Darn those were good!
I smoked the first batch for a half hour then went to 350 deg. grill level about 35 to 40 minutes. They were a little on the dry side so I skipped the smoke on the ones for supper.
I boiled some organic gold potatoes and seasoned with butter and WOW seasoning. I kept my smoker going on 180 deg. after doing the first batch. It was at 250 deg. grill level when I put the sausages on grill grates. I put the potatoes in a wire basket and they went on the smoker. I eased the smoker up to 350 deg. at grill level and did them about 40 minutes turning half way.
I trimmed some hot dog buns to fit the sausages and toasted the tops with some olive oil drizzled over. My wife said one was enough for her. She had some of my homemade sauerkraut with hers and I had some curtido, S.A. sauerkraut, as a side. My wife had mustard on hers and I had some beer mustard on mine. Ahron said these were a family favorite and now they are one of our favorite. I know the wife liked them; she ate a second one without a bun.
Ready for the smoker
The first batch, I didn't get a shot of the longer ones
Potatoes ready for the smoker
Friday, February 14, 2014
Feb 13 2014
A while back I made up a batch of Mititei, Romanian sausages. Mititei means little one and the sausages are mixed up with spices and herbs, formed into little sausages 4 to 5 inches long then grilled. They are a favorite street food in Romania. Bulgaria also has their version. They can be made with ground beef, pork sausage, lamb sausage or a mix of these. They are grilled and I am sure there are many different recipes for these.
When I made mine I didn’t like the way I had them formed; they were tapered too much. I wanted some that were all uniform in diameter. I got to thinking about my PVC fatty stuffer I made. To get the stuffing formed all I have to do is fill my 2X9 inch piece of PVC pipe with as much stuffing as I want, Wrap in plastic wrap then in the fridge to set up good. When it’s time to make the fatty I roll out my sausage, use a plunger I made and push it onto the sausage then roll up.
I thought I can make one of smaller pipe and make my Mititei. I used 1 inch BVC pipe 6 inches long, two reducers 1 inch to 2 inches glued together to make a funnel; then glued to the 1 inch pipe. If you can find one adapter, 1” to 2“, it would work better. I used a piece of 1 inch dowel rod for the pusher.
Yesterday I mixed up a pound of ground chuck and a pound of pork sausage. I used a recipe for Romanian Kabobs by a fellow member of Lets Talk BBQ. It set in the fridge overnight.
I just got through making the sausages. I filled a tray with 16 of them about 3 inches long each and used about 1 ¼ pounds of the meat mix. When I pushed out the first one it was too long so I cut them in half. They were a nice size for serving as an appetizer but I wanted them about 4 ½ inches long for sandwiches. I cut 1 ½ inches off the pipe and that worked well for me.
It’s a little messy but I did the first batch in about 20 minutes. I found it best to put some meat in the funnel top and push it into the pipe with my thumb and then use the pusher until full and push out onto a pan.
I thought maybe I would get them too tightly packed but I have it setting on my cutting board to fill and push down until it starts to ooze out the bottom, then give the pusher a little twist and push onto the pan. Now all I have to do is see how well they hold together while cooking.
Fatty stuffer and sausage stuffer
Using the stuffer
First batch was cut in half
In the fridge for a few hours
2nd batch the size I wanted