Sunday, October 30, 2016

County Fair Italian Sausage & Spaghetti

Oct 30 2016

I was anxious to cook tonight’s supper.  When I was at my butchers the other day one of the Kah brothers gave me some sausage to try. He said he was trying for the taste of the County Fairs Italian sausage and wanted me to try them. I think you will find a version of this at about any County or State fair, Italian sausage links grilled with peppers and onions in a sandwich. We usually opted for the whole hog sausage patty sandwich at our County Fair.

I had spaghetti with Newman’s Own Sockarooni sauce, a salad and garlic knots. Our son and family came to eat with us.

I smoked the sausage for 45 minutes at 200 deg. on my Traeger then browned them up on my Weber Spirit. I had blue cheese dressing on my salad and some Maille mustard for the sausage.

The son and I both liked the sausage. I think he had cheese in them and I didn’t care so much for that and could have stood a little more green pepper taste. It still was pretty good sausage.

For my supper

45 minutes on my Traeger

Browning on my Weber Spirit

My salad

My supper

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Strip Steaks, Potatoes & Asparagus

Oct 29 2016

I never do strip steaks since they always seem tough to me. I wanted to try one Jaccarded. I got two from my butcher about ¾ pound each and about an inch thick. I would have twice baked potatoes and asparagus as sides. I had some garlic knots too.

I baked the potatoes early and scooped them out. I mixed 2 pats of butter, 2 Tbs. sour cream and about 1/3 cup of shredded Colby jack; mashed good and back in the shells.

I salted both sides of the steaks with kosher salt and on a rack in the fridge for a little salt cure for a couple of hours. My plan was to do the steaks on my Traeger at 200 deg. until an IT of 130 and then sear on my Weber Gas Grill.

I added a little pepper to the steaks and on the smoker. I added some shredded Colby Jack to the potatoes and put them on the smoker too.  I heated the Weber up on medium and after 45 minutes the IT of the steaks was at 126 deg. so put them on the Weber to sear. The potatoes looked good so left them on the smoker. After about 4 minutes I turned the steaks and in a minute took the temp with my thermopen and they were too done so pulled them and the potatoes.

I added a pat of gorgonzola chive butter to the steaks and let rest while I nuked the asparagus for 4 minutes. I had drizzled on some olive oil, white balsamic and some Penzey’s sandwich sprinkle. It was all pretty tasty.

The steaks were medium instead of the med. rare plus we like. They had nice color and the taste was better than I usually get. I had my grill grates too hot so will have to watch that in the future. I think the Jaccard helped but getting them medium hurt the tenderness I was looking for.

The steaks

Getting the potatoes ready

Garlic knots baked

Steaks & Potatoes on the Traeger

Browning the steaks

Resting the steaks

My supper

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Beef Fajitas and Rice

Oct 25 2016

I always welcome an easy cook that taste good. With some leftover beef or chicken fajitas is a good choice. With outside help like McCormick’s fajita sauce and a box of rice Like Zatarain’s makes it that much easier.

I had thawed out some thin sliced beef flank steak and had some McCormick’s fajita sauce and a box of Zatarain’s red beans and rice. I had some orange and green pepper in the freezer I sliced up with an onion.

I did the rice in my rice cooker and warmed some corn tortillas in a skillet. I did the onions and peppers in some olive oil in a skillet and then added the sliced beef. I let that cook about 5 minutes then added the sauce and it simmered about 10 minutes while the rice finished up.

I served the fajitas with some shredded cheese and sour cream. It tasted pretty good for quick and easy. I had some guacamole with mine.

Fajita ingredients

Onions, peppers and beef in

Sauce in and ready to serve

My supper

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

White Chicken Chili and Fried Cheese

Oct 24 2016

The other day when I bought chicken thighs for a meal I had to buy a pack of 12. I used 4 for that meal and next day Saturday I trimmed the rest and cooked on my Traeger to an IT of 170 deg.  Sunday I thought I would freeze them for later but I get an overload in my freezers too fast.  It’s cool here so told the wife I would use them and make some white chicken chili Monday.

I had some recipes I had done but wanted something different. I found one by the Neely’s on food network that sounded good to me. I adapted it to do in my Instant Pot and changed some of the ingredients.

I had bought some grilling cheese I wanted to try and thought it would be good with the chili. After my chili was ready and on warm hold I cut two slices of the cheese and fried on med. in a little olive oil. I did for 2 minutes and turned but was a little too soon so let them them go 3 minutes on the other side.

We both had some crushed tortilla chips and sour cream for topping the chili and the fried cheese. We both liked the chili and when my wife went for a second bowl she said I could eat another piece of cheese. I said sorry I could eat one too but too lazy to fry more! The fried cheese would go with about any soup and a lot of pasta dishes. To me this was one of the better tasting white chilies I have made.

Cooking method is in the recipe.

Click Here for printable recipe


Veggies prepped

Onions, peppers and garlic in

Chicken and seasoning in

Broth and beans in & ready to serve

The cheese

My supper

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Grits & Shrimp Creole

Oct 23 2016

Another inside cook on my new range. I cooked up some stone ground grits and made up the Creole sauce to cook the shrimp in. I had 10 oz. of nice jumbo gulf shrimp to use; just enough for the wife and me.

The sauce was:
1 15 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
A couple slices of sweet onion chopped
½ green pepper chopped
½ cup celery sliced
2 green onions sliced
1 tablespoon Worcestershire
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Fresh parsley chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce to taste

I was out of Worcestershire so had to skip that. I got my grits on cooking and started the sauce. I started with sautéing the onions, then added the peppers and celery, then the green onions and then the crushed tomatoes. I added in the parsley and seasoning and let it simmer while I finished the grits. I like them thick.

When the grits were done I set them on the warmer burner and cooked the shrimp in the sauce. I did them for 6 minutes turning half way. Tasted good, but missed having bread and butter with them!

The grits were on the warmer until after we ate. When I emptied out the pan they were not stuck to the bottom. I am going to like the warmer for grits if nothing else.


The shrimp

Sauteing the onions

Celery and peppers in

Grits cooking

Green onions added

Tomatoes, seasonings and parsley added

Shrimp are done ready to serve

My supper

Friday, October 21, 2016

Skillet Chicken Meal W/Country Gravy

Oct 21 2016

Like a kid with a new toy I am having fun cooking on my new kitchen range. It was cold for outdoor cooking anyway! I had planned chicken thighs, onions, carrots and potatoes with country gravy in my cast iron skillet.

I started off with making the country gravy, Pioneer brand and heated some lard in the skillet to brown the chicken. I browned the chicken seasoned with just salt and pepper on medium heat for 4 minutes per side then removed.

I added a chopped sweet onion until it started to brown then added some Dutch baby potatoes and carrots and let them go about 5 minutes.  I dumped the veggies in a colander to drain the grease; back in the skillet and added in the chicken and the gravy.

I had the convection oven heating to 350 deg. and as soon as it was hot I put the skillet in. This was at 6:17 so I figured I would check it at 6:45 to see what the temp of the chicken was. I had figured it might have to cook a little longer to get the thighs at 170 deg. IT. When I checked it it was 200 deg. IT; I was surprised since normally I would do chicken 45 minutes to 1 hour.

We had some toasted English muffins with it. The wife who doesn’t normally like thighs said the chicken is pretty good. I mashed up my potatoes and had gravy over. Note I went easy on the butter; but I had good gravy to sop up with it!

My new GE Range


Country gravy made

Browning the chicken

Sauteing the onions

Potatoes and carrots added

All in then poured the gravy over

Done in my convection oven

My supper

Leftover Beef Fried Rice

Oct 20 2016

It has been raining here for 24 hours; had over 2 inches last night! It’s colder too; I think fall is here. Lowes delivered my new kitchen range today so was anxious to try it out. It’s a GE glass top 5 burner with convection oven. The thing I like is the oven has the bottom element hidden under the metal for easy cleaning.

I usually have chicken or pork fried rice but I had leftover beef rib meat to use and veggies to use up. I like it best done in a wok but skillet stove top is about as good and you can do it at a slower pace; more suitable for my old age!

I first fried two eggs beaten to chop and add to the stir fry. I heated my CS skillet with a couple turns of extra light olive oil on medium and added some chopped carrots and celery. Cooked a few minutes then added some thin sliced cabbage, for another 2 to 3 minutes and then added the chopped beef and sliced green onions after a few minutes I added in the rice and stirred all to let heat through. I  then added some soy sauce and the chopped eggs. As soon as all was heated through I was ready to serve.

A pretty good supper for just throwing things together!


Fried eggs

Celery and carrots in

Beef and green onions in

Soy sauce and rice in

Eggs are in

My supper

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Cabbage Meatloaf & Steamed Veggies

Oct 20 2016

Last night’s supper was pretty simple but thought it was worth sharing since I used cabbage in a meatloaf. I thought of it and searched for recipes to get an idea of how much cabbage to add. I couldn’t find any so I winged it.

The meatloaf was 1 ½ lbs. of ground chuck, a good cup of fine shredded cabbage I did in a food processor, 1 package of Lipton’s beefy onion soup mix, 1 egg, ¼ cup half & half cream, and a half sleeve of crushed saltine crackers.

I am getting a new kitchen stove and the kids wanted my 18 year old Amana glass top that still looks new. That was with at least 10 years using cast iron on it too.

I did up the meatloaf early on my Traeger to an IT of 160 deg. I steamed some cabbage, carrots and baby Dutch potatoes in my Instant pot and had supper ready at 6:00 when the kids came to get my old stove.

I liked the meatloaf and so did our son who doesn’t like cabbage that well; he had two slices of it. The wife said she liked my old style better. We had some garlic knots with the meal.

For the meatloaf

Ready to mix

Ready to smoke

Done on my Traeger

Cabbage, carrots and potatoes

My supper