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2012 up in smoke….

I am totally on the New Years bandwagon here, just giving you lots of old posts because I am too lazy to write out a new one.  I am going to share the best of the best of 2012 just in case you missed it…I have only been up and running since September so you havent missed much though.

oh yeah baby!

oh yeah baby!

The greatest thing I did this year was BBQ brownies.  It is still my number one day of traffic ever….which proves to me that you people suck, seriously, pureeing some sweet potatoes and cooking them in chocolate is not anywhere near as impressive as the perfect brisket.  Still, they rock…we will definitely make them again once all the january sugar detoxing/whole30 hybrid is over. Anyway, there will be a few recipes that overlap here, because I know that nobody is going to sit here and read every link I posted…if you want to, by all means go ahead, and please leave your full name in the comments section so I can spell it properly on the restraining order.

Important lessons:
Planking (and bacon)
Using Skewers
Tempering and Resting your meat
Starting a good fire
Choosing your charcoal
Getting the right big-boy-toys
Basics on using a smoker, and the perfect hunk of meat for a newbie

There is more to be learned about smoking, in 2013 there will be a series called “Better know a smoker” and important information on rubs, BBQ competitions, and other random rants and tirades about why I am right and you are wrong. Now on to the meat…

Juciest pork on the planet

juiciest pork on the planet

In the pork category we have:

Pork Butt
Rib Basics
Bacon…thats right we make our own bacon!
Spare Ribs
Ham
Korean Style Ribs
Pork Stuffed Peppers
BLT Salad made with our own bacon of course
Pork Tenderloin

Smoke rings make me happy

Smoke rings make me happy

The nom-nom-nominees in the beef category are:

Sausagey Beef Burger
Braised Beef Chili
Flank Steak Skewers
Grilled Meatloaf
Ungrilled Meatloaf with bacon
Brisket though the title lies, we did make a better brisket last night burning straight hardwood with no coals.

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Chicken:

Basic BBQ Chicken
Chicken Caesar Salad
Recipe I stole from Michael Symon

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Seafood:

Haddock
Basic Grilled Salmon and grilled squash goodness
Oh look, this recipe again because there is shrimp on it
Dirty South Clam Chowder
Smoked Mackerel Salad

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Breakfast:
I grilled eggs in bell peppers then again in pork

I know that is a big plate, but I don't like my food touching

Game Meat:
Deer Jerky
Bison Burger with smoked applesauce…seriously go make that applesauce, it will change your life.

Liquid gold baby!

Sauces:
Basic Red Sauce aka Liquid Orgasm
Carolina Style Pork Sauce

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Chili and Clam Chowder are obviously also in the new soups category, while Jerky, Smoked Sausage, and Hickory Smoked Mixed Nuts are all under snacks

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Lastly there was a grilled watermelon salad that was amazing, but didn’t really fit in anywhere else

I already have dozens of ideas for 2013, so keep coming back for more smoked meat sexiness and white trash shenanagains

This was a redneck theme birthday party, he doesnt actually wear overalls or beat me.

This was D’s redneck theme birthday party, he doesn’t actually wear overalls or beat me.

 

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1 Comment

Posted by on December 31, 2012 in Random, Uncategorized

 

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Oh Jeez, She is Angry Again…

Definition of barbeque
abbr. BBQ
NOUN
1.outdoor party with food cooked outdoors: an outdoor party where people eat food cooked on a grill
2.food cooked on grill: food, especially meat, poultry, and fish, cooked on a grill
3.equipment for cooking outdoors: an apparatus, including a grill and fuel, used for cooking food outdoors
[ Mid-17th century. < American Spanish barbacoa, probably < Arawak barbakoa “frame of sticks” ]
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Guess what the definition of BBQ does not include:
1. Meat covered in a sugary-red sauce that you cooked in your crock pot
2. Pulled meat products of any kind that were cooked indoors
3.  Anything that requires electricity to cook.
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I really tried not to start this post with another pissed off rant, but it did not happen once I started looking at recipe blogs this morning.  I do not care what you call it, but if you are cooking indoors you are not making bbq.  You can make pulled pork inside, but you cannot make BBQ pulled pork.  Do you understand?  Real barbecue is a friggin art and takes time and dedication to master.  It makes me angry when you people throw that term around just because there is some sugary red crap on your meat.   I want to beat them with a slab of baby backs until they change the name of their recipe to not include the word barbecue!
Now, while we are on the subject of BBQ, do you want to learn how to do a St. Louis style cut on spare ribs?  Of course you do! Now that we are nice and pissed off let’s go grab a knife!
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This, ladies and gentlemen, is a slab of the finest spare ribs.  Wrapping around one half of the slab is an extra hunk of meat that is not actually part of the ribs themselves, and for aesthetic purposes it is often trimmed off.
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With your fingers you will be able to feel where the excess meat is that is not directly attached to the bones.
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Trim the excess off in an L shape and throw that sh*t in your crock pot for some BBQ pulled pork! Haha.
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Now, we cooked these exactly the same as we always cook spare ribs, because there is no sense in messing with perfection.  So you can follow these instructions.  What you end up with is a nice rectangular slab or ribs that you can use to impress your neighbors, or to stick it to that b*tch at a potluck who brought a tofu salad.
 
8 Comments

Posted by on December 27, 2012 in Barbeque, Pork, Technique

 

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I Love The Fishes Cuz They’re So Delicious…

Ok, holidays are over finally, I went to town on some paleo desserts.  I feel like I should share what I made for those people who pressured me to “indulge a little” in some straight up garbage food that wasnt worth the tummy ache.  My December of sin included:

Ok, so maybe I did not eat all of that by myself, since a very large portion of my paleoish goodies were given away as gifts, but they really helped me make it through the holidays without snapping when subjected to the dumbest comments on the planet.  Are you ready for another list? Here is some of the stupid sh*t I get to listen to at parties:

  • I don’t eat red meat because it is harder to digest than poultry
  • I burned off 750 calories on the elliptical today so I can eat what I want
  • Here is some cookies/cake/bread/whatever….I know you are paleo but it is the holidays so you should have some

star-trek-facepalm

I actually was able to keep my mouth shut in light of all these comments, I did not start berating a single person for their stupidity, it is a freaking Christmas miracle!  Anyway, I figured it would be a good day for a nice light recipe for a change of pace.

Ingredients:

  • 2 filets of mackerel with the skin on
  • an orange
  • salad stuff: I used lettuce, onion, hungarian pepper, and a hard-boiled egg

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Soak your wood chips before you start, as always, I used alder wood this time. Then, salt and pepper your fish and set aside while you fire up the grill.  We used out 22.5 inch Webbie here, since there is no need to fire up the smoker for something this small.

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Bust out one of your finest disposable foil pans and use it to create a water pan on the opposite side of the grill from your coals.  I only used about 1/2-2/3 of a chimney of coals here, because when you are smoking fish you want to keep the temperature extremely low under the cooking surface so you are actually smoking and not just grilling.  Got it?  Ok, throw the fish on and let it smoke for approximately an hour while you go inside and prep the rest of your food.

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Cut your orange in half and slice off the peel all the way around, then slice into segments.  The fruit in this recipe really helps to cut through the intense fishy-ness of the mackerel.  Prep the rest of your salad to your liking and set aside while the fish finishes up.

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With a little experience you can tell when your fish is done by just eyeballing it.  If it looks like this then you are doing pretty well.  It will be easy to flake apart with a fork and turn golden brown.  If you are seeing lots of little white fat droplets on the top of your fish the heat is way too high and you are cooking not smoking….cooking bad smoking good.

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Break apart your fish, pile it on top of the salad, and serve with a drizzle with olive oil (I used lemon infused).  This recipe is big enough for two but I tend to always eat the whole thing myself because I need a big hit of omega 3s to combat the stress-related effects of a life spent silently suffering through stupid conversations.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on December 26, 2012 in Salad, Seafood, Uncategorized

 

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Smoked Deer Jerky

Do you want to know why I hate the rain? It drives my little fur babies inside where they just sit around and look depressed in between random bouts of tearing up the house.  If I put on Animal Planet the big one is fine, but the munchkin hasn’t quite caught on to watching TV just yet.  I know, I am a terrible parent letting them watch TV all day.

Alas, not Caeser Milan again!

Alas, not Caesar Milan again!

While they have been busy driving me crazy I was making smoked jerky.  My spoiled yuppie dogs would not even eat any raw venison.  If there is anything a dog should like it is freshly killed wild game, but no.  They wanted the nicely seasoned and cooked chicken thighs that were sitting on the counter for lunch.  Spoiled little monsters.  To keep the puppy entertained I just throw a lemon on the floor, which you can see here .  I am not sure if that is for the her entertainment or mine, but this went on for a solid hour before she got bored.  The lemon is like crack to her, she knows it will make her suffer, but she just can’t stay away.

Why do you torture me ma?

Why do you torture me ma?

If you want to make them feel better, you can of course share some deer jerky with them, but first you have to make it.  So, get some mesquite wood soaking and your BBQ set to 175, only use about 1/4 of a chimney full of briquettes.  You want to cook on very very low indirect heat here, because you are just trying to dry the meat, not cook it.  Remember, because the meat is still technically raw, you will want to store your jerky in the fridge.  You don’t have to use deer, any small beef roast or cut of steak will work too, I have not tried this with poultry yet though.

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Cut your meat into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick, it really helps if the meat is slightly frozen.  Put your slices in a bowl with a marinade made from

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 TB Worcestershire sauce (optional, you can add more salt to the marinade if omitting)
  • 1 TB honey
  • 3/4 TB – 1TB salt
  • 1 TB BBQ rub

Add extra water if needed to cover the meat.  This recipe makes enough marinade for up to 2lbs of meat.  Let it soak up the awesome juice for 1-2 hours, then discard the marinade.  Cover your cooking grate with tin foil and then poke some holes in it to let the smoke through.  This is just a precautionary measure, but I was worried about some of the smaller pieces falling through the grates as they shrunk up a bit.  It is part redneck ingenuity, part BBQ genius.

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The setup

You only need to add smoke in at the beginning, since meat this small cannot continue to pick up smoke flavor through the whole drying process.  Leave the strips on there until they start to look dry and brittle, ours took about 1 hour and 50 minutes.  If you need to add more charcoal, remember to add lit briquettes, as the ones in the smoker will not be hot enough to light them.

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After you are done, let it cool for an hour or so and then dig in.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 10, 2012 in Barbeque, Game, Snacks

 

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Korean Marinated Baby Backs

I have been such a busy little bee this week, and what is even funnier is that a weeks’ worth of work is all going in to one meal.  Earlier in the week I roasted whole chickens because I needed the carcasses to make broth.  Then I butchered a deer leg into a few roasts and some stew meat.  Finally it is time to throw the whole thing together with some veggies in a big pot of chili-gasm.  Anyone who has ever had my chili is ruined for life, and can no longer stomach the inferior taste of other mediocre chili.  Do you want to experience heaven in a bowl?  Well you can, because I am nice enough to share.

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Bambi

 

I also butchered myself once or twice

I also butchered myself once or twice

Now, I have been meaning to share this recipe for a while, but with two other rib recipes up, I did not want you to think I was a one trick pony; besides…I just didn’t feel like it, so sue me.  This is an incredible non-traditional baby back rib recipe for those of you who are sick of the same old BBQ.  I don’t know why you ever would be, but hey it could happen in some bizzare fantasy land.

korean ribs

Instead of a dry rub, you marinate these ribs for about 24 hours or at least overnight.  For every two slabs of baby backs you will need:

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • Juice of one lime
  • 4 tB rice wine vinegar, sherry, or dry white wine
  • ½ cup liquid aminos (or soy sauce alternative)
  • 2TB water
  • 3TB honey
  • 2TB siracha
  • One small grated root of fresh ginger
  • ¼ cup chopped green onions. I used the white parts only and saved the tops for garnishing

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Mix this all together and divide it up between the two slabs of ribs and let them soak.  Remove any chunks from the marinade before cooking.  Now, you CAN cook these indoors if you want to, but whatever you do, do not under any circumstances ever boil or steam roast your effing ribs.  Why do we boil bones? Well…to make stock of course, meaning that the flavor ends up in the water and not the meat.  If you love your family you will not serve them boiled ribs.  Just in case you are a new reader, I want to remind you that any grill can be turned into a smoker, except maybe one of those indoor George Foreman contraptions.

Pork Porn

Pork Porn

We experimented with a new method this time, the smoke-and-sear.  Basically, once you wrap your ribs in tin-foil they are done smoking, so you can finish them up over a hot grill in tightly sealed foil for 20-30 minutes, or you can throw them back on the smoker for a couple more hours.  It is up to you to find a method that you prefer.

In case you forgot, we like to cook the ribs between 250-275F, using cherry wood this time, until the ribs reach an internal temp of 170F

Like so...

Like so…

Then we wrap them up in tinfoil and continue to cook them until they reach 190F and feel like they are starting to pull apart from the bone a little.  Here is a more in depth description of rib technique

These seriously rocked my world

These seriously rocked my world

These ribs are infused with a kick ass Korean BBQ flavor and drizzled with a siracha-honey sauce, which is optional but please don’t skip it!

  • 3TB honey
  • 3TB siracha
  • 1TB sesame oil
  • and of course the rest of your green onions for sprinkling

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Want to know what else I have been up to this week? Paleo-fied peanut butter balls, my all time holiday favorite remade with no sugar, almond butter, and home-made chocolate.  Maybe I will share the recipe, or maybe I will just hoard all my dessert recipes so my friends and family are at my mercy, I havent decided yet.

These did not last very long in my house

These did not last very long in my house

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Pork

 

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Michael Symon’s Juicy Thighs

I friggin love Michael Symon! Perhaps it is his fresh and local approach to cooking, or the pork tattoo, but I can’t get enough of the guy.   Super nerdy chef crush!  You can imagine how excited I got when I saw him cooking a dutch-oven kale and chicken thigh dish that I had the ingredients for…well sort of, I have kale and chicken thighs, the details are bit different though.  So I took his basic idea and made my own little dish for dinner tonight.  If you are my husband you are thinking, “ugh, not kale again,” but don’t blame me, blame Michael Symon!  Seriously though Mikey, call me.   You and Lizzy can come over for a BBQ at our place, we’re not weird swingers I swear.

hfLSnJwEyd0l

Put this on your grocery list:

  • Coconut oil- about 3TB
  • 4-8 skin-on chicken thighs, as many as you want or can fit in your dutch oven, I used 4 because it fit my needs tonight.
  • A whole bag or two bunches of kale (I used organic tuscan kale from TJs)
  • Half an onion(You can’t buy half an onion, but figure it out)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 C Balsamic vinegar
  • 2TB water or stock
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • a bunch of fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 TB parsley
  • crushed red pepper to taste
  • and always add some salt and pepper

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Start by heating up your oven to 375, seasoning up your chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and paprika, and heating up your cast iron dutch oven to medium. Yes, I cooked this indoors out of pure laziness…so sue me! Add in your coconut oil and when it gets hot add in your chicken and let it brown on each side.  After you flip your little birdies add in your turmeric and paprika.  This helps them to “open up” and brings out their flavor.  Pull the chicken out of the pot while you start the rest of your meal

Let them hang out while you start the kale

I threw in the onions and garlic and let them start to break down, and simultaneously deglazed the pan with the balsamic and water/broth.  I added in a few sprigs of fresh thyme and let all those kick-ass flavors come out.   Throw your kale in the pot, toss it real well, put the chicken back on top, put your lid on and put it in the oven for about 45 minutes or until your chicken reaches an internal temp of 180F.

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This one was really tasty!   It can of course be altered for the grill by putting the dutch oven on the indirect side with the kale, searing your chicken thighs over high heat and then adding them in.  Which I will get around to later I just didn’t feel like it that night, so for now we will just bask in Michael Symons awesomeness…or is that shine just the reflection off his head? I can’t quite tell.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 4, 2012 in Chicken

 

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Dirty South Clam Chowder

I have some serious anger issues this week, every time I sit down to write it just turns into some pissed off rant about how I am sick of hearing about the health problems of people who do nothing to be healthy.  Yep, that’s right, everyone from back home has serious health problems and when they wash down fast food dinner with a few vodka-redbulls I lose all sympathy.  See, there I go again.  I think I need to just stop talking to people, people make my angry.  I wish I could say that my dogs make me happy today…but it has been non-stop Wrestlemania in my house lately as well.  The champion, weighing in at 100lbs, Captain Kirk; The contender, 30lbs of fury, Sonya Blaze.  Fight!

You know what makes me feel better after a long day of being pissed off at the world? Well…chocolate mostly, but a nice hearty bowl of soup helps too.  New England and Manhattan have their clam chowders…now we have ours.  A spicy, smokey chowder that is full of fall veggies and friggin awesomeness.

You will need:

  • A can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups bone broth
  • One tablespoon hickory liquid smoke
  • 1lb of shrimp
  • about 2 dozen clams
  • ¼ cup of butter or coconut oil
  • One bunch kale
  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • ¼ cup BBQ rub
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • And a big ass mirepoix( celery, carrots, and onion)

Please don’t ask me to measure that stuff, it was about one bunch celery, 5 carrots, and an onion….it doesn’t have to be perfect…just wing it and chop everything up real well.  I am a “kitchen sink” cook, so I throw in everything I have (except the kitchen sink).  Have turnips lying around, some fresh scallops,chard instead of kale? Great use those.

Ok, no dual-zone fire today, just fire up the whole grill and get it nice and hot.  We are grilling with our dutch oven, so I wrapped the bottom in tin foil to help prevent those lovely soot stains.  Throw all of your veggies in with your fat and let them sauté over direct heat in any covered grill friendly pan (or on the stove if you want to cut corners…I won’t judge). Add a little bit of your broth for moisture as needed.

Throw your clams on the other side of the grill in a small pan with a little water and heat them until they just pop open.  They don’t need to be cooked through 100% because they will finish in the soup.  If you have never cooked clams before, remember to throw out the ones that are open before you cook them and ones that do not open from cooking, it means they might have died.  If you don’t do this you will make me very angry…and you wouldn’t like me when I am angry…

Hulk Smash!

Ok…just kidding.  Anyways, once your clams are done, add your liquids into the pot along with your BBQ rub.  I used a blend of Dizzy Pig Swamp Venom  (very spicy) and Old Bay.  Cover your pot and let everything simmer while you go inside and prep your meat.

Get the clams out of their shells, and get the skin and tails off of your shrimp.  This sounds easy, but it takes time to peel shrimp…this will give your soup time to simmer.  This helps break down some of the starch in the sweet taters and it thickens your soup without having to add any mystery thickening powders.  Add your seafood back into the pot and let it simmer for another 20 minutes or until all the veggies appear cooked and the shrimp turn opaque.  Adjust your seasoning to taste before serving and enjoy!

Holy crap that was delicious.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Seafood, Soups

 

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