Sunday, February 28, 2016

My New Lodge Sportsman Hibachi

Feb 26 2016

I turned 74 yesterday but when I got my new Lodge Sportsman L410 Hibachi grill today I was like e little kid with a new toy. I don’t feel too well, have a cold; but that didn’t stop me from getting it assembled and in the oven for a seasoning before using.

That cast iron grill is a piece of artwork; just 6 pieces plus the bail and only needs two bolts to assemble.
I could not find much history on this grill but it looks like Lodge Bought out Sportsman. I did find a video of someone who had an original Sportsman and compared the Lodge to it. The casting is a lot cleaner and they improved the pockets where the cooking grate legs set.

I run hot water over the cooking grate, brushed it well and dried. I then brushed lard on the inside, the two grates, the access door and damper. It was set on a sheet pan and into the oven. I set it at 350 deg. and a half hour later turned the oven off. It will set there until cooled. I had wanted to do the outside too but it was too hard to handle on top of my cupboard. I will coat the outside on my first cook.

Now all I need is some decent weather to try this thing out. I plan on doing some pork burgers, sausage, for my first cook.

Red Beans and Rice w/ Pickled Pork

Feb 25 2016

It was my birthday, for the wife it's a chance to go out to eat, for me I would rather stay home and cook a meal I want. Wednesday we went to get our income taxes done and went to eat lunch. We had deep fried smelt at a favorite Italian place Casa Lual in Lima. OH. They have it every year during lent.

For my birthday Thursday my pickled pork was ready to make red beans and rice. My recipe is an old recipe from the Frugal Gourmet and said to be from an old Cajun Cook. For me it is the only way to fix red beans and rice.  It is pretty versatile and can be made from any smoked sausage and the pickled pork. I had some good smoked jowl bacon to add but a ham hock would be good done with the beans and then pull the meat and add back.

For mine I cooked the beans for the three hours and then added the bacon and the andouille from my butcher; after browning. I have sauted the veggies before but this time just added them in; I added the green onions and parsley the last 45 minutes. You need to stir the neans often to keep from sticking to the pot. You have to have cornbread with this so I made some with about a cup of shredded cheddar added. I served it with some rice and it was a taste treat!

Click Here for printable recipe

The red beans'

The cornbread

Browning some jowl bacon

The andouille

The pickled pork

Meat added to the beans

 Chopping and adding the veggies

 Ready to serve

 My supper

Monday, February 22, 2016

Pickled Pork and Pickled Eggs

Feb 22 2016

I didn’t have anything planned to cook today so I had plenty of time to pickle some pork for using in red beans and rice. We also had a jar of Claussen’s dill pickles used up so I boiled some eggs to pickles in the juice. The jar will hold 5 to 6 eggs according to their size. I let them set 4 to 5 days in the fridge and they are ready to eat.

I went to my butchers this AM to get some lard and the pork. He cut me up some pork butt, about a pound and a half. I got some more of his Andouille sausage too, I have 2 that I smoked and froze to use in the red beans and rice later this week.

Using the pickled pork is an old recipe and a lot of the Louisiana cooks swear by it. Ever since I tried it they’re not as good without it. The recipe supposedly came from an old Cajun cook. The recipe follows in case some of you want to try it. I will probably make mine Friday or Sunday.

Click Here for printable recipes

For the pork

Boiling mix for 3 minutes

The pork butt

Pork and eggs ready for the fridge

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Pastrami St. Louis Cut Ribs

Feb 19 2016

When I saw this recipe at Bon Appetit, I knew I had to try it. I love pastrami but never thought of trying it with pork ribs. I was waiting on a nice day to come along to try these. It was about 60 deg. today but sure was windy, gusts to 44 mph. I think the wind finally settled down some at 12:00 AM.

I changed the rub and the cooking method; if you want to check out the original recipe it is at courtesy of Vine Street Cafe, NY.

Most all the meat I get comes from my butcher and is from local beef and pork. His spare ribs are just that, spare, he does not leave much meat on them. I wanted some more meat on these so bought some St. Louis Cut spare ribs by Tyson from Walmart. They had a 7% salt and water solution added so they are really brined. The rack was 4.5 pounds.

Late Thursday afternoon I rinsed the ribs and dried well. I cut the flap meat off and pulled the membrane. I cut a couple of ribs off to square them up. I added the rub to both sides; a little lighter on the bone side. I had them on a sheet pan and covered well with plastic wrap and in the fridge overnight.

I was having some twice baked potatoes and slaw for my sides. I was afraid the wife and daughter would think the ribs were too hot with the pepper so I did some bone in country style ribs. I used Penzey's Galena St. rub and some sweet BBQ sauce on them.

I made up my slaw at noon so it had time to meld the flavors. It was kind of a cross between Billy Merril's recipe with my touch.

I got my Traeger fired up at 195 deg. And got the ribs and flap meat on at 1:00 PM. Grill level was at 210 deg.

2:00 added the Country style ribs and went to 225 deg. grill level.

3:00 double wrapped the St. Louis ribs in foil and went to 250 to 260 deg. grill level.

4:30 unwrapped the ribs and went to 275 deg. grill level

5:00 sauced the St. Louis and the country ribs.

5:20 Sauced the St. Louis ribs and flipped and sauced the country ribs. Went to 300 deg. grill level.

6:00 all was done so pulled and took inside to serve.

While the ribs were cooking I baked six potatoes with potato rods in my induction oven at 350 deg. for one hour. I cut off the tops and scooped out the potato, added about 6 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of sour cream, mashed and added back to the skins. At 5:30 I added some shredded 4 state cheddar to all and bacon to 3 of them. They went into a 320 deg. oven until I brought the ribs in.

It was good, the wife and daughter didn't think the pastrami ribs were too hot but only ate one and had one of the country ribs. I thought the pastrami ribs were good, something different, I would do them again maybe not real soon; but it was a new adventure in having something different!

Click Here for printable recipe

For the rub

The ribs

Flap meat trimmed and membrane pulled

Rub on bone side

Rub on meat side

Wrapped for the fridge

After 2 hours

Potatoes ready for the oven

All done

Resting a bit

My supper

Monday, February 15, 2016

Scallops in Brown Butter and Pasta w/Arrabbiata Sauce

Feb 14 2016

This was our 50th valentines day together. I never have made a big to do about valentines day; when I was growing up it was a holiday mostly for kids. She knows she is my sweetheart! I usually buy her some candy and try to fix her a good meal. I was at the grocery today and meant to buy her some candy but forgot. I told her my supper was her valemtines gift!

I had some nice sea scallops thawed out and would have some spaghetti with some sauce she got me for a Christmas present. She got me 4 jars of different Ilventos sauce; it is a restaurant in N.J. The sauce is made in small batches, hand canned and labled. I wanted to use their Arrabbiata sauce, said it was their spiciest. I had her taste it; if it was too spicy I had a jar of their marinara sauce I could use. She said it was good. Their sauce is pretty darn good of the three I have had.

I had made brown butter I wanted to fry the scallops in and spaghetti for the pasta. I baked a take home and bake baguette for some bread and butter.

When my pasta was about done I had a skillet heated to med. high with 3 Tbs. of brown butter. I did 4 scallops for the wife about 3 minutes per side and served her. I kept the pasta warm In the oven and did 4 scallops for our daughter and added some capers at the end. After I served her I made mine up with some capers too. I think next time I would just add the capers to the plate to get more of their sour flavor. The scallops were served with some of the butter spooned over.

That was a pretty tasty meal and we all loved it. The Ilventos sauce was good. Their arrabbiata was the favorite I have had and I would love to eat at their restaurant too.

My supper

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Mary's Homemade Chicken Stew

Feb 12 2016

I was busy in the kitchen most of the day; in the morning I made a pound of brown butter and then made some salt and vinegar chick peas for snacks. This was the first time I ever made brown butter; other than getting it too brown in the skillet before adding food! It is basically like making ghee but not skimming and separating it.

It has been too cold for me to want to cook on the smoker. Some kind of chicken soup would be good for the cold weather. Chicken and noodles would be fine for the grandson; he loves it. I was thinking a little heartier so I went for some help from Mary; my friend at She is a fine cook of southern comfort food.

I followed her recipe pretty close and for this she lets you choose the veggies. I used half and half cream instead of evaporated milk and cut back some on the butter; I thought I had plenty of fat from the chicken. My veggies were a can of corn, a can of cut green beans, some sliced baby carrots, a cup of small diced cabbage and a can of baby corn. I heated the baby corn up separate because I knew the grandson would want his on the side!

I had a whole chicken from my butcher and cooked it for an hour and 10 minutes with celery, onions and carrots for the broth. I removed the chicken to cool and strained the broth. When it was cool enough I pulled and shredded it.

I used two thick slices of bacon diced and some diced green peppers; I omitted the onions for the grandson, he’s not crazy about them. When the bacon was almost browned I didn’t have enough grease for the flour so I added a tablespoon of my brown butter and then I added the flour and the broth. I then added all the canned and fresh veggies and let simmer a half hour.

I then added the chicken, ¾ cup half and half and the dry seasonings. I let it simmer about 15 minutes and then added a ¼ cup half and half with 2 tablespoons corn starch stirred in. I had the baby corn heated and served up with some bread and butter. The grandson had his baby corn on the side and the rest of us had some on top of our stew. We all loved it and this is a very tasty and hearty stew! Thanks for the recipe Mary!

Link to Mary's recipe click Here 

For the chicken and broth

Cooking the chicken

Chicken pulled


Browning bacon and green pepper added

Adding the flour and broth

Veggies added and simmered 30 minutes

Chicken and dry seasoning added

Half & half and corn starch added 
ready to serve

My supper

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

CP Pickled Beef Tongue

Feb 09 2016

My Mother in law use to make what she called pickled tongue a lot. They always served it cold sliced on crackers. I don’t remember it as having much of a sour taste but like tender roast beef. I wish I had thought to get her recipe and she didn’t have it written down.

I got this tongue from my butcher and it was frozen. After thawing I soaked in some salt water for a half hour then rinsed well before getting it in the Crockpot.

I have made tongue a few times over the years but just slow cooked it in water and seasoning. I searched on pickled tongue recipes; I found one for doing it in a Crockpot that included some vinegar.

1 beef tongue
2 quarts water and more to cover
¼ cup vinegar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
12 whole peppercorns
4 bay leaves

Place all in a Crockpot and cook on low for 10 to 12 hours. Remove tongue and when cool enough take the skin off it should just fall off easily. Mine was in 11 hours and was well done. After I remove the skin I scrape it some and trim out some from the center where the root was; it tends to be a little mushy. I usually just cooled and then sliced. This time I cut about half from the front and wrapped and in the fridge to cool for slicing. The rest I cut into 3 pieces and pulled it. It is pretty stringy so it pulls well.

This is one meat I have trouble tasting as I am preparing; it is not very appetizing to look at. It is best for me to wait until the next day! I just had some of the pulled on saltines with a dab of horseradish for my lunch snack and all I can say is delicious!!!

The tongue

In the Crockpot

Cooling after 11 hours in the Crockpot

For pulling

For slicing

My lunch snack