Monday, June 30, 2014

My Sunday Skillet Brunch

Jun 29 2014

My wife went to church this morning and I was hungry. I had 4 small pieces of Kah’s pepper bacon left so thought I would make a skillet dinner.

I cooked the bacon in my Lodge steel skillet. When done I poured off all but a TBS. of the grease and added my diced up golden potatoes. I cooked until starting to brown then added some water to deglaze the pan and steam the potatoes.

When most of the water was gone I added in some diced onion and red pepper, added some salt, fresh ground pepper and cooked until onions were getting clear. I was ready to add an egg but saw I forgot to add the garlic scapes. I added them and then cracked an egg in.

When the egg started to set up I placed under the broiler to set the top of the egg. I topped it with some chives and set it aside. I toasted two bun halves topped with some gorgonzola garlic chive butter. I served it all with the bacon on the side.

That hit the spot! I found the little time the garlic scapes were in was plenty so in future cooks they will be added at the last minute. The first time I used them they were too done and the stems were tuff so this time I just used the seed pod and end.

The bacon

Ready for the broiler

My brunch

Some runny yolk to mix in

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Seasoning My New Wok

Jun 24 2014

Years ago I was into stir fried Asian cooking and had a wok. Then I kind of got away from it and not sure what happened to the wok. Cooking out a stir fried dish is good with chicken or fish and I have done a lot just in a flat skillet. I decided to get another wok and do some stir frying outdoors on my gas burner.

Gas is a better heat source for using a wok than my electric stove and it will be much easier getting all done at the same time outdoors in the same area. It will save this old man from running back and forth or taking the meat inside to hold while doing a quick stir fry for a side dish.

The ideal wok is made from low carbon steel and requires seasoning just like a cast iron skillet. I needed a wok with no wood for handles to do my favorite 6 step seasoning in and oven at 490 deg. I found a 14 inch one with metal loop handles that came with a ring for $24.

My favorite seasoning method came from a post by Sheryl Canter. She used flax seed oil but I could not find it because it has a short shelf life and I found to order it was too expensive. To me the best alternative was grape seed oil. I have used it to redo two old cast iron skillets and it gives a nice deep black finish that lasts.

The seasoning process was to coat the wok with a thin coat of oil then using paper towels wipe it all off. It will still have a light coat. Place it in the oven and set to 490 deg. Leave it there for one hour, my oven takes about 15 minutes to get to 490 deg. so it is at that temp for 45 minutes. Turn the oven off and let cool before removing. Repeat this process six times and you will have a nice dark non-stick finish that will last.

Sheryl used 500 deg. for her temp; why don’t I? Not sure, I am old school and 500 deg. just sounds too hot, 490 sounds better! Now all I have to do is try to turn out some good food on my wok!

Wok washed and ready to season

After the first seasoning

After the third seasoning

Sixth seasoning and ready to use

More Ways to Cook, Inside and Out

Jun 29 2014

I started this blog posting cooks done mostly all on my Traeger pellet smoker. I have always mixed in meals done inside and some done on my gas grill. I have such a large collection of pellet smoker cooks posted I will start to include some cooks I do inside and some on my Weber Spirit 200 gas grill and my Weber Jumbo Joe charcoal grill.

I am anxious too to cook in my new wok I just got seasoned nicely. I will be cooking outside on a gas burner with it. I am planning on my first meal this week sometime, weather permitting.

That is one thing I like about my favorite BBQ forum, Lets Talk BBQ and more. They post and discuss cooks done on about any kind of outdoor cooking equipment made. It is a great learning place too! 

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Tatonka Sirloin Burgers, WOW Potatoes, and Tomato Salad

Jun 27 2014

I was ready for a burger fix, done flat iron style with a good all over browning.

It about did me in today trimming the front yard and mowing, almost 90 deg.  I quit with the back yard to do tomorrow.

For my sides I wanted some WOW roasted potatoes and a good tomato salad. I had some nice Tennessee tomatoes to use. I made up my own salad recipe.
Two large tomatoes, cut in wedges then in half
Some fresh basil sliced thin, I had 10 leaves
3 thin slices of Vidalia onion cut in half
1 bunch of trimmed asparagus, cut 1 inch and nuked for 1 ½ minutes then cooled
3 TBS. White balsamic vinegar
1 TBS. Olive oil, I used extra light
A good pinch of coarse sea salt, or kosher
A few grinds of fresh pepper
Mix all together and chill for a few hours before serving.

I had some golden potatoes I precooked in the microwave and then cooled in the fridge. When ready to cook I cut up the potatoes, poured about 3 TBS. melted butter over, a pinch of coarse sea salt and some generous shakes of WOW seasoning. They went into a basket and on the gas grill about 400 deg. for about a half hour to brown up.

I had 3 sirloin patties from my butcher, thawed for the burgers. I seasoned up both sides well with some Tatonka Dust and in the fridge a couple hours before grilling. They went on the Weber at 400 deg. on the flat side of grill grates. 5 minutes then flipped for another 4 minutes. I had some Kaiser buns sliced and buttered I toasted on the grill the last two minutes.

I had Tennessee tomatoes sliced, romaine lettuce and some onion for my burger. The wife had mustard, lettuce, tomato and dill pickles on her sandwich. I had mustard, smoky horseradish sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato on mine. We both thought the tomato salad was a keeper and I must say the burger was a great fix! I need to order some more WOW seasoning, it is getting about standard for my potatoes.

For the salad

Burgers seasoned

For the sandwiches

Potatoes ready to grill

A full house

My salad

My supper

Sure tasted good!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Boursin and Marinara Appetizer

Jun 26 2014

We had this great appetizer at the Beer Barrel Pizza and grill, Boursin cheese baked in marinara sauce and pita bread for dipping. We all liked it so well I decided I should be able to duplicate it. Looking up Boursin cheese I found it was a trade name and made with gournay cheese, similar to cream cheese and comes in several flavors. I had seen it in groceries and not sure why I never tried any.

I bought some garlic herb flavored Boursin and a jar of Barilla marinara sauce. I decided to try it with some chicken fajitas I was having tonight. I had flat bread for dipping and making the fajitas. I was using some of my leftover Cuban chicken.

The Boursin comes in a round cake and neatly wrapped in foil. I sprayed a baking dish with olive oil and placed the Boursin in the center. I poured most of a quart of marinara around it. I heated the oven to 350 deg. and heated a skillet for the chicken. I put the appetizer in the oven and sautéed the chicken, onions and red pepper with some Cajun seasoning and a sprinkle of cumin.

The appetizer was in for 15 minutes and the chicken was ready to make up the fajitas. My appetizer was as good as we had at the Beer Barrel. I wrapped the flat bread in paper towels and heated in the MW. It would have been better if I took the time to toast it in a skillet.

I had some avocado with mine, and taco cheese, lettuce and sour cream on my fajita. The appetizer done up in a nice dish makes for a great presentation and is fit for any party. It sure is simple to make.

Ready to bake

For the fajitas

Appetizer and bread served

My supper

Cuban Dry Brined Rotisserie Chicken

Jun 25 2014

My new Weber rotisserie for my Spirit 200 was supposed to get here today. Yesterday I bought a chicken; not my favorite brand, I had to settle for a Tyson and the smallest I could get was 5 lbs. I wanted a 3 to 4 lb. The Tyson chickens have 12% solution added so I soaked it for two hours before starting the brine.

It has been more than 20 years since I had a rotisserie to use. I picked a recipe from the Weber site for my first cook. It was for a dry brined Cuban flavored chicken. It called for it to be brined uncovered in the fridge for 24 to 36 hours. After soaking the chicken I rinsed and dried it well then rubbed on the dry brine and in the fridge.

If my rotisserie didn’t get here in time I was prepared to do it on my pellet smoker. It came at noon so I got it bolted on and set up. On the Spirit it looks like I will be limited to about a six inch diameter roast to clear the drip pan enough. For the chicken I wanted to tie it up good so it stayed put.

The Weber recipe called for the chicken to be rinsed well after the brine, coated with some olive oil and fresh crushed pepper for the cook. At 1:00 I rinsed the chicken and dried well then rubbed on some olive oil and McCormick’s Cuban seasoning. It went back in the fridge until cook time at 4:30.

I heated the Weber up to 350 to 400 deg. and got the chicken on at 4:20. I added a cut up a red, orange, and yellow pepper, a cut up onion and some garlic scapes to the drip pan. I added ¼ cup of Kikkoman’s Ponzu sauce and beer for liquid as needed.

I had some Mahatmi saffron rice in my rice cooker and I would have a salad plate of refried beans, fat free, with cheese on top, lettuce, salsa and avocado.

When I planned this meal my wife forgot she was going with her aunt to a progressive dinner the local churches were having tonight. I told her it was too late it was already in motion. The daughter in law, grandson and I will eat.

The grandson fell asleep and would eat later. I served the daughter in law some of the breast meat and I had a leg and some breast meat. We both had some of the pepper onion mix over the rice. It tasted good, even though the pepper onion mix was a little charred, well that sounds better than burnt!

The pepper onion mix probably would have been good if added the last 30 to 45 minutes. I will probably only use the drip pan for moisture and seasoning, or making gravy from now on when using the rotisserie. I will also up the temp to get some more browning at the end of the cook.
For the dry brine

Ready for overnight in the fridge

Rotisserie set up

Ready for the spit

All tied and ready to grill

Drip pan with veggies

A half hour in

An hour in

An hour and a half in

Two hours and done

My salad

My supper

Monday, June 23, 2014

Smoked BB ribs, gorgonzola hasselback gratin, and pretzel roll

Jun 22 2014

I was hungry for ribs so I bought some baby backs. I prefer ribs from my butcher but he didn’t have any thawed so I settled for these. A few hours before smoking I wet them with some red wine vinegar and used Penzey’s Galena St. rub; I covered with plastic wrap and placed in the fridge.

I did them 2-2-1 on my Traeger; two hours on smoke; meat side up. One at 180 deg. and one at 225 deg. I then sauced them with Kah Meat’s sauce and wrapped in foil; meat side down and I upped the temp to 275 deg. I had trouble holding at 275 deg. grill level and it ran closer to 290 deg. I un-wrapped them and added a little more sauce for the last hour.

My potatoes are a little like hasselbacks but with a gorgonzola and cream sauce; I got the idea from Food 52. I used one sweet potato and three golden potatoes sliced 3/16 inch thick. I coated the sweet potatoes with a little lemon juice and poured two TBS. melted butter over the golden potatoes. I sliced three shallots thinly. I sprayed a small casserole dish and stacked the potatoes in; two slices of golden and one slice sweet potato with a slice of shallot and made two rows. I added in what shallots were left, a handful of shredded triple cheddar and a handful of crumbled gorgonzola. I seasoned them with Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle. I poured in enough half and half cream to come up about half way.

I did the potatoes on my Weber Spirit gas grill 350 deg.; an hour covered with foil and then removed the foil for 15 more minutes.

Wing Commander did some pretzel buns much like I do my cheesy pull bread and had me hungry for some. My cheese mix was a cup of shredded triple cheddar, some snipped fresh chives; I poured two TBS melted butter over and then mixed in a good tsp. of WOW seasoning. I cut the pretzel buns and brushed some melted butter in the cuts; then stuffed the cheese mix in. I wrapped in foil and they went on the gas grill for 15 minutes and then folded the foil down for another 15 minutes. The next time they will go on the warmer rack; on the grill grate they didn’t burn but the bottom was pretty toasted.

This all came together at 6:00 for supper. The grandson was too busy working on an art project to eat! The wife and dil both had a salad and the dil didn’t have any ribs. I did these with sauce for my wife, I prefer naked ribs and saved out two with no sauce for myself. The ribs were a little too much fall off the bone but still tasted great!  A good supper and love the cheesy pretzel rolls.

The ribs


After one hour of smoke

Ready to sauce and wrap

Added some sauce

Un-wrapped and back on for one hour

Making up the potatoes

Cheese mix for the pretzel rolls

Ready to bake

Potatoes and rolls are done

Ready to serve

My supper