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Sunday, May 12, 2019

22nd recipe created by me: pickle juice baby back ribs

What?  Pickle juice?

Yes, Pickle juice.

I first prepared the baby back ribs by seasoning with seasoned salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.  Roasted in the oven at 400 degrees.

When they were ready, they were terrific!

But on a whim, remembering that a certain chicken place uses pickle juice on their chicken, I decided to try pickle juice on the ribs.

So I poured some pickle juice on a sample.  Ehrmahgerd!

I poured more pickle juice on more ribs.  It's awesome!

Friday, December 14, 2018

My lifelong poem, a work in progress

This poem has been a work in progress for nearly 30 years.

It's based on my life experiences:

It doesn't take a genius or that Ph.D. of his, 
to know "it's nothing against you, but", always means it is.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much smarts, 
to know that "I'm not prejudiced, but", always means you are.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much thought, 
to know that "I am sorry, but" always means you're not.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much blue,
to know "I don't condone that, but" means you certainly do.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a quote,
to know, "I pray for you, but" always means you don't.

it doesn't take a genius nor does it take much ado, 
to know that "I don't want drama" usually means you do.

It doesn't take a genius, and it doesn't take another, 
to know,  when you say "both sides" you've already taken the other.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much jam, 
to know, "NO ONE IS SAYING THAT!" usually means "I am."

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much fizz,
to know, when "NO ONE'S DOING THAT!", that person probably is.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a squid, 
to know that "i'm not taking sides" means you already did.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a fight,
to know, when they get really defensive, you were certainly right.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a fee,
to know "all lives matter" means "I want this all about me."

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a burn,
to know, when you demand more proof, you really don't want to learn.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much luck,
to know, when you say "don't judge", you're judgmental as fuck.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much shelves,

to know, "don't lump me in!" means they're telling on themselves.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take technology,
to know, "i'm sorry you were hurt, but" is not an apology.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a spigot,
to know, that only bigots, think bigots aren't bigots.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a nerf,
to know, when you defend and condone a terf, you're a terf.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a spur,
to know, "Now I'm not an ally!" means you never were.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much filthy,
to know, "how dare you accuse me" usually means you're guilty.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much biting, 
to know "that's just your perception!" usually is gaslighting.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much end 
to know that "you just want attention!" means they're not a friend.

It doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a loo,
to know, when "you're just too negative!", they're being negative too.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a dancer,
to know, when they respond with silence, they've given you an answer.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a guess, 
to know that "I'm not getting involved" means the answer is yes.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much flair,
to know that "you feel victimized!" means they really don't care.

It doesn’t take a genius and it doesn’t take much threshold, 
to know that “you just want sympathy!” means that they’re an asshole.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much fly, 
to know, "I don't hate anyone", is usually a lie.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much fire,
to know, demanding unearned trust, means that you're a liar.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take much wit,
to know that "I don't need therapy", means they're full of shit.

it doesn't take a genius and it doesn't take a gem
to know, when you say "but not all", you are one of them.

It doesn’t take a genius and it doesn’t take much sway, 
To know, “I disagree with this poem!” means these are things you say.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

21st recipe created by me: Green Beans turkey giblet gravy

As with all recipes "created by me", this recipe was created by accident.

I had made smothered fresh green beans for Thanksgiving.  I sauteed some "creole seasoning"** in olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  Added seasoned salt, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder.  Then I transferred it to a crock pot, along with fresh green beans, and added some chicken broth.  Cooked down the green beans overnight.

** "creole" seasoning is in the refrigerated produce section; It's finely chopped onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic, in a container ready to use.  I hate green pepper, but in the creole seasoning, you don't really taste it.  

So when the green beans were all gone, I still had a bowl full of broth.  So I decided to use the broth to make my turkey giblet gravy.

Roast the neck and giblets in the oven at 350 degrees.  When they're done, chop the giblets and remove the meat from the neck.  

Make a roux with butter (or turkey drippings) and Wondra flour, then mix in the green bean broth.  Add more Wondra flour, and more green bean broth, until you have the amount of gravy you want.  Add the chopped giblets and neck meat.  Warm on low until it's ready.

I discovered that using the broth from the green beans made the giblet gravy taste like... green beans.

Which if you like green beans, is good.  If you don't like green beans, you won't like this.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Lodge Cook-it-All

Pictured above is the new Lodge product, the "cook it all".

It markets itself as a combination griddle, grill, wok, pizza oven, and dutch oven.

Which it basically is.  And when I saw the video, I immediately wanted one... until I saw the price tag.  Yikes!!!

So having said that, there are some things you should know about the cook-it-all:

It's got a ring on the bottom, that lifts the pot about an inch off the ground, just like camp oven legs.  So it is not practical to use on an indoor stove.  Maybe the oven.

It's meant to be used over a campfire.  Video reviews of people who tried using this to cook over coals, showed that the results were not good, because the coals burned out inside the ring underneath.  Using a camp oven, there's enough airflow that the coals don't burn out.

For all practical purposes, if you have a camp oven (the cast iron pot with a flat lid and legs), you have 90% of the capability.  

A camp oven is primarily used as a dutch oven.  But you can also use a dutch oven trivet or lid stand, and flip the lid over to use as a griddle.  Put your pot upside down over the flipped lid, and it's a pizza oven.  While the pot is not curved, there's no reason you can't do stir fry type dishes in the open pot.

The only thing a camp oven doesn't have is the raised grill part, but you can certainly grill steaks on a camp oven lid.

It all depends on whether you think an item that can only be used over a campfire, is worth spending $130.

Personally, I'd rather something I can use over a fire, AND over coals, AND indoors.  All regular Lodge cast iron cookware can be used over fire, over coals, and indoors.

The camp ovens can't be used indoors (only over fire and over coals), but if I already have one, then I have 90% of the capability of the cook-it-all.  

I think you're better off buying the new lodge Fire and Cook stand, for cooking over a fire using most Lodge cookware.  

It's very reasonably priced, and you can use the cookware you already have, to cook over your campfire.

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

20th recipe created by me: Mustard baby back ribs

Tonight I had a slab of baby back ribs that I had to do something with.

I've tried several different recipes for ribs, but tonight I decided I was going to try making one on my own.

First I put the following seasonings in a bowl:  Black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, brown sugar.**

**I also added seasoned salt, but due to the salt content in yellow mustard, you don't need the seasoned salt.  Paprika might have been good.

Then I rubbed the slab of ribs with yellow mustard.  Sprinkled the seasoning mixture on the ribs.

Into the oven at 400 degrees.  I put the ribs vertically, in a circle in a cast iron skillet.

Those ribs were the bomb!  They were a little salty, which is why next time I will omit the seasoned salt.  Yellow mustard contains salt.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Past experience with the volcano stove, and trying to decide if I want one again

Years ago, I got a Volcano stove, after reading all of the hype about how great it was.

I used it several times, and experimented with it.  Some of my experiences were good, and some did not meet my expectations.

About two years ago, on finding that it was permanently stuck in a half-open position (would not collapse, would not completely open), I donated it.  

That was actually one of my main issues with it, that I never posted about.  The collapsible Volcano gets stuck entirely too easily.  In fact, I kept it in the open position, because it was too difficult to open once it was collapsed.  And then, when I brought it to an outdoor gathering, someone there decided to collapse it, for whatever god forsaken reason.  I was not happy, because it sure was a pain to get open again!

But it had its uses too.  A small charcoal grill / stove, a small propane grill / stove (but it's a hassle to install and remove the propane burner, so pick the one you like most).  Useful for wok cooking using coals or propane.  Useful for cooking in a camp oven WITH COALS, NOT PROPANE.  

So anyway, as it did have its uses, I've been considering getting one again.  But there are two problems:  1.  They're all out of stock at the moment, and 2.  They're expensive!

Not to mention, the helluva time I had opening it, once it was collapsed.  Oh, it wasn't exactly easy to collapse, either.

So... is it worth getting again?  or can I fulfill the same purpose with something else that I have?

Enter the 18 inch Old Smokey, a really nice charcoal grill that you can certainly bring on a camping trip.  The current price is $43.95.

Does it collapse?  No, but you already know how I feel about collapsing.  It's definitely lighter to carry than the volcano.  

Does it use propane?  No, unless you want to get a propane burner with regulator, and install it yourself.  Keeping in mind that this would be permanent, because it would require drilling a big hole in the side of the bottom.  Also keeping in mind that you definitely can NOT cook in a camp oven using propane.

Can you cook in a wok using this?  Yes, If you buy the small size Vortex, using the direct heat function.  It currently costs $35.95.

Can you cook in a dutch oven using this?  No reason you can't; just use the bottom part.  I know what they say about how much more efficient the volcano stove was, but in my experience, six of one, half dozen of the other.

Or you can get a Camp Chef cast iron dutch oven stand

Can you use wood?  The people at Old Smokey say yes.

So, for about $80 (Old Smokey 18 inch and small Vortex), you have the same capability as the "non propane" Volcano.  

Propane burners with regulator can range from $30 to $100, I found.  If you want propane.

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.

Friday, December 30, 2016

My first turkey in the Char Broil Big Easy

Today I made my first turkey using the Char Broil Big Easy. 

It's marketed as an "oil less turkey fryer", but it's actually an outdoor roasting oven.  There's no such thing as an "oil less fryer".  That's a marketing gimmick.

It was also the first turkey I cooked, using an injectable marinade.  I used Tony Chachere's Creole Butter flavor.

And let me say, that I will NEVER make another turkey, without using an injectable marinade.  That turkey was incredible.  JUICY turkey-- even the breast, and I don't even like turkey breast.  

Because I used the injectable marinade, I didn't think I needed to rub butter on the surface of the turkey.  Actually, I should have, but it was still a great turkey.

You could also brush the turkey with olive oil or corn oil, if you'd rather not use butter.

I also seasoned the turkey, inside the cavity and out, with my usual turkey seasoning blend -- poultry seasoning, black pepper, seasoned salt, and chicken granules. 

Because this was going in the outdoor roaster, which roasts the turkey vertically, I did not put a stick of butter in the cavity, like I usually do.

As far as how the turkey cooks in the roaster, I was impressed with how the skin got really crispy, while the inside (credited to the injectable marinade) stayed juicy.  

The major downside to using the Big Easy is, I don't have a covered patio, so it entirely depends on the weather.  And it rains a lot where I live!  

Also, cleaning up the Big Easy afterwards is a chore.

Although the Big Easy does NOT produce a "fried" turkey, I will give it points for producing a great crispy skin all over.

Most definitely use an injectable marinade when you cook a turkey in the Big Easy.  And even if you don't!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Shrimp mirliton casserole, for the second time in my entire life

Years ago, I made a shrimp mirliton casserole that was very close to my grandmother's secret recipe.

Mirlitons are also known as "chayote squash".

She always made shrimp mirliton casserole for thanksgiving and christmas-- it wasn't the holidays without those mirlitons!

So I decided to make some for christmas.  I had to do it differently, since someone who will be eating it is allergic to butter; I had to use cooking oil and Parkay margarine, instead of butter.

Also, this time instead of boiling the mirlitons, I smothered them in a covered pot on the stove, with onions and a small amount of cooking oil.

I thought that cooking the mirlitons this way would make them taste better.  I haven't decided if it made them taste better or not-- I really like fresh green beans cooked this way, but it made some of the mirlitons overcook.  Also, it was more work, because I had to pick out the pieces that overcooked, and cut off the burnt part.

So here is what I did differently:

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil in a pot on the stove.  Added chopped onions and cut up mirlitons.  Covered the pot and let the vegetables cook down in the oil.  Drained and set aside.

Heated up a small amount of cooking oil (instead of butter) in a skillet.  Added chopped onions, minced garlic, and raw shrimp; Sauteed in the skillet.  Added black pepper, oregano, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder.

When that was cooked, I added the mirlitons, then added parmesan cheese and italian bread crumbs.  

I mixed the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese all through, then added more of both on top.  

Sliced up a stick of Parkay margarine (instead of butter), and put the slices on top.  Into the oven at 350 degrees.

This recipe was good, but not as much like my grandmother used to make, as the previous recipe.

So I'll just boil the mirlitons next time... 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

My first prime rib roast, on the rotisserie

I have a rotisserie, and wanted to use it for something.  Since I am not the biggest fan of chicken and pork, I used it for something I rave about:  Prime Rib Roast.

It was really quite easy.

My roast aged in the refrigerator for a couple of days.  

I coated the rib roast with olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.  Let it sit for a couple of hours.  

Put it on the rotisserie for an hour and 15 minutes.  It was a six pound roast, so that's about 12 minutes a pound, and it turned out medium rare.

Sliced it, and had it with horseradish sauce.  It was divine.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

After 7 years, I finally tried toasting real pumpkin seeds.

I've had every intention of toasting my own pumpkin seeds, for the past 7 years.

This year, I finally did it... and I did it wrong.

Unfortunately, none of the grocery stores had any more pumpkins.  So I guess I will have to wait till next year to try again.

What you are supposed to do, is get the seeds out of the pumpkin-- and don't bother with those flimsy pumpkin cutting kits that bend and break on the first use.  Use a serrated knife.

Don't worry about rinsing the bits of pumpkin off-- that adds flavor.

Let the seeds dry on a flat pan.

Coat the seeds in Olive oil.

Add salt, or seasoned salt if you want.

Into the oven at 300 degrees.

That's how you're supposed to do it.  Never mind how I actually did it, since I did it all wrong... 

I'll try to remember next year.  I'm not waiting another 7 years.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Mock "prime rib" and Au Jus

I love prime rib.  It's my favorite "steak", but it's not actually "steak".  It's a rib roast that has been sliced, and is usually served with horseradish sauce and "Au Jus".

Au Jus is a dipping juice made from beef broth.  

There are several ways to make Au Jus; I made some by heating up some beef broth with Worcestershire sauce on the stove to a boil, then reducing the heat to a simmer, and allowing the broth to "reduce".

So when I went to the store to get a "prime rib" roast, the butcher suggested to me that bone-in ribeye was the same cut of meat, only sliced into steaks, and was two dollars a pound cheaper.

I don't know if that was correct or not, but, that was what he told me.  And, it was two dollars a pound cheaper.

So I got the bone in ribeye steaks.  Now, steaks definitely cook differently than roast, so I did not expect it to be exactly the same as the prime rib I love to order from a restaurant.

But I cooked it similarly.  I stacked the two steaks on top of each other in an open roasting pan, and roasted them in the oven at 250 degrees until they were pink.

When I first tasted it, I decided it needed more flavor, so I put Worcestershire sauce directly on it.

I read later that it would have been more flavorful had I seasoned the meat with garlic cloves and black peppercorns before putting it in the oven.

Other than that, it wasn't exactly the same as in a restaurant (and it wouldn't be, since steaks indeed cook differently from roast), but it was just about.  

Especially with the horseradish sauce!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Chili with no beans

One of the oldest arguments in the world is, should chili have beans in it or not?

Some people insist that real chili does not have beans in it.  Some people insist that chili is made with beans.  Who is right?

Well, in my honest opinion, neither is "right."  It's just a personal preference.

I have always made my chili with beans, whether it's red kidney beans, or pinto beans.  I actually prefer the pinto beans.

But for grins, I decided to try making my own chili recipe, without the beans.

1 pound of ground chuck, browned in a skillet with chopped onions and minced garlic.  Drain.

Add 1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce, 1 can of diced tomatoes (undrained), and a packet of chili seasoning.

Because I didn't add beans, I also added a bit of beef broth.

Simmer for a couple of hours.

It was good chili.  I'm used to beans since I always make it with beans, but even without the beans, it was good chili.

I will say that adding beans makes the chili have more servings, since the beans stretch it out.  Without the beans, there are fewer servings in the pot, but the chili is "meatier".

So.  Beans or no beans?  Do whatever you want.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Seventeenth recipe created by me: Coca Cola Ranch Ribs

As with most recipes "created by me", this was pretty much on accident.

I found a recipe on the internet for coca cola baby back ribs.  I love baby back ribs, and I love coca cola!  So I decided to try it!

Alas, the store did not have baby back ribs; They had St Louis ribs.  Not quite the same thing; They are both pork ribs, but baby back is a different part of the pig.  Personally I prefer baby backs, but, I got the St Louis ones.

The recipe called for salt, pepper, coca cola, and BBQ sauce.  You season the ribs with salt and pepper, put them in a crock pot with some coca cola, slow cook on low for 8 hours, transfer to an oven pan, slather with BBQ sauce, put under the broiler until the sauce is caramelized.

Well, it's a great recipe, except I kinda did it wrong.  I seasoned the ribs with salt and pepper, but instead of pouring just a can of coke in the crock pot over the ribs, I used about a liter of coke.  Also, the bottle had been opened 2 months ago, so there was little carbonation, which may or may not have made a difference.

So, I slow cooked the ribs in all of that coca cola.  Refrigerated overnight, removed the fat cap, slow cooked some more.

Because of the excess liquid and longer cooking time, these ribs weren't just fall off the bone... they already fell off the bone!  The ribs were now the consistency of pulled pork, and I didn't even have to "pull" anything.  

Now, it's still rib meat, right?  I scooped it all out of the pot with a slotted spoon into a bowl.  

I suppose I could have gone onto the next step and slathered with BBQ sauce and put under the broiler.

But instead, I wondered how it would taste with ranch dressing.  So I put some ranch on a plate and dipped the rib meat into the ranch.  Mmm, pretty tasty!

Now, if you want the actual experience of eating ribs off the bone, you want to do the above recipe correctly.  

I named this recipe "ribs" because it really was rib meat, as opposed to pulled pork, which is made from the shoulder or butt.  If you like ribs, try them with ranch dressing sometime!