Monday, April 17, 2017

IP Beef, Potatoes & Carrots W/Country Gravy

Apr 17 2017

This is the first year in ages I didn’t cook for Easter. My usual was ham, scalloped cheese potatoes, corn pudding and sometime s a green bean casserole.

For this Easter I took all the family to Thai Jasmine in Lima Ohio Saturday evening for our family dinner; it was really good food. We had crab Rangoon for an appetizer and I had a crispy egg roll; about the best I ever had. We had enough left to take and eat for our lunch Sunday. Our son and family went to her parents Sunday. Our daughter was with us Sunday to eat before heading home.

I took it easy on myself and cooked in the Instant Pot, minute steaks, Baby potatoes, carrots smothered in country gravy. I browned the minute steaks on one side and made two cups of gravy with Pioneer Brand Country Gravy. I chopped two slices of sweet onions for the bottom of the pot, added in the potatoes and carrots and poured half the gravy over. I then added in the steaks and the rest of the gravy. I cooked it on “Meat normal mode” for 15 minutes and supper was ready. I let it set about 15 minutes before releasing the steam.

That was an easy meal and tasted great! I mashed my potatoes, carrots and had gravy over them. The meat was fork tender.

Browning the meat

My supper

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tenderloin Steaks, Smashed Potatoes & Asparagus

Apr 11 2017

We are finally getting spring weather and a nice 75 deg. yesterday. I had some bricks come loose on my front porch so I cleaned it all up and re-glued them. Then I replaced the fire pot in my Traeger smoker. That didn’t go well; I twisted the set screw off that held the hot rod in place. I drilled and tapped a new hole and finally got it back together. I fired it up at 200deg. for a half hour to burn off any oils.

I had thawed out some steaks for our supper; they are my favorite thick tenderloin steaks I get at Sam’s Club. For my sides I had smashed yellow potatoes and asparagus that go great with the steaks. I had planned to smoke the steaks in my Traeger to 120 deg. IT then sear on my gas grill. I dry brined the steaks with some kosher coarse salt for 4 hours and seasoned with a little Weber’s Chicago Steak seasoning.  I served them topped with gorgonzola chive butter I had made.

I was too tired to get the gas grill uncovered and heated up so decided to just do them in my smoker to an IT of 140 deg. I had some problems with my smoker; the controller was reading way too high above the 200 deg. I had set it for. My monitor probe was only reading 199 deg. at grill level and the controller was saying 275 deg. From the IT of the steaks I knew it was only running about 200 deg.

I had my asparagus ready with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt and had it on the smoker about a half hour. I nuked the potatoes then smashed them and added some gorgonzola chive butter. The steaks had been on for an hour and was 115 deg. IT so I pulled them and seared inside in my stargazer CI skillet for 4 minutes per side. I had placed the asparagus and potatoes in a 300 deg. oven  while I seared the steaks.

After all that the steaks came out beautiful; juicy and great flavor. My wife and I agreed they were better than any from a restaurant we have had. The gorgonzola chive butter is our favorite topping for steaks. I make it with a stick of softened butter, two TBS of crumbled gorgonzola cheese and a good TBS of snipped fresh chives. If you use dried chives a good teaspoon is enough. Mix all together well then place on plastic wrap. Wrap forming a round stick and place in the fridge to set up.

Steaks ready for the smoker

Searing after and hour of smoke

Searing second side

Potatoes and asparagus

My supper

A perfect medium

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Baby Green Lima Beans, Ham Hock and Bacon

Apr 04 2017

I am getting behind in my posts. I did want to post this; one of my favorite beans to cook with a ham hock and some bacon. I can’t get them around here so I order the Camellia brand from Amazon. I would follow Mary’s recipe from Deep South Dish. I cut the recipe in half and just used a half pound of the beans I soaked overnight.

I had a nice meaty ham hock from my butcher I did for 30 minutes covered with water in my Instant Pot and used the broth to cook the beans. I had 5 slices of bacon I cooked part way on my smoker to cut down on the fat. I finished the bacon and some onions in a pot and then added the beans, broth and seasonings. I simmered them about 2 hours with the lid off and added broth when needed. I then simmered them with the lid on for an hour.

My wife and DIL had been away for the day to visit our daughter in Bowling Green where the DIL’s Mother and Aunt met them for lunch and a craft show. My wife ate some other left overs while I had a nice bowl of the beans with crackers and butter. Tasted great! I just baked a corn bread and will have that with the beans tonight for supper.

Click Here for Mary's full recipe

The ham hock


Ham, bacon and onions

Added to the pot

Ready to serve

My supper

Monday, April 3, 2017

Saturday BBRibs, Potato Salad & Corn

Apr 03 2017

Saturday night’s supper was baby back ribs, old fashioned potato salad and corn on the cob. I was getting hungry for some summer food. I also wanted to try the pink butcher paper to wrap the ribs for 2 hours. In the morning I cleaned out my Traeger smoker and found my fire pot had rusted through some. I got a new one ordered today. Not bad for 6 years of cooking.

I made up the potato salad early using one of my favorite recipes and used some yellow potatoes. The corn was some I get at Wall Mart and is usually good steamed but this time it turned out pretty tough.

I seasoned the ribs with some red wine vinegar to wet down and Blues Hog Rub about an hour before going on the grill. They went on my Traeger preheated to 200 deg. for an hour. I then raised the temp to 225 deg. for an hour. I then wrapped the ribs in two layers of butcher paper and went to 235 deg. My Traeger runs about 20 to 25 deg. hotter at grill level than my Savannah Stoker says. After 2 hours wrapped I unwrapped and went to 250 deg. for an hour a total of 5 hours.

It all tasted pretty good, the ribs were some of the meatiest I have done and were done with a good bite through. If you are not familiar with competition ribs; to be ideal they must be done to give a clean bite through pulling from the bone but not getting more from the sides. My wife had some of my butchers BBQ sauce with hers. Personally I prefer more fall off the bone done. Like I said the corn was a little tough, now I can’t wait for some good fresh seasonal corn.

Click Here for printable potato salad recipe

Ribs ready to smoke

For the potato salad

Dressing for the potatoes

All in but the eggs, added later

The corn

After 2 hours of smoke, ready to wrap

Ribs resting

My tough corn!

My supper

Had a clean bite

Use Butcher Paper for ribs and pork butts instead of Foil

Apr 03 2017

Recently it was posted on LTBBQ forum that cooking with aluminum foil or pans is not good for you. This is a story that had come up often over the years. From what I read is cooking with it can release some of the metal into your food; especially acidic. On the other hand there have been no real good surveys on whether it is bad for you or causes Alzheimer’s.

I have used foil for making foil packs and cooking on the grill and use foil when I wrap ribs or pork butts.
I line my drip pan with foil too for easy clean up. A couple of years ago my friend from the Beer and Wine Depot bought a roll of butcher paper and gave me some to try on a pork butt. It worked fine but was kind of messy since the paper absorbs a lot of the grease. His paper was about 3 ft. wide and would have worked better cut down to size.

I found some of the Pink Butcher paper at Amazon, a 28 inch roll X 150 feet. You don’t want to use the newer white paper, it is lined with a coating and will not breath like the old Pink butcher paper; some call it red. I just did some baby back ribs and used it to wrap for 2 hours on my smoker. It worked great and I will continue to use it for any wrapping meat to cook.

I will continue to use foil to line my drip pan and line a sheet pan when doing sheet pan meals in the oven. You can suite yourself to how serious you heed not using aluminum for your cooking.

The paper and some bbribs

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls over Rice

April 01 2017

This meal is an easy way to get the taste of cabbage rolls without a lot of prep work. I have made it a lot over the years. This time I used Italian sausage instead of ground beef for a change.

I cooked a box of Zatarain’s butter and garlic rice in my rice cooker to serve it over. I like Zatarain’s rice and use the garlic butter and the New Orleans yellow rice. I don’t care for any of theirs with beans in as they come out too dry for me.

Served with an English muffin; it was a hit for the wife and I. We both liked the Italian sausage for a change.

Click Here for printable recipe


Sausage browned


Cabbage added

All in

My supper