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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Turkey in a can

This is an Orion Cooker.  It's a convection cooker, and it uses coals on the outside, while the food cooks on the inside.

I tried to make a cheap, makeshift "do it yourself" orion cooker, using the bottom of my charcoal grill and a steel metal bucket, turned upside down.  

Did it work?  Absolutely.  Would it have been much easier to use the Orion cooker?  Absolutely.

I used my makeshift "do it yourself" orion cooker to make what is known as "trash can turkey", or as I prefer to call it, "turkey in a can".

Thankfully, I only had a 10 pound turkey, because that 5 gallon steel bucket proved to be very small.  Not sure a bigger one would have fit.

You MUST use a turkey stand.  I used a ceramic "beer can turkey" stand, to make the turkey stand vertically.  Actually it's called a Sittin' Turkey Steamer.

I prepared the 10 pound turkey by injecting it with Tony Chachere's Creole Butter injectable marinade.  This is imperative.  You don't have to use that particular injectable marinade, but you do have to use some type of injectable marinade, or the turkey will be too dry.

After injecting generously, I brushed the outside of the turkey with what was left in the bottle, and poured the rest into the "beer can turkey" stand.

Placed some heavy duty aluminum foil on the bottom of my Old Smokey charcoal grill, and placed the "beer can turkey" stand on the foil.  Placed the prepared turkey vertically on top.

Put the stainless steel 5 gallon bucket upside down over the turkey.  Note that the bucket was NOT galvanized; you should not use galvanized metal for cooking food.

Put coals all around the bucket, and some coals on top.  Lit the coals and let them burn.

It only took about an hour and 20 minutes to roast the turkey.  I couldn't see the turkey to see if it was done; I smelled the very good roasted turkey coming from the bucket, and figured maybe it was time.

In retrospect, I should have used a remote thermometer.

I had to use welding gloves to take the hot bucket off the turkey, and rotisserie gloves to remove the hot turkey and put it in the pan for carving.

It was a beautiful golden brown turkey.

You can do this with a small turkey.  If you want a bigger turkey, you either need to find a bigger non galvanized metal bucket, which I could not, or maybe an empty beer keg... or just buy an Orion cooker.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Stuffed pepper stuffing without the peppers

Someone requested that I make the following recipe for stuffed pepper stuffing, without actually stuffing the peppers:

Brown 2 pounds of ground chuck in a cast iron skillet.

Now, the recipe says to saute chopped onions, celery, and green pepper in butter, until they are soft.  I don't like green peppers, so I was going to omit the green pepper.  However, I found a prepackaged mix in the produce section, called "Louisiana's Choice Creole Seasoning Mix", which contained finely chopped onions, celery, green pepper, shallots, parsley, and garlic, already mixed together.  I wanted to save some time, so I used that.

So, in a separate skillet, I sauteed the chopped veggie mix in butter, until they were soft.

In a bowl, I shredded some hamburger buns; The recipe called for hamburger buns, but personally, if I were to do this again, I would shred saltine crackers instead.

Then poured in just enough milk to make the bread moist, but not wet.  

Added parmesan cheese to everything.

Then mixed it all together in a casserole dish.  Crushed some saltine crackers and sprinkled the crumbs on top.  Added more parmesan cheese, and put some dots of butter on top.

Into the oven at 325 degrees, until done.

It tasted good, but I definitely would like it better if it were all cracker crumbs, instead of the soft bread.  

Something about ground beef on soft bread doesn't sit well with me.  That's why I never eat the bottom bun of a hamburger.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Nineteenth recipe created by me: Double D sausage beanie weenies!

Someone suggested to me that I try a sausage local to the area, called "Double D sausage."  It's made and sold by the Double D sausage company in Bogalusa, Louisiana.

I was assured that it was the best sausage in the world.  Well, I don't know about in the world, but it is VERY good sausage!

I fried up the smoked sausage in a cast iron skillet, and it was amazing.  I decided to cut the sausage into slices, brown the slices in the skillet, and put them in beans to make beanie weenies out of them.

I put the browned sausage slices in with a can of Maple Bacon flavored Bush's Best canned beans.

There are lots of things you can put in beanie weenies, such as worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, yellow mustard, and such.  But if you use a variety of Bush's Best beans, you don't need to add anything, because those beans are already flavored.

Although you can, if you want to.

The sausage is divine, and cooked in with beans were also very divine!!!

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My first beanie weenies

I never realized how much I like Beanie Weenies, because I have seldom ever eaten them.

Apparently, I like them very much.

There are many different ways to make them, and I intend to try a lot of different ways.

Here is how I made them:

I cut up some Oscar Meyer Select Turkey franks (that's my favorite kind of hot dogs; You can use whatever kind you want).  Fried them in a cast iron skillet.

Put a can of baked beans in the crock pot.  Put the browned cut up weenies in.  Added some BBQ sauce.

Turned on the crock pot, heated it up, and enjoyed.

I think next time I will toast the hot dogs in the toaster oven, because I love toasted hot dogs.

And I will use a really good flavor of baked beans.  I just used what I had on hand this time.  My favorite is Bush's Best varieties.

Other recipes call for ketchup, worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar, instead of BBQ sauce.

I was once told that Orleans Parish Prison serves the best beanie weenies ever.  I will just believe that; I don't want to go there to find out.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Eighteenth recipe created by me: Lazy Spaghetti Sauce.

Spaghetti sauce is very easy to make.  But this particular sauce is easier than easy, so I called it Lazy Spaghetti Sauce.

I wanted spaghetti sauce, but I was too lazy to brown and drain any ground beef, or chop anything.

So I put a jar of spaghetti sauce in a crock pot.  Added a drained can of carrots, a drained can of mushrooms, onion flakes, dried minced garlic, onion powder, and garlic powder.

No browning required, no chopping required.  Lazy!

I always love meat sauce, so I didn't know if this meatless sauce would be very good.   Yeah, it was pretty good.

I wanted to add some protein to it, so I cut some hard boiled eggs into quarters and added.  Ew, eggs in spaghetti sauce?  Yep!  Italians do it, why not?  It was great!

If eggs are not for you, some drained kidney beans would also add some protein.

Monday, June 26, 2017

London Broil with Mushrooms

I decided to make London Broil again.

I don't know what exact cut of meat I used; The label said "London Broil".  But that refers to the way it's cooked, not the cut of meat itself.  Probably flank steak.

I marinated the meat for about 24 hours in Worcestershire sauce, and a grill seasoning called "molasses bacon".

Put it on the cast iron grill pan, put some raw mushrooms in the pan, and put it under the broiler.

It was under the broiler until the smoke alarm went off.  The top was a little too done for my liking, but it was still pink on the inside, making it "medium well".  

I prefer medium rare.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

I made fried green tomatoes

One of my all time favorite movies is Fried Green Tomatoes.

Today I made them for the first time.

Someone gave me a green tomato.  So I sliced it up, dipped each slice in egg and cornmeal mix, and pan fried in corn oil.

That's it!

They were good!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Guard Shack Cooking

One of my fine friends suggested that I write a cookbook or start a blog about "Guard Shack Cooking."  
Now, there's really not a whole lot of cooking you can do in a guard shack, so all the information I have at this point can be written in one article.  Maybe one article can lead to many others, but for now, this is what I have to offer.

A guard shack is a tiny building where security guards spend up to 16 hours.  They never have a kitchen.  If you're lucky, the one you are working in happens to have a microwave.  Usually because some other guard got tired of not having one, and scored a used one from goodwill.  Don't count on there being one.

So if you have no microwave, then you have to figure out how you are going to feed yourself for 16 hours, because you can't leave.  Most guard shacks are in an area where pizza will deliver, but not always!

Some people don't mind eating nothing but room temperature sandwiches, but I can't stand them.  So, I had to learn how to "cook" in a guard shack, with no means to cook.

How on earth do you "cook", if you have no means to cook?  You have to bring your own means to cook!  Of course, you won't want to lug a microwave to and from work every day.  You need something small.

I used to bring a 1.5 quart crock pot, and a 1 quart hot pot.

The crock pot was used to heat up whatever I want to heat up, whether it's leftovers or a can of soup.  It takes about 20 minutes on the high setting.  If you are busy, you can switch it to low, and eat whenever you need to.

There are slow cookers smaller than 1.5 quart, but I would not recommend them.  The 1.5 quart is the smallest size that has a removable stoneware pot as well as different heat settings.  Smaller sizes do not have those features.

At first, I would wash the crock pot after each use.  Eventually, I discovered that a pint sized ziploc twist n' loc container fits perfectly in a 1.5 quart crock pot, so I can heat up my food without having to wash the pot.

The hot pot was used to heat up water, for hot cereal, noodles, or hot chocolate.  Usually, the guard shack will have running water.  If not, you will need to bring some bottled water.   The hot pot can heat water to boiling in about a minute.  

If a microwave is available, you can bring a pyrex measuring cup to heat hot water in the microwave.  Use a pyrex measuring cup instead of a coffee cup, because it has a spout and won't spill all over you.

If there happens to be a coffee pot (usually not, unless another guard brings one), you can heat hot water in a coffee pot.  Just don't put anything in the filter, and it will make hot water.

One guard shack where I worked had a toaster oven, which was brought by another employee.   In the toaster oven, you can heat up various items on aluminum foil.  One time I brought hot dogs and buns, and toasted both in the toaster oven.

At another guard shack, I brought a grilled cheese sandwich press, and a loaf of bread, and made hot sandwiches to eat.

Now, all of this is assuming your guard shack actually has electricity.  Occasionally they don't, and so you can't do anything.  Why do businesses have such blatant disrespect for the guards they are paying such a pittance?

So, there you have it.  Guard shack cooking!  If I ever come up with any more ideas, then I will start a blog or maybe even write a cookbook.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Coca Cola Baby Back Ribs, finally done right

A few months ago, I tried my hand at coca cola baby back ribs, and I did it wrong.

So I tried making them again, the right way.

I used a rack of baby back ribs, cut in half.

Seasoned the baby back ribs with salt and pepper.  Put them in a crock pot.

Mixed a can of coca cola and a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce in a bowl.  

Poured half of the sauce mixture in the crock pot with the ribs, and set aside the other half.

Cooked on high for 4 hours.  Poured the rest of the sauce mixture over the ribs, and turned off the crock pot.

Good recipe!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

I made poor man's prime rib

I love prime rib, but as you know, it can be very expensive.

I found a recipe online for "poor man's prime rib".  It's not exactly the same as prime rib, but if you put au jus and horseradish sauce on it, you can't tell the difference.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.

Take an "eye of round" roast.  Rub it on all sides with sea salt, cracked black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and thyme.  

Put it in a cast iron skillet with the fat side up.

I also coated it with corn oil, but the recipe I found did not say to do that.

Once the oven is preheated, put the meat in the oven and reduce the temperature to 475.

Cook 7 minutes a pound.

After the time is up, turn the oven off, but do not open the doors.  Leave the roast in the oven for another 2 1/2 hours.

Slice and serve.  Awesome!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

My first fresh black eyed peas

Black eyed peas are easy.  This was my first time making fresh black eyed peas.

You need 6 cups chicken broth, 1 pound of dried black eyed peas, 1 vidalia onion, some cubed ham, a few strips of bacon, 3 teaspoons minced garlic, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.

Cut up the onion and the strips of bacon.  Put all of the ingredients in a crock pot.  Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

Yes, it was that easy.  Fresh black eyed peas are much better than canned.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Finally tried white corn meal mix, after all these years

Years ago, I made cornbread with yellow corn meal mix.

I said that eventually, I will try white corn meal mix... and I finally did.

Because the recipe on the back of the white corn meal mix bag was completely different, and contained NO flour or sugar, I just used the recipe that I had used for the yellow corn meal mix, and substituted white for yellow.

Corn meal is corn meal, whether it's white or yellow.  They are just different colors.

It was a fine tasting cornbread, although I did not increase the amount of sugar, so it was not very sweet.

I used the cornbread in my recipe for wonderful cornbread dressing.  Of course I think the dressing is better with sweeter cornbread, but still a tasty dressing.