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Category Archives: Random
Sometimes it feels like I live with a teenager. I love D to death but he thought it was just hysterical when I used the phrase “salted nuts” when talking about my prep work. He actually found it so entertaining that I could not help but laugh. Anyway, these salted nuts made a great snack for the official start of Football season, try not to eat them all in one sunday though.
In my house, those Smokehouse almonds used to be a regular snacktime staple, until we started reading ingredients. MSG, maltodextrin, potassium sorbate…wtf is in these things? We decided to make our own smoked mixed nuts on the Weber 22.5 inch kettle with hickory smoke.
- 6 cups raw nuts: we used almonds, walnuts, and pecans
- 2TB of oil: coconut or olive oil
- 1 t cumin
- 1/2 t garlic
- 1/4 t cayenne
- generous amounts of salt
Basically you just mix all of the ingredients together in a foil pan and put on the indirect side. How freaking easy is that? Next time you have a party whip a batch of these babies up, I will even let you take credit for coming up with this genius idea.
You want to leave these on for 20-30 minutes and stir frequently. They will get a bit darker in color, which is fine…Turning black, is not. There is only a couple minute window between perfectly smoked and burnt so keep an eye on these. Also, if you give them adequate time to cool before serving it lets them get nice and crunchy again.
So, do you ever have an idea that seems totally freaking crazy and it actually works out perfectly? That is what these brownies are for me. The only thing that popped into my head after the first bite was, “holy crap I can’t believe that worked”
These are aztec brownies, which means they have a little kick to them which I thought was appropriate considering the cooking method. If you dont like spicy food, or are just a boring old traditionalist then feel free to leave them out, but I promise you it isnt overpowering.
You will need:
- 1/4 cup grass-fed butter (or coconut oil if butter is not an option)
- 2 medium sweet potatos
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup honey (you can add more to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon saigon cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (less if you dont like want a strong dark chocolate flavor)
- 4 ounces of baking chocolate- no i dont have a scale, I just used the whole bar…ya know…figure it out
- 3/4 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- dash of salt
Ok, time to start your grill. I used 3/4 of a chimney of pure hardwood charcoal and made a fire in half of the Weber 22 inch grill. Slice your sweet potatoes in half and brush them with olive oil, then throw ’em on the grill, I cooked mine off to the side of the direct flame so they wouldn’t totally burn. Just cook them until they “give” on the sides, even if you are an amateur cook you can squeeze a tater and tell if it is done.
Feel free to start making your batter while your taters are cooking, takes about 20-25 minutes. Melt the chocolate bar and the butter together, then whisk them with the other wet ingredients. I strongly recommend having an electric mixer here unless you want a really good upper body workout. After you incorporate all of your dry ingredients, except for the chocolate chips, and mix some more, you can get started on your sweet potatoes. If you’re smart, and I am not, you will wait until they have cooled completely to try to scrape the flesh away from the skin, but I was in a hurry.
I put my sweet potato flesh and my batter mixture into a Ninja, but you can use a blender or food processor. This gets all the chunks out…super duper important! Next I set up the pan…I am not sure if this is paranoid or genius but I put a 7×11 Pyrex baking dish into a foil pan so that they brownies wouldn’t burn on the bottom from being directly on the heat, and so my pan wouldn’t get ruined. I know…I thought of everything!
I put some foil in the bottom too, so there is actually a space between the Pyrex and the foil. Also the handles rest nicely on the edges. How freaking awesome is that?
Next step is so easy a caveman could do it, I greased my pan with some coconut oil, poured the batter in and mixed in most of my chocolate chips. I reserved a few for sprinkling over the top just because it looks pretty.
Before you throw these babies onto the grill, check your coals. You might need to add more to heat it up. You should be able to hold your hand over them for at least ten seconds, but they should still be hot. If yours arent add in another 1/3 of a chimney full and check the temp again. If you’re one of those a-holes that uses a gas grill then you could set it to 350 and bake for 25ish minutes. This is of course where the art of grilling comes in because they will have different cook times at different temps, you have to do the high-tech “butter knife shoved in the middle” test to see if they are done. Mine took about 35 minutes, if yours are cooking too fast on the outsides but raw in the middle you can move them off of the direct heat to finish.
I suppose you could bypass this and just bake them in the oven, but if you wanted to do that you could have just found a regular recipe on a site that isn’t about grilling.
On a side note…I think i have a sweating problem…I dress in very comfortable clothes because it is hot as hell here in Virginia and I see people with long sleeves, jeans, and knee-high boots on. How in the hell aren’t these women sweaty in all those clothes.? I am wearing freaking moisture wicking fabric and I still feel nasty! Jeez
Addendum: store these brownies uncovered in a microwave or oven. If you cover them tightly they get soggy. You can of course solve this problem by eating them all in one sitting.
Sure every backyard BBQer knows that you need big tongs and a long-handled spatula(unless you want to burn all of the hair off of your arms), but there are also a few gadgets that you should buy if you really want to impress people with your mad skillz.
First and foremost is the charcoal chimney starter.
This gadget allows you to start your coals without using any lighter fluid. There are instructions on the nerd net for making your own out of an old coffee can and wire coat hanger. That sh*t looks dangerous, spend the 10 bucks and get a real one. What you do is stuff newspaper in the bottom(the end with the holes) and pour your charcoal in the top. Light the newspaper in a couple of places and leave it alone for a few minutes, it will heat up your coals on its own. Are your coals good and hot yet? Ok, grab the handle and carefully dump them out into your grill…which brings me to my next point oven mitts.
Get yourself a good pair of insulated BBQ gloves, they are going to take a beating. Also, a long-handled steel BBQ brush is needed to clean off your cooking grates. If you’re smart you will store it out of reach of big dogs, since mine thought it was a toy.
Your high-tech gadgets should include an instant read thermometer and a timer. That’s it. You do not need a thermometer that hooks up to an iPhone app to be successful (although they do make that, but I heard it sucks)
For cooking ribs you could also get a rib rack. This is not a necessity, but merely a space saver, letting you multiply the amount of delicious ribs you can cook at once. You will also need disposable foil pans. We buy them at Costco because we use them so much. They are used for soaking wood chunks, making a water pan, moving foods on and off the grill, and even for cooking. Please don’t give me the whole “cooking with aluminum is bad” speech, I don’t care.
For flavoring your meat you will need a flavor injector. These usually look like some evil Dr. Henry H. Holmes needles, but they’re great for putting your marinade directly into the meat. This is especially important for cuts that tend to be tough like brisket. Also, having a spray bottle on hand will help you keep your meat moist. Usually during smoking meat is sprayed with apple cider vinegar or juice to keep it moist and tender.
That is really all you need, you can probably get all of this crap for about 75$, and of course we also had to buy a set of outdoor shelves to put it all on, because somebody was pissy about having it all lying over her patio set all the time (that would be me).
Welcome to Primal Smoke! This will be a place to discuss our two loves: paleo and barbeque. We are going to show you how to take your cooking outside and become a master of all things cooked over charcoal.
You will learn how to make bacon!
And canadian bacon!
Did I mention home smoked bacon?
Ok, enough with the food porn, I promise there is a recipe coming once we are ready to do Double Bacons 2: Bacons of Doom! Ok, it won’t be that dramatic, but I can bet that it will be the best damn piece of pork fat you have ever eaten!