Sunday, January 31, 2016

Brat & Bologna Bites and Beer Brined Oven Fries

Jan 30 2016

I love brats and sometimes I take brats from my butcher, take them out of the casings and make brat patties.I found a recipe for brat bites, meatballs, and beer horseradish mustard. I had already made the mustard and bought 4 fresh brats from my butcher.

We were blessed with 56 deg. and sun today so it was great to be out cooking. 56 deg. In Jan. is almost unheard of here in Ohio! Before noon I cut up the potatoes for fries and mixed a tablespoon of salt with a lager beer. I added the potatoes and enough water to cover then in the fridge to brine for over 3 hours. About an hour before baking them drain and rinse in a collander then back in the fridge to drain well.

I cut the 4 brats in thirds, removed the casings and made the meatballs. I seasoned half with Super Pig and half with Blues Hog Rub. They went in the fridge for a little over an hour before smoking. I also had one inch chunk of old fashioned bung bologna from my butcher I cut up and seasoned with Blues Hog Rub.

I put the brat bites and bologna on my Treager at 4:30 PM preheated to 190 deg. about 200-210 grill level. After 45 minutes I went to 270-280 grill level for another 45 minutes.

I got the fries ready to go in a 400 deg. oven for a half hour, coated them with ghee and Penzey's sandwich sprinkle and turned them half way through.

It all came together at 6:00 PM, my wife had made us a green salad. It all tasted great, the brats bites were just right, done but still juicy inside! My mustard was goo with the brats and bologna! My oven fries didn't get as brown as usual. I used ghee for the first time and think it is better suited for skillet frying. I will go back to olive oil the next time.

The Brat Bites

The bologna bites

After 45 minutes on smoke

Brined fries ready fo the oven

1 1/2 hours and done

Fries are done

Ready to serve

My supper

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Skillet Lasagna and Garlic Bread

Jan 29 2016

If it's too cold to cook or grill out this is an easy meal to do if you like lasagna. It's all done in one pan so not much clean up. I found the recipe on a pinch of yum and it was pretty yummy! I thought a little different than most lasagna recipes in that it had carrots and bacon in it. With bacon it had to be good.

It's pretty easy too, with prep it only took me about 1 ½ hours to fix. I made some garlic bread and a
side of sauteed Brussles sprouts. For the garlic bread I used about 3 Tbs. of Ghee, 4 garlic cloves smashed then chopped fine and about a teaspoon of dried parsley flakes that I nuked in the microwave.
I sliced a baguette part way through and smeared the Ghee mix over and in between the bread. I wrapped it in foil and in the 350 deg. oven at the last for 10 minutes and unwrapped it then back in for 5 minutes.

My sauce for the lasagna was some Ilventos mushroom Bascaiolo my wife had bought me for Christmas, It's from a restaurant in Jersey City N.J. The lasagna went together pretty well but I got ahead and had the first layer of lasagne noodles in before I added the cream cheese so I just stirred it all together. You can see from the photo some of the top layer of lasagna noodles didn't get done. You need  to make sure the noodles are under liquid. The only other thing I changed was I removed the bacon from the skillet when it was browned and added back later.

For a veggie side I sauteed some shredded Brussles sprouts in Ghee and added salt and pepper.

This was a great meal, the wife and daughter both liked it. I will do this one again!

Click Here for link to recipe

Ingredients except ground beef

Browning the bacon

Bacon removed, shallots and carrots added

Ground chuck browning

Bacon added back in

Sauce added

Cream cheese added and some noodles added

A layer of mozzarella 

More noodles and a final layer of mozzarella

Garlic bread ready for the oven

Sauteing the Brussels sprouts

Bread is done

Lasagna is ready

My supper

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Beer and Horseradish Mustard

Jan 28 2016

Yesterday I had my Ghee on cooking and was getting ingredients ready to make the mustard and didn’t realize I was supposed to let the beer, mustard seeds, and dry mustard mix set for four hours.  It was getting too late so I just let it set for an hour.

I found the recipe for brat bites and beer, horseradish mustard at Epicurious by Bruce Aidell. He makes some good sausage and brats found in groceries. There was a recipe for the brat bites too but I will just use some of my butcher’s brats when I get ready to make them. I wanted to make the mustard to try first.

I didn’t have brown mustard seeds so used yellow.  I used my new Ninja food processor to puree the beer and mustard seed mix. I did it until it looked like I still had some seeds left whole. I thought a third cup of horseradish was too much so I used two heaping tablespoons. I thought the mustard cooked well and liked how the cornstarch thickened it at the end.

I had some leftover ham and a brat bun to try the mustard on for my supper. I toasted the brat bun, warmed the ham in the skillet, added some med. cheddar goat cheese and melted under the broiler.
I thought the mustard was one of the best I have made and will try it again. Next time may throw in another Tbs. of horseradish. Our daughter had it with some chicken fingers and said it was good

Click Here for link to recipe


Beer mix, salt, pepper and cornstarch

Cooking over water

Cornstarch added to thicken

In the jar


Good on the sandwich!

Made a Proper Ghee

Jan 27 2016

Today was a kind of fun day with cooking. I am kind of in a winter blues or hum drum state so this helped cheer me up. A while back I made Ghee for the first time or so I thought. After a fellow LTBBQ member pointed out that I had just made clarified butter; I did some research and found out for a proper Ghee you have to cook it longer.

When making Ghee you start with the butter in a sauce pan on medium heat and when it starts to boil turn it to low heat and cook, it will separate into three layers. The milk liquids will form a foam on top, the milk solids will go to the bottom and the Ghee will be in the middle. Use a slotted spoon to skim off  the foam on top as it cooks. Cook it until the milk solids in the bottom turn a light brown color. I did a pound of butter and it took about 35 minutes.

Set the pan off the heat to cool. When it cools some strain through cheese cloth into a jar. Store at room temperature and it should last at least a week; probably longer.

I read a great article at on making Ghee and they said to use the best butter you could. The first batch I made, but only took it to the clarified stage, I used a pound of Troyer's butter made from grass fed beef . I ended up with just over a half pint. Today I used a pound of Kerry's Gold Irish butter. When it was done I had a full pint of Ghee. In the end it was cheaper using the more expensive Kerry Gold butter.

I used the clarified butter I made to cook with and really liked it; it did good with a fried sunny side up egg and made great pop corn. I know I will like the Ghee better!

The butter

Ghee is done, ready to strain

Ready to use

Friday, January 22, 2016

CP CS Ribs, Spaghetti Squash and Brussles Sprouts

Jan 21 2016

I had a spaghetti squash to have and got 3 bone in country style ribs at my butcher. My first thoughts were BBQ but even though it was nice enough to use the smoker I was too lazy. I would do them in the Crockpot and smother them in country gravy for something different. I went to the grocer today and found a bag of shredded Brussles sprouts so they would be good sauteed with some bacon.

I like to cut the spaghetti squash when raw, much easier getting the seeds out. I use a grapefruit spoon to scoop them out. Every time I cut through their hard skin I am amazed I didn't cut a finger off. I tried something different this time I nuked it in the microwave for 5 minutes on high. That worked well, it was much easier to cut in half and the seeds still come out well.

I always do the squash in the oven, at 350 deg.; season with Penzey's sandwich sprinkle, place cut side down on a foil lined sheet pan with a pat of butter under each one, and bake for an hour. When done I scoop out the meat in a large bowl with 4 to 6 pats of butter and serve. Everyone can add more seasoning if they want. Parmesan cheese is good on it too.

I browned the ribs in a hot skillet with some clarified butter for 4 minutes each side then in the Crockpot. I deglazed the pan with about 6 oz. Of water and added that to the ribs. Crockpot was set on high and after about 45 minutes I made the country gravy. I use Pioneer brand mix; it tastes as good as I can make myself and a lot easier. After 3 hours on high I went to low for the last hour.

The last 10 minutes I heated some clarified butter in a hot skillet sauteed a few minutes and added some salt, pepper and bacon crumbles and stirred cooking another few minutes.

I had some King's Hawaiian  dinner rolls; I like the sweet taste of it. The wife and daughter like this meal as well as me. The ribs were fall apart tender; I shredded mine up and added more gravy.

The ribs

Browned and added to the CP

Deglaze the skillet

Ribs and skillet liquid in the CP

Country gravy

Gravy added tot he CP

Squash sliced and seeds removed

On a sheet pan to bake

Squash done

Sauteing the Brussles sprouts

Ribs are done

My sprouts

Mt supper

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Chilly Out so Chili In for Supper

Jan 19 2016

It was more than chilly it was cold; never got above 15 deg. so the chili in tasted good. The last time I made chili I got it too hot so the wife would not eat it. This time I followed my Wendy’s style recipe. I usually add the dry seasoning to the meat as I brown it. This time I tried a can of Bush’s Chili Magic Starter; beans with seasoning so I waited and adjusted later.

After cooking about an hour I tasted it and had to add 2 tablespoons of chili powder and a teaspoon of cumin. I left a second can of beans out this time for a meatier chili. I think I would also forget the Bush’s Magic and do my own seasoning too.  I let it simmer for 3 hours as I like to do.

The chili tasted great; I had some 4 state shredded cheddar and some of my homemade crème fraiche on mine and some buttered saltines with it. I had a Shiner’s IPA to wash it down.  My wife liked this batch of chili.

Click Here for printable recipe


Celery and onions

Browning the beef

Chili is ready

My supper