Thursday, June 30, 2016

Grilled Bologna Sandwich and a Bacon Cocktail

Jun 29 2016

I did a brined spatchcocked chicken to pull for tomorrow night’s supper. I threw on some smoked jowl bacon to use for my supper tonight.

My wife went with her Aunt and a cousin to a progressive church dinner tonight. They went to 4 different churches for the courses. She said it was good.

I wanted a fried bologna sandwich and saw a perfect side to experiment with. I saw on Wing Commanders blog a Rib Cocktail he made up. Wing Commander is a fellow member of LTBBQ. He had beans in the bottom of a glass, topped with slaw a slice of bacon and a rib with a ring of corn on the cob hung like lemon on the glass. Mine would be a little plainer with just 2 slices of bacon. I didn’t want to make a batch of slaw so I got a cup from Sandman when I got beer today. His is pretty good.

For the bacon cocktail I had a small can of Bush’s Grilled Beans, browned some bacon and onions then added the beans. I fried the old fashioned bologna on my Weber Spirit on grill grates and toasted the bun. My sandwich was a little mustard, a slice of Vidalia onion, the bologna, some bacon, a slice of Tennessee tomato and some more mustard on the top bun.

My cocktail was the beans in a ball pint jar, two slices of jowl bacon and the slaw. It looked pretty good. Surprisingly I thought the beans and slaw tasted good mixed together. Would I make it again; probably not but had to try it. Thanks for the idea Wing Commander. I knew the sandwich would be good!

Click Here to see Wing Commanders Version

The bacon about done

Bologna and buns on the grill

My sandwich

Bacon cocktail

My supper


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Art's Garlic Lemon Butter Shrimp over Pasta

Jun 28 2016

It was a beautiful day today, a little cooler than what we have had. The grandson came down and helped me mow and water plants. I trim out the yard and then he runs my riding mower and does a great job.

On mowing days I like to have an easy meal or get carry ins for supper. I had wanted to try Art’s shrimp recipe and a few bites into this meal I was sure glad I made it.

Art known as ACW3 on LTBBQ is a friend from N.C. I have met twice now at our Ohio gatherings.

I had a 12 oz. bag of cleaned raw wild caught shrimp from Kroger’s thawed to use. It didn’t take long to get my pasta cooking and do up the shrimp. We had a salad of Romaine lettuce with some Tennessee tomatoes and toasted English muffins with the supper.

I used just a stick minus a pat of butter since I only had 12 oz. of shrimp. I had some fresh garlic scapes I added in to. For my salad I had some olive oil, red wine vinegar and Penzey’s Sandwich sprinkle and I had just a little butter on my English muffin.

The wife and I loved this meal; if you like shrimp and these flavors try this. I would say it’s better than any you could get in a restaurant. Thanks for the recipe Art!

Click Here for Art's recipe

My salad

My supper

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Heinz New BBQ Sauce Part 2

Jun 25 2016

I had bought a sampler pack of 4 different of the Heinz BBQ sauce. Earlier I did a rack of pork BBRibs and tried the Memphis and the Carolina styles. I finally did another rack to try the Texas and the Kansas City styles.

Tasting out of the bottle I liked the Texas style the best. I tried to do this rack as close to the first rack as far as the way I seasoned and temps and times I smoked them.

I pulled the membrane and seasoned lightly with some Penzey’s Galena ST. rub. They sat out for 45 minutes before going on the smoker. I did them for 5 hours total and sauced them after 4 hours.

I had some corn on the cob I steamed in my rice cooker and made up a salad of cottage cheese, Tennessee tomatoes and sweet Vidalia onions. I have been making the salad for years; one of our favorites when I get good tomatoes to use. I had some garlic knots I did in the oven.

We had butter, Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle and parmesan on our corn. I had the Penzey’s on my salad too.

The Kansas City sauce was too sweet for me but I liked the Texas pretty well. My wife said without adding sauce she liked the Texas better but liked the Kansas City with sauce added. Over all I would say all the sauces are better than most store bought I have had in the past. I think the Texas style would be good on brisket and the Carolina style would work well on pulled pork.

Our favorite BBQ sauce we get from my butcher Kah Meats. His recipe is from his Dad, Dick Kah.

Click Here to see Part 1

Ribs ready for the smoker.

For my salad

After 4 hrs. ready to sauce


Resting a bit

My corn

My supper

Sundried Tomato Chicken with Orzo

Jun 24 2016

It was a beautiful day today. I could have cooked outside but this dish was easier to do inside in my CI skillet. This is fairly easy and a one skillet meal; it could be done outside or camping. We needed a change from red meat so this was good.

The recipe was adapted from Zrarita Baker’s at Honest Cooking. I had a one pound package of basil garlic, sundried tomato marinated chicken breasts from my butcher otherwise I followed her recipe pretty close. I add my onions and garlic at the same time, less likely to get burnt garlic. I ended up only using about 2 ½ cups of the chicken stock. I just used what olive oil I had from draining the tomatoes since it looked like plenty.

The grandson came down, sanded a bench for me and watered the garden and flowers. He decided to stay and eat supper with us. I heated up some savory garlic bread knots to have with it.

We all liked it and got full! My wife is not crazy about sundried tomatoes but I love using them and you get a more intense tomato flavor from them over just plain tomatoes. I think rice would have worked well with this too.

Click Here for recipe


Ingredients prepped

Browned the chicken then removed

Onions and garlic added

Orzo browned and tomato paste added

Sundried tomatoes added

Chicken added back in

Stock added and cooked down

My supper

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Steak Fingers, Fried Green Tomatoes & Cheesy Cauliflower

Jun 22 2016

With the threat of rain and storms I cooked inside tonight. It worked better for the meal anyway.
I had some sirloin from my butcher, some Tennessee green tomatoes and a head of cauliflower.
One tomato was about too ripe but the other was just right. I like a mix of red and green in the tomato for frying. I think you get a little of the sweet and the sour.

The tomatoes I breaded early to set up in the fridge. I dipped them in flour, egg wash and crushed Townhouse crackers. The cauliflower I cleaned and broke into florets and in a greased casserole dish. I wanted Campbell’s cheddar cheese on them but didn’t have any. I had a can of their Fiesta Nacho Cheese and that would have to do. I poured over the cauliflower and mixed to coat. I added a couple handfuls of shredded cheddar. I covered and baked for an hour at 350 deg. After 35 minutes I added some buttered cracker crumbs and left the lid off.

I heated up two skillets on med. high. I cut the sirloin into strips, seasoned with Pappy’s Choice and dusted with a little flour. I sprayed the skillet with some olive oil and did the steak strips about 3 minutes per side.

For the tomatoes I added olive oil to cover the bottom of the skillet and 3 pats of butter. I fried them 3 to 4 minutes per side.

The steak fingers were very tender and seasoned right. Our first fried green tomatoes this summer was great. The cauliflower was good but what the wife and I liked was using some of the sauce added to a bite of tomato! I think my next fried green tomatoes will be served with some Nacho cheese sauce.

My supper

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Flat Iron Limburger Cheeseburger

Jun 21

I had to try out my new Camp Chef iron griddle the wife got me. I had it seasoned and ready to go. There is nothing better to me than some smash burgers on a flat iron griddle. I wanted to grill some onions too and had Tennessee tomatoes and some asparagus for a side. I also wanted to try some limburger cheese on my burger, the wife wanted cheddar on hers.

I nuked two bacon slices to wrap the asparagus in and some seasoning with olive oil.

The griddle heats up pretty fast so started it out on Medium, after 10 minutes it was at 500+deg. so I dropped it down half way to low. I used my Maverick infra-red to read the temp and was down to 400+deg. so it was time to cook. I put the onions on with a little olive oil; let them start to brown a little then pushed them to the side and got the burgers on. I had 5 balls of 80-20 ground chuck I had seasoned with a little Pappy’s Choice. I had sprayed a little olive oil on the griddle, added the burgers, let them sizzle a bit then smashed them down. After 3 to 4 minutes I flipped them.

I added cheese to the wife’s; I would add the limburger spread to mine inside. I had just enough room to toast one bun at a time while the burgers cooked on the second side. I removed all and added the asparagus bundles to brown up the bacon and cook.

There were two patties for each sandwich. The wife had some of the grilled onions, tomato and lettuce on hers. I spread the limburger cheese spread on the bottom patty and added a good pile of the grilled onions to top off. I had a slice of tomato on the side. Those were great!!! After a few bites my wife said “now that’s a good burger”!

Next time for the asparagus I would wrap with bacon and pre-cook both some in the microwave since it was a little underdone. I was happy with the griddle, and glad I could push the onions to the side to cook a little slower and not get too done. The ideal griddle would be double over two burners to have a hot and a warm area but this one will work fine for the wife and me. I think you could get 8 burgers on it to cook for more.

Fathers Day Brunch, Taco Omelets & French Toast Casserole

Jun 19 2016

We had a great Father’s Day weekend even though a little warm. It looked like most of the US had nice weather.

After eating some good pizza Saturday we went to our son’s, sat on the patio and had a couple of beers.
I had planned on fixing a brunch Sunday at 11:30. I made Pioneer Women’s make ahead French toast casserole and would fix eggs to order. I used some Amish cinnamon swirl bread in place of her French bread. I tore up the bread in a greased 9X13 casserole dish and mixed 8 eggs, ¾ cup of sugar, 2 ½ cups of a milk and half & half mix and 2 Tbs. of vanilla. I poured it over the bread then covered and in the fridge overnight.

Sunday morning I cooked up about a pound of bacon on the Traeger. I mixed the topping for the French toast, ½ cup of flour, ½ cup brown sugar, 1 stick of butter a little cinnamon and some grated nutmeg. I spread the mixture over the bread egg mix and baked at 350 deg. about 50 minutes.

I served the bacon and French toast with some butter and Ohio maple syrup. While all were eating this I made some Taco omelets for four of us. I make them by adding a little olive oil spray to a skillet on med. high heat, add a soft corn tortilla, after a minute flip it then add a beaten egg. Swirl it around to even out the eggs, and then add your choice of peppers, onions and cheese. Let cook a minute then fold over and cook both sides 1 to 2 minutes. I used red and yellow peppers, green onions and some Seargento’s 4 State cheddar. I served the tacos with some red and green Herdez salsa.

My wife and daughter had scrambled eggs with cheese. Everyone liked my brunch, the French toast was very rich but we all liked it! I had my toast as Ree suggested a pat of butter on top and maple syrup!

Click Here for French toast recpe

The bacon and casserole

My brunch

My Father's Day gift 2016

Jun 19 2016

Hope all Dads had a great Father’s Day, ate some good BBQ and food with family!  I had a pretty nice week-end and we had great weather.

Our daughter came for the week-end. Saturday I had two guys in putting new roofs on my two sheds and they finished by late evening.

Our son took us all out to eat Saturday evening. We went to a pizza place about an hour away. They have wood fired pizza ovens there and it was delicious. We had some appetizers and then a pepperoni, red pepper and onion regular style pizza and a Detroit style pizza. It’s a little like a deep dish but is made in a square pan with crispy gooey edges.

I had Sunday brunch for all. After we ate my wife gave me a present. We usually just get our own but she had seen I had a Camp Chef iron griddle in my wish list on Amazon and got that for me. In one way I have her trained right! The kids had already given me a cast iron garlic roaster and a stainless bacon fryer early.

I got the griddle seasoned this afternoon. I first sprayed it all over with some Pam and let that cook off. In 10 minutes I was getting 600 deg. on the griddle. I let it go for 20 minutes and then let it cool down.

After it cooled I gave the cooking surface a thin coat of lard and heated it up again for 20 minutes. It should be ready to do some good smash burgers on it this week.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

BLT's and Corn on the Cob

Jun 14 2016

Every summer I anxiously await my first BLT with some good garden quality tomatoes. For quite a few years now a local produce stand has brought in early tomatoes from Tennessee about mid-June.  They are at least a month ahead of local tomatoes and they are good.

I went to my butcher to get some pork cutlets to have with fried cabbage for our supper. On the way I went by where the produce stand sets up to see if he had tomatoes yet. The stand was up but no tomatoes. When I went into my butcher here he had some Tennessee tomatoes for sale. My supper plans changed; I got two of the tomatoes $2.99 a pound and a pound of bacon!

It takes no genius to make a BLT but whoever paired these together was genius. The sandwich was made before the 1900’s but no record of who started it.

I went to the grocery to get bread or buns and they had corn in the husks that didn’t look too old. I got four ears and found some French Brioche buns that looked good.

I cooked the bacon, almost a pound, on my Traeger and steamed the corn in my rice cooker. When the corn was done I made up our sandwiches. They were made of some Hellmann’s may on the bottom, two layers of bacon, a tomato slice, a layer of bacon, some Romaine lettuce, a layer of bacon and some mayo on the top bun. We had butter, Penzey’s Sandwich sprinkle and parmesan cheese on the corn.

That hit the spot and now when my garden tomatoes are ripe and we have fresh local corn it will be even better!

My sandwich

Chicken & Potato Tacos W/Salsa

Jun 13 2016

It was a nice day today; I got my Weber gas grill cleaned up early. I scraped it down, cleaned the grates and changed the drip pan. The grandson came down and helped me mow. It was just the second time he used my riding mower and did a great job. He watered my garden and flowers then we had some lunch. We had what was left of some venison summer sausage, some corn and Spanish rice. The grandson stayed a couple of hours playing games on the PC and then went home.

Supper tonight would be quick and easy. I had some leftover chicken and fried corn, about a cup of each to use, I added some sliced baby gold potatoes, 3 slices of Vidalia onion quartered and some green pepper. I would fry that up in my CI skillet, toast some soft corn tacos and have fresh salsa, store bought, and sour cream to add.

I did this on my Weber Spirit Gas Grill, not much advantage over using the stove top but I had my grill grates to toast the corn tacos on. I kept the heat out of the house and didn’t have to heat up a grill pan.
I heated up the grill on med. and it ran just over 400 deg. through the cook.

I heated the CI skillet on the stove top with some olive oil and butter; added the sliced potatoes, mixed to coat added salt and then it went on the grill for 10 minutes. I added the onions and peppers and cooked another 10 minutes stirring some. I added the chicken and corn for another 10 minutes. I then toasted the corn tacos a couple minutes per side and took inside to serve.

The wife and I both had two tacos, one with just salsa and one with salsa and sour cream. We liked them and the ones with sour cream were better. I think it enhanced the potatoes. Not your everyday taco but tasted good and used up some left overs!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Mo Rockin Chicken, Spanish Rice & Fried Corn

Jun 11 2016

All I can say is it was hot today, about 94! It was windy all day but the air was hot too! The grandson and I were going to mow grass but the grass will wait for a cooler day.

I was glad I had an easy meal planned. I had a whole fryer that I spatchcocked and brined overnight. The brine was a half-gallon of water and 1/3 cup of kosher salt. After 12 hours in the brine I rinsed and dried it and in the fridge to air dry about 4 hours.

Time to cook I coated it with a light coat of Hellmann’s mayo and seasoned well with some Savor’s Mo Rockin Chicken seasoning. It went on my Traeger that was heated to 195 deg. for some smoke. After a half hour eased up to 325 deg. grill level. It took 2 hours total to get to a breast IT of 170 deg.

I had some Zatarain’s Spanish rice in the rice cooker to serve. I had a new Lodge 32 oz. heat treated server bowl to try out. I had seasoned it one time. I had a bag of Birds Eye baby yellow and white corn to fry in it. I heated about 3 tablespoons of butter on the stove top and added the corn. I heated it for a few minutes then it went on the smoker with the chicken for about an hour.

I served all with some crusty dinner rolls. The wife and I are well suited for chicken, she likes the breast and I like the legs and thighs. Chicken was tender and juicy and my leg was bite through skin! I like that since you get to enjoy the seasoning!

Chicken after brining and seasoning

Chicken and corn about done

Ready to serve

My supper

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Smoked Italian Meatball Spaghetti, Grilled Romaine & Garlic Bread

Jun 10 2016

I had seen where someone used Cheez It crackers in meatloaf in place of regular crackers and raved about it. I decided to try them in some Italian meatballs I planned to have for our supper. Our son and wife gave me one of my Father’s day presents early, a cast iron garlic roaster I wanted to try for some garlic bread. You just have to have some good garlic bread with spaghetti!

I made up the meatballs early; a pound of ground chuck, a tablespoon of Penzey’s Italian sausage seasoning, one egg and a cup of Cheez It’s crushed. I covered with plastic wrap and then in the fridge until cook time. I spent the afternoon trimming grass with beer breaks!

The grandson came down at 4:00 to water the tomatoes and flowers for me. He said he would stay for supper; he called his Mom and she said sounded good and would come after work, our son was working.

I put the meatballs on the Traeger on smoke 185 deg. for about 50 minutes. I then pre-heated a cast iron skillet with olive oil on the stove and then out on the smoker and put the meatballs in it for about 15 minutes to brown some. I had turned the smoker to about 275 deg. grill level. I added my sauce; Newman’s Own tomato basil sauce, and was in another half hour. Total cook time about 1 hour 50 minutes.

With an hour to go I had fired up my Weber Spirit on med. about 400 deg. and added the garlic roaster. I had cut the tops off of two whole garlic bulbs, added some olive oil and a little salt. I used the gas grill to toast some rolls coated with butter and to grill the Romaine sprayed with olive oil. I had my pasta cooking inside and ready to serve all at 6:30. I had some balsamic vinegar infused with honey for the Romaine and parmesan for toppings.

We all thought it was a good meal but the verdict on the Cheez It’s was save them for snacks!  No one liked the meat balls that well. The roasted garlic was a hit with the wife and DIL. I think because it is a milder garlic taste, I like a more sharp garlic taste.


Meatballs made

On the smoker

In the skillet

Sauce added

Garlic, Romaine & rolls toasting

Ready to serve

My salad

My supper